Ashwicken C of E Primary School

Ashwicken CE Primary School Caring for Each Other
and Caring for Our World

Recommended Reading for Reception

Dear Parents/Carers,

Reading is an important part of everyday life. The more our children read, the better readers they will be and the better writers they will become.

Read a selection of books from the recommended book list attached:

Parents and family members play an important role in building successful readers. Hearing your child read is vital to your child retaining and building on the skills he or she has learned in school. But most importantly, this is a time for children to engage their imaginations, find amusement in books, and to learn to love reading. We ask that your child read for at least 15 minutes a day. Books can be of any genre or on any subject that is of interest to your child.


Here are some quick tips to encourage your child’s love for reading.

  • READ! READ! READ! Make reading important. Be a role-model for reading. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, reading TV listings, looking for information on-line, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences.
  • Give your child the power of choice. Having reading materials available, such as: books, magazines, comics, etc… is key to helping children love to read, and the reading materials they choose themselves are best. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age appropriate and ‘just right’ in difficulty.
  • Find opportunities to read aloud to your child. Read your favourite childhood book aloud, read signs while driving in the car, read at stores, and read while you’re on holiday!
  • Take frequent trips to the library.
  • Read a great story over and over again to help your child with fluency and reading with expression.
  • Talk it up. Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage your child to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Talk about what you read to let them know that reading is an important part of your life. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same.

We hope you and your family will read many stories and reap all of the wonderful benefits that reading has to offer!

I look forward to hearing all about the exciting books you have read.

Happy reading!


The following information is provided on the BooksForTopics website where you will also find a variety of other booklists and links for purchasing book. 

BooksForTopics’ recommended reading list

What should children be reading in Reception?

Sharing books with children in the Early Years provides a gateway into a world of imagination, empathy and delight, as well as being crucial for developing language and literacy skills. Children in Reception will often explore books with their hands and eyes before being able to read the words accurately for themselves, and making available a range of high-quality books with a strong visual interest level is key. Choose stories with bright and bold illustrations, like Super Duper You or How to Catch a Star, as well as books with textures and interesting details for hands and eyes to explore like Luna Loves Art or the interactive visual feast You Choose.

Storytime is a treasured time of day for children of this age. Positive experiences with books for 4 and 5 year olds can lay the foundations for an enjoyment of reading for years to follow. Look for stories with a strong and simple narrative structure and a clear beginning, middle and end to help young children to understand basic story arcs, like the fun growth and new life adventure in Tad or the tale of falling out and making up again in Helen Cooper’s classic picturebook Pumpkin Soup.

The books on this list are not intended to replace school reading schemes, which are designed specifically for the teaching of phonics and reading. Instead, the books on this list have been selected with reading for pleasure in mind, whether with an adult or independently.

Which books are best for 4 and 5 year olds?

Some of the best stories for this age feature familiar settings and relatable real-life experiences, like the joy of finding a lost toy in The Lost Property Office, the ordeal of a grazed knee in Jill Murphy’s classic story On the Way Home or the fun of shared recycling projects My Must-Have Mum. Others invite the imagination to venture a little further afield, like the hilarious giant octopus who lands on a house in Octopus Shocktopus or the tale of a blue monster who is consumed with so much greed that he even eats the sun, in Blue Monster Wants It All.

A number of the stories on our Reception booklist explore the tricky world of learning to get on with others well, like Fair Shares or Rabbit’s Pancake Panic. Others still develop an understanding of different emotions, like Emily Coxhead’s hugely popular Find Your Happy. If you are looking for stories from other cultures, try Chitra Soundar’s retelling of an Indian flood story in Pattan’s Pumpkin. We also have an additional list of diverse and inclusive books for EYFS, if you need an even more extensive selection to diversify your library.

We’ve included a handful of true classics on this Reception reading list, featuring stories that have been entertaining children of this age for generations  – such as Judith Kerr’s much-loved The Tiger Who Came to Tea or the delightful tales about Mrs Pepperpot, an intriguing and adventurous old lady who can shrink down to the size of a pepperpot. Other books have been inspired by more recent events, like Rain Before Rainbows, which is a beautifully illustrated exploration of finding optimism in difficult times.

For this age group, tales that rhyme not only make for entertaining storytimes but also form a fundamental part of phonetic development. We recommend the Oi Frog series for a giggle-worthy rhyme time, or James Carter’s out-of-this-world poetry collection Zim Zam Zoom.

What are the best non-fiction books for Reception?

Our list of best books for Reception also includes a range of age-appropriate non-fiction for curious minds, from the ever-popular Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals and STEM-themed Marvellous Machines (complete with magic lens for those who love a closer look at things) to all the excitement of the peek-through pages in The Body Book.