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Five children’s books you’ll definitely remember if you’re in your twenties

By Phoebe Trimingham

Life would be sweeter if we were still read bedtime stories. You've had a stressful day at work, your fringe trim has gone wonky, the threat of international terrorism is ever-present, and yet none of that matters anymore when you’re being soothed to sleep by a bedtime tale. Sorry champ, but that’s never gonna happen – you're in the real world now where Oyster machines eat your wages and crash-diets corrupt your soul – plus it’d be a bit weird to ask your housemate to read you to sleep. Instead, here are five kids’ bedtime books you'll definitely remember if you're in your twenties. Glance through the golden days then get back to nodding off to ‘Making a Murderer's sweet sounds of despicable and total human injustice. Goodnight.

1. 'The Cat in the Hat' by Dr Seuss

A cat? In a hat? And he can talk!? Oh man, this is funny. He can also successfully break into people's houses, which throws up questions of morality and the treatment of hostages, but hey, look at his funny hat!

2. 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' by Judith Kerr

When an uninvited tiger cruises in for dinner and eats more than his fair share of the pasta bake, things quickly turn nasty. A vital lesson in meal etiquette for the sharing-platter generation.

3. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle

Another book about a greedy and frankly over-indulgent animal, this caterpillar just can’t get enough. He scoffs his way through treats, has a nap in a cocoon, and then turns into a beautiful butterfly, which is exactly the way the adult world works.      

4. 'We’re Going On a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen

Is bear hunting legal? Well, this family has a oh-so-lovely time wading through grass, splashing through rivers, squelching through mud and performing ritual slaughter of an innocent, endangered brown bear – but that last bit got cut.

5. 'Peepo!' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

With holes in each page so you can peep through to the next scene, love, warmth and idyllic family life seep through this book like a melted ice-lolly. It's exceptionally sweet with a sticky rhyme that you’ll remember way too long into adulthood: ‘Here’s a little baby. One, two, three…’

 'The Cat in the Hat' was voted number one in our recent countdown of the 100 best children's books of all time.

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