The Gruffalo reigns supreme!


Julia Donaldson’s classic children’s picture book, The Gruffalo, which tells the tale of a mouse walking in the woods and deceiving different predators, is the most popular first read that parents choose for their children, according to a survey commissioned by The Works. No less than 1 in 8 children have The Gruffalo read to them as their first book. Julia Donaldson is also rated highly for other titles, such as Zog and Room on the Broom.

Another classic that features in the top three is The Very Hungry Caterpillar which is still being enjoyed as a first read over 50 years on from its release. The That’s Not My… series, written by Fiona Watt is the third most common set of books read to children as their first reads.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of parents pick up a book to engage their children in story time from birth, while a further 27 per cent of parents do so from under the age of two. But the study also revealed that 1 in 10 of adults today don’t remember reading their first book until they were in secondary school.

The full top 10 list of first books parents read to their children:

1. The Gruffalo

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

3. That’s Not My…

4. Guess How Much I Love You

5. Peppa Pig

6. Spot

7. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

8. Dear Zoo

9. Winnie the Pooh

10. Harry Potter

To see the full survey visit

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