Skip to content ↓

Our Learning



Reading is at the very heart of our children’s success at school.

A child’s experience of reading should start well before they arrive in school. Very young children get the significance and importantly, the fun of reading most naturally from parents.  In many cases this will mean repeating the same story over and over again as the child links the shapes and pictures in front of her to the sound she hears. It is important to talk about the story. It can seem a frustrating, even time wasting activity for busy parents, but it is crucial. Itcannot be done by a computer or an i-pad. The time spent sitting down quietly and sharing a story is time well invested. There is no substitute for the many hours a young child spends experimenting with language and the written word.

The following points are key in encouraging success in reading:

  1. Children benefit from having books read aloud to them. Children need to have many stories read to them before they cut loose and read for themselves.
  2. Children should be allowed to choose their own books as far as possible. Yes we all want them to have a rich diet of good reading but all reading is worthwhile. It is getting into the habit that matters. Judgement and taste will develop but enjoyment must come first.
  3. Children should always be encouraged to have a go and not worry about misreading and mispronunciation. They should be drawn into conversations about what they have read, but learning to consider and state a personal view takes time and confidence. Remember that young children are always keen to please and give the answer they think that the adult wants.
  4. Parents need to understand that being literate is not the same as being literary. As adults we have preferences for particular genres. Indeed story reading is very powerful for many children but others are relieved to be told that it is quite all right to read non-fiction. Developing the habit of reading widely is crucial.
  5. Reading must permeate every part of a child’s life. Children have to read instructions for themselves.  An adult reading out maths instructions for example, is too easy a short cut.  If asked what a maths question means a first response should always be, “Read the question to me”.  Often an instant answer to the maths problem is forthcoming. The business of reading is not an isolated subject.

“With confidence in reading the written word, the world becomes a map of possibilities and adventure. Without it, the journey is down a long street with doors closed on either side.”

Tony Little.

Books to Read

The Hobbit

Skullduggery Pleasant

Green Eggs and Ham

Hairy Maclary

The Jolly Postman


We offer the following list as a suggestion of the story books that children should have read by the time that they leave  Monkton Park Primary School.  Tastes vary and judgements differ and it is a given that no choice will command universal support. The list should also not be used of a checklist to work through at the expense of enjoyment.  We have recommended the books included because they have particular impact on the children. Please note that we have only included fiction and this runs against what we have said above. Including non-fiction texts makes the job of selection  too complicated!

Often if an author becomes a favourite then there will be many more books to explore and enjoy so we have not always made fine distinction.  For example with John Burningham we have included “Oi Get Off Our Train”  at the expense of "Mr Gumpy"… go to all of his books!

We have had  a lot of fun looking at other lists and assembling our own. We have politely argued about the books we love and the ones we like less. Have that discussion, but most importantly enjoy reading and enjoy sharing these books (and many others) with your children. 


Where the Wild Things are

Oi Get off our Train

Wolf Brother

Skullduggery Pleasant


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Stig of the Dump by Clive King

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne

Funnybones by Allan and Janet Ahlberg

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

The Football Academy series by Tom Palmer

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd

Not Now Bernard by David Mckee

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The Twits by Roald Dahl

I am David by Anne Holm

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

The Paddington series by Michael Bond

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Five Children and It by E Nesbit

Clockwork by Phillip Pullman

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Magic Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy

The Alfie and Annie Rose series by Shirley Hughes

Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield

 Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore

Sad Book by Michael Rosen

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown

The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Zoo by Anthony Browne

Treasure Island by R L Stevenson

Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

The Hundred Mile an Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman

The Railway Children by E Nesbit

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

Darkmouth by Shane Hegarty

The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith

Beegu by Alexis Deacon

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The Mr Men and Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves

Gentle Giant by Michael Morpurgo

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Boy in the Dress by  David Walliams

Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

Theseus and the Minotaur by David Orme and Wendy Body

The Just William series by Richmal Crompton

On the Way Home by Jill Murphy

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Street Child by Berlie Doherty

The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

Angelo by Quentin Blake

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Draywalt and Oliver Jeffers

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

My Mum by Anthony Browne

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Oi Get Off Our Train by John Burningham

Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The Mog stories by Judith Kerr

The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

The Early Years at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

Birds Beasts and Relatives by Gerald Durrell

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

The Mrs Pepperpot series by Alf Proysen

The Asterix Series by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

The Fib and Other Stories by George Layton

From Hereabout Hill by Michael Morpurgo

The Kipper series by Mick Inkpen

The Milly-Molly-Mandy series by Joyce Lankester Brisley

The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson

The Book Trust

The Book Trust

The Book Trust website is a wonderful resource supporting and celebrating reading and books. It is an essential website to visit.  It has a wealth of suggestions about fiction and non-fiction books. Try out the Bookfinder,  it identifies books for all topics and interests.

Have fun!

0 - 4 years old

5 - 8 years old

9 - 12 years old

12 - 14 years old

What do you think?

What do you think of our list?  Have we missed your favourite?  Let us know...

Monkton Park School, Sadlers Mead, Monkton Park, Chippenham, SN15 3PN
01249 652395