Whether you are looking for something for your own child or as a gift for someone else, these recommended kids books by age will offer plenty of inspiration. With a breakdown of books for 0-12 year olds, you’ll find a mix of popular authors, as well as first-in-series recommendations that mean you can spend lots of time discovering a whole world of enjoyment!
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Recommended Books by Age: 0-3 Years
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Lift the flaps and join in the fun with Rod Campbell’s classic, Dear Zoo, with a host of favourite zoo animals and flaps to lift on every page.
‘I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet…’
Young children will love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent – a monkey, a lion and even an elephant! But will they ever manage to send the perfect pet?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perennial favourite with children and adults alike. Its imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.
Check out more of our favourite Eric Carle books here!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.
For over a quarter of a century, readers have been swishy-swashying and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favourite, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river, squelch through the mud and brave their way through the swirling, whirling snowstorm in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!
Recommended Books by Age: 3-5 Years
What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
This beloved Scarry classic is packed with things to spot on every page. What Do People Do All Day? is beautiful, fun and has been a favourite with children of all ages for more than 50 years.
Everyone is busy in Busytown – from train drivers to doctors, from mothers to sailors, in police stations and on fire engines. Follow lots of busy people working through their busy days!
Captain Salty and his crew are getting ready to go on a voyage; Doctor Lion is busy at the hospital; Sergeant Murphy is working hard to keep things safe and peaceful; and engineers are building new roads. Packed full of activity and funny details to discover, this celebration of Busytown and its inhabitants will keep curious minds occupied for hours on end!
What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
It would be most definitely a tragedy, if at least one Julia Donaldson is not in your child’s collection! There is lots of rhyming fun to be had with books such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Zog, and many, many more.
With a cast of everyone’s favourite farm animals, What the Ladybird Heard is a brilliant rhyming adventure that is perfect for reading aloud. Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are two crafty robbers with a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But little do they know that the tiniest, quietest creature of all has overhead their plot, and she has a plan of her own…
Check out more of our favourite Julia Donaldson books here!
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Set sail on a wonderful adventure in Lost and Found, a toddler-friendly book from award-winning, bestselling picture book creator, Oliver Jeffers!
There once was a boy and one day he found a penguin at his door…
The boy decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. But no one seems to be missing a penguin. So the boy decides to take the penguin home himself, and they set out in his row boat on a journey to the South Pole.
But when they get there, the boy discovers that maybe home wasn’t what the penguin was looking for after all…
The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
Join the Jolly Postman as he delivers letters in fairy-tale land in this fun, interactive story book!
The Jolly Postman is off on another adventure as he delivers letters around fairy-tale land! Children will love opening the envelopes to read a letter from Goldilocks, a postcard addressed to a giant up a beanstalk… and even a note for the Big Bad Wolf!
Discover the magic of letters with this much-loved rhyming tale, which has delighted readers for generations.
Cuddle up and get ready for a cosy bedtime with our list of 100 brilliant bedtime stories for kids and adults to enjoy together – all recommended by parents!
Recommended Books by Age: 5-8 Years
The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
The Enchanted Wood is the first magical story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton.
When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures!
Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Birthdays, the Land of Toys, or even the Land of Ice and Snow with its magic snowman?
The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle
The Giggler Treatment is a gloriously silly comedy from Booker prize winner and bestseller Roddy Doyle.
If adults are mean to children, they get the Giggler Treatment. It’s smelly. It’s squishy. And it sticks to your shoe. But sometimes, just sometimes, the Gigglers make a mistake…
Can Robbie, Kayla, Jimmy and Rover the dog come to Mr Mack’s rescue before the poo hits the shoe?
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
George Kranky’s grandma is a grouch. She’s always mean to George (and not much nicer to his parents either).
One day, when George is put in charge of giving Grandma her medicine, he wonders if he can come up with his own remedy to try and help Grandma become less of a grump.
Using some rather unusual ingredients, George creates his magic medicine. But will it stop his grandma from being so horrible…or will it shoot sparks out of the top of her head?!
George’s Marvellous Medicine is a laugh-out-loud book that kids and parents will enjoy together.
The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Andy and Terry live in the WORLD’S BEST treehouse! It’s got a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory, a tank of man-eating sharks and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry!
Just watch out for the sea monkeys, and the monkeys pretending to be sea monkeys, and the giant mutant mermaid sea monster…Oh, and, whatever you do, don’t get trapped in a burp-gas-filled bubble!
The 13-Storey Treehouse is the first in this hilarious series.
Recommended Books by Age: 8-12 Years
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change. When the twins’ grandmother gives them a treasured fairy-tale book, they have no idea they’re about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real.
But as Alex and Conner soon discover, the stories they know so well haven’t ended in this magical land – Goldilocks is now a wanted fugitive, Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Queen Cinderella is about to become a mother!
The twins know they must get back home somehow. But with the legendary Evil Queen hot on their trail, will they ever find the way?
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, the first in The Land of Stories series, brings readers on a thrilling quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humour and page-turning adventure.
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead.
Then there’s his sidekick, Stephanie. She’s… well, she’s a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…
Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.
Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing’s for sure: evil won’t know what’s hit it.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Join the world of Artemis Fowl, the number one bestseller by Eoin Colfer.
Rumour has it Artemis Fowl is responsible for every major crime of the new century. Just twelve years old and already he’s a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family’s fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping. Kidnapping a fairy for ransom, to be precise.
Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous – and extremely high-tech – fairies. But he may have underestimated their powers. They will fight back. Is the boy about to trigger a cross-species war?
Let the misadventure begin.
Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
Gangsta Granny is a hilarious and moving novel from bestselling author David Walliams.
Our hero Ben is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at his grandma’s house. She’s the boringest grandma ever: all she wants to do is to play Scrabble, and eat cabbage soup. But there are two things Ben doesn’t know about his grandma.
1) She was once an international jewel thief.
2) All her life, she has been plotting to steal the Crown Jewels, and now she needs Ben’s help