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Popular Books

By Year 2, children should be reading words more from sight than by using phonics to decode words. It is really important that children also begin to develop their comprehension skills. 


Below are a list of books that are both suitable and inspiring for year 2 readers. 

Traction Man Is Here

by Mini Grey

Picture book

This is a high quality text full of detailed comic-style illustrations. It follows the adventures of an Action-Man style hero with an outfit for every occasion. His daily superhero challenges include rescuing lost toys, diving in the sieve-wreck and saving distressed damsels. Highly recommended for KS1.

Billy and the Pirates

By Nadia Shireen

Join Billy and Fatcat on their quest to escape Captain Howl in their third thrilling adventure, filled with singing mermaids and sticky toffee eating sharks. Ahoy there! It's time to sail the ocean blue with Billy and her trusty feline friend, as they embark on a noble seafaring adventure. Billy and Fatcat find a mysterious message in a bottle at sea. When suddenly something terrible happens: they bump into a pesky pirate and his smelly crew. Oh no! Fortunately for our courageous twosome, they're no strangers to peril: they always have a trick (or treat) up their sleeves. Nadia Shireen is back with her third instalment from our favourite heroine and hangry cat.

The Couch Potato

Jory John

 & Pete Oswald


If you’ve ever made a New Year resolution to improve your fitness or get outside more, you might just relate to the journey of this hilarious spud. With everything he needs within arm’s reach of the sofa, this potato has it all – multiple TV screens, hundreds of video games and even a button that activates a snack-fetching gadget. He can’t see any reason at all to leave the couch… until the electricity cuts out. The potato steps foot outside and embarks upon a new-found appreciation of fresh air, exercise and the sounds and sights of the great outdoors. After some deep introspection, the potato sets himself a resolution to achieve a better balance between screentime and time enjoying the outdoor world.

This is a really funny book and is always a winner with children. As well as guaranteeing giggles, this story can provide an opportunity to reflect on healthy lifestyles, screentime limits and personal resolutions.

Penguin Huddle

Ross Montgomery & Sarah Warburton

A charming and playful picture book told with humour and heart from the brilliant team behind Ten Delicious Teachers .The penguin pack play all day long. And when the sun goes down, and the night grows cold and dark..."PENGUIN HUDDLE!" The penguins squeeze and squish together to stay warm and cosy. But one night, there is a freezing gale. And the next morning ... the penguins are stuck! They are frozen together like a giant penguin ice pop. What a penguin MUDDLE! Nobody in the Antarctic can figure out how to unstick them. But Pipsqueak, the smallest penguin of them all, has a brilliant idea... They must adventure out of their snowy home to a vibrant city across the great, gleaming ocean to solve their penguin puzzle. This light-hearted tale of jolly penguins big and small is a celebration of friendship, community spirit and helping those in trouble.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs

Giles Andreae  & Russell Ayto

This super-popular picturebook that combines pirates, dinosaurs and plenty of action is always in high demand in KS1 classrooms.

While searching for some coloured pens to finish his dinosaur drawing at school, Flinn discovers Captain Stubble, a real pirate captain, in the art cupboard. Stubble informs Flinn that his ship, the Acorn, has been stolen, and he needs Flinn’s help to retrieve it. Flinn becomes the captain, and they set sail on an old pirate ship. However, they soon discover that the Acorn has been taken over by pirate dinosaurs! After a fierce battle, Captain Flinn and his crew regain control of the ship. They then return to the harbour undetected, sneaking back into the art cupboard …without the teacher realizing they were ever gone. A brilliantly fun picturebook that cries out to be read over and over again.

The Storm Whale

Benji Davies


Noi lives by the sea with his fisherman father and life there can feel pretty lonely sometimes. When Noi discovers a little whale washed up on the beach, he takes it home to care for it in his bath tub. But there are two problems; the first is that keeping it a secret from his dad will be tougher than he thinks and the second is that whales really belong in the depths of the sea. This engaging and empathetic picture book is a great choice for KS1.

Aaron Slater Illustrator

Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

This story follows Aaron, a boy who loves stories but struggles with writing due to his difficulty in deciphering letters. But when his turn to write a story for the class comes around, inspiration strikes, and he finds another way to share his tale through the pictures he draws.

This book is part of a larger series that has gained popularity in schools, and for good reason. The other titles, such as “Rosie Revere, Engineer” and “Iggy Peck, Architect” are also engaging and give validity to the talents and strengths of each individual.

We love Aaron Slater, Illustrator as an empowering storytime read that can also lead to discussions about helping individuals find ways to personally thrive as well as touching on themes of dyslexia and the power of art.

The Fixer of Broken Things

Julia Patton


If you want a story for children that teaches us the value of being there for each other, no matter how confident or accomplished you are, this will hit the mark. Its main character is Bea, the fixer of broken things, and she is good at it. When adults around her seek help with fixing their broken things – even with an enormous spaceship – she responds with, “Don’t worry!” and off she goes and fixes it, and they love her for it.

Everything is going well, until Bea comes across a small item that she cannot fix, no matter how hard she tries. All those that she has helped seem far too busy with their working machines, and so she is left on her own to work out what to do, except she cannot find the solution even though it should be so simple. Sadness is encapsulated in Bea’s failure as she withdraws into her workshop and closes it. The value is not in her skill though, and others recognise that. And so she learns how it is the people around her that count.

As well as the range of emotions experienced by the main character, the illustrations on each page will also give the reader a lot to look at and discuss. This is a picturebook to re-read, share and treasure.

The Rainbow Bear

Michael Morpurgo & Michael Foreman

This longer picturebook is the story of a polar bear who dreams of exchanging his snowy white coat for new fur that is as colourful as the rainbow he sees in the sky one day. The bear’s conspicuous new appearance leads him to be captured and exhibited in a zoo.

This engaging and thought-provoking story by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo is coupled with beautiful illustrations, making it one of our top choices for storytime in Year 2 and the surrounding year groups.

The Comet

Joe Todd-Stanton

From the award-winning Joe Todd-Stanton, comes an exquisite and heartfelt picture book touching on the bewildering experience of moving house. This beautiful story explores how this can affect a child's sense of belonging, but also how it can open them up to new and wonderful experiences.When Nyla has to leave her home in the countryside to start life again in the city, all she can think about is everything she misses from before. So when a comet comes crashing through the city streets and starts to glow and grow, Nyla can't resist a chance to head somewhere that feels closer to what she had before. But what starts as an escape could be just the thing to make her finally feel at home.

Can I Build Another Me?

Shinsuke Yoshitake


This quirky picture book tells the story of a boy who wishes to make a robot clone of himself. Before he can, he needs to examine exactly what it is that makes him him. This thought-provoking book with detailed illustrations is lots of fun and provides a good stimulus for discussion or classwork about the uniqueness of each individual.

Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular

Polly Owen & Gwen Milward

It is rare to find a book which gives a completely different and exciting perspective on a historical figure, particularly those aimed at younger readers, so ‘Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular’ is a particularly delightful read.

As the title suggests, the book tells the story of Darwin’s investigations into the humble earthworm. It is clear that the author, Polly Owen, has discovered her passion for this topic as it is written with such an enthusiastic tone; by the end of page one the reader is already convinced that earthworms are completely awesome!

The book recounts the range of experiments that Darwin is believed to have tried in order to uncover the mysteries of earthworm senses; from hearing, sight and taste. It is written in a very accessible style, with lots of humour. There is a worm on each double-page spread which gives a little more context and brings the reader back to the historical facts within the story. These small speech bubbles also direct the reader to some of the scientific vocabulary; useful to gather if using the book as a stimulus for a writing project.

There are plenty of illustrations throughout the book to enjoy too. Gwen Milward has captured the Victorian style perfectly and has drawn Darwin with a real sense of joy and wonder towards the worms; each page shows Darwin with real expression as he ponders these mysterious creatures.

If you are looking to add a book that is charming, insightful and has more than a few poo-based jokes, then this would be a perfect choice!

Inside the Villains

Clotilde Perrin

We just can’t get enough of this oversized interactive picture book that children in Year 2 adore.

This exquisitely produced book is a celebration of three of the most infamous fairytale villains. Filled with dark humour and detail on every page, the book has flaps and fold-outs for readers to open up and reveal the innermost secrets of an ogre, a big bad wolf and a wicked witch. Peek under the flaps to reveal what lies beneath their disguises and to uncover the identity of their last meal, now nestled comfortably in their bellies as well as their hobbies, personal belongings and secret plans.

Inside the Villains is a multi-layered book with the potential to entertain readers for hours. This is a great choice for children who love interactive elements and are ready to dive deeper beneath the surface of their favourite fairytales.

How to Be Cooler than Cool

Sean Taylor & Jean Jullien


Like many of the funniest books, the simple honour and bold illustrations make this a laugh-out-loud hit in KS1 classrooms. How to Be Cooler Than Cool hilarious and engaging picturebook that will keep you laughing and eagerly turning the pages.

In the story, a cat finds a pair of sunglasses and thinks they’ll make her look cool. However, her attempt at being cool by gliding backwards down a slide ends in a clumsy fall. Much hilarity ensues when her friends Pig or Cockatoo try to have better luck. But in the end, we all know that it’s not clothing, fashion accessories or sharp moves that make friends cool.

You Must Bring a Hat

Simon Philip & Kate Hindley

We adore this charming story about a young boy who is tasked with finding a hat in order to be allowed into a party. When the boy struggles to find one, a helpful animal friend steps in to save the day. However, when he arrives, a tough doorman and an even tougher series of entry requirements lead to a snowballing of humorous actions and a hilarious climax. The story is filled with wonderfully illustrated, silly characters and a ridiculous storyline that will have children and adults alike laughing out loud.  This is a picturebook to recommend to anyone looking for a fun and engaging story to share with children. With vibrant illustrations and humorous characters, We Must Bring a Hat is a sure-fire hit in the classroom and a book that children will ask for over and over again. We think this is a perfect choice for entertaining storytimes with Year 2.

A Bear’s Guide to Beekeeping

Pip Cornell & Alex Griffiths


Are you a bear considering keeping your very own bees? Can't get enough of delicious honey? Then this is the book for you! With invaluable tips such as how to make a tiny crown for your queen bee, you can become a master beekeeper in no time! Learn how to care for your new buzzy friends in easy-to-follow steps - but don't forget to absolutely never hug the bees. A spoof beekeeping manual for bears from debut author Pip Cornell and rising star Alex G Griffiths.

The Gecko and the Echo

Rachel Bright & Jim Field


A flamboyantly fun tropical tale of love, fame, friendship from the creators of the international bestseller The Lion Inside.Goldy wants one thing, and one thing only - to be a STAR. On the sunny island this gecko calls home, it's always THE GOLDY SHOW, morning 'til night.But when you're dazzled by the limelight, it's easy to lose sight of the world around you. And when Goldy's performance starts to go wrong, the little gecko discovers that friendship means so much more than fame. Because when you treat the world with love, then love will come echoing back.This funny and touching rhyming story is perfect for sharing, reminding us all that treating others with kindness makes the whole world a better and happier place.

I Am Not An Octopus

Eoin McLaughlin & Marc Boutavant


A brilliantly funny story of facing your fears from the picture book team behind The Case of the Missing Cake.Terry is not an octopus. He's just a regular guy with a few extra arms. Yes, he loves tuna and yes, he'd love to visit Super Octopus Fantasea Adventure World. But octopuses live in the sea. And Terry is afraid of water. Maybe he should learn to swim?A very silly story about being brave, facing your fears and accepting who you really are.

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