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Four year old boy-longer books?

16 replies

sparklyjumper · 07/02/2013 20:19

I'm looking for book recommendations for a four nearly five year old boy.

We're currently reading the Alfie Treasury.

I'm desperate to start on something like Beavers Towers, Roald Dahl or Stig of the Dump. Is he still too young?

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ilovecolinfirth · 07/02/2013 21:07

I don't know, but I'm looking forward to my 3 year old being interested in longer books too. He's also reading the Alfie treasury...he LOVES it!

Marne · 07/02/2013 21:11

dd1 read Roald Dhal at that age, she liked Charlie and the chocolate factory, fantastic Mr Fox and Matilda.

ForkInTheForeheid · 07/02/2013 21:17

Not clear whether your ds is reading or you're just reading to him. My DS is just 5 and at 4 I started reading longer books to him (he's just beginning to learn how to read now). He really enjoyed some of the short Roald dahl books - Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, The Magic Finger. He also found "the wrong pong" laugh out loud hilarious. We still do shorter picture books the majority of the time but he definitely had the attention span (so much so I had to read a lot in one go!) for longer books from the age of 4.

sparklyjumper · 08/02/2013 00:07

Sorry I'll be reading to him atm he's learning to read. He still likes picture books but I think he's got the attention span to be read something longer. I can't wait to get started but don't want to bore him either.

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louisianablue2000 · 08/02/2013 00:19

Definitely Roald Dahl, we started with The Enormous Crocodile and the Minpins. OMG the Minpins, DD2 (just three) loves being scared silly by it and I have to read and rered her favourite section. Roald Dahl was a genius!

The Gaskitts, Horrid Henry, Flat Stanley have all been popular here. Oh, Jacqueline Wilson does some early readers that are popular as well.

louisianablue2000 · 08/02/2013 00:20

Was going to say, we can easily tell if DD2 isn't enjoying stuff. George's Msrvellous Medicine was loved by DD1 (5) but DD2 (3) wasn't so keen, she always wanted a picture book as well.

louisianablue2000 · 08/02/2013 00:21


HelpOneAnother · 08/02/2013 00:28

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exexpat · 08/02/2013 00:38

Ronald Dahl's BFG was the first chapter book I read to DS around that age. Paddington is great too, and My Naughty Little Sister, and the Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf books. Also lots of Dick King-Smith ones are good for that age, particularly if he likes animals.

DeWe · 08/02/2013 09:39

I don't think he's too young if he'll sit for a story. I read ds some of the Little House books at that age and he loved them. he also enjoyed Bad Harry from the Naughty Little Sister set.
He's just reading Beaver Towers set at present, he's 5.5. I think he's a little bemused by the Growlers riding horses, he's been trying to work out how a wolf can ride a horse, but he likes to have all the practical stuff worked out. Grin

AngelaCatalano · 08/02/2013 09:51

If you're reading to him then I second Roald Dahl. My Mum used to read me the Narnia books at that age too so you could give those a go?

sparklyjumper · 08/02/2013 19:46

Thanks, some great suggestions here.

Regarding reading ability, I'm worrying a bit about ds when I here that children not much older are reading quite long books by themselves. Ds is only reading and learning very basic words and his reading books are 5-6 words a page. We do read every day although difficult to motivate him sometimes.

Atm I just can't ever imagine him sitting enjoying reading a book by himself. I'd really like him to have a love of books as I did but want to engage him with reasing without pushing him away from it iyswim, any tips?

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sparklyjumper · 08/02/2013 19:46


OP posts:
exexpat · 08/02/2013 20:54

Don't worry that it seems impossible to imagine them reading long books by themselves - for a start, five is very young, but also (in my experience - obviously there is huge variation) their reading ability can suddenly take off when something 'clicks'.

With DS, for example, at five he was also reading one-sentence-a-page readers from school, when I could persuade him to read at all - he appeared to have no interest at all. But I realised a few months later that was because the school readers were deadly boring, as when I tried something a bit more fun (Dr Seuss) and then something that tied in with his actual interests (some Scooby Doo early readers) he was much more enthusiastic and actually made an effort.

Then, not long after he turned six, I started reading him Harry Potter, one chapter a night at bedtime, and he was so gripped that by half-way through book two, he grabbed the book and started reading it himself because one chapter a day wasn't enough. Of course HP was light years ahead of the reading level of books he was given at school, but because he was interested, he was willing to really, really try. DD was similar, but took a little longer, and we had an excruciating few months of Rainbow Fairy books before she moved on to 'real' books.

So I think you are doing exactly the right thing - reading to him, & finding stuff he'll enjoy. I would say, whatever you do, don't make a big thing of it or start pushing him to read more advanced books. But maybe if in a year or two's time you know he's got the basics, and there is a book/series you are reading to him that he is really keen on (almost addicted to) you could try rationing it out: say you can't read more than a chapter at a time or whatever, but he's welcome to read more himself... And just see what happens.

louisianablue2000 · 08/02/2013 21:00

I don't think many children would be reading chapter books at five, he sounds about the same stage as DD1, the reading books she comes home with have one sentence a page. Her teacher said her progress was good at her parents meeting.

I was a good reader but didn't read chapter books until I was seven (so Scottish P3). First one was James and the Giant Peach when we were on holiday in a caravan opposite Eilean Donan castle, how's that for memorable.

wearymum200 · 08/02/2013 21:16

Ds1 loved the Little Tim books at about this age; not chapter bks, but long illustrated stories. just been reissued I think.
Also dinosaur cove, Flat Stanley, Dick King Smith, especially the dinosaur ones, and lots of non fiction!

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