Please recommend chapter books for 5 year olds

I’m looking for chapter books to read to my preschool class at rest time. The kids are four and five. The books shouldn’t be too advanced or complicated. We only have rest three days a week, so they need to be able to remember what happened last time. We just finished the “My Father’s Dragon” series, which they liked pretty well. I’d especially like suggestions for books with heroines, as long as they’d still appeal to boys as well. Thank you!

The “Jenny and the Cat Club” books, by Esther Averill. Jenny is a shy little cat who wants to join the Cat Club. She has to learn to be brave. There are lots of good boy cats too.

That’s what I always recommend for after My Father’s Dragon. :slight_smile: They are great.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien.

Mrs. House, my 5th grade teacher, read this to us. I fell in love with this book, and have had a copy since I was 12.

I still take it down once a year and read it.

I want to puke when I think about how they completely butchered this simple yet magnificent story when they put it up on the big screen.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman is very good. A great introduction to Norse mythology too.

That’s a bit beyond the grasp of a group of 5 year olds. :dubious:

The early Ramona Quigley books.

Oh, I know! Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Love this book!

Definitely. If she doesn’t mind books about boys, I also highly recommend Cleary’s Henry Huggins and Ribsy books.

E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little are all wonderful.

Maybe too soon for Tolkien’s The Hobbit?

Yes, the Ramona books are wonderful.

Another terrific series is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Each chapter works as a stand-alone story, but they also knit together into some neat over-arching stories.

*Stuart Little *was the first book I ever read with chapters. I second the vote.

What about Frog and Toad books?

Honestly, though, I think for that age range I’d stick to picture books. There’s plenty of time for chapter books later, and picture books are nice and short and easy for the most part.

My Kindergarten teacher read us The Trumpet of the Swan and Caddie Woodlawn.

You’re right; I mentally transposed 5th graders over 5 y/o.

Still, a good book. My niece read it to her kids (on my recommend) and they loved it, and they were around 4 and 6.

The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne (the early ones). My son loved the Magic Treehouse books when he was in preschool and now, at age 7, still re-reads them. The books get more advanced as the series progresses (there’s 40+ books now), but if you start at the beginning of the series the level should be fine for preschoolers.

My girls enjoy the Ivy+Bean books.

Captain Underpants
Ms. Piggle-Wiggle
The Hotel Cat (one of the Cat Club books, but may be more appealing to the boys as well)
Flat Stanley
Roald Dahl - he has lot of shorter stories, like The Twits, that are awesome for younger kids
Amelia Bedelia

Young Cam Jansen series - little girl with “photographic” memory solves cutesy “crimes” in her neighborhood. A good build-up to Encyclopedia Brown books.

I don’t remember if Amelia Bedelia books are chapter books, but they have fun word-play that 5 year olds are just starting to understand - it’s fun to be smarter than a grownup in a book, after all.

Heartily second the Frog and Toad books by Lobel, as well as his Grasshopper on the Road. Also in that really sweet vein are the Little Bear books by Minarik.

Other series:

Katie Woo series (might be a LITTLE old for her)
Amanda Pig series (really easy dialog)
The Golly Sisters series (lots of illustrations)

Of course we read lots of picture books, but I’m looking for books to read to the class at rest time when it is dark and they are lying down in all different parts of the room, hence could not see pictures.

Thanks to all for the good suggestions!

I recommend Junie B Jones. My daughter loved it at that age, though now she’s 9 and has outgrown them.

I loved “The Boxcar Children” and “Little House in the Big Woods.” What about poetry? Some selected Shel Silverstine can be very soothing yet discriptive enough to paint mental pictures. Added benefit is the cadence can be rather comforting.