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23 Books For 5-Year-Old Boys

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A 5-year old boy reading a book.

Finding a book that will enthrall a fidgeting 5-year-old boy at bedtime after a busy day at Kindergarten is not an easy feat – for any parent. Boys are learning so many essential life skills like riding their bikes, without those pesky baby training wheels, or learning to ty their shoelaces.

Teaching young boys to love reading books is not insurmountable. However, it’s imperative to remember that all children develop at their own pace.  At the age of 5, some boys will not be ready to read without a coaching parent, while others will exponentially develop their literacy skills.

Great book options for 5-year-old boys at any reading level are phonics books with an age-appropriate vocabulary as they promote the concept that words comprise combined letter sounds. Chapter books are ideal at a later stage. Books should have a positive message that stimulates learning.

It does not matter whether your child is reading simple picture books at a foundational stage or attempting to read book chapters independently. I will share a list of award-winning books in this article that will capture your little boy’s vivid imagination and instill in him a lifelong passion for reading.

Related: Books for 6-Year-Old Boys Books for 8-Year-Old BoysBooks For 10-Year-Old Boys | Books for 5-Year-Old Girls | Books for 6 Years Old Girls | Books for 7 Year Old Girls | Books for 8 Year Old Girls | Books For 9 Year Old Girls | Books For 10 Year Old Girls 

Award-Winning Books For 5-Year-Old Boys

The following books have been curated from a list of award-winning writers and illustrators who have crafted superb bodies of literature for 5-year-old boys to aid their development.

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The Adventures of Beekle

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

The Adventures of Beekle is a humorous, enchanting story that celebrates the joy of true friendship. It is about an imaginary friend born on a far-flung island and waits patiently for a real child to be his friend.

After being rejected by children too many times, the imaginary friend decides to look for a true friend.

The imaginary friend travels on an adventurous journey from the fictional island to the bustling real-world city. This journey changes the imaginary friend’s life for good when he finally meets his new friend while crying desolately in a tree and is finally named Beekle by a true friend.

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The Polar Express

The Polar Express

This much-loved classic story begins when a little boy is lying in bed on Christmas Eve. Just before he falls asleep, he joins an enchanting expedition to the North Pole for the adventure of a lifetime.

The Polar Express travels through mysterious dark forests, over spectacularly high mountain ranges, and an icy wasteland to a city on top of the world where he is finally granted his  Christmas wish. 

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Flotsam

Flotsam

Flotsam’s award-winning writer uses a day at the beach to explore the mysterious depths of the ocean and our human bonds through the passages of time.

This magical tale starts when a small boy explores the beach to examine and collect flotsam that has drifted ashore. The little boy’s biggest and most unusual find is a mysterious underwater camera encrusted with barnacles, the custodian of the ocean’s secrets.

Then the young boy encounters surprising deep-sea denizens and becomes acquainted with characters in intriguing new, intertwined worlds.

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Flotsam encapsulates the joy of imagination and unrivaled creativity, which celebrates our fundamental human need to share things that enthrall and amaze us.

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Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

If your little boy likes the children’s book classic Winnie the Pooh, he will love this book!

Finding Winnie is an incredibly moving true story about the unique friendship between a man and a baby bear, which later resulted in the adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

The story started in 1914 when a veterinarian called Harry Colebourn was en route to a military camp in World War 1. During Harry’s arduous journey in the wild, he encountered a helpless baby bear whom he called Winnie, after his beloved hometown Winnipeg.

Winnie then traveled with Harry across the wide-open spaces of Canada and over the ocean to an army base in England, followed by a London Zoo where he finally met a young boy called Christopher Robin.

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The Best Bedtime Story Books For 5-Year-Old Boys

There is nothing as precious as reading a bedtime story to your child. It’s the only part of your day when there are no interruptions, and you can truly bond with him.

These bedtime stories were carefully selected based on recommendations from parents, kindergarten teachers, and librarians who will vouch for these firm-favored books.  

Tacky the Penguin

Tacky the Penguin

This classic children’s tale is a perfect book for a little boy who feels that he does not fit in.

Tacky the Penguin is a delightful story about a penguin called Tacky, a little clumsy, unlike his penguin friends. When they dive gracefully into the ocean, he can only manage undignified belly flops.

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His pears reject tacky as he is not as a confidant or capable as they are. However, when a group of malicious hunters threatens their safety, Tacky’s brilliant solution saves all his penguin friends.

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Dragons Love Tacos 

Dragons Love Tacos

This hilarious book has been on the New York Times bestseller list as it tells the cherished story about Dragons who love eating delicious Tacos.

If you want to have a party with some awesome Dragons, Tacos must be on the menu. But a word of caution is advised as hot salsa is not an ideal condiment for Dragons as it will have highly entertaining consequences…

While some parents might find  Dragons Love Tacos a bit tedious, children love the writer’s humorous illustrations.

If your child loves this book, he might like the sequel entitled Dragons Love Tacos 2.

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Inky’s Amazing Escape

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home

If your child is fascinated by the ocean and would like to learn more about the intriguing shenanigans of an Octopus – he will love Inky’s Amazing Escape!

This enchanting true story with eye-catching illustrations tells the story of Inky the Octopus, who was caught by a fisherman and taken to an aquarium in New Zealand.

While it appeared that Inky was settling into his new home, the aquarium staff noticed that clever little Inky had to be entertained as he was prone to great mischief.

Then one incredible evening, our curious friend Inky went on a grand adventure by sliding out of his tank, over the wide aquarium floor, and into a long drainpipe until he finally reached the ocean.

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This heart-warming book reminds children that Inky did not escape. He was simply a curious and intelligent animal who did not belong in the aquarium and wanted to go home.

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Power Up

Power Up

This well-written book exploring a correlation between energy and our bodies suits curious little boys with enquiring minds.

Power Up simplifies complex scientific theories into concepts that a child can easily understand and explains children’s energy in playful ways.

Children learn interesting facts about their bodies, e.g., their pinkie fingers store enough energy to provide power for a whole city.

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Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Kindergarten, Here I Come!

If your little man is about to go to Kindergarten, he will love this book.

Kindergarten, Here I Come! has a series of lovely pictures, stickers, and poems about all those little milestones that your son will reach, like being nervous because of his first day at Kindergarten to their momentous school parties.

There are also several poems about Kindergarten activities like “show and tell” days, counting exercises, school vacations, including their last day at the Kindergarten.

While this is the perfect introduction for boys who have not attended a kindergarten, those who have done so will also love seeing their everyday activities in a picture format.

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Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

This bright and charming book is yet another great book to prepare your child for school.

The story starts when Pete the Cat is excited about going to school in his fantastic new shoes. Pete then sings little songs about his great new shoes as he explores the entire school and all the areas that your child will have become accustomed to, like the playground, lunchroom, and library.

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The fantastic thing about Pete the Cat is that it will allow you to discuss your child’s impending school life with him in a fun way.

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The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand is always highly recommended by preschool teachers as it provides comfort to children who are too attached to their parents and are anxious about leaving them to go to school.

The story starts when Chester the raccoon is scared about starting school, but his loving mom has a great idea to soothe his terrible anxiety.

Chester’s mom kissed his little paw when he was on his way to school and told him that if he missed her, he could place his kissed paw on his face to remind him how much she loved him.

The only critique from parents about this charming story is that children found the pictures confusing as Chester went to school in the evenings (raccoons are nocturnal animals).

However, parents and teachers alike have found that this book has genuinely allayed their anxious children’s fears about their first day at school.

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Courage

Courage

Courage is a thought-provoking little children’s book that explores acts of courageousness and the heroes we can find in all walks of life.

It starts off by saying that while firefighters are enormously courageous when they run into burning buildings, there are many forms of courage in everyday life. It does not matter whether the brave acts are big or small.

Courage is demonstrated by people who, e.g., are the first to make peace in a heated debate or children who go to bed without having a light on even if they fear the dark.

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It is a beautiful story that proves that we can all be heroic in our simple ways.

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Pig the Pug

Pig the Pug

This delightful little book encourages children to share.

Pig the Pug features a selfish dog called Pig, who lives with Trevor, a dachshund named Trevor. Pig has lots of toys. However, he refuses to share them with Trevor.

Children love the hilarious consequences of Pig’s inability to share his toys with his friend, and the bright caricature illustrations will result in happy fits of giggles.

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Book Suggestions for 5-Year-Old Boys Who Read Independently

The following four books have been carefully selected as they are ideally suited to boys who are starting to read independently.

These classic books that have stood the test of time will significantly improve your child’s reading abilities as they form the building blocks for independent reading.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (Beginner Books(R))

Dr. Seuss’s books have been delighting generations of children, and this little book is no exception.

While it does not have a storyline, Dr. Seuss uses pictures and funny rhymes about playful topics ranging from a Wump with one hump to a singing Ying.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish contains simple words that your child might be able to read. It encourages them to count and to learn opposite words.

Who knows, you might be tempted to read this giggle-inducing book yourself!

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The Bob Books

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

This series of 12 books are great for boys who have become familiar with their alphabet and want to start vocalizing words.

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Every book in this series includes additional sounds that build on the previously learned words.

The first book covers only A, M, T, or S sounds, and all the letters (apart from Q) are subsequently covered in the 12th book. All the words consist of only three letters each, and they can all be vocalized.

The Bob Books is an excellent set of books to build your child’s confidence in their reading skills and prepare them for more challenging books.

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Today I Will Fly!

Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

It is the first much-loved book in the Elephant and Piggie book series.

Today I Will Fly is about an elephant called Gerald who is overcautious and constantly worried about everything versus his carefree, smiling friend Piggie.

When Piggie tells Gerald that he intends to fly, Gerald is severely perturbed as he fears for Piggie’s safety. However, Piggie’s dream of flying becomes a reality with his friend’s help.

Today I Will Fly and the entire Elephant and Piggie set of books is a fantastic word recital aid as the dialogue is rudimentary and easily mastered. Moreover, children thoroughly enjoy the book’s funny illustrations and endearing content.

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Book Teaching Aid Recommendations for 5-Year-Old Boys

Boys develop at their own pace, and you might notice those specific areas of their development that have to be addressed.

The following books focus on specific developmental areas and will equip your child with the relevant knowledge to aid his personal growth.

Develop Emotional Intelligence: The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit is a giggle-provoking New York bestseller perfectly suited to little boys who feel discouraged.

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This charming story is about crayons in a small boy called Duncan’s crafts box. The crayons are disenchanted with their lot in life as they feel that they are not treated with due respect.

The black crayon is tired of only being used for outlining pictures. In contrast, the blue crayon is angry because it is only used for oceans, rivers, or pools.

On top of it all – the yellow and orange crayons are not on speaking terms due to an argument about which color the sun should be.  So, they decide to stop working, and poor Duncan must deal with all this drama and come up with a peace treaty of sorts.

While the book is crafted with a delicious dollop of humor, its overriding messages are that it’s essential to show how you feel and to solve problems as a team.

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Developing Self-Confidence: Giraffes Can’t Dance

Giraffes Can't Dance

This book is an excellent choice for shy little boys who lack confidence!

This endearing story is about a delightful Giraffe called Gerald, whose greatest wish is to dance well. His peers mercilessly tease Gerald as his knobby knees, and chopstick legs make dancing incredibly difficult.

Fortunately, Gerald’s friend helps him find a great dance style that amazes all those animals that previously teased him with a bit of help from a true friend.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a suitable platform to discuss bullying and the importance of loving yourself for who you are.

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Improve Cooking & Reading Skills: Ice Cream Soup

Ice Cream Soup (Penguin Young Readers, Level 1)

Ice Cream Soup is the ideal foundational book for aspiring independent readers who know their alphabet off my heart.

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This book is about a child who wants to create an ice cream cake, but things go hilariously wrong when the cake becomes slushy ice cream soup.

It is enormously popular with 5-year-olds as the illustrations contain clues that help the children decipher the story, and it’s written in a big font that is easy to read.

But the cherry on this disastrous ice cream cake is the funny illustrations that will lead to many belly laughs.

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Learning About Trucks: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (Board Book for Toddlers, Children's Board Book)

It is a perfect book for little boys who are simply obsessed with trucks.

All the trucks are named according to their genuine construction truck brands in this delightful little book. And they each finish their day on the construction site in turns to wish their captive readers goodnight.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site will become your child’s favorite book due to its fantastic illustrations and truck-obsessed plot.

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Reading Skills Development: Curious George Curious About Phonics

Curious George Curious About Phonics 12 Book Set

Curious George is one of those much-loved children’s books about the adventures of an endearing little Monkey called George that has stood the test of time.

This charming set of 12 phonics books will help your child read independently in no time. It contains more advanced words that correlate with the illustrations. Including reoccurring words, e.g., and, as well as “the.”

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Learning to Share – The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish is a perfect choice if your child is unwilling to share with other children. On a side note – it is perfectly natural for 5-year-old boys not to want to share what they have with their peers.

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The story’s main protagonist is a narcissistic fish who believes that he is the most beautiful and iridescent creature in the vast ocean.

At the beginning of the story, he refuses to share his magnificent scales with other fish colonies. However, as the tale progresses, he realizes that sharing is enriching and leads to great happiness.

The book’s exquisite luminous artwork, coupled with its profound message about the importance of sharing, will lead your child to greater introspect about his ability to share.

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Inspirational: The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could was written for little boys who feel downhearted and frustrated with their reading abilities.

This charming little book has been a reading staple for numerous generations as children can relate to the many obstacles the little train engine has to overcome.

It’s a motivational story that highlights the importance of never giving up in the face of adversity. It emphasizes that we can all make our dreams come true even under challenging circumstances.

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Reading With Your 5-Year-Old at Home: What You Need to Know

Mom and son reading a book.

Reading at home is an important way for your child to retain what he learned at school that day. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the fact that your son might feel overwhelmed after a long day at school.

Therefore, make reading a playful activity by doing literacy-centered activities and fun word games.

Avoid distractions at home

We all lead such busy lives, so it is not easy to be fully present and engaged with our children.

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When the time is right to spend precious reading time with your son, avoid potential distractions like laptops and mobile phones.

Instead of being distracted by a constant barrage of emails and phone calls – find a comfortable, secluded area where you can give your child your full attention.

Allow your child to choose his book

Children, like adult’s love feeling that they have been empowered. So allowing your child to choose his book is a great way to foster their independence.

Like your son’s favorite Disney movie that has been playing on a loop for weeks … he might choose the same book repeatedly, but that does not matter if he equates reading with fun.

Look for new ways to tell an old story

Bedtimes stories can be read together with your child in various fun ways.

Instead of reading the book word for word as usual (with the prerequisite character accents), let the illustrations guide you in creating your own story that will amuse your child.  It is a great way to foster creative thinking skills and to keep your child engaged.

Related Questions

Are Roald Dahl books suitable reading material for 5-year-old boys?

While some Roald Dahl books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The BFG are suitable for 5-year olds, others might be too advanced or frightening.

How do I gauge whether a book is age-appropriate?

It is not an easy question to answer as children are all so different. Ultimately, only you will be able to make that decision as no one knows your child better than you do.

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Before you purchase a book, visit a review site like commonsensemedia.org. It provides indebt information in accordance with a child’s age. Moreover, they grade children’s books regarding their educational benefits, positivity, language, and violence.

It’s always advisable to read a book yourself to gauge if it is appropriate for your child’s age or not.

What can I do to accelerate my child’s reading skills?

There are so many things that you can do to build your 5-year-old child’s literacy skills.

Most importantly, encourage him to identify letters and their respective sounds as that forms the foundation for words.

Make a point of reading lots of books with him on various subjects to discuss the meaning of words, including the characters and the plotline.

Incorporate a love of reading in your child’s everyday life by showing him the sheer delight of being able to recognize and read signs or restaurant menu words when you’re enjoying a leisurely lunch.

For additional literacy aids, have a look at PBS. They have great activities specially geared towards developing 5-year-old reading skills.

Conclusion

Reading bedtime stories with your son, dressed in his favorite Spiderman PJ’s and tucked into his cozy bed, is a precious memory that every seasoned parent will always cherish.

While reading a story is a beautiful way to foster a bond with children, it is also a critical building block for his future literacy skills.

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