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If you’re looking for suitable books for your 3 and 4 year old, our extensive list of expert recommendations is sure to put you in the right direction.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Most of the time Ravi can control his temper but, one day, he lets out the tiger within ... Being a tiger is great fun at first - tigers can do ANYTHING they want! But who wants to play with a growling, roaring, noisy, wild tiger who won't share or play nicely? Ravi is about to discover something very important about expressing his feelings and making amends. A clever and engaging book about temper tantrums, dealing with emotions and learning to express and understand your feelings. The perfect book for helping with bad days and noisy outbursts.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Hello Friend! tells the story of one relentlessly big-hearted and enthusiastic little girl who is insistent on befriending a certain little boy. And why wouldn't he want to be friends with her? She's very good at sharing - in fact, she insists on it, even if it's a sandwich that he doesn't like. And she's certain that being outside is their favourite thing to do, however reluctant he looks. But while he doesn't seem keen on many of the things that she loves to do, first impressions can be deceptive, and there is one thing he's very keen on after all . . . being friends. Inspired by her bubbly daughter who’s always eager to make new friends, Rebecca tells the sweet struggle in creating first friendships and how it comes more naturally to some than others. Also available from Rebecca Cobb: Lunchtime, Aunt Amelia and The Something.
August 2019 Debut of the Month | Treacle Street is a new lift-the-flap board book series that's perfect for fans of Acorn Wood and Pip and Posy! It's a bright sunny morning on Treacle Street, and Marcel the postman's trolley is FULL of parcels. Join him on his rounds to find out who they're all for - and lift the flaps to find out what's inside!
Join Maisy, every toddler's best friend, for her first experience of going to hospital. Maisy has broken her leg playing on the trampoline, and now she's in hospital for the night. At first it's a bit scary being all on her own, but she soon makes friends with Dotty in the next bed, and when Cyril and Tallulah visit the next day, Maisy begins to feel much better!
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Award 2017 - Books for Younger Children | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | This gorgeous Benji Davies title is now available in board book format! At the bottom of Syd's garden, through the gate and past the tree, is Grandad's house. Syd can let himself in any time he likes. But one day when Syd comes to call, Grandad isn't in any of the usual places. He's in the attic, where he ushers Syd through a door, and the two of them journey to a wild, beautiful island awash in color where Grandad decides he will remain. So Syd hugs Grandad one last time and sets sail for home. Visiting Grandad's house at the bottom of the garden again, he finds it just the same as it's always been - except that Grandad isn't there anymore. Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, Benji Davies's tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they're gone.
It hums and it thrumsvthrough day and night the magical, mystical rhythm of life! Follow the story of music back to the very beginning. Did it start with a stomp or a clap? This playful poem is an ode to the colourful world of music and rhythm
Uh-oh! An excitable (but very loveable) dog has found his way into this First Animals book and he will NOT let any of the other animals take their turn. Dogs are far more important, after all! And when the other animals get angry, this dog comes up with a very cunning plan to outwit them . . .
Magic happens in the hush of the night. When the stars start to glitter and the moon shines bright… Poor old Merrylegs is a dumpy, clumpy riding school pony - clomping round and round, day after day. But he has a dream. And when the fair comes to town his dream burns even brighter. But will he have the courage to make it come true? A stylish picture book with an empowering message: when you believe in yourself, you see the world with fresh eyes!
A little boy and girl find a seed, and decide to keep it safe. They play with it but it doesn't grow. What must they do to make it grow? When it flowers and dies they find it has left them lots of new seeds to plant. Perfect to get children interested in gardening and introduce them to the plant life cycle and seasons.
The third book from highly talented newcomer Fifi Kuo, this is an irresistible tribute to the joy of drawing. On each page a group of lively little boys and girls have fun with different types of illustration – finger painting, using felt tips and paints, making collages, even sewing. The message is clear – everyone can draw, creativity and self-expression are for us all, and it’s fun. The compositions are different on every page and there are separate little stories to follow throughout. A joyful read certain to inspire creativity.
Follow The Very Hungry Caterpillar on a journey through nature in this book packed with sticker scenes, puzzles, colouring-in and games. Discover wonderful weather, glorious greenery, colourful creatures and lots more - all without leaving the pages of this book! Big stickers make this the perfect first activity book for little nature explorers everywhere.
August 2019 Book of the Month | In this charming puzzle, Alice in Wonderland is updated to the modern city: the White Rabbit runs a hot dog stand and the Cheshire Cat is a wily cab driver. The Queen of Hearts even drives a pink stretch limo! The game contains 20 storytelling puzzle pieces printed on both sides. Each piece can be swapped around or flipped over to allow for all kinds of plot twists and turns, and there are three alternative endings. Together, all the pieces stretch out to over 8 feet. Anne Laval's witty illustrations will introduce a whole new audience to the classic story.
When an egg arrives on his doorstep, Beast doesn't quite know what to do: feed it? Take it for a nice long walk? Drop it? Doctor Yoko tells him he must keep it warm and just wait, but exactly what he's waiting for is a mystery to the Beast... Side-splitting humour from award-winning Chris Judge: adults will recognise (some of) Beast's first-time child-care mistakes, while children laugh out loud. This is the fourth in the award-winning Beast series, following The Lonely Beast, The Brave Beast and The Snow Beast.
July 2019 Book of the Month | This witty, hugely entertaining and stylishly illustrated picture book offers an explanation of anger that is absolutely spot on. ‘Swarm of bees!’ cries the narrator, ‘You are so angry! What will you do?’ And the bees are angry, because a boy has hit their hive with a tomato. They swirl from page to page, a furious crowd of yellow and black spots, meeting a variety of possible targets - a sailor, his mother, people in a block of flats. Meanwhile, we see that the boy with the tomatoes has thrown them at everyone in the book – who’s angriest now? Fortunately, the beekeeper recaptures the swarm and a parent similarly calms down the boy. Peace is restored after the busy, buzzing pursuit. Every child understand it can feel good to be angry, but will agree with the message here that it can feel better to stop.
This is a book to delight all young fans of heavy machinery. A little puppy gets a dream wake-up call: ‘Dugger Dugger Digger’. Sure enough, there’s a Dalmatian driving a digger past his window, and before long with a ‘Brmmm Brmmm Whee’ there’s a camel in a crane. What’s making the ‘Dump Splat Crash’? Turn the page to see a duck in a dump truck. There’ll be even more excitement too when the final page reveals what all these machines and workers have been creating! Rebecca Elliott’s trucks are satisfyingly chunky, loud and vibrant and there’s lots of fun to be had in joining in with the sounds they make. To quieten things down, see if children can spot Dalmatian’s friend Little Mouse, who’s hiding on every page.
Celebrate ten years of farmyard fun with this special anniversary edition of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks' bestselling picture book What the Ladybird Heard..And the ladybird said never a word. But the ladybird saw, And the ladybird heard . . . When the ladybird overhears Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len planning to steal the farmer's fine prize cow, it's up to her - the smallest, quietest creature on the farm - to stop the thieves . . . This rhyming farmyard adventure features two bungling robbers, one clever little ladybird - and lots of animal noises! Join in the fun with the What the Ladybird Heard 10th Anniversary Edition. With bright, distinctive artwork and glitter on every page, this special edition of the family-favourite story also features bonus material, including a letter from author Julia Donaldson and never-before-seen pictures from the illustrator Lydia Monks' sketchbook.
It's carnival time in the supermarket and the veggies are feeling festive! But someone is out to spoil the fun - with a devious device that could ruin EVERYTHING. Can Supertato and the veggies stop their colourful carnival from turning into a carnival catastro-pea?!
It's Sports Day at Twit Twoo School and all of the children are very excited. But no one is more excited than Rabbit. She's decided that she is going to win every race, and has been practising very hard. But as Rabbit wins medal after medal, she seems to be losing friend after friend. Perhaps they are getting tired of her boasting. And now there is just one big race to go. Will Rabbit keep her eyes on the prize, or might there still be time for her to learn that being kind can feel every bit as good as winning? Join Rabbit, Frog, Mouse, Mole, Owl and their teacher, Miss Hoot, at their fun-filled treetop school. With a cast of adorable animal characters and bright, bold, distinctive illustrations from the award-winning Lydia Monks, illustrator of the bestselling What the Ladybird Heard series, the Twit Twoo School series is sure to delight young children.
A hugely endearing, very funny story about kindness, friendship and overcoming fears, from award-winning illustrator Maisie Paradise Shearring. Anna and Otis the snake are great friends and they love having fun together. But Otis knows people are scared of snakes, so he usually just plays at home or in the garden. He is nervous when Anna suggests a new adventure. At first people are afraid, and Otis feels he isn't welcome in the town. But Anna encourages Otis not to give up, and it soon turns out that maybe snakes aren't as scary as people thought! The hairdresser enjoys shampooing a reptile for a change, and at the skate shop Sally has a lot of fun fitting Otis with his own set of awesome wheels. Anna and Otis is full of endless rich details to spot and Maisie's artwork is a treat to pore over.
Winner of the UKLA Shortlist Book Awards 2019 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | This must be one of the brightest and best picture books of the year. With minimalist illustrations – simple shapes against blocks of Day-Glo colour – and short lines of text, Morag Hood tells a story that will dazzle and entertain all readers. Cherries, Bat tells us, ‘are my favourite things’, following this up with a fiercely delivered threat: ‘Do not take my cherries.’ In later pages though we see the cherries being stolen. Bat is inconsolable until one of the thieves leaves a pear in their place. Bat’s emotions – joy, anger, confusion, despair, surprise and joy again – are rendered brilliantly in the tilt of an eyebrow and the angle of the head while the intensity of those emotions will be hilarious yet recognisable to child and parent alike. Superb!
July 2019 Debut of the Month | After George visits the Museum of Wildlife with Grandad, all he can think about is bugs! The very next day he goes out hunting, but he soon finds there are no more insects left in the garden, and the ones he has captured in jars don't look very happy... George is about to learn exactly why bugs are so important.
Brenda Is A Sheep is a massively mischievous and heart-warming story about being accepted, from Morag Hood - the creator of The Steves, I Am Bat, Aalfred and Aalbert, and author of Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert. Brenda says she is a sheep, but why does she look so different from her fluffy friends? All the sheep adore Brenda. With her sharp pointy teeth and cool grey fur, she's the snazziest sheep around. But Brenda is also very hungry, and doesn't much like the taste of grass . . . she soon begins plotting the most delicious feast of all. But will the sheep notice that Brenda isn't quite the same as them? A hilarious twist on the classic wolf-in-sheep's-clothing fable.
Lubna's best friend is a pebble. She found it on the beach when they arrived in the night, then she fell asleep in Daddy's salty arms. Lubna tells Pebble everything. About home. About the war. Pebble always listens to her stories and smiles when she feels afraid. But one day, when a little boy arrives, alone in a world of tents, Lubna poignantly understands that he needs Pebble even more than she does . . . Author Wendy Meddour joins forces with illustrator Daniel Egneus to create an important story about the power of friendship.
Nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal and shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2018 | This is the story of a worm in the earth, a bird in the trees, and the joy to be found in life's smallest moments, from the award-winning creator of The Fox and the Star.
The Not Just a Princess Book Series is about Princesses that have awesome careers and work together to solve problems. In Jade and the Princess Firefighter, a bush fire has gotten out of control. Jedda and Ms. Roo are doing their very best to stop it but it is getting VERY close to the Zoo. Can Jade and Mr. Monkey Help?
July 2019 Debut of the Month | Clem is an explorer, a collector, a protector of the seas! Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Childrens Book Prize 2019 | There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There's nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it. When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing anti-dark laws, it seems like a good idea. The citizens don't need to worry about any of the scary things that might live in the dark. But what happens when nobody can sleep, and the citizens revolt? Will the King face his fears and turn the lights off? The King Who Banned the Dark is a beautiful and thought-provoking story about how we need the dark in order to enjoy the light.
Quirky and original, this will be a real joy for parents to share with babies and toddlers. Full of kindness, Barry, a fish with the special attributes of fingers, uses his unusual feature to delight his friends. Fingers are good for all sorts of things and they are especially good for tickling! But they turn out to be even more useful when Barry saves the puffer fish from disaster by being able to point out the terrible danger that is about to befall him. All ends well with a gloriously fishy romp.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | A witty and clever story about a little mouse with very big ideas - she believes she is a tiger! She manages to convince a raccoon, a fox, a snake and a bird that she is a tiger, and that they are not what they think they are! But when a real tiger turns up, can the persuasive little rodent manage to persuade the tiger that he is a mouse!
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Jump inside the imagination of one unforgettable little girl who likes to pretend she's babysitting her daddy, when really he's looking after her! Children will adore following along as she turns the tables on her dad William, but always sees his potential. When he grows up he could be an astronaut or a lion tamer or a famous chocolate maker, but his most important job is being her Dad. (And possibly being an astronaut, if she can come too.) Originally published as Looking After William.
Molly the moth lives in the back of an old wardrobe. She loves her home and her family but she yearns for adventure. So by day she helps her mother look after the larvae, and by night she prepares for her space mission to the MOON! It's no easy feat for a little moth to fly all the way to the moon - but Molly is not a moth to give up on her dreams.
Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Red is finally old enough to go into the city on her own. One day, she sets off with her trusty dog Woody to take a cake to Grandma, but the city makes Red feel hungry and she eats the cake. Determined to find a new present for Grandma, Red journeys deeper into the city but she is consumed by a seemingly overwhelming amount of choice. Like all children, Red must find her own path and discover what matters the most. This stylish and beautiful book is the perfect gift.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Joe is a boy just like any other, but Joe loves to imagine. Joe lives in a pretty ordinary tower block, in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather grey. However, he spends his time imagining a wonderful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals. Once day Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony, he waits and waits but nothing happens! Joe gives up and goes back to his daily life, but one day when he least expects it he spots that the seed has turned into the most beautiful tree. Joe begins caring for the tree and growing lots of other plants on his balcony and soon everyone in the neighbourhood is getting involved.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | Best friends Betty and Maud love doing everything together. And they are sure that their favourite toys, Duck and Penguin do too. But Duck and Penguin do NOT! While Betty and Maud share playing in the sandpit, taking turns on the swings, painting and baking, Duck and Penguin push each other off the swings, crush each other’s sandcastles, and cover each other with paint and cake mix. Can they ever be friends? Luckily they can! Julia Woolf conveys this witty story about friendship – or not – most effectively through the venomous scowls and frowns and ferocious looks between the two soft toys in contrast to the brilliant warm smiles of Betty and Maud.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and he's very lonely. Until one day he meets Pat - Pat the big, grey . . . other squirrel. Cyril and Pat have lots of adventures and fun together and Cyril is so pleased he's made a friend. But everyone says that Cyril and Pat simply cannot be friends, and they soon reveal why: Pat, as the reader has known all along, is actually a RAT! But Cyril's life turns out to be a lot duller and quite a bit scarier without Pat by his side, and in the end the two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same, or listening to others.
Matilda and her dad are very different. Matilda is fast and Dad is slow. Matilda is tidy and Dad is messy, and Matilda is quiet and Dad is very, very loud. They're off to find treasure, but Dad keeps getting distracted. Soon, they're lost and Matilda is getting crosser and crosser... Will they ever find the way to treasure island? This funny, adventure-packed story teaches children that even though people are different, they can still have fun together. By the author of the best-selling There's a Tiger in the Garden and Juniper Jupiter.
Bear and Spider are best friends, but they couldn't be more different. Spider loves the outdoors - the warm sun, the fresh breeze, the colourful plants. Bear prefers being inside, with his cosy chair and warm tea. But when Spider's kite gets stuck in a tree, Bear agrees to help his friend get it back - even though he doesn't like the forest. As their quest to find Spider's kite goes from bad to worse, Bear realises that being a good friend sometimes means stepping out of your comfort zone. The fantastic duo from Bear's Scare is back in another quirky, charming friendship story, proving that true friends will stay by your side even on the rainiest of days.
June 2019 Book of the Month | Mia and Ben are the very best of friends. They live side by side at the edge of a great, wide lake and together they sail, and swing, and sing. But the thing they love the most is making paper planes. They dream of one day being able to make a plane that will fly all the way across the lake, and their planes become more and more intricate... But one day: terrible news. Ben's family are moving far, far away. How can Mia and Ben stay best friends if they are so far apart? And how will they ever realise their dream of making a plane that can fly across their lake? Find out in this moving, lyrical story of friendship and flight.
Maurice is the Station Mouse, and so he must follow The Station Mouse Handbook: Rule 1: A Station Mouse must remain unseen. Rule 2: A Station Mouse must never go out in the daytime. Rule 3: A Station Mouse must never approach the passengers. Now, there's a reason why these rules exist: people do not like mice. And if Maurice breaks the rules, even to help a little boy who has lost something very important, there's going to be a price to pay...
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2019 | From the creators of The Night Gardener, comes a stunning new picture book about a young boy who sets sail to find a place his grandfather told him about... the spot where the ocean meets the sky. It's a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it's a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn's grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He'll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he'll find something he didn't know he was looking for.
The Perfect Book for Kids to learn about our solar system! Planet Mercury, the tiniest and closest to the Sun, has to warn other planets about a potential disaster. The message travels through space and time from planet to planet. They all react differently, and are grateful for the warning. What will happen to the planets in our solar system? With “Thank You Mercury!” kids will learn facts about astronomy and our solar system, while at the same time reading a fun story about friendship and gratitude.
Finlay (a little dinosaur) is counting out jelly beans to share with his friend. He is sitting on a grassy mound. A big dinosaur comes along and demands the jelly beans. He is rather rude, a bit of a show-off, and he thinks that Finlay's friend is a figment of his imagination. What follows is a lot of posturing from the big dinosaur as he attempts to prove his worth with various antics on and around the grassy mound. As the book progresses it will gradually become clear to the reader that the 'grassy mound' is in fact, Finlay's friend, the really, really, really big dinosaur! The big dinosaur certainly doesn't realize until his bravado propels him into a dark cave that turns out to be the mouth of the really, really, really big dinosaur. It's only then that the big dinosaur learns that in order to make friends it's a good idea not to show off and it's a good idea to be prepared to share. Perfect for fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field's The Squirrels Who Squabbled.
Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2019 | Already shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, Julian is a Mermaid is an outstanding picture book, surely destined to become a classic. Julian is out with Nana when he notices three women dressed as mermaids. In his heart of hearts – we see it described over three fabulous wordless spreads – Julian knows he is a mermaid too and while Nana takes a bath he sets out to transform himself into one. Nana’s response is life-affirming and the two head out to join the mermaid party. The illustrations dazzle and as a celebration of individuality, the imagination, freedom and love, it can’t be beaten.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | A beautiful picture book about friendship and art. Bob and Bat are best friends. They do everything together (look out for the wonderful illustration of them dancing to the radio!) but best of all they love painting. Then one day Bat leaves a note for Bob explaining that he has to go away for a while. Bob is bereft, indeed just how sad is clear not just in his attitude, but in his paintings: whatever he paints is blue, representative of the big blue hole where Bat used to be. Fortunately his other friends come to his help, opening his eyes to the colourful beauty and hope of a sun rise, and shortly after that, Bat returns too. This is simply gorgeous to look at, and opens up all sorts of discussions about friendship, resilience, art and expression.
The wonderful world of Elmer is brought to life for you to doodle, colour and create! Unleash your creativity as you learn to draw an elephant, help Elmer's Birds dress up for the parade, invent a new jungle fruit and more... With a different colour on each page, join Elmer and his friends to draw, doodle and colour-in Elmer's rainbow world.
A message from Anthony Browne, one of the UK's most brilliant and respected Picture Book Illustrators, who was Children's Laureate 2009-11:
"Picture books are special – they're not like anything else. Sometimes I hear parents encouraging their children to read what they call proper books, books without pictures, at an earlier and earlier age. This makes me sad, as picture books are perfect for sharing, and not just with the youngest children. As a father, I understand the importance of the bond that develops through reading picture books with your child. We have in Britain some of the best picture book makers in the world, and I want to see their books appreciated for what they are – works of art." Picture books, he said, are "perfect for any age".
The books in this genre will have more story than those books featured in the Baby and Toddler genre but still with lots of stunning imagery to share with your child and for them to enjoy alone.
As children begin to communicate more readily and are a little more dextrous then you’ll find they want to occupy their mind with books that are a little more challenging, perhaps even with more pages and more of a storyline.
The picture books in this section with a greater range of text to accompany some absolutely stunning imagery provide a terrific next stage.
Titles in this section will be refreshed each month with a range of new and older titles that we feel should not to be missed by any young child.
Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
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