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by | Mar 23, 2018

Picture books for older readers

Who says we have to leave picture books behind in Key Stage 1? These wonderful books use spellbinding illustrations to introduce children to big ideas.

A Child of Books

Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston
Age: 5+ | Oxford Level 7

A beautiful picture book all about the wonder and importance of books. What’s not to like?

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How to Live Forever

Colin Thompson
Age: 5–7 | Oxford Level 13–14

Exquisitely detailed illustrations bring this tale of a boy who lives in a world of books to life. Join him as he travels through strange worlds to find the secret of how to live forever.

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Town is by the Sea

Joanne Schwartz
Age: 5–8 | Oxford Level 8

This wonderful book works on so many levels. On the one hand, it is the story of a boy growing up by the sea, but many other themes are woven into the story though the words and enchanting illustrations.

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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Mordecai Gerstein
Age: 5–8 | Oxford Level 15

In 1974, Philippe Petit walked across a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. This picture book tells the story of the event through glorious images and well-chosen words. For adults reading, the ending is especially poignant.

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The Arrival

Shaun Tan
Age: 6–11

A wordless masterpiece that explores what it is like to leave all you have know and travel to somewhere new and strange.

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The Rabbits

John Marsden, Shaun Tan
Age: 6–11 | Oxford Level 10–11

A rich tale about man’s effect on the environment, told through a story about rabbits.

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Grahame Baker-Smith
Age: 7+ | Oxford Level 13–14

Drawing on the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, this exquisite picture book tells the story of a father’s obsession with flight and his relationship with his son.

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Black Dog

Levi Pinfold
Age: 7–9 | Oxford Level 10–11

When a black dog appears at the Hope family’s door, everyone but the youngest Hope hides from it. The dog grows bigger and bigger until it is confronted. A beautifully-illustrated allegory perfect for talking to children about confronting their fears.

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Chart: Book Bands and Oxford Reading Levels

Age 4–5 Age 5–6 Age 6–7
Year: Reception Year: 1 Year: 2
Band: Lilac / Level: 1 Band: Blue / Level: 4 Band: Turquoise / Level: 7
Band: Pink / Level: 1+ Band: Green / Level: 5 Band: Purple / Level: 8
Band: Red / Level: 2 Band: Orange / Level: 6 Band: Gold / Level: 9
Band: Yellow / Level: 3   Band: White / Level: 10
    Band: Lime / Level: 11
Age 7–8 Age 8–9 Age 9–10
Year: 3 Year: 4 Year: 5
Band: Brown / Level: 9–11 Band: Grey / Level: 14 Band: Dark Blue / Level: 16
Band: Grey / Level: 12–13 Band: Dark Blue / Level: 15 Band: Dark Red / Level: 17
Age 10–11
Year: 6
Band: Dark Red / Level: 18–20