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The Benefits of Reading – 32 Best Books for 5 Year Olds

The Benefits of Reading – 32 Best Books for 5 Year Olds

As a Dad, teacher, author, and avid reader, I have cherished every moment spent reading to my son, it’s quality time for both of us. We are a multi-lingual household with English, Korean and French story time. I read in English and French and my wife does the Korean part. Younger readers are like sponges and language acquisition is usually a natural process. And, early reading is one of the most important things a parent can do to get their young ones to enjoy reading and languages.

There is a world of magic hidden in the pages of books, waiting to be discovered. Through storytelling, you can unlock the door to this magical world and guide your young one on a journey of discovery, creativity, and learning. I’ve written this article with the hope that it will help you and hopefully shed light on the benefits of reading to your kids. I’ll also explore, the milestones to look out for and share an exclusive list of the best books for 5-year-olds, in a Dad’s view of course…

Why Reading Time Matters

Whether you’re a Dad or Mom, reading to your young ones is more than just a fun activity. It’s an awesome gateway to all of these benefits and more!

Cognitive Development

When we read to young children, we stimulate their brains to promote cognitive development. Cognitive development refers to the construction of thought processes, including memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. It’s essential for a child’s overall growth and forms the foundation for future learning.

Research indicates that early exposure to language, through reading, has a significant impact on a child’s cognitive development. Reading introduces children to new concepts and ideas, broadens their understanding of the world, and enhances their ability to think critically.

Language Development

Reading to young children is a great way to boost their language skills. As we read aloud, children hear the language being used in context, which helps them understand how words work together to convey meaning.

They also get introduced to new words, letter sounds, and sentence structures, expanding their vocabulary and improving their grammar.

Additionally, reading promotes phonemic awareness, helping children recognize the individual sounds that make up words. This aids in the development of their reading and writing skills, setting the foundation for their academic success.

Love for Learning

Reading can instill a lifelong love for learning in young children. When we read to them regularly, children associate books and reading with warmth, love, and attention. This positive association can motivate them to read on their own, fostering a love for books and a thirst for knowledge.

Milestones in Reading Development

It’s important to remember that every child develops at their own pace. However, there are certain milestones that we can look out for as our young children embark on their reading journey.

Recognizing Letters of the Alphabet

One of the first steps in learning to read is recognizing the letters of the alphabet. At around 5 years of age, most children can name some, if not all, of the letters and can match them to their corresponding sounds.

Understanding Simple Words

After recognizing letters, children begin to understand simple words. They start to recognize common sight words and decode simple words by sounding out the letters.

Reading Simple Sentences

As their phonemic awareness and vocabulary grow, children start to read simple sentences. They begin to understand how words come together to form sentences and can follow along as you read simple books.

Benefits of Reading Books

Just like any other skill, reading takes practice. Reading to young children on a regular basis can provide numerous benefits.

Improved Concentration and Discipline

Regular reading can help young children develop better concentration and discipline. As they listen to stories, they learn to sit still and focus on the narrative, improving their attention span and self-discipline.

Enhanced Imagination and Creativity

Reading opens up a world of imagination for young kids. Through stories, they can explore different worlds, meet a variety of characters, and experience numerous adventures. This exposure to diverse situations and characters can spark their creativity and encourage them to think outside the box.

Stronger Parent-Child Bond

Reading together is a special time for parents and children to bond. It’s a moment of tranquility in our otherwise busy lives, a moment where we can connect with our children on a deeper level. This shared activity can strengthen the parent-child bond, promoting a sense of security and belonging in young children.

Best Books for 5 Year Olds

Choosing the right books for your 5-year-old can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To make things easier, I’ve listed some of the best books for 5-year-old. I’ve read all of these at least once with my son and own several of them. These books are not only entertaining but also educational, making them a great addition to your child’s library.

Take it from me…Go to your local library and get new books every Sunday, so you’ll have a few new books a week that you can share with your child.

Picture Books

Picture books are a great way to introduce kids to the world of reading. They combine engaging stories with vibrant illustrations, making reading a visual and immersive experience. Some of my top picks include:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

I’m a big Eric Carle fan and wrote an article about his timeless quotes.

Books that Teach Phonemic Awareness

Books that promote phonemic awareness can be a great tool for developing your child’s reading skills. They introduce children to the sounds that make up words, helping them decode words and read more fluently. Some awesome choices are:

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers” by Bobby Lynn Maslen

The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss

Pete the Cat Phonics Box” by James Dean

Dr.Seuss wrote some classic books for kids and I’ve listed many of them here in one of my earlier articles.

Books that Encourage Hard Work

It’s important to instill the value of hard work in our children from a young age. Books that feature characters who work hard to achieve their goals can serve as great examples for young readers. Some of my favorites include:

The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper

Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

Choosing the Right Reading List

So what now? It’s all about what they like…Not what Dad likes. If they like Dinos, Fairies or Snot Gobblins so be it. You should also consider their reading level and the book’s educational value. Here are some tips:

  • Choose Age-Appropriate Books: The book should match your child’s language skills and cognitive level.
  • Consider Your Child’s Interests: If your child loves sharks, pick a book about sharks. This will make reading more enjoyable for them.
  • Look for Books with Good Illustrations: Bright, colorful illustrations and fun characters can help hold your child’s attention.
  • Choose Books with Repetitive Text: This can help your child learn new words and boost their reading skills.
  • Pick Books that Teach Values: Books can be a great way to teach your child about kindness, sharing, and other important values.

More Good Books for 5-Year-Olds and Preschoolers

Here’s a Dad’s list of fun books for all to read…

Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada

In this heartwarming book, a little bear learns to appreciate his teacher, making it an excellent choice for children who are just starting school.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Guy Parker-Rees

This book tells the story of a giraffe who learns to dance in his own unique way. It’s a great book for teaching children about self-confidence.

Ice Cream Soup by Ann Ingalls

“Ice Cream Soup” is a humorous book about a child who tries to make an ice cream cake but ends up creating soup instead. It’s a fun and engaging read for young children.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Perfect for children who love trucks and construction sites, this book tells bedtime stories about different construction vehicles.

Bob Books by John Maslen

This set of 12 books is designed to help children learn to read using a phonics-based method. It’s an excellent resource for children who are just starting to read independently.

Curious George Curious About Phonics by H.A. Rey

Featuring the beloved character Curious George, this set of 12 books uses phonics to help children learn to read.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

“Hair Love” is a beautiful book that celebrates black hair and individuality. It’s a great book for teaching children about self-love and acceptance.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

This classic book tells the story of Ferdinand, a bull who prefers to smell flowers instead of fighting. It’s a wonderful book for teaching children about being true to themselves.

A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall and Vera Brosgol

This humorous book tells the story of a witch who loves to cook with unusual ingredients. It’s a fantastic book for sparking children’s imaginations.

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

“The Rainbow Fish” is a beautifully illustrated book that teaches children about the importance of sharing.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

“The Most Magnificent Thing” is a book that celebrates creativity, perseverance, and the power of imagination. Written by Ashley Spires, this heartwarming story follows a young girl who sets out to create something truly magnificent. But as she faces challenges and setbacks along the way, she learns the importance of patience, problem-solving, and never giving up.

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

In “Mel Fell” by Corey R. Tabor, readers are introduced to a brave little bird named Mel who decides to test her wings and try flying for the first time. However, things don’t go as planned, and Mel finds herself falling instead of soaring through the sky. As she plummets past various creatures, they all try to help her, but it’s ultimately up to Mel to find her own way.

The Sour Grape by Jory John and Pete Oswald

“The Sour Grape” by Jory John and Pete Oswald tells the story of a grape who holds onto grudges and keeps track of all the things that annoy him. Through this humorous and relatable tale, children learn about empathy, forgiveness, and the power of letting go.

Nell Plants a Tree by Anne Wynter

“Nell Plants a Tree” by Anne Wynter and Daniel Miyares is a captivating story that explores the beauty and importance of nature. As Nell plants a tree, readers witness the transformation and growth of both the tree and the world around it.

Waiting Is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

In “Waiting Is Not Easy!” by Mo Willems, best friends Elephant and Piggie embark on a hilarious and relatable adventure of learning patience. When Piggie tells Elephant that she has a surprise for him but he has to wait for it, Elephant’s impatience gets the best of him.

The Big Book of Trains by DK

For the little train enthusiasts, “The Big Book of Trains” by DK is a captivating and informative exploration of the world of trains. This comprehensive book covers the history of trains, different types of locomotives, and their functions.

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept by Jayneen Sanders and Cherie Zamazing

“Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept” by Jayneen Sanders and Cherie Zamazing tackles the sensitive and important topic of body safety. Through the story of a young boy named Alfred, readers learn about consent, boundaries, and the importance of speaking up when something is wrong.

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall

“The Baby Tree” by Sophie Blackall is a whimsical and humorous book that addresses the age-old question children have about where babies come from. In this story, a young boy named Sam is curious about the baby tree after his parents tell him that they’re expecting a new addition to the family.

The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf

“The Crayon Box That Talked” by Shane DeRolf is a colorful and thought-provoking book that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and the power of teamwork. In this story, a box of crayons learns to appreciate each other’s unique colors and talents.

My Little Golden Book About Misty Copeland by Frank Berrios

“My Little Golden Book About Misty Copeland” is an inspiring biography that introduces young readers to the world-renowned ballet dancer, Misty Copeland. Written by Frank Berrios, this book offers a glimpse into Misty’s journey from a young girl with big dreams to a trailblazing ballerina.

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

“Actual Size” by Steve Jenkins is a fascinating and visually stunning book that explores the true size of various animals and insects. Through its lifelike illustrations and informative text, young readers can compare their own size to that of a gorilla, a giant squid, or even the world’s largest moth.

Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall

In “Miss Nelson Is Missing!” by Harry Allard and James Marshall, readers are introduced to a misbehaving class who takes their kind and patient teacher, Miss Nelson, for granted. However, when Miss Nelson mysteriously disappears, she is replaced by the strict and terrifying Miss Viola Swamp.

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

“A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon is a whimsical and thought-provoking book that explores the themes of self-acceptance and embracing one’s true identity. The story follows a girl named Camilla Cream who loves lima beans but is afraid of what others will think of her.

The Love of Reading

Whether it’s a classic Dr. Seuss book or a new-age picture book, choosing the right books is an important part of their reading journey. Remember, the goal is not just to teach them to read but to instill a love for reading that will last a lifetime. After all, as Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

From nursery rhymes to chapter books, It’s all about sharing a magical world with them, nurturing their curiosity, and fostering a love for learning. Reading is a wonderful way to bond with your child and ignite their imagination. And you know what? I’ve noticed that after a long day at work, reading to my son before bed is the perfect way to simply unwind and appreciate the smaller things. Corny maybe…but all true. Your ‘baby’ won’t be a baby for ever. Parents must cherish the little moments that, at the end, count the most.

The books listed here offer a wide range of captivating stories, beautiful illustrations, and valuable life lessons. Whether it’s learning about creativity, resilience, the natural world, or important social concepts, these books are sure to engage and inspire young readers.

Remember, reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your child. So grab your favorite book, snuggle up, and let the magic of storytelling transport you to new worlds and adventures.

Happy reading!