Monday, 9 May 2011

Books to read with 5 year olds

In my experience, children at this age love to read a whole range of books, including sometimes quite sophisticated stories and tales from history in chapter form. Recently, publishers and readers have bemoaned the fact that parents sometimes move children on from picture books too early. Children who are just beginning to read still get so much pleasure from gorgeous illustrations, which fire their imaginations, so the following is a mix of picture books and story books I hope you'll find 5 year olds will love looking at and being read.

Oops! Pennie Kidd (parents + child forgive each other for those mishaps through the day)
Traction Man - Mini Grey (a boy gets his longed-for Christmas present)
A new house for mouse - Petr Horacek (mouse meets new friends in search for bigger home)
The Mousehole Cat - Antonia Barber + Nicola Bayley (re-telling of a tale from 16th C. Cornish history)
What Baby Wants (particularly lovely if you have a new baby in the house)
Love you Forever - Robert Munsch (although I defy you not to cry while reading this)
Charlotte's Web - EB White (warning: remember, they are saving Wilbur from the fate of pigs on a farm)

Katie in London/Katie and the Dinosaurs (series) James Mayhew
Terry Deary's Egyptian/Roman/Greek etc Tales (series)

Anything by:
Richard Scarry - including What Do People Do All Day?

Beatrix Potter
Francesca Simon - Horrid Henry series
Jez Alborough - including Some Dogs Do, Captain Duck, Where's My Teddy
the Flat Stanley series
Winnie the Witch - Valerie Thomas + Korky Paul
Mrs Pepperpot series
Charlie and Lola
Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs
Meg and Mog
Dr Seuss


  1. I'd recommend the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. Short, genuinely funny stories that my 5yr old daughter (nearly 6) can just about read on her own. :)

  2. Captain Slaughterboard drops anchor - Mervyn Peake is brilliant, fantastic illustrations by the author, Orlando keeps a dog or any other Orlando by Kathleen Hale again exquisite illustrations, Curious George not terribly politically correct but charming !
    Tim the Gardener

  3. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson was a great book to read to my daughter (now nearly 7) as she went through a stage of being scared of the dark. I loved it as a child too!
    My daughter also really loved (and still does) the Arabel and Mortimer series by Joan Aiken with illustrations by Quentin Blake. They are hilarious stories with fantastic illustrations.
    Two slightly dated but still excellent books I'd like to add are the Milly Molly Mandy books by Joyce Lankester Brisley and the Dorothy Edwards' series My Naughty Little Sister.
    Kate Gould

  4. Brilliant suggestions - some I've read and loved - others I've not heard of - until now!

  5. For a completely different type of children's book you could try, Boo Boo's Bunny Hotel - it has lovely illustrations and is based on a real hotel for Bunnies in Cheshire and the characters they have staying there! It's a lovely book, I should know I wrote it with my wife!