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Primary School

Independent Reads

Claude at the Circus

Alex T. Smith

Chapter book 

This is part of an award-winning and hugely popular series about a loveable dog called Claude and his hapless companion Sir Bobblysock. In this story, Claude stumbles across a circus and cannot help but inadvertently become the star of the show. This entertaining series is full of slapstick humour and amusing illustrations that hold a high appeal to new readers aged 6-8 looking for a fun, accessible read. Highly recommended!

Marv and the Mega Robot

Alex Falase-Koya & Paula Bowles

Chapter book 

Marvin is an ordinary boy who loves spending time with Grandpa, reading comics, and making science experiments with his best friend Joe. But everything changes when he discovers a mysterious superhero suit hidden in the attic . . . to his amazement, Marvin learns that he is next in a long line of superheroes. Now the time has come to meet his destiny! When the Science Fair is thrown into chaos by super-villain Mastermind and her giant robot, Marvin is the only one who can stop them. Will Marvin be brave enough to step into his power-and into his superhero suit-to become the great and marvellous superhero Marv? The first book in a powerful series of one boy's journey to unlock the superhero within.

Unipiggle: Unicorn Muddle

Hannah Shaw

Chapter book 

One for fans of Harriet Muncaster’s Isadora Moon and Sarah MacIntyre’s Grumpycorn, this is the first story in a series of illustrated short chapter books about Princess Pea and her rather un-royal palace pet – Unipiggle! A madcap and muddy adventure with high-energy design in full colour and tips to draw your own Unipiggle too.

The Legend of Kevin

Philip Reeve & Ms Sarah McIntyre

Chapter book 

This illustrated chapter book about a flying pony is just so endearing and very entertaining. As you’d expect from this author-illustrator dream team that brought us Cakes in Space and Oliver and the Seawigs, this story is amusingly original at every turn and is overflowing with the feel-good factor. Kevin is a flying pony who lives on the Outermost West hills and loves biscuits (especially custard creams). One day, a wild storm brings Kevin roly-polying through the air and crashing into Max’s flat in the town of Bumbleford. Max has always wanted a pet and is delighted by Kevin’s arrival…

Nellie Choc-Ice, Penguin Explorer

Jeremy Strong & Jamie Smith

Chapter book 

There is something about Jeremy Strong books, they have a particular appeal, being both entertaining and slightly wacky. This book is in that same mould and in addition, the format is super child friendly, being both small in size but very inviting and looking like a ‘proper chapter book’!

Nellie Choc-Ice is a well-travelled penguin, who also happens to be slightly accident-prone and just wants to find her way home. Nellie is a very endearing and entertaining character and the illustrations should get a special mention here. They capture the essence of the story brilliantly and bring the whole book to life.

For its target age of 5-8 year-olds, it works perfectly as an early chapter book; not taking too long to plough through, but instead giving the text in manageable bites with colour illustrations and an easy-to-read font. This is part of a Barrington Stoke set of Little Gems books, designed specifically for young readers starting out reading independently.

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