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Mrs Griffith recommends...

As you scroll down you will see recommendations each for EYFS, KS1, Lower KS2 (Years 3/4) and Upper KS2 (Years 5/6). As well as selecting specific books, I have also compiled lists for each year group, selecting books for their breadth of content, a range of authors and genre. 

A Recommendation for EYFS

100 cats by Michael Whaite


The purrfect sequel to the award-winning 100 Dogs!

Sitting cat, spitting cat, tangled-in-your-knitting cat, paw cat, claw cat ruining your chair! New cat, shoo cat! Living in the zoo cat, swing cat, cling cat . . .


HANG IN THERE! This laugh-out-loud picture book is a brilliant read-aloud rhyming romp through a cornucopia of cats in silly scenarios. Follow the cat-and-mouse subplot and find endless funny details to delight read-after-read. Barking mad about dogs as well as cats?Not a cat kid?  Check out 100 Dogs - Winner of the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards for Best Picture Book and Children's Book of the Year! Also by Michael Whaite: Diggersaurs Diggersaurs Explore


Hair Love by Michael Cherry


Based on the Oscar winning short film!

It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters.

Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own!

It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Mum always does Zuri's hair just the way she likes it - so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn.

But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her - and her hair - happy.

When I adopted my son, 25 years ago, his hair was bewildering! I didn't know where to start so this book resonates with me. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair - and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.



A Recommendation for KS1


Look up

by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola


3 ... 2 ... 1 ... LIFT OFF

Let science-mad chatterbox Rocket launch into your hearts in this inspiring picture book. Rocket's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived!


First, she needs to convince her big brother Jamal to stop looking down at his phone and start LOOKING UP at the stars.


Bursting with energy and passion about space and the natural world, this heart-warming picture book will reignite your desire to turn off those screens and switch on to the outside world.


This book is the overall winner of Waterstone's "Children's Book Prize" 2020 and Waterstones says, "This joyous, life-affirming picture book introduces the lovable Rocket, a space-obsessed girl who wants everybody to be as excited as her about an impending meteor shower. Bursting with eye-popping, vivid illustrations, Look Up! is a book that all budding young astronauts will love."


A Recommendation for Lower KS2 (Years 3 & 4 )


Just Jack by Kate Scott


Since his mum and dad split up, Jack has moved around a lot. But that's OK, because he's figured out how to survive: his very own Sherlock code.

He seeks out safe friends, tries not to stand out too much, fits in with everyone else's interests, doesn't give away too much personal information – and, most importantly, he never lets himself get too close to anyone.

But when he moves to his new school and meets Tyler (a whirlwind of energy, with his spectacular inventions and Tigger-esque personality), will he be able to stick to his code or will he find himself in danger?


Just Jack is another charming story from Giant author Kate Scott, with a lovely message about the importance of being true to yourself. Tyler is a wonderfully realised character, a bouncing bundle of fun that fizzes off the pages. He's a wonderful influence on Jack, and a joy to spend time with.As Jack slowly comes to realise that fitting in might be safe but that it's also very boring, young readers will cheer him on. A joy of a read that skips along and makes you feel like you're wearing your very own pair of Tyler's Skater-Flyer Shoes.

A Recommendation for Upper KS2 (Years 5 & 6)


Three for you that I have just finished.


How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson


Twelve year old Willem has two important aims in life: to fly and to make two new friends his own age. But Finn and his gang of bullies are getting in the way, until one day Sasha Barton steps in to help. While the gangs on the Beckham Estate are rioting, and with the help of community worker Archie, Willem and Sasha form an unexpected friendship as they discover they share the same dream…


With themes including gang culture and bullying, friendship and love, combined with a brilliant mix of eclectic characters, this is a compelling and ultimately uplifting story about making the most of life despite its challenges. This was the first book I have read by Jane Elson and I liked her writing style so much, I am going to read more.


Can you see me by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott


Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, Can You See Me? is a story of autism, empathy and kindness that will touch readers of all ages.


Tally is eleven years old and she's just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there's something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can't cover up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic.

Tally's autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn't. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her.

People think that because Tally's autistic, she doesn't realise what they're thinking, but Tally sees and hears - and notices - all of it. And, honestly? That's not the easiest thing to live with.


Perfect for fans of Wonder and The Goldfish Boy, this sucker punch to the heart is valuable reading for children and adults alike. What makes this book unique is the fact that the story is interrupted by real diary extracts from co-author, 11-year-old, Libby Scott who is autistic herself and talks about her experiences. I learned more about autism through this book than any course I have ever been on. I think it is an amazing book. 


Seaglass by Eloise Williams


SeaGlass is Eloise Williams 3rd novel. It's a gorgeously creepy book set in Wales on a misty beach. Just like seaglass itself, this book dazzles and is definitely not for the faint hearted. The story perfectly combines the chill of a ghost story with the warmth of a family tale.


She will come for you... Lark struggles when her family and their friends go on holiday in a lonely caravan site on the Welsh coast for the autumn half term. Her mother is ill, her little sister has stopped speaking and she has fallen out with her best friend. Is a girl in a green dress following her in the fog? Or is her sister playing tricks on her? When a local woman tells her the girl comes to take sisters, Lark finds herself the only one who can save her family.


Perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Lucy Strange, Seaglass is a chilling contemporary ghost story with a determined 13-year-old heroine defending her family and learning to handle her emotions.  Superb book. And SO creepy.

A Recommendation for Parents and Carers


If reading Thomas the Tank Engine or Frozen night after night is leaving you frazzled, here is my pick of bedtime story books that are great fun to read and are sure to become favourites ......of yours, if not your children. 


Here's the first.


Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith.


In this hilarious first collaboration from Jory John and the multi-award winning Lane Smith, a penguin levels with human readers about what penguin life is really like ... and it isn't all fun and games!


Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it's a land free of worries and responsibilities! Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no picnic. For starters, it is freezing.

Also, penguins have loads of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mum in a big crowd of identical penguins?


A feel-good read-aloud for readers of all ages, and the perfect  gift. It's dry, cynical humour might not reach the spot as far as the children are concerned, but I dare you not to love it yourself. 

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd 
ISBN: 9781406379150 


If you enjoy reading this book, you'll love Giraffe Problems too - by the same authors.

Next on my list of books adults will enjoy reading to their children is ....


Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown


Funky, funny and beautiful, this is an irresistible addition to every wild child's bookshelf."
– The Times


Are you bored with being sensible? Do you want to have more fun? Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. Fed up with tea parties, top hats and talking about the weather, he astounds his friends when he decides to go... WILD. But does he go too far? After all, the wilderness can get pretty lonely.

Mr Tiger Goes Wild is a beautifully illustrated and brilliantly funny book from Caldecott Honor-winning artist Peter Brown that shows that there's a time and place for everything... even going wild. Peter Brown is also the creator of many other books including the fantastically funny My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not). I think this is a great read aloud book for KS1 children. 


Third on my list, is....


Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls


This one is for older children, KS2, and is older than I am!!!!! Written in 1961, you will need a box of tissues as you read this, but I guarantee your children will LOVE it and you will too,


Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.


Parents and Carers, please don't stop reading to your children as soon as they become free readers. I was still reading to my teenager until she went off to university in September. She read to me too. It remained a special time for both of us and I am glad to have fostered a love of literature in her. Reading is the most successful way to build vocabulary and the comprehension skills needed for Kent Test and across the curriculum in secondary school. No tutor can ever teach the skills of being an enthusiastic, vocabulary rich reader. 


Finally, in this section, a book for you as adults. I am reading this currently and I am really enjoying it. It connects on so many levels and picks up the picture books and characters we have all grown up with.


Fierce, Bad Rabbits - The Tales behind Children's Picture Books by Clare Pollard


What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
How is Meg and Mog related to Polish embroidery?
And why does death in picture books involve being eaten?

Fierce Bad Rabbits explores the stories behind our favourite picture books, weaving in tales of Clare Pollard's childhood reading and her re-discovery of the classic tales as a parent. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think.


'A gem . . . hard to put down. Thoroughly enjoyable' Spectator

'Essential reading for every thinking parent' Penelope Lively

'An enlightening, perceptive analysis of the books that build us' Sunday Telegraph, 5 star review

'A happy way to reconnect with old friends' Times