The following book list contains titles to appeal to children aged 5 and 6 years old in Year 1 Key Stage 1 primary school classes in the UK. The books consist of a range of titles to cover all ability ranges including the less able and the more able, and our aim is to provide a wide variety of book choices to read together with your child or encourage them to begin to read independently and develop a love of reading. This list was last updated on .
Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
A stunning modern fable with vibrant illustrations. Cinnamon is a mysterious princess who has pearls for eyes, cannot see and does not speak. Many people try to help her, but none succeed – until a fearsome tiger befriends her and changes her life forever. An ideal book to share.
I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt
A hysterically funny book about worms and the amazing adventures which the writer invites the reader to imagine. A clever picture book which is good for reading again and again.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A beautifully illustrated story of a caterpillar eating his way through the book. Ideal for first independent reading in Year 1 and for less able readers in this age group. The collage style of the pictures also lends this book to inspiring art and creative ideas.
Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton
The perfect bedtime story about going to sleep. Each page makes the reader ever so slightly more … sleepy. Stunning visuals and engaging and comforting characters.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
A family walks through the countryside on an unlikely search for a bear. But there’s a surprise on the other side of the forest. A wonderful story, with many fun and repetitive lines which will help children remember the more difficult words.
Peace At Last by Jill Murphy
A funny story about Mr Bear’s desperate attempts to find a quiet place to sleep. Wherever he goes and whichever room he tries, there’s an annoying noise. Ideal for shared reading in Year 1.
The Bad-tempered Ladybird by Eric Carle
A short story about a ladybird who argues with every other living creature he meets. This book also uses a clock face cleverly to illustrate the passing hours, making it ideal for introducing children to an analogue clock face and telling the time.
Funnybones by Allan Ahlberg
A family of skeletons and their dog set out to scare people in the night. But when they find everyone is asleep, they decide to scare themselves instead, with lots of silly jokes. A great fun book to introduce children to reading aloud independently.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
A modern classic about a mouse who escapes the clutches of various other animals who want to eat him by creating a monster who is more scary than all of them put together. A Year 1 favourite.
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
The classic tale of Paddington, a bear from Darkest Peru, who joins the Brown family with nothing but a hat, a suitcase and a jar of marmalade.
A Lion In The Meadow by Margaret Mahy
When a young boy claims to have seen a dangerous lion outside, his mother gives him a matchbox charm with a miniature dragon to keep him safe. Later on, both the dragon and the lion become very real. Ideal to read and share.
Cops and Robbers by Allan Ahlberg
There’s a dastardly plan to steal all the Christmas presents in London. But Officer Pugh has other ideas and catches all but one of the robbers red-handed.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
Hairy Maclary likes to wander off for a walk with his friends. But the scary Scarface Claw is just around the corner. A great book for introducing children to rhyme.
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Three baby owls wait for their mother to come, and wonder where she is. Thy wait and wait, and it becomes darker and darker, and in a happy ending, the mother returns. A great book for reassuring children.
The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell
A wonderfully illustrated fantasy story about a strange world of wardrobe monsters, snoring fish; with a clever twist ending.
There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz
An innovative book with flaps and clever pictures which puts the reader in charge of saving the cats from an impending flood.
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
A fun and engaging rhyming book about Mister Magnolia, a man who is missing a few things, before, in a happy ending, he receives an unexpected parcel.
Katie Morag’s Island Stories by Mairi Hedderwick
Set in Scotland, Katie Morag is a mischievous character who is always up to something. This book contains four of the most popular Katie Morag stories.
My Friend Bear by Jez Alborough
A young bear wishes he had real friends, and not just his teddies. But then his teddies start to talk.
Avocado Baby by John Burningham
When the Hargreaves family let their child eat an avocado, very strange and inexplicable things start to happen.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
When the doorbell rings during Sophie’s tea time, there’s a big striped tiger at the door. And he’s very, very, hungry!
Meg and Mog by Helen Nichol
An ideal story for first reading aloud. Meg, a witch, and Mog, her cat, travel by broomstick to a Halloween party.
Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
Bernard is a boy with an issue. He’s found a monster in the garden, and however hard he tries to get help, no one seems to listen. So he tries to deal with the monster himself, with some very funny results.
A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
A visually stunning story a black cat’s journey through a spooky wood and a strange house. There’s a gripping ending.
Dogger by Shirley Hughes
Dogger is Dave’s beloved toy animal, who goes missing, only to turn up at the school fete. But can he buy him back before someone else does?
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
A bear has lost his hat. And he wants it back. Everyone he asks says they haven’t seen it, except a deer who provides a hint of hope. Great illustrations and ideal for reading aloud.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
In this beautifully illustrated story about overcoming fears, Laszlo comes back from a journey never again afraid of the dark.
You Can’t Take An Elephant On the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck
A hysterically funny rhyming picture book where a variety of unlikely animals cause complete chaos.
Penguin by Polly Dunbar
A very accessible picture book ideal for reading aloud and acting out. A boy receives a penguin for a present. Only when a lion passes does it speak, and when it does, something surprising happens.
You Choose! by Pippa Goodhart
An unusual and imaginative book which makes the reader think. Each brightly illustrated double page spread has a question, such as ‘Imagine you could go anywhere – where would you live?’ and invites the child to come up with answers.
Stanley’s Stick by Neale Layton and John Hegley
Stanley finds a stick. But it’s not just any stick – with his stick, Stanley can do anything and go anywhere. Great for stimulating your child’s imagination.
What to do if an Elephant Stands on your Foot by Michelle Robinson
A clever book with a twist on every page. With very funny situations and illustrations, this book is ideal for reading with voices.
How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson
A hysterically funny guide with step by step instructions for cleaning this unusual pet. Beware, very strange things can happen if the instructions are not followed carefully! Sparkling illustrations.
Dinosaurs in the Supermarket! by Timothy Knapman
Be warned! A trip to the supermarket will never be the same after your child has read this outrageously funny and addictive rhyming story.
The Adventures Of The Dish And The Spoon by Mini Grey
A terrifc rhyming picture book with stunning illustrations. Perfect for shared reading, call and respond and encouraging your child to read independently.
For picture books, see our list of 50 picture books to read before you are five.
For more challenging reads for your child, why not try our Year 2 suggested reading list?
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