As you may already be aware, I work as a supply in primary schools. I also have two teenage children, and over the years have read to my own boys some great books that were really engaging. These books are also used in some schools to read to reception and key-stage 1 primary school children (up to year 2). I use these ones below on occasion and find the children really enjoy listening to them. The books enable you to ask loads of questions about the story as it unfolds. Have a look at my list and see what you think:
Usborne Junior Illustrated Maths Dictionary. Admittedly, this first one is for children as they approach years 2 onward. It is a comprehensive maths dictionary for primary age children. Whenever I go to different schools there’s usually a shelf somewhere in the classroom with these placed on it. They are an invaluable resource in the home to help with your child’s homework because they cover everything from percentages, times tables, shapes, algebra, using a calculator, division and so much more. I think this a great investment as you can buy them on Amazon relatively cheaply.
We’re going on a Bear Hunt. This is a tried and trusted book that is so engaging for children. Whenever I go to a school and I need to read a story I always check to see if they have a copy. There are some great sounds and actions that the children can use as you read the book to them, and they can get quite animated. Here is a small YouTube clip of the author Michael Rosen reading the book.
The Tiger who came to tea. This is a lovely story and I remember it when I was a child. It was written in 1968 and remains popular. The plot involves a little girl called Sophie and her mother who are visited by a Tiger who eats all their food and drinks their tea, even draining the water from the taps. They go out the next day to buy some food for the Tiger but he never returns. The illustrations are wonderful.
Whatever Next. I’ve read this book many times to children and they seem to really enjoy it. The story is about a little bear that finds lots of objects in the house, puts them into his box, and flies into space through the chimney to land on the moon for a picnic. It’s a really lovely tale with great drawings. Actually, in one school setting, some of the little ones acted out the scenes with a cardboard box and different kitchen implements like a colander for a spaceman’s hat, a bowl for a steering wheel and some biscuits and juice for when they landed on the moon.
Supertato. The story follows Supertato, who is on a mission to save and protect the other vegetables from an evil pea that is on the loose and causing havoc with the other vegetables. It is actually a very funny book and the illustrations are bold and bright. A good choice to read to a class or your little one.
Dear Zoo. This is one of my favourites. Who doesn’t like a pop-up book? Even adults find them irresistible; well I do! This is a book simply written but encourages children to open the different pop-ups to reveal hidden animals at the zoo. I always enjoy reading this to them.
Handa’s Surprise. A story about a little girl in Africa that goes on a walk with a basket of fruit balanced on her head. There are lots of animals around however that take a liking to what she has on offer. Has she any fruit left at the end? A lovely story that’s well written for children to understand.
The Snail and the Whale. I was caring for a young boy a few years ago who had learning difficulties. Every day he gave me this to read to him and I kind of know it off by heart. It’s about a brave little snail that goes travelling on the tail of a whale and there’s a lovely twist at the end of how the snail saves the whales life. A Julia Donaldson book.
Monkey Puzzle. Another book by Julia Donaldson. The story revolves around a child monkey who has lost its mother in the jungle. The monkey is then helped to find its mother by a butterfly. The butterfly keeps suggesting different animals that could be the monkey’s mother. This story has a nice rhythm as you read it.
Owl Babies. A book that I’ve read this week at a school. The story is about 3 owlets who wake in the night to find their mother gone. They are elated when she returns. There isn’t much of a plot but it’s a nice story about how children can feel when alone. A beautiful book with lovely illustrations.
I really recommend buying a few of these books for your little ones. I’m sure they will enjoy you reading to them again and again x