Wednesday 9 August 2023

The Gruffalo named Britain’s most popular first read as nation celebrates National Book Lovers Day

 * Press release 

As the nation celebrates National Book Lovers Day on Wednesday (August 9), 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 not only taking the crown as the number one read book to children, but with titles such as Zog and Room on the Broom also popular, a total of 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 popular first book read to children, 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.

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, while 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.

View the full study at:


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