The Gruffalo most popular first read for British children

Image courtesy of MORI who have unveiled their Exclusive Collection to Celebrate 25 Years of The Gruffalo.
Image courtesy of MORI who have unveiled their Exclusive Collection to Celebrate 25 Years of The Gruffalo.

As the nation prepares to celebrate World Book Day on March 7, a new study has unveiled that The Gruffalo is the go-to book when it comes to reading to our children for the very first time.

The survey, commissioned by The Works, aimed to uncover reading habits among parents and children and whether our own experiences of reading influences how we read to our children, as well as the top books we read to children today.

And the results proved overwhelmingly favourable towards Julia Donaldson titles, with The Gruffalo taking the crown as the number one read book to children. Joining The Gruffalo among the most popular, but just outside the top 10 were the likes of Zog and Room on the Broom, meaning one in five children have a Donaldson book read to them as their very first story.

Donaldson books were joined by some old favourites, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is still the second most read book to children as a first read despite being over 50-years-old, while 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.

Azaria PR

The full top 10 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

When it comes to the age in which we’re reading to our children, book lovers will be pleased to see that 44% of parents pick up a book to engage their children in storytime from birth, while a further 27% of parents do so from under the age of two.

However, the study also revealed that 10% of adults today don’t remember reading their first book until they were in secondary school, resulting in parents 20% less likely to read to their child under the age of two. Alongside this, less than one in five parents that don’t recall reading until after the age of 12 will introduce reading to their own children from birth.

You can view the full study at:

World Book Day takes place on Thursday March 7, 2024. The Works are supporting the charity and are encouraging children and parents to bring their £1 book token into stores between February 15 and March 31 to exchange their token for a book from the World Book Day 2024 range.

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