There has been a huge boom in books for this age group in the past 10 years and it is hard to choose which are the best! At this age, try not to be swept into the learning-to-read race and think about providing them with books that give complete experiences.
As soon as children do start reading, parents often think pictures are unnecessary. In fact they are crucial. Where would Roald Dahl’s books be without the wacky line illustrations of Quentin Blake? And picture books that you enjoyed together when your child was a baby and toddler can get a new lease of life when she or he can read them for themselves.
Because of the wide range of reading ability, the ages suggested below are a guide only and make no distinction between being read to and reading alone.
Honor Brown hates school, The dinner ladies feed them worms and their are killer sharks in the water tray. But what do you know? Come the end of year six, she is in tears at the thought of leaving.
For all worried children who are starting school or have trouble with going to school, this book provides a giggle at a sensitive subject.
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson
Dealing in a really imaginative way with the idea of separation from the mum you really love, this is a wonderful book that makes you feel cosy just to think about it.
A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Endearingly funny version of old English folk tale about a woman who thinks that her house is too small, and so it proves when the farmyard animals turn up.
Julia Donaldson is a particular favourite author of ours, any of her books are fantastic for this age group and younger!
Rosie’s Babies by Martin Waddell and Penny Dale
The beautiful detailed pastel pictures that accompany this story make it a wonderful book to own.
The story is about four-year-old Rosie, trying to get her mum’s attention while she puts the baby to bed. Rosie tells her own stories about her babies, bear and rabbit: how they make her cross, what she gives them to eat – apples, pears and grapes (but they do not like the pips).
This is a great book that gives a sympathetic account of sibling rivalry.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
We love the Cat in the Hat; we love it when The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, even naughtier than before!
He is such a character – like the mad, bad, wild creature that lurks inside even the best behaved child!
With its wonderful rhyming and funny theme, this is a great book to encourage reading and silliness!