10 Best Books for Under 5’s

 In Books

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We’ve compiled a list of the best (in our opinion) books for under 5’s, just in time for Book Week 2015. Our list is made up of favourites both new and old, with a mix of picture books, read aloud books, stories for older readers, and classics you just can’t put down.

Picture books are guaranteed to make both parents and child excited for story time, and read aloud books can be the perfect opportunity to create relaxed learning environments. When choosing a book, we like to use this 5 finger test to see if it’s just right for them to read.

Tip: to encourage and foster a love of reading, give your children a consistent stream of books to choose from, let them choose what they want to read, visit the library and book stores regularly, and make reading a constant part of your everyday routine.

Even better, create a cosy, light-filled reading nook and make the most of lazy bean bags, quiet time and magic moments.

So here’s our list of the 10 best books for under 5’s, just in time for Book Week 2015!


1. Where is the Green Sheep?

‘Here is the blue sheep, and here is the read sheep. Here is the bath sheep. And here is the bed sheep. But where is the green sheep?..’ Where is the Green Sheep? is arguably one of the most famous books by Mem Fox (perhaps second after Possum Magic), and is a true winner with children and adults alike.

2. The Very Cranky Bear

In the Jingle Jangle on a cold and rainy day, four little friends found a perfect place to play. The Very cranky Bear Collection are perfect read aloud books for little ones, with vibrant pictures and fun stories that will have your young reader wanting more!

3. Diary of a Wombat

‘Morning: Slept. Afternoon: Slept. Evening: Ate grass.’ An exciting expose into the daily life of your not so average wombat, we soon discover wombat has a very busy schedule. Humans watch out, you’re about to get schooled!

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4. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

This is not your average storytelling scenario, and at first read you might be mistaken to think it’s just another compilation of mumbo jumbo rhymes to amuse and delight (with a little rhyming and colour education going on). That it is. But Seuss also teaches us about diversity, acceptance, and emotional intelligence.

5. There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake

Got a preschooler with a much loved imaginary friend? This is your ultimate big imagination side-kick. Positive reinforcement, and big ideas are at home with our imaginary friend who can do anything! Our roof leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! My daddy says there’s a hole in our roof. I know why there’s a hole. There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.

6. Alexander’s Outing

Alexander’s Outing is your ideal prop for stimulating play based learning. Pamela Allen is a brilliant children’s author for the kindergarten ages, with her books paving the way for irresistible ideas – be it outdoor adventures, creative expression and role play, or even backyard science experiments.

7. Who Sank The Boat

‘A cow, a pig, a donkey, a sheep and a tiny mouse go for a row, but one of them sinks the boat.’ A great board book for bubs and little fingers just discovering the pleasure in turning pages and discovering stories. Storytelling through the use of poetry makes it a wonderfully engaging story, and an invested reader finds enjoyment through seeing the story unfold with each character. The simplest of plots that’s charmingly told.

8. Dear Zoo

‘I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet.’ Dear Zoo is 25 years old and still as popular as ever! This classic lift-the-flap book by Rod Campbell is a favourite with toddlers. Be sure to pick up the board book edition, making it perfect for little hands.

9. Giraffes Can’t Dance

‘Hey, look at clumsy Gerald. Oh, Gerald, you’re so weird.’ An inspiring tale for every child with dreams of greatness, Giraffes Can’t Dance tells the tale of a gangly giraffe who needs a little bit of encouragement from an unlikely friend. Clever rhyme and an almost cartoonish tale shows readers that everyone can be wonderful.

10. Press Here

This book stands out as a clear winner with children of all ages. Engaging and interactive, Press Here is a playful children’s book that explores colours and shapes. It’s a picture book unlike any other children’s book, and full of surprises – ‘it’s not magic, it’s the power of your imagination.’

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What to do once you’ve finished reading?

Help your young reader’s comprehension and literacy, as well as general understanding of the story, by having a friendly and engaging discussion about the book once you’ve finished it. Make sure your child is understanding what they read, and also that they can recognise when they’re in fact not understanding. For the true literacy lovers, use much loved children’s books to stimulate creative play and other educational activities.



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> Do you have a list of favourite books for under 5’s?

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