Books for EYFS and KS1

Picture books for young children

Picture books are great for all ages and it is a huge privilege to learn from educators in a range of settings how they share and use picture books across all ages in primary schools. 


I have 15 years experience of sharing picture books, first as a parent, then as an independent children’s bookseller for 10 of those years. With many competing demands in EYFS and KS1 it sometimes feel the sharing of picture books and why we do it gets muddled. Customers often ask for ‘diverse’ picture books or non-fiction books to support the EYFS and/or KS1 curriculum There are many ways to look at diversity within picture books, these include representation of different sorts of people and their lives and exploring different cultures and perspectives. It is really important to have these as part of your offering.  However, when thinking about the picture books for EYFS and KS1 children there are other important considerations.


Not all picture books are as good as each other, the quality of both the text and pictures matters, so does the way they work together to tell the story. What young children also need is to be read aloud stories, which make them eager for you to turn the next page, stories that encourage them to join in and be excited about what will happen next in the story. If you choose the right books, the same picture books will also help develop a range of literacy skills. 


Some things I have noticed about picture books:

    • When surveys are carried out on teachers knowledge of texts. They highlight lack of awareness of the variety of key stage two authors. But, there seems to be very little mention of picture book authors AND illustrators. 
    • Stories where the main characters are not human are often under represented in school book collections for young children. This could be an animal main character or something else (eg. crayon, vegetable, toy, stick). Yet many of these stories have just as rich empathy themes as those with human stories. When my own children were  3 to 7 years old, most of their favourite stories were ones that didn’t have human main characters. 

I am passionate about making it easier for children, their parents and those that work in primary schools to find the right book for a particular child or group of children.  I have hand-picked 37 books to introduce you to some of the best children’s authors and illustrators and to introduce you to the variety of picture books available. 



In the collections below there are:

    • 18 stories with main characters that are animals
    • 5 with animal and human main characters
    • 10 with human main characters
    • 4 with other main characters (e.g a stick, pea, crayon, and toy).



Picture book collection 1

Picture book collection 2

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