Book reviews - fiction age 2 to 5 (page 26)

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.

Pugicorn by Matilda Rose

Who could resist the gorgeous character on the front of this book - or the pretty glittery cover? Unfortunately, this year, Princess Ava has arrived too late to pick the perfect unicorn pet from Mrs Paws' Magic Pet shop to pick a perfect unicorn pet. The only one left is PUGICORN, and he's far from the dream unicorn. He's short and hairy. He can't sit still or gallop gracefully - and he certainly can't leap over rainbows. Can a pugicorn ever be a princess's best friend? Beautifully illustrated by Tim Budgen, this is a lovely story of acceptance and loyalty.


Kevin is no ordinary slug despite how he appears by day, because at night he becomes a fearless, shell-wearing Super Snail by night. Mind you, he does live an extraordinary life for a snail - he even has a butler and a very swish home! Despite this, Kevin must prove his worth to the legendary League of Heroes, using the power of slime! It's time for him to step up and avert disaster. Will he discover his true, slimy superpower and defeat the evil villain, Laser Pigeon? A hilarious story packed with humour on every page and superbly illustrated, with jokes a-plenty.

The Yum Yum Tree by Jonnie Wild

Here we are in the midst of a really tricky sticky situation. Baby monkey has climbed up the high, spiky, sticky trunk and can't get down. In this delightful story in the Five Flamingos series, all the animals have their own ideas for coaxing her back to her anxious mother, but the little monkey refuses to move. However, the flamingos have a cunning plan as always... Vibrantly illustrated by the wonderful Brita Granstrom, this is a lovely introduction to African animals, with royalties supporting wildlife conservation.

The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon​ by Alison Donald and Ariel Landy

This refreshing story takes a new perspective on the amazing achievement of the first moon landing. Ellie, an ordinary woman, is asked to lead a team of other talented seamstresses to make a spacesuit for the first moon landing. No one believes they can win, but they are determined to try - and this is a story of the truimph of determination and believing in yourself. This fascinating and little-known story is based on the incredible true story behind the spacesuit that astronauts wore on the first moon walk and the team of women who sewed it together.

Save the Day for Ada May by Elizabeth Dale

This truly interactive book needs the help of its young readers to tip, turn and shake the book in order to avoid catastrophe. Max and his little sister, Ada May, love feeding the ducks, and what could possibly go wrong? Young heroes will scream with laughteras all sorts of problems need resolving with actions to take. This is a wonderful story for adult and child to relish together; the perfect sharing book to encourage closeness. Delightfully illustrated by Patrick Corrigan.

Gerald the Lion by Jessica Souhami

This is a lovely warm-hearted book which is nothing like you'd expect from the title. One day, a big, bold lion called Gerald sets out in search of adventure... meeting hungry crocodiles, friendly giants and fire-breathing dragons on the way. But when he gets lost, there's just one thing he wants... Funny and reassuring, this beautifully crafted picture book is perfect for sharing, with gorgeous illustrations to enjoy.


A story about a star - what could be better at bedtime? A little girl finds an injured star beneath a tree, so she takes it home to look after it. She shares stories with it, makes it special snacks and tucks it into bed at night. As she cares for the star, so it glows brighter and brighter, until the time comes to let go... A heartwarming story about care and compassion, and knowing when it's time to let go, however sad that is. Beautifully illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw.


Another wonderfully imaginative story about best friends Monty the mouse and Sylvester the bear. They've been training for ages -well, 20 minutes at least, and now they're ready to blast off into outer space. Despite some misgivings on the part of their friends, the intrepid duo are not to be deterred Will they discover a new planet? Will they encounter alien life? It turns out it's not exactly an undiscovered planet, but their welcome is warm. When they get back, will their friends believe them? The wonderful illustrations full of fun and unexpected detail - I love the illustration of the spaceship which will surely stimulate children to create their own.


Mindfulness is very much a current phenomenon, with many schools and parents recognising its value in our hectic world. This book will be especially good for a relaxing bedtime read, or for sharing with young pupils during quiet time. It encourages children to explore their emotions, and poses questions to help them explain their feelings. There are simple activities included too, to help children focus. the beautiful illustrations by Katie Hickey reflect the peaceful nature of the book; there's plenty within the pictures to stimulate thoughts and conversation. This poetic story will encourage everyone to relax - adults too!

Elephants in the Custard by Samuel Langley-Swain

We know that children can find it hard to open up and share problems, and we also know that books can open up conversation, and that's what this book does successfully. When worry takes over and even the smallest of things turn into very big dramas for little minds, it gets harder - 'an elephant in the room' indeed...This story highlights the importance of mealtimes in particular being the perfect time to address those daily worries, learn more about our children and create magical family memories. Effectively written and delightfully illustrated by Jemma Banks, this is both fun and practical.

Don't Mess With a Princess by Rachel Valentine

A terrible ogre is on the loose and threatening the kingdom. But Thea, Juno and Leaf, three fiery princesses, arev more than a match for him. There are surprises galore in store in this empowering, funny, roller-coaster ride of an adventure . . . The wonderful illustrations by Rebecca Bagley and teeming with larger-than-life characters.

There's a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom by James Sellick

In a world that sometimes seems flooded with picture books, this one really stands apart. Based on the Greenpeace film that became a viral sensation, it's the story of a little girl and her orangutan friend. It presents this vital issue in an amazingly powerful way and is a story that will create powerful memories. Why does the orangutan keep shouting OOO! at the child's shampoo and her chocolate? It makes sense when Rang-tan explains that there are humans running wild in her rainforest, burning down trees so they can grow palm oil to put in products. Brought to life by Frann Preston-Gannon's vibrant illustrations, this is a very special picture book with a vital message to share. Extra pages at the back include information about orangutans and palm oil plus exciting ideas about how young readers can make a difference. A deeply significant book.

How Far Can a Kangaroo Jump? by Alison Limentani

This is a new addition to a hugely successful series exploring maths and numbers in very basic ways to help Foundation Stage / Key Stage One children build key skills. Have you ever wondered just how far animals can jump - from the kangaroo and the snow leopard to the grasshopper and the frog? An excellent way to stimulate learning.

Together We Can by Caryl Hart

Award-winning author and ilustrator Caryl Hart and Ali Pye have come together to create a beautifully fun-filled and vibrant picture book showing children forming friendships and displaying kindness and compassion. It's the perfect read to show children the importance of these qualities and will be a great asset for any classroom situation to promote discussion and empathy. It shows very effectively how important togetherness is in our world.

Mind Your Manners by Nicola Edwards

Children will love the jungle setting of this colourful book, which shows that good manners matter, wherever you are. The jungle is full of misbehaving animals, from messy monkeys to grumpy grizzly bears. But with the help of our quirky, memorable rhymes and adorable animal illustrations, your child will enjoy learning why it pays for pandas to say ‘please’, and how good manners make the world go round. Illustrator Feronia Parker-Thomas has made great use of the vibrancy of the jungle colours and the character-ful animals in her lovely drawings.

As We Grow... the Journey of Life by Libby Walden

In this stunning picture book, Richard Jones’ enchanting illustrations sensitively depict each stage of life and the journey of transformation that we undergo as we grow up. A book to encourage discussion.

What Wesley Wore by Samuel Lamgley-Swain

Being different is great and this thoughtful picture book shows children all about some of the many ways to be different and why we should celebrate it. In Westburrow Wood, everyone is expected to be the same, but Wesley the weasel wants to be different. Is there room for him? Ryan Sonderegger's lovely ilustrations beautifully depict a world of difference, with lots to spot and enjoy. A warm-hearted feel-good story.

Once Uopn A Bedtime by David Melling

There are lots of bedtime stories, but some are more perfect than others - and here we have the perfect story to send children off to sleep with happy thoughts. The sun was setting on Sleepy Street as Rabbit and the others began to yawn . . . Rabbit helps his friends get ready for bed in this adorable bedtime story. But when a strange noise turns out to be a sad monster they can't go to bed. Will they be able to cheer their new friend up before bedtime?

Let's All Creep Through Crocodile Creek by Jonny Lambert

Intrepid mouse leads a group of friends on a dangerous expedition - What’s that creeping through the crooked creek? Is it a crocodile? Eek! Watch out, Mouse! Young readers will love to spot the hidden crocodiles in this fabulously fun romp from the ever-popular author/illustrator, Jonny Lambert, with its delicate collage-style illustrations..

The Mole and the Hole by Brayden Kowalczuk

Why can't Mole get out of his hole? Every morning, he finds something blocking his way out from under the ground. Mole can’t understand it. After all, he’s never been any trouble to anyone. Has he? Find out whether Mole will ever get above ground again in this riotously funny story about how NOT to be a good neighbour, which is a great starter for discussion about thinking of others. I love the wonderfully quizzical expressions of the animals.

In Every House on Every Street by Jess Hitchman

In every house, on every street... there'ss laughter and tears, friends, family and love friends. This is a heartwarming celebration of homes . . . and all the families that make houses into homes with a real part With lots of opportunities for discussion, this story, with beautiful illustrations by by Lili la Baleine, gives lots of openings for discussion and sharing.

What Does An Anteater Eat? by Ross Collins

Imagine! Waking up hungry and not knowing what you eat! That's just the dilemma that faces poor Anteater, who just can't remember what he likes to eat. Baffled and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. But Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Maybe the ants will know - and maybe the answer isn't quite as obvious as you may think! THis is a wonderfully silly story, in the very best of ways and it's perfect to read aloud with lots of opportunities for listeners to join in.

The Boy Who Knew Nothing by James Thorp

The boy knows nothing - he knows that, because everyone tells him so. One day he discovers a strange creature in his parents' wardrobe and - surprise, surprise - he doesn't know what it is. The funny thing is that his mum and dad can't tell him either. Determined to identify his new friend, the boy who knows nothing sets out on a quest for information! A superbly surreal picture book.

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