I read a lot of children's books to my kids at home so I'll recommend as many as I can for Key Stage 1 (and the young at heart in Key Stage 2!). If I have time to read or listen to some slightly older books, I'll put them up here too! I'll try and include links to Amazon if you want to buy a copy of any of them for yourself.
This pair of books are really good fun. There's lot of rhyming in there as Cat tells Frog where all animals should sit and some hilarious illustrations. Frog is disappointed that he has to sit on a log and get splinters in his bum! There's a rhyming surprise at the end of the first book too... The sequel turns the idea on its head as Frog takes control and starts changing where all the animals sit, much to Cat's dismay! You'll love the pictures, you'll love trying to guess what all the animals sit on based on their names, you'll love the funny endings to both books.
The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
This book is one of the most beautiful picture books I've ever seen - it's so nice that we keep it on a high shelf because I'm scared my daughter is going to tear the pages like she does with all her other books! If I'm being honest, the story is not the best I've ever read and might mean more to older children and adults but the illustrations more than make up for it for younger readers. The use of patterns and colour are just breathtaking. I think I'm most impressed by how minimal the book is - there are some pages that only have one sentence on. I'd like to turn this book into wallpaper for my house!
Superworm by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Julia Donaldson is obviously an incredibly well-known and successful children's author - so where do you begin?! I've read and enjoyed almost all of her books for younger children but this is the standout for me. I know most of this one off-by-heart! The rhyming feels really natural as you read it; Julia Donaldson has a great control of rhythm in her poems too which means they get into your head and stay there. My favourite line is: 'Superworm is very cross/ To have a lizard as his boss/ But when he tries to slink away/ The wizard's magic makes him stay'. The illustrations, as with all of Axel Scheffler's illustrations, are brilliant, funny and detailed, meaning you spot little extra things every time you read. The story is very simple with great baddies but what I really like is that Superworm is a hero who needs saving himself! If he hadn't been such a good friend to all the other bugs, I wonder if they'd have gone to such an effort to rescue him from the wizard?
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