Dec 162018
Stilton vs. Blyton
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My child doesn’t read my favourite books! Grump!

My childoo (my daughter, who I refer to as #the11yearold) has a different taste in books than I do – which is perfectly fine. I’m sure I read way different books than my parents did when they were little. It’s called moving with the times. Full circle!

Enid Blyton all the way for me!

I grew up being an Enid Blyton fangirl. I’ve adored everything from Noddy to Five Find-Outers to Secret Seven to Famous Five to Malory Towers. Everything.  And though my childoo reads Enid Blyton, her eyes don’t sparkle when she spots a book by my favourite author that she hasn’t read.

That’s fine. I’ve accepted that. But what pains me is that SHE DOESN’T WANT TO READ MALORY TOWERS! Omg, but why? I loved Malory Towers and given a chance, I would read them all over again! But she has her reasons. And I’m still hopeful :).

It’s Stilton for her!

Though she reads a wide range of books by authors like Roald Dahl and Sudha Murthy, the Stilton series still enchants her! (There’s a Thea Stilton series as well for the uninitiated. Not just Geronimo!)

“Aren’t these for smaller kids?” I sound like a broken record every time she brings the Thea-Geronimo duo back from her school library.

“I like them, mom.” And that’s a solid reason. A valid reason. One I don’t want to argue with. But then the mommy devil inside of me starts thinking of creative ways to wean her off Stilton and ensure she starts reading other kinds of books as well!

Let me share some “tactics” that have worked in getting her to read new/other authors:

  1. Keep an open mind.If she likes the Stilton series so much – there must be something good about it! Ask her what! Educate yourself!
  2. Tell her to keep an open mind too! About different authors she hasn’t heard of, never tried reading, especially Indian authors.
  3. Make choosing books a fun activity! I love going to the bookstore with her. More for the smell of new books of course ;). Jokes apart, I just love discovering new authors and make it a point to plonk myself on the floor or couch, read the synopsis in an engaging way to get her attention! I go through the book and show her the illustrations. That’s how we discovered and loved ‘Moin the Monster‘ a few years back!
  4. Accompanying her to the children’s section of the library! We have an amazing public library here in Goa and sometimes I go along just to go through the children’s section to re-live my childhood! I dig out some stuff I like and make a deal with her. She gets to issue 4 books – so I tell her to select 4 different authors. Variety rocks! Three books of her choice + I get to select one new author we haven’t read (and that she approves of, of course)! That’s the only way, like a new cuisine/dish, you can get your child to try out a new kind of book! This week we’re trying out Horrid High by Payal Kapadia.
  5. Visit a friend who has a good collection of books at home and check out what their kids are reading! That’s exactly how my child got introduced to and interested in Tom Gates, David Walliams, Captain Underpants and others.
  6. Gift interesting books on birthdays. So when it’s a friend’s birthday, we go on a book exploration and discover an exciting new book. Or, if we know what he/she is fond of – we just order it online :). Now of course, we order it right from here – on Kids Book Café (with our customised Amazon affiliate links so you are actually ordering from Amazon!)

Do you go through the same dramas with your child? Tell me about it! And share some creative reading tips too!

[Note from Team Kids Book Café: For your convenience, affiliate links to some of the books have been added to enable you to buy the books from Amazon, should you wish to! Do let us know if you’d like to buy some other children’s books that are not listed here by writing to and we’ll enable a shopping link for you!]

Reader Comments

  1. Smell of books is a real thing for me! 🙂 I had to actually start reading a few books in order to get one of my boys excited about it. Or sometimes it was “read for half an hour and see if you like the story.” At the end of the day though, I am OK with them re-reading that kiddie book as a way of relaxing instead of screen time.

    I didn’t like Stilton because he kept getting awarded for things he didn’t do. Kids teach us a lot of things about ourselves!

  2. i might have to get the “smell of new books” wala perfume @roomis !!
    nowadays she is re-reading all of her wimpy kids – she says it de-stresses her from the exam pressure. groan. we have final exams from this monday and i just want her to be happy that she tried her best.
    ps: post exams we are heading to anand and ini will be my full time intern there 🙂

  3. You could have been writing my story, Asha! My daughter has read Roald Dahl and enjoyed a few of his books, however, she enjoys Stilton and Horrid Henry more. I have made a pact with her, one book she reads of her choice and the next one of mine where I try to introduce a variety of writers to her. In such an experiment, she fell in love with the hole books. 🙂


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