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We are in a unique situation never experienced before but the Publishers have stepped up and have released certain books for children to enjoy for free. If you're looking for suitable books for you to ready to your baby or toddler, here are some wonderful books that we love and you can now access for free. Enjoy!
May 2020 Debut of the Month | There have been many versions of the moral tale of the crow and the peacock and this one from debut picture-book artist Jo Fernihough is particularly attractive. The vibrant mixed media and collage images are full of movement and expression and immediately catch the reader’s attention. Crow is living happily and contentedly until he starts to compare his feathers and his song with other birds. From the dove to the nightingale, to the cockerel to the swan, each bird seems more magnificent than the last and crow is sure each one must be the happiest bird alive, but each in turn direct him to a bird they are envious of. But when he finally reaches the magnificent peacock he learns that he himself is the subject of envy. He is free to sing and fly free compared to the caged peacock. Crow and the reader learn the lesson about what is really important in life and that one must count your own blessings. A strong message for the current situation and beautifully conveyed in nicely repetitive text and imaginative use of typography as well glorious colour. A really worthwhile addition to the library.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2020 | Stylish and beautifully conceived, this entertaining new picture book by artist/ designer Marion Deuchars is a visual treat as well as a strong story about artistic competition - and collaboration. Bob loves making art and is very jealous when everyone starts talking about Roy, the amazing new artist in town. His work is apparently fantastic! Who is this new artist and what is so special about his work? Why is he the best in town? Bob does everything he can to compete with Roy until he realises that working together might be more fun!
Bestselling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks have teamed up for another brilliant picture book. Right in the farmyard among all the noisy animals with their MOOs! and QUACKS! and BAAs! and OINKs! lives a tiny silent ladybird. This beautiful glittery creature (little fingers will love to feel her sparkly shape) is so quiet that she hears two crafty robbers plotting to raid the farmyard. And she comes up with a very clever plan to stop them, helped by the very noisy animals all around her. A wonderful adventure with gorgeous stylised illustrations.
Satoshi Kitamura’s artwork is immediately recognisable and Hat Tricks is a typically joyful, bold, bright celebration of the imagination. The little rabbit on the cover is Hattie, a gifted magician. Waving her wand – abracadabra, katakurico – she conjures a procession of animals out of her hat – a cat, a squirrel, an octopus, each turn of the page bringing a new surprise until … well, you’ll have to read it for yourselves. Kitamura’s comic timing is impeccable, and there’s a wonderful sense of drama as it all builds to its truly unexpected conclusion. A magical reading experience!
Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since this first book was published in 1989. A modern classic, this picture book is known to millions, and continues to be one of the biggest selling picture books ever, having sold over 2 million copies around the world. The subtle message is that it is OK to be different, and combined with the vibrant colour and cheeky humour of the main character, it’s an essential bedtime story. To see other Elmer titles click here.
The words provide a language of communication long before conversation is possible and the joy in recognising them over many re-readings provides endless shared pleasure while the pictures can be enjoyed first jointly and then by the child alone as they pour over the images they love.
Included in our selection are a range of really sturdy and interactive books suitable books for babies and toddlers for the bedroom, the car, the bath, the buggy and the playroom. Books that even the tiniest baby will enjoy alone and with their parents.
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 baby or toddler.
There are some excellent free reading activities on the Small Talk website small-talk.org.uk/0-6-months
And click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.