Top 10 Best Books for Learning to Read

Learning to read can seem like a daunting task. For children, it can be overwhelming to learn a brand new skill but it is definitely exciting for them when it starts to click and they can get reading on a whole host of brilliant books and stories that will stay with them for years. For parents, it can be tricky to know how to best help them with their reading at home and what reading scheme and phonics books to introduce them to at what age and level. So, we're here to help you find the right books to teach your children how to read with our wide range of fun phonics reading books as well as reads for both the fiction and fact fans. 

We've also included some advice from fellow parents and guardians in our Facebook audience so you have some practical tips to follow as well.

1. Biff, Chip and Kipper First Experiences Collection - 10 Books

3 years +

Biff, Chip and Kipper are known for helping children build their reading confidence but in these books for young readers, children can also confidently understand first experiences. Each of the ten books in this series focuses on a common childhood experience, from going to the doctor to getting your first pet. The familiar figures of Biff Chip and Kipper guide children through these situations whilst also introducing new vocabulary to readers aged three and up.

2. Reading Champion: Beginners Collection - 30 Books

3 years +

This collection comes from Reading Champion which is a scheme designed to support your child's reading by seeing them progress through levels linked to the guided reading that they'll be doing in school. All the books in this collection are written for children aged 3 and over who are starting to read independently at Book Band levels Pink-Green. The stories are all exciting and entertaining for young readers and feature characters they'll love. 

3. Engage Literacy Wonder Words Collection - 24 Books

3 years +

Get young readers familiar with 100 high-frequency words in this 20-book collection. The first books have very simple text to get them started on their reading journey and other books include more repetitive and rhythmic language to support their understanding. This collection also comes with a poster so both you and your child can easily track reading progress.

4. Ladybird Read It Yourself Collection - 30 Books 

3 years +

This collection of 30 books from Ladybird covers levels 1-4 and includes stories and characters loved by children everywhere including Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit and Kung Fu Panda as well as figures from the classics like The Little Mermaid and Goldilocks. As your young readers progress through the books and the levels they can build their confidence and start independently.

5. Songbirds Phonics Collection - 36 Books

Julia Donaldson

4 years +

The bestselling author of The Gruffalo has turned her hand to creating books for early readers and created the Songbirds Phonics Collection. There are a mighty 36 books in this collection and each one uses rhythm-and-rhyme to help children recognise sounds, words and the natural rhythm of language.

6. Beginning to Read Collection

5 years +

If your child is more interested in learning something new than reading stories then this collection of 20 fact books is ideal. The books 

include information on scientific, historical and geographical topics that will hold the attention of inquisitive minds. The collection is split into three levels with level 1 focusing on simple sentences, Level 2 encouraging independent reading and Level 3 featuring more complicated language and varied sentence structure to build up their understanding over time.

7. Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper Levels 4-6 Collection

5 years +

These Biff, Chip and Kipper books for children reading at Levels 4-6 allow your kids to learn to read with familiar faces and through interesting stories. The books have a focus on phonics and feature a guide for parents to provide tips for teaching your kids to read. This classic collection is a must for every child's bookshelf.   

8. Little Gems Collection - 10 Books

5 years +

The Little Gems books have been designed for those who find reading tricky (including those with dyslexia) by featuring spaced text and easy-to-read font. This collection of stories is the perfect introduction to chapter books and feature titles from Julia Donaldson, Jeremy Strong and Michael Morpurgo and has artwork from top illustrators such as Chris Riddell, Peter Bailey and Hannah Shaw.

9. Treetop Fiction Collection 

7 years +

For those reading at the Brown band or Oxford levels 9-11, this set of books from the Treetops scheme is ideal. Each book features a hugely entertaining tale and comes with notes to support readers as well. With a wide range of stories included, ranging from Captain Comet and the Purple Planet to The Masked Cleaning Ladies of Om to Amy the Hedgehog Girl, these books are designed to not only help them build their reading confidence but to develop a life-long love of reading too.

10. National Trust: The Secret Diary of John Drawbridge, a Medieval Knight in Training

Philip Ardagh

7 years +

John Drawbridge is a knight in training and he has a lot to learn before he can be trusted to defend Wildmoat Castle. If your kid is a history lover then this fact-filled read, published in association with the National Trust, will teach them all they ever wanted to know about knights of the Medieval era and help them grow in their reading ability along the way.

Learning to read can be really enjoyable for your child and can be a very rewarding process for you, as their parent, to be involved in. All of the books on this list are designed to be engaging for your kids and to encourage them to become keen book lovers as they grow in their reading confidence. At Book People, we're determined to help create new bookworms in every way we can. Make sure you're following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more advice and recommendations around learning to read and building reading confidence in children. 

  • Letts Wild About: Ages 3-5 Collection - 5 Books - Collection - 9780007953486
    LTWA 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £19.95
    • Save £14.96Save 74%
    • Just £1.00 per book
    Covering the topics of numbers, counting, writing, the alphabet and phonics, these activity-filled workbooks from Letts all feature amazing animals and will help children aged between 3 and 5 get to grips with English and Maths.

    Supporting the Early Years Curriculum, the books have accessible activities which allow children to practise key numeracy and literacy skills, while also exploring the world of animals through weird and wonderful facts.
  • Little Gems Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9781781127759
    LGMS 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £9.99
    • RRP £59.90
    • Save £49.91Save 83%
    • Just £1.00 per book
    The Little Gems books are appealing first readers that have been especially designed with spaced text and an innovative, easy-to-read font for those who struggle with reading (including dyslexic children).

    Including books by authors including Julia Donaldson, Jeremy Strong and Michael Morpurgo, the tales in this collection also feature artwork by well-known illustrators including Chris Riddell, Peter Bailey and Hannah Shaw. A marvellous introduction to chapter books, children will get to enjoy stories about animals, friendship and adventures as they work their way through.

    These books also feature black and white illustrations and fun extras such as jokes and games to encourage and entertain. The stories are split into manageable short chapters to help make reading on your own less scary.

    Format: paperback
    Please note these Little Gem Readers are a larger format than some you may have seen in the shops. As we are offering 10 books for under £10, our editions have white paper but are still presented in a style that is suitable for anyone who struggles with reading.
  • Ladybird Read It Yourself Collection - 30 Books - Collection - 9780241327852
    LBRY 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £21.99
    • RRP £149.70
    • Save £127.71Save 85%
    • Just 73p per book
    From the much-admired experts at Ladybird books comes this collection that includes a mixture of classics like The Ugly Duckling and contemporary favourites including Kung-Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

    Covering Levels 1-4, the 30 stories have been written in conjunction with educational experts and include a variety of key, high-frequency words that are vital when it comes to learning to read. A limited number of story words are also introduced and practised.

    These books will help build the confidence of new readers and as they tackle each level, they'll become more fluent and start to read independently. Many of the books include comprehension puzzles, helpful notes for parents, carers and teachers and more detailed book band information.

    Level 1: For children who are ready to take their first steps in reading
    Level 2: For beginner readers who can read short, simple sentences with help
    Level 3: For more confident readers who can read simple stories with some help.
    Level 4: Longer stories for more independent, fluent readers.
    Format: paperback
  • EEJ2 7 years +
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00Save 42%
    John Drawbridge moves to Wildmoat Castle to learn how to be a knight in this hilarious and fact-filled book from popular author, Philip Ardagh.

    John discovers he has a lot to cram in if he is to succeed - including why spiral staircases go clockwise, how to defend a castle against invading parties and the reasons that plates served at banquet are made of stale bread (which you definitely shouldn't eat!).

    Published in association with the National Trust, this fun book will help children learn about Medieval times and inspire them to read on further about this fascinating era.
  • Beginning to Read Collection - 20 Books - Collection - 9780753444436
    BTRE 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £14.99
    • RRP £99.80
    • Save £84.81Save 84%
    • Just 75p per book
    Children who prefer facts to fiction can learn all about science, technology, history, nature and more with this informative selection of books.

    The beautifully designed books gradually progress through three different levels, meaning children will build their confidence and fluency as they make their way through each one. They're all packed with interesting facts and are perfect for dipping in and out of as children start to enjoy reading independently.

    Level 1 is suitable for those beginning to read with its simple sentences, repetitive vocabulary and low word count; Level 2 is for those beginning to read alone with short and simple sentences containing more familiar vocabulary; and the Level 3 books have more varied sentence structure and specialist vocabulary alongside fact boxes and labels.

    Format: paperback
  • Biff, Chip and Kipper First Experiences Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9780192771896
    BCKF 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £9.99
    • RRP £49.90
    • Save £39.91Save 79%
    • Just £1.00 per book
    From going to the doctor to welcoming a new baby into the family, Biff, Chip and Kipper introduce children to a range of common experiences and new vocabulary in these 10 sensitively written storybooks.

    Each book contains fun activities at the end based around the story so children can further understand the plots and develop their skills. They are also full of tips for parents and teachers to make reading together more rewarding.

    Format: paperback
  • Treetop Fiction Collection - 15 Books - Collection - 9780192771926
    TRTP 7 years +
    7 years +
    • £12.99
    • RRP £112.50
    • Save £99.51Save 88%
    • Just 87p per book
    These carefully levelled stories (Oxford levels 9-11; suitable for those studying at Brown band level) range from spooky tales to science-fiction adventures. They have been specially written to help children find the right books for their tastes while also developing their reading skills.

    From The Masked Cleaning Ladies of Om to Flan Across the River, each entertaining book also has inside-cover notes to help support children in their reading.

    There are five books each covering three different difficulty levels and all of the stories are appealingly illustrated.

    Format: paperback
  • Reading Champion: Beginners Collection - 30 Books - Collection - 9781445166292
    RCPG 3 years +
    3 years +
    • £16.99
    • RRP £149.70
    • Save £132.71Save 88%
    • Just 57p per book
    Every title in this bumper selection of Reading Champion books has been specifically designed for children aged 3 and over who are starting to read independently (Book Band level: Pink-Green).

    From Flip the Flamingo to the Toy Shop Train and Merlin the Mouse, these expertly levelled books are full of appealing themes and easy-to-follow plots and will support the books read in school classrooms.

    The original stories have diverse artwork and contain reading advice and activities to further aid learning.

    Reading Champion is an innovative series, designed to support and enrich your child's reading experience at home. It is the first ever officially levelled reading programme linking to the guided reading that your child is doing in the classroom.

    Format: paperback
  • Time to Read Collection - 20 Books - Collection - 9781529006018
    TTOR 4 years +
    4 years +
    • £15.99
    • RRP £99.80
    • Save £83.81Save 83%
    • Just 80p per book
    Featuring the likes of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell, this collection contains 20 original picture books adapted into early reader format with easy-to-read type.

    The familiar stories and characters and funny tales in this collection will inspire children who are just starting to read independently and will quickly become bookshelf favourites.

    Other brilliant tales in this collection include Football Fever, The Giant of Jum and What the Ladybird Heard.

    Format: paperback
  • Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper Levels 4-6 Collection - 25 Books - Collection - 9780192745712
    RWBN 5 years +
    5 years +
    • £17.99
    • RRP £123.75
    • Save £105.76Save 85%
    • Just 72p per book
    Especially published for children at reading levels 4-6 and always popular with Book People customers, we're excited to bring you this massive 25-book Oxford Reading Tree collection starring Biff, Chip and Kipper.

    A scheme used by the vast majority of primary schools, these books will help children aged 5 and over develop into confident readers, and the familiar characters and entertaining stories are sure to be returned to again and again.

    Focusing on phonics so young readers can practise their sounds and letters, these first stories allow children to practise reading everyday language too. With eight covering each level, the fun-filled books come in a popper case and the collection also includes a parents' guide.
    Format: paperback