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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, what a clever, inspired way to teach shapes, colours, numbers. Contained in a neat, white slipcase is a sturdy board book, split down the middle, boldly coloured shapes on left and right hand sides, from one red square (divided into two halves), to two blue triangles, 3 green rectangles and so on. Mix the flaps up and you can create pages of different combinations – a row of purple diamonds and yellow circles for example. The possibilities are almost endless, and there’s something deeply satisfying about making the new spreads. Children will learn about ratios (the shapes come in different sizes) as well as about colour, shape and counting. Neat! ~ Andrea Reece
One of our special picks for Mothering Sunday The That’s Not My … series continues to lead the touch-feely field, consistently producing rewarding books for the very youngest. From the attractive cover with its shiny-beaked chick, to the last page which presents a super-strokable fluffy chick, this will catch and hold baby’s or toddler’s attention, and encourage both visual and tactile interaction. The simple, repetitive text is just right for the age group too and this is another thoroughly enjoyable and effective first book in an excellent series. ~ Andrea Reece Our special Mothering Sunday Picks Guess How Much I Love You Gift Set by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram Something for Mummy by Ted Dewan Mother's Day by Shirley Hughes With My Mummy by James Brown That's Not My Chick by Fiona Watt Superhero Mum by Timothy Knapman Me and My Grandma by Alison Ritchie
There’s so much for very young children to discover when they peep inside the sea in the pages of this excellent board book. Each page features a different ocean scene, from the seashore to the darkest depths. Lifting the sturdy flaps reveals all sorts of secrets, an anemone uncurling its wriggly tentacles, or an enormous whale and its baby. One delicately patterned flap hides a leafy sea dragon, ‘its body looks just like seaweed’. It’s a visual treat, while extra die cuts on each page make this a really satisfying tactile experience too, and it’s packed to the gills with information. ~ Andrea Reece
Two children, Emmy and Jeff, escort readers into a world of colours in Ross Collins’ new picture book. Each spread is given over to one colour, from yellow, which brightens the day, through blue, which cools things down, to green which grows and grows, until they are all there and it’s just ‘Too much!’ say Jeff and Emmy. The text is admirably short but the pictures are full of life and action, thanks to the interaction between the children and the colours, which all have their own personality. Specially designed for readers – child or adult – with dyslexia, this is easy to read but bursting with ideas.~ Andrea Reece
What are Stars? is an excellent book for children who love to ask questions. Over a series of six attractive and inviting double pages, featuring little children just like its readers, and with the help of numerous flaps, it explains simply but very clearly just what stars are. From basic information – that stars are bright dots in the night sky – through close ups and just the right level of detail, it teaches children a huge amount, and gives them a really good understanding of what stars are. The flaps are just the right size for small hands and good and sturdy too, and make the gathering of information even more fun. A really effective first book. ~ Andrea Reece
Black, white; empty, full; cold, hot: this striking book introduces children to the concept of opposites, and to simple first words. However, by using objects taken from the collection of the British Museum it will also awaken their curiosity and inspire a first fascination with history. No-one looking at these beautiful objects and paintings could fail to be struck not just by their beauty, but also by the sense of stories they contain (more information is readily available via a QR code printed on the back page). Child-focused and thoroughly useful, this will also be a fascinating book to share with children and should inspire happy visits to museums and galleries. ~ Andrea Reece
A real treat for fans of Shirley Hughes, and a lovely counting book. One is Katie, cheerily ‘all by myself’, two is Katie and Olly, her baby brother, three is company when Norah comes to play, and so on, each number explained through scenes and activities all little children will recognise. Shirley Hughes captures ordinary life with an unerring eye, the children in her books are particularly beautifully observed and there’s love and joy in every little gesture and facial expression. ~ Andrea Reece
Shirley Hughes works magic into simple scenes of everyday family life, and that is certainly the case here: episodes and objects that all little children will recognise are used to illustrate the letters of the alphabet. I particularly like ‘E is for everyone’, the illustration featuring bleary-eyed dad, still in bed, two little children bouncing on top of him, mum in the doorway with two cups of tea. There’s so much to look at and talk about in these warm, detailed pictures and this is ideal for sharing with pre-schoolers and the youngest readers. ~ Andrea Reece
Counting is particular fun when across the page streams a line of animals depicted in luminously beautiful artwork by the one and only Eric Carle. They are arranged in height order and the line begins with one stately giraffe, followed by an ever lengthening parade of creatures – elephant, bear, hippo, dog, and finally – tenth in line - Carle’s most famous character, that Very Hungry Caterpillar. Even the numbers are beautiful in Carle’s bold, textured artwork, a line of colour-co-ordinated spots above them demanding to be counted too. ~ Andrea Reece Each year on 20 March, the first day of Spring, Very Hungry Caterpillar Day is celebrated! Why not celebrate too?! Click here to find a Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity Pack to help you get the most out of the day.
Whether he’s looking cool in the subshine, enjoying the excitement of a thunderstorm or – delightfully – getting blown off his feet in the wind, Elmer is the best playmate a child could have, and the very young will love this gorgeous board book. On each page, Elmer and his friends experience different types of weather, and it’s always fun. The bright pages are packed with things to look at and talk about, and details that will make all readers smile. Sturdy, specially shaped tabs help identify the pages and make turning them over easy even for the littlest hands. David McKee’s artwork shines on the laminated boards. - 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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