My First Reading Library | children books and more | Bookynotes Blog blog

My First Reading Library


Usborne My First Reading Library

If you’re just beginning to take the reading journey with your child, My First Reading Library is a great first step. It’s a great collection from Usborne, trusted publishers of children’s books. There are fifty books included in this substantial box set, covering the first three stages of reading development. They will take you from the phonics they’re learning in schools, through short stories they can read by themselves, right up to longer stories that will help build confidence in their new skills. The box also comes with a QR code, which links to a parents’ guide online.

This collection is part of the Usborne Reading Programme, which can be used in concert with your child’s school curriculum or as a foundation for homeschooling. The complete programme encompasses three series: Very First Reading, First Reading and Young Reading. Both First and Young Reading have four levels each, and Very First Reading is one level, bringing it to a total of nine. This box set, by renowned children’s book publishers Usborne, features the first three levels of reading, making the perfect start.


What’s in the box?

Readers will start with twenty-two books which complete the collection of the Very First Reading series. These fiction books aimed at children just beginning to read. In the first seven stages, you and your child take turns to read a passage. They introduce letters and sounds (phonics) gradually across the early years stages, allowing your child to build up their vocabulary through repetition and rhyme. 

The books start with only eight letters in stage one and after this, the stages continue with new elements of learning letters and phonics. By stage seven, your child will be familiar with almost all the sounds of English and over 700 everyday words. From stage eight, they read the book aloud by themselves. They’ll begin learning longer words, two-syllable words, and words that start and end with more than one consonant. By the end of the series, your child will have a great foundation in reading, and be eager to move on to reading independently.

The following twelve books are a great selection from First Reading Level One. Each book has a short, simple story, usually drawn from a fairy tale, fable, myth, or nursery rhyme. The final sixteen books from First Reading Level Two bring in more advanced vocabulary and sentence structures, and the stories are slightly longer and more complex. This selection also features stories from a wide range of different cultures, including China, India, and North America, alongside more familiar rhymes and fables. The stories in the First Reading series have been assessed for their Lexile level, and range from 180L (The Sun and the Wind) to 470L (Little Miss Muffet), making them suitable for children between the ages of four and seven, early years to Key Stage 1, or Reception to Year 2.

All the books come complete with bright, lively illustrations, a clear font, and the confidence that many children and parents across the country have successfully used the series to become fully competent readers. The series is developed with expert advice from Alison Kelly and Anne Washtell, retired lecturers of English Education at the University of Roehampton.


What comes next?

This box set is just the first step in your child’s reading journey. Once they’ve completed My First Reading Library, they’re ready to move onto Usborne’s My Reading Library. It’s the perfect follow-up because it picks up the Usborne Reading Programme from right where the first box set leaves off. My Reading Library features 14 books from Usborne First Reading Level Three, 16 books from Usborne First Reading Level Four, and 20 books from Usborne Young Reading Series One.

For more advanced readers, there’s The Usborne Reading Collection. This features books from Usborne Young Reading Series One and Two. Afterwards, there’s The Usborne Reading Collection for Confident Readers, featuring books from Usborne Young Reading Series Two and Three. With Usborne, your child can move from a beginner reader to an enthusiastic and fluent book lover.

If you’re looking for more book sets to support your child’s reading, we also stock Read it Yourself with Ladybird. This is a fifty book collection of classic tales and incredible facts, organised into four reading levels. We also stock packs from the Biff, Chip & Kipper series, which develop your child’s reading skills across six levels of assessment. All these reading schemes are complementary, so you can build your child’s reading abilities with a wide variety of different stories.


From the publisher

50 books to guide your child through the first stages of reading.

The first 22 books are taken from Usborne Very First Reading. With these, your child takes the first steps in reading with your help, following the phonics methods used in schools.

  • Pirate Pat
  • Double Trouble
  • The Dressing-Up Box
  • Captain Mac
  • A Bus For Miss Moss
  • The Perfect Pet
  • Dog Diary
  • Bad Jack Fox
  • Grizzle Bear Rock
  • The Magic Ring
  • The Queen Makes A Scene
  • A Fright In The Night
  • Stop That Cow!
  • The Deep Dark Woods
  • Moon Zoom
  • Run, Rabbit, Run!
  • Late Night At The Zoo
  • Wild School
  • The Circus Under The Sea
  • The Monster Diner
  • Knight Fight
  • Mr Mystery

The next 12 books are taken from Usborne First Reading Level One. These delightful and very short stories are for children to try reading themselves.

  • The Greedy Dog
  • The Rabbit's Tale
  • Anansi And The Bag Of Wisdom
  • The Three Wishes
  • Old Macdonald Had A Farm
  • The Ant and The Grasshopper
  • The Fox and The Stork
  • The Fox and Crow
  • The Sun and The Wind
  • King Midas and The Gold
  • The Lion and The Mouse
  • The Wish Fish

16 further books are taken from Usborne First Reading Level Two. These slightly longer stories will build stamina and reading confidence.

  • Doctor Foster Went To Gloucester
  • The Magic Melon
  • How Bear Lost His Tail
  • Little Miss Muffet
  • Old Mother Hubbard
  • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  • The Daydreamer
  • There Was A Crooked Man
  • The Tortoise and The Eagle
  • King Donkey Ears
  • Clever Rabbit and The Wolves
  • The Old Woman Who Lives In A Shoe
  • How Elephants Lose Their Wings
  • The Genie In The Bottle
  • The Dragon and The Phoenix
  • Clever Rabbit and The Lion

How to help your child with reading:

  • Try to find a little time every day to sit down with your child and read together.
  • In the early stages, “little and often” is what’s most effective.
  • Give plenty of encouragement and praise.

For more information on the Usborne Reading Programme, visit 

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