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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 3+. The books in this genre will have more story than the books featured in the Baby and Toddler genre but still have stunning imagery and simple storylines to share with your child and for them to enjoy alone. Suitable for 3-4+ The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some are picture books which are also suitable for Baby & Toddlers. Others will be relevant to 5+ children who are not quite ready to take the next step towards independent reading and enjoy a more simple story.
May 2022 Debut of the Month | Every page in this gloriously illustrated picture book exhorts readers to be wild and presents them with a series of unforgettable scenes to inspire them: a child carried on an elephant’s trunk, flying on the back of a swan, diving into the deepest blue. A text to stir the heart accompanies the illustrations and the final page leaves us standing with the child, arms flung wide under a sky full of stars. Truly beautiful, this is a book to summon up all that the world can offer and the possibilities in all of us for adventure, joy and discovery. Stunning.
Little George the Wombat is going to play with his friends Fred the Kangaroo, Annie the Goose and Lizzie the Mouse. His parents warn him to be careful and, before he leaves, Daddy Wombat shares some self-defence techniques. But on the way, George runs into Wilma the Fox who has plans to gobble the little wombat up. First George runs, then he stands his ground and uses his secret weapon, his wombat bottom! As she crashes into it, Wilma sees stars… George is ultra-lovable and it's another very funny story with a satisfying (and rock hard) ending. This series is full of useful life tips – here about finding the courage to face your fears – as well as fascinating wombat facts. Who knew their bottoms were such powerful weapons!
May 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | Within a heart-warming story revolving around the love between a grandchild and her granny, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence has cleverly found a new way of telling a beautiful story of one young woman’s arrival in England on the Empire Windrush while also touching on the amazing achievements of some of the best-known black women from previous generations. When Ava asks her Granny to help her dress up as someone she admires for a school assembly, Granny goes straight to the dressing up trunk. Should Ava go as Mary Secole or Rosa Parks? Both are women that she admires but she knows her school friends will go as them too. But then Ava discovers Granny’s suitcase. In it, there are just a few precious things that she was given when she left home. Each is a reminder of Granny’s family at home. Ava listens to Granny’s story about leaving home and about staying on – even though there were some dark days along the way. Inspired, Rosa knows that her own Granny is the person she most admires!
Bedtime – anytime – is better with Elmer and here’s another gorgeous story starring this much-loved patchwork hero. Elmer is babysitting two little elephants and decides a good walk will tire them out. Everyone they meet suggests he tell them a bedtime story, and everyone has a different favourite to recommend. When he finally comes to settle the little elephants down for the night, which story will he choose? It doesn’t matter, because all three are asleep before they get to the happy ever after! This is of course a perfect bedtime story – gentle, funny and full of warmth. David McKee’s illustrations always dazzle, and here the jungle scenes are practically glow in the dark.
The action in this entertaining and informative picture book takes place on a riverbank. Otters live on one side of the river, badgers live on the other, and they do not get along! In fact, things have got so quarrelsome that the leaders have decided no otter and no badger must EVER cross the river. But things are set to change when Francie (a kind of otter Mary Berry) gets involved; if anything can bring the two sets of riverbank dwellers together, it’s Francie’s baking! Both sides are delightfully childish and childlike – there’s a cake fight that will delight young readers and some very inventive name-calling – but the message of the importance getting along, of tolerance and compromise is neatly delivered. And it all ends with a recipe for Francie’s chocolate chip cookies – delicious!
Circle loves the tower that the squares and hexagons have built and wants to make his own. But circles, diamonds and triangles are pointier, rounder and much wobblier - making a tower is not as easy as it looks! The shapes try and try but their tower just keeps tumbling down. Can Circle persuade them to have just one more try? In this perfectly shaped follow up to the bestselling The Perfect Fit geometry meets brilliant storytelling and vibrant artwork.
The benefits – to physical and mental health – of going out for a walk are widely acknowledged, and they are all captured in this bright, joyful picture book. We join little Maya as she sets out for a walk, grown up in tow. There are so many fun things they can do together, from spying tiny secrets – busy ants scurrying, baby plants sprouting – to listening out for noises or copying animals. Each double page is lively, full of things to spot and name, and Maya herself is a busy bundle of energy at the centre of it all. It ends with Maya tucked up in bed and an invitation to think about the walk you will take as you drift off to sleep, while a final spread reminds us of all the things we can do on a walk. Walking, whatever the destination, will be much more fun after reading this.
Pants: guaranteed to make children giggle, and they’ll do it on a massive scale in this story. Fred is going fishing and doesn’t notice that he’s caught his favourite pair (super stretchy, super strong) on the end of his hook. As he wanders happily through the town on his way to the seafront, more and more things - animals, people, cars, a train! - get scooped up. Fred, you see, is a giant so there’s room for all of them in his super-stretchy, super-strong pants. The ‘pantemonium’ he causes will delight children who will revel in the absurdity and cheekiness of it all and they’ll be joining in with the chorus ‘Oh, pantemonium’ by the second reading if not the end of the first, thanks to Bently’s flawless rhyming text. Fred is very friendly in Becka Moor’s illustrations, convincingly oblivious to the chaos in his wake, which is also beautifully depicted. Super!
Nobody captures young children’s body language and expressions better than Roald Dahl Funny Prizewinning author, Rebecca Patterson, who is inspired in this latest book by her own lived experience of growing up with a disabled sister. The delightful Connie is our narrator and uses a wheelchair, which is never mentioned until it is commandeered by bossy playmate Ada as her ‘Throne of Rolling Power’. Ada and Colin, the Beswicks from next door, interrupt the magnificent game of unicorn farmers that Connie and big sister Frankie had been enjoying. The glum expressions of the three children, including Ada’s long suffering little brother Colin, trying to follow Queen Ada’s instructions for how to play her games, are simply hilarious. But when they rebel and leave her behind, Ada burst into tears and Colin shares a few home truths with his sister before Connie the peacemaker suggests they all be good unicorns together and a whole day of unicorn play follows. Not only a lovely relatable message about how to play together so that everyone is happy, but a really positive depiction of sibling love and, most importantly, portraying a disabled central character full of agency and fun.
This zesty addition to Maire Zepf’s Rita series sees imaginative Rita discover that getting what you want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that sharing experiences can be better than going it alone. “Rita has the best ideas. And she loves to be in charge”, which means she struggles when people won’t do as they’re told. Always determined to find solutions to life’s problems, Rita decides she needs a genie, because “a genie always does what you want, no matter what”. A genie also gives you whatever you want – a magic carpet, a golden palace, jewels – and, as Rita enthuses, “you won’t even have to share if you don’t want to”. True to form, Rita realises that her plan might be flawed. “Genies don’t just have one master, do they?”, and other’s people’s wishes might conflict with her own. Packed with energy and emotion, this is a great story to share aloud with toddlers who are learning about sharing. The series includes; Rita wants a Witch Rita wants a Robot Rita wants a Ninja Rita wants a Fairy Godmother Rita wants a Dragon Rita wants a Genie Find out more about the series from author Máire Zepf.
From two bestselling and awardwinning creators comes a magical, lyrical celebration of babies' first experiences. From the comfort of home to the adventure of the great outdoors, from family to first encounters with nature, Welcome to the World revels in the joy that comes with sharing this new world with children, and seeing it through their eyes. A perfect read-aloud story for sharing from Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury.
The planets are going on holiday. Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Uranus, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn – they’re all packed and ready to go. But apparently there’s no room on the bus for Earth. She’s upset, and then determined so she sets off in her car and confronts the others about why didn’t they let her on. Their answer is surprising: they left her out because they think she’s got fleas… When Earth points out what the real reason is for all that movement, the others are amazed at the myriad of birds, fish, animals and insects that live on Earth. She explains to them too that they can’t catch the things she’s got, to support life you have to be just right. In Alex Latimer’s illustrations all the planets have personalities and their holiday to the Milky Way looks like great fun. There’s a message to learn about being kind to others, but lots of information to pick up too on the planets and their characteristics, and it’s all delivered in a satisfying rhyming text. And how can you resist any book that depicts the moon as a friendly little dog?
The baby mice love to imagine all the different kinds of poo! Would a penguin do a sparkly, frosty, South Pole poo? Would an astronaut do a rocket-powered, weightless poo? But there's just one rule for the baby mice on their day out today: NO TALKING ABOUT POO! Dad has forbidden it. But with all the hilarious possibilities, how will they stop?! From New York Times bestselling author Daisy Bird and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlisted illustrator Marianna Coppo, this laugh-out-loud ode to poop is perfect for fans of 101 Bums and Poo in the Zoo.
Can the Miffkins help this quarrelsome brother and sister find common ground? When Mia and her little brother Jim fall out, they both feel terrible... until the Miffkins turn up. They're small, cute and very mischievous! Can looking after these curious little creatures bring Mia and Jim back together?
Adventure, drama and the best superhero gang since Avengers Assemble, this picture book has the lot. The gang (little children all) have a great spot to play in and they like it very much. But when Solo, their worst enemy arrives, no-one can stand up to her and stop her spoiling it, not super-strong Brick or speedy Thunderbolt, or even brave Hero. No-one that is but Pip, a small pipsqueak with no obvious super-hero talents. Pip has one thing that Solo doesn’t though – the gang, and that’s what makes him powerful. The story explains with clarity and humour how much of a superpower it is to have friends, and that friends make things fun, not locations, no matter how great. It’s funny and satisfying and will be enjoyed on repeated readings. Andrew Gardner has a lot of fun illustrating the superhero gang and their base too. One for pipsqueaks everywhere! You can find more books with this theme in our Collection of Brilliant Books about Friendship
Part of the brilliantly silly series that includes You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus, You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Digger, You Can't Call an Elephant in an Emergency and You Can't Take an Elephant on Holiday, You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car is a fabulous addition to Patrice Cleveland-Peck and David Tazzyman’s riotously engaging picture book partnership. “You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car” – his vehicle will fall apart before he even makes it to the start! But this book isn’t only about the misguided elephant. Each spread features a fresh animal engaging in an activity that isn’t entirely appropriate. How about a walrus wonkily attempting to ride a bike? Or an excitable octopus playing table tennis? And what do you think would happen if a hippo tried to pole-vault? And so this delightful dance of absurdity continues, with a denouement that reminds readers that taking part and trying your best matters more than winning medals. With illustrations that’ll prompt laughter and discussion (“what are those silly monkeys doing? Look at the puma stuck on the diving board!”) and rhyming text that begs to be chanted aloud, this is one of those marvellous “again, again!” kind of books.
Longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2022 | Shortlisted for the Booktrust Storytime Prize | Perfectly pitched and re-assuring for parents whose child is being contrary, and interactive as children will love to join in with all Rabbit's 'Nos' and will want to read the book again and again.
Julia Green has written a gentle tale based on her son’s adventures. The boy who loves the sea sails away and follows the currents and the stars until he finds a peaceful island. The Islanders welcomed him, and he lives with them in their natural surroundings in harmony with the land. Whilst sailing the boy navigates by the moon and the stars, battles with the sea when it storms, and enjoys the company of all the sea creatures who joined his boat whilst sailing. This book is filled with the joy and wonder of the natural world surrounding us. It's also about making your wishes come true with determination, empathy, self-reliance and curiosity. Latimer has taken this beautiful story and created colourful, witty pictures which keeps the reader engaged and spotting lots of detail that support the rolling prose of the sea in this gentle adventure. A picture book to inspire and enjoy.
A delightful story with many hidden messages to teach children about love, friendship, forgiveness and faithfulness. The illustrations are stunning and serve to enhance the story. It is a book that children will come back to again and again and is written in such a way as to help new readers develop their own reading skills. Jill Barton, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Written by the nation’s favourite get-up-and-go fitness guru in collaboration with celebrated children’s writer Vivian French, Joe Wicks’ The Burpee Bears presents a blast of high-energy hijinks for families to read together, do together, and eat together - the book also contains fun physical exercises and recipes to help readers keep up the good work after the last page has been turned. Paul Howard’s illustrations are a blast of energy too - colourful, characterful, and dynamic. Meet the Burpee Bear family - from the moment they open their eyes, they get busy stretching and whirling before heading off on an adventure. Cue a whole lot of lively lunging, crawling and jumping, with Mummy and Daddy Bear’s infectious enthusiasm spurring young Bella, Frankie and Baby Bear (and readers) to enjoy getting active in the great outdoors. With a fun refrain to read (or yell) along with (“Are we ready? Are we steady? Let’s get cuddling/going/jumping/building!”), this is the perfect book to read together ahead of setting off on your own adventures, with tasty, healthy recipes to make on your return.
A special 10th anniversary edition of The Journey Home, the debut book by the first-ever UK recipient of the amazing 'Sendak Fellowship' and created with input from the great Maurice Sendak himself. It's the story of a polar bear who heads off in a boat looking for somewhere new to live and on the way he picks up other endangered friends including an orangutan, an elephant and a panda to name just three. It's a beautiful book, full of things for parents to talk about with their children as they read it.
A Story of Hope for Us and Our Planet | Whenever a new story by Michael Morpurgo, the nation’s most beloved storyteller, is published, it’s worth taking note for, as we know, the charm of the tale usually contains a vital and important message. In this wonderful story, told with Sir Michael’s trademark gentleness and empathy, he starts with a ‘conversation’ between himself and a blackbird that starts an idea which one animal passes to another and so travels the world through each animal’s song, whisper, call or cry until the whole of the world is singing together in gladness. It is a delightful whimsy that conceals the truth that everything on the planet is interconnected, that we are all reliant on each other’s place in the natural order of things. In so very few words Sir Michael gently reminds us that we are merely the custodians of our planet and that we are responsible for its preservation, that each and every one of us is a part of this world and needs to care for it. Gloriously illustrated by Emily Gravett, who makes sheep look fun and crocodiles kind, this is truly a book to gladden hearts, young and old alike. ~ Paul Blezard The LoveReading LitFest invited Michael Morpurgo to the festival to talk about his books, A Song of Gladness and the urgent need for us to join together in caring for the planet and every creature in it. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.
This punk rocker poodle is having a bad day and refusing everything including food, drinks brushing of teeth and washing. What happens when a young rebel decides that everything is just not right on this particular day? Absolutely everything that can be refused is refused, our hero wants to be left alone to do what they want without sharing, without eating, without rules. We all have days like this and can sympathise with our hero until, at last, tiredness sets in. There is nothing nicer when going to bed then a cuddle, a kiss and some warm milk to settle down for sleep. This is a gloriously anarchic look at a bad day for a toddler and would make good reading at the end of a difficult day. Presented as a poetic rap the rhyme and rhythm carry you through the difficult day for our grumpy youngster. Told with humour and warmth, full of colour this book will be a favourite for many young people.
What a lovely, informative and beautifully illustrated book! The story is fun to read with young children. I have 2 granddaughters with whom I can read this book and they would both enjoy it in different ways. The three year old would enjoy the rhymes and illustrations. The seven year old would enjoy the astronomy information as she loves science. The star school at the end is wonderful as both girls would find it interesting and educational. I would happily read this story to my granddaughters and share it with friends. Judy Blake, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A giant baby is on the loose and everything in the Kingdom is about to be destroyed! He tramples the forest and flattens houses and bridges, he sits on the train station and shakes the passengers out of a double decker bus. Neither the soldiers or the airforce can stop him. As he approaches the castle, the King and Queen shake in terror and call a meeting of all their best advisors. What is to be done to save the kingdom? Only the Princess has an answer. As she keeps saying, he is only a baby…Young readers will love this playful and imaginary realisation of a familiar family drama which is vividly captured in Bruce Ingman’s large scale illustration which blend real and imaginary worlds perfectly.
A gorgeously illustrated book about friendship and looking past differences from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner Catherine Rayner. Bear is walking through the forest, minding his own business when he comes across another bear. The Other bear is different. The two bears wander along, thinking different thoughts, and looking in different directions. Soon the two bears come across another bear and then another bear and eventually find a bear stuck in a tree. The bears realise that perhaps they aren't that different after all and perhaps they could be friends?
From the creators of Mince Spies, Santa Jaws and Jingle Smells comes another hilarious romp that's guaranteed to make you laugh this summer! This is the story of a little hot dog who longs for just one thing: to be a real dog. But when the Mustard Fairy makes his dreams come true, will he be accepted by the other dogs? Or will he have to fight for his place in the sun? Packed with beaches, sunshine, ice cream and seaside silliness galore, this is the picture book of the summer!
A brand new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake It's rotten when you're very small, You hardly get a say at all. It's No! and Quiet! and That's enough! By golly, life - it can be tough . . . Inspired by the work of the world's number 1 storyteller, this picture book is a guide to growing up the Roald Dahl way, with gloriumptious illustrations by Quentin Blake. A celebration of all the tremendous things children have in store - from adventure to inventions, chocolate cakes to rhino poo - along with a reminder that the very best grown ups are those who hold on tight to the chiddler inside.
Two lorries, two cheerful crews, set out from the depot in the morning for a busy day, ‘Empty lorry, load lorry, straight back on the road, lorry’. There’s so much to do and so many other vehicles and drivers they encounter. With its irresistible tongue-exercising rhyming text, most lines only two words long, and bright, busy illustrations, this is a celebration of traffic jam-packed with fun. It will be essential reading for any young transportophile, but just as entertaining for the rest of the family too.
Discover the joy of dancing and the importance of family, whatever your culture, ability or style with Luna! When Luna dances, she feels like the world's volume turns up, like all colours brighten, like sunlight sparkles behind every cloud. But when she takes her dance exam she ducks, dives, spins and... falls. Luna thinks she can't be a real dancer now. Can Luna's family convince her otherwise? From the team that brought us Luna Loves Library Day, Luna Loves Art, and Luna Loves World Book Day, celebrate every culture and every style of dance with Luna, featuring a glorious fold out carnival page.
Martha loves drawing maps. She creates maps of everything - even her thoughts and dreams! Let Martha be your guide as she welcomes you to her world. Starting in outer space, we zoom in page by page, to our planet, Martha's community, and beyond to her dreams of a future where anything is possible. Full of quirky details and fun non-fiction labels that children will love poring over. They will discover cool new facts with every reading. Each map is imbued with an irresistible sense of excitement about the world and optimism for the future.
Albert is desperate to get a pet, so he’s really excited when Dad finally brings one home. There’s just one problem: it’s a potato. Potatoes can’t do anything a proper pet does . . .can they?! A funny story with a sweet, green-fingered resolution for any child who’s ever begged their parents for a pet!
From Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted Robert Starling comes this new tale about the incredible places books can take us. Astrid’s family has just moved in to the mouse hole in the bookshop on Maple Street, and none of her new classmates believes the incredible adventures she has with her family. But when she invites each of them to the bookshop, they’ll see that there is a big, exciting world of possibilities there, just waiting to be discovered . . .
There are billions of families, a million ways to be. But in my magic family it's Mummy, Mum and me! Let's tell our family stories - fantastical and true - and we'll find out who's who to me, and who is who to you. In this celebratory, reassuring rhyming story a little girl with two mummies shares the magic of her family and discovers how magic all her friends' families are too. This is a warm, funny read-aloud that's perfect for opening up conversations about different families in a playful, creative way.
Flo and her dog Ebb have a wonderful moonlit adventure as they hunt for Morgawn, a mythical sea monster. Camping out on the beach with Mum, Flo and Ebb sit round the fire and look out at the starry night and wonder about the huge monster which might be lying in wait for them out there in the sea. It’s scary to think of but does she really exist? A beautiful book, full of wondering.
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".
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.
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