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Nothing beats sitting with a baby or toddler on the knee and reading a book together: the best selection of books for babies and toddlers.
You can rely on Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet to put a fresh and funny take on the festive season. The creators of Supertato have another surprising, comic central character in this super-silly story: a rogue Christmas tree! All the other houses have a decorated Christmas tree in their window – the one at number 32 is pink – but at number 34 the tree has put its foot down and is refusing to play its part. The baubles are in despair, pleading with it to get into its pot and play its part, to no avail. Fortunately, the tree is as vain as it is stubborn, and not too bright either, and the decorations find a way to trick it into behaving. Where else will you be able to enjoy the sight of baubles and tinsel chasing a Christmas tree round the house? Told in rollicking rhyme this is a Christmas must-have.
Former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson followed up her best-selling The Gruffalo with a story about The Gruffalo’s Child. Now celebrating it's 15th anniversary it is reissued in a special hardback. An entertaining story for the very young as the little mouse outwits the Gruffalo’s Child with a plan that is just as cunning as the original one he hatched to frighten away the Gruffalo. Axel Scheffler’s illustrations once again capture the humour of the text and the fear that lurks behind the joke. The Gruffalo's Child 15th Anniversary Edition features a wrap-around snowy wood play scene and press-out characters for an interactive reading experience, plus additional book content including material from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo's Child Song and tips for putting on a Gruffalo's Child show!
December 2019 Book of the Month | ‘‘Twas the night before Christmas …’ but we’re on a snowy hillside where a lonely tree shivers in the cold. As it longs to be in the brightly lit little town below, suddenly footsteps suddenly approach. Somebody very important collects the tree and puts it at the centre of some special celebrations, before leaving with the familiar words: ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’ Taking inspiration from Clement C Moore’s classic poem, Chris Naylor-Ballesteros’ new book is filled with the joy of Christmas, and captures all its sense of magical anticipation. In a handsome small format, there’s a full page illustration on each right hand page and they tell the story with as much vivacity as the lines of verse opposite. It all concludes with a sparkling double page spread, the tree glowing in the foreground as St Nick flies off into the Christmas night silhouetted against the moon. If this doesn’t set you up for Christmas and its jollities, nothing will!
December 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | Winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal | A stunning near wordless picture book which will inspire the story teller in all of its readers. While Matthew Cordell draws on some themes familiar from the traditional Red Riding Hood story he has created a quite different and hugely heart-warming drama about trust and friendship. Dressed in a bright red coat a little girl sets off to walk home from school. Snow is beginning to fall. At the same time, a pack of wolfs, including a young wolf cub, set out into the same falling snow. The snow turns into a blizzard and soon both the little girl and the wolf cub are lost. How can either of them survive? Luckily, they come together so that bth can get home safely.
Choose your favourite vehicle and LET'S GO! Join all the busy animals as they zoom around in every kind of vehicle you can imagine, vibrantly illustrated by the talented Katie Abey. Is that a cheeky monkey flying a plane? And did I see a llama riding a scooter? And there's a whole pack of animals catching that bus. All the animals are on the move in their favourite vehicles, zipping by in their own hilarious way. Travel across airports, race through city streets in fire engines and drive around building sites. Wherever you're going today ... tell us how it should be done! We Catch the Bus invites children to choose their favourite vehicles and how they like to travel over 12 spreads, packed with animals driving cars, buses, diggers, spacecraft, bikes, ships, scooters and more. With interactive speech bubbles and hilarious shout outs, this hilarious follow-up to We Wear Pants and We Eat Bananas is perfect for fans of You Choose and Just Imagine and kids who love to be on the move.
Generosity, unexpected kindness and warm welcomes are at the heart of this story, making it perfect Christmas reading. It’s closing time on Christmas Eve in a big department store and all the shoppers and staff have gone home leaving only Clawdia the cat – and a family of lively mice. They lead her a merry dance around the shop, stopping occasionally to point out scenes that make her rethink her ‘bah, humbug’ attitude to Christmas. A surprise ending sees Clawdia and the mice enjoying a proper Christmas day. The message is lovely and the hectic chases around Christmas displays are lots of fun. As good as any John Lewis ad!
November 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | The best-selling series of Usborne touchy-feely titles get a welcome addition with this great new title. Perfect for very small fingers to explore, these books combine strongly outlined pictures which include patches of different textures. These patches invite very young children to get up close to the animals and engage! Just like the little mouse in the pictures does. Here he checks out the polar bear’s claws which are too shiny, nose which is too squashy and tongue which is too rough. It is only when he gets to the lovely fluffy tummy that he knows he’s found the polar bear that belongs to him!
This beautiful, atmospheric book captures the special magic of Christmas for readers of all ages. A young boy, just beginning to wonder whether Father Christmas is real, lies in bed hoping to hear sleigh bells. But instead of a sleigh, a huge train pulls up outside and takes him, together with other pyjama-clad children, off to the North Pole. There the boy meets Father Christmas and choses his present – a sleigh bell. It rings for him that Christmas and every one until he’s an old man, the sound always equalling the first gift of Christmas. This is a book that really does conjure up all that is magic about Christmas and Liam Neeson’s reading on the accompanying CD does it full justice, his rich voice full of doubt, breathless anticipation and joy. Start a Christmas tradition and enjoy this with the whole family on Christmas Eve.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2019 | October 2019 Book of the Month | There’s huge fun to be had in this gloriously interactive book which is a spur to imaginative play as well as a great introduction to familiar colours and shapes. A singing button, a tickle button and many more. All young readers will be delighted by the invitation to press each one. Once they have done so many possibilities open up as they head off into whatever invention they choose to imagine. Sally Nicholls uses her word carefully and with pleasing simplicity and Beth Woollvin’s illustrations add special details of their own.
Share this sturdy little book at bedtime for a perfectly charming festive read, full of frosty scenes, inviting flaps to lift, and the friendliest little bunny characters. Read it in the day, and ideally before a walk in the park, and it turns into a set of instructions for a special holiday adventure, with an invitation to join a very jolly elf chase. With shades of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, there’s lots of repetition, lots of actions to copy (skate, skate, glide) and lots of fun. A lovely book to make the Christmas holidays even more fun.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2019 | A joyful combination of Christmas, a heavy snow fall and a farmyard all of which are explored in double page spreads filled with flaps which makes this a book to enjoy time after time. Poppy and Sam are excitedly waiting for Christmas. They write their letters to Santa - Sam wants a train set while Poppy asks for a new bike with a basket; they set up the Christmas tree and they settle down to wait…will Santa come? And will he bring them the presents that they want? The addition of a hidden duck on some spreads and a hidden kitten on all spreads increase the fun of looking carefully at the pictures.
A boy and his cat have some exciting midnight adventures in this lively story, which will appeal to any young child who dreams of being a superhero. When the Ninja emergency bell rings, our hero leaps out of bed, into the secret Ninja Den conveniently located below his bedroom and full of cool gadgets. From there he teleports into Baddy World to confront a spider king responsible for stealing hundreds of pairs of socks. Can the socks be restored to their rightful owners and a way be found to keep the baby spiders’ toes warm? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Sam Lloyd’s illustrations are full of cinematic close-ups and cutaways, and the ninja moves – Bish! Bash! Boff! – are fabulous. Lots of fun.
Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 3-6yrs 2014 - Winner of the 2013 Caldecott Medal. One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012 | Best-selling illustrator Jon Klassen follows up his successful I Want My Hat Back in this witty, almost wordless picture book about a tiny fish who steals a hat from a very big fish – and hopes to get away with it. The eloquent but simple illustrations show the audacious behaviour of a hapless fish heading for disaster. Young children will love the joke...and the fact that they know what the little fish doesn’t.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2019 | | Elmer the patchwork elephant has been delighting readers of all ages for more than 30 years. This bumper collection includes the very first story about Elmer, an elephant who celebrates difference and teaches all the other elephants to do the same. Other stories in this collection include Elmer and The Rainbow, Elmer and the Lost Teddy, Elmer in the Snow and Elmer’s Special Day. Full of humour and kindness, each story shows how difference can be celebrated by elephants – and by all of us!
A bestselling title which well-deserves its classic status. It has become the staple of pre-school life across the globe. Told in a simple rhythmic text that's full of action and it is matched by Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful illustrations which perfectly capture the fun and the wide range of emotions of the family day out that the story encompasses. The perfect present for all fans of the much-loved family favourite, this lavish 30th anniversary facsimile edition of We're Going on a Bear Hunt comes with a unique signed limited edition print.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Rabbit realises that he doesn’t have to go to bed until it is dark. If it never gets dark, he won’t ever have to go to bed. It is easy to lure the Dark into the biscuit tin but the consequences aren’t what Rabbit expected. The pictures and text together build a charming allegory about the importance of thinking beyond our immediate pleasures.
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.