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A new selection of books especially chosen to introduce toddlers and young children to the world, through colours, shapes, numbers, letters and more.
Wow! Bright pages depicting animals in gorgeous jungle illustrations house die-cut numbers from one to five. Each number has a sliding disc enabling little fingers to follow the arrows, move the disc and trace the shape of the number while counting along with the text: one fierce tiger, two stripy zebras etc. Counting books seldom have much in the way of story or text, but here each spread features a four line verse, and introduces new words or concepts: parrots squabble, flamingo’s feathers are ‘bright as jewels’. An unusually eye-catching and effective first book. ~ Andrea Reece
Counting from one to ten is great fun with this jolly, carefully thought-out board book. There’s just one line of text on each page, short but interesting with some nicely onomatopoeic language (tractors chugging, fire trucks rumbling). This describes the scene and numbers the vehicles. Readers are also asked questions and given extra things to count and find, a good way to keep and hold their attention. The illustrations are bright and attractive, lots of fun to look at, and the machines each carry smiling animal characters – stories in waiting there. A round tab on each page reinforces number recognition and makes it easy for little hands to turn the pages. ~ Andrea Reece There's a companion title, Amazing Machines First Words too!
This large format board book with its clever round tabs is a great first book to share with pre-school age children. Ten spreads take us to various locations – city, farm, airport and more. In each picture there are bright objects to spot and name and particularly cheery animal characters going about their daily business, waiting at the bus stop, driving a combine harvester, checking in at the airport. Everything is clearly labelled and while there’s no narrative there’s lots of action and the opportunity to talk about what’s going on. Questions challenge the reader to find and count specific items. Vehicles and machines have a starring role in the illustrations too and this will particularly appeal to youngsters with a passion for modes of transport. ~ Andrea Reece There's a companion title, Amazing Machines First Numbers too!
Popular children’s characters the Twirlywoos make learning to recognise and name colours fun and enjoyable. This sturdy board book, just the right size for little hands, shows them having an exciting if typically messy time with paint. It’s an eye-catching, giggle-inducing and memorable way to introduce colours to children who will enjoy learning alongside these familiar, jolly little creatures. ~ Andrea Reece
This robust, beautifully illustrated board book is a great way to teach young children about nature, and will also boost their vocabulary. Themed under headings such as gardens and parks; feathers, eggs and nests; and rocks and gems, the pages feature an array of birds, animals, insects and plants, all clearly illustrated and labelled. Many will be familiar to UK children, the little wren for example, branch of ivy, or dandelion clock, while others are more exotic – the Baobab tree, or Arctic fox. Each page, each object is lovely to look at and provides so much to spot and discuss. ~ Andrea Reece
Another excellent first concepts book from Usborne. A little zebra daydreams about being different colours, pink like Flamingo, green like Crocodile, or even a multi-coloured combination of all, before deciding that black and white is best for playing hide and seek. Clever cut outs on each page turn zebra from one colour to another, and there’s a nice big flap to lift as an extra treat on the final page. It’s a lovely way to teach children colours and there’s an important message too about being happy with who you are. With lots to name, count and spot on each page, it’s great for sharing. ~ Andrea Reece
Sophisticated and stylish, this new board book will do more than teach children their A, B, C. Aino-Maija Metsola’s bold colours, geometric shapes and strong lines really catch the eye, letters and objects standing out vividly. The illustrations are chic but friendly – a grinning dinosaur, busy mouse and quizzical looking octopus amongst others – and the black letters are just as appealing. It provides ways to talk about colours and shapes as well as letters, and there are opportunities for counting on each page too. ~ Andrea Reece
What a gorgeous counting book! Lucy Cousins’ boldly drawn fish and equally colourful numbers are wonderfully eye-catching and the accompanying rhyming text is lots of fun to read and repeat. The fish come in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns and they gleam on the sturdy matt boards, tempting little fingers to touch, trace and count them. Fishy fun for the littlest in the family! ~ Andrea Reece
Join everyone's favourite pet, and learn to count with MOG! Mog is the forgetful cat that everybody loves, and now you can learn to count with her in this brand new book for very young readers. This delightful book is the perfect introduction to counting and with its gorgeous illustrations and Mog's unique humour it's sure to remain a favourite for years to come. Perfect for very young readers from ages two and up.
Lovely to look at, this is an effective way of learning to count up to five, and in five different languages too. Each page features a child, who each speaks a different language: Spanish, Mandarin, English, French and Japanese. A special panel down the side features little vignettes of their faces, press them and you can hear the children counting to five in their own language. Readers will quickly be joining in, and there’s lots more to hold their attention on the pages too, as well as extra phrases to try out. An ingenious method of putting the fun into language learning, and a way of showing children how much they share with other nationalities, even though we all speak different languages. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2018 There are many books of opposites, none like this. Opposites – big, small; messy, tidy; loud, quiet – are illustrated via vivid, stylish depictions of animals. A giraffe for example is high – so high there’s simply not room to depict neck or head, while on the opposite page a brightly coloured snake slithers through the grass to illustrate low. Some concepts are startling in their vocabulary – a peacock, tail outspread, is ‘fancy’ while a crow on the facing page is ‘sober’. Each picture tells a story too, the tiger up close licking its lips while three antelope - ‘far’ - tear off into the distance on the opposite page. A book that combines learning and discovery, words and pictures working together perfectly. ~ Andrea Reece A beautiful wordless book of opposites which will inspire young readers to think and imagine. In stylishly illustrations set onto an empty background a fancy peacock is contrasted with a sober blackbird, a big elephant with a small mouse, a slow tortoise with a fast cheetah and a stripy bee with a spotty ladybird. stimulating to look at and fun to talk about. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2018 The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue King Coo by Adam Stower Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins We Are Not Frogs! (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear by Margrete Lamond Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird What Do People Do All Day? (50th anniversary edition) by Richard Scarry Bird House by Libby Walden Bug Hotel by Libby Walden Alone Together by Clayton Junior The Lost Penguin by Claire Freedman
A wonderfully inventive and original search-and-find book, The Alphabet of Alphabets will keep children entertained for hours. Each page features a different alphabet of things, one for each letter of the alphabet, from B is for birds to Z is for zoo, via H is for hats (a personal favourite) and R is for reptiles. Allan Sanders’ meticulously drawn artwork fills busy scenes with activity, and in each there’s a complete A – Z of things to find. Sometimes there are two separate alphabets to discover and, in extra challenges, there’s a queen to find on every page, and a pair of underpants too. Some of the words illustrated will be new to children – exosphere, Kepi and Zamboni for example – and a note at the back encourages the use of a dictionary. ~ Andrea Reece
It's never to early to read to children and this selection of picture books are a great introduction to first concepts, perfect for even the youngest babies.
Through colour, touch, sound and shapes young children start to make sense of the world around them.
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