Book reviews - fiction age 2 to 5 (page 14)

These are richly illustrated books and they are not just for young readers. Although we have given the ages 2 to 5 as a rough guide, many will appeal to older children. Some are thought-provoking titles from which all ages can gain pleasure. You're never too old for a picture book! Plenty here for all ages to share and enjoy.

The most recent reviews are at the top of this page - so these are generally the most recently published books.

Pom Pom the Champion by Sophy Henn

Here we have another lovable panda, brought to life by the delightful text and captivating pictures of Sophy Henn. When Pom Pom Panda is bored and doesn't know what to do with himself, his mum suggests a game. Just like nearly all little children, Pom discovers that he only really likes playing games if he wins. He sets out to be best at all his everyday activities but when he gets to the playground, he doesn't win all the time. This is a gentle and amusing look at how it's not always about being the best, and it will strike a chord with parents and young children alike. Charmingly told, with lively stand-out illustrations.

Ten Spooky Skeletons by Patricia Hegarty

Starting off with one lonely skeleton, join the fun as the skeletons set off on a counting adventure. They go in search of their friends in this peek-through picture book with a spooky twist - but not too spooky as these are perhaps the least-scary skeletons you will meet; they even have smiles on their skulls! The rhyming text and entertaining story work well together to make an enjoyable story. Children will love to peep through the holes to build anticipation and there's a glow-in-the-dark finale to add to the fun.

Hideaway Hedgehog and the Magical Rainbow (Hideaway Pets Books) by Lisa McCue

It's a lovely sunny day and Mama hedgehog just can't resist exploring - and she strays further and further from home, even though her litter of hoglets is nearly due. Then the weather changes and rain and thunder roll in. She finds shelter in an old pot, but when the sun comes back out, she finds out this is no ordinary pot ... soon it's glowing - and Mama hedgehog gets an unexpected and very colourful surprise. The gorgeous illustrations offer plenty of opportunity to talk about nature, culminating in the rainbow at the end. A lovely story with a real surprise at the end. Published by Sterling, October 15, 9781454916024.

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Cat Burglar by Tracey Corderoy

Our two villains are reformed characters - they have swapped a life of crime for a life of baking in their cafe. Now there's a new robber in town - the infamous Kitty-le-Claw! There's also a new member of staff in the cafe - Ruby the cat, who works very hard in the basement if the cafe... When there's a midnight robbery at the bank, can the two baker dogs save the day? A great story, superbly illustrated by Steven Lenton - and with rhymes that really rhyme and are not in the least contrived (a trap that some authors, sadly, fall in to). It's sheer joy to read aloud and children will love to join in as they get to know the story - and they will, because I am sure it will be requested over and over again.

This Old Van by Kim Norman

Full of zest and energy, this is a rip-roaring ride through the well-loved favourite. Take a rollicking ride in This Old Van, a joyful take on the classic children's counting song. A pair of hippy grandparents take to the highway in their psychedelic and iconic VW camper van. As it travels on its way, it passes one train, two bulldozers, three tractors, four lorries... right up to ten muddy jeeps. There are quite a few mishaps along the way, and children will delight in pointing these out. But will they reach their destination in time? This wonderful rhyming text and superb use of words will entrance young readers; it's sheer joy to read aloud. Wonderful! Published by Sterling, October 15, 978145910633.

Max at Night by Ed Vere

It's long past bedtime and Max is tired and all ready for bed... but there's just one more thing to say goodnight to. When he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped. . . and he needs to climb higher and higher, asking everyone he meets on the way if they have seen the moon. The muted palette of the illustrations sets the scene perfectly. With a touchingly heart-warming ending, this is the perfect bedtime read.

This Orq. (he cave boy) by David Elliott

Orq the cave boy love(s) Woma the woolly mammoth very much. But his mother doesn't feel the same way - Woma is big, hairy, smelly and not even house-trained. How can Orq persuade his mother that Woma is the perfect pet? No mother could fail to love someone who rescues their child, could they? This is a positive story about friendship and loyalty. Personally, I didn't enjoy the use of hat to me sounds like baby language, but children will probably love it.

Dinosaur Rescue! by Penny Dale

The dinosaurs' truck is stuck at the level crossing and the dinosaur train is coming down the line... It's tome to call dinosaur rescue - the ambulance, fire service and police, even the helicopter. Will they get there on time? I love the way the whole story races along echoing the urgency of the mission. All the dinosaurs join together for a very satisfying ending. I particularly enjoyed the pictures - they completely fill the pages and to me had a gently nostalgic feel whilst being lively and full of action.

Owl Wants to Share at Moonlight School by Simon Puttock

Miss Moon is the teacher at Moonlight School and now it's drawing time. She's asked all the creatures to draw their favourite night time thing. Cat, Bat and Mouse all decide quickly what they want to draw and poor Owl, who's a bit slower to choose, finds they have used all the night-time colours ... and they refuse to share. What is Owl to do? His imaginative answer gives everyone some good ideas in this lovely story about sharing. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love the expressions on all the faces. A light-hearted and humorous story charmingly told - it's perfect to share!

The Look Book: At Home by Claire Rollet

Young children love to explore the world around them - and to recognise familiar things in books, so they can take pride in pointing them out and naming them. Each page of this book is packed with quirky, delightful illustrations of familiar objects for toddlers can point to and name and pre-schoolers use as an enchanting first step to reading; there are labelled familiar objects on alternate pages. What can they see in the kitchen? Under the stairs? In the bathroom? There is plenty to explore and the eye-catching coloured ink drawings are delightfully full of detail to spot and talk about

The Wolf Who Fell Out of a Book by Thierry Robberecht

Zoe's bookshelf is so full of books that, one day, a wolf falls out of a book! In his own book, he was a scary wolf with sharp pointy teeth... but now there's a fierce-looking cat looking down at him. He quickly jumps into another book - and another - and another - but it seems the story is never right for him. Finally, he meets a little girl dressed in red, who needs his help... This is a lovely and unusual story, with plenty of familiar characters to delight children - and lots of opportunities to discuss why the wolf doesn't belong and to retell favourite stories. Wonderfully imaginative and superbly illustrated, this is bound to become a favourite.

Bob to the Rescue by James Bowen

Aaaah... who could resist the endearing picture on the cover of this book? Bob the street cat used to be homeless, but then he met James, who gave him a home. So when Bob finds a lost little puppy in the park, he remembers what it's like to be homeless and hungry so he does all he can to help his new friend. This is an enchanting story of friendship, of looking out for one another and ultimately of happiness. The gorgeous illustrations are the icing on the cake for a lovely story.

The Tiger Prowls: A Pop-Up Book of Wild Animals by Maggie Bateson

This beautiful pop-up book features a range of animals depicted through simple but very effective pop ups. These are accompanied by lyrical text and stylish backgrounds which set off the animals to perfection - they really do seem to leap off the page at you. I looked at the book under artificial light, and the shadows formed added hugely to the appeal - do try it. This will be a beautiful addition to any child's shelf and it makes a perfect introduction to some of the world's most iconic creatures.

The Burp That Saved the World by Mark Griffiths

The Mustard twins are quite disgusting - their enormous burps horrify the town, and they burped wherever they went. But when aliens invade, they are the only ones with a plan to save the world... could it be that burps are useful after all? The vibrant illustrations are eye-catching and fun, and complement the story to perfection. I can see children loving this one - but look out for the burps!

Hubert Horatio by Lauren Child

Hubert Horatio is a child genius - he can do almost anything (except cake decorating and flower arranging). His parents, on the other hand, aren't too good with money and they fritter away the family fortune. It's up to Hubert and his best friend Stanton Harcourt to sort out the mess - and sort it out they do, in an unexpectedly successful way. The hilarious text swirls and twists around the page with sheer unadulterated exuberance, and weaves its way in and out of the wonderful illustrations. It's all very cleverly done and there is something fresh to revel in on every page. There's plenty in the story that will appeal to parents, as the family realises that money isn't everything. A delightful story, told with great humour.

Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman

Chu, the little panda with the big sneeze, is off to the beach. Chu loves the seaside; there are seagulls and rock pools and ice cream. Surely nothing could go wrong? But when Chu gets a tickle he sneezes so hard the sea separates. There's only one thing for it - Chu must sneeze again to put things right - but can he sneeze on demand? The results are hilarious! The pictures are superb to revel in with your child; they are full of things to spot and talk about, with many clever little twists and touches of humour. Chu is a lovely character - nobody could be cross with him for long!

Chu's First Day at School by Neil Gaiman

This is the second book about lovable Chu, the little panda with a big sneeze. Just like most children, he is apprehensive about his first day at school - will he fit in with the others? One by one, the animals tell the class about the amazing things they can do - and then it's Chu's turn and he makes his mark in his own very special way. Warm and reassuring, this is perfect for young ones starting school. The gorgeous illustrations are packed with fun details to share and discuss.

Lucy and Tom at Christmas by Shirley Hughes

Christmas is all about tradition so what better than a classic picture book which celebrates 55 years since the first Lucy and Tom book appeared? Lucy and Tom are busily preparing for Christmas - there are cards to make, a tree to decorate, presents to hide and carols to enjoy. By the time Christmas Eve arrives, the children are really excited - and how can you get to sleep when Father Christmas may be coming? The family enjoy a perfect Christmas Day in this classic picture book from the creator of Dogger. The glittery cover and festive illustrations will all help to build anticipation. It's one to treasure and bring out year after year as part of your Christmas traditions.

Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph

There's a contest every year to find the best bear in the wood. Fred is the champion; he's good at most things but he's brilliant at roaring. He’s just that good. It's hard work being a champion, there's no time for friends, but Fred thinks the medals make up for it. Fred faces opposition when a new bear moves to town, and Fred’s champion GRRRRR goes missing... Where could it be? The ending of this story is truly heartwarming and leaves the reader with a nice warm glow inside. The combination of catchy rhyming text, stylish pictures, friendship and forgiveness add up to make this book a real winner.

Mo Can't Go by Rob Lewis

Mo's car has broken down and one by one, her friends come along and try to help her; they try from above and they try from below. We even meet a tetchy toad who was once king of the road... Finally, along comes a frog mechanic and he gets the car going - but, oh no! The fast-paced rhyming text races you through the pages and children will love joining in on every page as they shout out 'But no... Mo can't go!'. It's ideal for sharing and perfect to read aloud to get everyone in a happy mood. Great fun.

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

This wonderfully simple story is a real celebration of imagination and determination. The little boy loved the stars so much, he decided to catch one of his very own, so they could be friends and play together. So he patiently waited all day for the stars to appear and finally, his patience paid off and he has his very own star. I love the way the colours of the beautiful illustrations change during the day and as night falls - it's a great talking point as well as very effective imagery. There are some good touches of humour as well - he couldn't fly in his rocket as it had run out of petrol on their trip to the moon! One for every child's bookshelf.

Monster Max's Shark Spaghetti by Claire Freedman

Children will revel in this gloopy, gooey, yucky yarn! Monster Max and his friends are heading off on holiday - but they are actually looking forward to all the things ordinary holidaymakers dread! In-flight meals may not be great but moth mash with tapeworm sausages, washed down with pureed eel? Just what monsters love! Spiders in the hotel, bugs in the breakfast, pongs on the beach - the monsters are having their perfect holiday. There's a problem at the end for Max though... Vibrantly illustrated, this eye-catching book will have children in fits of giggles. I love the glittery cover too.

What's Up MuMu? by David Mackintosh

MuMu is not quite MuMu today and nothing, but NOTHING, is going to change that. Best friend Lox thinks differently, though. But after trying everything, even Lox's enthusiasm is wearing thin - MuMu really doesn't want to do anything. So now Lox needs cheering up - and MuMu knows just how to do it. A witty and engaging story, perfect for everyone who has tried everything to get their child engrossed - and failed. Wonderfully stylish illustrations are full of unusual ideas; they are truly stand-out unusual and this book makes a refreshing change. I loved it!

Amazing Grace (Anniversary Edition) by Mary Hoffman

This special edition has been produced to celebrate the 25th anniversary of what has become a classic picture book; a real forerunner in its field. Grace loves to act out stories, whether taking a leading part or one of many in supporting roles. She has a vivid imagination and the illustrations depict her playing out her favourite story book roles. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play Peter, but her classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn't black... but Grace is a determined little girl and with support from her loving family, she knows she can do it. This edition has some special features, including a new introduction by the author and the illustrator, Caroline Binch. This ground-breaking picture book is still as fresh and relevant as ever and Grace is a joyful and positive role model for us all.

Flyaway by Lesley Barnes

The little princess' caged bird has escaped. Join her as she chases it round the castle, and open the flaps to see the bird fly away, encouraged by all those it meets. Finally, she captures the bird but, sadly, it has stopped singing. What should she do? Let it free, of course - and she is well rewarded. This stylishly illustrated story has 10 objects to count on every page and a host of delightful illustrations, as well as a charming cover with glittering golden keys.

Zeraffa Giraffa by Dianne Hofmeyr

Imagine the wonder of the people in France in 1826 - we are well accustomed to films and photos of exotic creatures but in the world of that time, a giraffe must have been an amazing sight. Zeraffa was sent as a gift by the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France in 1826. We read of her amazing journey in the care of young Atir, down the Nile, across the sea and through the French countryside to Paris. The King builds her a special house in the Jardin des Plantes where Atir whispers stories to Zeraffa of a hot land far away, and the feel of Africa comes to Paris. The stunning illustrations by Jane Ray are full of the most amazing and atmospheric detail and capture the feel of each stage of the journey. A wonderful book.

Go Home, Little One by Cate James

Florence knows nothing about winter, because she has always slept through it. But one day, when winter is approaching, she runs off to play in the forest with her squirrel friends, the twins Harry and Barry. At first they have a lovely time - and they don't notice the sharp snout and busy tail which keeps peeping from around the trees. Will your child spot the danger? Then it starts to snow and suddenly, it's not fun any more and the friends are in danger. They race home and soon Florence is tucked up safe and sound. This modern-day cautionary tale is beautifully illustrated, delightfully told and ends with a lovely reassuring feel. Perfect for autumn bedtimes and with lots of opportunities to talk about being lost, hibernation and forest creatures.

Mr Hare's Big Secret by Hannah Dale

Mr Hare has spotted big, juicy cherries at the top of the tree - he wants his friends’ help to get them down. So he tricks all his friends into dancing under the tree by pretending he has a secret - and the inquisitive animals can't resist. But wise old owl sees through the trick - he knows just what is happening. In this lovely cumulative rhyming story, the animals join in one by one until finally they are surrounded by fallen cherries and they all have a feast. Gorgeously illustrated, this is a perfect read-aloud story and would be great fun to act out too.

Dear Bunny by Katie Cotton

The little girl's best friend is her bunny and this book takes the form of a letter to him, describing all th favourite things they do together and the way the bunny is always at her side. He blows on her porridge to cool it down they play in the park and he looks after her at the zoo. With its celebration of simple pleasures, all depicted in delightful pictures, this book shows us how to appreciate the little things in life and leaves the reader with a nice warm feeling. I love the traditional feel of this book, with its cloth spine and delicately illustrated cover; perfect for this gentle tale.

T-Veg: The Tale of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Just one look at this book with its enticing title and beautifully vibrant cover made me impatient to take a look inside - and I wasn't disappointed. Reginald seems to be just like any other T Rex - until we learn that he prefers carrot cake to steak. All his friends make fun of him so he decides to do the things that herbivores do - but they're not much fun. But when his friends and family get into trouble, Reg is the only one who can help. It turns out that vegetables make a T Rex really strong and Reginald saves the day. So, you see, being different is perfectly OK as this entertaining tale shows. A lovely story and gloriously illustrated.

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

One day in the forest a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen. Intrigued, he returns to it day after day and from making strange sounds he gradually produces beautiful tunes. A father and son picnicking in the woods hear his music and whisk him off to fame and fortune in New York. The Bear is sad though - he misses the friends and family he has left behind. So he decides to return - but will they have forgotten him? This touching story with its dramatic illustrations shows the power of perseverance (maybe share it with a child learning an instrument to give them confidence?) and of friendship. A great debut picture book.

A Dublin Fairytale by Nicola Colton

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Fiona... One day, her mother asked her to go across the city to see her grandmother, picking up some things on the way. But Dublin is full of fairytale characters, some of whom needed Fiona's help on her way across the city. In this charming story, Fiona (dressed in her red coat) encounters snakes, trolls, a wolf and many other unusual inhabitants of the city - who knew Dublin was home to all these? Look closely at the illustrations and you will meet hosts of familiar characters in this lovely and unusual story.

The Football's Revolt by Lewitt-Him

Footballs, as well as footballers, have feelings too, as shown by this reproduction of the charming 1940s children's book by design duo Lewitt-Him. The excited citizens of Kickford and Goalbridge turn out for their annual football match only to have it cut short. After a particularly violent kick, the ball decides it has had enough and remains in the air, in spite of the townspeople's heroic attempts to bring it back down. It is left to the children of the town to come up with a plan to save the match. It's an unusual and quirky story, produced by Jan Le Witt and George Him, mid-twentieth century designers.

What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson

What the Ladybird Heard is one of my all-time favourite picture books, so I was thrilled to see a follow-up. The clever little ladybird is very quiet, but she is very clever. When crafty robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len fat red hen herself. It's time for the little ladybird and her farmyard friends to hatch another crafty plan. The goose, the horse, the sheep and the cats are all back to delight readers and they're joined by a mysterious Snuggly Snerd bird. The plot is clever, the rhymes irresistible and the whole story is, quite simply, superb. Add to this the gorgeously glittery eye-catching cover and sparkles on every page (which feel gloriously tactile) and wonderfully vibrant and expressive illustrations from Lydia Monks, this book is a sure-fire winner. I love it!

Loo in the Zoo by Paul Cherrill

Children will love this hilarious mix and match book, with its toilet-shaped cut-out. There are so many loos at the zoo, the animals just don't know which to use. Can Leopard find a spotty seat? Will Zebra choose a stripy seat? Can Penguin pick an icy one? Whose favourite loo is pink and fluffy? There's a laugh a page (and lots of different pages) as you mix and match the animals with different loos in this hilarious split-page novelty board book. The animal characters are gorgeous too.

Hansel, Gretel, and the Dastardly Dinner Lady (Fairy Tales Today) by Isabel Thomas

Twisted fairy tales are hugely popular at the moment; this amusing series of books from Curious Fox takes a fresh look at this new genre and brings us a worthwhile addition to those available. Harry and Greta love their puddings and the trolley Mrs Maggot, the dastardly dinner lady, wheels out every day is packed with wonderful concoctions. The trouble is, she won't let them have any unless they eat the first course - and that is so revolting, nobody eats it. When Harry and Greta follow a trail of chocolate sauce into the school kitchen they find themselves in dire trouble... In Emma Peror's New Clothes (Fairy Tales Today), we meet Emma Peror, the ballet class terror. To put her in her place, new pupil Trixie Tailor gives Emma a tutu ...a tutu that she says only the best ballet dancers can see. But is the tutu actually even there? These are clever twists on the old favourites, told with a deft touch and gentle humour.

Cinderella and the Amazing Techno-Slippers (Fairy Tales Today) by Isabel Thomas

In this entertaining version of Cinderella, we meet the classic characters - Cindy-Ella's new stepmother and step siblings who are very, very lazy. Cindy Ella has to clear up everything, even broken toys. But Cindy Ella is an inventor and makes these broken toys into new inventions; she thinks her new invention, some incredible techno-slippers, will make her the star of the toy factory ball... Once again, in Sleeping Handsome and the Princess Engineer (Fairy Tales Today) the old favourite is turned on its head to bring us a new version - Prince Jack is strong, rich, a top trampolinist and very, very handsome ...but he is also cursed. When he is pricked by a sword he, and everyone in his castle, fall sound asleep. It's up to the Princess Engineer to come and save the day. Lovely modern takes on traditional stories, with bright illustrations which will appeal to children.

Snow Bear by Tony Mitton

The little bear is plodding through the snow, getting colder and colder. Every time he spots what looks like a nice cosy place to settle, he finds it is already home to someone else... but then he spots a warmly lit house. Inside, he finds a lonely little girl and soon the two are snuggled up together. tender and touching with outstanding illustrations by Alison Brown. This comforting tale is a perfect bedtime read and will send your little one off to sleep feeling wrapped in warmth.

Small Elephant's Bathtime by Tatyana Feeney

This sweet story is perfect to share with your toddler - especially if a tantrum is brewing! Small Elephant loves water... except when it's in a bath. Mummy tries all sorts of things but finally calls on Daddy. In a hilarious twist, the solution is reached and Small Elephant finally gets his bath. The simplicity of the illustrations makes them very striking and the use of red text makes a refreshing change. The story captures the spirit of toddlers and the lengths to which parents will go to calm them - brilliant!

Detective McWoof and the Great Poodle Doodler Mystery by Timothy Knapman

Detective McWoof likes to think he's a great detective; he's always sniffing for cases to solve (when he's not looking for his lucky ball, that is!). The problem is that he sometimes misses the most obvious clues - so it's a good job he has a trusty assistant, Wanda, to keep him scampering in the right direction! When Poodle Doodler goes missing, the clever dogs - well, Wanda, really - soon find where he is and bring the culprit to justice. Glorious illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown accompany the hilarious text. A duo to watch out for!

The Colour Thief by Gabriel AlborozoThe Colour Thief

Just imagine - a world without colour. What a sad place that would be. Zot lives in a world without colour and when he looks at Earth, sparkling with brilliant colour he thinks it must be a very happy place. He sets off to steal the colours and gradually gets all the colours packed away... even the orange of a little boy's balloon. But Zot is a kind creature and can't bear to see the boy unhappy, so he gives back all the colour. One kind deed leads to another in this touching and heartwarming story about kindness and sharing - and the difference a little thing can make..

Fright Club by Ethan Long

You have to be really scary to belong to the Fright Club, with a ghoulish face, scary moves and chilling sounds, so when a cute little bunny announces he wants to join everybody laughs at him. But Vladimir has a problem - none of the members are really scary so when the little creatures prove they too can be scary, they are allowed to join - just in time for Halloween. The gorgeously spooky dark-coloured illustrations are perfect to accompany this laugh aloud story. Enjoy sharing it with your young one - but maybe not at bedtime!

Brian and the Giant by Chris Judge

Once every hundred years, the villagers find their river mysteriously runs dry. When their village is destroyed and there's a dreadful stink, Brian Boru and his friends go to discover what's caused the problem. Their journey takes them through some very strange places and then they reach a giant dam which looks like a huge bath tub. It is a bath tub - a giant's bath tub and once every hundred years, the giant has a bath, hence the stench and the water shortage. Ingenious Brian invents a temporary water diverter that part-stops the flow of the river to create a Giant Shower at the Giant's causeway. Colourful and imaginative, this lively story is perfect for sharing or for young ones reading alone.

I Will Love You Anyway by Mick and Chloe Inkpen

"I don't do 'sit!' I don't do 'stay!' But I will love you anyway." From the celebrated that has brought us many much-loved characters, including Kipper, Wibbly Pig, and Zoe and Beans, we have a great new character to relish. Dog is very badly behaved - he destroys everything, chases cars and won't stop running away! Despite all this, he is utterly adorable - and when he finds himself lost and alone there is one person he can count on. A simple story with wonderfully drawn illustrations full of verve and character that capture the storyline to perfection. A perfect picture book.

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright

With the combined skills of the creator of the known and loved Bright Side lifestyle brand, Rachel Bright, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, this book can hardly fail - and it certainly lived up to my expectations. This feelgood rhyming story about one little mouse trying to make himself heard and discovering along the way that even the smallest of us has the heart of a lion. It's a heartfelt message, delightfully conveyed and a lovely way to encourage children to have confidence in themselves.

One Hundred Bones! by Yuval Zommer

Scruff the dog is a stray and all he wants to do is dig and dig - but that makes him unpopular with everyone, until he sniffs out a pile of old bones. Then all the neighbourhood dogs help him and they uncover 100 bones - but these are not any old bones, these are dinosaur bones. Scruff's find wins him new friends and a very special new owner. This is a lovely story about the underdog coming out on top, with gloriously vibrant illustrations.

Fairytale Frankie and the Tricky Witch by Greg Gormley

Children will find the clever way this book is written will draw them in right from the start as they join in a hide-and-seek adventure full of favourite fairytale characters from princesses to unicorns to knights. Fairytale Frankie is a fearless tomboy who wakes up one morning to find a princess hiding under her bed and a frog in the cornflakes... and as the day goes on, she meets all manner of fairytale creatures, who all need help to hide. It's superbly imaginative and wonderfully illustrated with joy and verve. The story whisks the reader through the pages to a very satisfying conclusion.

Molly Maybe's Monsters: The Dappity Doofer by Kristina Stephenson

Molly Maybe has a marvellous secret - she and her faithful sidekick, Waggy Burns, are the only ones who can travel to an amazing monster world which mirrors our own. Take a ride in the incredible mundervator with Molly and help her solve a crisis in Undermunder. Packed with inventiveness and full of imagination, this unusual picture book is great fun. There is a card to colour (this is a card designed for little ones to give to their friends at nursery and school):  and activity sheets to enjoy with the book.: 

School Bus Saves the Day by Peter Bently

The school class arrives at City Carnival with Mr Hodges and his excited class on board. After a fun journey they are ready to watch the carnival but suddenly the carnival float breaks down. Can Yellow Bus and the class save the parade? This is one in an exciting new series for pre-schoolers, starring machines that race, vroom and zoom and co-starring a group of animal characters. A detailed spread on different parts of the vehicle will help children to understand what makes up the machines and help familiarise them with vehicle vocabulary and noises. With plenty of colour and action, this is a super series that young ones will love.

Fairytales Gone Wrong: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Wash Your Hair! by Steve Smallman

I like the way these particular versions of topsy-turvy fairytales have a real purpose. The series sets out to remind children of a range of healthy habits, and does so in a light-hearted entertaining way. And who better to star in a story about hair hygiene than Rapunzel? Three princes try to rescue Rapunzel from her tower. However, Rapunzel never washes her hair so it's greasy and filthy – too slippery to climb. Just look at the creatures living in it! Luckily one of the princes is a hairdresser and knows just how to save Rapunzel and her unruly hair. There's an unexpected twist at the end of the story that is bound to raise a laugh.

Fairytales Gone Wrong: Don't Pick Your Nose, Pinocchio! by Steve Smallman

Once again, a cleverly chosen story for the theme. Children will love this hilarious story about bogies and it's perfect for class use in PSHE lessons to reinforce the message. When Pinocchio picks his nose he lies to Gepetto about doing so, with the inevitable consequence - his nose grows! Mr Cricket arrives to help distract Pinocchio and keep his fingers busy, and soon the two are having fun together. When Pinocchio accidentally pushes Mr Cricket up his nose, he learns a big lesson - and there's a good ending to the story. Well done and effective, with plenty of talking points in the illustrations and the notes at the end.

Germs! by Martin Howard

This entertaining story is a fun way to present an important message and will work well in any pre-school setting to convey the message in a way children will remember. There is the sound of war as Sam, a young germ, is conscripted to fight in the Germ Army, even though he doesn't want to fight. Their goal is to attack the boy who comes into the bathroom each day and doesn't wash his hands. When the boy fails to wash his hands one day, they seize their opportunity to attack, only to be met with the friendly Antibody Army. A great battle ensues, but which side is Sam really on? An hilarious look at the germs that live with us every day and their battle to take control of our bodies; with a message BE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS! Full of action-packed illustrations.

Herman's Holiday by Tom Percival

When the two friends can't afford the holiday of their dreams, Herman decides to book a camping holiday. He has a great time, but Henry isn't quite so happy... So Herman, good friend that he is, decides to put things right and so a series of postcards are sent, ready to set up a wonderful surprise for Henry. This is a charming story, with lots of postcards inside for children to read and enjoy as they find out just what Herman has got planned. The illustrations are lovely, with lots of details to spot and enjoy - just look at the holiday brochures! Warm-hearted and full of the joy of friendship.

Book by David Miles

This superb title is a paean of praise to the book; a book which celebrates the physical book and its superiority to any electronic gadget. As the young boy looks closer and closer into the world of a book, he finds it leads to a world of unbounded imagination; a world where your thoughts can take you anywhere and everywhere. The wonderfully poetic language is superbly complemented by the delicate and perceptive illustrations which themselves take the reader into a fantasy world. A book won't go dark; a book never needs a password; a book can take you wherever you want to go.

A Very Top Secret Mission by Sue Eastland

This is clever! The reader will follow Inspector Clawso the cat through this interactive detective story, and see if they can work out the clues. The Inspector is out to discover who is stealing Mr Ginger's food and the reader must help him hunt for clues and suss out the suspects, with puzzles and mazes on the way. Can you solve the crime? Be warned, there is an unexpected twist. This burglar is not what he seems... This brilliant, inventive and interactive detective story will delight curious children everywhere. It would be a lovely book to read along with your child, helping them to spot clues they may have missed and enjoying the lively bright illustrations together.

Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup

This is a lovely way to introduce young children to the changing cycles of the seasons. Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites young readers inside to meet a majestic tree and all its residents through the changing seasons. The peekaboo holes go right through the book ; and then the peek-a-boo bears join in. Squirrels, birds and bees frolic in the tree; the apples grow and the squirrels store nuts and finally we see the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill. Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about the seasons and how a forest and its inhabitants change throughout the year. With stunning illustrations and a huge attention to detail, this is a beautiful book.

Smelly Louie by Catherine Rayner

Louie the dog has just had a bath - and he is NOT happy about it. He smells all wrong; he smells of roses and apple blossom which are not good smells for a dog. So off he sets to get his Special Smell back and meets lots of smelly things along the way - a fox, some pongy dustbins and finally a marvellously muddy puddle to roll in. So he gets his smell back... but what will happen when he gets home? Exuberant watercolour illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this fun story which is great to read aloud.

Lion Practice by Emma Carlisle

One little girl, one big imagination make for a lovely debut picture book. Laura loves to practise - she's been many animals but nothing beats lion practice! It's fun to leap, and run and roar really loud, isn't it? Laura's patient parents aren't so sure. So when Laura takes a lion-sized leap too far, she gets a telling off. But like all good lions, Laura soon bounces back and it isn't very long before her Mum, Dad and baby brother are joining in the game. A lovely celebration of family life - such a warm happy family and so well depicted in the lively drawings.

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino

Tina is a very curious cow, with a thirst for exploring, unlike her sisters who are only interested in one thing - grass. Tina believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible, but her sisters aren't convinced. When Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide enough is enough and set off to find her. They find a wonderful new world and soon they are sharing Tina's adventures. A perfect picture book for inquisitive children!

Zippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray

Zippo doesn't want to be an ordinary hippo., he wants to be a super hippo. After all, any hippo can be good at swimming and splashing in mud. So he decides to try flying, like his friend Roxi. The trouble is, he does have rather a big bottom... but maybe that could be the answer... The combination of award-winning author Kes Gray and exciting new illustrating talent Nikki Dyson works really well to bring us a hugely funny book. This fantastically funny superhero with his whopping bottom and oversize super hero underpants will be flying into children's imaginations everywhere!

When the Anger Ogre Visits by Andree Salom

This simple rhyming tale is written by an art therapist who helps children recognise emotions and cope with them. The book gives children symbolic and concrete guidance about how to deal with anger as a natural part of their inner lives. Rather than squelching anger or pushing it away, the book invites children to sit with and observe anger, removing its overwhelming aspects. This playfully illustrated story, written in memorable rhyme, focuses on discovering and using internal resources and portrays anger as manageable. It's best shared, adult with child, so the adult can help and explain as the story progresses.

Sarah and Duck at the Library by Sarah Gomes Harris

I love these books, which are based on the TV series. Sarah and Duck are looking after Donkey, but he is sad and whatever they try, he just doesn;t seem to cheer up. So they decide to go to the library and find a book about donkeys... With delightful colourful pictures packed with detail and engaging text which tells the story in a captivating way to hold young readers' attention, this is an enjoyable story to share. Sarah and Duck are lovely characters and a real joy to read about.

Captain Jack and the Pirates by Peter Bently

This book is a wonderful celebration of the power of the imagination. Written in catchy rhyming text which simply sweeps you onward through the story, it tells of three children who build a galleon and set sail around the world in search of piratical adventure... and meet some fearsome pirates. As they return to the beach, their adventure reaches a very enjoyable conclusion. Helen Oxenbury's illustrations are quite superb and capture the excitement perfectly. A picture book that deserves to become a classic; a book parents won't mind reading over and over again... and I guarantee you will be asked to do just that!

Best Friends by Mara Bergman

Dexter, Daisy and Lily (and their young owners) are causing chaos as they chase balls in the park, regardless of picnics and children playing - until they land up in the stream. Disaster? Not at all - the happy pets and the children become the best of friends. A super celebration of the fun of playing outside and the bonds between dog and child. The catchy rhyming text races you through the book and it is superb to read aloud. Lively and full of fun.

Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew

For 25 years, Katie has been delighting children as she introduces them to art with infectious enthusiasm. When Katie can't decide what she wants to be when she grows up she thinks that a trip to the gallery with Grandma will help . . . she may be inspired by the characters in famous paintings. She explores these iconic paintings - The Cornfield by Constable; Rain, Steam and Speed by Turner; Whistlejacket by Stubbs; The Painter's Daughters Chasing a Butterfly by Gainsborough and The Fighting Temeraire by Turner - by stepping inside each one for an adventure. A superb way to introduce children to art.

The Shum Shums New Home by Rich McWatt

Evie Ann meets a tiny person living in her garden and this takes her into a new world where she learns many valuable life lessons. Evie Ann lives in a new house in a forest where once animals played; the story has an environmental message. The Shum Shums are tiny people, no bigger than the size of a child’s thumb. They have bright coloured hair, which changes colour depending on how healthy and happy they are. If it's sludgy brown in colour they need more vitamins and sleep; if bright green it shows they are thriving and content, if it is bright red they are angry whereas if it is a dark blue or black they are worried or sad! The books are aimed at children aged 3-11 year olds but enjoyed by younger children and adults too. The Shum Shums New Chums is about accepting people different to you.

The Shum Shums Big Tums by Rich McWatt

Children will explore the benefits of physical activity in this story. Diddy Shum Shum Stands Tall (The Shum Shums) is about coping with bullying. The books are in bright full colour throughout, with cartoon-style pictures and rhyming text in boxes superimposed onto the pictures. The text is quite brief but the thought-provoking concepts are good for leading to further discussion, and sensitively handle topics of which children need to be aware. Educational packs, which are mapped to the national curriculum and are suitable for KS1 and KS2, have been produced to accompany the books, to help teach children key messages; these will be a great resource for schools. To find out more about the Shum Shums, including forthcoming books, and to order all the books and the educational packs, visit their very own website. An excellent concept and a good way to help children's understanding.

The Five Misfits by Beatrice Alemagna

The five misfits had never amounted to much in life... they were all strangely made and lived together in a broken-down house. But then one day, Mr Perfect comes to stay, the five misfits find themselves questioning what their purpose in life is. Can they teach him that not fitting in is more fun than trying to be perfect? It turns out that the misfits are actually perfectly happy with their lives - and perhaps the Perfect One is the unhappy one. A quirky and unusual story about being true to yourself, maybe aimed at readers somewhat older than the normal picture book market.

My Alien and Me by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Just who are the aliens? This picture book turns a preconception on its head by presenting humans as the aliens and it delivers important messages about seeing past differences. A human finds himself on an alien planet where he is most definitely the odd one out - why, he doesn't even eat with his toes! A friendship is born and soon plans are made for a return visit. It's a charming story about being different and about acceptance.

Ants in Your Pants: The Picnic by Shirley Willis

The ants are off on a picnic, so come along and join them. See how many ants you can count, before the ants get in your pants! This beautifully illustrated counting book featuring split pages is perfect for young children who are just starting to learn how to count. The pictures are delightfully detailed and it's not always easy to spot the ants, who are very varied in form, adding a nice challenge to the idea of counting. The split pages work well too, adding an extra dimension of fun. A counting book with a difference.

The World-Famous Cheese Shop Break-in by Sean Taylor

Yum - a cheese shop - just what rats like. Daddypops decides they will carry out a break-in... First he tells his children to just walk through the door and get the cheese; then he makes a catapult and fires them into the shop... but when those don't work, he decides they will dig a tunnel to the Cheese Shop. That is full of mishap and when they finally reach the end of the tunnel, they find they are in the wrong place altogether... and then Daddypops has ANOTHER great idea... Both story and illustrations are packed with light-hearted fun in this hilarious story.

Captain Pugwash by John Ryan

Captain Pugwash is always in search of treasure so when cabin boy Tom spots a heap of yellow stuff aboard a nearby ship, the Captain sets off in hot pursuit. But could Cut-throat Jake, Pugwash's deadly enemy, have something to do with this? It's a good thing that Captain Pugwash has Tom, the wisest little cabin boy on the Seven Seas, on his side. The stories never date and our valiant hero is as popular with children now as he ever was. The pictures play a key part in the success of the stories; they are full of fun, packed with detail and tell the story perfectly.

No! by David McPhail

This almost wordless story conveys a strong message which is accessible to all through the dramatic and thought-provoking illustrations. A small boy sets out to deliver a letter and witnesses acts of war on his journey. But he has had enough when he reaches the letter box and is set on by a bully. 'NO', he says. On his return journey, things are very different. The lack of words opens up a huge opportunity for discussion at home or in the classroom, giving everyone the chance to express their views and feelings. A very sensitive and thoughtful book which expresses the hope that the playgrounds of the world (on whatever scale) will become safer and friendlier places for all.

How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour

A modern-day Rapunzel sits dreaming on the sixteenth floor of an inner city block. She's bored and nothing interests her - not the milkman, the postman, the baker , or her aunt – or even the prince. But Rapunzel needs what we all need - motivation! So when she gets a letter saying she's got a job at the library, it's all change! A real joy to read aloud with its flowing catchy rhyme and superb use of words, all accompanied by dramatic pictures.

More! (Archie) by Tracey Corderoy

Adorable Archie returns in another amusing story which will resonate with all parents of toddlers. We all know that once young ones discover a new word, we will hear it again... and again... and again and that's just what happens when Archie learns the word 'more' - and what it means! Archie is a busy little rhino and he wants to build more space stations... eat more cake... make more noise...have more bubbles... but when he has the biggest fancy dress costume, things start to go wrong and Archie learns the important message that more isn't always best. With lively colourful illustrations from Tim Warnes, this lovely story encapsulates toddlerdom perfectly.

Poo in the Zoo by Steve Smallman

If you want to give a book immediate toddler-appeal, put 'poo' in the title and success is guaranteed - they will be giggling from the off! Poor zookeeper Bob - he is exhausted; there is just too much poo in the zoo and he's the one who has to keep clearing it up. And then a greedy lizard eats a bit too much and drops a rather amazing poo - a poo that glowed! That attracts the attention of a famous poo collector and he pays Bob enough to buy a special machine - you'll have to read the book to find out what! A marvellous story which will have young ones in fits of laughter all the way. Ada Grey's hilarious illustrations are the perfect match.

Charlie and Lola: I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

The wonderful Lauren Child has been entertaining us with Charlie and Lola's antics for the last 10 years and this celebration edition includes a wall frieze to decorate children's rooms - perfect for school libraries and reading corners too. It's nearly time for Lola to start school but she's not too sure... she is already very busy doing important things at home. So Charlie sets out to tell Lola just how important it is to learn to read and write. The trouble is, Lola's invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, is slightly nervous about going to school... so how will she be persuaded? Childhood, with all its doubts and questions, is captured perfectly in this lovely and reassuring story, perfect for all children who are slightly anxious about starting school.

Katie McGinty Wants a Pet by Jenna Harrington

Katie McGinty really wants a pet... but not just any old pet. What she really, really wants is a zebra! A zebra who slurps spaghetti, sleeps in her bunk bed and bathes in the local swimming pool. And she's determined to get one! This funny picture book will be perfect for any child who has ever wanted a pet - and any parent who has ever been nagged to get one! The wonderful illustrations from Finn Simpson are full of humour and detail and superbly executed. Just as you think it's all settled, there is a hilarious twist at the end.

No More Cuddles! by Jane Chapman

Can there ever be too many cuddles? Barry thinks so - although he lives all by himself deep in the forest, he is never on his own for long. "Come here, Snuggle-wuggles!" call the animals, diving in for a cuddle! There are simply too many hugs to handle for lovable Barry. How can he stop the cuddles? This beautifully illustrated picture book with its gorgeous animals has a surprise at the end... Gently humorous and lovely to read aloud.

Pirates in Pyjamas by Caroline Crowe

Perfect bedtime reading, this is a hilarious rhyming story. Beautifully illustrated by Tom Knight, this book is full of piratey humour, jazzy jim-jams and a sleepy ending. You may have wondered wondered whether pirates wear pyjamas when it's time to say goodnight - join the fearsome (!) crew of the Leaky Parrot to find out! Captain Grotbeard and his crew love nothing better than bubble baths, jim-jams and pillow fights! So if you want to be a pirate you don't need a patch or sword - just grab your best pyjamas and a bed to climb aboard. Huge fun with glorious illustrations that are themselves packed with humour. Lovely!

Honk Honk! Hold Tight! by Jessica Souhami

This amusing story is based on folklore from many countries - Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK, as well as variations with variants discovered in Russia and Egypt, so it has a truly international flavour. It is the story of a princess who will not laugh. Her father says that the man who can make her laugh can marry her and so a boy plus a golden goose set off to the palace to try their luck… As they go along, all those they meet try to steal one of the golden goose’s feathers. What will happen when they reach the palace? A lively tale which is perfect to read aloud.

Terry Perkins and his Upside Down Frown by Felix Massie

Terry Perkins is just a normal boy - until he opens his mouth. When he does, nobody can understand the words he says because everything comes out upside down. A trip to the doctor turns Terry's life upside down - literally – but the trouble is, his frown looks set to stay... Is there anyone who can help him to see things from a different point of view? This hilarious, warm-hearted read-aloud story of friendship and courage celebrates the importance of being comfortable in your own shoes – even when they are up in the air! Young children who find that their words don't always come out as they expected will relish this story and it will comfort and reassure them. The simple but telling illustrations are perfect for the story.

Allysaurus & the First Day of School by Richard Torrey

Ally is dinosaur-mad, and when she starts school she hopes she will meet lots of fellow enthusiasts. Sadly, she's the only one chomping her food and drawing dinosaurs on her nameplate; then she finds that princesses are popular, not dinosaurs. Will Ally ever make new friends? Ally is such an appealing character, you really want things to work out for her - and happily, things start to look up. Then, it's off to the school library... and there's a big surprise at the end. The lively illustrations with their crayoned additions are great fun and the story highly enjoyable. This joyful book is perfect for anyone a little apprehensive about the first day at school and making new friends. Published by Sterling, July 15, 978-1454911791.

I'll Catch You If You Fall by Mark Sperring

This beautifully illustrated book with its reassuring message is absolutely perfect for bedtime reading - guaranteed to send your little one off to sleep feeling warm and loved. Beautiful watercolour paintings cover every page with delicate colours and the simple text swirls through the pages, uniting text and illustration to perfection. It's the story of a little boy, his mother and his grandfather on a boat trip and then returning to the safety of the harbour and home. The superb pictures make the reader feel they are immersed in the story and you share the warmth and tenderness all the way through. Much more than just the story of a journey, it's a lyrical exploration of what it means for us to be loved and nurtured and how each of us wants to feel safe and secure, even at those times when we crave adventure and independence. Beautiful.

Do You Know Pippi Longstocking? by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking is celebrating her 70th anniversary and this special picture book version is published in celebration. When Pippi Longstocking moves in next door to Tommy and Annika they are completely amazed by their new playmate. Pippi is a very special little girl - she cheeky, courageous, unpredictable and above all - FUN. She lives alone with a monkey and a horse and she can do anything she likes. In this story she performs at the circus, uses her super strength to stop two robbers, and throws an unusual birthday party. The traditional illustrations are full of charm and this is a good story to share and read aloud. Still fresh and appealing, Pippi is a lovable, free-thinking and determined character who has appealed to several generations and is still winning hearts.

Snail's Legs by Damian Harvey

Frog was the fastest runner in the wood but now he's too old and Snail is faster. The king's chef is looking for the strongest legs to help him prepare a special birthday treat for the king and the friends agree that they will run a race to decide who will get to meet the king. Snail takes pity on Frog and lets him win... but that turns out to be a bad thing. I'd approach this book with a little caution when sharing it with young children; there is a fun ending but...

The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams

Two superb talents have come together as Toby Ross adds his talents to those of David Walliams. Sam gets a surprise one day - he filled in an 'Adopt an Elephant' form at the zoo, but the last thing he expected was one to turn up on the doorstep! In this hilarious story, the very demanding elephant causes total havoc - and there's an even bigger shock for Sam at the end of the day! The moral of the tale? Always read the small print. It's a giggle a minute but probably best for the older end of the picture book market.

I'm a Girl! by Yasmeen Ismail

This is a wonderfully positive book which challenges gender stereotyping in a hilarious way. The girl in this book is always being mistaken for a boy, however much she shouts out that she is a girl. When she meets a boy who likes wearing princess dresses and playing dolls, they both quickly discover that they share interests that are wide and varied. Who says that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? Full of life and with wonderfully creative illustrations, this is a joy to read.

The Queen's Spaghetti by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

Squiggly wiggly spaghetti is everywhere is this glorious romp of a story. Queen Nellie and King Jim live in a big old castle with lots of friendly animals, and after a long day working (the Queen in the garden and the KIng doing his part-time job at the Royal Mint to earn some extra money!) the Queen decides to cook the King’s favourite dinner – spaghetti! As she is very hungry, she decides to cook plenty... but things soon get out of hand... Can Queen Nellie find anyone to help clean it all up before King Jim gets home? None of the animals seem to like spaghetti, until finally, she finds the answer...

Kipper's Beach Ball by Mick Inkpen

Often the old favourites are the best and that's certainly true in the case of Kipper, who has lost none of his charm in the 25 years since he first appeared on children's bookshelves. Kipper opens his cornflakes and discovers treasure inside. A plastic wiggly thing, which turns out to be the biggest, most beautiful beach ball ever. He and Tiger have wonderful fun with their new toy, splashing by the sea in the sun, until they hear a small - pop! But there's always another box of cornflakes and more treasure to be found... but will there be another beach ball? It all goes to show that the simplest pleasures are the best

Grandad's Island by Benji Davies

A difficult subject is tackled delicately and sensitively in this reassuring and well thought out book. Loss of a loved one is always hard to explain to children but the loss of a beloved grandparent is, sadly, something many parents have to explain to their children whilst coping with their own sense of loss - the parent will also find this book reassuring. Grandad takes Syd to a very special island, an island full of creatures and colour and explains that he will be staying there... sadly, Syd sets off home alone but is reassured by a letter from Grandad. Beautifully handled and gloriously illustrated to ensure the message is positive. Read it with your child - it may need some explaining.

Bing: Paint Day by Ted Dewan

These books are perfect for toddlers, to reassure them and to show them that, whatever happens, things can be put right. Bing is enjoying paint day, but being somewhat accident-prone, he knocks over the paint - but there's an answer. The story is a great way to learn about colours too. "Ted Dewan has created a series that focuses on the dynamic between toddler and parent, and that speaks to them both equally, about life as a toddler and life with a toddler. With short, repetitive texts, bold, bright artwork and appealing characters, Bing offers both parent and child an enjoyable reading experience and a simple, reassuring guiding principle – that, whatever happens, it’s just a Bing thing, a normal occurrence, and nothing to get upset about."

Daddy, I Can't Sleep by Alan Durant

This book epitomises perfect bedtime reading. It's a lovely reassuring story in which Daddy Panda takes Little Panda outside to explore their habitat and to learn there is nothing of which to be frightened, even though Little Panda thought he heard scary noises. Together, they look, listen, smell and even taste the things in the forest so Little Panda knows them and feels completely safe. The delicately drawn pictures depict a charming world and show the lovely warm relationship between Daddy and his little one. A lovely book.

Stay! by Alex Latimer

This is wonderful! Grampa is to look after Ben's dog Buster while Ben is on holiday. But Ben is worried that Grampa won't be able to cope - after all, Buster is possibly the worst behaved dog in the world. So Ben writes a series of notes, both before he goes and while he is away. The book is a lovely combination of picture book and the hand-written and handdrawn notes and postcards Ben sends. After a disastrous visit to the Post Office, Grampa decides it's time Buster had a little training... Children will love this - there's plenty to engage even older readers and there is lots of humour (and the odd word guaranteed to elicit a giggle!).


Stanley the Builder by William Bee Stanley is a very busy hamster - this time, he's building a house for his friend, Myrtle. He will need his digger and his bulldozer and his cement mixer! He will also need his friend, Charlie to help. But will they manage to build the whole house? Simple text is easy for children to follow and gives plenty of information to stimulate further discussion. The bright uncluttered pictures show exactly what is happening; I especially like the two page spreads at the start of each book, which show all the things Stanley will use. These friendly characters are lovely for children to enjoy.

Some Swell Pup Or Are You Sure You Want A Dog? by Maurice Sendak

Highly acclaimed author Maurice Sendak can always be relied on to bring us something rather special and out-of-the-ordinary. This cartoon-style story, with illustrations by the author, tells of a boy and a girl who find a puppy on their doorstep. They soon discover that looking after a puppy is not as easy as they thought... a good lesson for any child who clamours for a puppy; this is a super book to give anyone who wants a puppy. Gradually, they learn how to look after the puppy - with plenty of help from an unexpected quarter. The siblings relationship is affected too - another forceful message conveyed through this super book.

Little Bear (Little Bear 1) by Else Holmelund Minarik

Little Bear books were especially designed for beginner readers and provide an ideal transition from picture books to chapter books. Little Bear is totally adorable and has helped generations of children develop a love for reading; he is now starring in a TV series on Netflix. Little Bear loves to go on adventures and then he returns to the security of home with Mother Bear who is always there when he needs her. In this book he goes to the moon, plays in the snow and there's even a surprise birthday party. In Father Bear Comes Home (Little Bear 2) Little Bear’s father is finally coming home from a long fishing trip. Little Bear is very excited to see him ― even if he doesn’t bring the mermaid Little Bear has been hoping for! There are three more stories to enjoy too. Little Bear is a lively and reassuring character who shares the same adventures and feelings of children everywhere. Simple and traditional, these are stories to return to over and over again and to keep for future generations.

Crunch! (Child's Play library) by Carolina Rabei

Crunch the guinea pig loves his food; he loves his food so much that he won't share with a hungry little mouse. But Crunch knows there's something missing from his life... He finds himself worrying about the little mouse and really can't enjoy his food, so he bravely sets off outside his hutch. Will he find the moue and at the same time, discover what it is that's missing from his life? There's a surprise at the end of this charming tale! Beautifully illustrated and with a lovely shiny picture on the cover, the pictures are delicate and expressive.

The Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson

When the family goes out, it's time for the Flying Bath and friends to come to the rescue of animals around the world. This wonderfully imaginative story has the bath showering the flowers, washing the pig, rescuing the fish... and then there's always time for some fun - as long as the bath is back in time for bathtime! The flowing rhyming text and superbly detailed illustrations come together to create a gem of a book which will be read over and over again, and enjoyed for something fresh to spot every time. Great to read aloud, and for sharing as each one in a group of children can be one of the toys, aided by the different coloured speech bubbles.

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am not) by Peter Brown

Teachers are real people after all! This superbly stylish and very unusual book will be perfect to share with any child who is a little anxious about starting school, or who has heard tales about the scary teacher in their new class. Bobby has a big problem with scary Miss Kirby at school but one day, he meets her in the park. Unexpectedly, they share adventures together and gradually, scary Miss Kirby changes... Beautifully drawn, cleverly narrated and a delight from start to finish.

Queen Miffy by Dick Bruna

Miffy shows us that, very often, the very simplest things are the best. Dick Bruna's wonderfully simple illustrations with their bold lines and strong colours combine with engaging text to make perfect stories. Miffy dreams she is the Queen of Rabbits - she would, of course, be a very kind and special queen, loved by all her subjects. What a pity it is just a dream...This highly desirable, collectible classic series has been updated for a new generation by award-winning poet, Tony Mitton, and it's wonderful to see the books available to delight today's children.

Miffy's Birthday by Dick Bruna

This special anniversary edition is larger than the usual format, making it perfect for sharing. This simply told story tells of Miffy's happy birthday, with friends, family and presents. To celebrate 60 years of Miffy, Simon and Schuster have released a whole lot of books. Miffy was created in 1955, after Dick Bruna had told his one-year-old son stories about a little rabbit they had seen earlier in the dunes while on holiday. They have been much-loved ever since and are still as delightful as ever.

Sixteen String Jack & the Garden of Adventure by Tom Pow

The magic of this book starts as soon as you pick it up, look at the cover and are drawn in to flick through and revel in the superb illustrations. This is the story of Sixteen String Jack, a boy whose fame would never die - he grew up to become J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. Daisy's grandmother took her to an overgrown garden where, many, many years before, other children had played. Sixteen String Jack and Dare Devil Dick were shipwrecked there; and often they fought pirates side by side till the sun went down. In this nostalgic and delicately illustrated story, award winning writer Tom Pow and illustrator Ian Andrew search out the magic that, in time, would produce the most famous character in children's literature.

Dylan's Amazing Dinosaurs - the Spinosaurus (Dylan's Amazing Dinosaurs 3) by E. T. Harper

Children will be clamouring to collect the books in this series - as well as an action-packed dinosaur adventure, they can collect the fold-out dinosaurs, one of which is with each book. Dylan is dinosaur-mad, and he satisfies his curiosity by setting out in search of these awesome creatures. This time, he's in search of a spinosaurus. Can he get near enough to to find out what its spiny sail is used for? The vibrant pictures reflect the excitement of the story, and then children can act out the story and use their imaginations to make up their own stories with the pop-up model.

Yikes, Ticklysaurus! by Pamela Butchart

Dinosaurs, side-splitting humour, wonderful rhymes and vibrant pictures - what more can you ask from a picture book? Life is always full of fun when Ticklysaurus is around... Join Tickly and his friends as they dash, crash, splish, splash, wiggle and giggle through a colourful prehistoric world. Nobody is safe from Tickly, with hilarious results...except when he comes across the biggest, scariest creature of all. Who will he tickle instead? Look lout - it could!

Rufus Goes to School by Kim Griswell

Rufus Leroy Williams III wants wants to go to school so he can learn to read his favourite book. But there's one problem: he's a pig and Principal Lipid says: 'NO PIGS IN SCHOOL!' Rufus even gets a backpack, a lunchbox and a blanket to prove he's ready. But Mr. Lipid won't budge. Poor Rufus! He is utterly adorable and you just want him to get his desire. He promises to be really, really good and finally... A delightful story about the importance and impact of books as well as being perfect as an introduction to school. Valeri Gorbachev's lovely illustrations are full of detail to enjoy and to discuss. Published by Sterling, June 15, ISBN 9781454904168.

Larry Gets Lost Under the Sea by John Skewes

Larry is an adventurous dog and when he is at the beach with Pete he follows a crustacean toward the sea and is swept out by a wave... This takes us into a lovely account of all the things that can be spotted near to the beach before he comes face-to-face with an oceanographer who leads him on a thrilling adventure through the layers of the ocean. It's a super introduction to the sea and the oceans, packed with fascinating information presented at a perfect pitch for young children. There's a happy ending too! Published by Sasquatch, June 15, ISBN 9781570619250.

Take a Shape: Square by Britta Teckentrup

This stylish set of books is the perfect way to introduce young children to the world of shapes. Bold clear images are set against vibrantly coloured backgrounds to create striking pages that will immediately engage young readers; older readers will appreciate the superb design quality.exxploration of shape. In each book, we see how the shape is everywhere around us - Take a Triangle shows us a kite, a tent, mountains, a spiky dinosaur and many more; the stimulating text encourages further discussion and investigation of the place of shape in the world around us. The books have a high level of interactivity; for example in Take a Line, children are asked a range of questions, each using a different skill to answer, including 'What is making the line?', 'How many birds can you see?, 'Can you jump rope?' and 'What number can you see?'. It's cleverly done, all within a very simple text. Sounds words are found within the text - in Take a Circle, we read pfft, yum, glug, pop and more, making the books excellent read-alouds. Simple, colourful and highly effective; a lovely idea for a gift as the books will be returned to over and over again.

Cézanne and the Apple Boy (Anholt's Artists) by Laurence Anholt

Find out about Paul Cezanne, one of the greatest French Impressionists, through the eyes of his son (another Paul). Son Paul travels to the mountains to spend a summer with his father; a man who produces paintings that few understand. Luckily though, an art dealer who sees the genius in the paintings comes along - and Cezanne's reputation is made. The book gives a vivid introduction to Cezanne's work, with reproductions of his most famous paintings incorporated in the illustrations; encourage children to spot these and then to seek out pictures of the originals. This is much more than simply a picture book - it's an engaging look at a great artist, presented in a way that will make the artist and his paintings come alive for children. This is a superb series and a great way to encourage an early love for great art.

The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin

The Cloudspotter doesn't have many friends but he doesn't feel lonely because, as well as spotting clouds, he spots adventures in the sky. His vivid imagination creates all sorts of adventures... even, one day, an unexpected visitor. But this time, he feels lonely when his new friend goes away - could it be that two are better than one? Imaginative and perceptive; a celebration of friendship. Go out; look at the clouds; what can you see?

A Tower of Giraffes by Anna Wright

I love collective nouns - they are so superbly descriptive and this book is a marvellous celebration of the way they add to the beauty of our language. As well as the collective nouns, we are treated to a feast of other information about the animals. The illustrations are a lively mix of pen and ink, watercolour and fabric collage which reveal the character behind the familiar and humorously shown animals.

That's What Makes a Hippopotamus Smile by Sean Taylor

This wonderfully imaginative story is all about the fun to be had in the unlikely event of a hippopotamus making a visit? They love splashy baths, crunchy salads, silly toys... all these things make them happy and they will want to come round again – and maybe not on his own next time! Fantastic fun with super colourful lively pictures to enhance the story.

Peas in a Pod by Tania McCartney

Quintuplets Pippa, Pia, Poppy, Polly and Peg did everything the same when they were babies. Mum and Dad would love to keep them the same, but the girls have different ideas - very different. As the girls develop their own very distinctive personalities, who is going to win? It's a simple storyline - and one that will resonate with all families of multiples. The illustrations are a delight, with the similarities and differences beautifully shown.

How to Win a Monster Race by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves

Albie loves playing with his toy cars so what could be more fun than finding himself in the middle of a monster grand prix, when he thinks he's just in the car wash? But the rules of monster racing seem to be rather different to normal racing and Albie will need all his ingenuity, and a very special vehicle, if he's to win. With plenty of friends and lots of fast-paced excitement, this vividly coloured picture book offers plenty of fun.

Octopus's Garden by Ringo Starr

Based on the lyrics of the world famous Beatles song (from Abbey Road for those of you old enough to remember!) this is a wondrously vibrant picture book, illustrated by Ben Cort. Five children join a playful Octopus on a wonderful underwater adventure - riding on the backs of turtles, playing pirates in a sunken city and sheltering from a storm in the octopus's cave. The enclosed CD includes an exclusive reading by Ringo Starr and a never-before-heard version of the song. The almost-psychedelic feel of the pictures perfectly reflects the Beatles songs of the era; the closer you look, the more intriguing detail you will spot.

I Have a Dog by Charlotte Lance

Dog lovers everywhere will recognise the sentiments of this delightful picture book - the sometime frustration offset by the wonderful warmth of dog ownership. I have a dog. An inconvenient dog. When I wake up, my dog is inconvenient. When I'm getting dressed, my dog is inconvenient. And when I'm making tunnels, my dog is SUPER inconvenient. But sometimes, an inconvenient dog can be big and warm and cuddly. Sometimes, an inconvenient dog can be the most comforting friend in the whole wide world. Gentle and reflective, the pictures complement the story beautifully and are full of fascinating details.

Lulu Loves Flowers by Anna McQuinn

After reading a book of garden poems, Lulu is inspired to grow her own flowers. Being Lulu, she goes to the library to look at books first; I love the way Lulu uses books which are a key element of her life. Then she plants her seeds and patiently waits... Lulu is a lovely joyful character - she makes you want to go out and copy her; her happy family life and friendships are a key element in the books. Inspire your child to follow Lulu's example - read poems about flowers and then go out and buy some seeds and share the joy of growing plants as a family - just like Lulu and her family.

The Unexpected Crocodile by Kim Kane

A crocodile is hardly everyone's idea of a perfect guest! Peggy's family has put on a barbecue for their neighbours, the Dawsons. Peggy isn't too sure about those Dawson boys. But she's delighted when an unexpected crocodile invites himself to tea...with unexpected consequences! Unusual and unexpected, this is a refreshing change from the norm for picture books.

Bear Counts by Karma Wilson

This charming book is the first I have seen in the series, but the author is renowned for for her lovely series of Bear books, which have a big following. This book is for younger readers and is a lovely introduction to numbers. Can you count along with Bear? Karma Wilson's playful text and Jane Chapman's delightful illustrations introduce counting to younger Bear fans. The pictures are really beautiful - worthy of a nature book, they are packed with many different creatures, all accurately depicted, making the book good as an early animal recognition book as well as a counting book. The rich colours are a delight.

I Love Dad by Joanna Walsh

Perfect for Father's Day comes this wonderful celebration of very special dads everywhere. A adorable little dinosaur spends a lovely day playing, cycling and cooking with his Dad - simple pleasures that dads and children everywhere should be able to enjoy. They make card houses, tell stories and go for walks in the park... and at the end of the day, there's the next day to look forward to... Affectionate, funny and joyful - the perfect book for little ones and their dads to share. With its bright lively illustrations, this is a fun and enjoyable depiction of family life.

My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words by Sophie Fatus

Join the family as they enjoy a busy day, depicted in lots of little pictures on each page, all with the word alongside and a sentence to tell you what is happening. What makes this book stand out, though, are the interactive pages which follow the scenes; so, for example, visit the library and then find a page of storybook characters. It's a wonderful way to encourage involvement in the book and to develop conversation. Typical of Barefoot Books' commitment to making their books truly multi-cultural, we find items such as a salwar kameez and a dashiki on the dressing page and people of all many nationalities in the busy streets. A first word book which really stands out above the rest.

A Box of Socks by Amanda Brandon

Maverick Publishing publish some of the best children's picture books around and I always look forward to reviewing them; the storylines are always strong and the illustrations excellent. Granny Mutton loves to knit and she's knitted a whole box of wonderfully varied socks for Little Lionel’s friends. But when he sets off to deliver them, he gets all the socks muddled and has to find out which pairs belong to whom - with a little help. A Box of Socks shows children how important it is to help our family and friends. It has a special focus on the very special relationship that exists between grandparents and grandchildren and conveys this with great warmth.

Gold Star for George (George the Giraffe and Friends) by Alice Hemming

George the Giraffe is back in the second book in the George the Giraffe & Friends series; this time the message is how helping others brings about the greatest reward. The Heavenly Hippos Wildlife Park is awarding gold stars to the animals and George the Giraffe has the perfect spot on his fence for one. Helpful George helps the other animals but sadly, doesn't get a gold star - until he gets a very special surprise. A delightful story with some wonderfully drawn characters - and a quite adorable hero. What could your child get a gold star for? You may well like to make stars for your child as part of the enjoyment of the book.

Out of the Blue by Alison Jay

Alison Jay's wonderful crackle-glaze drawings are a sheer delight, and this wordless picture book really makes you concentrate on the pictures as you follow the story they tell. It's a busy day on the beach, with time for fun and exploration; a stormy night follows and the pictures show the consequences of man's rubbish - and how individuals can help sealife. This wordless book encourages imagination, visual literacy and interactive reading as children create the story in their own words. Words are used to telling effect at the end of the book, which describe life by the sea, the giant octopus and lighthouses. Beautiful and thought-provoking.

Don't Think About Purple Elephants by Susan Whelan

Sophie doesn't worry during the day, when she is not busy with family and friends, but it's different at night when it's all quiet and there's time to think... Her loving family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother has an unexpected idea - don't think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Sensitively told, with a real insight into fears that can seem unfounded to others but that are very real to children. There's plenty of humour too and the superb illustrations with their monotone background and colour highlights to show Sophie's fears are really effective. This is what picture books should be all about - gentle, reassuring, humorous and confidence-building.

The Wheels on the Bus (Barefoot Singalong) by Melanie Williamson

An ever-popular song is given a lovely new twist in this multi-cultural version. It's a busy bus ride from a Guatemalan village to a market town with this fresh take on a favourite song; there's an unexpected twist when the bus gets a puncture, but luckily everyone is there to help out. The book features a Latin-inspired singalong as well as interesting endnotes about life in Guatemala. The CD CD includes audio singalong and video animation. The lively pictures are full of interest and capture the vibrancy, warmth and spirit of the people and the countryside.

Bear's School Day by Stella Blackstone

With Bear as your teacher, join in and follow the fun of the school day in this colourful book which offers lots and lots of opportunities to talk to your child about what happens at school - if it's anything like this school, it will be the most wonderful fun! There is so much going on on each page, from arriving at school, through a busy day and then home time. I love the maps at the end of the book - these give fantastic opportunity to explore and talk. A bright and reassuring book, perfect for pre-schoolers.

Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English

If you are digger-mad, then the life of a pirate just isn't for you! But Dad insists and Brad is sent off to sail the seas with Captain Blood. Poor Brad just isn't cut out for life at sea - can he convince the fearsome captain of this? When he is sent off to find treasure it seems his dreams might just come true... Great fun, with lively illustrations to engage the reader throughout. The wonderful rhyming text simply trips off the tongue and carries you forward through the story quite wonderfully.

Horace and Hattiepillar (Hedgehugs) by Steve Wilson

All together now... aaaaaaah! Horace and Hattiepillar are just soooo cute; I love them! Horace and Hattie are the very best of friends and they have lots of fun together. One day, they find a little creature under a leaf and,as they watch, it transforms into something very beautiful. Perhaps, if they bury themselves in a special bed, they will wake up transformed... An enchanting story which will also introduce animal lifecycles. This lovely sequel to Hedgehugs has lovely illustrations by Lucy Tapper.
Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates Yoga is, of course, a superb way to aid relaxation, so what a good idea to integrate this with a bedtime story to give your child a lovely wind-down to bedtime. This beautifully illustrated, full-colour book uses gentle colours to wind down at the end of the day. It tells the story of the natural world as night falls and at the same time, it shows children a simple flow of yoga postures inspired by their favourite characters from nature. Moving from Sun Breath to Cloud Gathering to Ladybug & Butterfly and more, readers learn techniques for self-soothing, relaxing the body and mind, focusing attention, and other skills that will support restful sleep and improve overall confidence and well-being. It's cleverly done and is a lovely way to introduce children to yoga.

Who Lives on the Farm? by Eilidh Rose

This colourful and engaging book has flaps to life and tabs to pull on every page. Children will love to see the farmyard animals pop up as they pull the flaps - although I would recommend some adult guidance so the complex shapes of the animals don't get caught up on their return 'home'. They are lovely and generously sized, as are the flaps which conceal yet more creatures. Children can play a guessing game with the question, using the clues to answer before they reveal what is hidden. An engaging way for children to learn about the animals on the farm and a good way to stimulate discussion.

Daddy, I Can't Sleep by Alan Durant

This book epitomises perfect bedtime reading. It's a lovely reassuring story in which Daddy Panda takes Little Panda outside to explore their habitat and to learn there is nothing of which to be frightened, even though Little Panda thought he heard scary noises. Together, they look, listen, smell and even taste the things in the forest so Little Panda knows them and feels completely safe. The delicately drawn pictures depict a charming world and show the lovely warm relationship between Daddy and his little one. A lovely book.

I Want My Daddy! by Tracey Corderoy

Sometimes, only a Daddy will do! It seems that nothing is going right for poor little knight Arthur today. His castle's gone wrong, he bumps his leg and then there's a monster in the moat! Luckily, resourceful knight Daddy is on hand to solve the problems and the book ends with a great big hug. Perfect for fans of Tracey Corderoy's I Want My Mummy!, this is a warm and reassuring story for young ones everywhere to share with their daddies. Alison Egdson's comforting illustrations reflect the story perfectly.

Fins, Fluff and Other Stuff (Storytime) by Bruno Merz

Two more new titles in the excellent Storytime series from QED. Just imagine if you were made of something different. Scales and fins, fluffy stuff, soapy suds or water... An imaginative little boy lets his mind run free as he imagines all sorts of things he could be made of - and the consequences of each. It seems there is always a problem and he decides in the end that just being himself is perfect. Catchy rhyming text swirls through the delicately illustrated pages, making the book a delight to share or to read alone.

Storytime: Space Walkies by Robert Dunn

Bailey is an adventurous dog, always getting up to mischief. When he discovers a space rocket he finds himself heading for the Moon! It's fun to start with but he soon misses his home... but then we find a surprise at the end! I love the bright lively illustrations in this book and they show Bailey and his misdemeanours perfectly. Storytime books are the perfect way to introduce young children to the joy of stories and to develop a love of reading from an early age. Each comes with discussion points which help teachers and parents get the most from the book with stimulating ideas to share. I was really pleased to see that the QED Storytime series has featured on CBeebies so more people get to know about it.

Little Bell and the Moon by Giles Paley-Phillips

This thoughtful and perceptive story takes a look at a subject rarely handled in picture books and does it in a marvellously positive way way. Little Bell loves the Moon and the Moon loves Little Bell; every night they share adventures. But Little Bell grows old and frail; a final flight with her friend the Moon sees something very special happen to Little Bell - she turns into a bright star in the sky. The delicate illustrations which accompany the rhyming text echo the theme to perfection.

A Forest by Marc Martin

This really is a book to make you think - a very powerful message is conveyed through minimal text and beautifully detailed pictures. When a forest is cut down, the consequences are more than anyone could have anticipated. This is a simple and powerful environmental parable from an extraordinary new talent; a book of which we should all take note.

 The Paradise Bird by Marcus Pfister

The ravens are bored. Every day is the same. But then a colourful bird drops into their bleak lives and gives the ravens a whole new outlook on life. Soon they are croak-a-croaking to the left and croak-a-croaking to the right as the Paradise Bird shows them there is plenty of fun to be had from life. A fun approach to the old cry of "I'm bored" which will captivate children with its gently humorous approach.

Sir Lilypad by Anna Kemp

This is a tall tale of a small frog. Tad is a teeny, tiny speckled frog - a teeny, tiny frog with big ambitions. Despite what the other frogs call him, he wants to be known has Sir Lilypad! Of course, a brave frog needs a princess so off he sets to scour the land. But our poor hero meets only ridicule until - finally - he finds his princess and she has the answer to his dilemma. The wonderful rhyming text and ebullient pictures tell us a lovely story with plenty of humour - and a lovable hero, who gets what he wants, despite his size.

Silly Dizzy Dinosaur! by Jack Tickle Dizzy

Dinosaur may not be the brightest dinosaur ever, but he does love to have fun! And young readers of this interactive book will have fun too - it's not a story for bedtime reading! Dizzy needs our help ... we can shake him, scare him to stop his hiccups, tickle him... and give him a great big kiss. The reader is invited to shout, tickle and shake the book to interact with Dizzy Dinosaur. A super celebration of fun and play with superbly bright clear illustrations which leap off the page at you.

Fast and Furry Racers: The Silver Serpent Cup by Jonathan Emmett

It's busy and noisy in Furryville today as all the creatures get ready for a very important race - the Silver Serpent Cup. Meet some wondrous contestants among a very mixed bag - Theo Thunderfoot, Ella Egghart and Max O'Moley are among them in this delightful rhyming picture book. Children who love vehicles of all sorts (and that's most of them!) will revel in the with detailed, lively illustrations which are full of fun and things to spot.

Sarah and Duck Visit the Doctor by Sarah Gomes Harris

The book is based on the CBeebies series which follows the adventures of Sarah, a kind and polite seven-year-old, and her best friend Duck, a Mallard duck. The two have a lovely friendship and enjoy the experiences common to young children, which are shown in a warm and reassuring manner. When Sarah is feeling under the weather a trip to the doctor is in order. With a little help from Duck, Sarah is on the mend in no time. Fans of Sarah and Duck will love this fun story about being ill and visiting the doctor. The story shows the value of true friends, and how working together can solve problems and bring about a happy result... well, almost!

Happy Birthday Snoopy! by Charles Schulz

It's wonderful to see these timeless classics brought to a whole new audience - and adults who love Snoopy themselves will thoroughly enjoy sharing his escapades with their children. Snoopy has such a simple appeal and is quite irresistible. Charlie Brown thinks that Snoopy should really have a birthday surprise, just like everyone else - but things don't work out as he had hoped! There's a lovely surprise at the end of this story. The book perfectly captures all the appeal of the originals, but with the added bonus of colour illustrations and expressive use of font styles to give a really appealing book.

I Love You Daddy Grizzle by Mark Sperring

Little Pip knows it's a very special day - but he can't quite remember why! With a few subtle hints from Daddy Grizzle, Little Pip finally works out exactly why today is a day to be celebrated - it's Father's Day! Then he's sad, because he hasn't given Daddy a card or a present - but Daddy Grizzle reassures him that the very best thing is having fun together. It seems that Daddy Grizzle is the one who remembers everything... until the end of the story! A lovely heartwarming celebration of the very special relationship between father and child, perfect for sharing.

Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew

The stars in Vincent van Gogh's painting are so beautiful that Katie can't resist reaching in and taking one. The paintings really come alive - literally! As Katie reaches into the painting, she lifts out the chair so she can reach the stars. But what will she do when all the other stars come tumbling out of the painting, too? Will Katie be able to catch the stars before the gallery guard notices they've floated away? The olive pickers come to the rescue to help her. Features five Van Gogh masterpieces: The Starry Night; Noon; Vincent's Chair; Fishing Boats on the Beach; The Olive Grove. Reading about Katie is a wonderful way to bring art to life for children and to help them understand and appreciate great paintings.

Wild by Emily Hughes

A touching short story with a very traditional and nostalgic feel. The little girl has known nothing but nature from her birth, having been brought up by birds, bears and foxes. Can she adapt to the strange life she has been taken to? It's totally different - a world of concrete with no green, where everyone does things differently and she doesn't fit in. Sensitively written, with a delicate touch and perfectly complemented by the detailed illustrations.

One Day on our Blue Planet: In the Savannah by Ella Bailey

Flying Eye books have a wonderfully traditional feel which appeal to the nostalgia in us; with cloth bindings and delicate illustrations, they are sheer joy - real book-lovers books. Children will love to share the happy little lion cub's day as he goes from breakfast to dinner, and then onto dusk and through a busy night for his parents until dawn arrives. All the while he is sharing his world with all the other animals of the savannah, all depicted in charming detail, offering lots of opportunity to learn and discuss. This is one in a new series of children's books focused on the way our young animal friends spend a day - I am really looking forward to more.

Zoom! by Trish Cooke

Brother and sister Hurricane Kieron and Rusharound Ria were always in a hurry. They never walked anywhere but raced from one thing to the next, never stopping. And all the while, making the most wonderful sounds which are fabulous to read aloud - children will love to join in. Bit one day, Hurricane Kieron falls over and can’t rush around any more - even though Rusharound Ria is still running... So he finds something he can do sitting still - and it is so enticing that soon Rusharound Ria is joining in too. A wonderfully vibrant story, full of energy and enthusiasm; great to share when you want your busy little ones to slow down a little.

Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad are very good friends and they always have fun together - fun doing the simple things that all young children enjoy and can relate to. From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other in these delightful stories about friendship and sharing. Traditional and timeless, with language that is just right for small children, the stories are sheer delight and beautifully complemented by the subtly coloured illustrations. This is one in a new series from HarperCollins, Essential Picture Book Classics – timeless stories for every child to treasure. It's a superb way to collect all the best classic picture books, the ones no child's home should be without.

Eddie's Tent: and How to Go Camping by Sarah Garland

In this book celebration good old-fashioned traditional family fun, Mum, Tom, Tilly, Lily and Eddie decide a camping trip sounds like the perfect holiday. And it all turns out to be great fun - after setting up camp, there are lots of adventures ahead for Eddie and his family – cooking over a camp-fire, making the camp shipshape and exploring the nearby beach. Eddie makes a new friend Max and his dog Bouncer, but when Bouncer goes missing in the middle of a storm, Eddie will need all his survival skills to find the dog – and his way back to camp! It's a lovely way to introduce children to the joys of camping and an outdoor life, as well as showing them some outdoor skills. Charmingly illustrated, this is what good picture books are all about.

Cheer Up Your Teddy Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell

Emily Brown and her side-kick rabbit, Stanley, are back and this time they're on a mission to cheer up one very unhappy teddy bear. What can they do to make that Teddy Bear SMILE? No matter what they try, the teddy bear is STILL miserable. Emily Brown has had ENOUGH - even she is beginning to feel sad! With an unexpectedly quirky twist, we find out just why Tearful Teddy Bear is sad - and happily, all is resolved in this happy and optimistic book which little ones will love.

My Dad's the Best by Nicholas Allan

One of my favourite picture books authors and one who has bought us much joy with some excellent books in recent years. His warm-hearted approach and perfectly positioned sense of humour never fails to hit the mark - and this superb celebration of dads is brilliant to share. Every dad is different; every dad is special. This dad can't sing like a pop star or cook like a chef...but, he can help with tricky homework, tell amazing bedtime stories and give the best piggybacks! Find out what else makes dads the best in this special celebration of fathers everywhere! The super illustrations are brimful of joy, humour and love and perfectly complement the flowing rhyming text.

Millie's Chickens by Brenda Williams

This lovely picture book tells the story of a little girls who looks after her own chickens. Young readers can follow her through the day as she carefully tends her chickens, each of which is introduced to the reader. The lively pictures are full of detail and the rhyming text flows gently through. After enjoying the story, young readers will find an informative section all about keeping chickens - I love the combination of the two parts of the book. Fun and informative, this is a super approach and a good way to show children the importance of caring for animals.

Action Movie Kid: All New Adventures Part 1 (Action Movie Kid 1) by Daniel Hashimoto

If you want a book to really engage and draw in young readers and which is perfectly in tune with today's world, here it is! Meet Action Movie Kid, whose adventures began on YouTube and continue in his first book, a thrilling tale of the heroic acts and daring deeds that fill his day and follow him to bedtime-and beyond! In James' imagination he is Action Movie Kid, defender of his own tiny universe. Monsters, aliens, and robots are no match for James's super strength and infinite cleverness. You can always rely on Action Movie Kid to save the day, even if he does need his parents' help from time to time! Download the Blipper app to bring the book to life.

Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland

This is a wonderful story which really helps us - young and old alike - to gain an understanding of the way a refugee family feels, the hardships they suffer and how they adapt to life in a new country. After fleeing from war, Azzi and her family endure a harsh sea voyage, then find themselves living in one room. When Azzi goes to school, she feels very out of place - but there is plenty of help and friendship at hand. A touching account tells us how Azzi finds beans to grow and this gives the whole family hope for the future.

Ten Little Dinosaurs by Mike Brownlow

Ten newly hatched dinosaurs are off in search of adventure - but it's a dangerous world out there for a little dinosaur. Stomp... slurrrp... grrrr. Find out what happens when the ten little dinosaurs do when then meet a grumpy triceratops, a stomping diplodocus, a hungry t-rex and more threatening creatures and events. But don't be scared - the book has a surprise for us in its reassuring ending. Wonderful to read aloud with catchy rhyming text and lots of noises for young ones to enjoy. Superbly bright and colourful pictures are packed with detail with lots to spot, count and talk about. I love the expressions of consternation on the little dinosaur faces! A book which will be demanded again... and again... and again.

My Adventure Island by Timothy Knapman

The little boy can do just as he pleases on his very own island - there's no need for boring things like clean clothes or brushing teeth. This stimulating and imaginative book finds its young star doing just as he likes and having a simply wonderful time - and look carefully at the pictures and you will see that he has all his favourite toys along with him. But when it comes to the end of the day, there's just one place he wants to be... A superb celebration of a child's imagination told through enjoyable rhyming text. Warm and captivating.

Alfie Outdoors by Shirley Hughes

Wonderful - a brand new Alfie book! Alfie is such an engaging character and he has captivated millions of children - and their parents - since his first appearance. Alfie loves to be out in the garden and now his Dad suggests they grow vegetables - to Alfie's surprise, they don't come straight from packs in the supermarket! Digging turns out to be great fun, with some unexpected surprises, but plants are quite slow to grow... As ever, a quite charming story with the added benefit of showing children the excitement of growing vegetables - and a very special goat to eat the produce! Alfie's Year in the Garden is an enchanting two page spread which gives lots to discuss about the changing seasons and the fun of being outdoors.

The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Little Mermaid by Abie Longstaff

The Fairytale Hairdresser series takes a fresh fun look at traditional tales and this time it's the turn of the much-loved favourite The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is all in a lather - the Sea Witch has stolen her beautiful singing voice! Time for The Fairytale Hairdresser to step in with her hairdressing (and matchmaking) skills to tackle this terrible tangle and guarantee a happy ever after. This lovely story is full of fairytale characters to spot - and the clever twists in the illustrations give even adults something to look out for. Lauren Beard's superb illustrations are full of detail - take your time over this book and share it with your child to get the very best out of it. A wonderful series. "On Friday 5th June the sun will be shining, fairies will be flying and there will be lots of happy-ever-afters! Puffin Books would love nurseries, schools, libraries and anyone who adores a good fairytale to join in with our #ShareAFairytale day. The aim is simply to pass on the love of stories and storytelling, and have a lot of fun in the process! Fairytales are part of the curriculum so why not make the most of the opportunity to explore them in this stimulating and exciting way."

Fancy Dress Jungle by Nick Sharratt

All the jungle animals love wearing fancy dress - but can your child guess who is hiding under each disguise? Children will love to guess - and there are clues to be spotted - before they lift the sturdy, die-cut pages to find out who is hiding. The rhyming text tells us that someone has come as a cowgirl, a pop star, a pineapple and more. Great fun from a great illustrator.

Where, Oh Where, is Rosie's Chick? by Pat Hutchins

Quite simply - wonderful! After 47 years, Pat Hutchins has penned a sequel to Rosie's Walk, a picture book that captured children's attention and hearts. The same wonderful sense of anticipation is here as we join Rosie in her search for her baby chick. She looks under the hen house... she looks behind the wheelbarrow. But look carefully - very, very carefully - because someone is following Rosie. Can your child spot who it is? The richly detailed illustrations and the minimal use of text work together exceptionally well and we have a sequel that is every bit as good as the original.

Busy Wheels: Plane's Royal Rescue by Peter Bently

Plane is at the airport preparing for a flight when Captain Koala sees a very special passenger set off in a private plane - but wait! The King has left his crown behind. Will Captain Koala be able to help? Luckily, they are flying to the same airport, so Captain Koala saves the day. This is a lovely introduction to flying and what to expect on board, which would be lovely to share with children about to fly for the first time - or any child who loves planes. Each story in the series features a popular vehicle as the central character, with a group of animal characters in a supporting role. An illustration shows different parts of the vehicle to help children to understand what makes up the machines and help familiarise them with vehicle vocabulary and sounds.

Busy Wheels: Train is on Track by Peter Bently

Now it's time to meet Train and his driver, Dog. Once the mail train has passed, it's time for Train to take his passengers on a journey. It's an exciting journey and Train is needed to help deliver the mail. Learn about the parts of a train and other engines at the end of the book. The combination of simple story and lots of information about vehicles makes this a perfect series for young transport enthusiasts - Space Shuttle and School Bus star in their own stories too.

Guess How Much I Love You Special Anniversary Edition by Sam McBratney

This beautiful paperback edition features a striking gold cover and a unique note from the award-winning creators inside - a perfect gift for a loved one. It can be hard to describe how much you love someone but Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare have a very special way of expressing their love. Now new and existing fans can continue to enjoy and share this cherished classic with this lavish edition, celebrating two decades of delighting readers since its initial creation. A perfect bedtime read.

Goodnight Already! by Jory John

Poor Bear - he's exhausted and he wants to do is to go to sleep. Duck, on the other hand, wants to hang out ... with Bear. Duck is very persistent and every time Bear things he has finally sent Duck home, up he pops again in this riotous tale. With brilliantly bold illustrations and endearing characters, this is a perfect bedtime picture book - I just hope your little one doesn;t finish up like Bear - wide awake!

That Naughty Meerkat! by Ian Whybrow

Uncle Fearless is sure he can look after the baby meerkats all by himself ... but it's not as easy as he had expected to look after four mischievous baby meerkats, especially when one of them is called Trouble! Despite this, he proudly turns down all offers of help So, whatever will he do when the meerkats suddenly find themselves in danger? Teamwork, that's the answer! I love the coloured backgrounds to the pages and the way they change through the book - beautifully done and very evocative . There's lots of humour in the story as well as action and fun.

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

One day a boy found an aeroplane in his cupboard. He didn’t remember leaving it in there, but he thought he’d take it out for a go right away. It went well at first then, suddenly, it ran out of petrol and the boy was stuck on the moon. But he wasn't the only one stuck - a Martian whose spaceship had broken down was there too. The two work together to find a solution and a wonderful spirit of co-operation shines through. As they resolve the problem and set off their separate ways, there's a twinge of sadness - and then a message of hope at the end. It's simple and yet superbly imaginative and appealing.

I Love: Dad by Camilla de le Bédoyère

A touching exploration of father and child relationships between animals, ranging from the expected - mischievous monkeys and loud lions - to the unusual - awesome owls and flamboyant flamingoes. Dads, whether human or animal, protect, love and care for their children - and in the case of animals, often in a very unexpected way. This stunningly photographed book has some amazing facts and is a superb celebration of the vital role all dads play. Perfect for dads and children to share, to mark their own closeness.

Families Families Families by Suzanne Lang

Families can take many different shapes and forms and this engaging book looks at animal families in all their variety in a superb celebration of family life. It's an excellent way to introduce different sorts of families - animal and human - and to show that what counts, above all, is love. The wonderful illustrations are themselves a celebration of difference, with plenty of different approaches taken to show animal families of all sorts. A great springboard for discussion.

Aren't You Lucky!: A New Baby Story by Laurence Anholt

A new baby is exciting and very much to be looked forward to - except perhaps for its older sibling who fears his or her very important place in the family may be usurped. Of course, we know that's not the case but it's up to us as adults to comfort and reassure - and here is just the book to help! We meet one older sibling whose initial anxieties are quelled with love and understanding and who learns that having a baby brother or sister can be truly magical - aren't they lucky! It's a book to have by you right through pregnancy as it covers the whole period up to going into hospital and bringing the new baby home - a reassuring book to have with you throughout the exciting journey, to help older ones.

Space Dog by Mini Grey

It's almost time for Spacedog to go home but somehow things don't quite work out that way... After a rescue attempt, Spacedog finds he has an enemy aboard his spaceship But when there is another rescue mission required in this unusual intergalactic world, the two put their enmity aside. You may well find that some of the humour goes over children's heads - in that case, save this book for a year or two and then they will really appreciate the zany humour and also will be able to follow the way the text dances around the pages.

The Adventures of Mr Toad by Tom Moorhouse

The perfect way to introduce the very youngest readers to the joys of The Wind in the Willows, this beautiful book combines lively text and stunning illustrations by David Roberts. Both text and pictures capture the spirit of the book perfectly, with deft touches of humour throughout. The story has all the elements of a perfect picture book - great characters, humour, lots of adventure, and a heartwarming message about the true value of friendship. And hopefully, this introduction will generate a lifelong love for Ratty, Mole and all their friends.

Paddington Goes for Gold by Michael Bond

Paddington needs no introduction - this book is a new Paddington story. and just as good as ever! When he goes to a family sports event with the Brown family, Paddington wants to take part in everything he can - with predictably hilarious results. His 'help' means that the family don't win anything - or do they? This is a lovely story and Paddington is as fresh and lovable as ever - who can resist? Definitely a book which will become a firm favourite and hopefully encourage parents to dig out their old Paddington stories - or buy some new ones! -  to entrance another generation. The illustrations by R W Alley epitomise the little bear perfectly.

Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis

This is no ordinary picture book - it's a subtly handled story about the dangers of the internet which is perfectly geared to young children. Of course, given the superb combination of Jean Willis and Tony Ross, it is also a highly enjoyable story. One night Chick hops onto the farmer's house and has a browse on his computer - CLICK - soon she's shopping online for the whole farm - and some surprises turn up! But when she arranges to meet up with someone she's met online, she discovers all is not as it seems... It's a simple but very effective way to convey a vital message and will be valued by teachers who can share the story with their class and follow up with discussion. Informative, educational and a very enjoyable story.

What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson

The jackdaw invites his friends to come to his party, but when he calls out his invitation the animals just touch their heads. He doesn't understand why but a brown owl can helps him solve the puzzle and helps him learn to sign. They all enjoy a wonderful party! This book about friendship and sign language was created by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, with a group of deaf children in a workshop organised by the not-for-profit organisation Life & Deaf which helps deaf children to explore their identities through poetry, film, performance and art. It conveys the message really well and will be a valuable resource to help extend understanding.

The Giant of Jum by Elli Woollard

Look out children, the Giant of Jum is on the prowl for a tasty snack in this entertaining re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk. The giant is hungry and when he's hungry, he's grumpy and hungry. He's heard tell of a tasty snack - a boy called Jack. But when Jack and his friends catch sight of the giant, they see a tall man who can help with their games... are they walking into danger? Luckily, they come up with a tasty alternative in this humorous rhyming story with its great illustrations by Benji Davies. Brilliant to read aloud.

The Princess and the Giant by Caryl Hart

Everyone, including Princess Sophie, is fed up - the giant who lives at the top of the beanstalk stomps around all night, keeping everyone awake. So Princess Sophie, getting the ideas from reading fairy tales, bravely decides to try out some ideas to help the giant sleep. Perhaps a bowl of porridge, a teddy to cuddle or a new mattress will help... At last, she finds the answer - a bedtime story. Best of all, she teaches the giant to read. It all goes to show that we all need bedtime stories - and with its catchy rhyming text, this captivating story is just right for bedtime. Make sure you share the illustrations though - they are packed with detail with all sorts of clever things to spot and discuss in the pictures.

Princess Daisy and the Dragon by Steven Lenton

Sir Daring-Do, Sir Musclebound and Sir Brainbox have all come in response to the king's call for help to rescue the kingdom from the dragon but they are definitely not the bold, brave knights he had expected! Luckily, a clever knight comes along and saves the day - and turns out to be someone quite unexpected. This superbly illustrated story races you along through the catchy rhyming text which interweaves perfectly with the pictures which are full of lively detail and wonderful characters. This, as well as The Princess and the Giant, comes with a free Stories Aloud smartphone audio book.

The Strongest Boy in the World by Jessica Souhami

Kaito is stronger than all the other boys in his village. He is the best wrestler in the village so he sets off to the city to face a bigger challenge in the world-famous Sumo wrestling tournament. But on the way he plays a trick on a girl he meets - but Hana turns the tables on him as she is even stronger. Hana offers to train Kaito – with amazing results. An interesting story which shows things aren't always what they seem and we shouldn't pre-judge or stereotype. Clear bright illustrations are just right to express the story.

Seb and Hamish by Jude Daly

When Seb goes to visit Mrs Kenny with Mama, he is scared by Hamish the dog. Hamish is safely shut away and Seb starts playing... and forgets about Hamish. Until he searches under the door and finds two bright eyes. When Mama goes to look for Seb, guess what she finds? A charming story about overcoming fear, sensitively written with great understanding and perfect for sharing, to reassure and give confidence as well as showing children that they are not alone in having fears..

The Book of Colours by Sarah Dyer

This wonderful exploration of colour gives adults a super stimulus to discuss colour with their children and to explore the role colour plays in our lives. Children learn how colours are made and then spreads of joyful pictures show us a world in black and white; feelings expressed by colour; colour at night; the amazing range of colours found in food, animals and vehicles and finally, things that are multi-coloured. It's a fascinating look at colour which really encourages children (and adults) to think about and be aware of all the colours around us.

A Cat Called Panda by Melanie Arora

This apparently simple book takes the form of a conversation between a small girl called Amanda and a very haughty cat called Panda. The little girl wonders why the cat is called Panda and the cat convinces her, through the witty rhyming text, that he really IS a cat. It's a charming story with lots to share and discuss and delightful illustrations to enjoy. A beautifully produces little hardback. Published April 2015 by Button Books, ISBN 978-1908985231.

What's Your Favourite Animal? by Eric Carle

A wonderful collection from some of the very best contemporary children's book illustrators - Jon Klassen, Eric Carle, Lucy Cousins, Nick Bruel, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Tom Litchtenheld, Peter McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sís, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, Mo Willems. Each has chosen their favourite and the result is a wonderfully eclectic collection ranging from giraffes with their heads in the clouds to fuzzy dogs and squishy snails. Some explain their choices with a personal story, others give a humorous twist. Share this inspiring book with your child then ask them to draw their own favourite. All the authors' royalties go to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor

This wonderfully inventive story tells of the determined Hoot Owl, a master of disguise who will stop at nothing in search of his prey. He tries to tricks the animals by putting on some wonderful disguises - he becomes a bird bath, a sheep and a carrot among others... but his prey always escape. Will he ever find a meal? This wonderfully humorous book has excellent illustrations by the talented Jean Jullien who shows Hoot Owl in his many guises. Great fun.

Emily Peppermint's Toy School by Jeanne Willis

It's the first day of term at Toy School and teacher Emily Peppermint has a new class to teach - but they are all very different and have differing concerns. They are there to learn all about children and how they are very different from toys. The first lesson is falling out of a pram but things don't go quite as expected... It's a good job Emily Peppermint and her trusty classroom assistant Rose are there to save the day! It's a wonderful look at childhood from a different perspective and children will love to share the adventures of all their favourite and much loved toy characters. Entertaining and insightful, with wonderful illustrations.

Storytime: The Perfect Job for an Elephant by Jodie Parachini

Even baby elephants need to think about their futures, so Elsie decides she should start looking for a job. What could she do? She could be a chef because she likes eating, or she could be a musician because she likes trumpeting... after trying lots of jobs which don't work out, Elsie begins to give up hope. Then an emergency breaks out at the Snack Shack and Elsie finds her perfect job ... The reader warms to Elsie as she tries to find her role and learns that we should never give up; something always turns up. QED's Storytime books are an excellent collection - there is plenty of variety, with a range of excellent authors and illustrators giving a different feel to each book. Schools and libraries would do well to purchase each one in the collection in the knowledge this would give a well-rounded selection.

Storytime: When I Grow Up... by Gill McClean

Nobody will be able to resist the adorable little puppy Fergus who sets off to decide what should he be when he grows up. His friends all have different ideas and it all seems very puzzling to a little dog. Who will help him decide what to be? A charming and irresistible story with superb illustrations and a very satisfying conclusion. QED Storytime books are beautifully illustrated stories which introduce young children to the pleasures of reading and sharing stories. Discussion points for parents and teachers are included in each book and these provide an excellent opportunity to extend the pleasure of these books.

The Special Guest (Storytime) by Steve Smallman

Zebra is really excited - he has a party invite from none other than the king of the jungle! Elephant, however, thinks Lion has an ulterior motive and as he tries to keep Zebra busy the invitation blows away and Porcupine and Rhino think they are invited. Confusion ensues as Lion finds he has some unwelcome guests and his true intent becomes clear. It's excellently told and children will love the anticipation and the surprises, as well as the colourful animal characters.

Storytime: What's the Time, Wilfred Wolf by Jessica Barrah

Wolf can't tell the time - but he's never really needed to, until he is invited to a party. So he asks his friends for help, but nothing quite works out for him in this amusing story. He doesn't give up though, and his friends are always there to help and finally, they find the answer - and all enjoy the party together. A charming story about friendship and being there for each other.

Give Us a Smile, Cinderella! by Steve Smallman

Cinderella's stepsisters make her do all the work - and they just sit around eating sweets and cakes, with the inevitable results! But Cinderella always cleans her teeth. As we know, the sisters are invited to a ball and Cinderella's fairy godmother makes sure she gets there too. There's a twist at the end though - the slipper fits all three! Can your child guess how the Prince tells them apart? This quirky and amusing take on the old story is one in a new series from QED with takes fairy tales and gives them a twist on health, hygiene and nutrition. A great read.

Keep Running, Gingerbread Man by Steve Smallman

The classic tale of the Gingerbread Man is given a clever and amusing twist in this story from the QED Fairy tales Gone Wrong series. When nobody can catch up with the Gingerbread Man, the fox decides they all need to get more healthy - so he starts up an aerobics class! With its bright illustrations and amusing retelling, this is a fun way to convey the important message that exercise is essential to well-being.

Kipper's Little Friends by Mick Inkpen

Kipper has been delighting children - and their parents - for 25 years and now we can ensure that a whole new generation of children will grow up knowing Kipper and his faithful friends. Kipper and Arthur are talking about baby animals. If a baby pig is a piglet, a baby owl must be an owlet and a baby frog a froglet... and then it's time to go off to the park to see what babies they can find. But poor Small Grey Fluffy Owl has an unexpected swim... Kipper and Arthur learn more names - but what is a baby dog called? Another super book - a worthy addition to its predecessors.

Airport (Playtown) by Roger Priddy

This colourful, action-packed book is full of delights for young children to explore as they find out what happens on a busy day at Playtown Airport. It's all here, from shops and restaurants in the busy terminal, to emergency services and planes taking off. This detailed board book has over 70 flaps to explore, each revealing a detailed little picture and more informative text - children always love to investigate flaps. The big picture tabs allow children to navigate easily to their favourite page, where they can enjoy lots of detail in the pictures. Going on a plane for your holiday? Then enjoy this book with your child beforehand.

Mimi's Magical Fairy Friends: Catkin the Fairy Kitten by Clare Bevan

This new collectable series will really delight little girls, with a sparkly cover and press-out fairy and kitten inside. It's a dull day so Miss Flap decides to paint a rainbow to brighten it up. But when they can't find the magic paintbrushes, will Catkin the fairy kitten be able to help? Off fly the fairies, with Catkin to help, in search of the magic brushes - and plenty of adventures befall them on the way. Luckily, there are always friends to help in this delightful story of fairies and friendship. A great start to the series.

Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

Whether they are from outer space, steamy swamps or massive mountains, what do all the monsters have in common? They love underpants, that's what! Whether they come from outer space or from the steamy swamps they are all adorned in colourful underpants, big or small, wobbly or gooey. But how can they be scary wearing underpants? Be careful - are they after yours? Rollicking fun with a humour that young children will adore, with bright zany pictures to enjoy. Another great story in this hilarious series. There's a QR code which links to an audio retelling by Mel Giedroyc, to add to the fun.

Boom Baby Boom Boom by Margaret Mahy

Baby's not hungry - but the animals are! Mama tells Baby that she’s made a lovely lunch for her and all the animals are listening at the window. While Mama bangs on her drums, oblivious to what is going on, the animals creep in and eat up all baby's lunch. Baby gets a banana for pudding and, this time, he eats it all up. The drum rhythm of boom-biddy-boom-biddy-yum-yum-yum which flows through the book makes a great read-aloud-and-join-in story. It's a lovely story with a gorgeous sense of humour running throughout.

Victoria's Day by Maria de Fatima Campos

Victoria seems just like other children - and she is, in so many ways. Follow Victoria through her day at nursery school with her friends. Victoria reads a story, paints a picture, bakes biscuits and plays games with the other children at nursery. Then it's back home to enjoy the rest of a happy day enjoying the things every child enjoys. But look carefully at the pictures in this sensitive and inclusive portrayal and you realise that Victoria has Downs Syndrome. An exceptional resource for young children and perfect for any Early Years setting, to provide the stimulus for discussion.

Thank you, Jackson by Niki Daly

Jackson the donkey works really hard - carrying carrots, corn, pumpkins and potatoes up the hill to market every week. But one day he decides he has had enough and he won't budge. Try as he will, the farmer can't get him to move but young Goodwill, the farmer's son has the answer. It's those magic words that we all try to instill in our children - they work wonders! The beautiful illustrations are a superb evocation of South African countryside and way of life. Frances Lincoln produce exceptional picture books - hugely varied yet every one of them conveys a significant message in a way that touches the hearts of readers.

Ice in the Jungle (Child's Play Library) by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

Young ones everywhere can find the prospect of moving quite scary - they are happiest in a familiar environment. Ice the polar bear is no different. When Ice's mother tells her that they're going to move to an exciting new place, Ice is worried. Everything is different in her new home - the weather, the food, the people and the language. Ice tries to make friends, but everyone seems too busy and preoccupied to care - but then Ice has a wonderful surprise when she finds what her new friends have prepared to make her feel at home. A gentle and reassuring story, charmingly illustrated, which shows great understanding of how children feel.

Big Digger ABC: An Awesome A to Z of Vehicle Verse by Margaret Mayo

This is a super first book of things that go to share with young children. A fascinating range of vehicles A to Z are here in this bright and busy picture book. From ambulance to zooming rocket, every vehicle is depicted in bright bold illustrations that are full of action and amusing details; these are accompanied by lively, rhythmic text. With plenty of vehicle noises for little ones to join in with, this is a perfect read-aloud. .

Princess Sleepyhead and the Night-Night Bear by Peter Bently

"The moon's in the sky and the kingdom's asleep. The cows are all slumbering. So are the sheep. The ducks are tucked up in the roots of the willow. The rabbit is drowsily nibbling his pillow ..." I love the soothing rhyming text of this gorgeously illustrated book. Everyone in the castle, and in the whole kingdom, is asleep - except Princess Sleepyhead. She has tried everything - running, jumping, counting and chasing, but it's no use - she just can't get to sleep! Luckily the Night-Night Bear is on hand to help. He knows that what every little princess needs at bedtime is a story, and - most importantly - a goodnight kiss. It's brilliant for bedtime - just what a child needs.

When Dad Showed Me the Universe (Gecko Press Titles) by Ulf Stark

A sensitive and beautifully illustrated story about the day Dad decided to show his son the universe. Together, they walk through the streets, all shut up for the night and get further and further from home until they reach a place that is dark. The boy recognizes the park where people walk their dogs by day, but it all looks different. The boy admires the small things close to him, while Dad points out the wonders of the sky. But then, in an unexpected and humorous twist children will love, things go wrong... and the boy is the one to do the reassuring. A lovely story about father and son and sharing, wondering and reassuring.

The Cake by Dorothée de Monfreid

The friends are hungry so Tiger decides to bake a cake. He wants to make a chocolate cake, but Rabbit wants carrot cake, Monkey likes banana cake, Dog wants a bone cake and Little Bear would like a fish cake. Oh dear - what is Tiger going to do? There's a surprising twist at the end of the story and everyone is happy. The hand-written text tells the story in dialogue with speech bubbles and appealing bright, bold illustrations. Ideal for reading aloud.

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang

It's all relative, as the two fuzzy friends argue over who is small and who is big. The two fuzzy creatures can't agree on who is small and who is big, until a surprise guest shows up, settling the argument once and for all! Simple text combines with bold illustrations as more and more creatures join in the debate - but then along comes someone who puts an end to the argument - and the creatures trot off happily together. Simple and very effective.

Paddington at the Zoo by Michael Bond

Paddington's day at the zoo is just as entertaining and full of amusing situations as we expect from the appealing bear. First of all, the gatekeeper won't let him in and then it seems that Paddington will go hungry - he is not the only one who likes marmalade sandwiches! He has stocked up on his favourite snack, but finds he doesn't get to eat any as a series of misadventures befall him - but Paddington doesn't find it as funny as we do! There's plenty of text to accompany the pictures, making the book excellent for older readers who still enjoy picture books but want a bit more story.

You Can't Take An Elephant On the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

You can't take an elephant on a bus... or a monkey in a shopping trolley... or a camel in a sailing boat... or a tiger on a train. But if you try, then it will be CHAOS - and that's just what we have in this riotously funny picture book. The hilarious text and wonderful pictures show us just what will happen if animals try to squeeze themselves into a range of unlikely means of transport. is filled with animals causing total disaster as they try to travel in the most unsuitable vehicles. The superb rhyming text will have children in fits of giggles as they enjoy the perfectly-pitched humour.

Storytime: What's in Your Pocket by Ruth Symons

Children love guessing games so they will thoroughly enjoy sharing with Josh, the young kangaroo, as he tries to guess what is in his mum's pocket. Josh loves to be close to his mum at night in her pouch, or ‘pocket’, as he calls it but soon he must sleep on the grass like the older kangaroos. Why? Josh racks his brains to try and think and, after the help of several friends, gives up. What could the surprise be? And will he love it as much as his mother says he will? A charming story about a new sibling and welcoming it to the family with stunning illustrations by Ruth Watkins which really bring the Australian countryside to life. The Storytime series goes from strength to strength.

Storytime: The Lion Who Lost His Roar But Learnt To Draw by Paula Knight

Lionel loves to roar but everyone else find him just too noisy. But one day, poor Lionel loses his voice - but finds a hidden talent. Meet lots of colourful jungle friends and find out the noises they make as Lionel explores his new talent with them. The lively text is full of adjectives to help children enjoy new words - see if you can encourage them to use even more by describing the vibrant pictures. A good way to show children that we all have undiscovered talents. "QED's popular Storytime series are charming books that combine colourful illustrations with heartwarming narrative, each with its own unique message for young children. The series is ever expanding and now comprises 36 titles."

Recipe For a Story by Ella Burfoot

This wonderful book celebrates the excitement of creating a story book and is a superb way to encourage children to express themselves in writing. A little girl sets out to cook a book and carefully assembles all the ingredients, then adds them to the mix making sure all is just so. The pictures are charming and the delicately drawn details are full of inspiration (and practical commonsense) for writing. This is a delightful story in itself but shines out because of the way it will stimulate discussion and the creation of stories. I would try it out with older children too, just to see the impact on their story-telling.

Where is Rusty? by Sieb Posthuma

Rusty the dog is off to the department store with his family - and just like any other youngster, he is told to stay close. But Rusty gets enticed away and then has to flee from the watchdogs. Look out for Rusty, who crops up in all sorts of strange places during his adventures. Happily, all ends well in this charming and reassuring story book, perfect to share with any child who may be inclined to wander off alone.

Tim All Alone (Little Tim) by Edward Ardizzone

Little Tim's has been a much-loved favourite ever since the first book was published in 1936. When Tim arrives home after a long holiday to find the house shut up, he determines to search the whole wide world, if necessary, to find his parents. So off sets our intrepid young hero on a journey filled with sea-faring adventure. Full of excitement and peopled with superb characters, this is traditional story-telling at its best. The illustrations are a mix of colour and black and white line drawings - full of liveliness, they are packed with expressive detail - and the quality is shown by the fact the book won the prestigious Kate Greenaway award for illustration. Scan the QR code to hear Stephen Fry read the story - but make sure your child follows along to see the illustrations.

I Need a Wee! by Sue Hendra Sue Hendra

brings her wonderful sense of humour to bear on a topic that will be close to the hearts of all parents of toddlers. Alan the bear needs a wee! But there are far more interesting things to do, so perhaps he can just hold on for a while... Oh dear - when he finally gets there, there's a queue. Never mind, there are plenty of alternatives - or are there? This hilarious story has a surprising twist in the tale. Vibrant illustrations by Paul Linnet complement the text perfectly. If the potty training situation is getting a bit tense, share this wonderful book with your child to bring humour into the situation and defuse any tension. Such fun and so enjoyable - potty training toddlers and their parents will love it.

Daddy's Sandwich by Pip Jones

A little girl sets out to make her father the perfect sandwich, full of all his very favourite things. This will be the most unusual sandwich you have ever seen, as the little girl adds not just butter, cheese and tomato but EVERYTHING Daddy likes - here's his phone, the TV remote, Mummy's bubble bath and much much more... with a special surprise at the end. It's a wonderful celebration of family life, full of joy and verve in both text and pictures and the perfect book for Father's Day.

Hooray! It's a New Royal Baby! (Royal Baby 3) by Martha Mumford

This is a marvellous sequel to the exceptional Don't Wake the Royal Baby, which I loved. Written (of course) in anticipation of the royal birth, the palace is in chaos as preparations are made. Not only that, but royal baby number one has to be considered - what will he make of the new arrival? Just like all siblings up and down the kingdom, he is not at all sure about this new addition to his family. Soon, though, Baby George finds out that a baby can be really fun - the perfect playmate. And as things settle down in the royal household, the Duke and Duchess ask themselves an important question... The illustrations are quite superb - very recognisable but full of respect. Will this find a place in the royal nursery too? I do hope so!

Teatime for Pirates!: A Ladybird Skullabones Island picture book by Richard Dungworth

What do pirates eat? When the pirates are given peas... and carrots... and sausages... and mash, they refuse to eat them even though the pirate captain tells them they are just what pirates need to go adventuring on the high seas. But there was something missing and once the magic ingredient is added, there are clean plates to show. Told in catchy rhyming text and illustrated with bright fun-filled illustrations, this is highly enjoyable. Got a fussy eater in your family? Then share this tale with them and turn it into fun as the story encourages them to eat up.

Too Hot for Spots by Mini Goss

Barry's not feeling well, so Stella gets her doctor's bag and outfit ready so she can look after him. Being a doctor is hard work though and soon Stella is tired out and - oh dear, just look what has happened! Children can learn the names of the instruments in Stella's doctor's bag. I love the way the collage-style illustrations are built up, giving a colourful layered effect which will really appeal to children. A lovely creative story about siblings and helping each other.

Kick with my Left Foot by Paul Seden

This lively story tells of a child in an indigenous community getting ready to play his favourite game - football. A cheerful, rhythmic story about playing football for the very young, wherever they live. Simple repetitive text will appeal to young readers but much of the joy of this book lies in the illustrations which encourage children to put their own interpretation on the story, making it personal to them and encouraging imagination, story telling and speaking skills, as well as the chance to explore another culture.

Emus Under the Bed by Leann J. Edwards

A little girl spends the day at her Auntie Dollo's house. They have fun together making feather arrangements, enjoy a very Australian lunch and then there's a very special surprise. Simple, vivid illustrations bring the book alive and give a picture of Australian life. This book was produced through the Emerging Indigenous Picture Book Mentoring Project, a joint initiative between The Little Big Book Club and Allen & Unwin, assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Let's Play by Gabriel Alborozo

The author has a unique talent for seeing colour in the world around us, and for helping his readers to see colour and imagine it everywhere. Let's Play looks at the sounds of an orchestra from a unique perspective - their colours. From the tinkling tones of the tiny piccolo to the majesty of the grand piano or the deep rumblings of the mighty tuba this book celebrates the sounds made by the players in an orchestra. I would love to see this book used in the classroom to inspire children to love music and the instruments which create it. The lively and quirky illustrations reflect the joy of the text.

Come Count with Me by Marika Wilson

In this quirky counting book Nanna bird pretends she can't count, much to the frustration of her little grand-chick. "Well, little chicky Now let me try 1, 2 and 7 8 and 9? NO! NO! Nanna! You've got it all wrong". Humorous drawings embellish the text and give opportunities for more counting fun. It's great fun and a lovely book for grannies to share with their grandchildren.

Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach by Alison Lester

There are plenty of books about ponies but few picture books which star a pony, so that is a great appeal for this book. Noni the Pony is friendly and funny. She loves going down to the beach when it's sunny and she's off there today with her two very best friends Dave Dog and Coco the Cat. Even the cows from next door are going and it's going to be a wonderful day. With its rhyming text, this is excellent to read aloud. Alison Lester's books are favourites with children and adults around the world.

Mummy's Home! by Christopher MacGregor

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher MacGregor has based this sensitive and thoughtful book on his own and others experiences as a serving soldier and the awareness that children cope much better if they know what to expect. His first book was My Daddy's Going Away and it's good to see that this one is based on a mother being away - it may not be as common but it's still a very real situation for many families. The book is full of love and ways to keep that love alive across the distance. The lovely illustrations by Emma Yarlett are the perfect complement and give plenty of opportunity for discussion, and for using the ideas at home. This book wraps children around with a comforting message and will be highly valued in many homes.

The High Hills (Brambly Hedge) by Jill Barklem

The Brambly Hedge stories are perfect for all those who love gentle stories of the countryside and the animals who live there. The delicate illustrations are absolutely crammed with engaging detail - you can look at them for ages and keep spotting something new; the depictions of nature are accurate in their detail too. It's late autumn and Flax and Lily are busy making blankets for the voles in the High Hills for Mr Apple has to deliver. Wilfred Toadflax is convinced there is gold to be found in the hills beyond Brambly Hedge so he goes along too... but then disaster strikes. Can Mr Apple and Wilfred find their way home? Beautifully produced, these hardbacks with their gorgeous cream paper are real collectables.

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

A lovely story about friendship and thinking of others. When a penguin arrives on a boy's doorstep, decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. When nobody seems to have lost a penguin, the boy sets off to take the penguin home to the South Pole. But was the penguin really looking for home? It is so simply told, yet it has a wonderful poignancy, enhanced by the stunning illustrations which reflect all the different scenes brilliantly, as well as showing the emotions - just look at the lonely penguin. These, combined with the simple but effective text, make for a perfect example of a good picture book.

Higgledy Piggledy the Hen Who Loved to Dance by Francesca Simon

Higgledy-Piggledy loves to dance - but what use is a dancing hen? All the other animals on the farmyard are really useful - they catch mice, pull the cart, give milk... but Higgledy-Piggledy just dances. When Max the kitten is stuck up the tree, none of the other animals can help. Along comes Higgledy-Piggledy and she dances for Max, and he dances his way down the tree. Then all the animals decide they want to learn to dance. A charming story that shows we all have our own special talents.

Princess Poppy: Storytelling Princess by Janey Louise Jones

It's Reading Week and Poppy and her friends are dressing up as their favourite book characters. Poppy is Alice in Wonderland, Honey is Little Red Riding Hood, Sweetpea is Cinderella and Mimosa is the Little Mermaid. It's all very exciting - so exciting that Poppy forgets all about her special book presentation. Oh no! What will Miss Mallow say? This is a wonderful celebration of an event familiar to most children and it will be the perfect book to share with children in celebration of books and reading - especially in your own Reading Week. Lots of charming detail in the pictures too. Princess Poppy is a modern-day princess with lots of friends and plenty of imagination.

Very Little Cinderella by Teresa Heapy

I love the concept of twisted fairy tales - children know all the traditional tales so well and the variations bring new life to them, making them appealing and contemporary. Very Little Cinderella is... very little. And she's very well-meaning if not very tidy. So when the Ugly Sisters come home, they tell her to clean up and that they are off to a party. Very Little Cinderella is quite determined to go to and she usually gets her own way. Very Little Cinderella speaks to us in a child's voice with a child's speech and young ones will really respond to this; it's cleverly and wittily done. A super contemporary take on the old favourite with plenty of humour.

Hugo the Hare's Rainy Day by Jez Alborough

Hugo the Hare hates getting wet so he makes sure his umbrella is with him. But he's a friendly little hare and doesn't like to see Billy the Goat getting wet - but have you ever tried to share an umbrella? Billy has a clever idea and all is well until the friends spy Nat the Cat and then... disaster! Or is it... A fun story of friendship, sharing and having fun, all told in catchy rhyming text with lots of sounds to encourage children to join in. There's a song to enjoy at the end too, and that is another way to engage children with the story.

I Love You Near and Far (Snuggle Time Stories) by Marjorie Blain Parker

Children and parents can be separated for all sorts of reasons - but whatever the reason, this gorgeous picture book is perfect to reassure your little one that you still love them. Not just parents either - often much-loved family members live too far away to see regularly, so this is for you too. Written from the child's perspective, this charming rhyming story is a love letter to those who may not be geographically near but remain very close at heart. ISBN 978-1454905073, published by Sterling, March 2015.

Bing: Yuk! by Ted Dewan

Bing is a popular TV characters and the stories have been reissued in a bright new format to tie in with the series. Superb illustrations are really eye-catching and the simple text is perfect. Bing doesn't like tomatoes, and chooses the wrong way to show his dislike - but things are soon sorted out. Written for both parent and child, the series cleverly sees things from both viewpoints, making the books excellent for discussing and sharing. this. The page at the end with all sorts of food is brilliant for encouraging discussion. The reassuring message is that, whatever happens, it’s just a Bing thing, a normal occurrence, and nothing to get upset about - this comes across beautifully

The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson

Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny have been forbidden to go to the fun fair - but they can't resist... so they are off on a roller-coaster ride of an adventure. Peter finds himself scooped up by a rather grumpy little girl and separated from his cousin. It's up to Benjamin to rescue frightened Peter from the scary hurly-burly of shouting stallholders and whirling rides. Beautifully told and stunningly illustrated, this book is really true to Beatrix Potter's characters and her language; a perfect gift book for children who have all the originals and would like to know more about Peter and Benjamin.

Time for a Bath (Snuggle Time Stories) by Phillis Gershator

Spring, summer, autumn and winter - it's always time for a bath! Go through the year with little bunny splashing in puddles, rolling in grass, eating a drippy banana split and painting pictures - then cleaning up after. Warm and friendly, make bathtime fun by sharing this book with your little one after a fun-filled day. These hardcover books in the Snuggle Time series are excellent value from Sterling Books and would be lovely to collect. Published March 2015 ISBN 9781454910329

Bears Don't Read! by Emma Chichester Clark

Read this wonderful story with any child who thinks reading is not for them - and change their minds! A magical story of friendship to strengthen the imagination and encourage children (and bears!) towards a lifelong love of reading. When George the bear (a very friendly bear) finds a book, he knows that he has found the thing he most wants to do - read. But "That's just silly!" said his sister. "Bears don't read!" Poor George soon discovers that it's not easy to be a bear at school but luckily he finds someone to help. It all goes to show what you can achieve with a bit of determination and someone to help. It's a wonderful celebration of the joy of books and reading.

Visit the Bhil Carnival by Gita Wolf

Join Neela and Peela as they look forward to Bhagoria, a wonderful carnival that the Bhil people of central India celebrate every year. A beautifully designed interactive book tells the story through an intriguing map with innovative signage that keeps them from losing their way, plus a little book of stories which you can read as you follow the map and see the sights. Subash Amaliyar, Bhil artist from India, has painted the carnival in his traditional style. It's bright and lively with plenty to talk about

We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures Amnesty International

A picture book in that it is highly illustrated, but also an extremely important book with a message we should all heed. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed on 10th December 1948. It was compiled after World War Two to declare and protect the rights of all people from all countries. This beautiful collection, published 60 years on, celebrates each declaration with a thoughtful and perceptive illustration by an internationally-renowned artist or illustrator; saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words' certainly applies here - each of the carefully drawn illustrations conveys a really strong message and repays close attention. The book would make an excellent basis for a classroom topic (and an essential for every school) as well as a great gift for children and adults alike.

Dreams of Freedom Amnesty International

Following on from the superb We Are All Born Free, comes this equally significant and thought-provoking book. This inspirational book, following We Are All Born Free, contains 17 quotations about many different aspects of freedom. The authors include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and Malala Yousafzai; each quotation is carefully chosen to be readily understood by even very young children. Some of the aspects of freedom included are - the freedom to have an education to that not to be hurt or tortured, the freedom to have a home and the freedom to be yourself. All the chosen quotations are in simple words that can be understood by young children. An international collection of illustrators have played their part, including Chris Riddell, Ros Asquith, Jackie Morris and Shirin Adl from the UK, Barroux from France, Roger Mello from Brazil, Birgitta Sif from Iceland, aboriginal artist Sally Morgan from Australia and Mordicai Gerstein from the USA. The cover is illustrated by best-selling author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers. The widely differing styles make for a fascinating book. All royalties from both books will go to Amnesty International, so show your support by buying these important and worthwhile books.

Mum's the Word by Timothy Knapman

What could that very special word be? The word that feels like a cuddle and is as warm as a goodnight kiss. This gorgeous rhyming tale with adorable illustrations shows all the important things in the puppy's life.. and how mum is always there to share them. Beautifully illustrated and showing the little dog having all sorts of fun, this is a heart-warming celebration for mothers everywhere.

I Love My Granny by Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae brings us another super celebration of much-loved family members - this time it's Granny's turn. The joy of spending a fun-filled day with granny is explored with warmth and humour, accompanied by Emma Dodd's colourful and lively pictures. The simple rhyming text perfectly captures all the fun times shared by grannies and grandchildren everywhere. The perfect present for every family, this book will delight time and time again - perfect bedtime reading, or for keeping at Granny's house. Delightful!

Alfie in the Bath by Debi Gliori

Bathtime - a favourite time of day and lovely to see a whole book about it, rather than just a page in a going to bed book. Alfie Rabbit is having a great time, splashing around in his bath. It's quite amazing what a bath can become, when you are a little bunny with a big imagination. Follow Alfie and unfold the double spread to find yourself in a world of watery adventures. Alfie is a deep-sea monster waving his tentacles, a little pink crab snapping his claws, a whale spouting water high in the air ... but finally, he comes back to reality. A real celebration of the power of the imagination, with superb illustrations of colourful sea creatures.

The First Slodge by Jeanne Willis

Once upon a slime, there was a Slodge - she was all on her own, so she thought everything belonged to her and to her alone. So when she saw the first moon and stars, the first fruits and flowers, she said, "Mine, all mine!" But then along came another Slodge and suddenly, there is the first war. But then the Slodges unite against a common enemy - and soon there are lots and lots of Slodges! This humorous and witty exploration of sharing and friendship carries an important message: that the world belongs to everyone. The captivating child-friendly illustrations from Jenni Desmond will delight adults and children alike.

The Three Little Pigs (My First Fairy Tales) by Mara Alperin

Three little pigs set off to build new homes for themselves, but two of them pay no heed to their mother's warning! Soon someone big and bad is looking for a tasty piggy snack ...Can the pigs outwit the wicked wolf? Of course, we all know what happens, but this lively new telling with its bright pictures will gain plenty of fans. My First Fairytales are a magical introduction to the well-loved stories that are a key part of every childhood.

Rumpelstiltskin (My First Fairy Tales) by Mara Alperin

The miller was so proud of his daughter Isabel that he claimed she could spin straw into gold. So the greedy king locks her in a tower and orders her to spin straw into gold; of course, she can't. Then a mysterious, magical man appears, offering to help ... but what does he want in return? This engaging retelling works text and pictures together to produce an excellent story which will be enjoyed by readers of all ages, as they revisit this favourite fairytale.

Hippobottymus by Steve Smallman

This wondrously rhyming book simply flows from start to finish, hurtling the reader from one snappy sound to the next. It's clever too - "A mouse sat down by a bubbling creek - the creek went bubble and the mouse went squeak." The jungle animals are making music to the sound of the bubbling creek! But what is that naughty hippo up to? This musical rhyming story - with its rather rude hippo - will have children gleefully joining in and dancing along with the animals as they make music in their own special ways. A superb read-aloud story that will elicit plenty of giggles.

Blown Away (Penguin Blue) by Rob Biddulph

It’s a windy day, and Penguin Blue has a brand new kite – but where’s he going on this maiden flight? We all know the perils of kites and this lovely rhyming story finds Penguin Blue and his friends going on a glorious adventure ... but they really want to get home. The illustrations are crammed with detail and some wonderfully depicted animals. This is Rob Biddulph's first book and it's a wonderful debut - I very much look forward to seeing what comes next.

Lucky by David Mackintosh

When Mum announces that we’re having a surprise at dinner tonight, my brother Leo and I can’t help but wonder…What could it BE? Mum says we’ll have to wait and see, but Leo and I have some ideas of our own… some very unlikely! A happy celebration of family life, in a story all about the benefits of brothers, and what it really means to be lucky… With gloriously quirky and perceptive illustrations to complement the story, this is great fun.

Kipper's Toybox by Mick Inkpen

Who could have nibbled a hole in Kipper's toybox? And why does he have too many toys? Or is that too few toys? Oh dear, poor Kipper seems to be having a bit of trouble with his counting. So he decides to sit on watch and see who the culprit is... and he gets a big surprise! A simple and utterly charming story about one of childhood's favourite characters.

The Clockwork Dragon by Jonathan Emmett

Max has a new job - to rid the town of the ferocious dragon named Flamethrottle, who terrorises all the inhabitants. With his friend Lizzie, they come up with a good idea and they create something quite terrifying and it nearly succeeds... Luckily, Flamethrottle inadvertently comes to their aid! It's a hilarious story with lots of cleverly humorous touches to delight. With fascinating detailed illustrations by Elys Dolan, this is a lovely story of a ferocious dragon being vanquished.

Your Hand in My Hand by Mark Sperring

Aah - I just love the picture on the cover of this book; a big mouse and a little mouse, hand in hand, setting out together... This gentle story starts at the beginning of the year (the snowdrops are out)and through a series of delicate seasonal drawings, we follow the two mice (maybe they are best friends, maybe they are adult and child - make of it what you will) on a journey through the year. Accompanying verses show how important the relationship as, as the pair marvel at the wonders of nature. It's gentle and thoughtful and beautifully illustrated. Plenty to share and enjoy with your child and a lovely opportunity to discuss the changes that take place through the year.

The Queen's Orang-Utan (Comic Relief) by David Walliams

An inspired pairing bring you... a bored queen... a birthday wish... an outrageous orang-utan. Everything’s about to go bananas! The Queen wants something a bit different for her birthday - an orang-utan! But will she regret her choice? Perhaps not, in a surprise ending. This anarchic book will have children in fits of laughter as they meet a hilarious cast of somewhat familiar characters. The illustrations by Tony Ross are brilliant - full of fun yet very recognisable. "Written by David Walliams as an exclusive children’s picture book especially for Comic Relief – David will be giving all of his proceeds from the book to the charity. The illustrator, Tony Ross, will waive his royalties and HarperCollins UK will also donate all profits from the publishing of the book – at least £3 from each copy sold will go to Comic Relief."

Sunshine Brightens Springtime (Springtime Weather Wonders) by Charles Ghigna

A perfect book to cheer you up during long winter days or at the start of spring. Happy rhyming text flows through the book, highlighting all the good things about spring - trees and leaves, sunshine and shadows, warmth and showers. Each is accompanied by a cheerful picture of happy creatures enjoying the spring - all with a bright yellow/orange feel to reflect the advent of spring. A lovely book to share with young ones.

Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz

This delightful story carries a strong message about not being afraid to be different, and how being different pays dividends. Raffi is a quiet and thoughtful boy who is often teased - and more than ever, when he decides to knit a scarf as a present for his dad. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem – no costume for the prince. And that’s when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all – to make a prince’s cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi’s cape is the star of the show. An excellent way to encourage children to stand up for what they want to do and not to give in to stereotyping. A lovely celebration of a supportive family too, and all enhanced by the colourful drawings.

Twinkle by Katharine Holabird

A really eye-catching, very pink, cover covered with sparkles will instantly draw little girls to this book which introduces a new star from the creator of Angelina Ballerina. Twinkle is about to start school - a very special school. It's her first day at The Fairy School of Magic and Music and she's looking forward to making spells like all the big fairies. But it's not as easy as she though and poor Twinkle keeps forgetting the magic words and her spells go from bad to worse, especially one disastrous night. Luckily, Miss Flutterbee is there to help out and soon things get better. A well thought-out story, fun to read and with an underlying message about the value of perseverance. Friendship is a key element of the book too, as are the sparkling illustrations.

Ten Little Princesses by Mike Brownlow

"Ten little princesses going to the ball..." is the start of this clever rhyming story. On their adventurous journey to the ball, the little princesses meet all manner of fairytale characters set to waylay them... will they arrive safely? Children will love to spot the references, in text and picture, to well-loved fairytales and the pictures are packed with lots to spot and enjoy. There's a lovely modern twist in the tale of this infectious story - it's a real delight. The red foiled cover is really eye-catching too  - a great way to capture interest.

Mummy's Little Sunflowers by Angela McAllister

Scurry is excited - he has a special sunflower seed he is going to grow just for Mummy... but, oh dear, Scamp has eaten it. Poor Scurry - and poor Scamp too. Scamp tries to help his big brother find a sunflower so they can collect the seeds. Trouble is, sunflowers are VERY tall so they need some help from a friendly cow. And the two brothers are very impatient... but they come up with the perfect answer and Mummy is thrilled. A gentle and touching story about siblings working together and having fun together even when things seem to go wrong. Alison Edgson's bold bright illustrations are always a delight.

Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox by Julia Donaldson

Princess Mirror-Belle is aleady a much-loved fiction favourite and now we have the pleasure of reading about her in the popular picture book format illustrated by Julia Monks. Ellen gets a big shock when her double appears out of the bathroom mirror, but Mirror-Belle is a double with a difference! She is a princess, and a mischievous one at that. She is sure that Ellen's chicken pox is actually dragon pox - and she is full of ideas about how to make the spots disappear. It's wonderful fun! Girls will immediately be attracted by the stunning glittery cover and the glittery theme continues through all the wonderfully detailed collage-style pictures which are just full of fun and life.

Eat Your Greens, Goldilocks: A Story About Eating Healthily by Steve Smallman

I like the way that much of this story is the same as the original but changes when the Three Bears come home, to introduce a gentle air of suspense. Will they eat Goldilocks? No, because they only eat healthy food! It's great fun and attractively illustrated. This new series from QED, which very much follows the format of their successful Storytime series, takes much-loved fairytales and gives them a new moral, based on healthy living. Each book features 'Next Steps' which give plenty of stimulating discussion points. One of the best of the popular new versions of traditional tales.

Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf: A Story About Spreading Germs by Steve Smallman

Another humorous story which takes a gentle approach towards teaching key concepts around good health. Big Bad is really a very friendly - and well brought-up - wolf. When he sees that the little pigs have tissues, he very politely asks for one - but perhaps you can guess what happens when he refuses? There's a lovely twist in the end of the tale which is very cleverly written. I love it! This is a superb series, especially useful for the infant classroom. Each book combines an enjoyable retelling of a fairytale with a message about healthy living, put across in a friendly and gently way that will really spread the message about not spreading germs!

I Love Mum by Joanna Walsh

Smiles, games, baking, walking out and lots more things in a fun-filled day with mum. And there is nothing better than doing all these things with mum. A charming celebration about the love of a mother and her little ones - in this instance, a tiger and her cubs. A warm-hearted story perfect for a comforting and reassuring bedtime read about families, and for mums and children everywhere to share.

Best Lowly Worm Book Ever by Richard Scarry

Wonderful! The paperback edition of a newly discovered Richard Scarry book - the first for more than 20 years. Drawn and written by Richard Scarry and completed by his son, Huck Scarry, this beautiful book is packed with charm, humour and delightful pictures, all with the wonderful detail for which the author is renowned. Many of his well-loved characters are here - enjoy a day in the life of Lowly Worm, Lowly on the farm, a day at school, cars and trucks, planes and trains, numbers and a fun Where’s Lowly section - there's even a good manners section! A lovely book that will make a perfect gift - share this with your child and you will find endless opportunities for discussion. It's wonderfully imaginative, lively and full of variety.

The First Hippo on the Moon by David Walliams

Two big hippos dream of going to the moon... but which one will get there first? Find out in this hilarious picture book which unites the story-telling skills of David Walliams with the illustrative talent of Tony Ross. What a combination! On the one hand, we have super-rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and on the other we have... Sheila (plus some friends). Not deterred, Sheila makes plans but the ambitious hippo meets a few challenges on the way, like the rainy season which delays things by a whole five months. But guess what happens when she reaches the moon... A truly hilarious story with plenty to keep children (and adults) giggling throughout - and to remind us all that we should THINK BIG.

A Day at the Fire Station by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry's lively detailed illustrations cannot fail to charm. It's chaos at the fire station with Drippy and Sticky the house painters coming in to paint the Busytown Fire Station. The accident-prone decorators are soon in trouble, with a pink fire engine being just one of their mishaps. Full of fun and with a tremendous amount of detail to spot in the pictures, this is a great way to find out what happens at the fire station - and what shouldn't happen! With so much going on and the hilarious mishaps, this is a book which can't fail to appeal.

One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth

This is a special edition of the first story in the much-loved Percy the Park Keeper series and it introduces us to a wonderful cast of characters - characters who have been much-loved by children for an amazing 25 years. Percy always feeds the animals in his park where he lives but one snowy night his animal friends need more than food - they need shelter too. One by one they appear, shivering on his doorstep, asking for shelter. Soon there is no room in the bed for Percy but a surprise visitor has them all scurrying for shelter. The animals are beautifully portrayed and their expressions are wonderful! There's a pull out surprise at the end too. A book to cherish and share.

Bing Hide and Seek

Bing and his friends are stars of a popular TV series which introduces toddlers to the ups and downs of every day life. These friendly characters are just right for young children to identify with and they will help them cope with every day life. Today, Bing and his friend are playing hide and seek and Bing knows he needs the toilet but playing is just too much fun to miss... with the inevitable result. Oh dear. Don’t worry Bing, it’s no big thing! In Big Slide (Bing), toddlers are encouraged to face up to a common fear - there's a new slide in the playground, but is Bing brave enough to go down it? By taking common issues and addressing them in story form, toddlers will be given confidence to cope. With stickers to enjoy too, these books are perfect for pre-schoolers who will enjoy the stories and the attractive look of the books.

Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

A bumper edition of five much-loved stories that have helped many a child learn to read - and learn the pleasure which is to be had from books. This large format book brings together five stories about Frog and Toad, great friends who are always there for each other. Enjoy A List, The Garden, Cookies, Dragons and Giants and The Dream - stories which have been loved by generations of children and which are now brought together for your child to enjoy. They are stories that have withstood the test of time with their emphasis on friendship and the lovable frogs, so charmingly illustrated,

Storytime: The Greedy Rainbow by Susan Chandler

QED's Storytime series brings together a superb range of stories for young readers, designed to give children a life-long love of reading. With over 40 books in the range, there is bound to be something to appeal to everyone. One greedy little rainbow causes lots of trouble in the forest when he takes all the colours from the animals and plants - and grows bigger and bigger; and the rainforest becomes grey. All the animals very very sad and the rainbow felt sad too; so sad that he cried great big colourful tears... with very amusing results! A delightful story. As with all QED's Storytime books, there is a 'Next Steps' section, full of ideas for teachers and parents to use alongside the book.

Storytime: The Snake Who Says Shhh... by Jodie Parachini

Seth slithers out of his hole and tries to say his first word, but all that comes out is 'Shhh'. The jungle animals think this is hilarious! But when it comes to deciding on a present for the young snake, the animals can't agree - and the noise gets louder and louder... but there's only one thing Seth wants and luckily, he knows just how to ask for it! This is a lovely story about making your wishes known, illustrated in bright colours and with some gorgeous animal characters. A worthy addition to QED's Storytime series, which goes from strength to strength.

George Goes Swimming (George toddler books) by Nicola Smee

The swimming pool can be quite a scary place for a toddler - noisy and busy. Here is the ideal book to share with your young one before going there, whether for lessons or just a splash-around with family. Join George who is off to the pool so that he can learn how to swim. His armbands are at the ready, and Mum is close by to help. With a bit of splashing, it's not long before George gets the hang of it. A gentle reassuring book, with illustrations offering plenty of opportunity to talk about what the pool is like and what will happen there.

Mr Benn: Spaceman by David Mckee

Bowler-hatted Mr Benn makes regular visits to a very special fancy dress shop - and each time, as he changes into costume, he has an amazing adventure. Many parents will love to see this familiar character and to share his adventures with their own children. This time, Mr Benn puts on a spacesuit and jets off to different amazing planets - one with jewels, one with no colour and one brightly coloured planet where everyone has to wear a hat! When Mr Benn and his spaceman friend realise they are lost, Mr Benn is very pleased to find the friendly shopkeeper - and to realise that Earth isn't too bad after all!

Anholt Family Favourites: Going to Nursery by Laurence Anholt

Is your little one a bit anxious about going to nursery? Don't worry - when they have read about all the exciting things that happen, they will start to look forward to it, even though it means leaving mum. This simply written story tells of Anna, off to nursery for the first time. She's not the only new child - she meets Tom who is also new. Lively pictures accompany the text, giving a realistic (yes, one child doesn't quite make it in time!) and reassuring picture of life at nursery. The pictures deserve special mention - such a key part of books for young ones, these are packed with engaging details for adult and child to discuss together.

The Dawn Chorus by Suzanne Barton

A perfect book for the spring! As the day begins, Peep hears a beautiful song - but where is it coming from? He looks for the source of the sound and finds... the Dawn Chorus. He's invited along for an audition but it just doesn't work out for him. But as he starts to sing alone that evening, he hears another beautiful song... A delightfully whimsical tale which stands out for the charming illustrations in soft pastel colours set against lovely creamy paper.And once you have shared this lovely book with your little one, take the time to go outside in the garden or to the park and just ... listen.

Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood

Mr Bear lives alone in the middle of nowhere - and that's just how he likes it. So he was very cross when a rabbit family built a house next door - and, even worse, they kept bothering him. Can they borrow honey? Could he help chop wood? Does he want to swap books? The rabbits just can't take a hint - in fact, they just respond with kindness. So much kindness that Mr Bear feels guilty. This is a lovely heart-warming tale of friendship and perseverance - it really does show the power of kindness and leaves you with a lovely warm glow as you remember the happy pictures of Mr Bear playing with his new best friends.

Sardines of Love (Child's Play Library) by Zuriñe Aguirre

What an eyecatching title - you just have to pick the book up to find out what it's all about! Grandmother Lola hates sardines, but Grandfather Lolo loves them so much that he eats them every day! When she runs out of sardines, Lola can’t bear to think of Lolo going without, so she sets off to catch some - with unexpected results! What on earth will Lola eat when she discovers that sardines are the only food on offer? And what will Lolo do when he finds out that his beloved Lola is missing? A quirky and entertaining story which shows the power of love.

A Monster's Moved in! by Timothy Knapman

It's raining but imaginative Barnaby has a great idea - he's going to make a den. It's a very cosy den but Barnaby is lonely on his own. So he wishes a monster would move in - and lo and behold, his wish comes true! Luckily, he's a friendly monster and, even better, he has an imagination as good as Barnaby's, so the two have a wonderful time together. The twist in the tail at the end of the story is just wonderful... Have this book ready for the next rainy day and share the entertaining story and hilarious illustrations with your child - then let their imagination take over. Don't miss the pictures - they are full of delight.

The Great Cheese Robbery by Tim Warnes

Patrick Elephant is scared of lots of things but his daddy isn't scared of anything... or is he? One day, an imposter comes along, claiming to be a cheese inspector - but really, he is after the cheese for himself and his friends. When they try to confiscate the fridge ( and lots more besides), can Patrick come to the rescue? The answer to that is... No, I'm not telling you because that will spoil the end of this hilarious book. It's a gorgeous story, with lovely bright and lively illustrations; a story that will become a firm favourite, especially with mums!

Stanley the Farmer (Stanley the Hamster) by William Bee

This is one of my favourite series - Stanley is cute and adorable, and he is depicted in all sorts of scenarios which will interest young children. There is always work to be done on the farm - and Stanley is sowing the seeds. He needs to look after them to make them grow, and then he needs to harvest his crop. A simply told story which explains the crop cycle in carefully selected language accompanied by simple but descriptive pictures. In Stanley's Garage, the busy little hamster has lots of cars to repair in his garage - and, as always, at the end of a busy day, it's time for bed. Share these charming stories at your child's bedtime.

Littleland: All Year Round by Marion Billet

Littleland is a lovely world where everyone is always busy and always happy. Peopled by an enchanting cast of characters, there is always something happening. In this book, the children of Littleland are off on journeys all around the country, following the course of the year. It's an excellent way to help young children put the course of the year into context - at Easter, they go to the countryside, in summer, they visit the beach and in winter they play in the snow. Each page has a brief story text and colourful pictures with lots of things to spot. This delightful celebration of the changing seasons has lots to offer children and they will have plenty of fun reading, looking and discussing.

Dinosaur Rocket by Penny Dale

This is a new book in an action-packed series which has a group of colourful dinosaurs enjoying all sorts of unlikely adventures. Now our intrepid dinosaurs have set their sights on an out of this world adventure - they are off to the moon. The wonderful text simply races you through the book and the superb language makes the book a real joy to read aloud. On their journey, the dinosaurs travel in many different vehicles, making the story a brilliant combination of vehicles and dinosaurs. It's an inspired combination, and enthusiasts will find the vehicles and the dinosaurs named in back and front page spreads. The illustrations are beautifully done and full of detail to enjoy. Superb.

Kipper's Little Friends by Mick Inkpen

Wonderful - a new Kipper story. Kipper has been delighting children - and their parents - for 25 years and now we can ensure that a whole new generation of children will grow up knowing Kipper and his faithful friends. Kipper and Arthur are talking about baby animals. If a baby pig is a piglet, a baby owl must be an owlet and a baby frog a froglet... and then it's time to go off to the park to see what babies they can find. But poor Small Grey Fluffy Owl has an unexpected swim... Kipper and Arthur learn more names - but what is a baby dog called? Another super book - a worthy addition to its predecessors.

Cinderella (Fairytales) by Ed Bryan

The traditional story we know and love is here, excellently told with all the familiar elements. What makes this re-telling really stand out are the stunning pictures which will really appeal to today's audience. Vividly coloured, full of fascinating details and perfectly matched to the text, they feature super characters with the most delightfully expressive faces. Text and pictures combine to make this a perfect introduction to the fairytale for young readers.

Poka and Mia at the Bottom of the Garden by Kitty Crowther

This series of books has two very unusual stars - Poka and Mia are insects (but very cute and adorable insects). Mia is exploring the garden when she sees something move; next day, she decides to investigate and finds there is a sick spider living at the bottom of the garden. Warm-hearted Mia takes the spider home - and even teaches him to knit. With a charmingly old-fashioned feel, this is a lovely story which reflects caring family values . The illustrations are lovely - just look at the knitting - complete with extra sleeves for the spider. Unusual and very appealing - look out for more in the series.

Pom Pom Gets the Grumps (Pom Pom Panda) by Sophy Henn

We've all been there, haven't we? That day when we get out of bed the wrong side and everything goes wrong. When Pom Pom Panda wakes up in a bad mood one morning, that is just what happens. As his bad day progresses, things go from bad to worse. But when Pom Pom finds all his friends playing elsewhere, he thinks again... Every parent of a toddler will identify with this book - and every toddler will too, especially when they are NOT in a bad mood - or maybe it will just bring them out of their mood (it's worth a try). It's so well written and illustrated and you can't but love Pom Pom who is quite adorable despite his mood. Simple but very effective - and highly enjoyable.

The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past by Tom Fletcher

Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing; when we have had a couple of superb books in a series, it can be hard to keep up the standard - happily the creators of this series have maintained their high standard and brought us another hilarious story. When they accidental go back through history on a time-travelling swing, Danny and Dinosaur meet some new dino friends. But this time there are some rather BIG rumblings - and there's only one thing that will get them away in time - guess what? Wondrously inventive and fast-paced, this is another gem. This is an extra-special edition as it also includes a CD read superbly by the authors.

Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen

Wonderful! This is a guaranteed source of endless fascination - with so many different animals to create, children will never get tired of this book. This spiral bound super-sized book allow children to mix-and-match to make over 1000 amazing creatures. Not just pictures - the text is equally cleverly written so that it creates the most hilarious pieces of nonsense. This imaginative book is sure to have children (and quite possibly adults) in fits of giggles. I wish I would show you the pictures, but as I can't, here's the description of the rare plunkfim - 'Once described as looking like hot water bottles, these animals exude a poisonous slime that repels any would-be predator. Encased in armour, they're found accidentally imported among bunches of bananas.' Isn't that wonderful? I urge you to get a copy of this superb book and have fun.

Don't Chew the Royal Shoe by Kate Leake

Oh dear - Chips the Royal Dog is always getting into trouble. He doesn't want to be naughty - after all, he only ever takes one shoe from a pair but he just can't resist shoes, from the princess's glass slipper to the gardener's wellingtons. Just when it seemed that Chips was in total disgrace he redeems himself by capturing a burglar - by by chewing his boots, of course, and suddenly he's a Royal Doggy Hero! A hilarious story with lots of clever twists and hugely entertaining illustrations - so much here to pore (or should that be chew) over and enjoy. A right royal book.

Construction by Sally Sutton

A wonderful read-aloud celebration of the world of big machines and the work they do. Following the highly successful Roadworks and Demolition, this time we follow the machines as they dig the ground and build a big new library for everyone to share. As well as bright and dramatic pictures packed with details to enjoy, we are treated to some wonderful sounds - Slip! Slap! Thud! Wizz! Zizz! Roar! Glug! Glop! Gloop! Perfect for young readers to join in. The book even includes a pictorial glossary of all the machines so children can find out more. Great fun!

Who's In My Family?: All About Our Families by Robie Harris

Nellie and Gus are off to the zoo with their parents for a day at the zoo. They learn that there are families, both animal and human, wherever they go. The book makes excellent use of all the opportunities offered to discuss families in all their variety, and the pictures expand on the theme, giving plenty of prompts for further discussion. After a fun day out, Nellie and Gus invite friends and relatives for a big dinner at home and this offers even more opportunities to talk about families and how they care for each other even though they are all different. The book conveys a lovely warm view of family life and the lively story will engage young readers as it teaches them about acceptance despite differences of all kinds. Who's In My Family? is part of a new picture book series for young children called Let's Talk About You and Me - the books will be excellent for use in supporting the curriculum in the Early Years classroom

The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty by Karla Strambini

'There once was a man named Norman Qwerty whose ideas were far from ordinary...' Thus begins a wonderful celebration of the individual and hos powers of invention. Mr Qwerty is sure nobody will be interested in his ideas, but eventually they simply explode out of him and he just has to share them. Children are encouraged to follow Mr Qwerty's example - believe in their ideas and go out and share them. A quirky illustrated story which is full of weird and wonderful inventions - take plenty of time to absorb the pictures in all their wonder and you will be amazed! An unusual story and one to ponder over and learn from.

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka

This unusual book really caught my eye - just imagine letting a child loose on a book with a pencil and instructions to doodle and write just as they like, and you have Battle Bunny. Alex isn't at all impressed with a soppy picture book called Birthday Bunny, so he turns it into something he'd actually like to read. From a cuddly bunny travelling through the forest Alex uses his powerful imagination to turn the story into a secret mission to unleash an evil plan. Cleverly done, you can read the original and the new story together.

When Angus Met Alvin by Sue Pickford

Angus is a gentle alien who loves growing things in his space garden. Alvin is a completely different character - a cocky and boastful alien. But gentle Angus shows his mettle when he decides to teach his visitor some manners after Alvin ruins his lovingly-tended garden. His trick has surprising consequences, hilariously depicted in fun-packed illustrations. When Alvin starts to be helpful, the trick gradually reverses.... perhaps they can be friends after all. A humorous story about friends and working things out together, with a surprise at the end.

Daisy's Big Dig by Angie Morgan

This is the story of Daisy, a big-hearted little girl who decides to get all the street working together to help one old man dig his garden. How will she do that, when everyone keeps themselves to themselves and all are very different. But when Mr Hofmeister falls ill, Daisy is determined to help him out and get the neighbours involved. She has a very crafty way to get everyone interested - she sends out invitations hinting at buried treasure. And do they find treasure? Well, that would be telling - but suffice to say that this is a really happy and positive story about the good that even young ones can do if they put their minds to it. A lesson to us all, beautifully told and illustrated.

Badger and the Great Storm by Suzanne Chiew

This beautifully illustrated hardback book will delight all young fans of animal stories. Badgers have always lived under the old oak tree but when a terrible storm arrives, caring Badger works hard to keep his friends safe. But what about his own home? When disaster strikes, all Badger's friends rally round and soon Badger has a lovely new home. This lovely story about friendship, illustrated with some adorable animals, is perfect for snuggling up and reading on a cold or stormy night. It's warm, cosy and reassuring.

Paddington at the Palace by Michael Bond

Paddington is at Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard, but there are so many people in the way he can’t see a thing. Paddington spots a figure at the window - could it be...? Then the lovable little bear gets a very special invitation. It seems that even the highest in the land can't resist the little bear! It's a charming story with the added interest of learning (a little) about the Changing of the Guard. It would make a lovely souvenir of a trip to London.

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat just can't stop singing - and nor will your child once you have downloaded the free sing-along song! Even though Pete the Cat is at a brand-new school and in some very special shoes, the singing doesn't stop. Join Pete as he finds all the new places at his new school and sings wherever he goes. A funny and feel-good book with an irrepressible hero who children will love. Children will revel in the repetitive text and the lively illustrations - and when you and Pete have finished, you can do it all again!

Alfie and Grandma by Shirley Hughes

I can't get enough of Shirley Hughes' books and I can't wait to share this with my grandchildren - they love her books as much as I do. This very special collection of three stories is one for grandmothers and grandchildren to keep as their very special book to share. The stories are a wonderful celebration of a very special relationship; Alfie and Grandma are very special friends and share lots of adventures. Whether it’s saving the day and finding a lost pet, or exploring indoors and out, Alfie loves being with his grandma. The situations are familiar to children and they can really relate to the experiences and the way they are told. The drawings are absolutely timeless and capture the spirit of the stories to perfection. Perfection in a picture book.

Space Dog by Mini Grey

Spacedog has been away on a long and lonely mission, sorting out some out-of-this-world problems. Before he can go home, he must go the rescue of... an Astrocat! Astrocats and Astrodogs are sworn enemies, though... and then they find a common enemy, an Moustronaut also. Can the three learn to work together? This hilarious and zany story with its weird and wonderful situations is full of laughs - and wonderful illustrations. Great fun.

Very Little Cinderella by Teresa Heapy

I love the concept of twisted fairy tales - children know all the traditional tales so well and the variations bring new life to them, making them appealing and contemporary. Very Little Cinderella is... very little. And she's very well-meaning if not very tidy. So when the Ugly Sisters come home, they tell her to clean up and that they are off to a party. Very Little Cinderella is quite determined to go to and she usually gets her own way. Very Little Cinderella speaks to us in a child's voice with a child's speech and young ones will really respond to this; it's cleverly and wittily done. A super contemporary take on the old favourite with plenty of humour.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Children may well be familiar with this much-loved tale but will enjoy this fresh and lively re-telling with its dramatic and atmospheric illustrations. The Selfish Giant has a beautiful garden, but he won't let any of the children play in it. But then Winter comes and never leaves, until the giant learns the power of love and lets the children - and Spring - into his garden. This timeless story has been beautifully interpreted in picture and text by Alexis Deacon to bring us a worthy addition to the books based on the story.

Roo the Roaring Dinosaur by David Bedford

Meet Roo, a lovable little dinosaur who is playing with his beloved moomie (his comfort blanket - and we all know how important they are!) when a woolly mammoth floats down in a hot-air balloon. They have a lovely time together but Wooly must get home so Roo saves the day by giving the mammoth a piece of his precious comfort blanket to mend the balloon. A delightful story about kindness and sharing with THE most gorgeous characters.

Oliver and Patch by Claire Freedman

Oliver has just moved to the big city and he's finding it a sad and lonely place. One day, wandering the streets alone (as children can do in storyland!) he finds a little lost dog. They have a wonderful day together but Oliver knows in his heart that this can't last - someone, somewhere will be missing Patch. Sadly, Oliver sets out to find Patch's owner but it takes a while... Then, one day, Patch finds his owner - but instead of losing a friend, Oliver finds he has made one. A touching and heartwarming story, with lovely illustrations and a positive message.

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer

What is the blue monster on the hill, wonder all the animals. They all agree it has no place on their beautiful and peaceful hill so in turn the foxes, wolves, warthogs and even the bears try to scare it away, all to no avail. But then wise owl suggests sending the smallest creatures in - success! This is just brilliant to read aloud, with all the wonderful sounds and language for children to share. The delicate illustrations perfectly capture the beauty of nature in wondrous variety and superb attention to detail - each is a work of art in its own right. A beautiful book to treasure and enjoy over and over again.

Aren't You Lucky!: A New Baby Story by Laurence Anholt

A new baby is exciting and very much to be looked forward to - except perhaps for its older sibling who fears his or her very important place in the family may be usurped. Of course, we know that's not the case but it's up to us as adults to comfort and reassure - and here is just the book to help! We meet one older sibling whose initial anxieties are quelled with love and understanding and who learns that having a baby brother or sister can be truly magical - aren't they lucky! It's a book to have by you right through pregnancy as it covers the whole period up to going into hospital and bringing the new baby home - a reassuring book to have with you throughout the exciting journey, to help older ones.

Blown Away (Penguin Blue) by Rob Biddulph

It's a windy day and Penguin Blue and his friends are off to fly a brand new kite. But, as we know, kites have a mind of their own and soon Penguin Blue and his friends are soaring into the sky. With a bit of ingenuity, the friends finally make it back to solid ground - or should that be ice? It's a lovely story which takes a much-loved format and makes it fresh and new. The rhyming text flows through the clever and imaginative pictures and it's a story which brings something fresh on every reading. The highly detailed and gorgeously coloured pictures are full of fun and adults will get great pleasure out of sharing this book with children.

Hugo the Hare's Rainy Day by Jez Alborough

Hugo the Hare hates getting wet so he makes sure his umbrella is with him. But he's a friendly little hare and doesn't like to see Billy the Goat getting wet - but have you ever tried to share an umbrella? Billy has a clever idea and all is well until the friends spy Nat the Cat and then... disaster! Or is it... A fun story of friendship, sharing and having fun, all told in catchy rhyming text with lots of sounds to encourage children to join in. There's a song to enjoy at the end too.

Hermelin: The Detective Mouse by Mini Grey

Offley Street is a street a-buzz with activity - it's also a street where lots of things go missing. And that's where Hermelin comes in. A little detective work, a few typed notes and everything is restored to its rightful owner - he even rescues the baby. Everyone is very grateful and they arrange a party for the mystery detective - but when they find out he is a mouse, it all goes horribly wrong for Hermelin. Luckily, help is on hand. The pictures are full of detail and repay very close attention. This is an utterly delightful book, packed with quirky text and illustrations and really unusual. I love it and I hope others do too.

Oi Frog! by Kes Gray

All creatures have their own places to sit - cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs - so, naturally, frogs should sit on logs. But not this frog - he says logs are uncomfortable and ants to try something different. A hilarious rhyming story which has animals sitting on more and more unlikely things, all in the interests of rhyme. There's a twist in the end, when frog asks what dogs sit on... I will leave you to work that one out for yourself!!! Quirky and amusing, perfectly pitched for young children, this is great fun and the bold use of colour adds another dimension to its appeal.

Mine! by Jerome Keane

Horse and Fox are bored - nothing had happened for ages. But then a 'thing' drops down in front of them - who will have it? Finally, they decide to share - but too late, as its rightful owner retrieves it. Luckily, along comes another plaything and this time they know just what to do... The pictures appear quite simple but look closely and there's lots to enjoy. Simple text combine well with the bright stylised illustrations to make this an excellent book to - guess what! - share with your child and convey this all-important message in a fun and effective way - it's irresistible.

100 Things That Make Me Happy by Amy Schwartz

This feel good book illustrates 100 everyday things worth celebrating. Everything is relevant to the pre-schoolers' world, with action-packed pictures clearly set out against a plain white background which gives full emphasis to picture and text. The simple engaging text just names the things, but cleverly does so in rhyming couplets making this a lovely book to read aloud and share. This lovely book with its celebration of all the simple things which bring us pleasure is positive and upbuilding; a wonderful springboard for discussion at home or at school. It offers so many opportunities and will leave adults and children feeling positive and appreciative of all the wonderful things which surround us.

Daniel O'Dowd Was Ever So Loud (The Ever So Series) by Julie Fulton

If you want a series of wonderful books which are perfect - and great fun - to read aloud, then you need Julie Fulton's brilliant Ever So series. Everyone wants to get out of the way when Daniel O'Dowd comes on the scene - he is so VERY loud. But one day, on a class visit to Professor McWhizzit's house, the professor sends Daniel into space to save the world. The trouble is, Daniel is a typical boy and he doesn't listen to the instructions about getting back again... will he come down to earth? Children love to hear rhymes and rhyming text is a superb way to encourage them to enjoy language. A super book to read aloud and share.

Mine! by Sue Heap

Sharing - a perennial issue for young children and one that is tackled gently and humorously in this delightful story about a little girl who loves all her toys - her blankie, her bear, her bunny and her bird. "Mine!" she says. So what will happen when Baby Joe and twins Zack and Jack want to join in? At first, Amy won't share - but then she sees the joy Baby Joe gets from the baby bird and realises that sharing is a good thing. A perfect story for nurseries, reception classes and for home.

Preposterous Rhinoceros by Tracy Gunaratnam

It's bedtime and the animals are waiting (all dressed ready for bed!) for their bedtime story - but King Lion has lost his voice. Never mind - Preposterous Rhinocerous will step into the breach - trouble is, he doesn't know how to read. Aided by his friends, he tries all sorts of hilarious ideas but it's only when Shy Salamander comes on the scene and helps him learn to read, that all turns out well. This humorous story is just perfect to share with a child who is learning to read.

Mighty Small by Timothy Knapman

Max Small is mighty small but he has a mighty big secret. He's a superhero... or is he? When we meet Max, he has decided to hang up his cape and stop being a superhero. But when he circus animals steal gold from the bank, Max is back in action, with his battle cry of 'Baddie pants, beware!'. An action-packed story has Max chasing the robbers and just as it looks as though they might get away, an unexpected twist has the robbers at his mercy. Vividly coloured illustrations capture the excitement of the story and the language is perfect for reading aloud with lots of opportunities for children to join in.

Robopop by Alice Hemming

Dylan and Daisy wish their dad was the same as all the other dads. Dad is an inventor, so one day he invents Ro-Bo-Pop and leaves Dylan and Daisy in his care. Ro-Bo-Pop can do everything all the other dads do, but he is missing a vital element - the love and care shown by their real dad. Robopop is an excellent story about valuing the things that make each one of us special and unique. Children will love the robot, and the lovely clear illustrations make him so realistic they may be inspired to make their own robot!

One Year With Kipper by Mick Inkpen

Kipper has become a much-loved children's classic since he first hit our bookshelves 25 years ago. This story has been reissued to celebrate Kipper's 25 years and it's the perfect way to introduce new readers to Kipper and his friend Tiger. Each month, Kipper takes a seasonal photo and the text tells us about what happens in that month. This is a lovely way to encourage children to make their own scrapbook diary of a year, as well as to learn about the changing seasons. The lively pictures offer lots of detail to spot and enjoy together, with plenty of talking points and a perfect reflection of each month. The book starts with Kipper promising not to throw snowballs at Tiger, but his resolution doesn't last long; the story is cleverly rounded off at the end as the friends look back over a happy year.

The Dog Detectives in an American Adventure: 4 by Zoa

Detective Jack and Deputy Poco Loco are cycling across America in another adventure. seeing some famous sites. Miss Imogen is lost in San Francisco and wants to get back to New York. Our helpful duo offer to take her back... but do they really know the way? Detective Jack claims to know the shortcuts but instead they find themselves on a tour of America - and we share in their unintentional sightseeing through the vivid pictures which give a super snapshot of the places they find themselves in. Will they get Miss Imogen back safely? A well told story which a lovely introduction to America - with plenty of extra facts at the end too.

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Steve Antony has a wonderful sense of humour (which he showed us in The Queen's Hat) and it really hits the mark for children - and adults. The illustrations are superb - who would have thought the back view of a panda could be so very expressive? Panda has a trayful of brightly coloured doughnuts which he offers to the animals one by one - but then he changes his mind. Why, you may ask? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out, but I'll give you a clue - when Lemur comes along and says 'Please Mr Panda' he gets them all. A lovely story.

15 Things Not to Do with a Baby by Margaret McAllister

Wonderful - a new baby. But don't forget there are a few simple rules to follow. Don't play the trumpet when the baby's trying to sleep. Don’t lend your baby to a kangaroo, plant your baby in the garden, or take to school with you – and definitely don’t send your baby to play with an elephant! Just look at the super illustrations to see the consequences of ignoring this good advice! There are, however, plenty of things you should do and this lively book shows the toddler and baby enjoying them together. A perfect gift for an older sibling with a new baby in the family.

The Four Little Pigs by Kimara Nye

FOUR little pigs? Surely not! This is a clever and humorous twist on the old favourite. Tom is staying with his granny - but she's no ordinary granny; Tom’s granny is a witch. So when Tom says that the Three Little Pigs story is boring, Granny uses a spell to send him right into the story. Is Tom clever enough to avoid being eaten by the big bad wolf? Children will love to recognise the familiar elements whilst enjoying the quirky take on the story which gives it a while new appeal.

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