Book reviews - babies & toddlers (page 5)

There are so many wonderful books being published for babies and toddlers that new parents will have great fun choosing and sharing. Here are some recent titles for babies and very young children. Also, take a look at the Little Learners books - an innovative series of books from Parragon Books - and the excellent series from Little Tiger Kids.

Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 1)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 2)
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Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 4)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 5)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Little Learners)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Tiger Kids)

Baby Robot: A Beep-buzz, Light-up Story! (Light & Sound Board Book) by DK Children

This bright colourful interactive book has so much to offer little ones as they explore the pictures, lights and sounds. Baby Robot is a colourful character who is always very busy - so busy, that he is tired by the end of the day. His lights don't shine and his sounds are fading away. He tells Big Robot, who reassured him that there's nothing to worry about... just like all little ones, he needs sleep to recharge his batteries, and next morning, he's ready to go again. The buttons are really easy to press - sometimes they are hard for little fingers, but these are perfect and help develop fine motor skills. Children will also learn shapes as they press the labelled buttons. Baby Robot is a lovely character, and the book is reassuring and perfect for today's children who will love the clear sounds and bright lights. It's brilliant - so much in one book.

Zoom! Beep! Vroom! Busy Cities by duopress labs

Toddlers will enjoy this vehicle-led journey around some of the world's greatest cities. San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Tokyo, London, Vancouver and other cities are always on the move, and children will love to spot all the vehicles in Josh Cleland's lively illustrations, and then they will enjoy the cacophony of sounds which are great for copying and developing early language skills. The bright board pages feature fire trucks, diggers, motorcycles, trains and more as they travel around the world, dropping in on famous cities. Lots to look at and talk about.

Shapes (Dog & Friends) by Emma Dodd

The bright cover and simple illustrations will immediately attract children to this board book. The contrast is ideal for little ones, who will find the pictures easy to focus on. The book introduces shapes, with a large image of the shape plus the shape shown in the context of an entertaining picture, which cleverly repeats the colour to aid identification. A good first book.

Sounds (Dog & Friends) by Emma Dodd

It's a busy day for Dog in this vibrantly but simply illustrated board book. He barks when he wakes up then races around the farmyard, greeting all his friends and learning about the noises they make - perfect for children to join in and a good way to start letter recognition. After a busy day, it's time for a quiet sleep... with just a little squeak from Mouse. Simple and colourful, a lovely board book.

Hello Farm (Indestructibles) by Maddie Frost

Designed for babies to use from birth, this colourful book introduces little ones to perennial favourites - farm animals. There's lots here for parents to talk about and babies love to hear their adults talking to them, so make the most of the closeness of sharing a story. This is an interesting concept - a chew-proof, rip-proof, non-toxic washable book that babies can really get their teeth into. Unfortunately, although the book is very definitely rip-proof, it does crease (and hold the creases) very readily, so we found it quite soon loses its freshness.

Alphabet Street by Jonathan Emmett

Nosy Crow are such innovative publishers - I just know I am going to love their books and this is no exception. All the shops in the busy town are here, in this house-shaped book, ready to fold out concertina style. They are in alphabetical order, with 12 shops in all, each one featuring generously sized flaps which open out to reveal all the letters of the alphabet with associated items - clever! Opening the book out is a great way to stimulate children's imaginations as they visit the shops and talk about what they can spot. And there's more - on the reverse there are lots of colourful scenes to use as frieze, a playmat or to inspire games with toy vehicles. So many possibilities, and all beautifully illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius.

The Winter Fox by Timothy Knapman

The silvery sparkly cover draws children's attention to this lovely book, and the illustrations throughout are also generously embellished with silver sparkles, making the book wonderfully appealing. Fox has been busy all summer; too busy to lay in stores for the winter, so now he is cold, hungry and all alone. If only he'd listened to his friends... Then he wishes on a star, with happy consequences - and he shares his good fortune with all of his friends. A .lovely story of friendship and sharing, perfect for a chilly winter evening, to warm your heart. A beautiful book which really stands out, and which is a joy to read and to share.

Bizzy Bear: Space Rocket by Benji Davies

I love Bizzy Bear books. They are the perfect combination of catchy rhyming text with plenty of tabs to push and pull, ideal for little fingers. Bizzy Bear and his crew of intrepid astronauts are taking a trip into outer space. Young readers will love to join in with the countdown, 5 4 3 2 1 Blast Off! All the tabs work with a satisfying clunk and the range of different actions used is great for developing early manipulative skills. The colourful detailed pictures offer lots to talk about as Bizzy Bear and his pals float through space.

My First Book of GAA

Like me, you may have wondered about the title - I thought it referred to the sound many babies make! In fact, GAA is Gaelic Athletic Association - and the book comes from Irish publisher O'Brien Press. Perfect for sports fans to share with their little ones, the pictures are all about sport - and there is an Irish theme to it. Not just general pictures like cup, boots and football, but also sliotar, hurley and point. Single word captions face bright backgrounds and colourful photos.

Sing Along With Me! This is the Way We Go to School illustrated by Yu-hsuan Huang

There is plenty to enjoy in this interactive board book, one of a series by Nosy Crow. There are sliders for little ones to explore - and these are perfect for little fingers as they are well sized and move easily so no frustration. The sturdy board format is durable too. The rhyme can be read through the book or enjoy the instrumental and vocal versions by scanning the QR code on the first page. For older ones, it's great to read along with the song, perhaps as they share with young siblings.Lively colourful illustrations offer plenty of opportunities for discussion as we see the tiger family prepare for another day at school.


Jane Foster's Summertime

This bright board book with its summery colours really puts you in the mood for sunny days! Simple but effective, each two page spread illustrates just one object - or two related objects, with the word(s) opposite. Perfect to build up excitement for summer holidays and to help young ones recognise pictures and the associated words. There's plenty of detail in the pictures to discuss as children get older.

Roald Dahl’s 123 (Counting Board Book)

This is a lovely way to introduce children to the quirky world of Roald Dahl and the superbly complementary illustrations of Quentin Blake. The Enormous Crocodile is lurking on every page, cleverly camouflaged... is he on the lookout for a meal, we wonder? One by one, children are added to the scenes until there are 10... lift the big flap on the last page to see if they are safe. A good sized board book with colourful backgrounds which set the pictures off perfectly.

Roald Dahl’s Opposites (Dahl Picture Book)

Lift the five flaps in this colourful board book to uncover the opposites, as well as more pictures by Quentin Blake. A range of animals are here to introduce opposites such as tall and short, day time and night time, outside and inside. The Enormous Crocodile puts in appearances too - I love the day and night pictures! These are a lovely way to introduce Roald Dahl, and ideal for older siblings to share and to take the opportunity to show little ones their own Dahl books.

My Magical Unicorn illustrated by Yujin Shin

I loved this from the start, as I turned the wheel to change the sparkly mane and tail of the unicorn on the cover. Join the unicorn and enjoy the rhyming text as she journeys across the land making everything better as she goes. Along the way, readers can help the unicorn as they pull, push and slide the novelty elements. These are easy for little fingers to manipulate and a good way to develop fine motor skills. Spot the little firefly on every page, and use the delightful illustrations to encourage discussion. Little ones are going to love this!

Olobob Top: Let's Visit the Olobobs by Leigh Hodgkinson and Steve Smith

Children love to enjoy books featuring their favourite TC characters, and they are a great way to capture their attention. Tib, Lalloo, Bobble and all their friends are made of shapes, so children will start to learn these early on. This bold, bright and colourful board book has full-page flaps to explore, ideal for little ones to open. Under the flaps are shapes for children to discover. The Olobobs have lots of adventures but there are often some problems to face along the way. With imagination, inventiveness and creativity the Olobobscan solve anything. Bloomsbury's Olobob Top series allows children to extend and explore their own creativity, just like the Olobobs, whether it's by learning new shapes and numbers or creating their own imaginative world. It's a confidence-building and enjoyable way for young children to learn.

Look, a Butterfly! by Yasunari Murakami

Sky blue and grass green are the backgrounds to this story about shape and colour. A white butterfly flutters around and as it lands on flower buds, so they pop open in their bright colours. But after the butterfly stops to drink, she makes a mistake... will she be caught by the cat? A simple and colourful story.

Counting with a Ladybird from DK

There is plenty here to attract little ones' attention as they follow the trails to count 1 to 10 in this durable board book. The catchy rhyming text accompanies gorgeous photographs with insect drawings superimposed. Through the book, there's a tactile trail for little fingers to follow the bright red ladybird on her journey, plus little cut-out shapes to discover, which reflect the number on the page. The final pages bring all the numbers together. So much to enjoy and to discuss about the insect world, encouraging identification as well as being a lovely way to learn to count to 10; an ideal first number book.

Bing: It's a Bing Thing

Little ones love to watch Bing on TV - he experiences just the same things that they do, and copes with them successfully, helping to build confidence and reassure young children. Now they can join him in this Bing-shaped board book as he enjoys all his favourite activities, including Vooshing with Hoppity to hugs with Flop. Bright colours will attract children and there's lots in the pictures for adults to discuss with their child.

A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins

Children are encouraged to join in with all the activities in this interactive board book. Read the rhyming text aloud and encourage your young one to flap like a bird, hop, stretch, swoop and more. Lots of sounds to join in with as well - say "cluck cluck; cock-a-doodle-doo and tuwit tuwoo". With bright bold illustrations to enjoy, this book is a whole lot of fun. which showcases many of the activities birds do.

Baby's First Colours from DK

The shiny shapes on every page will really capture little ones' attention; it's really attractively done, with just the object being described highlighted in this way; the background is a different shade of the same colour, helping children's colour recognition. With simple text, the book is perfect for reading aloud and for discussing the pictures, which have plenty of little extras to spot. Lots of opportunity to develop vocabulary too, as well as to encourage conversation and spotting. This sturdy board book will withstand plenty of handling and I am sure it will become a firm favourite.

Pop Up Peekaboo! Under The Sea from DK

This is ideal read-aloud and share fun, as the adult reads the rhyming text aloud, asks the questions and then the child explores what is hiding beneath the flap to answer the question. Each flap is differently shaped and well-sized so they are easy for little fingers. Under each flap is an intricately engineered pop-up which children will love. Stripey Fish meets a diving dolphin, a hermit crab and more sea creatures. Colourful illustrations make the book very appealing and there's lots to enjoy.

Little Concepts: ABC Shapes: Beyond Squares and Circles to Cubes and Squircles illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius

This goes way beyond a normal shapes book, with a shape for every single letter of the alphabet - amazing! Each double page features two shapes on one side, facing an appealing illustration which incorporates the shapes for children to spot and learn. Often the shape appears more than once, giving children an extra challenge to search for and count. It's very cleverly done and I learnt some new shapes! How about ungula and vesica piscis? A lovely way to find out about shapes and reinforce the alphabet.

ABC (The Learning Garden) by Aino-Maija Metsola

The pages of this colourful board book encourage young ones to see and say all the letters of the alphabet. The eye-catching pages each feature two letters, with the letter and a familiar object named and pictured. Each is set against a bold colour background, set out to be easy for little ones to look at and enjoy. The stylish illustrations and use of pattern make the book very appealing.

Shapes Colours Numbers by Dario Zeruto

Open the slipcase on this unusual book and you will find a book split into two halves; as you flip the pages over, a world of simple coloured shapes emerges. Open the flaps and count the shapes one by one; name the shape and the colour then play with the flaps to create your own combinations. Apart from the instruction to explore, the book is wordless, ensuring children are totally focused on the shapes and colours. There is also a tactile element as the pages are textured and the shapes are indented to encourage exploration. A lovely introduction to colour and shape. The publishers, Words and Pictures say their books "encapsulate three main focuses: Imagination - because opening a book should also open a child's own imagination to possibilities; Innovation - because children should be encouraged to create, not imitate; and Inspiration - because books should make children want more: more books, more information, more of life itself. Good books inspire. words & pictures represents a powerful and positive opportunity to open children's minds to a world of discovery."

5 Wild Numbers by Bella Gomez

The front cover features an interactive element where children can slide the disc around the number 5, to capture their attention. Inside this sturdy board book are the numbers 1 to 5 and again, children can move the discs through the cut-out shape in order to learn to form the number correctly. The book is illustrated by beautiful nature pictures with animals to spot hiding in the plants, and accompanied by a rhyme for each number. Children can trace their fingers over the numbers too. A perfect first introduction to numbers and animals.

Bizzy Bear Racing Driver by Benji Davies

We love Bizzy Bear books! The combination of catchy rhyming text and lots of different interactive elements makes them a winner for young children. The pictures are full of interest and there is plenty for children to spot, question and talk about. Today Bizzy Bear is off to the race track - will he be the winner? Children can help him on his way. The sliders are satisfyingly clunky and easy for little fingers to manipulate and they will respond well to the excitement of the story.

ABC for Me: ABC Mindful Me: ABC for a happy, healthy mind & body by Christiane Engel

This playful approach to the current hot topic of mindfulness is perfect for the youngest children - and to show their parents the basics. Initially, it's a colourful first alphabet book, but there's much more to it. Simple, basic mindfulness principles are matched with each letter of the alphabet and explained in just a few lines of simple text. The colourful illustrations of children and animals can be used as the basis for discussion to explain each concept to children. The key concepts promoted by mindfulness are claimed to develop concentration, listening skills, and the ability to manage emotions, stress, and anxiety - all essential skills for us all. There are some fun activities to enjoy at the end of the book. Well thought out and very useful.

Storytime with Ted by Sophy Henn

Ted loves stories - all stories including adventure, fairy tales and spooky tales. Little ones will love to open the big child-friendly full page flaps as they discover all Ted's favourites - perhaps they will choose which story they would like today? A joyful celebration of the wonderful world of the imagination which will encourage children to love stories.

100 First Animals from DK

Perfect for sharing with your little one, this is a large format book with a padded cover, the size offering plenty of scope for its colourful and accurate pictures. It's a great way to increase little ones' vocabulary as you talk abut the 100 animals depicted. The pages are themed in an interesting way, including size, runners and jumpers, in the trees, scales and shells and in the sea. This gives the book value as children get older and want ore information. Bright clear photos are well laid out against bright backgrounds and each creature is clearly named. The photos are full of action and will stimulate conversation and discussion.

Romeo Explores the Seaside by Alain Gree

These chunky board books are ideal to introduce young children to the wonderful books of Alain Gree. These books are part of new series aimed at young children (aged 1-3 years) which have Romeo the dog as the central character. Just as young children do, Romeo is exploring a new environment, in this case, the seaside. On each page, children will find a clue showing what they will see on the next page, so the book really involves the young reader. Each page has an action-packed illustration in Alain Gree's trademark style, giving lots for children to spot and talk about. Published by Button Books, March 2018, ISBN 9781454922506.

Romeo Explores the Farm by Alain Gree

Young children are fascinated by farms and farm animals. Now they can explore the farm, along with friendly Romeo the dog and enjoy his company as they explore together. What plant is used to make flour? What fruit grows on vines in bunches? Which animal gives us milk? Asking the questions gives adults plenty of opportunity for discussion with children and then you can turn the page together and see if the answer was right. A really attractive book to introduce life on the farm and to extend the learning as children get older. It's lovely to start children enjoying Alain Gree's books from a young age - they have so many more wonderful books to look forward to as they grow up. His distinctive style has huge appeal for children and the images are timeless are ever-appealing. Published by Button Books, March 2018, ISBN 978178708119.

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Strickland

Paul Strickland's dinosaurs translate perfectly into a board book guaranteed to capture children's attention, due to their bright colours and expressive faces. There are 10 dinosaurs to start with and, one by one, their numbers dwindle and there was only one left... until ROAR! And there are all the dinosaurs for children to count. A lovely early counting book told in catchy rhyme which is perfect to read aloud. The cover is lovely and tactile with glossy embossed writing and markings on the dinosaurs - lovely for children to explore.

British Museum: First Words (BM First Concepts) from Nosy Crow

This unusual series from ever-innovative Nosy Crow works well on several levels. For the youngest child, it's a colourful board book with bright pictures of familiar and not-so-familiar objects; as they get older, it's a book packed with information about the wonders of the British Museum and the objects we can see there. Each page features an object from the museum, photographed in full colour. The unusual aspect comes in the fact these are museum artefacts, mostly dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Each is described in more detail at the end of the book and those wanting more information can scan the QR code. A lovely way to showcase treasures and to give children the opportunity to make discoveries.

Pop Up Peekaboo! Numbers from DK

Young children respond really well to pop-up books and the fun just goes on each time they read them. The rhyming text tells a story through the book as the baby bee looks for her family. Read out the question and then your child can lift the good-sized flap and see who is hiding underneath... there are five surprises to enjoy.The bright photographs and pop-out characters will help with learning first numbers and encouraging early word recognition, whilst little ones are enjoying reading and sharing books.A perfect first counting book that will encourage reading and a love for books. The added novelty element will ensure plenty of re-reading.

Can You Say It Too? Tweet! Tweet! by Sebastien Braun

Vibrant illustrations of garden scenes will attract children's attention as they meet a range of friendly animals and creatures. The big, recessed flaps are perfect for little fingers to explore and underneath each, they will find a familiar garden bird. Find out the noise they make and then imitate - or can they guess before opening the flap? A lovely early board book wih lots to talk about.

Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt

What a lovely way to introduce babies to the wonderful world of books. Big books and little books, books to make all manner of things, books to read everywhere... a child's imagination is the only limit, so encourage their imagination by making sure you have books everywhere. The simple text is brought to life by Sarah Massini's absorbing illustrations of young children learning about the magic of books.

How to Count 1 to 5 in Five Languages by Kenard Pak

Meet five children from around the world - French, Japanese, Mandarin, English and Spanish and learn how they count from 1 to 5. Each child has a different set of objects to count, and as children look at the objects, they press the buttons down the side of the page to hear the numbers clearly read aloud. They also read the numbers from the text and learn the word for Hello. With just five numbers to learn in each language, it's easy for little ones to remember - a great start to language!

How to Say I Love You in 5 Languages by Kenard Pak

Meet George, Pierre, Gabriel, Yukiko and Jia Jia and learn to say 'I love you' in French, Japanese, Mandarin, English and Spanish with this fun press and listen board book. Press each button on the side of the book to hear the phrase said in each language, and then children can practise saying and remembering them for themselves. The charming illustrations give a good feel for the different countries and where the children play. This book would make a lovely gift.

Poor Little Rabbit! by Jorg Muhle

Encourage little ones to care for others with this sensitive and touching board book. Poor Rabbit has fallen over and hurt his elbow. Can you help him make it better? Blow on it, put a plaster on it, sing a song... just some of the ways a kind friend can help out. It's a very simple story, with expressive illustrations and easily followed text. A great way to encourage empathy.

What's in My Truck?: A Slide and Find Book by Priddy Books

This chunky well-sized board book is perfect for inquisitive toddlers. Every page has a colourful slide-and-find vehicle picture and a flap to explore. Underneath, children will discover lots of objects to spot and talk about; there are some nice elements of humour on the way too! The book will help develop picture recognition and problem solving skills, as well as increasing knowledge and understanding of the world. Each page also features images to spot, helping develop visual recognition and matching.The chunky mechanisms work well and are easy for little fingers to manipulate. Lots to entertain a child here, and all designed to help early learning.

Alphaprints: Happy Dog and Other Furry Friends by Robyn Newton

I love the Alphaprints books, which really encourage little ones to explore textures. Textured fingerprints, used as the basis for colourful animal pictures, form the basis of the book but there are all sorts of other lovely textures to explore too, so don't be misled. The colours are great too - I love the multi-coloured Afghan! There's rhyming text to enjoy as you share this well-sized shiny board book with your child. There's so much to enjoy!

Jungle: A Slide and Play Book (Wee Gallery Board Books)

Little ones will love to explore the sliders in this stylish interactive board book. The sliders move easily so children can answer the questions on the facing pages 'Who am I?'. There are clues too - but take care - the sliders don't all have to line up to reveal the creature!, so children need to be observant The black and white illustrations are simple and perfect for little children. "Wee Gallery are the result of a fantastic partnership between Wee Gallery and QEB Publishing, the beautiful illustrations, bold lines, whimsical animals, and repeating patterns are designed to stimulate visual development in young infants. Family-run Wee Gallery have over 10 years experience in graphic design and education, and so these books are guaranteed to excite and engage little minds."

Toot, Toot, Boom! Listen to the Band: A Press and Listen Board Book (Wee Gallery)

Introduce young ones to the sounds of musical instruments with this stylish book. An assortment of playful animals are playing their favourite instruments - enjoy the bold shiny pictures and then encourage your little one to press down on the tabs to hear the piano, guitar, trumpet, drums... and then hear them all together. Can they identify each one without looking? Durable and tactile, this is a lovely book with good clear sounds. In the same series is Hush! Little Bear Is Sleeping: A Press and Listen Board Book (Wee Gallery), which is perfect for bedtime.There's a hooting owl, a chirping cricket and more nighttime sounds to enjoy. The black backgrounds are very effective and the book is altogether charming.

Moo, Cluck, Baa! The Farm Animals are Hungry: A Press and Listen Board Book (Wee Gallery)

Children love to imitate the sounds of farm animals and these are great to copy; use the book alongside a farm animal set too, for more imaginative play. The sounds are exceptionally good and at a reasonable volume too. The charming simple pictures are ideal for little ones, as they learn about what farm animals like to eat. Also available is Wee Gallery Sound book: Vroom, Zoom! Here Comes The Fire Engine!: A Press & Listen Board Book (Wee Gallery Sound Books). Basically black pictures, with bold outlines and highlights of shiny red make this book a delight, and there are plenty of sounds to enjoy and copy.  A gorgeous series to encourage a love for books and an interest in the world.

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

Perfect to share at bedtime, this is a board book edition of a collection of charming lullabies. They are each beautifully illustrated by one of 12 award-winning artists, meaning each one has its own individual feel. The glossy board pages show the pictures off perfectly. With their soothing words and quiet rhythmic poetry, this is a perfect bedtime story book to snuggle up and enjoy together, with a lovely variety of topics. Published by Sterling, December 2017,ISBN 978-1454927068.


Look, There's a Helicopter! by Esther Aarts

Young children will love to find and follow the holes, which are just the right size for little fingers. They will be immediately engaged with the book as they peep through the holes to see what's to come - or what has just been, as the holes give a new perspective. As they enjoy the story in this interactive flying adventure with its gentle rhyming text,children are encouraged to look at the pictures and answer questions about what they can spy in every scene. A bright colourful board book which will engage children.

Hello You, Hello Me: A Soft Daytime Book With Mirrors (Wee Gallery)

Babies will be enchanted by this soft padded book which offers lots to explore. The tactile pages are ideal to develop an interest in sounds and textures - the central pages make a lovely crinkly sound. The soft colours give the book a lovely gentle relaxing feel. At the end is a soft mirror - babies love to see themselves. Bold clear illustrations of monkey and friends along with simple words help babies develop essential visual and language skills. Packaged attractively in a card box with clear cover, this makes a lovely gift for a young baby.

Goodnight You, Goodnight Me: A Soft Bedtime Book With Mirrors (Wee Gallery)

The tactile pages and soft mirror at the end of this soft thickly padded cloth book gives babies lots to explore. The friendly animal faces and familiar objects will stimulate little ones. The dark tones of the pages set the nighttime scene perfectly and make a good contrast to the preceding book. The books even come with a loop which can be used to attach the book to buggy or chair, saving lots of bending to retrieve the book and ensuring it stays safe when out and about. Wee Gallery was founded by graphic designer Surya Pinto and her husband David Pinto in 2003. These books are stylish and appealing - the perfect way to introduce babies to books.

Bim Bam Boom by Frederic Stehr

Reflecting the joy young children find in making 'music' with all manner of household objects, this is a joyful look at the fun a group pf friends have as they join in, one by one, each one with a new household utensil to use to make music. Full of wonderful sounds for children to copy - tish tish, clang clang, boom boom - and with a lovely ending, when all the utensils are put to very good use. A simple adorable story.

Goodnight Moon 123 & ABC Gift Slipcase based on the books by Margaret Wise Brown

These books, perfect for bedtime, with their soothing images at the end of each, introduce letters and numbers using familiar images from the beloved classic, Goodnight Moon. It was originally illustrated by Clement Hurd, in 1947 and the pictures have re-imagined by Clement Hurd's son, John Thacher Hurd, but still keep the charm of the original. It's an eye-catching way to introduce children to numbers and letters. Presenting the books in an attractive slipcase takes them to a new level, making them perfect presents.

Busy Nativity (Busy Books) by Emily Bolam

Push, turn and slide - there's plenty to keep little fingers busy and it's always a delight to see the expressions on little ones' faces as the pictures change. It all works really well and is easy for little ones to manipulate. This first Nativity story takes children along with Mary and Joseph on their long journey to Bethlehem; introduces a host of angels appear and shows beautiful baby Jesus in his crib. The gentle rhyming text flows nicely and there's just enough detail to introduce the story. Colourful illustrations can be used to stimulate further discussion. This is part of the hugely successful Busy Book series from Campbell Books.

Amazing Baby: Lost and Found by Beth Harwood and Emma Dodd

It's a great idea to include an interactive activity on the cover of a board book, to encourage babies to engage immediately. This colourful book has strong thick pages that are easy for little fingers to manipulate, and the sliders are also easy to use. Little ones can slide the slider and help the baby find something nice to eat, a missing shoe, mummy duck and more. Simple bright illustrations are ideal for little ones.

 Amazing Baby: Mummy, Baby by Beth Harwood and Emma Dodd

This series is perfectly designed for small fingers, with chunky pages and rounded corners. On each page, there's a slider, which moves really easily with a satisfying click. Slide it along and a baby animal (or animals) will be revealed. There are animal noises too, which are great fun for little ones to join in with. Simple and colourful, with interactivity - an ideal first book.

Dog and Friends: Playtime by Emma Dodd

It's a bust day for dog as he meets and greets all his animal friends - there's bird, cat, frog, duck and fish... and then it's time to go home. Can your little one name all the animals on the final spread of this colourful shiny board book? Or maybe copy the actions - jumping, laughing and more? Lots of fun and opportunities to talk about the book, with bright simple pictures.

Goodnight Baby Moon from DK

Little ones will love this - press the button and the moon on the cover lights up, silhouetting the rabbits standing in front of it - very effective and eye-catching. The rabbit family are here to help children learn about the different phases of the moon, as they enjoy their night-time strolls through the woods over a month. This beautifully illustrated book has simple text and is perfect for reading aloud. As well as watching the moon change from full to not there at all, and back again, there is lots more to spot such as friendly owls in trees and fluttering butterflies. The perfect bedtime story.

Time to Go with Ted by Sophy Henn

This is a super new series of board books from an award-winning author/illustrator. Time to go, Ted! But where will Ted go? Catching lions in the grass? Spotting polar bears in the freezer? Or maybe hanging out with a bunch of hungry monkeys? Ted is an imaginative little boy whose enthusiasm and imagination sees him setting off on all sorts of adventures as part of his daily life. Young ones will readily identify with Ted and this colourful book with its big flaps to investigate will capture children's imaginations and help them look for the unexpected in the everyday world.

Wow! It's Night-Time by Tim Hopgood

This is an outstanding board book, with the most gorgeous illustrations. The use of colour is outstanding - the base colours are dark with selective use light colours which leap off the page, and bright shades for the owls, leaves and other features. The little owl knows there is lots to see at night, and he sees all the animals... and then she has a big surprise when all the leaves blow off her tree. The book is also a counting book, as the owl sees a mole, two foxes... and up to 10 stars. Stunning.

The Forest Folk by Madeleine Rogers

This is a stylish collection of books which will appeal to children and adults. They follow on from the success of The Safari Set, The Polar Pack and The Jungle Crew; the series explores the natural world in a simple accessible manner which will engage young ones. Five animals - a brown bear, wolf, squirrel, otter and deer - are explored through rhyme and pictures. With two spreads dedicated to each animal, adults will be able to read the short playful rhyme on each spread to children and look at the bright illustrations to teach them about their habits and environment. Great to see books for very young children that teach them to appreciate nature. Published by Button Books, September 2017, ISBN 978-1908985859.

The Marine Team by Madeleine Rogers

The stylish illustrations are eye-catching, with simple lines and colours that are perfectly designed to capture children's attention. The five spreads, each one over four pages, cover a seal, seahorse, shark, turtle and whale; catchy rhyming text accompanies the pictures. My favourite in this book is the bright yellow seahorses dancing. Each book in the series also features some fun facts about each animal on the inside back cover. Published by Button Books, September 2017, ISBN 978-1908985866.

The Sky Guys by Madeleine Rogers

Featuring creatures of the sky, this book is all about five birds - a flamingo, owl, hummingbird, albatross and pelican, who are explored through rhyme and pictures. This is a lovely series to collect, and to introduce children to the natural world. Published by Button Books, September 2017, ISBN 978-1908985873."Mibo was founded by Madeleine Rogers in 2001 with the aim of creating well-designed, lasting products for the home. From humble beginnings selling lampshades at Old Spitalfields Market in London, she was soon having orders from stores such as Liberty and the Conran shop. Since then, Mibo has expanded its range to include make-at-home products for children and a range of children s accessories."

Opposites (British Museum: First Concepts) from Nosy Crow

If you find first concept books can be repetitive, this excellent and unusual series from Nosy Crow will make you think again! In this opposites book, each concept is illustrated by objects in the British Museum's collection. So big is a woodblock print of a rural landscape, against small, depicted depicted as a bronze mouse. Featuring amazing objects from the British Museum, this series of captivating board books encourages children to engage with early learning concepts. Inquisitive toddlers will enjoy learning all about opposites, with gorgeous photographic images on every page.

Colours (British Museum: First Concepts) from Nosy Crow

The superb collection of the British Museum is a perfect way to introduce colours, from red for a stunning ring to silver for a goblet. Exceptional colour photography shows the objects off at their best, and children (and adults) can find out more about each object by reading the information at the back and then scanning the QR code. It's a good way to keep the image pages clear and simple, while still providing lots of information if required. The book does not take the easy way out, with repetitive types of objects depicted - great trouble has been taken to ensure that a wide range of artefacts is represented, showcasing the Museum's collection perfectly.

Paddington Little Library by Michael Bond

This new set of books ties in with the movie, and features images from it, with simple text and images. It is the perfect introduction to Paddington. The four books are: Meet the Browns, Paddington Gets Dressed, Paddington Loves London and Paddington’s Manners These mini board book collections are perfect for babies and toddlers - just the right size for little hands. Bright and colourful, and perfect to take out and about.

Up and Down (National Trust: A Walk in the Countryside) illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

This delicately illustrated first concept book excellently combines an introduction to opposites with colourful scenes of a winter world. Two young children take the reader on a journey of exploration which covers many common opposites including under/over, high/low and warm/cold. Each picture illustrates the concept, set in an entrancing winter background which offers lots of opportunities for child and adult to discuss what they can see.

Bobo and Co: Numbers by Nicola Killen

To really entice young children, board books need an interactive element, and the full page size flaps in this book are perfect for very young children, as they are so easy to open. Lovable Bobo the panda is playing hide-and-seek with his friends, and children can explore the book by lifting the flaps. But before they open the flap, can they spot the clue and guess who is hiding? A lovely book for parent and child to enjoy together.

Bobo and Co: Colours by Nicola Killen

This humorous board book will have young ones in fits of giggles as they spot the mischief that Bobo and hist friends Muzzy, Riff and Lelli get up to when they spend their day painting. The full page flaps lift to reveal all sorts of mayhem! There's plenty more to discover too, as parent and child share the book, seeing how many more colours they can spot, and naming all the different objects the friends have painted. Adorable characters and an amusing story combine to make a super book.

Nee Nah! Nee Nah! To the Rescue illustrated by Carles Ballesteros

Capture children's attention with this colourful sound book. Four rescue vehicles are illustrated - fire engine, ambulance, helicopter and police car. Each board page has a side button to press and children will hear sirens and the sound of a helicopter. Big bright pictures are set against vivid backgrounds, and there's just enough detail to give plenty of opportunity for discussion. The sounds are clear and distinct but the youngest of children may need some help to press the buttons. A super way to engage children with books.

Pip and Posy: The Bedtime Frog by Axel Scheffler

Posy and Pip are great friends and a sleepover is always fun... but just like young children everywhere, Posy needs her favourite toy - her frog. Keen to help his friend, ever-supportive Pip offers Posy all sorts of toys It is only when Pip gives Posy his own, very favourite, pig toy that Posy is comforted and the friends can get a good night's sleep, at last. A sweet tale of friendship that will be perfect to share before a sleepover... but don't forget the favourite toy!

Opposite Things by Anna Kovecses

This is a lovely stylish introduction to opposites for adult and child to share. Little Mouse is here with a series of questions relating to opposites. On each spread there is a generously sized flap and before they open the flap, little ones can see if they know the opposite. The flap shows one picture, and under the flap is the opposite, for example rain and sun. The colourful pictures are set against a restful cream background. A lovely first concept book.

Counting Things by Anna Kovecses

Littke ones can learn to count to ten in style with this gorgeously illustrated book. Littkle Mouse is back with more questions to be answered by counting the creatures on the page. Then there's a big flap to lift with more creatures and numbers underneath. The flaps are easy for little fingers, with a little cut-out to aid opening and I like the fact that, once opened, they go back into place just as they were, ready for the fun to begin again. There is plenty more interest in the pictures to talk about too.

Littleland All Day Long by Marion Billet

Marion Billet's Littleland is a colourful lively place, perfect to introduce toddlers to the world around them. It traces the story of busy little ones as they go through a day's activities which will be familiar to every toddler. There are lots of discussion points, as the book asks direct questions - Is your room ever untidy? What did you have for breakfast today? These are a great way to draw children into the book and to expand their vocabulary. Spotting skills are also enhanced by the little pictures at the bottom of each page, which can be spotted in the big picture. The busy pictures are full of activity and the book offers wonderful opportunities for discussion about playing, shopping, travelling and much more. A lovely book.

Mummy! (The British Museum) By Lerryn Korda

Help the little Egyptian girl find her mummy, by lifting the generously sized flaps in this chunky board book. At the same time, children will enjoy exploring the world of Ancient Egypt, as the pictures depict many different scenes, including streets, rivers and ancient monuments. There is also a double page spread of 'Did you spot?', to encourage children to look further. There are even hieroglyphics to enjoy. A lovely way to introduce young children to Ancient Egypt. "Nosy Crow is working with the British Museum in an exclusive partnership to create a broad range of children's books to sell to the UK trade and beyond. The British Museum is 'a museum of the world, for the world'. It is the UK's leading visitor attraction and the second most visited museum in the world. The books draw on the British Museum's internationally recognised brand, its unparalleled collection of objects and its world-class expertise."

Diggers (Bing)

Bing and Pando are at the park with Flop and they have fun watching the big diggers at work, planting trees. It's such fun that Bing and Pando want to play diggers too – Bing will dig the hole, and Pando will fill it in! But what happens when Pando fills in Bing’s hole before he’s ready? As always, in these reassuring stories, there's a happy answer - and something very unusual gets planted!

Eggy Heads (Bing)

This colourful board book is another reassuring story about Bing and his friends; Bing experiences just the same ups and downs in life as any toddler, so they will enjoy sharing the stories and finding out how a happy ending is reached - it's a Bing thing! Bing is playing with his friends at Amma’s creche, and today they’re making Eggy Heads. They draw on their faces, put in the seeds to grow the cress hair, and wait. But Bing is impatient, so he has an idea to make Eggy grow faster - but disaster follows! Happily, it's soon resolved and Bing learns to wait.

The British Museum: 123 from Nosy Crow

This unusual first counting board book features an amazing range of objects that are a complete change from the norm for a counting book. Each one comes from the British Museum, and is depicted in gorgeous photographic images on every page. The presentation really encourages observation, as these are not standard 1, 2, 3 etc items per page, but they are laid out in a far more interesting way - just look at the seven geese, for example. The book goes up to 20 and it seems that the higher the numbering goes, the more fascinating the objects get - there's no repetition here! For example, we find 18 gloriously varied spoons; the index at the back describes them and adults can satisfy their curiosity by scanning the QR code to find out even more. Nosy Crow is the Independent Children's Publisher of the Year 2017 (for the fourth time in six years) - and no wonder, when they are producing books of this calibre.

British Museum: ABC from Nosy Crow

Aa is for anteater to Zz is for zebra; the range of photographs used in this book is far nearer the norm for an ABC book - but these are still illustrations with a difference. he house is from a Constable painting; the cat is a Chinese porcelain; the queen is a wooden statue of Queen Victoria and so on... And you can find out more through the index and QR code. This, along with the 123 book, is a resource that has value beyond the obvious. The eclectic collections of objects can be used to stimulate discovery and discussion, encouraging children to find out the background to the objects and the way they were used. It's good that they are durable board books, because I foresee they will get a great deal of use on many different levels. Fascinating books and so very unusual.

Listen to the Birds from Nosy Crow

Enjoy sharing this lovely board book with your little one - and hopefully, you may be able to spot at least some of the birds included, as well. The exceptional quality of the sounds that accompany the pictures is well worth noting - they are really clear and realistic (although little fingers may find the small size of the buttons a bit challenging). Six birds are featured - the cuckoo, blue tits, magpies, the nightingale, pigeons and a blackbird; it's a nicely chosen selection. Ideal to share with very young children, the stylish pictures show off the birds against a range of backgrounds; a very attractive little book.

If I Were a Whale by Shelley Gill

If I could be anything I wanted... I'd be a whale; that's the choice of this book which features whales found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. Toddlers will love to learn about whales swimming in the deep blue sea in this beautifully illustrated board book that shares simple whale facts in an imaginative way. There are just enough simple facts to introduce toddlers to some of the many whales there are beluga, fin, gray, beaked and many more. The illustrations are full of life and colour and are full page, making them really effective. It's good to see a non-fiction book for very young children that is just as enjoyable as a story book. Published by Sasqautch Books, April 2017, ISBN 978-1632171047.

Touch and Explore: Safari by Stephanie Babin I love the fact that this book has textures to explore and entice on the front cover - that is an excellent way to get children to pick up the book and look further. The book is part of a series (new to me, but I love it already!) created to encourage hands-on play and learning. Young children explore their world through touch so they will enjoy the textures on every colourful spread: touching the fur of a giraffe, running their fingers through a lion's mane and feeling the scales of a crocodile. To add to the tactile experience, they can also lift the flaps to find out more about their favourite safari animals. There is so much to explore and enjoy in this book, with really generously sized textures, fascinating facts and flaps to explore. A very good example of a tactile book for young children with lots of great features to capture the attention.

Dotty's First Book: Colours, Shapes, Numbers by Becky Baur

A perfect early book for children who are beginning to sit up and take note of the world around them. This is a book to share with very young children just beginning to explore their world. Through a range of familiar (mostly) objects, the author introduces colours, numbers, shapes, opposites and first words. The two page spreads introduce key concepts - colours, numbers, shapes, opposites, animals, the body, food and 'What can you see?' The pictures are labelled with a clear font and there are lots of peep-through cut-outs to engage attention and give a tactile experience. Look out for the animals who play a riotous game of peekaboo throughout the book. The illustrations summon up the familiar world of a child: playing in the garden, walks to the park and even flying a toy rocket to the Moon, so little ones will relate well to the book and its lively but uncluttered layout.

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

If you loved The Day the Crayons Quit, you will delight in meeting the grumpy crayons in a new escapade - now the poor ill-treated crayons are crosser than ever! One day Duncan receives a set of postcards from his crayons who have been lost, forgotten, broken – even melted in a clothes dryer and stuck to a sock! This is a gloriously funny book which will appeal to all ages with its humour - but there is a lot more text and detail in the pictures by Oliver Jeffers than you would expect in a board book. I must confess I find some of the script writing too small for my liking and I think adult help will be needed... but sharing books is always a good thing. The special glow in the dark drawing featured in the book means it is a good bedtime read.

One Happy Tiger by Catherine Rayner

So clever - the tiger, who starts off sad and finishes happy, is captured through illustrations that depict him to perfection. This stylish counting book doesn't, as you may expect, feature 10 tigers; rather, it shows one tiger making new friends, from 2 to 10. The simple text reflects on themes of happiness, friendship and nature. Unusually for a board book, it's portrait format which makes for an attractive book with scope for lots of detail in the pictures; it has sturdy board pages for little hands to open. A lovely first counting book with real style and an adorable tiger.

Bing’s Rainy Day Treasure Hunt

Flop and Bing are playing and they've decided to have a treasure hunt. Flaps on the first spread show what Flop has hidden and then there are flaps to explore on every page... but there are lots of red herrings on the way, so little ones will have to concentrate hard to make sure they find Flop's seven objects. Each page features a room in the house with at least three flaps built into cupboards, drawers and boxes for the reader to open. And when Bing brings his finds back to Flop, there’s one more very special discovery to be made. Children will love exploring and guessing what could be hidden in this colourful board book.

Bedtime with Ted by Sophy Henn

I love Sophy Henn's illustrations - they are simple yet very effective. As we follow Ted through his bedtime routine, there's just enough detail in the pictures to stimulate discussion as children identify familiar objects and scenes. There's plenty to giggle about too, as Ted gets ready for bed, with a little help from some friendly animals who are keeping him very busy. Children will love to see what lies next under each of the big flaps - the anticipation is a great way to capture interest. A perfect bedtime story.

Rabbits Don't Lay EGGS! by Paula Metcalf

Rupert the Rabbit is bored with his burrow, so he decides to tunnel into the farmyard. He tries to make himself useful, but when he tries to help, things go sadly wrong... with one particularly hilarious happening that will have children giggling. Luckily Rupert is good at digging, which soon leads to the most unexpected farm job of all - and soon the animals are enjoying a forbidden feast. An entertaining story with plenty of humour and lovely illustrations by Cally Johnson-Isaacs (i love the bright yellow textured cover).

Fluffy Chick (Touch & Feel) by Rod Campbell

This is a super book from a much-loved author and it's just as enjoyable as his other books. Young ones will love to explore the wide range of touch and feel textures as they explore the farm along with fluffy chick. They can stroke the woolly lamb, enjoy the sheep's fluffy coat feel the cow's smooth horns ... then lift the flap at the end to find out who is hiding under mother hen's wing! This chunky board book with its bright colours, simple text and host of farmyard creatures is bound to be a hit.

Rabbit's Nap (Tales from Acorn Wood) by Julia Donaldson

Rabbit is tied and she wants a nap - but as soon as she finds a nice comfy place to settle down, someone starts to make a noise. Children can lift the flaps to fnd out who is making the noise (just a note, that you will probably need to show young ones the flaps, as I found they re not very obvious). Poor Rabbit - and now there's someone at the door. It's her friends, who have a lovely surprise to help Rabbit have a perfect nap. Axel Scheffler's illustrations go down a treat, as always, perfectly complementing the rhyming text.

Hooray for Hoppy by Tim Hopgood

This delicately coloured retro-feel book is a lovely way to encourage children to explore their senses. The gorgeous illustrations are really stand-out and children will love the style. When Hoppy the rabbit wakes up on the first day of spring, he discovers a world full of wonderful things... but to really enjoy them, he needs to share them with his friends. This bold and beautiful introduction to the senses includes an activity spread which encourages adults to help children learn all about the way they can use their senses to interact with the world around them.

The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson

Children can start to enjoy Julia Donaldson's stories with this lovely board book. Poor Rhyming Rabbit is sad - none of his fellow rabbits appreciate his carefully thought-out poems (but you, the reader will enjoy them, I promise!). And as for the other animals he meets? They just tell him to be quiet! Then one starry night he meets someone who shares his enthusiasm for poetry... Lydia Monks is the illustrator and there's lots for children to explore and enjoy in the stylish pictures with their gorgeously expressive animals.

Charlie Chick Wants to Play by Ant Parker

Charlie Chick wants to play but where is his ball? Children are encouraged to help him find it by lifting the flaps to see if it's in the pig sty, the kennel, the reeds or the hen house. With lovely textures on the cover and illustrations by Nick Denchfield, this cute story is also an ideal way to learn about first animals and their homes.

Peek a Boo What? (Begin Smart) by Elliott Kreloff

We nearly all play peek-a-boo with our babies, and with good reason - it helps their awareness of the world around them and helps them learn the patterning of words. Babies soon begin to understand that even when something isn't in sight, it still exists, and they love the thrill they get when it reappears - and there are objects galore to be revealed in this board book with its big flaps. With its simple rhyming text and pictures of familiar objects and animals, little ones will love to spot and revisit the objects. Published by Sterling, March 2017, ISBN 978-1454920861.

Pick Me Up! Puppy by DK

Little ones will love the novelty appeal of this series of board books, which come with an integral carry handle and shaped cover with a peep-hole. The story about five cute puppy pals is longer than found in the average board book and this is a plus as it means the book will continue to hold young ones' attention for longer; younger ones will enjoy the pictures and older ones will listen to the story. In the 10 page story, children will learn what happens when Booker the Puppy tries to play with his friends - the theme of friendship and playing is perfect for young ones. The colourful pictures are full of familiar objects to spot; the pictures are clear and uncluttered. A lovely book.

Pick Me Up! Dinosaur from DK

Children can't fail to be entranced by the gorgeous friendly dinosaurs who star in this board book. With integral hadnle, the book is idea for carrying around - and when they sit down to read, toddlers can learn about five different kinds of baby dinosaurs--the triceratops, the stegosaurus, the diplodocus, the tyrannosaurus rex, and the edmontonia. Then they can see if they can remember the names by the end of the book! Young imaginations will be stimulated as they see the baby dinosaurs came to play ball, go puddle jumping, and more. Speech bubbles and annotation encourage carers and preschoolers to talk about the pictures, building language skills and reading readiness. A book that works well in all sorts of ways to encourage little ones to enjoy books.

Picky Eaters by Ellen Jackson

Did you know that koalas only eat eucalyptus? That arctic foxes dine on lemmings? Just like children, animals can be very fussy about food, so this will be a fun book to share with your picky eater. Each page has a catchy rhyme, which is completed by lifting the shaped flap. Little ones will enjoy ten choosy creatures and guessing what they eat, before the lift the flap to reveal the answer. Published by Sterling; March 2017 978-1454919018.

Really Feely Farm from DK

This is a really exciting series for babies and toddlers, full of tactile experiences to explore. This touch-and-feel baby animals (always a hit!) book for preschoolers is liberally adorned with fluffy patches, bumpy patterns, squishy shapes and tactile glitter, which little ones will find really fun and really feely - perfect to develop early skills. With five different baby animals to meet - the fluffy duckling, the woolly sheep, the squidgy-nosed piglet, the soft duckling and the hairy cow, there's lots to explore Gentle text builds knowledge, and offers plenty of opportunity for parents to encourage additional learning. A beautiful board book which will offer lots of fun.

Really Feely: Baby Animals from DK

This bright board book series is a lovely way for adults to start sharing books with their children, as little ones will find the wide range of textures and the shiny pages irresistible. Little ones will love to meet a cuddly kitten, a playful puppy, a tufty baby donkey, a furry rabbit and a feathery owl (this one is gorgeous!). Feeling all the textures will encourage early learning and develop fine motor skills, as well as increasing knowledge of the world around us. The small chunky size is perfect for small hands, Really Feely: Baby Animals has sturdy board book pages for baby readers to explore. The real-world photography is ideal to encourage an interest in the animal world, and all the pages are bright and tactile with so many textures to explore. covered in embossed textures, fluffy patches, bumpy patterns, and tactile glitter. A really excellent series.

Touch Think Learn: Fly! by Xavier Deneux

Perfect for the spring, this is the story of a little bird who finds a mate, builds a nest and encourages one brave hatchling embarking on its first flight. It is so simply told, and the accompanying illustrations are equally simple; they combine really effectively... and that's not all. There are removable--and movable--characters and scenery, so children are drawn into the story as they move the birds and pieces of scenery around to tell the story. It's really clever, very unusual and the ideal introduction to life cycles and bird life.

The Polar Pack (Mibo) by Madeleine Rogers

The catchy rhyming text introduces a range of polar animals, five in all, with humorously presented snippets of information. In this book, young readers will find out about the penguin, the walrus, the polar bear, the snowy owl and the reindeer. The books in the series all features some fun facts about each animal on the inside back cover. Ideal for toddlers, this series is perfect to introduce children to different habitats and the animals that inhabit them. Published by Button Books, March 2017, 9781908985842.

The Jungle Crew (Mibo) by Madeleine Rogers

The Jungle Crew features five animals - a monkey, tiger, tree frog, parrot and toucan - with delightfully quirky and informative rhyming text and bright illustrations. There are two spreads dedicated to each animal as well as a small introduction and summary page. This is a lovely set of books, perfect to stimulate an interest in the natural world. Published by Button Books, March 2017, 9781908985828.

The Safari Set (Mibo) by Madeleine Rogers

Young children can go on safari in this attractive board book and meet the iconic animals who call the safari their home. The Safari Set features five animals - hippo, giraffe, elephant, lion and zebra - with delightful rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations which young children will find hugely appealing and adults will love to share with them. The stylish illustrations are simple and brightly coloured, and convey the essence of each creature to perfection. Published by Button Books, March 2017, 9781908985835.

123: A little counting board book with a fold-out surprise (Toddler's World) from Pat-a-Cake

This colourful board book introduces toddlers to essential d number skills. The illustrations are great fun; playful and witty, they will appeal to parents and children alike. Each page includes sounds for toddlers to join in with while reading the book, and this adds to the fun element. There's a special fold-out surprise at the end which adds a fun overview of all the learning in the book. Pat-a-Cake, a new series from Hachette, takes you and your child on a magical journey. From sharing the very first baby book to watching your little one read all by themselves.

On the Move: A pull-tab board book to help your baby focus (First Baby Days) from Pat-a-Cake

Sharing books right from birth is really important for a baby's development, and this book with its bold use of black, white and red is a perfect first book. The high-contrast images are really stimulating for little ones. Babies are able to react and respond to simple patterns and contrasting colours just a few weeks after being born. As their eyes develop, they begin to track objects and scan for things to look at. Generously sized tabs pull out in different directions; babies will need to be shown how to use these initially, but as their motor skills develop, they will delight in pulling the tabs out themselves. Babies will react with delight as they track and scan the pictures and patterns that are revealed as you pull the tabs, while the simple text prompts parent interaction.

My First Words (The Learning Garden) by Aino-Maija Metsola

With its stylish illustrations, this colourful and engaging board book is perfect to encourage children to learn their first words. It organises basic vocabulary into familiar activities from throughout the day, from getting ready to bedtime. Young ones will enjoy naming objects on every spread, with 70 essential words to see and say. Parents can make good use of the book to stimulate discussion about the various times of day and the activities enjoyed.

My First Animals (The Learning Garden) by Aino-Maija Metsola

My First Animals features creatures from the garden, the pond, the ocean, the jungle, the farm, polar regions and the savannah. It's a good way to encourage inquisitive children to find out more about the natural world. Each book in the series features subtle textures on the front cover, to stimulate children's sense of touch. Each picture is clearly labelled, the the pages are attractively laid out with the pictures set against individually coloured backgrounds.

My First Colours and Shapes (The Learning Garden) by Aino-Maija Metsola

This book is mainly about colours - red, blue, green, purple and orange - with an end page about shapes. Savvy parents will link the two, by asking their young ones to identify the shapes they can see in the colour pictures. Each page features a question, which is a good stimulus to encourage further discussion. The simple, bold illustrations are good for capturing young children's attention, and there are plenty of patterns to spot too.

National Trust: Colours, A Walk in the Countryside by Rosalind Beardshaw

Nosy Crow have teamed up with the National Trust to great effect - the range of books is excellent for supporting the National Trust in its aim to interest children in the countryside and I love to see them so prominently displayed in their shops - the perfect souvenir. This is the third in a series of concept books and it takes very young readers on a summer walk through the countryside, looking at all the colours around us. With beautiful illustrations from Rosalind Beardshaw, this board book is a great way of bringing children closer to nature, encouraging them to spot things and to be observant.

Littleland: All Year Round by Marion Billet

I love the Littleland books; Marion Billett's stylish illustrations are a sheer delight. Without actually naming the months, the book follows a happy group of young children as they have fun in every month .of the year. From visiting the spring lambs to paddling on the beach to cooking for an autumn feast, the book is full of images and events children will recognise. On very spread, little ones are given a range of objects to spot as well as a question to answer - the questions cover key early learning topics such as colours and counting. There is so much to enjoy in this lively board book and it offers excellent opportunities for adults to share and discuss what is happening.

Where's Mr Lion? (Felt Flaps) by Ingela Arrhenius

Five beautifully illustrated spreads show four friendly savannah animals - giraffe, crocodile, elephant and lion - hiding behind bright felt flaps. And on the last page, children are asked "Where are you?" and there's a mirror to show them. A perfect book to share with very little ones, who will enjoy the bright felt flaps as a change from card.

Where's Mrs Ladybird? (Felt Flaps) by Ingela Arrhenius

Four popular garden creatures - caterpillar, bee, snail and ladybird - are illustrated in simple pictures against brightly coloured backgrounds which will really capture children's attention. On each spread, children are asked to spot the creature, who is hiding beneath a colourful felt flap - a refreshing change from paper flaps. And there's a mirror on the last page to give children an extra surprise.

Can You Say It Too? Cheep! Cheep! by Sebastien Braun

Five lavishly illustrated spreads show a range of gorgeously friendly animals. Who is hiding? Lift the big, recessed, and interestingly shaped flaps to reveal who is hidden and then copy their noises. A lovely board book for very young children, who will love the bright colours, shaped flaps and the opportunity to try out their sounds.

Spot the Difference Things That Go: Can you find the odd one out? from DK

This book offers hours of fun for toddlers as they spot the difference, count, find the odd one out, name the colours and much more. Some of the objects are definitely very out of place and are bound to raise a giggle! Will they find the panda in a speedboat or the teddy driving a car? The book offers lots of opportunities for young readers to develop their observational skills as they enjoy the colourful, detailed and action-packed pictures. With amazing facts and questions on every page, this is a great way to encourage young ones to learn about their world and enjoy the many activities.

My Pictures after the Storm by Eric Veillé

With its funky format, clever rhymes and funny images, My Pictures after the storm is a witty and inventive take on "before" and "after. It's a book which will appeal very much to adults, with its clever plays on words and the neat way in which one picture becomes something quite different on the opposing page. An interesting book.

Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle

The simpler the better is so often true with board books, and this book bears that out perfectly. It's the follow-up to the bestselling Tickle My Ears and its perfectly simplicity lets the young reader take charge of bath time. Sweet and simple.

Sharing is Caring (Skills for Starting School) from DK

STarting school, whether in nursery or a reception class, is a big step for a child. Give them a good start with this series of board books from DK which helps develop essential skills. Learning to get along with others is a key skill for starting school and Sharing is Caring is the perfect way to open up a discussion with your child about friendship. Children will respond well to the funny, friendly characters, Bip, Bop, and Boo, who are the stars of a simple story about caring for others, and sharing so they play better together. An excellent way to open up conversation and build confidence.

Please and Thank You (Skills for Starting School) by DK

Friendly characters Bip, Bop and Boo are here to help children learn the essential skills of being polite. The enjoyable story and colourful pictures will engage children's attention. Through the use of discussion questions, friendly characters and friendly characters, Bip, Bop and Boo help teach your child never to forget those magic words. Simple and very effective.

I Love You (Baby Touch & Feel) from DK

This lovely small chunky board book with its soft-feel cover is perfect for the littlest hands to hold. Young ones will respond well to the stunning photos, each of which features foil or textured areas to extend baby's tactile skills. The  simple visuals and labels help promote language skills. From shiny love hearts beside a little girl hugging her toy to a baby with a fleecy heart on his vest, you can introduce your baby to the concept of love with touch and feel textures. A lovely first book.

Sophie's Big Beep Beep Book! (Sophie la Girafe) from DK

Sophie la Girafe will already be familiar to many babies, who will have enjoyed the comforters and teething toys, so they will recognise her when they see this book. This generously sized board book is packed with well-sized flaps and has five light-activated sounds sound buttons quite hard to press. Sophie la Girafe wants to go for a walk with her friends but they are busily trying out their noisy wheelie toys, and soon Sophie's plan has changed! Children will love interacting with the story, investigating to see which flap makes a noise, as they practise motor skills and listen to their adult read the story. The textured Sophie on the front cover has a lovely tactile feel for little fingers to explore. A super book.

Book of Opposites by Sarah Dyer

Introduce your little one to opposites with this colourful word and picture board book. This is an introductory book to opposites with a difference. Enjoy Sarah Dyer's gloriously depicted people, animals and objects, laid out in organised chaos for the pleasure of young readers. Each page is scattered with objects that little ones will love pointing out and naming, including animals, weather, doing and many more, all cleverly paired up with their opposites. Sarah's fun illustrations, with quirky touches of humour, will ensure this book will be an instant hit with toddlers and their parents.

Animal Fun! Touch and Feel: Stroke the animals! by Tracey Radford

The elephant's ear feels wrinkly; the crocodile's skin is scaly; the giraffe is soft. Meet an array of friendly animals in this wonderfully tactile book; the textures are excellent and perfect to encourage babies to explore by touch. Tracey Radford has created a wonderful menagerie of bright and bold creatures depicted in very stylish illustrations for young children to enjoy. Encourage the child to ‘stroke’ and get to know the animals on every page, and talk about the animals; read aloud the sounds and encourage children to join in.

Animal Fun! What Sound Do I Make?: Press the button! by Tracey Radford

Young children’s language development often starts with simple sounds, such as animal noises. In this lovely book, children can copy the sound of the cow, pig, sheep and ducks, and then press the button to hear the cockerel say 'Cock-a-doodle-doo'! There is  text on each page which is perfect to read and then encourage conversation. These chunky board books have rounded edges to be safe for the youngest children, and the bright colours give them immediate appeal.

Animal Fun! Who Lives Here?: Lift the flaps to find out! by Tracey Radford

Young children always respond well to lift-the-flap books and this one is perfect for the youngest of children with its strong card, nearly full-page flaps. There are clues in the picture, then they can lift the flaps to discover, among others, who’s swinging in the trees, lurking beneath the water and taking shelter in the cave.  Tracey Radford’s bright and bold creatures and wonderful settings are created as attractive collage-type models.There's a mirror on the back cover, too. Young ones will enjoy the bright colours and the fun of lifting the flaps; for older ones, this is an ideal introduction to some of the different places animals live, giving plenty of stimulus for discussion.

Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! by Sebastien Braun

Young children will love this beautifully illustrated board book, with its lovely shaped flaps; they are a good size for little fingers, too. As they look at the five spreads, there is a clue to what is hidden beneath the recessed flaps, so they can make a guess before looking under the flap. There are lots of cute animals to spot and name plus sounds to mimic. The pictures are simple yet provide plenty of interest to stimulate young children

Listen to the Pets by Marion Billett

Babies and toddlers love sound books and they are a super way to encourage them to take an interest in books. There are six animals - dog, cat, canary, rabbit, guinea pig and horse - and they are all pictured in bright simple scenes, perfect for little ones. It's the quality of the sounds that really impresses with this book - they are clear and realistic; and at the end of the book, children are encouraged to make the sounds themselves. It's just the right size for little hands and the buttons work with only a light press, which is ideal. A perfect early book..

The National Trust: 123 - A Walk In The Countryside by Rosalind Beardshaw

This early counting book takes a narrative approach as young readers join the cute boy and girl (and their dog) on a journey of discovery on a windy autumn day. This is one in a series of concept books created for the National Trust - also available is The National Trust: ABC - A Walk In The Countryside. A lovely book to share with children when you are out and about, to encourage them to take an interest in nature. I love the range of books that Nosy Crow produce in association with the National Trust - they are informative, attractive and a super way to encourage children to take an interest in the world around us, even the youngest. It's great to see them in National Trust shops and they make an ideal souvenir - one that will have lasting appeal.

Wrapping (Twirlywoos)

Today, the Twirlywoos are learning about wrapping. The lady is wrapping a present, and then it's their turn. It's a good thing that there's plenty of wrapping paper, as the Twirlywoos wrap EVERYTHING - even the lady! Then it's time to get back on the Big Red Boat, and the Stop-Go Car comes along with a snuggly scarf in which to wrap the Twirlywoos so they go to sleep. This brightly coloured, action-packed board book helps toddlers learn, just as the TV show does. There are plenty of words, more than in most board books, and these will help children recognise their letters.

Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 1)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 2)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 3)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 4)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 5)

Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Little Learners)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Tiger Kids)


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