List: Top Picture Books For Upper Primary Students

List: Top Picture Books For Upper Primary Students

Picture books aren’t just for young readers, they’re important for the literacy learning of older kids too.

But as a teacher or parent, which picture books can you use to engage upper primary aged children? On Episode 34 of the Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy podcast, experienced upper primary teacher Giselle Pulford hand picked her top book recommendations.

Read the list below and check out the books via the links provided.

Picture books that are Tantalising Texts …

Stories that engage older students, make them wonder, question and laugh in surprise.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

·   The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

·   Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

·   After the Fall by Dan Santat

·   The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds

·   Help! I’m Falling Apart / Help! I’m Cracking Up! by Tedd Arnold

·   Maths Curse / Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

… leading to True Tasks …

Rich language experiences, content related but driven by the books.

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears

·   Little Mouse’s Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

·   The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and

·   The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, Charles Keeping version

… leading to Transformative Teaching

Layers of a picture book, which can fit to where students are now.

The Bad Seed

·   The Bad Seed / Good Egg / Cool Bean / Couch Potato by Jory John and Pete Oswald

·   The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

·   Welcome by Barroux

… leading to Thinker’s Talking:

What do these books tell us? What do they leave us with? Students can see themselves in these stories, they can relate to the experiences, and can be forced to shift their perspectives and understanding.

Room on Our Rock

·   Room on Our Rock by Jol Temple and Kate Temple

·   Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes

·   Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Penã and Christian Robinson

·   Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Penã and Christian Robinson

·   The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and SK Ali

·   Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Luisa Uribe

·   The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan

·   Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy

·   Cooee Mittigar by Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson

·   Finding our Heart by Thomas Mayor and Blak Douglas

And last but not least, the final recommendations:

·   The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

·   Here We Are and What We’ll Build by Oliver Jeffers

Do you have picture books that you would recommend for upper primary readers? We would love for you to share them with our active community of motivated teachers in the Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy Facebook Group. Request to join here.

You can listen to the full discussion with literacy experts Sharon Callen, Phil Callen with Giselle Pulford below, and remember to subscribe on your favourite podcast player.

Want to accelerate literacy learning at your school? Let’s talk.

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