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Our top 10 first chapter books

Reading a chapter book for the first time is traditionally viewed as a badge of honour on the road to becoming a confident reader. We have included a selection of titles here which children developing experience and confidence as readers may enjoy. However many picture books have plenty to challenge young readers so should not be cast aside.

You might want to share the reading for the books with more text here such as The Owl who was afraid of the Dark and The Magic Finger. Although children need to be able to read most words so that they can understand and enjoy the stories don’t worry if they can’t read every single word accurately.  Some children may want to read the books aloud to you, others may prefer to read to themselves (even if they are actually reading out loud as they do!)

cudweed in space thumbCudweed in Outer Space Marcus Sedgwick, Pete Williamson (illus)
Orion Books

Cudweed builds a rocket with his pet monkey Fellah and has a very unusual adventure crash landing on planet Zoy amidst aliens called Thrillions.

frog and toad thumbFrog and Toad are Friends Arnold Lobel
Harper Collins

A book with five amusing short stories about two appealing characters and their unlikely friendship.

hodgeheg thumbThe Hodgeheg Dick King Smith
Puffin Books

Max the hedgehog’s attempts to cross the road to get to the park like humans lead to a bump on the head and jumbled speech (he becomes a hodgeheg instead of a hedgehog). An appealing story from a prolific storyteller.

horrid henryHorrid Henry Francesca Simon, Tony Ross (illus)
Orion Children’s Books

Is Horrid Henry the world’s naughtiest boy? He is certainly very popular amongst young readers and is celebrating a 20th birthday in 2015.

magic finger thumbThe Magic Finger Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illus)

Find out what happens when one little girl with a magic finger and a strong aversion to killing animals realises her neighbours are hunters. For children developing reading fluency.

monsterblue planet thuumbThe Monster from the Blue Planet Cornelia Funke, Elys Dolan (illus)
Barrington Stoke

Zaleb the alien visits Earth and wants to find out about earthlings. One of a series of stories from Barrington Stoke with an attractive format and layout for young readers.

dinosaurs lunch thumbThe Dinosaur’s Packed Lunch Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt (illus)
Corgi Pups

Dinah is fed up, everything is boring including her class trip to the museum. That is until a dinosaur makes her a packed lunch and Dinah finds herself becoming… a dinosaur!

owl who afraid thumbThe Owl who was Afraid of the Dark Jill Tomlinson, Paul Howard (illus)

An appealing story about a baby owl who takes some time to become convinced night time is for him

snow dog thumbSnow Dog Malorie Blackman
Corgi Pups

Nicky is upset that her parents won’t let her have a dog. Her grandfather helps her make one out of clay, a dog which proves to be extra special and rather magical as well.

whats my name thumbWhat’s My Name? (The Not so Little Princess) Tony Ross (illus) Wendy Finney
Andersen Press

A book which continues the story of Tony Ross’ little princess a few years on. Very accessible for newly independent readers with a good balance of text and humorous illustrations and lots of links to the original stories.