Top Ten Children’s Books Plus a Fab Recipe Perfect for Making with Little Ones

Top Ten Children’s Books

Top Ten Children’s Books

It was Children’s Book Day on Saturday so we took some time out from rushing around to sit on the carpet and talk about stories. I asked my three children – whose ages range from 5 to 8 – to choose their favourites. Here’s the Davenport Top Ten:

The Blue Balloon Mick Inkpen
It’s a silly and simple story – like many of Mick Inkpen’s books – but it resonated with each of our children when they were little. They love the fold out pages and the sense of fun that the author so cleverly creates.

Cockatoos Quentin Blake
Ever since I was a small child engrossed in Roald Dahl books I have loved Quentin Blake. Author and Illustrator of this book, he has filled it with his cheeky wit. And it’s great for putting on an absurd posh voice!

Magic Faraway Tree Enid Blyton
As I read my original 1970s copy to my children I have to change a few words here and there – PC it isn’t (e.g. the girls always have to help in the kitchen but the boys don’t). But the magic in this book is unrivalled in anything else I have come across for young children and all my children love it as much as I did.

The BFG Roald Dahl
Both Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant are such wonderful characters you can’t help but love this book. Roald Dahl was a genius of storytelling and I think this one is his best. Though apparently the Queen has the same voice as a witch from another story (sorry about that!)

Mr Stink David Walliams
David Walliams has a fantastic ability to write modern day stories with old fashioned fun and adventure. In each of his books the morals are always spot on and his characters are hilarious. My son and I love Raj who appears in every book he writes.

Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian
Heartbreaking and heartwarming, this was my favourite book when I was young. It’s a moving and compelling tale, which reveals the complexities and terrible consequences of war through a child’s eyes.

The Harry Potter series J. K. Rowling
Ok, I have to confess that this one is my choice. My children are just too wussy to read Harry Potter yet as they get scared after about page 3. J. K. Rowling’s series of epic adventures are just unquestionably brilliant. I’m going to get the audio books for the car and hope that Stephen Fry’s dulcet tones will persuade my children to listen.

Mog and the V.E.T Judith Kerr
Having owned a very grumpy cat (who once ended up on the vet’s head!) this story particularly resonates with us. Mog’s escapades always make us all giggle.

Why the Whales Came Michael Morpurgo
Erie and disquieting, this multifaceted tale of two children who befriend a loner on their island is a real page turner. It was our first Michael Morpurgo book and we loved it.

The Smartest Giant in Town Julie Donaldson
There’s something about the rhythm of rhyme that intrigues children. Even when my little ones are distracted Julia Donaldson’s soothing stories encourage them to listen. In this book, there are so many funny characters it gives us parents a great opportunity for a cavalcade of silly voices!

And after all that reading,
surely it’s time for a treat?  
These cookies are easy and
fun to make with your little
(or not so little) ones.

Take A Box Of Eggs cookbook

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 225 per portion
Fat 12.2g (7.3g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Butter 200g (7oz), softened
  • Soft light brown sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Eggs 2, beaten
  • Self-raising flour 300g (11oz)
  • White chocolate 200g (7oz), chopped
  • Dried cranberries 75g packet


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Beat the butter with the sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and flour and mix well. Work the chopped chocolate and cranberries into the mixture.
  2. Drop generous dessertspoonfuls of the mix onto the prepared baking sheet and cook in batches for 10–15 minutes until the cookies are golden, but still soft. Leave to cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cook’s tip
This is one of those wonderful recipes that is great to get children interested in baking as it doesn’t involve the use of an electric mixer – just keep an eye on where the white chocolate ends up!


Take a Box of EggsTake A Box Of Eggs

Discover the delight of cooking with eggs; nature’s own convenience food. This recipe is taken from Take a Box of Eggs, which features 100 easy, irresistible recipes in an attractive yet straightforward style.

Buy now for just £7.49.








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