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Summer reading for 4 - 5 year olds
Books to spark young imaginations

From misbehaving books to wise-cracking seagulls, here’s out pick of the best picture books to read with your child this summer.

Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston
A beautiful picturebook all about the wonder and importance of books. What’s not to like?
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Kes Gray, Jim Field
The follow-up to the hugely popular Oi Frog! provides the frog with a chance to re-evaluate the rules of animal rhyming and make some changes about who exactly can sit on what. Brilliantly funny.
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Matty Long
Five unlikely heroes - a unicorn, a gnome, a fairy, a faun, and a mushroom - go on an epic quest to save their home. With detailed illustrations and lots and lots of jokes, the whole family will want to read it over and over again.
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Pippa Goodheart
A bright picture book with a vast array of images on each page. Imagine yourself in the various situations presented on the page, such as 'Imagine you were... a deep sea diver' or ' ...as small as a mouse'. Children will use their imaginations as they pore over the bright illustrations on each page and create their own stories.
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Chris Haughton
What is a dog to do when temptation is put in his way? To behave or not to behave… George's owner goes out for the day. George is a dog who wants to be good. He hopes he can be good. But temptation proves too much for him with chocolate cake, flowers and cats! Will all be forgiven?
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Elys Dolan
Elys Dolan's hilarious and fast-paced book follows Steven Seagull as he tries to bring justice to Beach City. A perfect summer read!
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Richard Byrne
When Bella takes her dog for a walk, the dog disappears into the fold in the middle of the book! A great book to share with young children where the book itself behaves mysteriously. Involves burping and regurgitation – lots of child appeal!
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Polly Dunbar
When Ben is given a toy penguin, he goes to great lengths to try and get it to talk. A thought-provoking and funny story about friendship and communication.
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Julia Donaldson
For such a small fish, Tiddler tells the tallest tales in the ocean, much to the enjoyment and disbelief of his friends. However, when Tiddler gets caught in a fisherman's net who will believe him and how will he ever make it home? An underwater adventure to spark the imaginations of your own Tiddlers.
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Oliver Jeffers
When a penguin arrives on a boy's doorstep, he thinks it must be lost. So he sets out on an expedition to find out where the penguin has come from and to take it back to where it belongs. However, once the boy delivers the penguin to where he thinks it belongs, he realises the penguin actually belongs with him!
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Satoshi Kitamura
Millie sees a hat adorned with colourful feathers in a shop window. She goes inside to try it on but it's far too expensive. She can't afford any of the hats, but the shopkeeper shows her that she can have a hat of any shape or size if she can imagine it. On the way home Millie's spectacular hat is inspired by the things that she sees. A joyous celebration of creativity and imagination told simply and elegantly in words and pictures.
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Oliver Jeffers
A full–scale investigation takes place after things in the forest change for the animals who live there – branches go missing from trees, whole tree trunks disappear and some of their homes are lost. All the animals have an alibi to prove their innocence. So... who dunnit?
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Mo Willems
Pigeon wants to drive the bus but the bus driver insists that he can't. While the bus driver is away, the pigeon cajoles the reader, begging to be allowed to drive the bus, until the driver returns. The irrepressible pigeon then turns his attention to a big red truck!
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Nick Sharratt
What can that be in the foggy foggy forest? Children love guessing what each misty silhouette will reveal as the page is turned, and will insist on looking through it again and again. A gem of a book.
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Next: Books for 5 - 7 year olds