Mildred Hubble. Pre Potter magical mischief in a school for young witches.

THE WORST WITCH - Mildred Hubble was a trainee witch at Mss Cackle's Academy, and she was making an awful mess of it. She couldn't even ride a broomstick without crashing it and she was always getting her spells wrong.

painting box: Brave Irene by William Steig

Brave Irene by William Steig. Courageous Irene Bobbin is the dressmaker's daughter. Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing. Empowering book for young female readers.

"The Improbable Cat" by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Peter Bailey - Front cover

"The Improbable Cat" by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Peter Bailey - Front cover

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Lemony Snicket of the Series of Unfortunate Events fame and Caldecott winning Jon Klassen team up in this "dark" picture book.

Magic lands and saucepans

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton - one of the first books I can remember reading on my own without any help from an adult, I loved Enid Blyton books as a child and read them to my boys when they were small ;

MoonMan I Tomi Ungerer

MOON MAN The man on the moon is bored. One day, he hitches a ride to Earth on the tails of a passing comet.

Hideously gruesome cautionary tales. I was fascinated!

Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann, a book written by a psychologist to frighten children into good behavior. Made into a gothic opera which is also amazing. This used to terrify and enthrall me when I was little.

Do all the voices

Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake - Don't Put Mustard in the Custard (Picture Lions)