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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.
February 2020 Book of the Month | Expect this whimsical and gorgeously illustrated picture book to infect children with an urge to go exploring, if not bird-spotting. Otto’s family are obsessive bird-spotters, indeed, so deep is their passion that they’ve turned their home into a hide. Otto though loves exploring and it’s on one of his trips that he finds, and secretly brings home, a very unusual baby bird. He’s able to hide it from his family because his new friend proves surprisingly good at camouflage. But, as the bird grows (and grows), Otto realises that it’s missing its family and recruits his own to help track them down. There’s lots to enjoy in the story and Graham Carter’s glowing illustrations are full of treats too, the camouflage scenes are particularly delightful. A funny, original story with satisfying underlying themes of adventure, friendship and family.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2020 | February 2020 Debut of the Month | A celebration of the wonder of reading! Mabel HATES books. She gets given loads of them but has no interest at all in reading them. But, one night, the books piled up in her room come alive. The stories jump out of their covers and off the pages so that they can show Mabel their story worlds. She is intrigued by a detective adventure, excited by the chance to board a spaceship and take a trip to the moon, delighted by the thought of accompanying a knight on his quest to seek castles and to duel with dragons. But, there is no way she can find out what happens next in these stories unless she begins the read the books! An entertaining celebration of why reading is such fun.
Ron the Rhino reinvents himself in this delightful story, bringing joy to those around him too as he proves that being yourself, making lots of friends and having fun are the only life rules that matter. As the story opens, Ron is struggling with the rhino lifestyle and its rules, which are all about being alone, being grumpy and charging at anything that comes near you. Looking like a rhino understandably means making friends is very hard, but then Ron has a flash of inspiration and finds a way to show his true colours. Reborn as the fabulously flamboyant Rhinocorn, he’s happy for the first time ever. A funny and satisfying story that neatly delivers a message about tolerance, understanding and the importance of being happy in your own skin.Children who love Ron will of course love Elmer too, and vice versa.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2020 | | Award-winning Axel Scheffler’s familiar illustrations are a great introduction to simple concepts for the very young. Fox, Rabbit, Bear and Pig, four friends from Acorn Wood explore Colours, Counting, Friends and Opposites in these four small scale and highly durable board books which are neatly held together in a min-library box.
This witty, stylish counting book will catch the attention of adults as well as the imagination of the very young. A rhythmic, rhyming text and eye-catching illustrations present us with one fox in socks, then two gorillas looking in mirrors, followed by three jolly llamas in pyjamas, right up to the twenty birds who have the last words. Along the way we also meet five goats wearing coats, the goats labelled and clearly identifiable under their coats (Nubian, mountain, angora…). Other favourite spreads include the one featuring sixteen chickens reading (and clearly enjoying) Dickens! A wonderfully original counting book that is as handsome as it is effective.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2020 | | A fabulous story with a great comic twist at the end! Everyday Tom goes up the hill behind his fishing village home to look out for pirate ships. As soon as he sees one he shouts out a huge warning and everyone rushes to hide! But Tom isn’t very sure what a pirate ship looks like. After several false alarms which lead to everyone diving into uncomfortable hiding places all the villagers stop taking any notice of Tom’s warnings. So what happens when the pirates really do arrive? Great illustrations match this story perfectly.
A cheeky, free-wheeling young monkey is the star of Michael Foreman’s new picturebook, which bursts with energy and fun. Milo is determined mot to miss the cycle race as it comes through his town and has no idea of the devastation he leaves behind him as he races to the finishing line – most of it caused by the banana skin he casually chucks over his shoulder as he starts his pell-mell progress. Children will love the scenes of chaos, and the wonderful way in which Milo’s repeated ‘I didn’t do it!’ becomes a triumphant ‘I did it!’ via a surprise ending. Beautiful to look at, simple to read, and it neatly delivers a very satisfying story too. Hear, hear for Milo!
Spring is well and truly here in this bright, engaging board book. Based on the nursery rhyme Sleeping Bunnies, the text is full of bouncy rhyme and repetition, while sturdy flaps hide sleeping little animals, giving young readers the opportunity to shout, ‘Wake up!’ on every other page. There’s still more opportunity for joining in with animal noises as the crowd grows bigger. Laura Hughes’ animal characters are friendly and full of life, and the pages are packed with things to spot and count. Best of all, after a hop, hop, hop, and a mew, mew, quack, quack, everyone ends up quiet, sleepy and ready to sleep again.
February 2020 Book of the Month | Small person in the family with a fondness for vehicles? They will love this book! Though there’s no real story as such, it’s action-packed, every page crammed with brightly coloured vehicles going about their business on equally bright backgrounds, a friendly animal character at the wheel. ‘Which bus would you catch?’ asks the first spread, which presents us with ten different buses to admire; ‘which truck would you drive?’ comes a bit further on. Trains, trucks, tractors, bicycles, boats, diggers, rockets, cars and emergency vehicles all get their moment in the spotlight, with questions and challenges on each page as well as speech bubbles, jokes and descriptions to read out. Bright, busy and so much fun, this will keep littles ones absorbed for hours. Fans of this will also enjoy William Bee’s equally bright and distinctive Wonderful World of series.
Fall down the rabbit hole, take flight into Neverland, or follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City; we all remember what it was like to disappear into the imaginary worlds of the most magical and fantastic type of literature, the children’s book. Now, with 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, be ready to be transported back to a time when magic was possible and share that love with your children. Compiled and edited by Lovereading4kids’ very own editorial expert Julia Eccleshare and with a Preface by Quentin Blake, this is a wonderful offline resource that provides a great introduction to the very best books of childhood. From wordless picture books and books introducing the first sounds of the alphabet through to hard-hitting and edgy teenage fiction, the titles featured reflect the best of children’s literature from the international classics to the most famous contemporary writers. So whatever the reading age or ability, there is something to suit every child. Reviews of the books are accompanied by evocative line drawings and colour artworks from the books themselves, together with reproductions of original jackets and photographs of the authors. In addition, some of our most famous, familiar and much loved children’s authors write about their favourite story by another author. Including great writers and illustrators such as: Philip Pullman, author of Northern Lights, Ruby in the Smoke; Michael Morpurgo, author of Private Peaceful, and Kensuke’s Kingdom; Jacqeline Wilson, author of the Tracey Beaker books; Lauren Child, author of the Clarice Bean books and Eric Carle, author of the much loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And the question on everyone’s lips is what is their favourite story of all time? Well, snuggle down with this book and you can discover it - and maybe you will read a story that you have never read before and will love it as much as they do. You’ll find many of the titles featured on Lovereading4kids, so check out an extract if you want more information on a title than you can get in this book.
This could quite possibly be the loveliest, happiest book about families published all year! It’s full of invaluable advice for grandchildren on how to make sure every granny is a happy granny. Don’t for example put leftover spaghetti in her handbag, or wear her pants on your head, or race her on a skateboard (she might win). But definitely do listen to her, play with her and most of all love her. Holly Sterling’s cheeky little children are lively enough to keep any trace of sentimentality at bay and this is a celebration of modern families in all their noisy, busy, joyful glory. Buy it immediately for the granny in your life! ~ Andrea Reece
Wow! Bright pages depicting animals in gorgeous jungle illustrations house die-cut numbers from one to five. Each number has a sliding disc enabling little fingers to follow the arrows, move the disc and trace the shape of the number while counting along with the text: one fierce tiger, two stripy zebras etc. Counting books seldom have much in the way of story or text, but here each spread features a four line verse, and introduces new words or concepts: parrots squabble, flamingo’s feathers are ‘bright as jewels’. An unusually eye-catching and effective first book. ~ Andrea Reece
Former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne’s famous Bear who can draw his way out of trouble finds himself face to face from some scary characters from fairy tales. What will he do to escape a club-wielding Giant or a pointy-chinned Witch? Luckily, Bear comes up with some original and effective ideas!
Shy Migs begins school worrying about how he will ever have the courage to join in. Perhaps dressing up will help him? Donning a hat, a cloak and some boots Migs transformers himself into a super-hero. Now he doesn’t mind joining in! But Migs is too super-charged. No-one wants him to play. Luckily, Migs comes up with a new plan that makes everyone happy. School turns out to be fun after all!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month | February 2017 Book of the Month Best-selling Lucy Cousins‘s boldly drawn birds inspire the imagination as she illustrates the wonderful things that different kinds of birds can do. Lively, colourful birds fill each page beautifully as she illustrates them flying, hopping, pecking, swooping, singing and running in a charming book that leads perfectly to bedtime. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2017 Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Mind the Gap by Phil Earle The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Best-selling Lucy Cousins‘s boldly drawn birds inspire the imagination as she illustrates the wonderful things that different kinds of birds can do. Lively, colourful birds fill each page beautifully as she illustrates them flying, hopping, pecking, swooping, singing and running in a charming book that leads perfectly to bedtime. ~ Julia Eccleshare
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2018 Best-selling Lucy Cousins‘s boldly drawn birds inspire the imagination as she illustrates the wonderful things that different kinds of birds can do. Lively, colourful birds fill each page beautifully as she illustrates them flying, hopping, pecking, swooping, singing and running in a charming book that leads perfectly to bedtime. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2018 Kevin by Rob Biddulph Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley Lots: The Diversity of Life by Nicola Davies A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
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!
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month September 2016 Award-winning storyteller and artist Oliver Jeffers and typographic fine artist Sam Winston have created an extraordinarily adventurous and original picture book which, through words and pictures, takes children on a journey of discovery through some of the greatest literature of all time. The imaginative eponymous Child of Books floats across a sea of words made from words and lines from classic children’s book stories. It is a journey that recreates fairy tales, forests and monsters showing children the importance and power of their imagination in recreating them. A book to read again and again to glean all of its meaning. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2016 A Poem for Every Night of the Year compliled by Allie Esiri Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes by Julia Donaldson A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff Tom's Midnight Garden Graphic Novel by Philippa Pearce and Edith Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntryre
This quirky picture book introduces two lively, original characters that children will relate to very easily and it has a useful and important message about friends, and getting along with other people too. Lucy has always wanted a dog and, equipped with guide book sets off to find one. She returns with Bear who settles in very happily, even though the basket is a bit small. They get along fine until Bear’s hibernation brings various niggles to the fore – being a dog owner isn’t easy, but then neither is being a pet. Readers young and old alike will find lots to laugh at in the characters and their situation, and be delighted by the happy resolution to the story. ~ Andrea Reece
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.