10 of the Most Highly Recommended Kids Books by Age

It was World Book Day on Thursday 5th March. If you’re looking for some new kids books ideas or have a birthday coming up that you need to buy for, books are a great gift for children of all ages. Here are 10 of the Most Highly Recommended Kids Books by Age.

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0-4 years

What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry

I loved Richard Scarry’s books when I was little and my daughters have enjoyed them too.

richard scarryNow available for the first time in picture book format, Richard Scarry’s classic title, What Do People Do All Day?, is packed with pictures and things to spot on every page. It’s great to see this classic has been refreshed to bring the world of Richard Scarry to a new generation of readers.

What do people do all day? Everyone is busy in Busytown – from train drivers to doctors, from mothers to sailors, in police stations and on fire engines. Follow a colourful collection of busy people working through their busy days. Captain Salty and his crew are getting ready to go on a voyage, Sergeant Murphy is working hard to keep things safe and peaceful, and engineers are building new roads. Another busy day in Busytown!

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Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

lost and foundLost and Found is a family favourite! We love love love his illustrations and thoughtful stories. Oliver Jeffers’ books are a pleasure to read.

Set sail on a wonderful adventure in this toddler-friendly board 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.

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5-8 years

The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle

giggler treatmentThis is one of my daughter’s favourite ever books. We have read and re-read The Giggler Treatment several times and she loved the audio version read by Tommy Tiernan.

The Giggler Treatment is truly 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?

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Daisy and the Trouble With Zoos by Kes Gray

daisy and the trouble with zoosAnother set of books that have been read and re-read in our house, the Daisy and the Trouble with… series by Kes Gray.

In Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos, it’s Daisy’s birthday and she’s having a special birthday treat! Mum has invited her best friends, Gabby and Dylan, on a trip to the zoo – and, best of all, Mum has arranged for Daisy to go into the actual penguin cage with the actual zoo keeper and FEED actual penguins!

REAL ACTUAL PENGUINS! With actual beaks and everything!! Trouble is, Daisy doesn’t just feed the penguins, she ‘adopts’ one to take home and everything . . .

9-12 years


danger is everywhereDANGER IS EVERYWHERE is a brilliantly funny handbook for avoiding danger of all kinds that will have everyone from reluctant readers to bookworms laughing out loud (very safely) from start to finish.



AND WHAT TO DO IF A VOLCANO ERUPTS UNDERNEATH YOUR HOUSE? After you’ve made sure it’s not a neighbour’s barbecue, this book will let you know exactly how to deal with it.

Written by Docter Noel Zone, the world’s greatest (and only) Dangerologist, with the help of his neighbours: David O’Doherty (words) is a stand-up comedian, writer and regular guest on television shows such as QI, Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You? Chris Judge (pictures) is the award winning author/illustrator of The Lonely Beast and a number of other picture books for children.

Read our review of DANGER IS EVERYWHERE!

Kaspar, Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo

kaspar prince of catsMichael Morpurgo is another favourite in our house. And Kaspar, Prince of Cats is a fantastic story and a great book to gift as well, with all the interest that continues in the Titanic story.

Kaspar the cat first came to the Savoy Hotel in a basket – Johnny Trott knows, because he was the one who carried him in. Johnny was a bell-boy, you see, and he carried all of Countess Kandinsky’s things to her room.

But Johnny didn’t expect to end up with Kaspar on his hands forever, and nor did he count on making friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress. Pretty soon, events are set in motion that will take Johnny – and Kaspar – all around the world, surviving theft, shipwreck and rooftop rescues along the way. Because everything changes with a cat like Kaspar around.

After all, he’s Prince Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker, and as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic.

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Teen/YA Fiction

Darkmouth by Shane Hegarty

darkmouthDarkmouth is a hot-of-the-presses debut novel from Shane Hegarty that is getting rave reviews already.

THEY’RE COMING! Legends (also known as terrifying, human-eating monsters) have invaded the town of Darkmouth and aim to conquer the world. But don’t panic! The last remaining Legend Hunter – Finn – will protect us.

Finn: twelve-years-old, loves animals, not a natural fighter, but tries really, really hard, and we all know good intentions are the best weapons against a hungry Minotaur, right?

On second thoughts, panic. PANIC NOW!

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

girl online zoellaMy daughter loves anything by Zoella. Her YouTube channel, her videos, her tips, her line of toiletries. The Zoella touch is everywhere now. And if your teen has enjoyed Cathy Cassidy and similar authors then they will enjoy Girl Online.

Penny has a secret. Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her crazy family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah, a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American.

Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret, too, one that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.

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Classics for Children (that you might not have thought of)

And finally, I picked out 2 classics that you might not have thought of.

goodnight mr tom#9. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mister Tom (winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award) has delighted generations of children. It’s the story of young Willie Beech, evacuated to the country as Britai
n stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.

As time goes by Tom begins to worry when Willie doesn’t answer his letters, so he goes to London to find him, and there makes a terrible discovery.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

wizard of ozEveryone is familiar with the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, but have you read the book?

Dorothy thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz. To get home Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz.

Together with her companions the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion whom she meets on the way, Dorothy embarks on a strange and enchanting adventure.

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Have you read any of these books? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls