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On our bookshelves for 5-8 year-olds

Children start to get engaged with early reader books that have fun, entertaining stories, with main characters that are relatable. Simple sentences and excellent illustrations work well. Often, books are divided by reading level getting progressively advanced. Older children in this group may enjoy chapter books with somewhat more complicated plots. Here are our picks...


Book 8: Richard Scarry's Funniest Storybook Ever

Age: 4-6 years

What this book is about: All your favourite Busytown characters, including Huckle, Lowly, Father Cat and Mother Cat get together in this collection of funny, silly stories!

Why we recommend this book: Never a dull moment with Richard Scarry's books around! Chock-a-block full of detailed illustrations and the funniest of situations involving a cast of colourful characters - this book is great to engage your child for long periods of time. Children can spend time going over all the illustrations or read the story along. Expect lots of giggles and a fun reading experience!


Book 7: The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

Age: 5-7 years

What this book is about: A greedy crocodile has one too many clever tricks up his sleeve as he is on the hunt for little boys & girls to eat...until he is taught a lesson.

Why we recommend this book: Each of Roald Dahl books take your child on a fantastic journey, and this one is no different! The book creates a series of tense situations and then resolves them in the funniest way possible. A shorter book than his other works, this one can be read out loud to the younger kids to get them started on Roald Dahl adventures. Quentin Blake's colourful, inimitable illustrations bring imagination to life!


Book 6: Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

Age: 6-8 years

What this book is about: A mystery/adventure story about a spate of robberies in Big City, which are investigated by the expert team of Ottoline and her companion, Mr. Munroe.

Why we recommend this book: A delightful book with intriguing illustrations by star illustrator Chris Riddell, this is a great read for children who are getting started on chapter-books. The story is engaging, with many clues hidden in the illustrations and a cast full of quirky characters. A hit with even slightly younger children, who can be read this story aloud.


Book 5: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Age: 5-8 years

What this book is about: The classic story about eco-warrior Lorax and his serious but playfully conveyed message to save the planet.

Why we recommend this book: One of the most popular Dr. Seuss books, also adapted as a movie, The Lorax talks about environmental damage caused by human greed and warns against its dangers - all in a way that is fun to read with your primary school reader. With children being made aware of ecological issues at school too, this is a relevant, easy to grasp story for them.


Book 4: The Tiger Skin Rug by Gerald Rose

Age: 4-6 years

What this book is about: A scrawny tiger decides to quit jungle-life and gain entry into the Maharaja's palace pretending to be a tiger-skin rug. Everything is fine, until he is discovered!

Why we recommend this book: More than 40 years ago since this story was written and it is still as entertaining. Children will find the hilarious deception by the tiger amusing, all the while rooting for him not to get discovered by the Raja or his family. The heroic way in which the tiger comes forth and the family's kindness towards him make for a satisfying tale.


Book 3: The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis & Rebecca Cobb

Age: 4-7 years

What this book is about: Twin sisters, who are very different from each other, wait with anticipation on Christmas Eve for their presents from Father Christmas.

Why we recommend this book: A lovely Christmas story by award winning script-writer & director Richard Curtis, this book is a perfect, cosy read, not only around Christmas time, but all-year round. Rebecca Cobb's illustrations bring the twin-girls' story to life and are a delight to page through. Underlining the bond siblings share, despite appearances, and a heart-warming ending make this book a winner.


Book 2: The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig & Patrice Barton

Age: 4-8 years

What this book is about: A simply told story about feeling included, kindness and making friends by acclaimed author Trudy Ludwig. Beautifully illustrated by Patrice Barton.

Why we recommend this book: This is a great book to have for all children - its theme encompasses welcoming differences, being kind and empathetic, and overcoming shyness - all at the age where kids are just discovering their social circle. A must have for any quiet child and parents who want to broach these topics with their child.


Book 1: What is God by Etan Boritzer and Robbie Marantz

Age: 5-9 years

What this book is about: This book helps kids understand the abstract concept of the existence of God & how people 'see' or feel God. Above all, it is about celebrating the gift of life.

Why we recommend this book: A book for all those times inquisitive children ask about the big questions. Written in easy to understand verse-sentences, this book is excellent for children to grasp the meaning of 'God'. It acknowledges presence of many religions and how they are similar at their heart, rather than different. Its meditative leanings and the endearing way it is written makes it one of our favourites.

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