Book reviews - Ladybird Books

Ladybird Books are known and loved the world over. For millions of people, they bring back the golden days of childhood - learning to read, discovering the magic of books, and growing up. I certainly have treasured memories of Ladybird books and so do my children. The very first Ladybird book ever was produced by a jobbing printer called Wills & Hepworth during the First World War. They have gone from strength to strength, always responding to the market and ensuring generations of children have grown up with Ladybird Books as part of their lives; today Ladybird produce wonderful apps alongside a huge variety of books. On this page you will find recent (2014 - 17) Ladybird Books - there are many more on the site. Follow Ladybird Books on Twitter @LadybirdBooks.

Go Jetters: Little Library

Meet the Go Jetters team in this handy little library containing four mini board books. The Go Jetters are four adventure-seeking superheros who explore places all around planet Earth. Xuli, Kyan, Lars and Foz are the four heroes and this chunky little box set has one book about each of them - a great way to introduce them to those who haven't watched the TV series yet. This is a perfect gift for preschoolers who will love the chunky mini format which is perfect for little hands, and the brightly coloured pictures. They all come in a tidy slip case.

123: A Ladybird Vintage Board Book

These books, to me, really cleverly combine the traditional feel of Ladybird Books with a layout that will definitely appeal to today's young children... and to parents and grandparents who will love to identify the familiar objects. The traditional pictures are set against brightly coloured backgrounds, and they are labelled with a clear font and include the numeral and number. This exceptional board book introduces young children to first numbers from 1-12, helping to teach both the shape of the numerals and the number words. Rounded edges and strong board pages make the book both safe and durable. A lovely book, beautifully presented.

ABC: A Ladybird Vintage Board Book

Introduce toddlers to the alphabet with this superbly presented board book which has everything a good ABC book should have - clear, engaging pictures, bright colours and a clear, child-friendly font. The pictures (as with the 123 book) are all from Ladybird Books of the 1950s. These books are perfect for parents and grandparents to share with children, as they offer so much opportunity to talk about the pictures, stimulating really good conversations. A bottle of ink, an old lorry, a postman in traditional uniform (complete with cap) - so much nostalgia! I love them and highly recommend the books.

In the Night Garden: Sleep Tight, Upsy Daisy

Children will love to read about Upsy Daisy, Igglepiggle and all the other friends from In the Night Garden in this colourful picture book. Upsy Daisy's having fun dancing, and she's not ready to go to bed yet. Come play with Upsy Daisy in the garden, along with all her friends who join in. Finally, Upsy Daisy finds her bed, with a little help from her friends and it's time to settle down to sleep. This is an ideal bedtime read for all fans of In the Night Garden, with plenty of action and a storyline that really draws the reader in.

The Fun Run - Readers Starter Level A

This simple story introduces children to the English language by using picture words. The first part of the story shows a picture in a circle with the word underneath; the accompanying large colourful picture show the story. The same pictures are then repeated in the second part of the book, accompanied by short sentences. There are plenty of activities included to help children's learning. Ladybird Readers is a graded reading series of traditional tales, popular characters, modern stories, and non-fiction, written for young learners of English as a foreign or second language. They have structured language progression that will help children develop their reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking skills. The five levels of Readers and Activity Books follow the CEFR framework (this book os pre-A1) and include language activities that provide preparation for the Cambridge English: Young Learners (YLE) Starters, Movers and Flyers exams.

Stories for Three-year-olds (CD)

Perfect for listening to in the car, this lively audio collection includes ten entertaining animal stories with fun music and sound effects. The stories are: Christine's Cornflakes, The Dirty Dinosaur, Cock-a-Doodle Croak!, The Race, Where's Teddy?, Stop it!, No Room for Panda, Nigel's Toothache, Whose Egg? and Indoor Sports. The CD is 33 minutes in total.

Stories for Four-year-olds

This is also perfect for journeys with children and this time the stories are a little longer, as suits the slightly older child. There are six animal stories in this collection - Ernest Takes a Ride; The Jumble Sale; Noisy Borman; Mervyn's Glasses; The Queue; The Up and Down Song. An enjoyable collection, well read by two different people, lasting 32 minutes.

Peppa Pig: The Family Computer - Read It Yourself with Ladybird Level 1

Ladybird Books have been synonymous with learning to read right through their history - nearly every child will have some memories of learning to read with Ladybird. Their books have been brought right up to date with popular characters and contemporary settings. Mummy Pig is working at home on the family computer but Peppa and George want to play 'Happy Mrs Chicken'. Can Daddy Pig come to the rescue and fix the frozen computer? The book ends with comprehension puzzles which are perfect to encourage discussion about the book. Schools will appreciate the inclusion of book band information - this is Book Band 5. Colourful illustrations will help children find clues to the story, and the carefully chosen, repetitive (but not boringly so!) text is ideal for new readers. "Each Read it yourself book is very carefully written to include many key, high-frequency words that are vital for learning to read, as well as a limited number of story words that are introduced and practised throughout. Simple sentences and frequently repeated words help to build the confidence of beginner readers and the four different levels of books support children all the way from very first reading practice through to independent, fluent reading. Each book has been carefully checked by educational consultants and can be read independently at home or used in a guided reading session at school. Further content includes comprehension puzzles, helpful notes for parents, carers and teachers, and book band information for use in schools." .

Topsy and Tim: Start School by Jean Adamson

Topsy and Tim are always finding fun adventures in the real world, and this story is reassuring for young children having first experiences of their own. In Topsy and Tim: Start School follow Topsy and Tim as they learn where to hang their coats, find out all about the classroom and make new friends. A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through 'first experiences', Topsy and Tim books have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy & Tim remain instantly recognisable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. Also available in a story sticker book for added interaction.

Topsy and Tim: Our Day clock book (Topsy & Tim) by Jean Adamson

The best way to start teaching children to tell the time is to relate it to the cycle of their day, and this book does just that. It follows Topsy and Tim from getting up at 7 in the morning, though the day until it's bedtime at 7 in the evening. As you read the story, children are encouraged to move the clock hands to show the correct time (this is pictured). On the last page, they can join Topsy and Tim at the weekend and look at some different times. The big hand on the clock clicks round in five minute movements very well, and the little hand can be moved to point correctly for hours and half hours. It's a simple and very effective first book about telling the time.

First Pencil Practice: Ladybird I'm Ready to Write Sticker Activity Book

Learning to write starts, not with letter formation, but with learning pencil control, and being able to copy and draw lines and shapes, as well as colouring in accurately. This book offers plenty of opportunity to practise their fine motor skills. The activities include drawing straight, wavy and zig-zag lines and patterns, colouring and keeping within the lines. Usefully - and something that is often overlooked - there is specific help and advice for left-handed writers. The extra activities in the centre of the book give children opportunities to show off their newly-acquired skills as they create cards, room labels and much more to share or keep - they can decorate them with the stickers too. This is an ideal way to develop first writing skills, making the activity fun and engaging whilst thoroughly covering the first steps to writing.

Wipe-Clean First Sums (Start School With Topsy & Tim) by Jean and Gareth Adamson

Wipe-clean books are ideal for teaching early skills - children don't need to have any concern about writing the wrong answer, and they can go back and re-do the pages at any time, thus honing their skills and building confidence as their work improves. This Topsy and Tim book comes with a special pen complete with eraser; children will enjoy seeing the popular pair throughout the book. Number bonds from 1-10 are introduced in the order that they are taught in schools; parents will be reassured to know that content has been approved by an educational consultant. This is always helpful, giving parents the confidence they are giving children the correct progression. Simple sums and interesting maths activities help to reinforce first adding and subtracting skills. Perfect to help support children learning to add and subtract single numbers at school, the extra practice this book gives will consolidate learning and give children confidence.

Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection CD

All the traditional favourites are here - although with an amazing 135 rhymes in total, you are almost bound to find a few you didn't know. Even when you do know the rhymes, often some of the words can be elusive - the very clear pronunciation and voices on this CD make the words very easy to hear. So the whole family can have fun learning the words and singing along to classic rhymes such as The Grand Old Duke of York, Incy Wincy Spider, Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, Little Bo Peep, Three Blind Mice, Baa Baa Black Sheep and many, many more. A classic collection, beautifully sung, and perfect for listening to in the car.

Ladybird Times Tables Audio Collection: I'm Ready for Maths

This CD is part of Ladybird's excellent 'I'm Ready for Maths' series. This is a great way to make learning tables fun and memorable as children learn and practise their times tables with the 22 songs. In line with current curriculum guidelines, all tables from 2-12 are covered in the order they are taught in school. The songs are catchy and easy to learn, and the CD includes a range of musical styles so children (and listening adults!) don't get bored. The format is approved by an experienced maths teacher and consultant. Learning tables can be a chore but it is absolutely essential, so make it as enjoyable as possible with the CD - songs really do make learning easy.

Ladybird Histories: The Battle of Hastings by Chris Baker

Starting with the background to the battle, the book explains how the battle started, how it progressed and what the outcomes were. The text is clear and easy to follow, complemented by excellent colour pictures which really show what the battle could have looked like, as well as showing key protagonists. A detailed timeline, a simple glossary, who's who and appropriate activities are all included, adding hugely to the value of the book and making it a good classroom resource. Places to visit and practical activities are also included. The importance of evidence in history is shown using information from the Bayeux Tapestry (many pictures from the Tapestry are included) and historical documents - this ties in with the requirements of the history curriculum. Ladybird Histories is an excellent series - each book focuses on a single topic, so the topic is covered in greater depth that is often found for KS2; this means the books are excellent for project work and for children particularly interested in a topic. Superb illustrations enhance children's learning.

Ladybird Histories: The Great Fire of London by Chris Baker

Another excellent book, with outstanding illustrations, to support KS2 history. The highly readable account includes information on how the fire started, why it spread so quickly and how it was eventually put out. All aspects of the Great Fire are covered, including details about important characters, the influence the fire had on the landscape of London and its rebuilding, and the development of firefighting. Illustrations are a key part of the book, with many excellent reconstructions of events to help children appreciate what happened. Additional material includes activities, a timeline, glossary and index. Excellently done and a real asset to teachers and pupils.

Ladybird Christmas Time with audio CD Ladybird Christmas

A festive collection of traditional Christmas stories, songs and carols, which starts with a retelling of the nativity story, beautifully illustrated in soft colours and an engaging style. The book also includes the much-loved 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, with vibrant illustrations. It;s the perfect book for sharing with younger children. The accompanying audio CD includes specially recorded material so the whole family can sing along. The book and CD include 15 favourite Christmas carols and songs: We Three Kings; Away in a Manger; Once in Royal David's City; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Silent Night; The First Noel; God Rest you Merry Gentlemen; Unto us a Child is Born, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; The Holly and the Ivy; Ding Dong! Merrily on High; Good King Wencelas; Jingle Bells; We Wish you a Merry Christmas; The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Faces: Baby Touch First Focus

Faces are the most important first things that babies focus on, and this brightly coloured book with its strong contrasts is perfect for capturing a baby's attention. Simple shapes in white, black and yellow show a dog, a sun, a daddy among others - and at the end of the book, baby will love to look and see his face in the mirror. In Things That Go: Baby Touch First Focus, the bookcontrasting pictures (again in the same colours) are accompanied by strong shape pictures to stimulate babies' vision; the truck, boat and other vehicles have noises for the adult to make and the baby to copy. Adding to the fun is a die-cut peephole which goes right through the book. Both board books have rounded edges, making them ideal for little hands. Perfect first books, stimulating and colourful.

Ladybird Five-Minute Stories

Perfect for children who love their bedtime stories - because surely there's always time for just one more five minute story? The book is also ideal for taking out and about, for reading when you have just a few minutes to spare. There are seven stories in this gorgeously illustrated book, and there's bound to be some to appeal to every child, boys and girls. There are animal stories, a dinosaur story, a pirate story and a farmyard story. With colourful illustrations on every page, as well as coloured backgrounds to the stories, this is a lovely book to share and enjoy.

The Sleepover (Princess Poppy Picture Books) by Janey Louise Jones

Princess Poppy is looking forward to her first sleepover, but like many children, she is rather apprehensive once the fun is all over and she is settling down to sleep. When Daisy produces Poppy's doll, Poppy is really pleased, but anxious about what her friends will think... until they all show her their cuddly toys. It's a sweetly reassuring story of friendship,with lovely illustrations, and perfect to read with little girls who are embarking on the big adventure of their first sleepover... maybe one for the mum who is hosting a sleepover to have, too!

The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter Anniversary Edition by Beatrix Potter

This beautiful little book in the traditional Frederick Warne format is one for all Beatrix Potter fans, young and old. Celebrating the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter, it has a beautifully designed gold-foil jacket. The book is just as beautiful inside and does full justice to its subject. The heavy cream pages are full of illustrations from the author's life, and the informative text gives us a good snapshot of how the books came about, looking at Beatrix Potter's childhood, and at the story behind how The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter's best-loved tale, came to be written. One to cherish.

Peppa Pig: Fairy Tales! Sticker Book

Princess Peppa and Prince George introduce favourite fairytales with a twist - the stars are Peppa and her family. Your little one will enjoy reading about Cinder-Peppa, Brave Sir George and lots more. The big stickers are perfect for little fingers and children can use them to decorate the scenes and use their imagination to make up more stories with them. The backgrounds are lovely and colourful, and they include a brief summary of the well-known versions of the fairy tales. Perfect for Peppa Pig fans and a lovely way to encourage children to make up their own stories - there are lots and lots of stickers to encourage this.

Ladybird I'm Ready for School!

Prepare your child for school and make the most of the opportunities it offers to talk about what to expect. Everything your little one needs to know before they start school is covered in this colourful and engaging book. The large format means plenty of space for big colourful pictures and good layout; it's bright and bold. It covers simple early learning concepts such as dressing, good manners, seasons, parts of the body and the jobs people do, as well as numbers, colours, dates, shapes and more. This book is full of reassuring information and is perfect for parents helping little ones prepare for the big day; you can make sure your child grasps all these basic concepts (start the book well before the big day) and make sure you reinforce any your child is less familiar with; it's a good prompt to remind adults about what children need to know.

In the Night Garden: The Bedtime Book by Mandy Gurney

At first glance, this just looks like a picture book - but don't be fooled! It is a story, yes, but it's far more than that. Mandy Gurney is a child sleep expert and this book is specially designed to help your little one fall asleep. The soft, lullaby-like language of the story will relax your child, and as each of the Night Garden friends falls asleep, your child will feel encouraged to do the same. The book features a description of the book, a bedtime routine to use before you read the story, and a relaxation technique for afterwards too. I haven't had the opportunity to try it, but the relaxation advice is eminently practical and certainly the story does read in a calm rhythmic fashion that will soothe and quieten your child.

In the Night Garden: Happy Easter!

This colourful board book is perfect for baby's first Easter. All the friends are looking for Easter eggs in the Night Garden. There are special eggs for everyone, even ten teeny tiny red eggs for the Pontipines. But IgglePiggle has lost his egg - will he find it? A seasonal story for little In the Night Garden fans.

Big, Big Fish: Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics Level 7

Most of us associate Ladybird Books with learning to read, and they are still helping children to grow up with a love for reading, just as they have always done. This is a Level 7 book which teaches the sounds ai ee oa oo (long) oo (short). There are two stories - The Big Fish and The Big Ship; each includes a story text plus words in speech bubbles. The activities at the end of each story help check understanding, as well as being fun to do. "Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics readers uses simple language and engaging, humorous stories to help children develop their phonics skills. The series has been carefully written to give gradual, structured practice of the synthetic phonics your child is learning at school. The books introduce phonemes in a similar order to the way they are taught in most UK schools and also provide practice of common tricky words, such as the and said, that cannot be sounded out. The series closely follows the order that a child is taught phonics in school, from initial letter sounds to key phonemes and beyond. It helps to build reading confidence through practice of these phonics building blocks, and reinforces school learning in a fun way."

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin

Have you go a child who is reluctant to go to sleep? Then this book may just be the answer for you. At £3.99, it's got to be worth a try - I have seen mixed responses and haven't had the chance to try it for myself, but I reckon it could be one of the best investments you make. Join parents all over the world who have embraced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as their new nightly routine. When Roger can't fall asleep, Mummy Rabbit takes him to see Uncle Yawn, who knows just what to do. Children will join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep alongside their new friend. Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin's simple story uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep, at bedtime or at naptime. The book comes with detailed instructions which you must follow for the best results.

LEGO CITY: Urban Adventures Sticker Activity Book

Packed with colourful scenes from LEGO City, it's time for another adventure. There's a lot going on and everyone needs help - so it's time to join in and use the stickers to help out - there are over 270 of them, to keep young LEGO fans happy. As well, there are puzzles, stories, comics and mysteries to solve. There will be plenty of stickers left over too - encourage children to use these to make up their own stories. Great fun for all young LEGO fans - it's suitable for children of 5+.

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Post

Little children will adore this book with its real mail - there are tickets, invitations, a theatre programme and much more. The envelopes are ideal for little hands - they are full page, and the mail is all generously sized too. When Peppa and her friends visit Mr Potato's theatre show, Madam Gazelle decides it's time they put on a pantomime of their own. The invitations are sent, rehearsals are complete and the costumes are ready, but who is the special suprise guest coming to see Peppa perform? This lovely book is a great way to stimulate children's imagination and to encourage role play games - and they can use the props to help them! Perhaps they will even put on their own play!

The Furchester Hotel: Isabel Gets the Ding-Ups!: Sound Book

There's a problem at the Furchester Hotel - Isabel the bell monster has got the ding-ups! What are the ding-ups? They are the bell monster equivalent of the hiccups, and oil, water and even a surprise don't get rid of them. Can you join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Phoebe and the rest of the monsters to help cure Isabel's ding-ups? They do find a way in this entertaining story... Children will enjoy dinging along with the sound button as you read the story.

Ladybird Tales: Classic Stories to Share

This beautifully illustrated anthology brings together five favourite fairy tales: Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Puss in Boots. Ladybird has been publishing fairy tales for over 45 years, and successive generations of children have enjoyed the lively retellings which are always accompanied by excellent illustrations. These classic stories are based on the original Ladybird retellings by Vera Southgate; they have been updated with stunning new illustrations guaranteed to appeal to today's children, with rich colours and a high level of detail. With a full page illustration for every page of text, interest will be kept high. A lovely book to give as a gift; one that will be treasured.

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Pumpkin Party

Halloween stories don't have to be scary - this seasonal story is perfect for little ones. It's Halloween and Peppa's family are having a Pumpkin Party. Everyone comes to play in their spookiest costumes, even Madame Gazelle! There's more text than you normally expect in a board book, which is great because it means there is a real story to enjoy as children meet all their favourite characters dressed for Halloween. This brand new board storybook is based on the hit preschool animation Peppa Pig, shown daily on Five's Milkshake and Nick Jnr.

Well-loved Tales: The Three Little Pigs by Vera Southgate

The Three Little Pigs is one of Ladybird's much loved 'Well-Loved Tales' series which has helped generations of children begin a lifelong love of books and reading. First published fifty years ago, this book has been specially re-released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books. This facsimile comes complete with dust jacket - which has the original price of 2'6 net. It is, of course, in the familiar Ladybird size, which is so perfect for children, and which remains an iconic feature of the books. With simple text on one page, faced by a full page colour picture opposite, this is bound to appeal to today's children, and to their parents - and grandparents - as it re-awakens fond memories.

Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate

'It's coming' the Iron Chicken tells Tiny, who tells her brother Small. The news spreads quickly around the inhabitants of the little blue planet, home of the Clanger family and friends, and everyone gets very excited. But what is coming? Everyone knows, except Tiny, the youngest Clanger. Everyone gathers together and they see - a beautiful comet. With lovely illustrations and a very special conclusion, this is a lovely story. The cover has eye-catching gold embossing to add to the enjoyment.

All Hands on Deck (Skullabones Island) by Richard Dungworth

Captain Cutlass's not-so-intrepid crew don't want to come out because it's too cold for them - they'd much rather stay below in their warm bunks. How can the Captain persuade them to come out and have some freezing fun? And could danger lurk even in the snow? When the enemy approaches, Captain Cutlass knows just how to see them off... Rollicking rhyming fun, plenty of action and wonderful action-packed illustrations combine to make a brilliant read for young children. Perfect to share with your young crew on a cold wintry day.

Peanuts: Best Friends - Read It Yourself With Ladybird: Level 1

Countless numbers of children have started their reading journey with Ladybird Books - and Ladybird have always kept up with the times, giving our children contemporary titles they will love. Charlie Brown wanted to play, but all his friends were busy. There's one friend who is always there though, especially when Charlie Brown has cookies! And then all his friends want to join in... Simple repetitive text accompanies the colourful and expressive pictures, making this book perfect for children starting to read. Charlie Brown and Snoopy are, of course, great favourites. Also available at this level is Peppa Pig: Daddy Pig's Old Chair - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 1. Many children will have watched Peppa Pig on TV so will be interested to read about her antics - this is an excellent way to encourage a desire to read. Find out what Daddy Pig buys at Madame Gazelle's jumble sale in this carefully structured story, then discuss the questions at the end with your child. Both books also feature four pictures for children to put in the correct order, thus helping sequencing skills. Each Read It Yourself book includes many of the key high-frequency words that are vital for learning to read. There are also a limited number of story words that are introduced and practised throughout.

Dinosaurs - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 1 (non-fiction) (Read It Yourself Level 1)

Find out basics about the dinosaurs - big ones, small ones, scary meat-eaters and peaceful plant-eaters; many children are interested in dinosaurs so they will be encouraged to learn to read and find out more. The text is simple with plenty of repitition to build confidence. Also at this level is Astronauts - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 1 (non-fiction) (Read It Yourself Level 1), another book with colourful full page illustrations that offer lots to talk about. These non-fiction titles serve a useful dual purpose - they are good for childfren who prefer fact books and they also serve well as early reference books. A picture glossary and index are an excellent way to teach children how to use books for research; both books also have a quiz. All the books are book banded for school use - the Level 1 books are Book Band 5.

Peppa Pig: Camping Trip - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 2

Continue your child's reading journey with the Level 2 books, which have carefully levelled text to carry on from Level 1 and to lead into Levels 3 and 4. Level 2 is for beginner readers who can read short, simple sentences with help. Peppa Pig and her family are going on holiday in their camper van. Find out what happens when they get lost on the way! As with all the Read It Yourself titles, there are questions at the end of the book for adult and child to share together - these give a good opportunity to check children's understanding and to extend the story and enrich vocabulary by discussing what else could happen. There are also pictures to match to the story words. The lively story and bright illustrations, coupled with a popular TV character, make the book stimulating for young readers. Charlie Brown is back for readers to enjoy in Peanuts: Charlie Brown'S Kite - Read It Yourself With Ladybird: Level 2. Charlie Brown's kite is stuck in a tree! Luckily, Snoopy is on hand to save the day in this enjoyable story.

Wild Animals - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 2 (non-fiction)

Those who prefer fact books are well catered for by Ladybird, with a wide range of books, all on topics which ehgage children. At this age, children have a real thirst for knowledge, so capitalise on it! They will enjoy learning where and how do wild animals live and finding out about about elephants, cheetahs, polar bears and other animals from around the world. Also useful for topic work, the clear, easy to follow text plus the picture glossary, index and questions to answer make this a good early reference book. All the books are book banded for school use - the Level 2 books are Book Band 6; this banding is very useful for teachers, who can slot the books into the appropriate place in their school reading scheme.  It also helps parents, who can continue their child's reading at home, in the secure knowledge that they are using the right level of book.

LEGO Official Annual 2016

This traditional-style annual will obviously have particular appeal to young LEGO fans, as every page features LEGO pieces in one guise or another. The annual is in three sections - LEGO CIty, Mini Figures and Pirates with a comic strip story for each. Within each section there are lots of puzzles - spot the difference, mazes, word puzzles, observation, games to play and more. The answers are all included. The front cover features the year 2016 made from LEGO pieces. Plenty of variety to keep young LEGO fans happy.

Hey Duggee: The Best Scarecrow Ever

Duggee is the star of a popular CBeebies series, Hey Duggie. Duggie is a big dog with a big responsibility - he runs the Squirrel Club. In each story, he is joined by a group of fun-loving friends who hope to collect their next Squirrel Club badge. This time, Duggee and the Squirrels want to grow some corn, but the naughty birds keep on eating the seeds. It's time to make the best scarecrow ever - but then Duggie feels sorry for the birds, and it's time to make something else. The book includes activity ideas so that children can enjoy the activities at home and earn their own Squirrel Club badge (a cut-out-and-keep badge is included in the book). The colourful book with its practical ideas really adds to the value of the TV programme and is an excellent accompaniment.

Peppa Pig Official Annual 2016

Peppa Pig is hugely popular with young children so this annual is bound to be popular. Join Peppa, little brother George and the rest of her family and friends in this fabulous annual. There are three brand new stories, long with puzzles, games and activities to enjoy - as well as being fun to do, these offer plenty of learning potential although young ones may need a little adult input. This traditional-style annual has everything you would expect and is the perfect Christmas gift for all Peppa Pig fans!

Bear and Hare: Where's Bear? by Emily Gravett

Popular friends Bear and Hare are back in their third adventure in this enchanting board book. This time they're playing hide-and-seek. Hare is very good at closing his eyes and counting to ten. But when you're as big as Bear squeezing yourself behind a lamp stand is not easy, hiding behind a pile of books and trying to disappear behind a glass fish tank is simply not going to work. But suddenly, Bear is ... not there! Wherever could he be? A sweet and gentle story, charmingly illustrated.

Baby Touch: Happy Birthday!

This big bright board book, with its softly rounded corners, is just right for babies, who will love the bright colours flaps to lift and - most of all - the soft textures to explore. Enjoy the lively text together, look at the bright characters, then lift the big flap on every right-hand page to reveal whose birthday it is and what touch-and-feel present they've received. The flaps are really generously sized and opening them reveals a good range of well-sized textured panels for little fingers to explore.

Hey Duggee: The Best Scarecrow Ever

Hey Duggee is an animated television series for 2 to 5 year olds created by Grant Orchard; it was developed by Studio AKA and is shown on CBeebies. Duggee is a big dog with a big job - he runs the Squirrel Club! Each day he is joined by a group of fun-loving little creatures who hope to collect their next Squirrel Club badge. Duggee and the Squirrels want to grow some corn, but the cheeky birds keep eating the seeds. This can only be a job for . . . the best scarecrow ever! Like all the Hey Duggee picture books, this comes with a cut-out-and-keep badge so that little Squirrels can join in the fun at home- so your child will love to collect the whole set. At the end of the book, there is an excellent page of related activity ideas for parents and children to enjoy together.

Thesaurus: Ladybird I'm Ready to Spell

This clear easy-to-use thesaurus is an excellent way to introduce young children to using a thesaurus - a key skill and one which will stand them in good stead. The layout and presentation makes it fun to use and they will love the lively illustrations. It is important that children start to use a wide range of words in speech and writing as early as possible, so by showing them how to use this book, they will really gain a head start. Each word has an example sentence to show how it is used as well as a range of synonyms. The alphabet is shown at the side of the pages, with colours to show the letter on the page, helping children learn their alphabet and find words for themselves. There is useful guidance on using the thesurus, too.

Peter Rabbit Book and Snuggle Blanket by Beatrix Potter

What a lovely gift for a new baby! The soft snuggle blanket, which is blue with yellow edging and has a Peter Rabbit soft-touch head with lovely floppy ears, is a perfect comforter for a baby. I can see this becoming a much-loved toy so it's good that it is hand washable. The accompanying board book will introduce babies to the wonderful world of Beartix Potter. A lovely set.

Spot Loves Nursery by Eric Hill

This is a new story about ever-popular and much-loved Spot. This colourful board book allows young readers to join Spot on his first day at nursery school. There are lots of friends to meet and fun things to do before Mum comes to pick Spot up at the end of the day. This simple, reassuring story with bright, playful artwork is the perfect introduction to starting nursery for young children. The pictures and text give plenty of opportunity for discussion, preparation for nursery and sharing of experiences.

In the Night Garden: Goodnight Igglepiggle

Here's a lovely bedtime story to share with your young one. In the Night Garden is watched in many homes leading up to bedtime and now the gentle storylines and all the friends are brought into picture book format. It's almost time for bed in the Night Garden, but first Igglepiggle wants to say goodnight to all his friends, so off he sets around the Night Garden to give each of his friends a hug. With plenty of soothing repetition and colourful pictures, this is a lovely story to share.

Peppa Pig: The Big Tale of Little Peppa

Peppa Pig thinks she's all grown up now and she can't imagine she was ever a baby. But when Suzy Sheep arrives with a picture from the olden days, Peppa wonders what she was like before she grew big and clever! She soon finds out that little Peppa laughed, cried and played with her best friend Suzy Sheep, but her favourite thing to do has never changed! It's a charming story, full of family love and affection and some nice twists of humour. With its brightly coloured pictures and popular characters, this well-sized picture book will be very popular.

Captain Falsebeard in A Very Fishy Tale (Captain Falsebeard 1) by Fred Blunt

Here's a great new character for children to come to know and love. When Captain Falsebeard discovers the legendary Crossbone treasure, he and his crew can't believe their luck! But, of course, they are not the only ones after the treasure - the dastardly Admiral Swinetoes is after it too. All the ingredients of a great pirate-y tale are here - swashbuckling heroes, pirates, hidden treasure, mermaids... and poo! Wonderfully lively illustrations and a hilarious text that cries out to be read aloud - what a great start to a new series.

Ladybird First Fabulous Facts: Dinosaurs Sticker Book

High quality non-fiction books for younger readers are not always easy to find but the First Fabulous Facts series is well worth looking out for. As we know, many readers are drawn more to non-fiction and this title will have plenty of appeal. Young learners can find out what these creatures looked like, where they lived, what they ate and what happened to them. Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes are introduced, as well as other prehistoric animals such as the flying pterosaurs and plesiosaurs that lived in the seas. To add further interest, there are 50+ stickers to engage children further still. The text is easy to read, information is presented clearly and succinctly and excellent use is made of bold colour to set each section apart, making for easy reading. Many sticker books aren't worth keeping once completed, but this fact-filled book will be a useful reference to keep.

The Furchester Hotel: Dino Hunt!

New CBeebies series The Furchester Hotel is about a hotel owned by a monster family called the Furchester-Fuzz Family. The family with help from old friends Elmo and Cookie Monster have to work out how to solve different issues that are developed by the guests of the Furchester Hotel. This time, there's a dino hunt going on at the Furchester Hotel! A mysterious guest appears to have checked in to the hotel 150 million years ago, and the Furchesters are determined to find him. Will Elmo, Phoebe, Funella and Furgus track down the dinosaur so that they can give him the official Furchester welcome? A fun story with lots of bright pictures, perfect for fans of the series.

First Writing: A Ladybird Topsy and Tim sticker book by Jean Adamson

The combination of favourite characters and colourful stickers is bound to capture children's attention and encourage tjem with their first writing skills. There are plenty of activities to help develop pencil control, starting with patterns and then working through the alphabet, with a different activity for each letter, as well as upper and lower case letters to trace over. The activities are varied - counting, following a path, drawing and, of course, finding the correct stickers. I was particularly pleased to see there is specific guidance for left-handed children, who so often get overlooked. Fun and colourful, with activities that children will really enjoy.

Peppa Pig: Let's Go Shopping

Peppa Children's favourite, Peppa Pig, is shown daily on Five's Milkshake and Nick Jnr.; children enjoy seeing her adventures in print form too. When Peppa and her family need something to eat for lunch, a trip to the supermarket is needed. Mummy Pig just wants to buy the things on her shopping list, but somehow something else has been sneaked into the trolley... but who is the culprit? Children will revel in the surprise ending to this sweet family story which has Daddy Pig helping with the shopping. There's a little bit of counting practice and lots of things to spot and discuss throughout this colourful story.

Baby Touch: Busy Baby book and audio CD

Babies will love the bright colours and bold pictures of this interactive book. They can join the busy baby in the red car as he journeys across the pages through the streets, into the jungle, past the town and the farm to arrive safely back home. Each double page spread has a tactile patch to explore and the bright high-contrast pictures capture the attention. The accompanying CD has ten tracks of specially-composed instrumental baby music to enjoy at home or in the car. It's a lovely combination to stimulate and please your baby, and will help with the development of early skills.

When I Grow Up: Doctor by Clare Hibbert

I was surprised and impressed with the amount of information contained in this series, an illustrated non-fiction series for children thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. Children can learn all the essential facts about being a doctor. Learn about all the different types of doctors and where they work around the world. Information is clearly presented in boxes which contain text and a picture. Far more than a 'career' book, this also explains to children how doctors work and what to expect at the surgery or hospital, providing clear and reassuring explanations of situations children may experience. An excellent and very informtive approach.

When I Grow Up: Firefighter by Clare Hibbert

Children will learn about what daily life is like for firefighters - the routines and the emergencies. It answers questions like: 'What do firefighters wear?' and 'What special tools do firefighters need to help them at work?' Readers will discover that firefighters don't just get around in fire engines - they use planes, boats and other vehicles, too! The series is excellent for use in Foundation Stage and KS1, when children learn about the people around them and the jobs they do; perfect for discussion when the fire engine is due to visit school or nursery. Good non-fiction for young children is to be highly valued - many children respond well to 'fact' books especially ones like this which inform in a highly visual and easy to follow manner.

Ladybird by Design by Lawrence Zeegen

This engrossing book charts the phenomenal success story of Ladybird Books, which were started by a small printer in 1915; it celebrates 100 years of the iconic brand which has played such an important part in encouraging children to love books. I was fortunate enough to visit the exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion which celebrates the anniversary and I was astounded by the detail of the artwork on display; this book really helps us to appreciate what went into the production of these mini hardback books. We learn about the stories behind the beautiful art and design, the career of Editorial Director Douglas Keen, who commissioned many of the books, and about the artists who made these books miniature works of art. Some of the iconic series are discussed in absorbing detail - remember Well-Loved Tales, Nature, How it Works and Key Words? Modern day books aren't forgotten either - Ladybird are still producing a phenomenal number of books and they are as popular as ever; just look at the reviews on this page! The book is packed with nostalgic illustrations which will bring back memories of childhood to many readers; it's also a fascinating social history, especially as we see how the books portrayed life in middle class Britain during the middle of the last century. A fascinating and absorbing book which I highly recommend.

In The Night Garden: Shapes and Colours

Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos and the rest of children's favourites from the popular TV show are here to help young children learn about shapes and colours. Brightly coloured pages show familiar scenes and tell a little story; children can complete the scenes using the stickers. Perfect for toddlers, with generously sized stickers, each labelled according to the page - so often, stickers are frustratingly fiddly for little fingers, but not here. There are also plenty of spare stickers to encourage young ones to make their own pictures. The 'How did you do' pages are a good chance to see what children remember. A perfect first introduction to shape and colour.

Ladybird Classics: Robin Hood by Desmond Dunkerley

Through the years, Ladybird have been renowned for their excellent adaptations of fairy tales and classic stories and the tradition continues as Ladybird keep up with new trends in publishing and the needs of their audience. This abridged retelling captures the excitement of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws. Guy of Gisborne and the Sheriff of Nottingham are plotting agianst our hero - but can Robin outwit them? A perfect introduction to the legend of Robin Hood, it is ideal for sharing with younger children, or for newly confident readers to tackle alone. With dramatic and atmospheric illustrations to complement the text, this is a great way to introduce the story.

Ladybird Classics: King Arthur by Desmond Dunkerley

Who will be king and succeed Uther Pendragon? Another traditional and much-loved British tale is engagingly retold for younger readers. The language is well selected to give all the feel of the story but yet to be easily understood and appreciated, whetting children's appetites to go on and read other versions; that is the benefit of these books - to give an interest in and a love for stories. These books are somewhat larger than the traditional Ladybird format, and this gives scope for bigger and better illustrations which really set off the story; the inclusion of a ribbon marker makes the books feel a bit special and the shiny paper feels luxurious. Lovely books to collect.

LEGO Friends: Jungle Adventures Activity Book with Miniset

This is a great concept which really engages children with the story - a mini Lego set accompanies the book, and there are all sorts of activities to enjoy. Read all about Andrea, Mia, Emma, Stephanie and Olivia (the friends from Heartlake City) and share in their exciting adventures in the jungle. The comic-style format of the story with its bright illustrations will appeal to the reader; once they have enjoyed the story there are lots of puzzles and creative activities to enjoy, all linked to the theme of the story. Hours of happy fun!

LEGO Friends: Doodle Activity Book

This is a great way to extend the play value of the LEGO Friends sets and to give children a fresh look at the friends, encouraging the imagination. They can draw, doodle and colour with the LEGO Friends, in this fabulous doodle activity book which will help them to get to know the characters even better. Heartlake City is already beautiful and now children can make it even more so. This gorgeous book has plenty of space for creative play and offers a whole new way of interacting with your favourite LEGO Friends, with lots of different creative activities, all in full colour. LEGO Friends Andrea, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Olivia live in Heartlake City and they have a range of construction sets and exciting mini-dolls for children who love to build and play.

Ladybird I'm Ready . . . to Look and Say!

This colourful book is an excellent way to help your child prepare for school. Children will become familiar with words they will use at school as well as the situations they will encounter. Arranged by themes including as 'In my home' 'At school' and 'Places I go', each two page spread features clearly labelled objects shown around the edges for children to spot in an appropriate setting within their context. Environmental sounds have been included, supporting Phonics Phase 1. By being encouraged to look for and name objects in the pictures, observation and discussion skills are developed; there are questions on every page to stimulate this. An excellent book which offers learning on many levels.

Ladybird I'm Ready . . . to Explore My World by Anita Ganeri

This first geography book is a super way to introduce young children to our world. Covering every continent, friendly children introduce their homeland in a way that will appeal to children. With twenty different countries and cultures included, young children gain a good overview of the main features of each country. It's full of engaging facts for children to learn about the similarities and differences between themselves and children around the world. The content includes famous landmarks, clothing, national dishes, home and school life, climate, customs, and basic geographical information on location in the world, languages spoken and flag.Lively colourful illustrations enhance the text.

In the Night Garden: Tummy Time Pop Up Playmat

Tummy time is a key part of development for babies, and an important part of their learning progression. Make it even more fun with favourites Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and their friends from In the Night Garden. The book opens up and fastens together with a ribbon to reveal three sturdy, interactive scenes. The bright colours and interactive elements - a hole to peep through and textures to explore - will capture little ones' attention and stimulate learning. With three scenes to choose from, there's plenty of variety in this colourful and durable playmat.

LEGO CITY: Thief on the Run!

Rosco Ryder wants to join the city's cleverest crooks in the Sticky Fingers Club, but first he needs to pass the test they've set him. With LEGO City's police force in close pursuit, Rosco is running out of time and he's underestimated the police! An entertaining story, full of mishaps and mayhem, with plenty of familiar LEGO items for children to enjoy. Children's enjoyment of the adventure is enhanced by the collection of LEGO bricks, minifigures and accessories which come with the book; a great way to add interest to the story and to encourage children to make up their own stories too.

LEGO CITY: Fire Fighting Heroes Storybook

It's time to tackle a blaze with LEGO CITY's firefighting squad! Billy has won a trip to the new fire station and it turns out to be a very exciting day, with Billy and his dog Flash having an important part ot play in saving the museum. With high-speed races and heroic deeds, plus a cool set of LEGO bricks to play with, this storybook is packed with awesome LEGO fun! These sets are great value - a colourful hardback story book plus a mini LEGO kit which will, of course, be a good addition to any child's LEGO collection. A good way to encourage children to read and to get them to interact with stories by using the LEGO pieces.

Things That Go: Ladybird First Fabulous Facts by Clive Gifford

I really value non-fiction books for young children. From a young age, children really want to find out and we should do all we can to encourage this. This series is perfect for young children, with its good sized clear font, excellent pictures and easy reading style; the topics are all ones which have a high interest level. Things That Go looks at the world of vehicles right back to chariots in Ancient Rome, on to the present day with Formula One racing cars and into the future with space planes for tourists. Each topic has a two page spread, which includes a large labelled picture, Fabulous Facts and a Wow box. Learn about a plane that turns into a car, a bus that carries 256 passengers and much more. An excellent series.

Amazing Inventions: Ladybird First Fabulous Facts by Clive Gifford

Amazing Inventions takes a look at the world's most famous (and not-so-famous) inventions; these are inventions which are interesting and relevant to children. From technological innovations such as the telephone and iPod, and ground-breaking discoveries in science and medicine, to the genesis of the frisbee, Lego and water pistols, children will love learning about these inventions and the stories behind them. There is lots of information for each topic, but the presentation and the way the text is split up makes this really accessible for children. For younger children, the books are ideal to share with an adult. "First Fabulous Facts is an illustrated non-fiction series for 3-5 year olds. Fun and fascinating facts engage young children and bring their favourite interests, hobbies and obsessions to life."

Ladybird Histories: Anglo-Saxons by Jane Bingham

Homework help or general interest, this book for KS2 children is full of all they need to know about this great civilisation. Children will learn about where and how they lived, who ruled, everyday life and their impact on history. It's the attention to detail that really makes a book appeal, such as the use of an Anglo-Saxon style font for the headings - little things count! The reconstructed scenes which are found on every page are a really good feature, showing children exactly how things were - I am impressed with these. Perfect for reference, with a timeline, detailed glossary, good index, Who's Who and list of places to visit. "Ladybird Histories is a series of books about periods and people in history that children find especially engaging and that are often taught in schools. Packed full of interesting and entertaining details that will delight all readers - from lifestyles, battles, and important characters to the influence the past has played on the world around us today."

Ladybird Histories: Ancient Greeks by Cath Senker

Pupils will study the Ancient Greeks in KS2, so excite their interest and help their studies by getting a copy of this colourful and engaging book. Every aspect of Greek life is covered, from the rulers to the lives of everyday people; find out their impact on history too. The writing style will engage children's attention and really makes history come alive. Clear, easy to follow layout has clearly defined paragraphs and makes good use of fact boxes; there are plenty of illustrations including detailed drawings which really give a flavour of the period and lots of amusing cartoons. This is an excellent series and one that will really encourage children to take an interest in history, with its lively writing style, topics that captivate children and plentiful illustrations. Look out for the rest of the series.

Peppa Pig: Mummy and Me Sticker Colouring Book

Peppa loves her mummy and loves drawing pictures of her. Just like Peppa Pig and with some help and encouragement from her, young ones can make their own special scrapbook. There are lots of pages to colour in, with pictures of Peppa Pig to colour and space for children's own drawings, each showing a special time that mummies and children spend together. The book includes a pull-out frame for a picture of mummy and a sheet of stickers to decorate the pictures. This would make a lovely memento and it would be a great idae for a dad, or older sibling, to help a young one complete it and give as a gift.

Let's Make and Do: A Ladybird Topsy and Tim sticker activity book

Twins Topsy and Tim are stars of their own popular TV show - and one of the things they do on TV is lots of making. This colourful and easy to follow activity book shows children how to make some of these things out of everyday materials. There are step by step instructions to make a range of objects including a bird feeder, binoculars, biscuits and a butterfly peg. The materials used are easy to find around the house and the book comes with pages of stickers especially designed for each activity. Each step is illustrated so children (and the adult helping them) can see exactly how the object should look. Hours of creative fun.

Well-Loved Tales: The Elves and the Shoemaker by Vera Southgate

Originally published in 1965, this book has been re-released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books. It's another lovely nostalgic reissue of a much-loved Ladybird title, complete with dust cover; I am sure that many parents and grandparents who remember these books will be building up their own library to remind themselves of happy childhood hours. The story is, as we all know, about a poor shoemaker who receives much-needed help from elves. The story-telling is as fresh as ever, and the clear type and simple text make the book ideal for children to read alone. The illustrations accompany the text excellently and are full of engrossing detail.

Peppa Pig: George and the Noisy Baby

Peppa, George and their parents are having a sleepover at Cousin Chloe's house. They are very excited to see their new cousin Baby Alexander. Soon everyone is fast asleep, except for Baby Alexander, who is VERY noisy. They try all sorts of ways to get the baby back to sleep, but it's only when Daddy Pig makes a very noisy mistake that Alexander finally gets back to sleep.

Peppa Pig: George's Racing Car

Even young children can get to know popular Peppa Pig and her friends through this colourful and extensive series of board books, which show all sorts of familiar situations - and it's good to see that there are books to interest both boys and girls. Peppa and George are inside watching television on a sunny day but Granny Pig decides it's time to go outside to play. Grandpa Pig cleverly builds George his very own pedal car and Peppa and George soon discover that real life racing is better than watching it on television. Sturdy board pages and bold use of colour make this an ideal book for young ones, and there's enough substance to the story to make a good bedtime read.

Baby Touch: Hello, Baby!

Babies and toddlers love textured touch books and this series from Ladybird gives a good range of tactile experiences. They can at the bright pictures of the mummy and daddy animals on the left-hand page, then feel the touch-and-feel animal babies on the opposite page; the animal sounds are there to enjoy too. There's a spotty cow, a fluffy rabbit, a shiny hippo and a furry lion - and a mirror surprise on the last page for babies to see themselves! Bright colours and simple pictures are ideal for a first book.

Baby Touch: Hello, Teddy!

Teddy takes his place inside all sorts of toys for little ones to spot and enjoy. He's in a bumpy boat, a squishy.-wheeled tractor, aboard a glittery rocket and peeping out of a scratchy roofed house. Even the covers of this series have a texture, to encourage little ones to pick them up and explore; the rounded corners make the book quite safe too. Bright and colourful, this series is a great introduction to the wonderful world of books and reading.

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Easter Egg Hunt

Children love to share in the adventures of this popular little character and even the youngest can join in with their own colourful board book. Grandpa Pig has arranged a very special Easter egg hunt - and the eggs don't last very long! But then all the friends find a very special surprise at the end - Spring really has come when some very special eggs are found. A lovely bright board book which would make a great alternative Easter present.

Multiplying and Dividing: Ladybird I'm Ready for Maths sticker workbook

Colourful and eye-catching, this is an enjoyable way to present concepts chidren can find troublesome. Parents can have confidence in the book as it is written by experienced maths teachers; each topic has helpful notes for parents and there is also a maths glossary to help parents. The topics covered include doubling; halves and quarters, and counting up in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s - all the areas needed in KS1. Stickers and activities combine to reinforce learning in a fun way that will engage children's attention and make learning enjoyable. Look out for the other books in this excellent series.

The Story of Napoleon: A Ladybird Adventure from History Book (Ladybird Archive) by L Du Garde Peach

It's wonderful to see these re-issued Ladybird books, complete with replica dust-cover and original price. First published in 1968, as a history book, this exact replica is just as relevant as ever. Full of information about one of the most famous soldiers in history, the story is dramatically told in a way that will engage children. They are exciting stories to read aloud and the dramatic illustrations are the ideal complement. Bound to be popular for the nostalgic appeal as well as the historical concept, a brilliant reissue.

The Story of Nelson: A Ladybird Adventure from History Book (Ladybird Archive) by L Du Garde Peach

Published alongside The Story of Napoleon to mark two hundred years since the Battle of Waterloo, this is another exact replica of an old favourite, this one first published in 1957. Children will enjoy learning about our great naval hero, from his childhood in Norfolk, on to his amazing exploits and finishig with his tragic death at the Battle of Trafalgar. With the traditional Ladybird format, which was always so far ahead of its time, the 50/50 balance of pictures to text continues to make the books lively and appealing. The narrative is well-told and the book just right for KS2 history.

Baby Touch: Tickle Me! (Ladybird Baby Touch)

Baby Touch books are bright interactive first books, perfect for building an early love for books. Tickle Me! has many elements to appeal - fun rhythmic text, friendly animal characters, generously sized touch-and-feel areas on every page (often several of them) and activities to follow throughout. Tickle Me encourages early counting, with activities from 1 to 5. Tickle the teddy, then tickle your baby, too! Touch the two bouncy bunnies, then bounce your baby on your lap twice! How many monkeys are there? Clap your hand three times! Perfect for encouraging interactive play between parent and baby, Tickle Me! is fun to read over and over again, with bright pictures, varied textures and friendly animals.

Baby Touch: Night, Night (Ladybird Baby Touch)

This book appeals right from the start, with its layered cut-outs on the cover, glittery stars and bright colours. It's bedtime, baby! Time to go to sleep! Say 'night, night' to all the sleepy faces in this colourful touch-and-feel book, reading the gentle rhyme as you go. Colours fade gradually from yellow daylight to black and silver darkness as the book progresses - this is really effective in a bedtime book. There are big touch and feel areas on every page, with some lovely textures to encourage tactile skills. With rounded corners for safety, it's a perfect bedtime book to share with young children.

I'm Starting Nursery: A Pirate Pete Book by Amanda Li

Starting nursery can be an anxious time, not just for children, but for parents too. Sharing this colourful book with your child will help reassure you both, as the many pictures stimulate discussion about all the activities that will be encountered at nursery. The simple text and colourful illustrations help little boys to understand what happens at nursery, including visiting the nursery to look around, all the different activities to do there, going to the loo, having lunch and making new friends. When they have enjoyed each page, they can press the cheer button! For girls, there is I'm Starting Nursery: A Princess Polly book

The Wizard of Oz: Ladybird First Favourite Tales

Generations of children have been introduced to much-loved stories by Ladybird Books and they continue to delight and enthrall. Of course, these are very abridged versions but they provide an excellent introduction and mean that the stories are familiar and the characters friends when children read the books in years to come. They will find out what happens when Dorothy is transported from Kansas to the magical land of Oz and sets out on the Yellow Brick Road. The amusing pictures are ideal for young children and offer adults plenty of opportunity to enlarge on the stories if they want to. Part of the Ladybird 'First Favourite Tales' series, this is ideal for reading aloud and sharing with 2-4 year olds.

Alice in Wonderland: Ladybird First Favourite Tales

The friendly Alice on the cover is a great way to introduce this well-loved classic. Children will enjoy this lively retelling of the story with its cast of characters who cannot fail to appeal to children. Ladybird's First Favourite Tales series is hugely popular and is a great introduction to the traditional stories. The text is simple, giving a flavour of the story to encourage children to move on to other versions, then the classic story. With a new look and great covers the books are still just as fun to read as ever. With humorous rhymes and catchy rhyming text, these are great read-alouds.

Ladybird I'm Ready for Maths: Times Tables flash cards

Children respond well to a variety of ways of learning, so these flash cards work well alongside the other in the I'm Ready for Maths series. The colourful cards include all the times tables from 2-12 and the colour-coding keeps each table recognisable so they can be learnt in the order that children learn them at school. They are perfect for learning or practising tables at home - children need as much practice as possible to ensure tables are instantly known. The cards are sturdy and colourful as well as easy to use - simply hold up a flashcard with your thumb covering the answer at the bottom (cleverly at the corner), let your child answer it, then see if they were right. The pack includes a helpful parent note card.

Topsy and Tim: Help a Friend (Topsy & Tim) by Jean Adamson

Topsy and Tim are a popular pair of twins who have been delighting children for many years, helping them to come to terms with new experiences. Join Topsy and Tim as they help a friend in need. In Topsy and Tim Help a Friend, Stevie Dunton is unhappy at school because he is being bullied. The twins do the right thing by speaking to Mummy and Miss Terry about it so they can stop the bullies picking on Stevie. Without losing the flavour of the originals, the stories have been attractively updated with pictures to appeal to today's young people. Perfect for children to collect, look out for all the reissued titles.

Peppa Pig: Practise with Peppa: Wipe-Clean Numbers

All early number books have a valuable part to play but wipe-clean books are especially good at this stage of learning as they give children to opportunity to try again until their skills are perfected. Young ones will enjoy meeting much-loved favourite Peppa Pig as they work through the engaging and colourful activities in this book which covers numbers from 1 to 20. The content is excellent but I have slight reservations about the presentation - just be aware that the pen is not washable and that the pages are thinner than is usual for this type of book.

Dress-up Jobs: Ladybird Stick and Play Activity Book

Sticker and activity books allow children to have fun at the same time as learning a range of key skills; this book will encourage manipulative skills, creativity, communication, reading and problem solving. It is also an excellent way to support early learning of people and their jobs. Parents can make good use of the book to discuss the various jobs and the people we see working around us; it will stimulate learning on many levels. A wide variety of jobs feature, including doctir, mechanic, dancer and chef, so there is plenty for children to relate to in this colourful book with over 200 stickers.
Dress-up Jobs: Ladybird Stick and Play Activity Book Sticker books offer far more than just fun - a well-designed sticker book like this one will develop many key skills including manipulative skills, fine motor skills, recognition, problem solving and reading. As well as all this, this title will support early learning about the people who work around us with its range of jobs including chef, dancer, road mender and scientist. The book provides parents with an excellent opportunity to discuss the various jobs and how they help us. All this, while children are enjoying creating pictures with stickers and solving puzzles on the colourful and informative backgrounds.
> Peppa Pig: Practise with Peppa: Wipe-Clean Numbers All early number books are useful but, and especially in the early stages, wipe clean books are so much more practical as they offer the opportunity to practise skills over and over again. Children will really enjoy meeting popular Peppa Pig in this colourful and attractive book which features numbers from 1 to 20. Colourful and engaging with excellent content, I have two small reservations about the presentation - the wipe off pen is not washable and the pages are rather thinner than most books of this type.

Workbook 1: Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics

Phonics are essential but not always easy. It's good to eee a book which brings a fun element into the learning of phonics, with over 50 stickers specifically presented to complete learning activities, not just as an added extra. The activities help children practise their letters, sounds and early reading skills and will help them prepare for the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. Part of a colourful, attractive and engaging series, this book gives an excellent early start to phonics.

Space: Ladybird First Fabulous Facts

I love this series - it's brilliant to see good quality informative non-fiction for younger children; the series is ideal for children of 3+ At this age, they are really beginning to want to know more about the world around them so make the most of it with this series. Space is an excellent introduction to the solar system - planets,stars, rockets, space stations and astronauts are all here, with plenty of illustrations and well presented text just right for young ones. The book includes a contents page, glossary and index to help children learn how to use books and start to do their own research.

Baby Touch: Hello, Daddy!

Babies love to explore different textures so they will enjoy this book which will help to develop tactile skills. Each animal features ears in one of a range of different textures - furry, shiny, glittery and more. In each two page spread, the young animal looks for its daddy, who appears opposite - so this is a perfect book for fathers to share with their children. Bright colours and simple pictures are ideal for babies and the animal sounds give an added dimension for reading aloud. Who's that at the end of the book?

Peppa Pig: My Daddy

Warm and humorous, young Peppa Pig fans will love to share this with their daddies at bedtime. Peppa tells us all the things she loves about her daddy and children will recognise the things they love about their daddies. The humorous illustrations will have children giggling and thinking about the things they love doing with their daddies. A lovely book to share and celebrate the joy of being a father.

How to be a Skullabones Pirate: A Ladybird Skullabones Island sticker activity book

Captain Cutlass and his crew of trusty pirates have lots of fun on Skullabones Island and this colourful sticker book means that the reader can be part of the story. There are over 200 colour stickers included with plenty of hints in the text to ensure they are put in the correct place - and there are plenty of extras to make the pictures even better - or for children to draw and decorate their own pictures. Help the pirates get ready for sea, enjoy shipboard life and, of course, find the treasure. Lots of activities to enjoy, including colouring, counting, spot the difference and more. Pirates are always popular and this sticker good is especially good for summer holiday fun.

Let's Get Busy!: A Ladybird Topsy and Tim sticker activity book

Topsy and Tim have been favourites for many years and of course, becoming a CBeebies programme has increased their popluarity hugely. Keep Topsy and Tim fans busy with this cctivity and sticker book which is packed with all sorts of fun - some children can do alone and for others, like playing Snakes and Ladders, two people will be needed. Activity books seem like pure fun to children - and they are great fun - but they are also valuable learning aids as they help develop all sorts of essential skills. This bright and attractive book is perfect for children of 3+ and sharing it with your child will really make the best use of it.

Planet Earth: Ladybird First Fabulous Facts

It's great to see non fiction books for younger freaders - this is suitable for 3+. That's just the age at which children are really starting to ask questions about the world around them so this new series from Ladybird is excellent. Planet Earth helps children understand the world around them and is a great first look at geography. It looks at the concepts of land and water, climate and weather, as well as our planet's different habitats and the animals that live in them. The facts are set out in appealing coloured boxes which make the book accessible for children and the clearly labelled illustrations are a real bonus. Everything is clearly and simply explained and parents of inquisitive youngsters will really enjoy sharing these books with their children.

Great Civilisations: The Vikings (Ladybird Vintage Classics) by Brenda Ralph Lewis

I am not sure whether the biggest market will be today's information-seeking children or parents and grandparents in search of a bit of nostalgia! Originally published in 1976, this classic Ladybird hardback book, complete with facsimile of the original dust jacket, is full of information about the Vikings. It includes in-depth, informative content plus the same detailed pictures as the original. The detailed index helps the young reader find their way around the wealth of material. The excellent values for which Ladybrid Books are renowned are clearly shown by the fact that books written decades ago are still relevant and informative today.

Topsy and Tim Sports Day by Jean Adamson

This popular fun-loving duo return to help children learn about an experience they will all have - school Sports Day. Who can run the fastest? The answer satisfies both as twins are just perfect for running the three-legged race! This reassuring series is great for introducing children to new experiences in a relaxed and fun way. I like the inclusion of the map of the village - this makes an excellent learning aid. Topsy and Tim have been favourites for many years - many adults will remember reading about them and these new stories have been brought up-to-date for today's young readers with new artwork.

The Royal Family: A Ladybird Souvenir Book

From the Queen to the very newest in the family, the British Royal Family is depicted with plenty of photographs. and packed full of information, This is an easy and informative read for children and introduces them to the Royal Family and their role in today's world. It include pages on every key member including Prince Philip, The Duke of York and, of course, Prince George of Cambridge. This is the format which really epitomises Ladybird Books for me and it is still the perfect size and shape for children. A good souvenir for visitors from abroad too.

Captain Comet's Space Party Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 1


 
This story introduces initial letter sounds and helps children find the sound at the beginning of the word. At the top of each double page is an introduction to the activity which explains to children what they need to look for in the pages as well as using the appropriate letter in the text. The labelled pictures feature the initial letter in bold. The sounds are listed on the back of the book to help parents. "A brand-new set of phonics readers from Ladybird - perfect for helping your child with their phonics learning at school. Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics readers uses simple language and engaging, humorous stories to help children develop their phonics skills. The series has been carefully written to give gradual, structured practice of the synthetic phonics your child is learning at school."

Nat Naps! Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 2

Children are introduced to s a t p i n through two very simple stories - Is it Nat? and Nat Sits. To aid reading, the end of the first story shows all the objects labelled with a puzzle page to match the story words, plus high frequency words to read aloud. As well as story words, there is a tricky word to learn in the second story. A bright and colourful approach to stimulate child and adult to enjoy reading together.

Top Dog: Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 3

Two enjoyable stories - Top Dog and Pompom and Top Dog is sick - focus on m d g o c k and ck. The stories are set against full colour picture backgrounds which, as well as being fun, help the child understand the story; part of the story is told through speech bubbles. At the end of the stories, children can match the story words to pictures and read aloud the high frequency words. The pictures offer parents plenty more opportunities to extend learning as you share and discuss them.

Huff! Puff! Run! Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 4

This Level 4 book teaches e u r h b f ff l ll and ss. Like the previous book, the story is told against full colour backgrounds which help children gain clues to the story. The pictures are attractive and the soft colouring does not detract from the clarity of the text. Again, speech bubbles are used ans story words and tricky words are reinforced. "The series closely follows the order that a child is taught phonics in school, from initial letter sounds to key phonemes and beyond. It helps to build reading confidence through practice of these phonics building blocks, and reinforces school learning in a fun way."

Fix It Vets Ladybird: I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 5

Meet Jazz and Vick the vets in these two enjoyable stories which focus on j v w x y z zz and qu. The stories are enjoyable and despite being short, children will be gaining a real sense of achievement and the feel of reading a real story by the time they reach Levels 5 and 6. Lively illustrations add to the enjoyment and help comprehension.

Dash is Fab! Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Level 6

Two more fun stoires - Dash and the Thing and Big Bad Bash - to continue progressive learning of phonics. THis time the sounds and letters are ch sh th (soft and hard) and ng. Ladybird have always been known and loved by parents for their books which start children on the road to reading and this colourful new series is an excellent way to continue that tradition.

Ladybird Histories: Ancient Egyptians

Children are always fascinated by Ancient Egypt and this introductory history is ideal for younger readers. The map and timeline which form the start of the book are good to get the period and era into context. Two page spreads cover a wide range of topics including food and drink; king and people; and secrets of Egypt. The text is clear and easy to follow and the illustrations are a strong feature. The pyramid which shows Egyptian society and the page of hieroglyphs are particularly good.

My Big Boy Bed: A Pirate Pete book by Amanda Li

It's a big step for a little one moving into a big bed, so encourage them with this sound book which encourages the child to feel a part of the whole process, from choosing the bedding to assembling the bed - and then, of course, enjoying a good night's sleep; press the sound button to hear the cheer! Children always respond well to their favourite characters so it's good to see these titles feature old friends.

My Big Girl Bed: A Princess Polly book by Amanda Li

It's time for Princess Polly to move out of her cot and into a big girl's bed. If your little girl is about to do the same, share this book so you can discuss the change and all it involves, and find out just how your little one feels. I like the way these books involve the child in the whole process of moving into a big bed. A sturdy board book with a sound button to cheer your child along every step of the way.
 

 

   

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