A selection of books especially selected for children in Reception classes (4-5 year olds) of average reading ability for the 2018/19 academic year.
If your child is a competent reader or has read all these titles then try the books from the Year 1 list. Our overall mission is to promote reading for pleasure with quality texts that are perfectly pitched for the age group and the curriculum. We have particularly avoided blockbusters, classic or set texts, known to everyone, so that we can include poetry, stunning information texts and inspirational books in which all children and young people can find themselves reflected.
Thanks to our partnership with Browns Books For Students we are able to offer all the books on this list at an exclusive price.
Winner of the UKLA 2017 Book Award | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016 | Shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2016 | Text, illustration and design all combine to make this an outstanding picture book. Mouse is cross, there’s a bear – a polar bear – on his chair, he won’t move and ‘There isn’t any room to spare. We do not make a happy pair’. The bear is apparently oblivious to Mouse and his growing rage, though readers will notice him take an occasional sly peek at his companion, deftly illustrated in just one line of eyebrow. Collins’s illustrations also brilliantly capture Mouse’s changing moods, from anger through to resignation. The text is a joy to read, a series of funny statements constructed – Dr Seuss-like – around words that rhyme with chair. A sequel – There’s a Mouse in My House – must follow. This superb picture book is set to become a classic.
Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 Awarding-winning Chris Haughton tells a big story in stunning illustrations in his near-wordless picture book. The huntsmen are determined to capture the bird. Armed with nets they creep up on their prey…but they haven’t got every angle covered! How the littlest repeatedly sabotages the huntsmen’s plans is a wittily told story with a strong message about communication.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016. | Award-winning illustrator Jon Klassen has created a second delightful and surprising picture book with Mac Barnett, author of The Dark. Here two boys dig a hole. It doesn’t seem to take them far so they try digging a bit on their own. They still make little progress. So they take a rest…What happens while they are asleep turns out to be most surprising of all! In simple illustrations, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole gives a host of opportunities for imagining and dreaming.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | You can feel the love that the author and illustrator of Baby Goes to Market have for West Africa, both of whom grew up there. The vibrant market place leaps out of the page, you can almost smell the fruit for sale and hear the shouts from the market traders. Baby is snuggly wrapped in a papoose on Mama's back and is enjoying the trip to the market, especially when the market traders start giving Baby presents. First bananas, then juicy oranges, then biscuits. Baby eats a little of each and adds the remainder to the shopping basket that Mama carries on her head. Mama must be very strong! After all those treats Baby has a nap and Mama gets a well-deserved taxi ride home. Each page is gloriously filled with tantalising pictures of delicious things to eat and colourful things to buy, and there’s a gentle introduction to simple counting too.
Tiny Cat, star of There are Cats in this Book and There are No Cats in This Book, is back. Here, helped by a few props Tiny Cat, who loves dressing up, becomes a mouse, a horse, a dragon and a snake. But what can Tiny Cat change into to see off a very fierce dragon? Viviane Schwarz’s witty and simple illustrations are a delightful feat of imagination.
Polly Dunbar has been selected as one of The Big Picture campaign's Best New Illustrators in 2008 and was also the winner of the 0-5 Nestle Silver Award 2007. We loved the emotional interaction between Ben and Penguin in this delightful story. Just you wait until you see a child enjoy it as much as we did. Polly Dunbar’s illustrations – a mix of mediums including collage, watercolour and pastel, are a delight.
As Coco’s parents tuck her into bed, far away the winter sun is rising on a polar bear and her cubs. We follow the sun as it skids ‘giddy’ across the sea, caught briefly in the eye of a whale, and on as it shines on different lands and people, chasing the night, until at last it barges through Coco’s window! ‘After such a dash, the sun had time on its hands’ and, but for a few passing clouds, they spend the whole day together. Graham’s sun’s eye view of the world is breathtakingly beautiful, his soft watercolours infusing quiet snowy scenes and a raucous family breakfast with equal warmth and humanity. This special book makes the world a smaller place.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 | Joint Winner of the CLiPPA 2016 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award). | Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen combine here to create a beautiful collection of ebullient poems for the very young. Michael Rosen’s close and affectionate observation of small children and the way they think is brilliantly captured in poems such as You Can’t See Me and Let Me Do It. There are also plenty of opportunities for the very young to join in with poems such as Tippy-Tappy and The Button Bop which they are guaranteed to want to hear again and again! Chris Riddell’s illustrations created an equally warm-hearted view of the early years and capture the spirit of the poems perfectly.
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 3 - 6 year old category - Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal | Award-winning illustrator Rebecca Cobb creates a number of different imaginary worlds in this delightfully fanciful story about a hole in the ground. The little girl finds the hole just beside the cherry tree. Who could live in it? Could it be frogs, mice, a badger or a troll or a dragon? Everyone has a different idea and the little girl and her dog sit and watch patiently so can be the very first to see! Full of charm, the imaginative scope of the story is quietly inspirational.
Winner of the UKLA 2018 Book Award 3-6 | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | July 2016 Debut of the Month | Simplicity is the charm of this picture book story of the unlikely friendship between very different vegetables. Lee is a very green pea and so are all of his friends except for Colin who is a very orange carrot. Colin can’t do all the things that the pea-friends can do such as roll or bounce. Nonetheless, it turns out that they can all be very good friends.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards 2019 | September 2018 Book of the Month | This story of a little girl’s trip to the library has so much to tell us. Luna loves going to the library, not just because she loves books, but because her dad meets her there. Together they read and share books and one of them, ‘The Troll King and the Mermaid Queen’, is actually included as a mini book within the book. Its story of the Troll King who can’t live with the Mermaid Queen but fiercely loves their little daughter has special meaning for Luna, and will have for lots of readers too. The story is beautifully told, leaving space for readers to take what they want, and the illustrations are lively and full of warmth.
A prize winning title, this introduces Susan who loves to swing, dance, swim, ride do all the things other children do. In fact, she’s no different from any other little girl except that, as the final spread shows, she gets about in a wheel chair. The vigour and active text is perfectly supported by Tony Ross’s warm hearted illustrations.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | With its dedication, ‘For a united world …’, Britta Teckentrup’s new picture book is a celebration of the things that bring us all together. ‘Wherever we are’ reads the text, ‘we live under the same sky, feel the same love, play the same games, and dream the same dreams’.These short lines are cleverly highlighted in peek-through shapes that link the different pages together and each spread depicts animal families across the world. Teckentrup’s textured collage style illustrations are extraordinarily beautiful and create a real sense of calm, togetherness and hope. With a vital message of unity and friendship, this is an important and moving book to share with children.
Prize-winning illustrator Catherine Rayner has produced a new outstanding title. Polar bears Iris and Isaac fall out over sharing their nest. Each stomps away in a Big Bear Huff but soon both find that they don’t enjoy anything half as much on their own. Luckily, they are reunited and find they can share the nest after all. Set against a stunning winter landscape, this is a perfect book about friendship.
Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010 (Funniest Book for Children aged Six and Under). Shortlisted for the Independent Booksellers' Book Prize 2010. | The magic of books and reading is perfectly illustrated in this joyful picture book. Dog loves books and reading so he decides to open a bookshop. Everything about it is perfect – except that no one comes in to buy books! Dog hates being alone but he soon finds that if he is reading he never is alone as all the characters from the stories come and join him.