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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+
It’s hard to believe that this is the 27th Elmer storybook as it feels as fresh as one of the brilliantly coloured flowers in his jungle. The elephants are all set to play a trick on Elmer on his birthday. They tell the other animals to act as if they’ve forgotten, nobody is to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’. Lion thinks it’s a funny kind of joke, and lots of the other animals seem confused but the elephants are so excited they don’t stop to listen. Perhaps they should though, because the surprise doesn’t work as they’d hoped. Even so, everyone is laughing and enjoying cake on the last page. David McKee never fails to entertain and surprise, and Elmer and his many friends remain top company for the very young.
Everyone with young children will recognise the two little Huffalots at the centre of this story, and the transformation that happens to them during their day. First thing in the morning, they are very grumpy, slow to get dressed and squabbling over breakfast. As the day goes on though, and they have fun in the park and more fun at home, they change into Huffalittles, and then into something different again. Just as well too, because it’s around the end of the day that Mum shows signs of becoming a Huffalot… Eve Coy’s gorgeous illustrations of Mum and her two children are full of movement, the ordinary moments of their day beautifully observed, and the story itself will have everyone smiling.
This is an utterly charming little gem of a book which I found incredibly moving. It traces in rhyme format the joy of a mother welcoming her baby into the world and the impact that this is to have have upon her life. The beautifully detailed and nostalgic illustrations are a sheer delight and match the text so well. This would be a perfect book for a mother-to-be to place in a treasure box for her child or perhaps for a new granny to buy for her daughter. It is absolutely gorgeous. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Everything is better with a little sparkle, even farm animals! Lift the sturdy flaps in this attractive board book to discover which animal is making the noise on the opposite page. You’ll find a horse, a chicken, a cow and a sheep, all of them together on the last page. Manes, hooves, ears are picked out in foil making the pictures even more appealing. A good book to enjoy with the very young and a fun way to develop hand eye co-ordination and teach colours and first words.
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.
Join Supertato and friends in this first ever, must-have sticker book based on the bestselling picture book series by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. Meet Supertato - everyone's favourite crime-fighting spud! He needs your help keeping the supermarket safe from The Evil Pea, so get ready to dress up for carnival, complete a sticker scene or two and even create a brand-new Super Veggie of your own! With over 400 stickers, this sticker book is perfect for long journeys, rainy days and school holidays - a great gift for any child.
From the author of Seeing Stars which detailed all 88 known constellations for older children, this stylish and sturdy book introduces just six of the most familiar and recognisable constellations to the very young. Young children like nothing better than books which invite them to guess what is under the flap and here each constellation is introduced by the line-connected star cluster sparkling against the deep blue background of the night sky. As you read aloud the verbal clues, children are asked to guess the creature and the answer is revealed, with more lines filling in the details of the animal, under the flap, alongside more information about the constellation and its major stars. Flaps can be quite flimsy and often considered unsuitable for classroom use but, in this case, it is a solid full-page fold-out that will withstand multiple uses. Children will definitely be inspired to do their own star gazing and to investigate further. Personally, this has helped enormously to understand how constellations got their names and to see the animal properly revealed. I still wonder, however, at the imagination of the Ancients that first connected those dots!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2020 | March 2020 Book of the Month | There’s lots of fun in this entertaining story about a little girl who doesn’t want to be quiet until she discovers just what can happen if you are quiet. And how much fun that can be in a different way. “ I don't want to be quiet,/ I’d rather be LOUD!/ I want to be HEARD and/ stand out from the crowd!” But that is not popular in a library! Can she be quiet? Yes she can! There’s a good lesson for all about the value of listening.
April 2020 Book of the Month | A series of jaw-dropping pop-up spreads present readers with animals and their eggs, and some amazing facts too. Everyone will have their own favourite – the daddy Emperor penguins sheltering eggs and chicks on their feet; the brightly coloured clownfish keeping watch over their babies; the mighty crocodile gently carrying her young down to the river in her mouth. The illustrations and paper engineering are very impressive, and the information they help deliver is fascinating: there’ll be gasps at each turn of the page, time and again.
#1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 TIME Best Book of the Year for 2017. Audio Production Awards, Audio Performer of the Year - Gold Winner, 2018 | Inspired by the birth of his son, award-winning Oliver Jeffers has created a deeply touching introduction to the world as a physical space and also as a place that needs to be treated with great care and respect. Subtitled ‘Notes for Living on Planet Earth’ Jeffers uses richly coloured double page spreads and only a few words of commentary to describe the obvious features of land, sea, night and day but also how time can move both slow and fast and should never be wasted! The perfect gift for all parents to share with their new babies – and each other. This is a book & cd edition.
Every child knows what it’s like to be afraid of the dark, so they’ll completely understand how Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy the Stegosaurus feel getting ready for their first ever outdoor sleepover. There’s a gorgeous mix of excitement and nerves but the two friends realise just how brave they can be together, and that if you look hard enough, you’ll always find the light even in the darkest dark. The story is charming but conveys an important message too and Tiny is a real character as he faces up to his fears. A lovely book for and about sharing.
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.