Fantastic Books for 5 Year Olds – Enlightening for All

Books for 5 year olds - Feature image

My daughter will be turning 6 in a couple of weeks. Oh my! What an amazing year. I feel like we have lived it intensely but at the same time it has flown by so fast. We’ve read a ton of books together this past year, and before we blow the candles, (and while I still have it fresh), I wanted to put together a list of books for 5 year olds considering her favourite choices.

I hope and wish that by giving her the chance to enjoy all these books, she will develop a passion – or at least a liking – for reading. And to be honest, with many of these books, my husband and I have learned things that we either did not know or had forgotten about. It’s a great feeling to know we are all learning and growing together.

Our selection of top 20 books for 5 year olds

These are the books that we’ve read together more than once (and in some cases more than 10 times). I really hope you will enjoy them as much as we have (and still are).

Books for 5 year olds - The Day the Crayons Quit

1. The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

Duncan wants to color but when he opens his box of crayons they have all gone! Instead he finds a bunch of letters from his crayons saying they’ve had enough. They quit! Red needs a rest – he never gets a holiday always coloring Santa and Valentine’s Day hearts -, Purple can’t stand that Duncan colors outside the lines, Black hates to be used only to draw the outline of things, Yellow and Orange are fighting because they want to know who is the real color of the sun… and the letters go on. It is a fabulous, original and hillarious book that we all love. It is simply brilliant.

Books for 5 year olds - Here We are

2. Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers

This book is a masterpiece. A true work of art. The illustrations are so unique and I could look at them for hours. This book is a collection of notes from a father to his son, to let him know how living on our planet Earth works. It talks about our terrain, about day and night, about our body and what we need to function, about animals and about people. “You are never alone on Earth”. It is hopeful and beautiful. Apple+ has also animated and adapted this book into a beautiful 30 minute short movie that is a must see and ideal for curious 5 year olds and up. Check out more short movies here.

Oi Frog!

3. Oi Frog! – Kes Gray & Jim Field

Hilarious laugh out loud book. We discover there is a ridiculous seating system for animals that says they can only sit on things they rhyme with. Frog finds sitting on a log uncomfortable and would like to sit someplace else, but cat says it’s not about being comfortable but about doing “the right thing”. I believe it is an interesting read at another level, it opens the door to questioning why we do certain things, is “the right thing to do” really right or the only thing we can do? This read aloud video is fantastic, I wish I was able to read it like that.

Books for 5 year olds - All about friends

4. All About Friends – Felicity Brooks & Mar Ferrero

This is a fantastic guide about friendship and it helps to talk about certain problems or issues they may start having with friends at school or at the playground. In a very gentle and conversational style it discusses and gives examples to answer questions such as What are friends?, Why do we need friends?, What makes good friends?, Who can be friends? among many other subjects about friendship. It has been great for my daughter, to chat about what good friends do and what they should not do and how to solve situations. It is a fantastic conversation starter and a great way to understand what is going on in their life and connecting with them.

Books for 5 year olds - Be Kind

5. Be Kind– Pat Zietlow Miller & Jen Hill

Tanisha accidentally spills grape juice all over her dress and gets very upset when people make fun of her. But a classmate wants to make her feel better and starts to think what kind things can he do and what does it mean to be kind. From small acts like using someone’s name, to bigger acts like standing up for someone who is being bullied. The book shares many situations that teach us what it means to be kind and how we can help a friend and how small things can turn into big things too. Kindness is a quality that I believe we must teach our children and this book is a lovely and thoughtful way to show acts of kindness and spark conversations with them.

Books for 5 year olds - Look inside your body

6. Look Inside Your Body – Louie Stowell & Kate Leake

My daughter is fascinated by this book and loves to look at it and asks us to read all the bits of information and facts that are hidden under the flaps. We’ve learned about bones, blood, what happens when we eat, what systems are in place to keep us alive… so many things! It is really captivating. The illustrations are simple – so a 5 year old can understand – and with over 100 flaps that you can lift makes it a very interactive and entertaining experience. Usborne lift-the-flap books are really phenomenal. We keep them in the living room as reference books and we sometimes pull them out when they are not enjoying their dinner much to entertain them and learn.

Books for 5 year olds - 365 Science activities

7. 365 Science Activities – Usborne

Yes, 365 science activities! We love it and have only scratched the surface (because my daughter always wants to keep repeating the same ones). With this book we’ve done experiments with dye, oil, water and other liquids (her favourites), made paper planes fly, created foaming fizz, tried out optical illusions, grown some sprouting beans and more. It is a fantastic resource to get ideas from on those days where you’ve literally run out of ideas. I always keep it handy 😉

The Story Orchestra - Swan Lake

8. The Story Orchestra: Swan Lake – Katy Flint & Jessica Courtney Tickle

Beautiful book with lovely illustrations that will make children familiar with the music of one of the most famous ballets of all time Swan Lake from Tchaikovsky. This is the story about Prince Sigfried and how he falls in love with Odette, a princess cursed to be a swan by day but able to go back to her human form at night. Only by making a declaration of true love will break the curse. But Rothbart, the sorcerer, has other plans… and there are many possible endings to this classic story, but this one ends in a happy child-friendly note. Ideal to look at before going to the actual show so the child knows what to expect.

Books for 5 year old - Welcome to Ballet School

9. Welcome to Ballet School – Ashley Bouder & Julia Bereciartu

I can’t recommend this book enough. It is a brilliant guide and introduction to what children will encounter when entering the ballet world. Great for parents who never did ballet (like me!) and would like to understand the words and what is going on in the world of leotards and tutus.
“Through it all, “Welcome” takes ballet seriously. Bouder explains ballet terminology with diagrams that resemble those in a training manual. (My younger self would have eaten it up.) She also moves beyond steps to the heart of dancing.” — The New York Times. If you’d like to see more ballet books, you can also check out this post.

Books for 5 year olds - Count to 100

10. Count to 100 – Felicity Brooks & Sophia Touliatou

This book we bought when my daughter just turned 5 because that is what they were doing at school – learning to count over 20. It was great, she really loved the illustrations and it helped us get to 100 rather quickly. It starts from 1 to 10 (1 full moon, 2 little dogs…) and after that each double spread goes by tens (20 cars, 30 animals, … 100 twinkling stars). It’s a beautifully illustrated book and filled with details to spot that will keep them entertained and engaged for hours.

Books for 5 year olds - Draw with Rob 1

11. Draw With Rob – Rob Biddulph

Odd Dog Out helped us discover the wonderful world of Draw with Rob. Rob Biddulph has a Youtube channel where he has 10-20 minute videos sharing how to draw step by step characters from his books and other wonderful illustrations. If your child likes to draw, you must watch and draw together. So, after many drawings we decided to buy the Draw with Rob book filled with step-by-step drawing guides and other activities that will keep your child entertained for hours. You have to look at his videos, trust me. You’ll like them.

The Smeds and the Smoos

12. The Smeds and the Smoos – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

In a far of planet live the red Smeds and the blue Smoos. They are physically different and like doing different things and also enjoy eating different foods. Smeds and Smoos simply don’t mix or interact, they stay appart from each other. But one day Bill (a Smoo) and Janet (a Smed) meet in the wurpular wood and discover that they like being together even though their families want them to be apart. This is a beautiful story about diversity, accepting differences and it teaches that love has nothing to do with one’s skin colour.

Ten minutes to bed little mermaid

13. Ten Minutes To Bed Little Mermaid – Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton

This is a book from the Ten Minutes to Bed series which we absolutely adore. Splash, the little mermaid doesn’t want to go to bed. In this countdown story you’ll go to wonderful places, under the sea, and meet fabulous friends until the countdown is over and Splash is fast asleep in his bed. The rhythm is soothing and the illustrations from Chris Chatterton are simply marvelous. For more books of the series or other bedtime book suggestions have a look at this post.

Books for 5 year old - Odd Dog Out

14. Odd Dog Out – Rob Biddulph

Oh my! I love this book. The illustrations and the story are just a masterpiece. It’s the story of a the Odd Dog Out that leaves his town because he stands out. He fins somewhere where he fits in, but then realises from the odd dog out there, that there was never anything wrong with him. That we must be who we are. What a lovely book about self-acceptance and realising that being different is something we should be proud of. You must see this musical adaptation animation by The Magnard Ensemble of the Odd Dog Out. It is lovely and your little one will love it. Want to read more books about dogs? Check out this post!

Animal books for kids - The Snail and the Whale

15. The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

This is a tale about friendship, a tale about dreaming big even if you are small and a tale about helping one another. It is a fantastic book with beautiful illustrations. Friends come in all shapes and sizes, ask the Snail and the Whale 😉 It is also a great movie for toddlers (my daughter still loves it) – just 25 minutes long and brilliantly animated (we have it in DVD but it is also sometimes on Amazon Prime).

Books for 5 year olds - Look inside Seas and Oceans

16. Look inside Seas and Oceans – Megan Cullis & Bao Luu

If your child is curious about the ocean ant the animals that live in it this book is wonderful. This interactive book with 50 flaps will let your little one dive into the watery worlds he can find on our planet. From along the coast, to coral reefs, to deep deep down. The illustrations and the small chunks of information that accompany them are great. It is obvious that this book has been designed and created with much care. Another fabulous book from the Look Inside collection from Usborne.

Books for 5 year olds - The Book of Tiny Creatures

17. The Book of Tiny Creatures – Nathalie Tordjman & illustrated by Julien Norwood & Emmanuelle Tchoukriel

This book is an invitation to learn and discover about the world of spiders, butterflies, snails and even shrimp! It is filled with facts, detailed seek-and-find scenes, quizzes and activity suggestions to engage little ones with tiny creatures. Even though my daughter isn’t a big fan of insects in the real world, I was surprised when she asked to buy this book and how thoroughly she went through it. She even took it to school to share with her classmates. It is really lovely and educational.

Julia Donaldson Book Collection - Zog

18. Zog and the Flying Doctors – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

In this book we fly with Zog, Princess Pearl and Gadabout the Knight and see them taking care of magical creatures everywhere. But when one day they visit Princess Pearl’s uncle, he captures her and doesn’t let her leave because he feels princesses shouldn’t and can’t be doctors. But Pearl with the help of her friends prove him wrong! Princesses can be doctors and anything they put their hearts into.

Books for 5 year olds - National Geographic Stickers cats

19. National Geographic Kids Cats Sticker Activity Book

This is a wonderful gift for children who love cats, a fantastic activity book that can keep them entertained for hours. It is filled with more than 1000 stickers and packed with facts that will teach your kid loads about these felines. They’ll also find entertaining activities like mazes, drawing promts, spelling games that will challenge them and they’ll enjoy. There are many extra stickers that they can use wherever they want. It’s been a great buy for us this summer and my daughter has loved it.

Books for 5 year olds - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Mr. Willy Wonka, the eccentric owner of a fantastic chocolate factory, decides to hide 5 golden tickets that will allow 5 children enter and discover all its wonders. Charlie Bucket, a kind young boy from an impoverished, is one of the lucky winners. Accompanied by his Granpa Joe he will join the other four winners for the tour filled with adventure around the factory. This is one of Roald Dahl’s most famous and beloved books. My daughter can’t read it by herself yet – this is the first chapter book we’ve shared – but she has enjoyed it being read to her by bits at night before sleep time.

Wonderful books that have been fantastic and enlightening for the whole family

I’ve put this together thinking about 5 year olds and with my daughter in mind. Although we’ve read many books this year, I didn’t want it to be a very long list. These are really the top hits in out little library. We’ve read them sooo many times this year it is no surprise we know some of them by heart. And even though I should probably be tired of most of them, after all this time, they still make me smile.

What has been wonderful is that I feel I have learned a lot from these books. Some things I knew and I had forgotten, and others I had no idea. And I feel it is great to let them know that we as parents are learning new things with them. Through books, through life, we are still growing and learning.

I would love to hear if you have enjoyed any of these or if you have other books suggestions that work great for you and your family. Please share with me in the comment section below! We are always interested in discovering new books!

Happy reading! *

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