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Summer reading for 4 - 5 year olds

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

Paula Metcalf
Philip the dog is in love with Penelope. She has bright eyes, a waggy tail, and the most beautiful smile. But while Penelope is very tall, Philip is not. How will Penelope ever love someone so much shorter? This hilarious story, which uses ‘lift-the-flaps’ in interesting and original ways, encourages children to love who they are.
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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, Claire 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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Pippa Goodhart
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
This captivating story follows little Elphie, the youngest and smallest of all the elephants, as he tries to get to the front of the queue. To get to go first for once, he needs your help! With audience participation throughout, this is a great book for sharing.
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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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Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul
Winnie and Wilbur are off to the seaside! Whether they are playing on the beach, diving beneath the ocean waves, or sailing away on a pirate ship, magic is just a moment away! A fabulous summery collection of stories.
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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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Matty Long
Set sail with the Salty Dogs on an adventure through the Pirate Islands in search of treasure! Their journey won't be easy. They must outwit rival pirates, navigate stormy seas, and keep the poop deck clean if they are to become pirate legends. Get ready for an amazing new adventure from the award-winning creator of SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST .
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Next: Books for 5 - 7 year olds