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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.
Chosen by February 2012 Guest Editor, Jacqueline Wilson: "I think every child should have a special book of nursery rhymes - these odd quirky strange little verses are a first vital introduction to poetry, and all toddlers love to chant along with the words. Harold Jones's beautiful and lavish illustrations make this collection particularly magical. The subtle colouring, peach, apple green, primrose and blue, gives every picture a haunting dreamlike quality, and the extraordinary detail will keep a child poring over the pages for hours. I especially love all the little domestic interior scenes - they're reassuringly cosy without being in the least sentimental. It's a book to treasure forever." July 2011's Guest Editor, Anne Fine: "This book is over fifty years old, but in the everlasting flood of new collections it stays a winner because all the daft things you end up singing about are there somewhere on the page. Small children love it because they don’t keep having to break in and ask what all these strange rhymes are about. And parents love it because they don’t have to keep stopping to answer; they can just point. (And, when you’re sure you’ve done your job because they know the whole lot off by heart, try moving on to Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. Everyone talks about how hard it is to introduce poetry to children, but that’s nonsense. Just start here. They’re rich and colourful, with rhythms that make them easy to read and fix in the brain. And since they mirror so many of a child’s everyday experiences, they catch their attention at once." The Lovereading Comment: A classic collection of nursery rhymes with beautiful, timeless illustration by Harold Jones. First published 50 years ago, Lavender’s Blue remains the perfect book for every new family as it provides all the favourite nursery rhymes as well as some new ones.
Age 0-5. This wonderful collection of animal poems gives toddlers and young children the chance to be introduced to poetry via the world of jungle. Written by Giles Andreae, one of Britain's bestselling modern poets Rumble in the Jungle is cleverly illustrated by David Wojtowycz using vividly colourful and appealing sketches, making the whole book an amazing combination of works and colour and fun.
BOARD BOOK. Baby Elephant has lost his teddy, but unsurprisingly Elmer comes to the rescue. But when he hears someone shouting ‘Help, I’m lost’, is it Cousin Wilbur up to one of his practical jokes again or is it really lost teddy? Share it with your toddler to find out. To see other Elmer titles click here.
This handsome collection is a must for every new born. Eighty eight of the best known nursery rhymes such as Mary had a Little Lamb and Twinkle, Little Star are gathered together alongside some cheerful original short stories. Each rhyme and story is beautifully illustrated bringing out the wit behind the words.
When little Mouse sees a great big red apple outside his front door he is determined to bring it in and eat it all up. But the apple is far too big to fit into Mouse’s tiny home! Mouse sets off to find a new home with enough space for a big apple in it. Peep through holes help readers follow Mouse as he looks at Mole’s hole, Rabbit’s home and even a cave with a very big Bear in it. None of them seem quite right. Luckily, the apple is getting smaller. Will it now fit into Mouse’s own home?
The tiny hermit crab loves his new shell. He doesn't want to share it - not with a blobby purple anemone and a tickly bristleworm. But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks, and soon he finds he needs his new housemates in this rollicking story of sea, shells and friendship.
Many happy returns to Mog the Forgetful Cat who has been delighting readers for forty years. Brilliant author-illustrator Judith Kerr’s timeless stories about Mog, the cat who has a habit of forgetting everything, charm readers young and old. Toddlers adore the loveable and expressive cat whose unreliable behaviour often brings surprising results! From board books to stunning gift editions, the many stories about Mog capture the heart of all who come across her. This is the paperback 40th anniversary edition and it even has a flocked cover. Click here to see more 40th anniversary Mog books and other titles by Judith Kerr.
Lily and Blue Kangaroo are the best of friends and when Lily doesn't know what to do next she often asks, 'What shall we do, Blue Kangaroo?' But Blue Kangaroo doesn't always know, so he says nothing. But one day, in a crisis, Blue Kangaroo has to work out what to do all by himself...
This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! The vivid and colourful illustrations and cut back and die-cut pages, together with some very simple text, provide a wonderful story that is immensely satisfying for parents and children alike. It’s a book that’s more threadbare than most in the nursery in my house. Each year on 20 March, the first day of Spring, Very Hungry Caterpillar Day is celebrated! Why not celebrate too?! Click here to download a Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity Pack to help you get the most out of the Day.
Apples, Breakfast, Cockatoos and Ducks launch Quentin Blake’s witty alphabet book in which he illustrates every letter with his characteristically bold and entertaining illustrations. The accompanying rhyming text adds a story element to each letter making the whole a wonderful book for sharing. Quentin Blake is probably best known as the illustrator for all Roald Dahl’s books including The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but Quentin is an author as well as an illustrator and his picture books, of which this is one are truly stunning and will bring much laughter and smiles to both parent and child in the nursery at bedtime. Click here to see a selection of these fabulous books all of which will be enjoyed equally by toddlers and by adults!
Have you ever wanted a pet? How do you find the right one? An elephant is too heavy, a giraffe is too tall, a frog is too jumpy. Hidden behind a flap, each new arrival that the zoo sends is a wonderful surprise but never quite right. Until, at last, they send the perfect pet. Dear Zoo is one of the books chosen to be part of the World Book Day Big Little Book Corner, especially aimed at younger children. Four picture book favourites from Rod Campbell have been brought to life as video books with Rod's original illustrations and narrated by the author himself! Find out more at worldbookday.com/big-little-book-corner.
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.