This is what we have gathered from our collection for our four year old - all well loved and importantly, lightweight.
Grasshopper on the Road, Doctor De Soto, Meanwhile, Spinky Sulks, The Little Lamb(also perfect for adding to an Easter egg hunt, along with The Little Duck) and Hairy Maclary's Bone.
Four our nine and eleven year olds, I had a look in a local charity shop and found this..
Its not lightweight, but was impossible to resist. They have already had a look and loved it. Real boys-own stuff.
Coming in the post for them too, and not to be produced until they take their seats on the plane are the graphic novels Boxers and Saints(these are available as a boxed set but cheaper if bought separately.) They are heavy too - but really, there is nothing better than a graphic novel to absorb a child immediately. I think there should be a pile of them in every waiting room. We all read American Born Chinese by the same author last summer and it was really excellent. And for my thirteen year old(who will also of course read the graphic novels) I've ordered Jasper Jones. It looks like a gripping, spooky read. He is way too cool to get excited about new books on the plane, but, I suspect, not quite cool enough not to be upset if there is nothing for him.
I've bought enough but am tempted to order The Eleventh Hour too. I was searching for something my youngest could look through alone and this or Animalia caught my eye. What do you think? Has anyone read them? Will they keep him happy long enough for me to read Grazia and eat a Kitkat?