Ten great reads – primary school

Good books not only help academically, but can help your child develop problem solving and resilience. Here are some favourite titles.

Image of book covers
Image: Ten great books for your child to enjoy.

1. Fly (Jess McGeachin)

Lucy is good at fixing things so why can’t she heal a bird with a broken wing? In life, not everything that’s wrong can be put right again. But Lucy discovers love and determination take us a long way.

2. Whiffy Wilson: The Wolf Who Wouldn’t Go to School (Caryl Hart)

Starting school can be scary, especially when you’ve never held a pen or even looked at a book. With the help of his friend Dotty, cute wolf cub character Whiffy Wilson discovers it can be fun too, especially when you get a gold star for good work.

3. Charlie and Lola: I am Absolutely Too Small for School (Lauren Child)

It might be useful to learn to read and write but Charlie's little sister Lola still isn’t sure about school. Anyway, she's busy doing extremely important things at home. As for her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, he’s definitely nervous. This third book in the popular Charlie and Lola series deals sensitively with first-day fears.

4. Magic Beach (Alison Lester)

Magic Beach is a much-loved Australian classic, perfect for parents to read aloud at storytime. Magic and reality come together in this perfect day at the beach. A wonderful, imaginative book for those kids (and adults) who equally enjoy the pictures and words.

5. A Banana is a Banana (Justine Clarke, Josh Pyke and Heath McKenzie)

Based on their song of the same name, A Banana is a Banana matches humour and fun from entertainers Justine Clarke and Josh Pyke with bright illustrations from Heath McKenzie. A book that uses words, rhymes and pictures to spark the imagination and show kids what language can do.

6. The 13-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton)

This book is a laugh-out-loud delight. The 13-Storey Treehouse is a fun combination of text and drawings. Join Andy and Terry on their adventures through an incredible, and very distracting, treehouse.

7. 101 Collective Nouns (Jennifer Cossins)

What’s a smack of jellyfish? What about a wisdom of wombats? This colourful exploration of animals and the English language includes 101 illustrations and a surprising compilation of collective nouns, a journey that will entertain and inform.

8. Starting School (Jane Godwin and Anna Walker)

Starting school is different for every child but there’s always a lot to take in. Focusing on the experiences of five diverse kids, Tim, Hannah, Sunita, Joe and Polly, this story helps young ones feel more comfortable with that big first step. There’s a lot to learn, after all, not to mention lots of fun to be had.

9. Macmillan Primary Dictionary

The Macmillan Primary Dictionary has been created for Australian students aged 6 to 10 years. They may not read it cover to cover but it’s a great reference companion at the start of their formal education.

(And one for you)

10. Unplugged Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children in the Digital Age (Elizabeth Kilbey)

The nature of play has changed as children spend longer sitting alone, inside with digital devices. For many parents the difference with their own childhood seems striking. This book helps navigate the tricky question of how to deal with children’s demands for screen time, and the conflict between this and other demands. Tangible, practical advice to help you reduce screen time and communicate better with your children.

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