The Best Books to Help Your Child Transition From Picture Books

Venturing into the world of proper 'grown-up' books can be a bit daunting for little readers! But these fun, colourful and carefully-levelled books will help transition budding booklovers from picture books to bigger books gently and easily, with plenty of laughs along the way. See below for the best books to help your child transition from picture books.

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1. Raccoon on the Moon

Russell Punter & David Semple

Much-loved children's publisher Usborne has created a range of fantastically fun phonics books, including this truly space-tacular story! It features a raccoon who's off on a whirlwind adventure to the moon. The simple story and lively illustrations guarantee lots of fun and plenty of essential learning for children who are starting to read by themselves.

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2. Follow the Swallow

Julia Donaldson

Part of the exciting Reading Ladder range, this wonderful story comes from the bestselling author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson. When Apollo the swallow flies to Africa, Chack the blackbird wants to send him a message. But Africa is a long way away! Can a jumpy dolphin, a grumpy camel, a greedy crocodile and a playful monkey help to deliver the message? The books in the Reading Ladder series are sure to help children learn to read in an engaging, enjoyable way.

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3. The Story of the Dancing Frog

Quentin Blake

This poignant and funny story is part of the Little Gems series for not-so-confident readers, presented on high-quality paper with easy-to-read font. Written by sensational storyteller Quentin Blake, this is the tale of a heartbroken widow whose husband has drowned at sea. But then she discovers a friendly amphibian who's no ordinary frog... this one likes to dance! Soon, the two are touring the world with a new routine, spreading light and laughter wherever they go.

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4. Star Wars Readers Series

DK

Little Jedi will love learning how to read alongside characters from the Star Wars universe in this out-of-this-world series. As it progresses through reading levels 1 to 3, this 15-book saga answers new Star Wars questions (such as: what is a wookiee?), and introduces the likes of C-3PO, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

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5. Songbirds Phonics Collection

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, writes in her perfectly playful and rhythmic style in these vibrant books, which feature bright illustrations and lots of fun! Little readers are sure to be engrossed as they develop their reading skills with these bite-sized stories.

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6. Read With Biff, Chip and Kipper: Up You Go and Other Stories

Roderick Hunt

This super selection features four fantastic books in one, including Kipper's Alphabet I Spy, Chip's Letter Sounds, and the stories Up You Go, I See, Get On, and Who Can You See? Level 1 first stories have been specially written for newly independent readers, helping them learn and practise a range of key everyday words and develop early reading skills. These engaging tales include tips for reading together as well as puzzles and fun activities.

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7. My Little Pony Series

Join Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and all the other characters from Equestria in this perfect My Little Pony series! These eight first chapter books are ideal for kids who are just starting to read. They will help children learn about the magic of friendship and there are even bonus activity pages at the back of each book. With heart-warming tales and lots of adventure, young readers will adore these special stories.

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8. My Very First Joke Book

Kaye Umansky

Find all the very funniest jokes in this brilliant joke book! It's packed with over 60 jokes and rhymes, each with a hilarious illustration. This is the perfect book for playground comedians and new readers.

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9. A First Poetry Book

Pie Corbett

This lively collection of poems is sure to inspire a love of poetry in young readers. It covers a range of topics, from everyday themes like food, friends and family, to subjects more fantastical and phenomenal, including monsters, mermaids and dinosaurs! Show your kids how exciting poetry can be with this engaging book.

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10. The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog

Jeremy Strong

When Trevor agrees to walk Streaker the dog every day during the Easter holidays for 30 pounds, he reckons it's a great offer. But Streaker the dog can outrun a torpedo, so this job certainly won't be a walk in the park! To make things worse, Trevor doesn't realise that this won't be the only problem he'll have to face during the holidays... This barking mad story is sure to have kids yelping with laughter!

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Looking for more books for budding bookworms? See our range of early reading books and reading schemes.

  • AEVJM 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £2.20Save 20.00%
    Read With Biff, Chip and Kipper is the UK's best-selling home reading series. It is based on Oxford Reading Tree which is used in 80% of primary schools. This Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper Level 1 Collection is great value, containing 4 books in 1! It includes Kipper's Alphabet I Spy, Chip's Letter Sounds, and the stories Up You Go, I See, Get On and Who Can You See? Level 1 First Stories have been specially written to introduce and practise a range of key everyday words and to develop early reading skills through simple stories. Level 1 Phonics practise sounds and letters, just as children learn to do in school with the help of Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy. This collection focuses on the alphabet and letter names, letter sounds and letter shapes, and combining sounds to read simple words. These engaging stories include tips for reading together and for talking about the story, puzzles and fun activities. Written by Roderick Hunt and beautifully illustrated by Alex Brychta, they are the perfect introduction to learning to read! This series also provides free support for parents through www.oxfordowl.co.uk. Visit the Oxford Owl for practical advice for helping children learn to read, all you need to know about phonics and lots of fun activities and free eBooks.
  • AKUSQ 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £4.49
    • RRP £4.99
    • Save £0.50Save 10.00%
    My Very First Joke Book is full of the very funniest and best jokes! This is an excellent introduction to jokes and joke-telling. Over 60 jokes and rhymes, each with their own hilarious illustration - perfect for playground comedians. There are 'Knock, knock!' jokes, 'Doctor, doctor' jokes, monster jokes, and plain daft jokes. There are silly rhymes, crazy crossbreeds and a whole library of joke titles. Each one is in a large easy-to-read typeface and has its own humorous illustration to make it even funnier! Kaye Umansky is best known as the creator of Pongwiffy (Puffin) - hugely popular with children because of the irreverent humour. Kaye's trademark humour is evident in all her books and she is well qualified to write a joke book for very young children.
  • 6HMH 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £3.00Save 50.00%
    The Hundred-mile-an-hour Dog is a Red House Children's Book Award winner and a popular choice for keen young readers.

    It's the Easter holidays and Trevor's mum bribes him to walk Streaker the dog every day. Thirty pounds is a big bribe but Streaker can out-accelerate a torpedo, so this is not a doddle of a job. Trevor finally agrees to the deal, little realising that this won't be the only problem of the holidays...

    Yelps of laughter abound in Jeremy Strong's hilarious book for readers aged 5+!

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • FPB2 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00Save 42.0000000000000005684341886080801486968994140625%
    Young readers will love dipping into this lively and inspiring collection of poems compiled by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan.

    It covers a range of topics from the ordinary and everyday themes of food, friends and families to subjects more fantastical and imaginative including monsters, mermaids and dinosaurs.

    A First Poetry Book is ideal for newly independent readers, not to mention a great classroom resource for Key Stage One teachers.
  • ANLSM 5 years +
    5 years +
    (1)
    • £5.39
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £0.60Save 10.00%
    A lively story with humorous illustrations, ideal for children who are beginning to read for themselves, or for reading aloud together. With simple rhyming text and phonic repetition, specially designed to develop essential language and early reading skills. Guidance notes for parents are included at the back of the book.
  • DFO2 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00Save 42.0000000000000005684341886080801486968994140625%
    Part of the Little Gems series for not-so-confident readers (and those who struggle with dyslexia), this story is presented on high-quality cream paper and with a special easy-to-read font.

    Written by Quentin Blake, is the story of a heartbroken widow of a captain that drowned at sea who discovers a friendly amphibian at her lowest point. However, this is no ordinary frog - this one likes to dance!

    The duo are soon touring the world with their new routine, spreading light and laughter wherever they go...
  • My Little Pony Collection - 8 Books - Collection - 9781408349380
    LPNY 6 years +
    6 years +
    (1)
    • £7.99
    • RRP £39.92
    • Save £31.93Save 79.0000000000000017053025658242404460906982421875%
    • Just £1.00 per book
    Join Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and all the other characters from Equestria in this perfect My Little Pony collection.

    With eight first chapter books to read through, this is a bumper collection of stories that are ideal for those children (aged 6 and over) who are just starting to read. They will help children learn about the magic of friendship and there are even bonus activity pages at the back of every book.

    These are super, heart-warming stories that My Little Pony fans will enjoy over and over again: Twilight Sparkle casts a crystal heart spell; Pinkie Pie enjoys a rocking pony party; and Princess Celestia has to help with a royal rescue.
  • Star Wars Readers Collection - 15 Books - Collection - 9780241289020
    SWRF
    • £14.99
    • RRP £74.85
    • Save £59.86Save 78.99999999999999772626324556767940521240234375%
    • Just £1.00 per book
    Your little Jedi can learn how to read with characters from the Star Wars universe in this out-of-this-world collection.

    As it moves up through the reading levels 1 to 3, this 15-book collection will answer a new Star Wars fan's questions including 'What is a Wookiee?' and introduce the likes of C-3PO, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

    15 book collection covers reading levels 1-3.
  • FLZ2 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £4.99
    • Save £2.00Save 40.00%
    Written by Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo, Follow the Swallow is a charming story all about friendship and exploration. It's been written especially for children starting to read by themselves.

    When Apollo the swallow flies to Africa, Chack the blackbird wants to send him a message. But Africa is far away. Can a jumpy dolphin, a grumpy camel, a greedy crocodile and a playful monkey help to deliver the message?

    Part of the Reading Ladder series, this book helps children enjoy learning to read. It features a well-loved author, classic characters and favourite topics, so that children will find something exciting and engaging.
  • Songbirds Phonics Collection - 36 Books - Collection - 9780198411093 - Julia Donaldson
    SONB
    (66)
    • £16.99
    • RRP £128.82
    • Save £111.83Save 86.00000000000000227373675443232059478759765625%
    • Just 47.00p per book
    Written by Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo, the 36 books in this Songbirds Phonics Collection are especially designed to help ease young children through the process of learning to read.

    From the Oxford Reading Tree, this collection combines playful rhythm-and-rhyme tales with vibrant and interesting illustrations sure to engage little ones.

    Great for encouraging gradual progress and for preparing children for studies in primary school or supplementing their early learning, these bite-sized tales will promote an early positive reading experience.