Reading Lists (ages 0-8)

The following are lists of recommended fiction books for children from 0-8 years old. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I would thoroughly recommend exploring your local bookshops and libraries. Many of the authors on this list have written many more books that I urge you to explore and enjoy. On this list is a mixture of classic storybooks and more modern releases, and also a mix of books for you to read to your children and books that they can attempt to read themselves.

 

Recommended for ages 0 -5

 

Each Peach Pear Plum

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By Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Published by Puffin

Each beautifully illustrated page encourages them to ‘spy’ another familiar fairy-tale or nursery rhyme character. The excellent rhyming text and charming illustrations work perfectly together, and children will love spotting all the hidden details in each picture.

 

 

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

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By Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Published by Puffin

In this much-loved rhyming tale, join the jolliest of postmen on his daily rounds as he delivers letters to the residents of a fairytale town. While the postman is treated to numerous cups of tea, children will be re-introduced to a host of favourite characters, from the great and good such as Cinderella and the Three Bears, to the not so nice Mr Wolf and the Wicked Witch.

 

The Snowman

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By Raymond Briggs

Published by Puffin

James builds a snowman in the garden, and then wakes up in the night to find that it has come to life. He shows the Snowman his home, and in return, the Snowman whisks him away on a very special journey

 

 

Gorilla

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By Anthony Browne

Published by Walker Books

Hannah’s favourite animals in the whole world are gorillas; she reads about them, watches programmes about them, and draws pictures of them. But all she really wants to do is see a gorilla in real life. Hannah’s dad is always too busy to take her to the zoo, so on her birthday, Hannah decides to ask for a gorilla of her own.

 

 

Would You Rather…

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By John Burningham

Published by Jonathan Cape

Would you rather drink snail squash or eat mashed worms? Help a witch make stew? Tickle a monkey? Or maybe – if you could really be anyone or do anything in the world – would you rather just be… you?

 

 

Dear Zoo

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By Rod Campbell

Published by Campbell Books

As you lift the flaps in search of an ideal pet, a host of different zoo animals will be revealed, until the right pet is finally discovered. Simple, stylish and highly interactive, this book invites constant re-reading.

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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By Eric Carle

Published by Puffin

The Very Hungry Caterpillar charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.

The pictures readily engage children’s attention and involve them in the reading process, while helping them learn about numbers, days of the week and time.

 

 

I Will Never Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato

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By Lauren Child

Published by Orchard Books

Charlie tricks his younger sister, Lola – an extremely fussy eater – into eating all her least favourite foods.

 

 

Princess Smartypants

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By Babette Cole

Published by puffin

Princess Smartypants does not want to get married. She enjoys being a Ms. But being a rich and pretty princess means that all the princes want her to become their wife. Find out how Princess Smartypants fights to preserve her independence in this riotously funny twist on the fairy-tale tradition.

 

 

Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy

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By Lynley Dodd

Published by Puffin

This hilarious rhyming story follows Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, as he sets off for a walk in town.

 

 

Room on the Broom

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By Julia Donaldson and Axel Schleffer

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

From former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and longtime collaborator Axel Scheffler comes this much-loved tale about a witch and her gang of friends.

 

 

The Gruffalo

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By Julia Donaldson and Axel Schleffer

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

A mouse invents a monstrous creature to stop the other animals in the wood from easting him, but how does he stop the Gruffalo from eating him when the monster turns out to be real?

 

 

The Smartest Giant in Town

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By Julia Donaldson and Axel Schleffer

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

The story of a kindly giant who gives away all of his new clothes whilst trying to help the troubled animals he meets on his way home.

 

 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

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By Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

Published by Walker Books

This charming first book is perfect for new arrivals.

 

 

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears

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By Emily Gravett

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Little Mouse is scared of most things, from creepy crawlies and loud noises, to getting lost.

 

 

Where’s Spot?

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By Eric Hill

Published by Puffin

This adorable picture book about Spot the dog is the first in the Spot series.

 

 

Dogger

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By Shirley Hughes

Published by Red Fox

When Dave loses his favourite toy, Dogger, he is desolate.

 

 

Lost and Found

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By Oliver Jeffers

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Once there was a sad, lonely penguin who appeared at the door of a young boy. The boy decided he must be lost, so he set off to find his home.

 

 

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

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By Judith Kerr

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Sophie and her Mummy are having tea in the kitchen when in walks a hungry tiger who asks to stay to tea.

 

 

I Want My Hat Back

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By Jon Klassen

Published by Walker Books

A bear sets out in search of his hat – he loves his hat and he wants it back.

 

 

Not Now Bernard

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By David McKee

Published by Andersen

The classic tale of Bernard, whose distracted parents fail to notice that their son has been eaten and replaced by a monster.

 

 

Meg and Mog

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By Helen Nicholl and Jan Pienkowski

Published by Puffin

In this the first story about much-loved characters Meg the witch and Mog her cat, the pair go off to a wild Hallowe’en party with all the other witches.

 

 

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

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By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Published by Walker Books

Follow a father and his family as they go out in search of a bear.

 

 

I Want My Potty!

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By Tony Ross

Published by Andersen Press

The Little Princess hates nappies, and thinks there must be something better.

 

 

Where the Wild Things Are

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By Maurice Sendak

Published by Red Fox

First published in 1963, this classic picture book will fascinate both children and adults, evoking the fierce intensity of childhood.

 

 

The Cat in the Hat

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By Dr Seuss

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

When Sally and her brother are left alone on a rainy day, they think they are in for a dull time – but then the Cat in the Hat appears.

 

 

The Elephant and The Bad Baby

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By Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs

Published by Pullfin

One day, an elephant offers a baby a ride through the town, and the set off on a great adventure.

 

 

Recommended for ages 6-8

 

The Enchanted Wood

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By Enid Blyton
Published by Egmont

When Joe, Beth and Frannie move into a new home, they discover a mysterious wood on their very doorstep.

 

 

Five on a Treasure Island

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By Enid Blyton
Published by Hodder

Meet Enid Blyton’s most famous characters – Julian, Dick, Anne, George and of course the ever-loyal Timmy the dog.

 

 

A Bear Called Paddington

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By Michael Bond
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Paddington, the brown bear from darkest Peru, is found by the Brown family on Paddington Station with his hat, duffel coat and marmalade sandwiches.

 

 

The Milly Molly Mandy story book

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By Joyce Lankester Brisley
Published by Macmillan

Milly-Molly-Mandy lives with her mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandmother and grandfather in a ‘nice white cottage with a thatched roof’.

 

 

Flat Stanley

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By Jeff Brown
Published by Egmont

Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning to find he is only half an inch thick.

 

 

Clarice Bean That’s Me!

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By Lauren Child
Published by Orchard Books

Clarice Bean gives us a snapshot of her life and family in the book that launched a bestselling series.

 

 

Hat Rabbit Belongs To Emily Brown

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By Cressida Cowell
Published by Orchard Books

Emily and her toy rabbit, Stanley, love to go on adventures together.

 

 

The BFG

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By Roald Dahl
Published by Puffin

The BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant, who unexpectedly spirits a little girl named Sophie out of bed, and into the land of the child-eating giants.

 

 

The Story of Babar

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By Jean De Brunhoff
Published by Egmont

‘In the great forest, a little elephant was born. His name was Babar…’

 

 

My Naughty Little Sister

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By Dorothy Edwards
Published by Egmont

This affectionate portrait of family life is the story of a naughty three-year-old sister who is obstinate, inquisitive and full of mischief.

 

 

Asterix the Gaul

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By Rene Goscinny
Published by Orion

In a tiny corner of Brittany, one small village of indomitable Gauls hold out against the almighty, all-conquering Romans.

 

 

Amazing Grace

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By Mary Hoffman & Caroline Binch
Published by Frances Lincoln

This classic story clearly communicates an inspiring message that anything is possible.

 

 

Finn Family Moomin Troll

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By Tove Jansson
Published by Puffin Books

Moomintroll is cheerful and chubby and lives in the magical Moominvalley with his mother, Moominmamma, his father, Moominpappa and all of their friends.

 

 

The Queen’s Nose

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By Dick King-Smith
Published by Puffin

Harmony’s Uncle Ginger sends her on a treasure trail – which ends in finding a 50p piece.

 

 

Sheep Pig

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By Dick King-Smith
Published by Puffin

When Farmer Hogget wins a piglet at the fair, he is amazed that Fly, his sheep-dog, welcomes him as one of her own pups.

 

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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By Jeff Kinney
Published by Puffin

Greg Heffley is a normal American kid, albeit one with a habit of getting into (and out of) trouble.

 

 

Pippi Longstocking

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By Astrid Lindgren
Published by Oxford University Press

Follow Pippi Longstocking on her amazing adventures as she moves into Villa Villekulla with a horse, a monkey, and a big suitcase of gold coins.

 

 

Winnie the Pooh

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By A A Milne
Published by Egmont Books

No child’s library could be complete without A A Milne’s stories about Pooh, Christopher Robin and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

 

 

The Worst Witch

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By Jill Murphy
Published by Puffin

Long before Harry Potter first went to Hogwarts, trainee witch Mildred Hubble embarked on life at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches…

 

 

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

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By Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
Published by Puffin

What really happened to the three little pigs and the big bad wolf? Find out the truth in this hilarious picture book.

 

 

Horrid Henry

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By Francesca Simon & Tony Ross
Published by Orion Children’s Books

Stories about naughty characters have been told for centuries, and Horrid Henry is a modern-day rogue in the tradition of Dennis the Menace and Just William.

 

 

The Arrival

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By Shaun Tan
Published by Hodder Children’s Books

In this unusual book, we follow a young man as he packs his bags and leaves his family to go and start a new life in another country.

 

 

Charlotte’s Web

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By E B White
Published by Puffin

This is the tale of how a little girl named Fern – with the help of a friendly talking spider called Charlotte – saved her pig, Wilbur, from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

 

 

Little House in the Big Woods

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By Laura Ingalls Wilder
Published by Egmont

Inside the little house live the Ingalls family: Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and baby Carrie.

 

 

Mister Magnolia

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By Quentin Blake
Published by Red Fox

Mr Magnolia has many things – but only one boot.

 

 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

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By Beatrix Potter
Published by F.Warne & Co

Peter is a naughty rabbit intent on stealing Mr McGregor’s lettuces!

 

 

Goodnight Moon

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By Margaret Wise Brown
Published by Harper and Brothers

Goodnight Moon is about a child saying goodnight to everything around: “Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon…”

 

 

Recommended Reading Schemes for ages 5-8

 

The Cat in the Hat Young Readers Collection – 10 Book

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By Tish Rabe and Bonnie Worth
Published by Random House

Nick and Sally run out of honey, play hide and seek and learn about the North and South Poles and why deserts are dry in this ten-book collection starring the famous Dr. Seuss creation, the Cat in the Hat. Specifically designed for early readers, the books will introduce new words and concepts with the engaging and colourful characters and easy-to-follow plots. Seuss-style rhythmic text is also used to make the books even more fun and accessible!

Titles in this collection:

  • Ice is Nice
  • Why oh why are the deserts dry?
  • Safari so Good
  • The Tree Doctor
  • Hooray for Hair
  • Now You See Me
  • If I Ran the Horse Show
  • If I Ran the Dog Show
  • Show Me the Honey
  • Home for Christmas

 

 

Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds

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By Julia Donaldson
Published by Oxford University Press
  • Level 1+: Top Cat and Other Stories
  • Level 2: The Ox and the Yak and Other Stories
  • Level 3: The Scrap Rocket and Other Stories (Paperback)
  • Level 3: Where is the Snail and Other Stories (Paperback)
  • Level 4: Tadpoles and Other Stories (Paperback)

 

 

Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper

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By Assorted Authors
Published by Oxford University Press

From Oxford Reading Tree, the Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper Levels 1 – 3 Collection has been specially designed to introduce children aged four and above to the early concepts that will form the basis of their reading and writing skills. Featuring Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta’s cheery and appealing characters, the books are sure to help your little one take their first steps in learning to read. This collection covers levels 1 to 3 of the scheme and includes twelve phonics books, twelve storybooks and a parents’ handbook packed with advice on how to help your child make the most of their introduction to reading.

Titles in this collection

  • Up You Go
  • Floppy Did This
  • Get On
  • Six in a Bed
  • Biff’s Wonder Words
  • Chip’s Letter Sounds
  • Floppy’s Fun Phonics
  • Kipper’s Alphabet I Spy
  • Dad’s Birthday
  • I Am Kipper
  • The Snowman
  • Silly Races
  • Funny Fish
  • The Fizz-Buzz
  • The Red Hen
  • Cat in a Bag
  • Poor Old Rabbit
  • I Can Trick a Tiger
  • Such a Fuss
  • Floppy and the Bone
  • Shops
  • The Sing Song
  • The Backpack
  • Super Dad
  • Helping Your Child to Read