Play + Learn Wellness

Our favourite books for boys

By on June 3, 2016

From toddlers to young readers, these are the books that my boys have absolutely loved over the years. If you’re wondering what new book to get out at the library, which book to buy for a gift or just wanting a new book to add to your home collection ….. we would highly recommend all of these!

We’ll continue to add to this list as we find more amazing books on our ongoing reading journey! Feel free to share a particular book your boys love to read in the comments below.


Picture Books


Dr Seuss books

The silly nature of Dr Seuss’s books appeal to my boys. Particular favourites are ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and ‘There’s a Wocket in my Pocket’.

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

This book which does not have ANY pictures, proves to children that words alone can provide loads of entertainment! Written by an award-winning humorist/actor this innovative book will have your children in fits of laughter, when they hear the adult reading it say ridiculous things. Expect requests to read this over and over again!

Amazing Machines Series by Tony Milton

From aeroplanes to tractors to fire engines, this bestselling series enables preschoolers to learn about things that go, through fun rhyming stories and colourful, bright artwork. Particular titles we have read and loved include ‘Terrific Trains’ and ‘Flashing Fire Engines’! A favourite for toddlers and pre schoolers!

Roadworks by Sally Sutton

This picture book which takes you on a journey from planning a road to building the road and then driving on the road, has been very well loved in our house. My eldest boy could pretty much recite it from beginning to end when he was three years old because we read it that much! The rhyming, repetition and ‘noises’ the author incorporates into the story really do capture little boy’s attentions! This book is beautifully illustrated and has some ‘machine facts’ at the end, adding to the educational component of the story. Particularly great for toddlers and pre-schoolers!

The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

Based upon a song that Craig Smith wrote in 2005, both of my boys find this book very funny. The version of the book we have, comes with a CD of the author singing the story, which is lots of fun to listen to. This book has won the Children’s Choice Award by the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox

Mem Fox is a favourite author of ours as she has a special way with words that capture children’s minds. This book is no exception as both of my boys never tire of this story. I read it to them both when they were a baby, I was still reading it to my little dude when he was four and my then six year old loved reading it to his younger brother. A popular book which is definitely worth adding to your children’s home library.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I’m sure you’ve heard of this beautifully illustrated book, however I had to add it to our list as my boys just love this story. My six year old took it to school as his choice of favourite picture book to read to his class. My little dude can almost recite it aloud as we have read it that much. The version we own includes a CD of the author, Eric Carle reading the story. My boys love listening to the CD and they follow along turning the pages of the book as the author reads.

Hairy McCleary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

The first book in a series about a fictional dog named Hairy Maclary. A very popular book you have more than likely heard about, but we had to include it in our list of favourite books, as it is a story both of my boys never get tired of reading.

Barky the Barking Dog by Andy Griffiths

We purchased this book for my four year old when we were buying my eldest the next Treehouse book in the series by Andy Griffiths. This funny story stars Barky the Barking Dog from The 13 Storey Treehouse. It has loads of repetition, some rhyming and coloured illustrations to suit beginner readers. My eldest boy now reads this story to my little dude and he is now starting to learn to read it for himself. They really do love this story!

George’s New Dinosaur

Any book related to Peppa Pig is a big hit with my little dude, however this one has been a particular favourite. I’m guessing the fact that this story is based on George and his favourite toy, Mr Dinosaur is why it is so popular with my four year old boy! If your little boy is a Peppa Pig fan then I’m sure they will love this one too!

Stomp by Ruth Paul

Follow a group of dinosaurs as they Stomp, Roar, Hop and Thump their way through the pages of this colourful Scholastic book. If you have a dinosaur lover in your family, this book is well-worth a read. Perfect for toddlers and pre schoolers.

Silly Dizzy Dinosaur by Jack Tickle

While we are on the topic of dinosaurs, this is another great interactive Scholastic book, about a dinosaur named Dizzy. My little dude particularly loves the moment when he has to turn the book sideways to get Dizzy down from a tree! Lots of fun for your toddler or pre-schooler!

Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

When a book is filled with fun vehicles such as a pickle truck, an ant bus, a hot-dog car and a wolf wagon, you can see why it appeals to little boys. This children’s classic has lots to see, learn and talk about, as you travel through the magical world of Richard Scarry. My boys love finding ‘Goldbug’ who is hidden away on every page and there is always lots of giggling and laughing when we talk about the silly vehicles we can see!

Oh No, George by Chris Haughton

It is hard work being good all the time, and it is is especially hard for a dog named George. This very funny book with vibrant illustrations is a winner of nine awards. Any (or every) child who struggles with resisting temptation will feel a bond with George and love this story to bits!

Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough

A rhyming story about a boy named Eddy who loses his teddy. When Eddy goes into the woods to find his teddy, he is in for a huge surprise! My boys love the scary fun and adventure this book has to offer.

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale

This popular, beautifully illustrated book is a variation on the traditional nursery rhyme. My boys love the different sounds the animals make as they fall out of bed. Definitely a favourite in our household!

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton

The storybook version of the wonderful folk song, Puff the Magic Dragon. This book completely and utterly captures my little dude’s imagination and takes him to a far-off land. We like how the song in the book proves that dragons are not always scary. A lovely book to add to your collection at home.

Usborne Farmyard Tales – The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales by Stephen Cartwright & Heather Amery

A delightful little book which contains 20 Farmyard Tales stories with beautiful coloured illustrations. Particularly suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers these short stories are all about Mrs Boot, the farmer, Poppy and Sam, their animals and life on Apple Tree Farm. There is a tractor, fire engine, hot air balloon and steam train incorporated into these easy to follow stories. The perfect gift for that special little boy!

The Little Yellow Digger Series by Betty and Alan Gilderdale

A series of cute stories about a little yellow digger and the adventures it finds itself on. The original story, ‘The Little Yellow Digger’ was based on a real event, when one of the authors grandchildren told them about a digger that had got stuck in the mud and they had to get a “bigger digger” to help free it. ‘The Little Yellow Digger Saves the Whale’ is a story also based on a real incident that occurred in New Zealand, when a young orca whale stranded in an estuary. Two wonderful books worth purchasing for home.

The Very Brave Bear by Nick Bland

A fun story about The Very Brave Bear and Boris the Buffalo competing to see who is the bravest… Until they come across a very scary cave which changes everything! This book is the sequel to Nick Bland’s most popular book, The Very Cranky Bear and it has my boys fully captivated every time we read it together!

Where is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley

A clever picture book about a little boy who is getting ready for bed but he cannot find his bear. We can see a huge bear following the boy, but the boy apparently can’t see the bear! That is until the twist at the end of the story reveals all!  A fun, engaging book with wonderful illustrations perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Goodnight Truck by Sally Odgers

Truck, Digger, Boat, Tractor and Rocket all work hard through the day. When night comes it is time to say goodnight to them all, so they can stop work and rest too. Your little truck lovers will enjoy the rhyming text and beautiful art in this perfect bedtime story.

Why I Love My Daddy

I purchased this book eight years ago for my husband’s very first Fathers Day. To this day my little man in particular still loves to read this special book with his daddy. I love how the book can be personalised by writing your child’s name at the front where it says “To my daddy love from …”. This simple but gorgeous story includes all the reasons why the different animals in the book love their daddy. The book ends by saying “Everyone loves their daddy, especially ME”. At this point there is a spot to insert a photo of your child and their daddy together! The perfect Fathers Day gift that just keeps on giving!

Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

One of the funniest and cheekiest books you’ll read with your little ones. Hint: There’s a page referring to ‘bums’ which has my little man in hysterics every time!


Young Readers


The Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths

A series of books about a group of friends named Terry, Andy and Jill and their crazy, fun antics involving a treehouse. The treehouse keeps getting higher and crazier as you read on through the series. Both of my boys get fully immersed in the world of Terry and Andy and I feel these books have increased their interest in reading and books immensely. Recommended for age six and upwards.

Adventures in Lego City. A boxed set of  ‘8 Awesome Readers’

‘Developed under the supervision of reading experts and educator approved’, these Scholastic reader books are great for encouraging children to read for themselves. A great gift idea for a Lego lover!

Hey Jack! Series by Sally Rippin

Simple to read and easy to follow, these books are aimed at children five years and upwards. There are life lessons and feelings integrated into these fun stories about a boy named Jack. I believe my boys can totally relate to Jack and the day to day experiences he has. These are the books I often find in my boys’ school library bags! They love them!

Zac Power Series

A series of books about a twelve year old boy named Zac Power who is a secret agent sent on missions to save the world … but he also has to make it home in time for dinner! Perfect for young readers.

D-Bot Squad Series

Another series of books for young dino lovers aged five – eight years. Dino’s are back and on the loose  and D-Bot squad has to catch them. My five year old gets fully immersed in the world of school boy, Hunter who knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs. My eight year old enjoys reading these books by himself.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey

This super silly series revolves around two young school boys, George and Harold and Captain Underpants, a superhero from one of the boys’ homemade comic books. Captain Underpants accidentally becomes real when the boys hypnotize their ill-tempered principal, Mr Krupp.

Hot Dog Series by Anh Do

Comedian Anh Do has written this funny series about a dog and his amusing adventures. My six year old loves these stories and the illustrations that go with it.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

From the creator of Captain Underpants … this is a fun comic-strip story about a dog-headed cop!

Mighty Mitch! Aussies vs England: Game On! by Mitchell Starc

This is an awesome action-packed series for little cricket or sport fans out there. Written by cricket superstar Mitchell Starc and packed full of fun illustrations this is perfect for early readers aged seven-eight years.