Book reviews - babies & toddlers (page 2)

Barry the Fish With Fingers Tickle Hide-and-Seek by Sue Hendra

Perfect -  Barry the Fish with Fingers as an interactive puppet book. Join in as he plays tickle hide-and-seek with his ocean friends  - and you operate the bright blue puppet through the holes in each page. A fun storyline with an octopus, starfish, crabs, angelfish and seahorses to spot. This is a lovely way for children to learn about colours and counting with a popular character. 

First 100 Numbers (Bright Baby) by Roger Priddy

Simple, bright, colourful, uncluttered - all the requirements of a first book.There is more than just counting in this big sturdy board book - the book starts with the things you can count on your body - 1, 2 and 10, with numbers and pictures up to 10 opposite. After that, 1 to 12, then lots of counting questions - excellent for discussion and imcreasing vocabulary, as well as for early number skills.  Then there are 100 chicks to count. A good extension of the straightforward counting book.

Animal Numbers by Nicola Killen

There's much more to this book than the initial look shows! Open it up and you find five big fold out flaps (with enough shaping on the edges to allow little fingers to open them!) depicting a range of delightful animals. Guess who.... loves rolling in the mud........ have lots of teeth.... blows bubbles under water.... have colourful feathers......... and are great swimmers. Was your little one right?Spot the little bird on every spread! Also available - Animal Colours 

There's a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban

This humorous story with its gentle rhyming text is a lovely way to help you explain to your child just what is going on in Mummy's 'tummy house' when a new baby is expected. The colourful pictures are full of detail, giving mum plenty of opportunity to sit down and rest whilst sharing the book. It's a straightforward way to explain a complicated concept to a young child and the sturdy board pages of this edition make it a book that can be read over and over again. Reassuring with just enough information for small children. An excellent book for all families expecting a second (or more) baby.

Boing, Boing (Amazing Baby) by Emma Dodd

Lots of fun things that go boing, boing as they leap, bounce, hop, pop, jump and leap through the colourful pages. Babies will recognise the activity on the last page! As you share the story, your little one can press the sound button and enjoy the fun sound. Templar Publishing, who produce this lovely range say: "Welcome to amazing baby® books and toys. amazing baby® is the award-winning series created for you and your baby to share. amazing baby® is all about having fun as you read, play, explore and learn." The series is now 10 years old and new books continue to be added. Find out more at

Night Night Baby (Amazing Baby) by Beth Harwood

A soft cuddly padded cloth book for your baby to hug at night. Sleepy rhyming text and simple colourful pictures to soothe your baby to sleep. Plus a lovely black and white picture of a sleepy baby which is pwerfect for your baby to recognise. It's washable too! Here are a few more titles from ths excellent range: Hide and Seek (Amazing Baby) Rainbow Fun (Amazing Baby); Clap and Sing (Amazing Baby) (Amazing Baby) and Amazing Baby Flash Cards

This Little Puppy (Touch and Feel) by Lucy Lyes

The fun starts with the cover of this touch and feel book, with the puppy's soft cold black nose. Lots more textures to explore inside - fluffy ears, furry spots, a fluffy coat, a sparkly collar and a smart tartan coat. What shall we call the puppy? Catchy rhyming text makes this fun to read aloud, and little ones will enjoy searching for the textures. Bright colourful pictures and sturdy pages - ideal for early learners.

In the Night Garden.......... My Favourite Things (A Peep-Through Book)  from Ladybird Books

Capitalise on children's enthusiasm for the TV show by introducing a story about Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy and Igglepiggle. They all have favourite things, which your little one can spot through the peep-holes - but try to guess first! Enjoy the rhyming text together, then let your child explore. Brightly coloured pictures have 10 Pontipines hiding for added learning fun.

First Words (Ladybird Toddler Touch) by Ruth redford

This is a generously sized book full of exciting textures to explore.THere are lots of textures on each page and the finger trails which run right through the book will intrigue young children. There's a hole to peep through (or to use to help turn the pages!) on every page. Packed with familiar words and pictures, the book offers great opportunities for adults to discuss everyday life with children. There are flaps to lift and a ladybird (what else!) to spot on each page. A book packed with fun and learning opportunities.

Mix and Match Farm by Anna Lewis

Giggles are guaranteed as your child creates some weird and wonderful creatures with this split page mix and match book. And it's not just the pictures that mix together to create humour - you can create some very funny bits of text too - 'cheeky pig wiggles and jiggles and perches on the barntayd roof'! The pictures are bright and colourful and the text is entertaining. Great fun!

Mix and Match Jungle by Anna Lewis

More colourful and strange creatures to create - this time, they are jungle creatures. The sturdy board pages will withstand lots of enthusiastic mixing and matching! There are a hundred hilarious combinations, so it will be a long time before your child has tried them all out. That means the book is great value, as there's hours of entertainment.

Baby goes Baaaaa! by Lynne Chapman

Baby Goes...Ahhhhh. Baby Goes...Baaaaa. Baby Goes...Cuckoo! This is a delightful book that encourages children and adults to have fun exploring sounds and voices together! An excellent way to support the early development of speech, as making sounds is fundamental to learning to talk. The bright pictures are full of interest, so there's lenty of opportunity to discuss what is happening, as well as enjoying making the sounds with your little one. And after all the effort, there's a sleepy ending.

Nursery Rhymes by Kate Toms

Twelve of the childhood favourites are here, in this generously sized book. The lovely soft padded cover is very appealing and the card pages are sturdy enough for lots of re-reading. The applique-style illustrations are delightfully out of the ordinary, and they contain plenty to notice and discuss. Each nursery rhyme has a full colour picture as well as a decorated page with the rhyme. A lovely first nursery rhyme book.

Just Like my Daddy by Sharon Harmer

It's a busy day in the jungle! Find out what the baby jungle animals - zebra, monkey, giraffe, lion and parrot - and their daddies like to do best together. Soft characters to touch and feel, with lots of little pieces of texture to keep little fingers exploring, combined with tabs to help little fingers open the pages make this an ideal book for little ones. Friendly animals will appeal to young children.

Just Like my Mummy by Sharon Harmer

This time, it's the farmyard friends who have their turn to show how to be just like mummy. The tabs(which show the animal on their page) to open the pages are perfect for little fingers which haven't quite got the dexterity to open normal books - it's a lovely way to make sure babies can 'read' books all by themselves. I like the fact there are lots of areas of texture on each page. Babies will love these books!

The Dinosaur Rock by Jenny Arthur

A fun sound book for young children. Join the five members of the dinosaur rock 'n' roll band, as they play different instruments and practise their special moves. There's a sound for each instrument and it's a counting book too. The catchy rhyming text is good to read aloud and there's a surprise pop-up ending. Bright and colourful, this will have children dancing along to the tunes, and hopefully making up their own moves too. I like the fact that this has board pages, so even young children can enjoy the book without damaging it. Lots of fun in one book.

Teddy's First Sleepover by Mike Byrne

It's a big step when yout little one goes for his very first sleepover - even if it's to Granny's house. Help prepare your child by helping Teddy to pack his case and build up anticipation and excitement. Play hide-and-seek by lifting the flaps to help Teddy find everything he will need for his stay and then use pull-down lists to test your child's memory - a fun way to learn early skills. And there's a wonderful surprise at the end - Teddy's case with everything in it. Plenty to do and talk about, this book is a refreshing change from the norm.

Carrots or Peas (Pick and Choose) by Anna Nilsen and Anthony Lewis

An interesting and unusual concept, which gives children the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings by swivelling the face on each page to express happiness or disagreement. An excellent and non-threatening way to encourage discussion and the sharing of thoughts. A good ethnic mix of children is a feature too. Try Teddy or Train? (Pick & Choose), Bath or Bed? (Pick & Choose) or Wind or Rain? (Pick & Choose) as well - each title is based on concepts familiar to toddlers, and which form the basis of their first efforts at decision making.

Wally Whale and His Friends by Pam Adams

Introduce your baby to the fun of books in the relaxed atmosphere of bathtime with this entertaining bath book from Child's Play. Colourful pictures show a range of friendly animals - with Wally Whale taking centre stage on every page. Lots to talk about and the softly padded pages of the book open out concertina-style so there are several pictures on view together. Wally Whale has a squeak and best of all - he spouts water when your child presses the book. Great fun to share and enjoy.

The Wheels on the Bus Ladybird Sing-along Rhymes

A board book version of an old favourite, with a verse to sing along to on every page. Little ones will love to peek through the holes in the book and guess who the next passenger will be. They can look out for the ladybird on each page too. Rhymes are a great way for children to learn and there is plenty for them to talk about in the bright pictures. A lovely book to share and enjoy with your child - especially if you don't mind having the tune in your head for the rest of the day!

Moo! Moo! Ladybird Baby Touch

Little ones can find it hard to turn the pages in conventional board books so the idea of tabbed books like this one is a brilliant concept. It's even more fun when each tab is in the shape of an animal's head. Meet the farm animals, see what they eat, where they live and what their babies are called - with something for baby to say on every page. There is a different texture on each page - little fingers love to explore these. Sharing this will encourage your child to talk and discuss the brightly coloured pictures. a super book!

Peter Rabbit: Hop With Me A First Sound Book from Ladybird Books

It's no fun hoppping on your own, finds Peter Rabbit. He  bounces past lots of his friends and asks each one if they will hop with him, but his friends don't hop - until he finally finds Benjamin Bunny and off they hop together. The  'boing boing' button will have children chuckling as they enjoy this amusing story about an old favourite, whose appeal never fades. The artwork is new but perfectly captures the traditional feel.

When the World was Waiting for You by Gillian Shields

This is the perfect book to share with your child as you await a new arrival to your family. Gently reassuring, this is the story of a family of rabbits waiting for a new arrival. Find out how the new baby is welcomed and enjoy the message of hope at the end of the book. This is a beautifully presented book and an ideal present - the padded cover is really appealing and little fingers will love it. The traditional feel of the watercolour illustrations complement the story perfectly and they contain lots of detail to fascinate your child as you share this book and prepare to welcome a new sibling to your family. The rhyming text makes it the perfect read-aloud story. A book to treasure - I think grandparents especially will love to buy this book as a gift. Available in hardback, paperback and board book.

My First Gruffalo Little Library by Julia Donaldson

These cute little board books are just right for tiny hands - babies can grasp these books so easily and it's a lovely way to introduce your little one to the world of The Gruffalo. Numbers, Colours and Opposites are probably titles you would expect to see in a collection like this,  but the fourth book is more unusual - it's called Animal Actions and we see the animals flapping, scampering, slithering and more - lovely use of words and the chance to ast them with your baby; there's a growling surprise at the end......... can you guess who?

Pantone Colours  from Abrams Appleseed

What a perfectly wonderful book! Pantone is the world's most influential authority  on colour - many people who deal with colour will be well accustomed to Pantone numbers. This generously sized board book introduces colours by the use of a monochrome picture on one side of a spread; facing it are a whole array (20) different shades of the same colour, with the Pantone number and a child-friendly name. It's a wonderful way to introduce children to some of the huge range of colours that are all around us - children will be amazed that there are, for instance, so many purples, and the names are positively poetic - lollipop purple, juice purple and opal purple are just a few.

My First London Taxi by Marion Billett

A board book which is also a toy - once you have enjoyed the story with your toddler, he can take the book on its very own journey. Perhaps you could encourage him to tell a story as he wheels the taxi around the room? The black taxi travels around the streets of London, passing Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and finishing up at the Houses of Parliament. There is something to spot on every page.

My First London Bus by Marion Billett

Take a trip on an iconic London Red Bus - visit The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Natural History Museum and St Paul's Cathedral. Plenty to look at and talk about with something to look out for on every page.  And then your child can enjoy wheeling the bus around on its sturdy integral wheels. A novel idea and a good way to extend the interest of a book.

Dora's Potty Book by Melissa Torres

Dora the Explorer has someting new to explore - using the potty! Children just starting to use the potty will enjoy learning along with Dora - and finding out they are not the only ones who do not quite make it in time! Colourful pictures and supportive parents - we see Mami and Papi helping and so often it is just Mum shown in potty training books!  Once they have mastered it, children will, like Dora, be ready for adventures. Quite a quiet flushing sound, but quite loud enough for most parents' liking!

Olivia Saves the Circus (Board Book) by Ian Falconer

Olivia is a truly enchanting little character - the feisty little pig has worked her way into children's hearts everywhere so it's lovely to see her introduced to babies. It's show-and-tell time at Olivia's school and she's telling her class about the time she went to the circus and all the performers were Olivia had to do everything. She tamed the lions, balanced on stilts, juggled and even played the clown. Her day with Dad gets very short shrift -"Then one time my dad took me sailing. The End." 'Was that true?' Olivia's teacher asks. 'Quite true,' says Olivia. 'Are you sure Olivia?' 'To the best of my recollection,' she says. The muted colours and high amount of text make this stand out from most board books and I like the fact the you can share a real story with a little one without the fear of damaging pages!

This Is My Puppy by Felicity Brooks

Get your young child engaged with books as they enjoy listening to you read the story about a lovable puppy and press the button to make the puppy bark as you go, prompted by '... and he says... Woof! Woof!' at the end of each page. A great way to keep the child's attention glued to the story. Find out all the things the puppy enjoys in this very durable and sturdy board book - the flowers, his friends, and how he plays. 

Lenny Long-Legs (Mini Monsters) by Sam Lloyd

This series from Templar Books is great fun and bound to elicit lots of giggles from little children. Lenny can’t keep his legs still and loves opposites, but will he find a friend who loves them too? Use Lenny's velvety long legs as a puppet and wriggle your way through the story as children learn about slow and fast, little and big and more... Then he meets his friend Ernie for a picnic. Great fun!

Playtime Teddy

Animal 123 (Templar)

Animal 1 2 3 by Britta Teckentrupp 

A fun interactive counting book for little children. There's a veritable menagerie of bright creatures - the creeping bears (with the last looking warily behind him!) and the playful penguins are my favourites. It's a great way for children to learn numbers as each page has a sturdy flap (which neatly slots into the page) showing the number. Lift the flap and there's a lovely surprise underneath.  Bright and colourful, with some very amusing animals.

 My Big Word Book by Roger Priddy

A big format board book packed with brightly coloured photographs of essential first words - lots of objects which children will recoginse from the word around them, so they will love to point them out and name them. Bright, bold photographic images of people, objects, animals and more are set against bold plain coloured backgrounds so the objects really stand out.  Each is clearly labelled with its name, and the simple questions which accompany each page will encourage children to interact further with the book. Perhaps your child can spot the cover images inside the book?


My First Words by Roger Priddy

An unusually large format book gives lots of scope for plenty of eye-catching illustrations on every page. More than 150 first words are illustrated with striking photographic images, all displayed with Priddy Books' trademark bright backgrounds and uncluttered pages. There is lots to look at and talk about - food, colours, toys, animals and much more. Partway between board and paper, this is durable enough to withstand the youngest and most eager fingers. There is a question on each page to prompt discussion, so this book will last your child for many years. A really excellent quality book which will be a firm favourite.

Little Bee (First Friends) by Roger Priddy

Join Little Bee as he flies around and meets his friends in this brightly coloured book with its amusing rhymes - "Keep moving snail, you're really slow. You've got a long, long way to go." As with all the books in this series, there is the opportunity for young children to learn about diffferent creatures. I like the fact that the creatures chosen to 'star' are a little different from the norm. Each book has a selection of textures and glittery shapes to intrigue children, and there is a big fold out flap at the end (in durable board, like the rest of the book) so children can identify all the creatures.
In Little Monkey go on a colourful journey and meet lots of creatures - I love the spotty textures on the leopard. Little Turtle gives little ones the chance to meet lots of sea creatures  -feel the dots on the seahorse and find the oyster's pearl. Finally, in this brightly illustrated series we share fluffy Little Chick's journey to meet her farmyard friends - a duck on a shiny lake, a fluffy sheep and a colourful cow among others.


Clare Beaton's Farmyard Rhymes 

From the front cover with its lovely hand-sewn style of illustrations, I was drawn into this enchanting book.The animals are quite charming and the style is so unusual that it makes these books stand out from the norm. Seven farm-themed rhymes help to develop language skills and encourage children to join in and act out the rhymes. Children will learn animal names and there's plenty of counting fun too. I was immediately struck by the texture of these books - not matt, not shiny but very resilient. Lovely traditional collectable books.

Clare Beaton's Bedtime Rhymes

I love these books! As with all Barefoot Books' titles, they really draw the child in and encourage them to interact with the book. These rhymes are carefully chosen for bedtime and the soft colouring of the hand-sewn effect pictures reflects the peaceful mood perfectly. Each is really different in style, yet they blend to form a coherent whole. The moon double picture at the end is charming. Unusual and most attrractive. Do look out for the others in the series too Clare Beaton's Nursery Rhymes and  Clare Beaton's Action Rhymes

Hello Bear by Roger Priddy

What a good idea! Babies love to look at books but often struggle to turn the pages, so the bright fabric tabs on this board book are brilliant for little fingers to grasp. Plenty to interest little ones in this book full of friendly and colourful animals, simply depicted in bright bold colours to capture young ones' attention. Meet the furry lion, touch the zebra's stripes, say 'peepo' to the owl and lots more. There's a bee to spot on each two page spread too! A good sized sturdy book that will provide hours of fun.

Hugless Douglas by David Melling

Like Douglas, there are times when we have all felt in need of a hug. Join Douglas, the lovable, huggable bear as he sets off on his search for the perfect bear hug! He finds lots, but none are quite right... until he finds the very best hug of all. You really feel for this lovable character as none of the hugs turn out to be quite what he expects. Revel in the lovely expressive faces of all the creatures Douglas hugs. This is the perfect bedtime read, ideal for sending children off to sleep feeling loved. This board book edition is perfect for very young children.

Dogs by Emily Gravett

I loved the picture book, so it's great to see this issued as a board book, so the very youngest children can enjoy it. I have never seen dogs with such a wonderful range of expressions on their faces! The simple story line is complemented by the wonderful pencil and watercolour illustrations - I love the hairy dog shaking. I wonder if you can decide which dog you love the best? It's hard, they are all so adorable. Children will love to have this read over and over again and adults will be happy to oblige.

The Gruffalo Touch and Feel Book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Wonderful! Now babies can enjoy their very own Gruffalo book before they move on to the picture books. A lovely big board book which will withstand plenty of enthusiastic use - and the unusual textures of each page will guarantee plenty of use. 'He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws' - will your child dare to touch him? My young tester loved the sticky warty nose! Brilliantly coloured illustrations, catchy text and fascinating textures - what more could a baby ask? 

Hodge the Hedgehog by Amy Sparkes

Hodge the Hedgehog hogs the hedge and the other animals think he is very rude but gradually things change as we see in this charming story. This chunky board book manages to pack in so much more than most board books. Great to see a real story in this format - you can happily share it with your little one without worrying about torn pages! Quirky rhymes alongside a positive message about sharing and kindness make this a great read-aloud book which will become a firm favourite with toddlers.

 Dear Zoo Noisy Book by Rod Campbell

Wonderful! The much loved classic brought to life with the introduction of 8 very realistic animal sounds. The format of the original has been kept, with all the flaps to explore as the reader discovers just which animal the zoo has sent - and just why it doesn't quite suit. One was too big.... one was too tall... one was too fuerce. Children will love to guess what is hidden behind the boxes and they will enjoy the clu es in the sounds. Lots of opportunities for discussion and endless fun with this lovely new edition. The book ends with some suggested activities to share which extend the enjoyment of the book.

Usborne Very First Words - Bedtime by Felicity Brooks

Cuddle up with your little one and share this book at bedtime. There's lots to talk about - colourful pictures tell the story of all that happens in that lead-up to bedtime. Share with the happy family as they have tea, tidy up, have a bath, get ready for bed, enjoy story time and finally settle down to sleep. Key words are shown in easy-to-read text and the parent can make up all sorts of stories around the pictures to extend enjoyment. Sturdy board pages and rounded edges are perfect for little fingers.

Baby's Book of Rhymes edited by Felicity Brooks

Another colourful board book from Usborne Books. A collection of the best rhymes for young children, many accompanied by the actions. Sharing poetry with your children is a wonderful way to explore and share language and little ones respond well to the rhythms. The illustrations by Giuliana Gregori are unusual and delicate, packed with fascinating and entertaining detail which really extends the understanding of the poem. Get even more pleasure from this book at - when you type in baby rhymes, you will hear the tunes and see the actions.

Let's Get Dressed from Dorling Kindersley

This  is a lovely tactile book, right from teddy's paws and the soft feel of the cover, through to every page. I like the unusual choice of clothes - they make a refreshing change from the usual baby clothes with, for example, flip flops and a swim suit. Each has a relevant texture to encourage babies to feel and develop their sense of touch and the whole book is brightly coloured and clear. An ideal first book. One in the Baby Touch and Feel series.

Fruit Cake (Word Play) by Roger Priddy and S T Garne

This fruit-filled play on words is great fun! On one level, it is a colourful board book full of push, pull and slide activities to amuse little ones. On another level, it is full of clever plays on words which will appeal to everyone - my uni student son found it very amusing! It's fun to see if you can guess what is coming - some are obvious but there are also some surprises in store. Well designed and sturdy enough to withstand little fingers, the bright bold - and very realistic - illustrations are ageless in their appeal. A clever book.

Ernie the Eye Monster by Sam Lloyd

Join Ernie as he looks at all the colours in the park while he searches for his mummy. This interactive book allows the reader to follow through the story as the integral puppet Ernie looks around and shakes his head as he is shwon all the other coloured mummies. An early introduction to the concept of colours and a fun texture to look for on the last page.  Also available -  Monster Mates: Nosey Norman (Mini Monster Mates) where Nosey Norman is sniffing out numbers from one to five.

Hanukkah (Bright Baby Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy

This is a lovely way to introduce the celebrations of another religion, or as a first book to accompany a young one's early celebration of their faith. The small size is perfect for little fingers and children will love to feel the various textures. The book shows the key features of Hannukah including menorah, latkes and presents, all depicted in bright colour and simple pictures.

Diwali (Bright Baby Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy

Another small format board book perfect to give to a child to celebrate Diwali, or to share with children of any faith to show how others celebrate. A peep through cover depicting a rangoli  takes the reader into shiny pictures of oil lamps, Lakshmi with a shiny golden background, Ganesh surrounded by silver stars and much more. A bright colourful first book. 

Cheeky Monkey and Friends by Roger Priddy

This padded cloth book makes a lovely crinkly noise when rubbed - so many first noises in books are hard for tiny babies to make, but this is really easy. Meet Cheeky Monkey and all his friends as you read the rhyming text and baby enjoys the texture and noise. The bright colours are perfect for little eyes and the pictures have been kept simple4 and bold. There's an extra texture to enjoy on the cover too! 

Lettice The Dancing Rabbit Buggy Book by Mandy Stanley

Given that toddlers like nothing better than to keep throwing things out of their buggies, buggy books are a great idea! Clip the book to the buggy and the stretchy band will keep it safe. Lettice is a lovely character, who appeals to little girls and this board book has a fun story about the little rabbit who wants to become a star. 

I Love You Daddy by Catherine Vase 

A delightful story for daddies everywhere to share with their babies. Daddy is all of Little Bear's favourite things in this story - but best of all - he is Daddy. Bright pictures show all Little Bear's best things in this chunky board book. A super present for a new father!

Orla Kiely Colours

These are the first two books in a new series by designer Orla Kiely and they really do look like designer books. Colours are not the colours we usually associate withe baby books, but they have a softness to them - even the red and blue are not exactly the standard primary colours. Full of texture and pattern, they are really attractive books and the design aspect shines through. I wonder if they will appeal quite so much to babies as they will to fashion-conscious mothers?

Orla Kiely Numbers

The second book in this new series, numbers 1 to 10 are depicted in soft colours and with objects familiar to and loved by babies everywhere. Again rich in texture and pattern, the finish is excellent and the board pages thick and durable. The fabric effect to the cover will not be quite so hard-wearing so these are books to give baby when her hands are clean! I love the colours of the covers though - very stylish!

Driver Dan's Story Train - Treasure Adventure by Rebecca Elgar

This is one of a collection of books which bring to life the Story Train, a new CBeebies series - perfect for pre-school audiences. Join Precious, Hip and Hop and the Vrooms in the pages of this colourful chunky board book as they search for the clues that will lead to treasure and find out that they need to work together. Lots more fun on the website

Alphabet Animals by Robyn Brodie

This, and Numbers, from Parragon Books are two lovely brightly coloured board books in an unusually large format - perfect for sharing with little ones of one and above. The size gives scope for all sorts of action in the pictures and I like the way the book switches from landscape to portrait format to suit tyhe picture. The colours are bright but not gaudy and there is lots of detail to enjoy as you share the alliterative animal A to Z with your little one.

Numbers by Robyn Brodie

Another book in the Parragon set. Slightly unusual and a refreshing change, the numbers go from 123 to 4, then 5 and so on, with alliterative text which is a joy to read aloud. The vivid colours of the eye-catching illustrations are very attractive and the best use is made of the big pages to illustrate lots of friendly insects and their habitats. An eye-catching book.

Bright Baby Touch and Feel Seasons Slipcase by Roger Priddy

Children will love to touch and feel the exciting textures in this Seasonal Slipcase. Each of the four bold and fun books focuses on a season. The colourful images and simple text labels are perfect for introducing first words and early learning concepts.

Clickers Animals by Mark Williams

This sturdy durable board book is a fun way for you to encourage early learning skills in your child. As you sit together, you point out the animal names and pictures and the child can wind the clicker around (with a very satisfying click!) to point to the right animal. There are pets, farm animals, safari animals, ocean creatures, minibeasts and polar animals, all depicted in clear colour photos to help children learn to recognise animals. More fun in First Words (Clickers).

Trains - Black and White by David Stewart

Talking with and listening to your child is essential to establishing language skills. This stimulating book, full of black on white and white on black illustrations gives plenty of opportunity for conversation and the pictures, with their range of sizes, are perfect for very young children. A chunky board book, ideal for little hands and children will love the glittery surprise at the end.

Bizzy Bear Off We Go! by Benji Davies 

Bizzy Bear is off on holiday in this sturdy board book from Nosy Crow. Pull the tab to make the car go and then children can identify all the vehicles and make the noises as they push the tab to move them round the roundabout. The Bizzy Bear gets the train, flies off and takes a boat trip - all with the aid of the reader who has to push and pull the tabs for the action. Plenty of scope for discussion and sharing in this chunky book which is 'perfect for little paws'.

Bizzy Bear Let's Get to Work by Benji Davies

Right from the start, children are involved with this book as they help Bizzy Bear use the digger with the slidier. There are tabs to pull, sliders to push in response to the prompts in the story and lots of things to point out and name as children share in Bizzy Bear's day on the building site. Children are fascinated by big machines and this colourful book introduces them to plenty, along with a cast of lovable builders.  Bizzy Bear Fun on the Farm,  Bizzy Bear Let's Go and Play 

Noodle Loves Bedtime by Marion Billett

Noodle is a very busy little person so a snuggly bedtime book is just the ticket. Share this book with your toddler at bedtime - they will love the textures - especially the toothpaste! - and this is a gentle and reassuring bedtime read with lots of familiar objects. Plenty to spot and talk about - look at the little pictures down the side of the cover and see if your child can spot them in the book - they may look just a little bit different but that adds to the fun and the opportunities for discussion.


Noodle Loves To Eat by Marion Billett

I loved the first Noodle books, so I was delighted to receive more for review. It is a beautifully designed series with a lovely feel. Encourage your little one to eat as Noodle enjoys all sorts of food - and there's a surprise at the end. Children will love the variety of textures - the bobbly peas, the fluffy bread and more - not forgetting Noodle's bib on the cover. Charming characters have great appeal for both adults and children. Srurdy board books, just right for little hands.

Hop, Skip and Jump by Lia Foa

Children will be fascinated by the changing picture on the cover as all the pictures jump - clever! The book interestingly juxtaposes colourful drawings with photos of children who are seen performing the actions shown by the animals. Children are shown how to perform the actions in words and pictures and then they are encouraged to spin the spinner and try out the actions of the animal shown. A lovely book to share with a group of children or a class - most unusual.

Bear's Very Snowy Day by Victoria Ball

Join Bear as he has fun in the snow. He sets off to Snowy Hill and he won't stop to play on the way, so all his friends go along with him. Count along with the animals and feel the shiny glittery textures that sprinkle the pages - children will enjoy spotting these and will probably find new ones each time they reread the book. There is a lovely pop-up surprise at the end as all the friends have a lovely time.  

Silly Barney by Anna Claybourne

'A wacky, woolly, touchy-feely story!' Barney is a naughty sheep, but just see what happens when he eats the magical flowers - perhaps he should have been warned by the centres of the flowers! His woolly coat grows and grows through the book, and children will love to feel the woolly texture and see the coat grow, until finally... Colourful and fun.

Round and Round the Garden! (amazing baby) by Emma Goldhawk 

A touch and feel version of an old favourite, children will enjoy the variety of textures as they share in the anticipation of what is to come. Clear, bright and uncluttered pictures will instantly appeal to small children. 'amazing baby® is the award-winning series created for you and your baby to share. amazing baby® is all about having fun as you read, play, explore and learn.'

Incy Wincy Spider (amazing baby) by Emma Goldhawk

Another traditional rhyme in a touch and feel format, guaranteed to capture the interest of the very youngest of babies. There is a huge and varied range in this series from Templar Books -  here are just a few to give an idea of the range: Amazing Baby: Baby Boo! (Amazing Baby), Amazing Baby Touch and Play, Amazing Baby Party Time! CD book: 0 (Amazing Baby), Amazing Baby First Words - Quack Quack (Play Sound Series), Amazing Baby Flash Cards , Bath Baby: Bath Book (Amazing Baby) and A First Guide to Baby Signing (Amazing Baby). See the whole series at

Busy Babies by Helen Stephens 

Appealing babies feature in this collection of four baby board books  - the rest are Happy, Noisy and Sleepy Babies. Lily and Ted are playing with their toys and young babies will love to recognise familiar toys and sounds as you share this book together. Delicately coloured pictures make a relaxing change from the very bright colours and this will be good to share for a relaxing time together.

Little Charley Bear Ladybird Books

Little Charley Bear is a new CBeebies star and he attracted 1.4 million young viewers in his first week. Charley Bear uses his imagination and creativity to go on adventures and make discoveries about himself and about the world around him. In this story, he is off for a sky high adventure - in his imagination. He delivers the post - but will he ever stop at Midge's house with his birthday present? Children can count along with the cloud bubbles as they turn each page in this brightly coloured board book. The sky really is the limit when it comes to encouraging children's imaginations!

Busy Town Lift-the-Flap Book by Mandy Archer

Introduce young children to the exciting life of a busy town in this sturdy colourful lift the flap board book. What will they discover as they follow Driver Daisy through a busy day on her bus? The bus inspector, the bus passengers, the patient and the pupils - lots and lots of people just waiting to be found. Questions to answer ensure children get involved with the book - and then it's time to go home. Plenty of interactivity for children of 2+.

Peter Rabbit:Ten Juicy Radishes based on the story by Beatrix Potter

Everyone's favourite rabbit brought to young children in a way that is perfectly faithful to the original  - with the addition of some lovely juicy radishes pictured on finger-friendly little plastic buttons. Rhyming text flows through the book as gradually the radishes Peter is planning on for tea disappear to the hungry bunnies. Children will love the way they magically reappear on the front cover! And can your child (or you!) guess who gets the very last radish? Then Peter finds some lettuces - but who else is hoping to munch on them? A lovely board book for very little children.

Bathtime for Baby Giraffe from Fisher Price

We all know how wonderful Fisher Price toys are for helping babies and children develop essential skills whilst having fun, and their books are just as good. This story is inspired by Prima Baby competition winner Yvonne Watson and little ones will have lots of fun at as Baby Giraffe and all the jungle animals enjoy bath time. Repetitive text will help children learn and they can spot the animals and recognise them as they all reappear on the last page. A sturdy board book which children will enjoy while learning.

Baby's Bedtime Storybook by Sam Taplin and Francesca di Chiara

Usborne Books produce some excellent collections of stories and here is a lovely one to share with baby. Each story covers two pages, with coloured backgrounds and pictures framing the story - plenty for little eyes to look at and enjoy. All about going to sleep, these are just perfect for bedtime - read one or lots of them - you probably won't get away with just one but can happily respond to 'Just one more.' Sturdy board pages and rounded corners make this a durable book which will become a favourite very quickly. 

Baby Giggle illustrated by Emily Bolam

This would be lovely for parents to share with the very youngest of babies, and then as your baby matures and her coordination develops (and this book will help with that), she will be able to press the right spot on each page to hear the seven different giggles - and learn the parts of the body at the same time . Babies respond well to the sound of others, so this is a great idea and combined with the baby photos it is bound to capture the interest. The big uncluttered photos of babies' faces are guaranteed to get a response from your baby. And at the end, your baby will see the most important person in the big integral  mirror. Great fun and developmental too.

Twinkle Lullaby Book illustrated by Fiona Land, from Ladybird Books

There are so many books around for babies, yet once again Ladybird have come up with something original. Enjoyable on many different levels - very young babies will enjoy feeling the different textures and hearing mum or dad read the nursery rhymes aloud. As your child grows, s/he will have fun matching the pictures and textures in the small pictures to the larger pictures on the opposing pages. Four popular nursery rhymes, brilliantly coloured illustrations, a variety of textures and a peepo hole on every page add up to hours of fun.

My Fold Out Books Baby Animals by Roger Priddy and Robert Tainsh 

Perfect for the very youngest children, this fold out book is full of brightly coloured pictures of enchanting baby animals - including elephant, puppy, lion cub and rabbit. Each shiny photograph is set against a brightly coloured matt background, meaning they really stand out. Fold the book out and let your baby 'read' it on the floor.

My Fold Out Books Words by Roger Priddy and Robert Tainsh

Full of bright photos of some of the first words children learn - cup, ball, dog, flower, shoes - this is another lovely book for little children to spread out and enjoy 'reading' on the floor. The pages are printed on both sides, so once your baby has enjoyed one set of pictures, there is another to discover. These bright books are perfect to develop little ones' interest in the world around them.

Noodle Loves to Cuddle by Marion Billet 

A well  thought-out book to introduce young children to the joy of reading and books. Noodle loves all sorts of things, and in this story he shows us his duckie, his ball, the phone, his blanket - and the things he loves to cuddle most of all.  Lots of textures for little fingers to explore - furry, bobbly, shiny, soft - and then a mirror to see the most important person of all. Brightly illustrated throughout, there is lots here for little ones to enjoy.

 Noodle Loves the Beach by Marion Billet

Like all children, big and little, Noodle loves to play on the beach. This cute and adorable character shares his favourite moments on the beach in bright pictures and interesting textures - soft, shiny, sandy, sticky. Even the cover has its own shiny texture to entice little ones into the book from the beginning. Perfectly designed to suit its target market. A great summer read!

My Very Noisy Digger by Andrea Pinnington 

Children will love to press the button and hear the digger as they read through this colourful book. Children are always fascinated by buidling sites and big machines, so this is just the book to help identify them - especially if you are not too clued-up on big machines yourself. Digger Man Dan takes you through his day on the buidling site - not forgetting the lunch break! Engage toddlers with the book through the fun question on each page.

Spot's Favourite Things by Eric  Hill

The perennial favourite is back in a fun board book for very young children. Five tabs on the edge of the book show pictures which indicate the content of the page so children can easily fidn their chosen page. The ball takes us to Spot's toys; the crown to dressing up; the shell to the beach; chicks to the farm and the books to school. Lots of familiar objects for children to spot and a question for discussion on every page. Lovely bright fun for little ones.

Spoon, Cup, Dinner's Up! by Debbie Foy

This series from Wayland - All By Myself - is excellent to encourage young children to take their vital steps on the way to independence.  Bright photographs and catchy rhyming text will grab children's attention whilst conveying key messages - laying the table, clean hands, healthy food and especially good manners. I like the emphasis in this book on sharing mealtimes as a family - something that so often gets passed over in our busy lives. Big, chunky and colourful, children will love this book and will assimilate its important messages as they go.

The Selfish Crocodile Library by Faustin Charles

An appealing set of six mini books in a slipcase, which can be put together as a jigsaw puzzle. Colours, Numbers, Animals, Sounds, Words and Food make up the set. Charmingly illustrated with some very friendly and expressive animals, this set of sturdy little books is perfect for little fingers. Michael Terry's illustrations are colourful yet delicate, and the animals have some wonderful expressions

Gilbert the Great by Jane Clarke and Charles Fuge 

When I picked up this board book, I didn't expect it to be such a moving and emotional story about the pain of losing a loved one. Gilbert and Raymond have been together all Raymond's life - they look out for each other and play together. One day though, Raymond isn't there any more. Gilbert is heartbroken and turns to his mum to help him. He works through his grief and learns to love again.  Sensitive and thoughtful, this is a lovely story about coming to terms with loss and moving on - full of hope.


Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

So now we know why dinosaurs no longer roam the earth - it's all down to their desire for underpants! A sequel to the well-loved Aliens Love Underpants, this board book is a great follow up, with the added fun of a push-button roar. From the title onwards, this is guaranteed to appeal to children's sense of humour, as the dinosaurs look enviously at cavbemen's underpants, and fight to the death to get them. Hilarious illustrations perfectly complement the funny rhyming text.

My Big Animal Book by Roger Priddy

This is a super set of board books for very young children from Priddy Books. Big, bright and colourful, the pictures will really capture babies' attention.  Each title features lovely photos,which children will relate to easily as opposed to drawings which are less easily identifiable. The photos are all clearly displayed against brightly coloured backgrounds, which really makes them stand out. The big pages are easy for young children to see and they are clearly laid out. Each also includes a question to stimulate discussion with older children.  This title features lots of photos of animals - always a popular subject for little ones - arranged by zoo, birds, babies, farm and pets.
My Big Truck Book -  construction, farm, town, emergency and big.
My Big Farm Book - around the farm, crops (this is great for children to see where food comes from), animals and birds.


First 100 Trucks by Roger Priddy

This is a lovely set of chunky board books, again for the very youngest children. From the slightly padded cover, to the rounded corners and onto the board pages, these are just perfect for little fingers.The series is illustrated throughout with clear colourful pictures that will really attract children's attention and help them identify them in the  real world. I was intrigued to see how there could be 100 trucks, and found the variety in this book was super - children will love this. 
First 100 animals will give children hours of fun as they spot familiar animals.
Develop your child's vocabulary with the help of all the pictures of familiar objects in First 100 Words.
Numbers, Colours, Shapes is full of super photos of babies and little ones will love it. 



The Naughty Sheep/Pig Gets Lost by Heather Amery

Enjoy the first story and then flip the book over for another story - a clever idea for young children, to capture their attention. Like other Usborne books, these are written with the help of a reading expert to ensure that the language is ideal for children learning to read. Designed to share, they give parents the ideal opportunity to encourage early learning in a fun way, and guidance is given to help parents. Woolly causes havoc in the garden - and children will love to follow the trail of destruction. Then she takes herself to the show - with great success. Where has Curly the pig gone? Only Rusty can find him and he alerts everyone to his whereabouts. Lots of Farmyard Tales activities here.

Woolly Stops the Train/The Grumpy Goats by Heather Amery 

The Apple Tree Farm series has been hugely popular with children and deservedly so. They love the repetition, the reassuring familiarity, the gentle pace of the stories - and of course, the excitement of finding the Little Yellow Duck on every page. Meet the favourite characters on Apple Tree Farm and find out the novel solution to the problem of the sheep on the track in Woolly Stops the Train. Gertie the Grumpy Goat doesn't want Poppy and Sam to clean her pen, but they find the way to do it. Gentle stories, lots and lots of detail in the illustrations and familiar language are perfect to encourage little ones to enjoy reading. Sometimes, finding the Duck can be quite a challenge!

Ping and Polo - Bedtime by Jo Lodge

Meet two adorable characters - Ping the penguin and Polo the bear - and help them get ready for bed. Bright, clear illustrations take the reader through from snack time to lights out. Littke ones will love to push and pull the sliders and see the pictures change - unlike some books, the action is really easy for little fingers, which will fit perfectly into the holes of the sliders. Great fun and a perfect bedtimne story to share.

Playtime Teddy by Emma Goldhawk

This is great fun! A friendly teddy bear hand puppet pops through each page in the book, encouraging little ones to perform various actions. Your child will interact with the book as she is encouraged to shake hands, clap, point to toys, wave goodbye... and naturally, tickle! Cleverly, teddy turns right round, so he can point to all sorts of things. A super way to encourage discussion and interaction, whoever is puppetmaster, with plenty to discuss in the pictures too. This is a follow on to the popular  Snuggle Bunny (Snuggle Puppet) by the same author.

Princess Polly's Potty by Andrea Pinnington

Meet Princess Polly's family; they don't wear nappies and Polly thinks that only babies should wear nappies, so it's time for her to learn to use the potty.Join in the fun as she chooses her potty (from the Royal Retailers, of course!),  selects her favourite pants and then sits on the potty... and sits on the potty... until finally... I like the fact that the book, unlike many of the potty training books, actually includes 'potty rules' - good advice on hygiene with fun pictures ensuring children will remember these essential points. Press the button to 'hear the cheer' on every page. An excellent and practical book which conveys its message in a fun way. More practical advice at and here's one for the boys! Pirate Pete's Potty And a PS to this - my colleague gave this to her 2 year old granddaughter, who had not started to use her potty, and she immediately fetched her potty and has been trying to use it ever since - she has requested a pink potty now though!!!

Pip and Posy and the Little Puddle by Axel Scheffler

Pip and Posy are great friends and have lots of fun together. It's a very rainy day and Pip goes to Posy's house to play. They have a wonderful time and they are so busy that Pip forgets - yes, you've guessed - to use the potty. Posy clears up and lends him some clothes - Pip does look sweet in a dress! No harm is done and this reassuring story is just right for toddlers; accidents will happen and are no big deal. The simple text is pitched at just the right level and children will readily identify with this friendly pair. Children will love the illustrations, which show a house just like their house so it is very realistic. Generously sized books, with padded covers, these are really attractive.


Pip and Posy: the Super Scooter by Axel Scheffler

A busy park - a place which most children will recognise - is full of charming creatures all playing happily. Pip is among them, having a wonderful time on his scooter - until Posy comes along and takes it. She gets a bit too confident and falls off, but in this lovely story of friendship, Pip looks after her and they decide to play somewhere softer. An ideal story, sensitive yet matter-of-fact, to read to children when they are having problems sharing and saying sorry. The text is simple and the illustrations have just the right amount of detail to keep little ones interested without being overwhelmed. Axel Schaffer is, of course, well known as the illustrator of The Gruffalo and these books don't disappoint.

Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

What can I say about this enduring classic? The fact it is being reissued 30 years after first publication, and has remained a top-seller all that time, speaks for itself. This apparently simple novelty book, with the peephole window will long outlive some of the more elaborate novelty books, fun though they are. The catchy rhyme takes you through baby's day and the evocative illustrations are crammed with fascinating detail - make sure you take time out to absorb it all. The period detail is fascinating and yet the book is not in the least dated. A wonderful book and super to see a board version so babies can grow up familiar with this classic. 'Here's a little baby One, two, three Sits in his high chair What does he see?' Simple and wonderfully effective. Every family should have a copy.

Olivia Paints a Mural adapted by Veronica Paz

Olivia is a hugely popular TV characterwith her own series on NickJr and Channel Five's Milkshake and the books are equally delightful. In this board book, Olivia and her family visit an art gallery and Olivia is inspired to paint a mural. It's rather a big undertaking for a little pig, so she starts small - with her little brother! The problem with being a painter is that it means an awful lot of baths! Cheerful illustrations by Shane L Johnson bring the family to life. Look out for more books about the lovable little pig.

 ABC flashcards by Alison Jay

A stunning set of big sturdy double-sided alphabet flashcards, illustrated with Alison Jay's characteristic pictures - each one a work of art in itself. I would love to be able to display these around a room - they would make a superb frieze. There are endless ways to use this lovely set and you and your child will have great fun with them. The images appear simple on first look, making them ideal for young children, but the interest carries on as children grow and are able to appreciate the subtleties more.

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