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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+
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!
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.
September 2019 Book of the Month | Room on the Broom, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story of a kind-hearted witch is now recognised as a modern classic, a book that should be in every little child’s collection. With its rhyme and repetition, jolly cast of characters and wonderfully satisfying ending, it can hardly be bettered – except that here it can, because as well as the story and the pictures and the rhyme, there are also sound buttons so that children can join in and croak with the frog, woof with the dog and ‘whoosh’ with the broom. One to share for Hallowe’en or indeed any night of the year.
September 2019 Book of the Month | This lovely book is packed with a whole host of ideas so that parents, with the help of their children, can throw a fabulous party themed around Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much loved Room on the Broom picture book. It’s all there, from invitations to party games and decorations, to tasty food – cauldron sandwiches and ice cream potion anyone? All the ideas are fun but straightforward and well-explained, while extras helpfully include photocopiable and traceable pages. Guaranteed to make the party preparations lots of fun while the two hours party time itself will fly by!
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.
September 2019 Book of the Month | A warm, family-centred story, full of humour and with a totally unexpected ending, The Bookworm is classic Debi Gliori. Like young children everywhere, Max is desperate for a pet, but his parents reject all his suggestions, from puppy to dragon (they don’t exist, says Daddy). But then Max finds a pet in the garden that’s just right for him, and is soon best friends with his story-loving worm. The illustrations are hugely appealing, full of well-observed details that will be recognisable to all families, and there’s a freshness to the telling that makes it particularly charming. This is certain to be a real favourite.
August 2019 Book of the Month | Inside this sturdy and pretty little box, children will find the story of Alice in Wonderland, but told via 20 double-sided puzzle pieces (and with some thoroughly modern twists – the White Rabbit sports a natty baseball cap and unlocks flamingos from what looks a lot like a bike docking system). It’s up to readers to put the pieces of the story together which, of course, allows for endless new and different versions. The illustrations by Anne Laval are bright, lively and attractive, and surely Lewis Carroll would have thoroughly approved of the concept. Great fun for children who enjoy reading and creating their own stories.
Join Maisy, every toddler's best friend, for her first experience of going to hospital. Maisy has broken her leg playing on the trampoline, and now she's in hospital for the night. At first it's a bit scary being all on her own, but she soon makes friends with Dotty in the next bed, and when Cyril and Tallulah visit the next day, Maisy begins to feel much better!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Temper tantrums are brilliantly visualised in this witty story about how Ravi deals with his. Poor Ravi! The youngest and smallest in the family he is always the slowest and the shortest and the last one to get what he wants. It makes him feel terrible! And when Ravi feels terrible he ROARS. His face goes red, he grows two furry ears, sharp teeth and a stripey tail. Now he can get what he wants but there is a price to pay: will anyone want to play with him? Tom Percival’s illustrations keep the message light hearted without trivialising it.
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.