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Books all children should read before they grow up... as recommended by Michael Morpurgo (and some of our favourites are on the list too!)


These books are recommended for Reception and KS1 children.




The Twits, by Roald Dahl

Mr and Mrs Twit pass the time playing nasty tricks on one another. They're both horrid. In his hairy beard, Mr Twit "was always able to find a tasty morsel to nibble on".

Burglar Bill, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

"I'll 'ave that," is the catchphrase of the rogue who stars in this engaging and beautifully illustrated tale. When Bill accidentally burglarises a baby, it turns out to be a blessing in a stolen basket. "Runfrit, Boglaboll!"

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, by Judith Kerr

The story of a tiger that eats it’s hosts out of house and home.

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

When Max engages in mischief, he is sent to bed without his supper. That's just the start. Sendak's paintings sing, and the text is a joy.

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, by Beatrix Potter

Tom Kitten learnt nothing from his parents about the consequences of curiosity. Abducted by a rat, he comes within a whisker of being turned into a pudding.

Yertle the Turtle, by Dr Seuss

Yertle, king of the pond, commands all the turtles to stack themselves up so he can be top of the heap. Someone's riding for a fall.

Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs

What boy won't thrill to the world of the Bogeymen, all snot, armpits and boils? This gave Raymond Briggs's green crayon the workout of its life.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business, by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch

Someone's dropping lands on poor mole's head. Who's the culprit? A farmyard investigation is conducted with great seriousness. Mole's revenge is sweet.

Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson

Punchier than The Gruffalo, this has children chanting along as a witch and her animal friends see off a dragon in search of "witch and chips".

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf…" so begins this classic board book, its pages drilled with holes as the caterpillar eats his way through the week.

The Cat in the Hat, by Dr Seuss

"Look at me! Look at me! Look at me now!" The cat's a big show-off, but he knows how to have fun, and his chaotic antics delight.

Charlotte's Web, by EB White

White's 1952 masterpiece describes the friendship between a lonely pig and a talented spider. This poignant tale teaches lessons about love, death and differing life expectancies.

Winnie-the-Pooh, by AA Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard

Visit Hundred Acre Wood, and meet Pooh, Piglet and Christopher Robin, based on AA Milne's son. This classic story hasn't aged, and EH Shepard's understated illustrations remain the best