The Best Book Sets To Get Children Into Reading This Summer

AD Whether we are at home, or travelling on adventures one of the things you are sure to find in our bag is books. If you are looking at buying some new books for your children this summer,  here are some great picture book sets for younger children and easy to read book series for Tweens. We have selected a combination of classics and newer books that you will enjoy as much as your children.

My children have always loved books, although at times they can be reluctant to read and they would rather be read to. We have lots of books, but it’s often the same ones that are read over and over again, which is why I love a box set. Not only can you get them at a great price (check out the huge savings at Books2Door), but when children love one book in a set they often love them all. If my children particularly love a book they can normally be encouraged to read different ones in the set as opposed to the same story over and over again. Yes repetition is great for their learning, but a bit of variety is great for us as parents.

A close up of lots of book sets for reluctant readers
Great book sets to get children reading this summer

Some of Our Favourite Book Recommendations for Children’s Summer Reading

Picture Book Sets For Preschoolers and Early Readers

A view over a preschoolers shoulder towards a dinosaur picture book
Reading picture books with preschoolers is a great way to encourage literacy

The Mo Willems Pigeon Book Collection

My sister bought my daughter The Pigeon Needs a Bath about 6 years ago. M has always been one of those children who refuses to get in the bath, making every excuse possible and then when you get her in she doesn’t want to get out again. Exactly like the pigeon in the book. 

There are 6 picture books in the Pigeon Book Collection which all follow a similar format. Pigeon is basically like a toddler who asks ridiculous things and as an adult you’ll find some of the lines amusing, recognising them from children.  Two of the books also feature a duckling which brings in a cute sibling style element. The books are easy to read and introduce ideas about sharing and rules without being preachy. 

6 pigeon books by Mo Williams with one book open showing a pigeon refusing to have a bath
The Pigeon Book Collection by Mo Willems

Meg & Mog The Complete Collection

You must have heard of Meg and Mog? Both my partner and I read the books when we were small and we love reading them to our children. In this set there are all 20 books in large paperback making the pages bright and easy to read. The books were first published in the 1970s and they are written and illustrated by Helen Nicoll & Jan Pienkowski. The stories follow the adventures of a witch called Meg and her cat Mog. They are simple and easy to follow for young children. 

20 book set of Meg & Mog picture books
Meg & Mog books have been read with children for 50 years

Dinosaur Adventures

This book set of 10 Dinosaur Adventures has fictional stories about different dinosaurs. Each book is written and illustrated by a different person but in a reasonably similar style. While the story quality is variable little dinosaur fans are bound to love the bright illustrations and all the different dinosaurs mentioned, many of which I had never heard of before (I might have had to Google them to make sure they weren't made up).

A book set of fictional stories about dinosaurs for preschoolers
Dinosaur Adventures are fictional stories about dinosaurs

Book Set Recommedations for Tweens and Reluctant Free Readers

My 10 year olds is an excellent reader, but at times she wants really easy to read and funny books that she can devour quickly. The book sets I recommend below are perfect for reluctant Tween readers or those that just like an easy read. The pages are filled with plenty of images making them appealing to all, even those who prefer to read comics.

Tom Gates Book Set

This popular series by Liz Pichon follows the adventures of school boy Tom Gates. They are written in the first person and full of doodles. As well as the main books there are activity ones to accompany the main series, like “You Can Draw”. There are currently 19 books (with the 20th due for release in October 2022) and buying the sets is a great way to get started.

First 5 books in the Tom Gates tweens book set by Liz Pichon
Get into The Brilliant World of Tom Gates with this starter book set

Diary of A Wimpy Kid

The Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney follows the story of Greg Heffley as he starts middle school with his best friend. The books are written as a series of diary entries with cartoon style drawings. They explore themes including friendship and popularity.

Example page from Diary of A Wimpy Kid showing pictures and writing
Example page from Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Captain Underpants

This series by Dav Pilkey follows the adventures of school children George and Harold who write comics books featuring super hero Captain Underpants. They accidentally hypnotise their mean headteacher Mr Krupp and turn him into a real Captain Underpants. He's not the best super hero on the block though and things don't always go to plan.

Close up of a couple of pages from a Captain Underpants book showing text and images
Example page from Captain Underpants series


If you are looking for books which are still easy to read, but have less pictures then I recommend book sets from writers below. While a few of the books have sequels the books in the sets are mostly standalone stories. Neither David Walliams or Jaqueline Wilson shy away from difficult subjects that many Tweens are affected by with stories covering topics such as puberty, tolerance, death and divorce. The books are sensitively written and should allow children to explore the topics without being too triggering.

David Walliams

If you are familiar with David Walliams adults comedy you might be a little worried about his books but he has written many award winning books for varying ages from picture books to fiction loved by tweens. Yes there may be jokes about cabbage farts, but children will be laughing a long happily. Many of David Walliams books have plenty of drawings in to break up the text, but there is more text than in Tom Gates, Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants. Several of his books have been turned into films, series and stage shows (we recently saw Gangsta Granny on stage).

Example pages from Slime by David Walliams showing different style text with lots of white space
Many David Walliams books are written in an easy to read style which is great for reluctant readers

Jacqueline Wilson

With books like the Suitcase Kid (where Andy travels between her parents' houses as they go through a bitter divorce and she tries to get them back together) Jacqueline Wilson’s books cover many issues like divorce, adoption, bullying and mental illness that aren’t regularly explored in children’s books. Her books often have females as the lead character and tend to appeal to girls more than boys, but they will be enjoyed by all. Jacqueline Wilson’s books have won countless awards and while many of the stories are stand alone, Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather have been turned into multi-book series. 

Close up of a page of text in Jacqueline Wilson tween fiction book
Close up of Jacqueline Wilson's book The Illustrated Mum

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