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Nothing beats sitting with a baby or toddler on the knee and reading a book together: here are the best selection of books for babies and toddlers from 0-2+
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
There’s another learning experience for little Sonny and his friends in this bright, appealing board book. Sonny finds a box, and though it’s labelled ‘For Honey’, that doesn’t stop him opening it up. Inside is a delicious cake… parents will know immediately what’s going to happen. Fortunately, Honey’s day is saved when Sonny and co bake a lovely new cake, together. There are messages about the importance of owning up and apologising, and around sharing and working together too. The littlest readers will identify with Sonny and there’s lots to hold their attention in this story.
Tilly and Shadow her dog have moved into a new house. They love playing by ‘the splash and curl of the sea’ and have lots of fun together on the beach. But Shadow can’t go to Tilly’s new school, he has to stay outside with Mum. At breaktime, Tilly has to play all on her own. Her teacher suggests she visits the Friendship Bench, ‘Children find new friends to play with there.’ But when Tilly gets to the bench, there’s already somebody on it. Her teacher encourages her to try again and soon the bench is working. The text is perfectly judged so that the very youngest will understand the magic of making friends, while the illustrations by Daniel Egnéus are full of light, sunshine and the sounds of children playing. Another beautiful, touching picture book from this award-winning team. You can find more books with this theme in our Collection of Brilliant Books about Friendship
Written and illustrated by Lisa Wee, ‘Li Na is My Name’ is a bright and colourful picture book with a message that encourages children to be who they are and encourages everyone reading to stop and think before “light-heartedly” teasing children for their hobbies and passions. Li Na likes to rollerblade and play football with her friends, but she is labelled as a tomboy by everyone around her for her ‘not-so-girly' hobbies and clothes. I loved the illustrations throughout, there’s so much colour which will capture any young reader's attention and lots to see as Li Na, her family and friends play and get ready for the school concert and talent show. I really loved the message that there’s no such thing as a ‘girly’ or ‘boy’ hobby and that everyone should be able to have fun doing what they love. I think that this message would come across in a way that’s more memorable to younger readers if there was a rhyme or rhythm to the writing but as it is ‘Li Na is My Name’ is a positive and eye-catching children’s book with an important message. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
We’re big fans of Maire Zepf’s Rita Wants books here at LoveReading4kids — who can resist her infectious imagination, her unique perspective on the world, and the way she works through life’s problems (in this case, how to handle feeling cross)? With bold, engaging snowy scenes and a vibrant dragon conjured by Mr Ado the illustrator, this fiery, thought-provoking picture book sees Rita in a terrible mood. She’s having one of those got-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed-days, when “everything is wrong” — something everyone can relate to. Rita’s grumpy state of mind leads her to want a dragon. Like her, dragons are cross. They “roar louder than thunder” and “breathe fire, hot and angry”. Then, when they’ve roared themselves out, dragons can fly far away, somewhere they can be alone in peace. Thinking this scenario through, Rita decides she’d show her dragon how to breathe more calmly. Together they’d talk about “what had gone wrong” and snuggle up together, which is exactly what Rita and her mum do! This is the perfect story to share with toddlers to ease dragon-like outbursts and help them communicate why they’re feeling angry or out of sorts. 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.
An enchanting story of kindness, belonging, accepting others and coming together in spite of our differences. This beautifully illustrated story from the pen of the talented Emma Chichester Clark is an absolute gem. One wild stormy day Bella opens her front door to find a stranger, a little creature on her doorstep, and all he can say is Toot Toot and so they name him Mister Toots. As Bella tries to comfort the little stranger alongside her children Tulip and Tadpole, they try to cheer the little creature up by playing games and day by day he settles in and is embraced by the family and whole community. But one terrible day, he disappears into the sky. Will anyone ever see him again?
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2022 | A simple story told largely through its illustrations with a spare text adding a commentary. From the first smile of a baby onwards through loads of different situations and different relationships in life the story celebrates the all the wonderful qualities of a smile and the very big difference that smiling can make. Young children will love following the smile and recognising its importance.
Noah and his Nana are enjoying a day on the beach. Little Noah is looking out for seals, while Nana fixes their sailing boat. With no seals in sight, he sculpts one out of sand, two shiny pebbles for eyes and a piece of seaweed for a mouth. Together they lie on the sand, dreaming of the wild wide sea, until something magical happens and as Nana and Noah set out in the boat, there are special friends to meet them. Perfectly told with warm, rich illustrations matching a story that celebrates family love as well as the power of a child’s imagination, this is a satisfying and rewarding picture book.
Knowing how to say hello is one of the most important life skills, and this lively, inclusive board book demonstrates lots of different ways to do it, so that however confident they are, or not, little children will find a method that suits. We see people bumping elbows, saying hello with a wave, a kiss, a cuddle, even a dance. Offering a snack can be a way to say hello, or you can do it with a high five. If you need to do it from a safe place (behind your parents), well that’s OK too. The tone is relaxed and positive, and the busy scenes illustrated are lovely to look at, full of detail and unwritten stories. A welcome addition to any small child’s book collection.
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.