Recommended Read Alouds for Children aged 5-8

Whether you are a teacher, parent or grandparent, one of the greatest gifts you can give the children in your lives is time spent reading to them out loud. This is even more special when they’ve moved on from picture books and are ready to hear a chapter book read over a week, a month or maybe even longer.

As Albert Einstein said, ‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.’

The following books are ones that I have enjoyed reading aloud. They also come recommended by the children I’ve read them to. These are the books that kept them asking for more. I read them until my throat was sore (they were that good.) Often I had to stop reading long before the children were ready to stop listening.

Some of these books are classics and you may have to explain some words or replace them if the original word has lost its meaning, or changed. Children do not mind if they don’t understand every word you read to them. It is a great way to help them build their vocabulary and interact with a text cognitively. However, it is good to remind them to be brave enough to ask if they don’t understand what is happening in the story.

Begin each reading session with the question: ‘What happened in the story last time we read it?’ This engages their memories and can give you an impression of how well they are understanding the narrative. It is also a chance for you to clarify the characters motivations and anything else that may have been misinterpreted.

I’ve listed the books in order of age, starting with the books that would suit children who are four, up to those who are eight. The first nine books have illustrations throughout, which will help hold younger children’s attention.

So, here are my read aloud recommendations for children aged four to eight.

  1. Jungle Doctor Books by Dr Paul White
  2. The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl
  3. The Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton
  4. The Twits by Roald Dahl
  5. Hot Dog series by Anh Do
  6. Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
  7. Jungle Doctor Books by Dr Paul White
  8. The Tashi Books by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg
  9. Wolf Girl series by Anh Do
  10. Brahminy by Colin Thiele
  11. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
  12. The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton
  13. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  14. Storm Boy by Colin Theile
  15. My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas
  16. Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
  17. A Clue for Clara by Lian Tanner
  18. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  19. Charlotte’s Web by E. H. White
  20. Map Maker Chronicles by A.L. Tait
‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.’
Albert Einstein