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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.
Absolutely fabulous lemurs fly through the air across bold, brightly coloured pages in this exuberant picture book! The littlest lemur worries that he’s not actually good at jumping, but his family remind him of all his talents – which allows for hilarious pictures of him playing the recorder upside down and throwing custard pies – and he’s encouraged to complete an amazing jump. It’s a very funny and reassuring story carried brilliantly through Zehra Hick’s stylish and lively illustrations. Apparently she created them using bamboo, and there’s certainly a wild and jubilant abandon to it all that will transmit to readers. Delightful! ~ Andrea Reece
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Here is a perfect Christmas remembrance for all members of the family - an ageless poem and pictures that grown-ups and children will treasure always. This book perfectly captivates the true feeling of Christmas.
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | August 2016 Book of the Month Full of life, energy and a wild sense of freedom, Nothing is a marvellous celebration of the imagination, and that special relationship between child and grandparent too. ‘What are you doing?’ Mum asks exasperated, as Lila plays under the table when she should be getting ready. Pictures reveal the wonderful things Lila is up to – she’s wrestling an octopus, riding a zebra, climbing a pylon! Mum is busy, but grandad is ready to play pretend with Lila and the final scene shows them flying through the air like birds. Words and images work perfectly together to deliver a sense of unbridled joy, and Lila is a wonderful little character. ~ Andrea Reece
An exuberantly noisy books for all those who love a racket and anything that moves! A racing car, a school bus, a Rolls Royce with a Duke and Duchess aboard – all of these and more get stuck in a giant traffic jam. And all of them make a lot of different noises! Have fun finding out what has got them in such a jam!
A Best Pet Monster Competition seems like the perfect place for Albert to show off Sidney, his beloved Pet Monster. But Sidney is unlike anyone else’s pet…He is not full of parasites; extremely warty or the owner of very hot breath. In fact, Sidney is beautifully clean, has no warts and lots of freckles and no intention of hovering or being the in way at all. At every round Sidney is an utter failure! But can he and Albert come home with a prize after all? A witty look at different measures of success.
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 - chosen by Ruby Laverty, aged 6 A Best Pet Monster Competition seems like the perfect place for Albert to show off Sidney, his beloved Pet Monster. But Sidney is unlike anyone else’s pet…He is not full of parasites; extremely warty or the owner of very hot breath. In fact, Sidney is beautifully clean, has no warts and lots of freckles and no intention of hovering or being the in way at all. At every round Sidney is an utter failure! But can he and Albert come home with a prize after all? A witty look at different measures of success. ~ Julia Eccleshare
February 2017 Book of the Month Will Mabbitt has created a counting book and picture book like no other. Though his subject is worms, generally regarded as rather boring, this book dazzles, and not just because of the day-glo brightness of the pages. Mabbitt subverts our conceptions of what a picture book is – his is about worms, because that’s all he can draw; he asks readers to do the storytelling for themselves; he even overturns the simple counting element (I won’t tell you what happens to worm number 8, but readers have two halves to count in the final line up of 10). Like recent hits such as The Book With No Pictures and This is a Serious Book, I Can Only Draw Worms will make adult readers laugh as much as child readers, and both audiences will revel in its wit and pizzazz. ~ Andrea Reece
The best-selling Little Mole has been delighting or displeasing readers according to their taste in toilet humour for a couple of decades. All young children will adore this sound version which adds an important dimension to the story of Little Mole’s search for the source of the unpleasant ‘business’ that lands on his head. Which animals ‘do’ what is fun; it also takes the embarrassment out of the subject. If you'd like to see the other Little Mole books, cllick here.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Lubna found the pebble on the beach the night she and her father arrived on a boat. Now Pebble is her only friend in the tent city where she lives. When Amir arrives, Lubna and Pebble befriend him and help him to talk again. This is a wise, gentle story about the possibility of kindness in even the bleakest situations.
A visual treat, this is a rich collection of original stories, rhymes and pictures from some of the best-known and best-loved authors and illustrators of today including Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Shirley Hughes, Quentin Blake and Malorie Blackman. Each of these contributions is perfectly pitched making them ideal for sharing with the very young at bedtime.
This classic poem has been beautifully illustrated to make a wonderfully evocative seasonal picture book. From its opening lines- “No breath of wind,/ No gleam of sun -/ Still the white snow/ Whirls softly down-“ – Walter de la Mare’s poem tells of a family’s preparation for Christmas against the whirling snowflakes that will so magically change the world outside – just in time for the festivities.
The sandy cat by the Farmer's chair Mews at his knee for dainty fare; Old Rover in his moss-greened house Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse. This enchanting picture book celebrates the wonderful poetry of Walter de La Mare as illustrator Carolina Rabei brings his poem Summer Evening beautifully alive. One of four books that form a seasonal set, Summer Evening will delightfully invoke the sights and sounds of summer, whatever the weather, for both you and your little one.
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.