Reading comprehension articles
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best alternate reality books for kids
Who wouldn't want to live in worlds of floating castles, wizards and dragons, talking horses and endless summer nights? Writer Richard Lambert, author of The Wolf Road and Shadow Town, picks his favourite children's books set in an alternate reality to help your child find their own favourite land of magic and enchantment.
What your child learns in Nursery: English and literacy
From learning new vocabulary to mastering the correct pencil grip, here are the literacy skills your child will start to develop in Nursery.
10 reasons poetry is great for kids
How do poems help with learning, and how can you inspire a love of poetry in primary-school children? Charlotte Hacking, judge of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Awards (CLiPPA), shares her tips.
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
60 reading challenges for primary school kids
Great ideas for keeping your child engaged with reading and broadening their taste in books.
4 things parents need to know about 'reading barriers' and how to overcome them
Learning to read is a complex task and it's common for children to come up against "reading barriers". Parent and teacher Alex Quigley, author of Closing the Reading Gap, suggests ways you can help your child overcome difficulties at home.
12 of the best home learning websites for kids
We've rounded up some of our favourite online resources to support your child's learning at home.
Best reading apps for kids
Encourage and develop your child's passion for reading with these brilliant book apps for kids.
How to teach your child to use a dictionary
Learning to use a dictionary is an important curriculum skill and will help your child expand their vocabulary. Here's how to help them find their way around it.
9 reasons kids struggle with reading – and what you can do about it
Not all children take to books easily. If your child finds reading tricky, read our guide to the problems they might be having.
Why writing book reviews is great for kids
Writing book reviews can help your child engage more deeply with what they're reading, find their next favourite series or author and develop their writing skills. Georgina Atwell, founder of kids' book review website Toppsta, offers her tips for helping your child share their love of reading with other bookworms.
How to build your child’s vocabulary
Help your child become a master of words with these great tips for boosting vocabulary at home.
Best books for seven year olds: early readers
Mechanical pirates, hungry dinosaurs, a pair of talking mice, a mischievous group of creatures called the Gigglers and two clever dogs make these books the perfect choice for new readers who are seven.
Best modern classics for KS2 children
Ancient secret societies, a Stone Age boy and an Edwardian girl, a planet terrorised by jelly-like creatures and a 'practically perfect' nanny make these books the ideal twentieth-century classic reading choices for children in Key Stage 2.
Best kids' books by best-selling adult authors
When you find an author you love you want to share your discovery with everyone – including the next generation! Thankfully lots of the world's best-selling adult authors have also written junior fiction so you can get the kids hooked on John Grisham or Jenny Colgan sooner rather than later!
Best books for eleven year olds
Armoured bears, flying witches, adventures on the rooftops of Paris, a magical shop and an island with a terrifying secret make these books perfect for eleven year olds looking for a challenging, enthralling read! You might be tempted to dive in yourself, too...
Best books for six year olds: independent reading
Lonely rainclouds, tea-drinking dogs, dastardly dragons and grumpy giants make this selection for six year olds the perfect choice for developing readers. The illustrations are wonderful and there isn't too much text, so these books are perfect for a first foray into the world of independent reading.
Inspiring children to read
When it comes to encouraging children's love of books and reading, teachers (and librarians!) are the experts. We asked Ashley Booth – reader, Year 6 teacher and passionate advocate of children's books – to share his tips for teachers (and for parents!) on igniting a love of reading in primary-school children.
Best children's books about dance, drama and the stage
Does your child love to perform? Do they dream of a life on the stage or on television, dancing or acting or singing? Whether they're hoping to become a ballerina or a pop star or just love reading about actors, dancers and musicians, we've picked some of the best kids' books that celebrate performance and dance.
Best children's books about the Anglo Saxons
Travel back in time to the dawn of England and find out more about the Anglo Saxons, their stories and their lives. Teacher and literacy expert Ashley Booth shares his pick of the best historical fiction set in the time of King Alfred, including different retellings of the epic Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf.
Best books to read with five year olds
Reading time is time to laugh, share and explore stories with your child. Choose books that have a strong rhythm to them and are full of humour, rhyme and attractive illustrations. We've picked ten of our favourites to read with five year olds.
Best books for six year olds: picture books
A rooster who wears skinny jeans, a greedy tiger, a gang of skateboarding fairies and a yoga-teaching giraffe make these hilarious picture books for six year olds the perfect reading choice!
Best books to read with six year olds
There is something magical about being whisked away by words into the lives of various characters and sharing a story with someone else, be it a parent, carer, grandparent or sibling. Below is a list of wonderful books, perfect for six year olds, for you to share and read together (snuggled under a duvet at bedtime, if possible!).
Best books to read with seven year olds
This collection of recommended books to read with your seven year old includes some lovely poems about the great outdoors and nature, a spooky collection of ghost stories, an exciting adventure into an Egyptian tomb and a journey into the magical, wintry land of Narnia. Curl up together and enjoy!
Best books for seven year olds: picture books
Picture books aren't only for young children who haven't learnt to read yet! These beautiful, thought-provoking and complex picture books are perfect for seven year olds (and their adults!).
Best books for seven year olds: chapter books
Short chapters, charming characters, hilarious storylines, beautiful illustrations and rich language make these books the perfect pick for seven year olds.
Best books for nine year olds
Ninja cats, lazy dragons, stolen jewels, talking china rabbits and a magical land hidden beneath King’s Cross Station make these books for nine year olds essential and exciting reading!
Best books for eight year olds
Enchanted horses, evil emperors, busking cats, strange gadgets, crooked kidnappers, a clever spider and a wizard with revenge on his mind make these books the perfect pick for eight year olds!
Best children's books about the Great Fire of London and the Plague
Make the events of 1665 and 1666 come to life for children (and for you!) with teacher Ashley Booth's pick of the best children's fiction about the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. From KS1 early readers to chapter books, there's a historical fiction option for all ages.
Best children's books about the Stone Age
Life in prehistoric times is incredibly hard to picture, but teacher Ashley Booth's pick of the best Stone Age stories and novels for kids will help transport your child (far) back in time .
Best children's books about WWII
World War II was a pivotal time in British history. These page-turning reads will give your children a real insight into what life was like for both children and adults, on the battle field and on the Home Front. By Ashley Booth
Best picture books for five year olds
Picture books are a fantastic way to develop children’s speaking and listening skills. They also provide a brilliant starting point for children to hypothesise and draw inferences about characters’ thoughts, feelings and actions. Allow time for your child to pore over the illustrations in these beautiful books, make predictions and discuss the story with you.
16 ways to help a struggling reader in Key Stage 2
Is reading yet to click for your child? These ideas, from hi-low readers to establishing a reading buddy pet, will help set them on the right track.
How dyslexia affects reading
From difficulty with phonics to ‘dancing’ letters, dyslexic children may face extra challenges when they're learning to read. We explain how you can support their learning at home.
What is a free reader?
Every parent looks forward to their child graduating from reading scheme books, but how and when do they make the leap? We explain what a 'free reader' is and when your child is likely to graduate from reading schemes.
What is mystery text?
Mystery text explained for parents, including examples of how children might work on crime stories in KS2 and suggestions of great mystery story books for children aged 8 to 12.
What is a fable?
Fables tell us a story and teach us a lesson at the same time and we've been hearing them, retelling them and writing them for over two thousand years. We explain how primary-school children learn about fables and Aesop in our guide for parents.
What is a traditional tale?
Traditional tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks play an important part in early literacy. We explain how these well-known stories are used to help develop reading comprehension and early writing skills, and explain how you can help your child's learning with fairy tales at home.
Best word games for children
Expand vocabulary, develop spelling skills, learn about homophones, anagrams and synonyms and compose huge numbers of silly sentences... all while having a great time. Whether your child is 3 or 13, our favourite word board games and literacy card games offer fast-paced fun for the whole family.