Books for first school experiences

Topsy and Tim: Start School

Join family favourites Topsy and Tim on their very first day of school. From the classroom to the playground to the canteen and back again, young readers will discover how much fun school can be as they follow Topsy, Tim and their friends through their first day. This is a great read for children starting out on their own school adventure, showing them what they can expect and providing gentle reassurance to even the most nervous new student.

Topsy and Tim: Have Itchy Heads

Catching head lice is never fun, but this funny and engaging story will help reassure any child going through this unpleasant experience. When Topsy and Tim realise the reason that their heads are so itchy is because they have caught head lice at school, nobody is best pleased – least of all Mummy. Luckily, she knows a way to get rid of the problem and, with the right treatment, it’s not long before those nasty nits are gone.

Topsy and Tim Sports Day

The first year at school is full of new experiences, and sports day is no exception. Follow Topsy and Tim as they take part in their very first sports day together, getting involved in lots of different races, as they have fun being active and enjoying the day with their friends. This book will show youngsters what to expect and even why taking part is more important than winning.

Topsy and Tim: Help a Friend

Topsy and Tim want to help one of their school friends, Stevie Dunton; Stevie is unhappy at school because he is being bullied. Topsy and Tim aren’t sure what to do, but just by talking to their Mummy and to Miss Terry, they are able to help Stevie. This sensitively told story gently shows children what bullying is and why it is wrong, helping them understand why, if they ever find themselves in a similar situation, telling an adult is the best thing to do.

Books to help their learning at school

Cinderella - Read it yourself with Ladybird Level 1

If you know a princess-loving new reader, make their dreams come true and introduce them to this Read it yourself version of the classic fairy-tale. Cinderella is longing to go to the ball, but she’s stuck at home in her rags – that is, until her Fairy Godmother turns up. Young readers can follow Cinderella’s adventures by reading the story out loud, at home or in a guided reading session. Simple sentences and repeated words make it easy to follow, building confidence and encouraging children to have fun with their reading.

Peppa Pig: Daddy Pig’s Office – Read it yourself with Ladybird Level 2

This Level 2 Read it yourself book is designed for children who can already read simple sentences and are ready to move on in their reading journey. Peppa Pig fans will enjoy telling this story, as they join Peppa and George on a visit to Daddy Pig’s office. The text includes many high-frequency words that are vital for improving reading comprehension, and the book has been put together by experts to encourage independent reading at home as well as guided reading during a school session.

My Little Pony First Phonics Activity Book

The perfect phonics guide for My Little Pony fans, this sticker activity book takes children through a series of activities designed to build up their reading and spelling comprehension and confidence. Twilight Sparkle and her Pony friends are on hand to guide young readers through the exercises. Letters and sounds are introduced in a systematic order, making it easy to follow. With lots of colourful illustrations and stickers to use, this is a fun way to support your child’s school learning at home while helping to develop their phonics skills.

First Pencil Practice: Ladybird I'm Ready to Write Sticker Activity Book

With charming illustrations, fun activities and plenty of stickers to decorate their designs with, First Pencil Practice is an absorbing way of helping children develop the fine motor skills that are essential for writing. They’ll get to practise their early skills, from drawing straight, wavy and zig-zag lines to colouring pictures and staying within the lines. There’s also specific help for left-handed writers and plenty of ways to encourage creativity, including making birthday cards and even drawing a monster…

A Bare Bear

This hilarious little hardback is great for introducing young readers to the delights of playing with language. It’s all about homonyms and homophones – or in other words, it’s a book of words that sound the same. It features bare bears, yackety-yacking yaks and hares with lots of hair. With its bold illustrations and memorable use of language, this is a fantastic book to read out loud together.

My Little Pony First Numbers Activity Book

Develop your child’s familiarity with numbers with this activity book, packed with stickers and bright sparkly illustrations. My Little Pony fans will love learning with Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and their friends, using their newfound number skills to help their favourite Ponies as they work through the activities. Numbers are introduced one by one, and as well as encouraging their counting abilities children will also get to practise their pencil skills and number recognition. 

Fun and fascinating books

Ladybird London: Search and Find

This incredibly detailed book is full of fascinating facts about London and makes a great read for anyone planning a trip to the capital city – parents as well as children. With hundreds of things to spot on every page and stories about all the best-known London landmarks, it’s a great read-aloud activity book and is sure to keep children entertained for hours (maybe, say, on a long train trip into London?)

Sing-along Nursery Rhymes

Encourage your child’s musical talents with this sing-along book. It comes with an audio CD, so accompaniment is provided too. With 14 classic nursery rhymes to work your way through – including Ten Green Bottles, The Grand Old Duke Of York, Miss Polly Had a Dolly, Three Blind Mice, Peter Piper, Five Little Ducks and Two Little Dicky Birds – there’s lots of sing-along fun to be had, and these old favourites are also perfect to share with younger siblings.

Deep Sea Dive

Deep Sea Dive is an audiobook with a difference – part of the Ladybird Audio Adventures series, it takes listeners on an incredible underwater journey of discovery. Join adventurer Cassandra and Missy the raven as they glide through the world’s oceans onboard Cassandra’s newest invention, the water strider. Audiobooks are wonderful for entertaining children without switching on the TV; great for long journeys and pre-bedtime relaxation. This series includes mesmerising sound effects and musical interludes, designed to captivate and inspire children aged four and up.

Amazing Vehicles

Eccentric inventor Cassandra and her super clever raven Missy are back with another incredible audio adventure. This time they’re using Cassandra’s hover-teleporter to help the Transport Museum track down some amazing vehicles. From helicopters to cars to submarines, this audiobook takes listeners from sky to land to sea and everywhere in between. The Ladybird Audio Adventures series is written exclusively for audio, and the incredible sound effects and musical moments make it a truly immersive experience for young story-lovers.

Choose Llamas

Llamas may not be known for encouraging decision-making skills, but this laugh-out-loud paperback is set to change all that. In this highly amusing and wonderfully drawn book, your five-year-old gets to choose their very own llama squad – from superhero sidekick to intergalactic explorer, each page invites the reader to pick one of five llamas to join them on an adventure. Every llama has its own unique style and personality, encouraging discussion and lots of hilarity as your child makes their llama squad picks.

Bedtime books & stories

Ladybird Tales of Super Heroes

Dip into this fantastic collection of myths and legends and try out a bedtime story with a difference. With illustrations from a number of wonderfully talented artists, children will love exploring this colourful compilation of timeless tales. It features Gods and Goddesses, heroes and heroines, and a whole range of tricksters and shape-shifters. Award-winning author David Solomon provides the introduction to this anthology, with stories including Anansi the Spider-Man, Loki and the Magical Hammer, Inanna in the Underworld, Hanuman, Demon Fighter, Shahrazad the Storyteller and The Legend of Hua Mulan.

Ladybird Tales: Jack and the Beanstalk

The classic fairy tale has been given a colourful new look. Rich, detailed illustrations that help children follow the much-loved story of Jack, his magic beans, the beanstalk that mysteriously appears behind his house one day – and, of course, the giant who lives at the top of it. Based on the original Ladybird retelling by Vera Southgate, Jack and the Beanstalk is a tale that has truly stood the test of time, and it’s an essential part of any child’s book collection.

Ladybird Tales: Rapunzel

A sensitively retold version of the traditional story, this edition of Rapunzel makes a wonderful first introduction to fairy tales for children aged three and upwards. Retaining all the most memorable parts of the original tale but with an understanding of what is suitable for a younger audience, children will love exploring the beautifully detailed illustrations and the magical setting. Another of Vera Southgate’s classic retelling, it’s perfect for reading together before snuggling down in bed.

Ladybird Tales: The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Once upon a time, there was a troll who lived under a bridge. And once upon a time, there were three billy goats, all called Gruff, who went trip-trapping over that bridge… the goats who outsmarted a troll have delighted children for years, and in this version, the timeless tale has been given a fresh new look. Richly detailed illustrations provide lots for little eyes to look at, and the story remains as original and funny as ever.

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Mermaid

Deep beneath the sea, it’s time for a little mermaid called Splash to go to bed – but the trouble is, she’s having way too much fun. This gorgeous story is a great bedtime read for any sleep-resistant mermaid-lover, as they join in with counting down to Splash’s bedtime. The bright and bold illustrations are full of character and the story’s gentle rhyming structure helps to slow things down until your little one is ready to say goodnight. 

Beautiful gift books

Sensational Butterflies

Stimulate your child’s curiosity with this sensational butterfly book. With simple text, gorgeous illustrations and lots of fascinating facts, this large-format book shines a spotlight on the vibrant, shimmering world of butterflies and moths. Young readers will be fascinated to learn about these amazing creatures, from how they see to where they live to their incredible wingspans. This is a wonderful book for inspiring children to take an interest in nature and the world around them, showcasing the work of one of the UK's best natural history illustrators, Ben Rothery.

The Ladybird Big Book of Dead Things

This fabulously funny and really quite big book features a lot of dead things, from dinosaurs to stars to Ancient Egyptian mummies. The stylish illustrations, delightful animal characters and fascinating stories bring a whole range of these dead things to wonderful life, teaching children some crucial realities about the world’s history in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. It’s a perfect gift for curious five-year-olds who enjoy a joke and are just starting to develop their understanding of the world.

The Big Book of the UK

From Scotland to Wales and England to Northern Ireland, the UK has some amazing stories to tell – and you’ll find quite a few of them here, in the Big Book of the UK. With all sorts of facts about wildlife, food, sports, geography, language and history, readers of this book will find themselves uncovering national secrets and unearthing local legends – and that goes for adults, as well as children. Oh, and look out for a fair few silly place names, too.

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