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Topic: Y1 50 Recommended Reads

Best Books for Year 1 (Children Aged 5-6)

NEWLY updated – April 2024!

Our team has selected the 50 best books for 5 and 6 year olds in Year 1. Top up your Year 1 reading collections with our hand-picked list of recommended storytime favourites, laugh-out-loud picture books, animal stories, early chapter books, illustrated poetry collections, non-fiction texts and more.

This list of recommended reads for Year 1 includes fiction and non-fiction books that cover a variety of themes. From classic stories to modern adventures, our collection is curated to cater to the interests and reading levels of children ages 5 and 6. This booklist includes popular Year 1 stories such as The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, Look Up! and Fantastic Mr Fox. as well as some lesser-known storytime delights that we highly recommend, like The Smart CookieAdventuremice and Matt Carr’s hilarious eight-legged secret agent, Spyder.

At BooksForTopics, we believe reading is essential to a child’s development, and Year 1 forms a very important stage in a child’s reading journey. That’s why our expert team has put together this list especially for Y1 children, with stories at just the right level. Whether your children are confident readers or just starting out on their reading journey, our selection of books is designed to encourage a love of reading that will last all through primary school and beyond.

As well as the Year 1 booklist, we’ve also got a printable poster and downloadable checklist for you. Schools can purchase full sets of the books via Peters.

 

year 1 recommended reads printable poster 2024

year 1 recommended reads checklist 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse the Y1 booklist below or scroll down to find more purchasing options and printable resources.

Picturebook

Anita watches the dragons high above her as she hops from one cement roof to another in her village in the Dominican Republic. But being the valiant princesa she is, she never lets them scare her. Then one day, Anita must face her fears and begin life in a new country. Will she be brave enough to enter the belly of the beast and take flight to new adventures?

Chapter book

Small but very determined, Sophie is everyone’s favourite farmer-to-be! A bind-up of three classic stories for young readers by the beloved author of Babe.

The inimitable Sophie is Dick King-Smith’s most adored (human!) character, beautifully re-imagined twenty years later by the witty, perceptive paintbrush of the award-winning Hannah Shaw. Sophie loves animals of all kinds, but how will she grow up to be a farmer if she is not allowed any of her own? She goes looking for creatures to keep in her menagerie, but all she seems to find is trouble – yikes! And there is one pest she certainly doesn’t want around: her prissy new neighbour, Dawn…

Non-fictionPicturebook

Once there was a humble boy from Yorkshire called Tom, who was born with his feet firmly on the ground. His determination and courage saw him and his comrades through the worst crisis the world had ever known: World War Two. So when a new crisis struck in 2020, just before his 100th birthday, Captain Tom knew just what to do. Aiming to raise GBP1,000 for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, his story soon became known all over the world, with people donating so much that he quickly raised over GBP30 million! Captain Tom’s story shows us that, by coming together, we can dream bigger than ever, and that when the going gets tough, you just have to keep on walking.

This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the Captain’s life.

Picturebook

Arlo The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep is a beautifully illustrated story with a gentle mindfulness message from award-wining author-illustrator Catherine Rayner. Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, it’s an ideal bedtime book, and especially helpful for little ones who have trouble going to sleep.

Arlo the lion is exhausted. He just can’t drop off, no matter what he tries. It’s either too hot, or too cold; too loud or too quiet. But then he meets Owl. She can sleep through the day, which isn’t easy when most other animals are awake! Will Arlo ever get any rest? Perhaps his new friend has some special tricks she can teach him.

Chapter book

Phizzwhizzing new cover look and branding for the World’s NUMBER ONE Storyteller!

Boggis is an enormously fat chicken farmer who only eats boiled chickens smothered in fat. Bunce is a duck-and-goose farmer whose dinner gives him a beastly temper. Bean is a turkey-and-apple farmer who only drinks gallons of strong cider. Mr Fox is so clever that every evening he creeps down into the valley and helps himself to food from the farms. Now the farmers have hatched a plan to BANG-BANG-BANG shoot Mr Fox dead. But, just when they think Mr Fox can’t possibly escape, he makes a fantastic plan of his own…

From the funniest voice in young fiction today, the first in an irresistible series for young readers about imaginary friends in hilarious rhyming text and with adorable illustrations by Ella Okstad.

‘Can you see him? My kitten? Close your eyes tight His fur is so soft and all silvery white Imagine him quick! Have you imagined enough? Oh, good, you can see him! It’s Squishy McFluff!’

When Ava discovers an imaginary cat in the cabbage patch, she knows she’s found a new best friend. Together, Ava and Squishy McFluff get up to all kinds of mischief . . .

Told in full colour throughout, this is the perfect stepping stone from picture books to older fiction. Bright new talent Pip Jones gives a hilarious, quirky twist to everyday experiences for readers aged 5+.

Picturebook

As read by Tom Hardy on CBeebies!
Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, Illustrated Books Category.

When Grandma says she’s seen a tiger in the garden, Nora doesn’t believe her. She’s too old to play Grandma’s silly games! Everyone knows that tigers live in jungles, not gardens. So even when Nora sees butterflies with wings as big as her arm, and plants that try and eat her toy giraffe, and a polar bear that likes fishing, she knows there’s absolutely, DEFINITELY no way there could be a tiger in the garden . . . Could there?

Picturebook

Gustavo is a ghost. He is good at doing all sorts of paranormal things, like walking through walls, making objects fly and glowing in the dark. And he loves playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo also has a problem. He is SHY. Which means some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye-scream or talking to the other monsters. But Gustavo longs to be a part of something, he longs to be seen. More than anything, he wants to make a friend. So, plucking up all his courage, he sends a very special letter: “Dear Monsters, I would like to invite you to my violin concert at the Day of the Dead party…”

With exquisite detail and humour, Flavia Z. Drago’s vivid illustrations tell a sweet and offbeat story of friendship and courage.

Picturebook

A funny and frock-filled story for modern girls who don’t just want sequins and sparkles on their dresses, from rising star Lily Murray and Waterstones Prize-winning illustrator, Jenny Lovlie.

Lucy and Aunt Augusta are dress shopping. And, at the Fabulous Fashion Store, there are dresses to suit just about everyone. There are fancy dresses, frilly dresses, stripy dresses, silly dresses, sun dresses, fun dresses, blue dresses, green… But Lucy doesn’t care about frills or lace. She wants a dress WITH POCKETS. And as she wades through the titchy dresses, witchy dresses, very, very itchy dresses, she starts to worry about where she’s going to put her leaves, and nettles, and delicate petals, her magical spells and beautiful shells… The hunt is on: will Lucy find the dress of her dreams?

A lighthearted story with a subtle feminist undertone that celebrates the joy of pockets, and how they can unleash the inquisitive, adventurous spirit of all young children.

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