This article was written by Cheyney Smith.
I vividly remember hair days – it was always a Sunday afternoon and involved many an hour sitting in a kitchen chair, and a lot of conditioner. When that chair appeared in the middle of the sitting room, you knew your parents meant business.
It might have taken an hour, it might have taken four, all I know is that it felt infinitely longer as a child so my mother became the master of distractions. There were snacks, sometimes our favourite TV shows, other times we’d sing along to music (dancing strictly forbidden, of course). But my favourite distraction of all was always reading my book. Even at a very young age I could forget about the hard seat and quiet my compulsion to fidget by getting lost in stories. I’d practice my reading out loud with my family, or we’d share the stories together by revelling in the pictures on each page, and of course, when I was reading independently, I could be immersed in the pages for hours.
So if hair day is proving a challenge and your little ones are finding time in the chair as tough as I did, here’s my edit of children’s books to keep little ones entertained.
Perfect for children aged 3-5 years old, I Love Me! is a first book of positive affirmations written by Marvyn Harrison, founder of Dope Black Dads. Every morning Marvyn and his children share ‘Mirror Time’, a special time in which his children sit in front of the mirror and speak their positive affirmations out loud. Brimming with positivity, this fun and empowering book of affirmations is designed to help little ones feel brave and powerful and to learn to love who they are, making it a perfect books to share together on hair day.
Aziza's Secret Fairy Door is the first book in Lola Morayo’s magical adventure series for readers aged 6-8 years old. When Aziza receives a mysterious gift on her birthday, she soon discovers it's actually a secret fairy door that can transport her to Shimmerton, a world of magic and mischief. But when the jewelled door knob is taken, Aziza is trapped and only her new friends can help her get home.
Packed with mischief, friendship and magic, there are now four titles in this chapter book series, so plenty of adventures to keep kids happily in their seats.
Meet Mango and Brash, sewer-loving secret agents of S.U.I.T that travel by toilet and use their Very Exciting Spy Technology (V.E.S.T. for short) to scupper the plans of supervillains everywhere. In the first book in this bestselling series, Mango and Brash go undercover on their first mission together and have not one but two mysteries to solve. This laugh-out-loud spy story is perfect for kids aged 6-8 to read alone or together. With its full colour graphic novel format it is the perfect distraction!
Ideal for readers aged 8-11 and inspired by Marcus’s own experiences growing up and written with Alex Falase-Koya, The Breakfast Club Adventures packs themes of friendship, adventure, community and fun into its pages. Twelve-year-old Marcus knows one thing for sure - that when he kicks his football over the school fence, it isn’t coming back. Nothing that goes over ever comes back. But Marcus finds himself pulled into an adventure he couldn’t have seen coming when he receives a note inviting him to join the Breakfast Club Investigators who are determined to solve the mystery and get his ball back.
For readers aged 9-12, The Boy with Wings follows Tunde, an ordinary boy who soon finds out he’s pretty extraordinary afterall when he sprouts wings and learns he’s all that stands between Earth and total destruction. Suddenly, school is the least of his problems, but thankfully his mates are right beside him and he soon discovers that with his new powers Tunde is ready to fly in the face of danger.
Written by comedy legend Sir Lenny Henry, and with illustrations by Keenon Ferrell this is a fantastically funny, action-packed adventure so come join the flight!
Fully illustrated in black and white throughout, this adventure story like no other is perfect for readers aged 9+. When 11 year old Noah sneaks along on his older sister’s school geography trip, everything goes disastrously wrong. Soon, Noah finds himself marooned on an uninhabited island with five other kids; their phones don’t work, their teacher has disappeared, and not to mention, they’re really hungry. It looks hopeless... that is, until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang go in search of gold. Packed with laughs, this is an adventure kids won’t want to miss.