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Core Spine Readers

Core Readers at St Mary’s

To help create children who are lifelong readers, we want to encourage and engage children in reading. The idea of the core readers, is that over their 7 years at St Mary’s all children are read to, have enjoyed, discussed and worked with around at least 82 core books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, poetry and books suggested by Stonewall to ensure that our children see diversity in what they are reading. Thus creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’. 


All we ask of the children is to enjoy listening to the text with an adult. We will look at any vocabulary that the children do not understand and then be able to share these words in class to extend our vocabulary and hopefully store them in our brains to use them when it comes to our own story telling and writing.


We do hope, by having children in their class listen to the same stories, they will be able to talk to each other about what they have read and engage in exciting book talk, which encourages reading for pleasure and helps produce lifelong readers.




The Hungry Caterpillar- By Eric Carle

Elmer – David Mc Kee (Celebrating Difference)

The Rainbow Fish (Celebrating Difference)

Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell

Aliens Love Underpants – Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

Can’t You Sleep Little Bear – Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth

Colour and Me – Michaela Dias Hayes (Stonewall)

Handa’s Surprise – Eileen Browne (Stonewall)



Hairy Mc Clary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodd

Five Minutes Peace – Jill Murphy

The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt

Peace at Last – Jill Murphy

Paddington – Michael Bond

Farmer Duck – Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury

Sis Dinners Sid – Inga Moore

The Snow man – Raymond Briggs

Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andraee Stonewall (Celebrating Difference)

Baking with Dad – By Aurora Cacciapuoti – Stonewall (Challenging Gender Stereo types)

The Paper Bag Princess – Stonewall  (Challenging Gender Stereo types)

Cock- A-Moo-Moo – Juliet Dallas- Conte – Stonewall ( Emotional Literacy)

Guess How Much I Love You – Sam Mc Bratney

There’s a Monster in Your Book – Tom Fletcher

The Colour Monster – Anna Llenas

I Can Only Draw Worms – Will Mabbit

Knuffle Bunny – Mo Willems

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch – Ronda and David Armitage

We are Family – Patricia Hegarty


Year 1

Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss

The Tiger who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato – Lauren Child

We are going on a bear hunt – Michael Rosen

Funny Bones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Owl Babies – Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

Not Now Bernard – David Mc Kee

The Twits - Roald Dahl

Alfie – Shirley Hughes

Beegu – Alexis Deecon

The Tunnel – Anthony Browne

Zog – Julia Donaldson

Man on the Moon  - Simon Bartram

Tea with Auntie Mabel – Jean Willis

‘How Doth the Little Crocodile’ by Lewis Carroll

Out and About. A first book of poems’ by Shirley Hughes

Something Else – Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell


Year 2

Dogger – Shirley Hughes

Peepo – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

Matilda – Roald Dahl

Amazing Grace -Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch – Stonewall (Celebrating Difference)

Gregory Cool – Caroline Binch – Stonewall (Celebrating Difference)

Hue Boy – Caroline Binch – Stonewall (Celebrating Difference)

And Tango makes Three – Stonewall (Different Families)

Flat Stanley – Jeff Brown

The Jolly Postman – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Cops and Robbers – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark – Jill Tomlinson

Trust Me, Mum – Angela Mc Callister

The Invisible Dog – Dick King Smith

The Bolds – Julien Clary

The Bolds go on Hioliday – Julian Clary

The Land of Roar

Bog Baby – by Jeanne Willis

Meerkat Mail By Emily Gravitt

Masai and I – by Virginia Kroll- Stonewall

’The Snail and the Whale’ by Julia Donaldson

Tyrannosaurus Drip – Julia Donaldson – Stonewall (Celebrating Difference)


Year 3

The Stone Age Boy – Satoshi Kitamura

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ – Roald Dahl

The Iron Man – Ted Hughes

‘Secrets of a Sun King’ – Emma Carroll

The Creakers – Tom Fletcher

Oh the thinks you can think! – Dr Seuss

The Witches Brew – Wes Magee

Jelly Fuss – Coral Rumble

The 13 Storey Treehouse – Andy Griffths and Terry Denton

Barry Loser- I am not a loser – Jim Smith

Charlotte’s Webb – E.B. White

Judy Moody – Megan Mc Donald

The Sheep Pig – Dick King Smith

Year 4

‘There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom’ – Louis Sacher – Stonewall

Grimm Fairy Tales (originals)

What are You? Pie Corbetts poetry –

Classic Poetry – Land of Counterpane – RL Stephenson

The Magic Box by Kit Wright

‘The Witches’ – Roald Dahl.

How to Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

Kid Normal – Greg James and Chris Smith

Maps - Aleksandra Mizielinska - Daniel Mizielinski 

The Queen’s Nose – Dick King Smith

Stigg of the Dump – Clive King


Year 5

The Highway Man – Alfred Noyes

The Fib – George Layton

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Giant’s Necklace (The White Horse of Zennor) - Michael Morpurgo

Holes – Louis Sachar

Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo

Romeo and Juliet (narrative) – Andrew Matthews & Tony Ross

The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd

Harry Potter  - JK Rowling

poetry If – Rudyard Kipling

A Kid in my Class Poems by Rachel Rooney

The Lost Words – Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

Viking Boy – Tony Bradman


Year 6

Goodnight Mr Tom – Michelle Magorian

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis

The Curse of the Maya -Johnny Pearce and Andy Loneragan

The Lady of ShalottAlfred, Lord Tennyson

An Emotional Menagerie- The School of Life

Daffodils- William Wordsworth

Clockwork and All Wound Up - Philip Pullman

Skellig – David Almond