BookTrust names great books for birth to five-year-olds

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BookTrust has launched a list of recommended books for children aged up to five for the first time as part of Children’s Book Week 2017 this week (13-17 November 2017).


The Great Books Guide highlights 60 books published in the last year which have been recommended by BookTrust’s panel of experts, including bookshop owners, parent bloggers and librarians, as well as BookTrust’s own in-house team.

The guide is divided into sections according to age group, and this year for the first time includes sections for birth to threes and four- to five-year-olds, as well as for readers aged 12 and over.fruit

Recommendations for children aged three and under include Fruit in Suits by Jared Chapman, Super Rabbit by Stephanie Blake and Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh.

caveBooks suggested for four- to five-year-olds include Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton, Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems, and The Cave by Rob Hodgson.

Diana Gerald, chief executive of BookTrust, said, ‘Starting early and involving the whole family is the best way to get small children enjoying stories and helping them to see reading as a fun and playful activity. Children who read for pleasure are likely to do better at school, as well as be more socially, culturally and emotionally prepared for life.

‘We know from experience that the right book can really make a difference, but parents often struggle to know which books their children are likely to enjoy. Which is why, this year, for the first time, BookTrust is delighted to include recommendations for 0-5s in the 2017 Great Books Guide to help get babies and young children started on their reading journey sooner and help them to become lifelong readers.

‘The Great Books Guide is filled with books that we know children (and parents) will love, whatever their ages and interests, and we hope that families enjoy discovering them.’

Jon Hall, assistant head teacher and English lead at Green Lane Primary Academy in Middlesbrough, added, ‘The Great Books Guide is a valuable resource as it provides us with recommendations we can trust and introduces us to brand new authors. The suggested age brackets also make it easy for us to know which children are most likely to enjoy them and help us share book recommendations with parents too, so we can support them in developing a reading culture at home.’

As part of Children’s Book Week, BookTrust has also released a set of tips to help settings enjoy sharing stories. They include:

  • Creating a 'book nook' - turn a corner into an area where children can relax and enjoy reading
  • Telling stories - read a book at the end of each day for 20 minutes
  • Involving parents and carers - invite them to take part in story time
  • Holding a dress-up day – ask children to dress up as their favourite character from a book and let them make their own outfits and props
  • Bringing a book to life - act out the children’s favourite books using props, musical instruments and other resources
  • Setting up a book club - encourage children to discuss books and stories in more detail
  • Getting creative - help children to get arty by drawing their favourite characters, creating their own personalised bookmarks or designing their own book covers
  • Arranging a special visitor – BookTrust’s website provides information about booking an author or illustrator to visit settings and talk to children about reading and writing. 

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, which works with 3.4m children across the UK to provide them with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. Every parent receives a BookTrust book in their baby’s first year.

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