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Great Books Guide 2016: age 4-5

I am Bear

We've just published the Great Books Guide 2016 for Children's Book Week: a round-up of 60 books from over the last year, which we think your child will love.

These are our favourite books for 4-5-year-olds: 

  • Kitchen Disco

    Author: Clare Foges Illustrator: Al Murphy
    Publisher: Faber

    Did you know when you go to sleep all the fruit in the bowl comes to life and has a fun-filled, night long party?

  • A Great Big Cuddle

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Chris Riddell
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Beautifully illustrated poems for young children by two Children's Laureates

  • Hoot Owl: master of disguise

    Author: Sean Taylor Illustrator: Jean Jullien
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Hoot Owl wears a selection of ingenious disguises when hunting for food, but his prey always manages to escape. Vibrant illustrations and repetitive text combine to create a comical tale of perseverance. Very silly and the illustrations are great!

  • Quick Quack Quentin

    Author: Kes Gray Jim Field
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

    This beautifully illustrated, colourful picture book explores spelling and letter sounds in the context of great characters and a clever quest story.

  • I am Bear

    Author: Ben Bailey Smith and Sav Akyüz
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Meet Bear: the rebel hero of the forest. This charming and anarchic picture book celebrates a mischievious and loveable character.

  • The Cloudspotter

    Author: Tom McLaughlin
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Franklin was called 'The Cloudspotter' - and he didn't want to share his clouds with anyone. That's why he pops the infuriating Scruffy Dog into a hot-air balloon and lets her fly away. A charming story about a lonely little boy who finds a friend.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: David Roberts
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    This amusing guide book contains an array of information about how to spot and behave around bears. The result is a stylish, highly entertaining picture book, perfect for reading aloud.

  • Hector and Hummingbird

    Author: Nicholas John Frith
    Publisher: Scholastic/Alison Green Books

    The story of Hector and Hummingbird is a lovely one for children with - sometimes irritating but always lovable - little brothers and sisters. The 1950s style and colouring of this fantastic picture book is very appealing.

  • Have You Seen Elephant?

    Author: David Barrow
    Publisher: Gecko Press

    This hilarious book - about an elephant who wants to play hide and seek - will delight children and adults with its offbeat humour and beautiful illustration.

  • Nibbles: The Book Monster

    Author: Emma Yarlett
    Publisher: Little Tiger Press

    This is a story about a little monster called… Nibbles. And with that, he nibbles his way right out of the book! This really exciting reading experience is sure to be a hit with the whole family. 

  • Tidy

    Author: Emily Gravett
    Publisher: Two Hoots

    Pete the badger likes to keep everything neat and tidy, but his over-zealous cleaning begins to have a damaging impact on the forest. This entertaining picture book, with its rich illustrations, carries an important environmental message.

  • I Have an Orange Juicy Drink

    Author: Andrew Sanders
    Publisher: Fat Fox

    Porker has an orange juicy drink, but there's no chance he's going to get to drink it in peace. This book is wonderfully vibrant - and the story is funny enough to make parents chuckle, as well as kids. 

  • The Bumblebear

    Author: Nadia Shireen
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape

    Norman the bear loves honey, so he thinks up an ingenious plan to get his paws on as much as he can eat - by enrolling at Bee School! An endearing tale about friendship and loyalty.

  • Can I Eat That?

    Author: Joshua David Stein Illustrator: Julia Rothman
    Publisher: Phaidon Press

    A quirky combination of fact and fun, this distinctive picture book about food poses questions that inquisitive children typically ask, such as: 'If I eat jelly and I eat fish, can I eat jellyfish?' Stylish, witty and informative.

  • Pass It On

    Author: Sophy Henn
    Publisher: Puffin

    The little girl in this bright, happy book embraces the simple act of passing on smiles, laughs, chuckles and whoops to others.

  • Bee

    Author: Britta Teckentrup
    Publisher: Little Tiger

    This bee-autiful and special book takes children on a poetic journey through the bee's day.

  • Colin and Lee: Carrot and Pea

    Author: Morag Hood
    Publisher: Two Hoots

    Colin is a carrot, and Lee is a pea. An amusing and deceptively simple look at friendship and difference, this is a lovely book for young readers.

  • Home

    Author: Carson Ellis
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Where is your home? Where are you? Carson Ellis explores wild and wonderful, familiar and extraordinary places that people – real and imaginary – might live.

  • Nothing!

    Author: Yasmeen Ismail
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Lila has a fabulous imaginary world: if she’s not wrestling an octopus or soaring over a jungle, she’s racing in a winged chariot. Visiting grandpa might not seem as fascinating, but he’s just as keen to join her fantasy world.

  • A Hungry Lion: or a dwindling assortment of animals

    Author: Lucy Ruth Cummins
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

    The author keeps the surprises coming in this hilarious and quirkily illustrated picture book. It proves that, while you can never trust a hungry lion, there’s always a bigger eater waiting in the wings…