Books for EYFS – our recommendations
Books for EYFS – 100 picture books to read before you are 5 years old. Here’s our selection of recommended picture books that are ideal for children aged 3-5 who are learning to read at home, or in Nursery, preschool, Early Years, and infant schools. How many of these modern and classic picture books for children in EYFS have you read?
Children learn to read pictures before they read words, and that’s why it’s so important to make use of picture books when reading with the youngest children. There will be a wide variation in reading and inference abilities in this age group, and this is normal.
Children love to look at stories through the illustrations, ask questions and think about what will happen next. Repetitive language and the use of rhyme will also help children to predict, mimic and remember the words, and encourage them to join in with parents, teachers or older siblings at reading time. This collection of 100 picture books includes wordless stories, rhyming tales, counting stories, poetry and traditional fables – all highly illustrated to keep your child’s imagination fired up.
Click the buttons below to purchase all of the books in this EYFS books list, as well as class sets of any of these books and many more, from Bookshop.org UK. Or buy the 20 most popular titles from this list from Amazon – ideal for gifts or your classroom library.
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Books for EYFS – what titles to recommend to children
Selecting books for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) involves choosing engaging and interactive titles that cater to the developmental needs of young children. Picture books with vibrant illustrations, simple narratives, and opportunities for interaction are ideal. Consider classics like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, which introduces counting and days of the week, or “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell, offering a fun exploration of animals. Additionally, books like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle support language development and color recognition. Focus on titles that encourage participation, stimulate curiosity, and lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.
What does the National Curriculum say about reading in EYFS?
The National Curriculum emphasises the crucial role of reading in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), recognising it as a foundational skill for a child’s overall development. The curriculum highlights the importance of creating a rich literacy environment that fosters a love for reading. In EYFS, children are encouraged to listen actively, engage with a variety of stories, rhymes, and poems, and develop early phonics awareness. The focus is on building language skills, comprehension, and communication through enjoyable and interactive reading experiences. The National Curriculum encourages educators to choose diverse and inclusive literature, ensuring that children are exposed to a broad range of cultures and perspectives from an early age. The goal is to lay a strong foundation for literacy skills that will support children’s learning across all subjects as they progress through their education.
How to read picture books with children aged 5 and under
Reading picture books with children aged 5 and under involves creating a captivating and interactive experience that nurtures their early literacy skills. Start by engaging them in a conversation about the book’s cover, title, and illustrations. Encourage them to predict what the story might be about. During the reading, use expressive voices, varying tones, and animated facial expressions to bring characters and events to life. Pause occasionally to ask open-ended questions, encouraging them to share their thoughts and make connections to their own experiences. Explore the illustrations together, pointing out details and asking them to describe what they see. After reading, discuss the story, characters, and their favourite parts. Foster a love for reading by making it a special time together, reinforcing positive associations with books and storytelling.
For more picture books for preschool and EYFS children, see our list of Books for Bedtime.
For more advanced books for your child, why not try our books for KS1 lists?