The Puffin Summer Reading Campaign

Encouraging my children to read for pleasure factors fairly high on my list of priorities.  I remember when Ben started Reception, his teacher thought it was odd that he’d not really had access to a tablet or computer before that point but it had been completely intentional on our part.  We wanted him to learn to play imaginatively, to enjoy books and to be able to entertain himself without a screen as we knew all too well that there would be plenty of time for that later!  Of course at eight years old he now has a healthy obsession with Minecraft and is keen to get an Xbox for Christmas but he also loves reading.  The number of times I catch him reading in bed long after he should have turned his lights out, or go in to wake him in the morning only to find he’s been up for ages reading his latest book . . . of course then there is the internal battle between being cross that he’s not gone to sleep when he should have done and thrilled that it was a book that caused him to still be awake!

Boy reading #StartAStory Puffin Summer Reading campaign

I’m pleased to say that both girls are now following in his footsteps, Chloe is reading at a level which exceeds expectations for her age and Amy loves nothing more than to sit and listen to someone reading her a story, whilst she joins in with the bits she can remember.

This summer, Puffin have launched the Summer Reading campaign with the aim of getting as many children reading as possible – as both a parent and a primary school teacher this is something which I applaud and am keen to support.

Founded in 1940, Puffin is one of the world’s leading children’s publishers carrying some of the biggest names in classic and current children’s publishing.  I can’t tell you how excited Ben, Chloe and Amy were to received a parcel of books from across the age categories of under 5, 5-9 and 9+ . . . particularly as they fit into one category each which means no arguing over which book belongs to who!  Of course you want to see what they were sent don’t you?

Where’s Spot – Eric Hill 

In all honesty, I think Amy is probably a little grown up for Spot now, but for the sake of a bit of childhood nostalgia, who can resist lifting the flaps to find that cheeky puppy!?  She loved reading this with Dave and joining in with bits of the story.

Daddy & Amy reading Where's Spot? book #StartAStory Puffin Summer Reading campagin

The Giant Jumperee – Julia Donaldson

This book is a beautiful collaboration between the author of the Gruffalo and the illustrator of We’re Going on Bear Hunt – the softer, watercolour images are not ones which I would usually associate with a Julia Donaldson book but Amy loves them and they suit the story.  This is a great book for bedtime – not too long, a little bit of rhyming and a funny surprise at the end.

Daddy & Amy reading Julia Donaldson book #StartAStory Puffin Summer Reading campagin

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop -Clare Balding 

Chloe is just starting to read chapter books for herself and I’m keen to make sure they’re not all airy fairy princessy glittery nonsense – this novel is described by Jaqueline Wilson as having a “great girl-power message” which makes it an instant winner for me!  Although Chloe is currently reading at a level about a year ahead of her age, this is still quite a chunky book for her so we’re saving it for a little while and plan on taking turns to read to each other!

Clare Balding - Puffin Summer Reading Campaign #startastory

George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

Are you even a reader if Roald Dahl doesn’t feature on your bookshelf?  George’s Marvellous Medicine has long been one of my favourites and I especially love reading it out loud in class ( to Year 2 in particular who always seem to be royally tickled by it).  As Ben is a huge Roald Dahl fan I suggested he read this with Chloe – allowing him the opportunity to read out loud for an audience and also for her to be able to read to him.

Roald Dahl - Puffin Summer Reading Campaign #startastory

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Next Chapter (The Making of The Long Haul) – Jeff Kinney 

As yet Ben hasn’t read any of the Wimpy Kid series – knowing they were aimed at around age 9 I’ve put him off for a little while but with him being a confident reader and having just hit 8 this last month I think we’re good to go.  He was really excited to see the book waiting for him and said he’s seen some of them in school.

New Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Puffin Summer Reading Campaign #startastory

Wave Me Goodbye – Jaqueline Wilson

Guess what, Jaqueline Wilson isn’t just for girls! Having learned about WWII in school last term, Ben was especially thrilled to see this book about an evacuee arrive for him.  Having that bit of historical knowledge will really help to give context to what he’s reading.

Jaqueline Wilson - not just for girls! Puffin Summer Reading Campaign #startastory

Over the years we’ve read to our children daily – a bedtime story is pretty much law in our house – and I think this has been key in fostering the love of books they each now have.  We talk to them about what we’re reading, ask questions about what’s going on, what might happen next and how it might feel to be a certain character.  We encourage them to join in with the bits they know, to finish off sentences and even to read to each other.

If you’re working on encouraging a love of reading in your children this summer then my top tip would be not to force the issue but to spend some time finding the right books.  When I met Cressida Cowell at an event earlier this year, she said “There’s no such thing as a kid who can’t be excited about reading, they just haven’t found the right book yet.” 

*In collaboration with Puffin Books*



  1. August 5, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Since getting rid of his ‘night night’ dummy, B is exceptionally interested in a bedtime story!
    I cannot believe the change, it hurts my voice but its lovely to read to him each night.

    I love this campaign, such a fabulous idea. Reading is something I struggle with, I just can’t get into any books anymore so I’m doing it with B x

  2. Rebecca Hollick
    August 6, 2017 / 12:45 am

    love reading to my girls before bed, even though they are only 2 & 1 they are picking things up so we love it!

  3. August 6, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Love you reading photos! Reading or sharing stories is definitely super important and we’ve already worked our way through a fair few books this summer.

  4. Clare
    August 7, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Fred absolutely loves reading and his favourite at the minute is probably Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There are some great new books here though that we have not got. So thanks for the recommendations ?

  5. August 7, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    What a super giveaway! My kids don’t read as much as I wish they did, but a prize like this might certainly help! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. August 7, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    I loved Spot the dog when I was small! Reminds me of when I got my tonsils out when I was 6. I was reading it just as I was put under the anaesthetic and itโ€™s the last thing I remember!

  7. Ky
    August 7, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    We read every night before bed, The Giant Jumperee is a favourite at the moment.

  8. August 8, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    What a great giveaway. I encourage my kids to read too! I read to them everyday.

  9. Kelly Peters
    August 8, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    This is fab! My 2 year old is book obsessed and I want to keep feeding this so he doesn’t lose interest as he gets older. Great read thank you!

  10. August 8, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Ah mine all love reading too and I think we have all of these books at home. Bella is still struggling to read independently a little but likes listening to stories which I think is just as important. I’mhoping something clicks in year one! x

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