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Suitable books for 5 year old boy?

41 replies

fantus · 25/08/2011 08:03


just wondering if anyone can recommend any good books for DS. We read everynight at bedtime and he seems to have suddenly outgrown all his old favourites!

He has a book case full of books but is now saying they are too young for him and I am not sure what to go for next. I had a look in an independent book shop yesterday and the range seemed to go from very young picture books to Harry Potter type books with nothing in between. He has in the past been a fan of Julia Donaldson, Catherine Rayner books and he loves action, adventure, pirates etc.

Or do you think he would enjoy chapter books now and if so which ones to start with?

Thanks for any input!

OP posts:
Takver · 25/08/2011 08:20

I would definitely try some shorter chapter books. He might like:

Winnie the Witch chapter books
Astrosaurs (dinosaurs in space!)
Pirate School (not absolutely sure about the titles, but author is Jeremy Strong)
How to Train your Dragon (poss a little later than the others)

Takver · 25/08/2011 08:21

A lot of bookshops have a '5 - 7' age range section which has these sorts of books, so as you say in between the picture books & older fiction levels.

SecretSpi · 25/08/2011 08:41

If he likes action and adventure, the Dinosaur Cove series might interest him.
And what about Horrid Henry?

fantus · 25/08/2011 12:57

Thanks for the suggestions, I feel a trip to the library coming on!

I know he won't go for Horrid Henry, wouldn't even wear the pyjama's my mum bought him, but the others sound like a good place to start.

I'll also try a few more bookshops when I get the chance. I've just had a look at the Astrosaurs and Dinosaur Cove books on Amazon too, looks like the kind of think he would love, thanks

OP posts:
wearymum200 · 25/08/2011 21:51

Dick King Smith's Dinosaur Trouble is good; also try the simpler Roald Dahl (Fantastic Mr Fox, Magic Finger, Twits)
Oliver Moon was much enjoyed by my 4-5 yr DS, as were Enid Blyton's Magic Wishing Chair.
Dino Cove is ace though (and there are so many to get through)

sittinginthesun · 25/08/2011 21:55

Roald Dahl every time. Start with the Giraffe, the Pelly and Me, as it is shorter!

Also, my youngest is currently loving the Magic Faraway Tree series - thought Enid blyton might be a bit old fashioned etc, but he's really enjoying it.

fantus · 26/08/2011 07:18

We popped along to the library yesterday. Couldn't find any of the dinosaur cove or astorsaur books but I have been looking online so might get a few and see if he enjoys them before committing to more!

I did look at some Roald Dahl but there wasn't much choice. Tried to tempt him with the BFG but he had already picked up a few others by this time so will look again next time we go.

I used to love the Faraway Tree stories when I was little! Forgot all about them but will definately think of them next time we are at the library.

He came away with a Max Power story? He read a chapter with DH last night and seemed to really enjoy it. Also The Magicians Nephew by C S Lewis. I thought this might be a bit old for him but I think it was the title that swung it for him. Now I just need to make sure I get to take him to bed every night when we start reading this! Got to admit I am looking forward to getting to read some old favourites all over again.

OP posts:
JiltedJohnsJulie · 27/08/2011 17:36

DS liked the Smartest Giant in Town at that age but he does have the same name as the giant so it was probably going to be a winner.

Glad you've got something for him, have you tried Paddington or maybe Dr Seuss books?

JiltedJohnsJulie · 27/08/2011 17:37

If you are after some Roald Dahl to start with he may like Revolting Rhymes.

sittinginthesun · 27/08/2011 17:59

Cat in the Hat! Forgot about those. DS2 loves them.

deaconblue · 30/08/2011 19:44

Ds loved the jack stalwart books, magic faraway tree and anything by roald Dahl. I've just ordered stig of the dump and the Phoenix and the magic carpet- really hope he will love them as much as I did

An0therName · 02/09/2011 09:59

my 5 yo DS still likes books with pictures but more writing -the chapter books havn't all hit the markt
he really likes Alan Alehberg- happy families series - very funny and the Gaskitt family books
anyone got any thoughts on books like these

midnightexpress · 02/09/2011 10:08

My 4 and 5 year-olds are really enjoying the Faraway Tree books at the moment. Before that we were reading the Moomins too - they are actually a bit difficult for that age, but once they got to know the characters they really enjoyed them (I'd avoid the last two - Moominland in November and Moominpapa at Sea, which are v heavy going for that age I think). I loved reading them again too; they are so magical.

munstersmum · 02/09/2011 11:02

Fantus before spending money ask at your local library if they can order Dinosaur Cove books in. These books are very popular & I'm willing to bet they have loads that are all on loan as it's the holidays. DS has had about 6 through our library & about 12 to go !

Echo Happy Families. Mr Crook & Master Bun are favourites here.
Roald Dahl - The Minpins
Easy chapter book - Mudpuddle farm series

Littlepurpleprincess · 12/09/2011 19:25

Fungus the Bogeyman is great. It's more like a comic (or graphic novel, as DH would say). It's utterly disgusting, and therefore hilarious according to 5 year old boys!

rebeccaw · 13/09/2011 19:53

I have a DS aged 6 and we've been making the transition. Things which have been good include:
The Worst Witch series (Jill Murphy)
Ralph Mouse (Beverly Cleary)
Green Smoke (Rosemary Manning)

He's also liked the Beast Quest series and Professor Branestawm.

There are 2 Captain Najork books which are good picture books but suitable for older children.

He liked Astrosaurs, but I can't say I was a big fan of reading them.

I've bought The Phantom Tollbooth and My Friend Mr Leakey for our next lot of bedtime reading.

Hope that helps!

twoflakesanight · 13/09/2011 21:36

I've recently discovered the Lighthouse Keeper stories by David and Mrs (can't rem name) Armitage - picture books but with quite sophisticated language and humour. Also the Sampson and the CHurch Mice books by Graeme Oakley are fantastic - sophisticated humour and storylines (by which I mean perfect for a 5 yr old and not too babyish). Both 70's classics, but recently reissued- the CHurch Mice ones by Templar. What else? My mum was saying my brother had loved the Teddy Robinson books when he was little, which are quite gentle little stories but DS is only 5 and I think that can sit alongside Ben10 and JOhnny Test. Paddington, someone's already suggested, also Pooh Bear stories are hilarious! I think people probably often start them too young and give up b/c the old fashioned language is beyond a 3 yr old but they're hilarious and a 5 yr old would love them! I remember great adventure stories by Ursula MOray Williams, like Adventures of the little Wooden Horse and another one about a black cat, Grimalkin or something; a witch's familiar - anyone rem that? Blimey, I'm on a roll! Gaskitts are good because they're a bit longer but loads of illustrations...

anynamesleft · 13/09/2011 23:33


we've also been looking for adventure books for our 5yo son that are exciting without being too dramatic and the stuff of nightmares!

One series that really hit the spot was Paul Stewart and Chris Ridell's far flung adventures, 3 books Corby Flood Fergus Crane and Hugo Pepper which I'd heartily recommend. They have short chapters, a gripping story and lots of great illustrations.


issynoko · 13/09/2011 23:52

My son (who was 6 last month) has enjoyed lots of Roald Dahl - loves Fantastic Mr Fox and George's Marvellous Medicine but all others too. Also liked Boy - the autobiographical one - he talks a lot about that. Also Tom's Sausage Lion by Michael Morpurgo, Dirty Bertie stories (urg), The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (more to come!). He LOVED The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson. There are also good compilations published by Kingfisher - Pirate Stories, Dinosaur Stories, Stories For 5 Year Olds, 6 years olds and so on. We are on the 5th Harry Potter book - reading them to my 7 year old daughter but DS loves them too. Also Teddy Robinson - gentle and funny. Going to read Green Smoke soon - loved that when I was little. And the Over Sea, Under Stone books by Susan Cooper. Russell Hoban stories are great. And he is really enjoying the Little House on the Prairie books (being read to his sister but he is very into them too. Start with The Little House in the Big Woods.)

TwoFlakes - I LOVED The Little Wooden Horse! And are you thinking of Gobbolino, the witch's cat? Did you read Carbonel as well?

flimflammery · 14/09/2011 05:45

Boys I know love the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkley - comic-book sections, lots of toilet humour and schoolboys getting up to mischief. Also the classic Stig of the Dump by Clive King, the Geronimo Stilton series (mouse adventures in different countries) and my DS's current favourite, Jack Stalwart Secret Agent series (also have some educational content about countries). And if he likes pirates you could try Peter Pan - there are various abridged versions.

OllieinOrange · 14/09/2011 08:32

This is a great thread. The Book People have a collection of The Dinosaur Cove booked, volumes 11 to 20, on offer for 9.99. Do you have to have read the previous volumes for them to make sense?

I also brought a collection of the Faraway Tree books from Tescos for 5 pounds last Christmas time - worth looking out for.

LawrieMarlow · 14/09/2011 08:37

Dinosaur books are pretty stand alone - each one at the beginning tells you all you need to know. Although it is quite good having read the first one to set the story totally (I sound like Dinosaur Cove are my favourite books which isn't quite true but they are definitely tolerable Grin)

slightlyadrift · 14/09/2011 09:06

Hi, Sir Gadabout books are great fun, by Martin Beardsley, also big on audio CDs; Roddy Doyle's The Giggler Treatment read by Tommy Tiernan is simply magic.

chismum · 14/09/2011 09:24

My 7 yo loves non-fiction. Try the Usborne Beginners, which your 5 yo may be able to read for himself. If they are interested in the subject, they will read better.

Also, the Beast Quest books are great, and he reads those himself.

For books you read to him, there are some great suggestions in the thread, already.

My son has audio books of things like the Greek Legends, and the Arthurian Legends. These are great for even short car journeys.

Gwenfair · 14/09/2011 10:06

My 8 year old boy loves the Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton - we have been reading them since he was about 6 and they are fantastic - laugh out loud funny, mad and so well written with great illustrations. It think there are about 6 of them now. I absolutely love reading them too which is a huge bonus. I urge you to try them!

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