Karen McCombie: 5 books every child should read before they’re 12
1. A Children’s Treasury of Milligan: Classic Stories and Poems by Spike Milligan
Wonderously stupid poems coupled with fantastically funny drawings. Will have kids doodling silly verse in no time.
2. There Are Cats In This Book by Viviane Schwarz
Non age-specific picture book that’s cute (not cutesy), short (but oh so smart) and funky (in the most gently surreal way).
3. The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris by Leon Garfield
Two boys ‘accidentally’ lose a baby sister in this historical yarn that’s part detective novel and all funny. Some of the best drawn characters ever.
4. Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
The reader knows from the start that 11-year-old Sam is going to die. But don’t expect gloom. Punchy, touching and uplifting.
5. Fever by Crumb Philip Reeve
I’m not keen on fantasy, futuristic worlds or war stories, but this has all three and is one of my favourite recent books.
You, Me and Thing (Faber, £4.99) by Karen McCombie is out now in paperback. For 7+