Book reviews - babies & toddlers (page 4)

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

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

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

Cityblock by Christopher Franceschelli

This big chunky board book is definitely one for adults to share with their little ones. It starts off with a cityscape and explores the various ways to get around. Cut-outs on the pages lead to another page which has greater detail to enjoy and explore; each die-cut is different which makes the book really enticing for little ones. Then there are lots of other scenes to explore, including scenes to discover and places to eat, all vibrantly illustrated in intriguing detail. All city life is here. This is a superb book which offers so much for children to enjoy, and the different shapes of die-cuts are a real boon.

Who's on the Farm? by Julia Donaldson

This lovely board book with a glittery cover is based on one of my all-time favourite picture books, What the Ladybird Heard. Young ones will enjoy the generously sized flaps which lift to reveal the animals who live on the farm - and guess who is hiding on the last page? All the animals are here, depicted in strong colours against vivid backgrounds which will really capture children's attention. This book has all the elements that add up to a perfect board book.

Beep Beep Stories (Follow the Finger Trails) by Luana Rinaldo

Little ones will love this board book about all sorts of vehicles, which encourages them to get involved by following the finger trail from one page to the next; at the same time, they can explore under the flaps and feel the different die-cut shapes. This bright colourful book is an ideal starting point for babies and toddlers who are ready to interact with books. There are spreads on trains, flying machines and the building site, and more. Each spread is a complete story about the range of vehicles depicted in the detailed pictures. There's lots here for adults to share with their young ones, as they read and enjoy this book together.

Baby Present by Rachel Neumann

This board book contains a wide diversity of photogenic 6—9 month-olds has been captured mid-smile while making unmistakable eye-contact with the babies with whom this book will be read. Baby Present celebrates the unadulterated ability all infants have to be in the present, showcasing their natural, inherent mindfulness and reminding those reading to them to enjoy this time in their babies’ lives. Babies respond well to photos of faces, so this book is bound to capture their attention.

Animal Magic: Animal Nonsense Rhyme by Phil Allcock

This is one board book which I promise you will be happy to read over and over again. The magical catchy rhyme follows the animals through the books as the hedgehog becomes a toad, turns into a worm, reappears as a hen and continues to change, page by page. Young ones will love being able to guess, through the rhyme, what is going to come next and the text is lovely to read aloud. Coupled with gorgeous illustrations, this is one of the best board books I have seen recently.

Food (Say & Play) from Sterling Publishing

Bright colour photos are set against a white background in this first board book. Common foods are shown and labelled, giving adults plenty of opportunity to share the book and discuss the foods pictures - see how many your little one can identify. There are apples and bananas, bread and rice, spinach and peas and many more familiar foods to enjoy.

Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

This cute simple interactive board book offers a charming new bedtime ritual. The little rabbit is getting ready for bed - can you help him by fluffing up the pillow, tickling his ears and stroking his back? It shows, with delightful pictures and sweet text, a peaceful bedtime ritual that adult and child can share and make their very own.

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Rainbow! by Tom Fletcher

The Dinosaur That Pooped series is hugely popular with slightly older children, and it's great to see these shiny new board books encouraging young children to share the fun. The small and sturdy format is perfect for little ones. When Dino and Danny see a rainbow in the sky, they go through and name all the colours they can see, and the pictures show plenty more objects of the same colour for children to spot. Soon the friends realise there's an important colour missing ... and Dino is happy to fill the gap! Children will love this entertaining story.

The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy! by Tom Fletcher

This hilarious series has now got a board book edition, The perfect Father's Day gift for dads to share with their little ones. Of course, it's a very funny story and it's a wonderful introduction to the series for very young children. It's a lovely way to introduce numbers and dad and child count down from 10 to 1 with Danny and Dino as they look for Daddy's hiding place. But, wait, what's that rumbling in Dino's tummy? Bright colours and fun text combine to make a perfect first book. There's a Father's Day card to download here and some lovely activity sheets here - we hope you enjoy them!

I Love My Daddy by Jonathan Litton

This perfect book for fathers and little ones to share shows how all sorts of animal daddies get the reward they deserve for helping their young ones. With catchy rhyming text and bright bold illustrations, this eye-catching book is a lovely celebration of the love fathers have for their children. I love the way the die-cut star on the front cover goes right through every page of the book, getting smaller and smaller and producing a lovely effect as the edge colours get bolder as it gets smaller.

Bizzy Bear: Deepsea Diver by Benji Davies

"Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, come with me! Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, in the sea." Yes, that busy little bear is off on a deep sea adventure this time, in his bright yellow submarine - with his friends, of course. With clever sliders to push and pull, little readers will love to help him descend into the ocean, admire the beautiful undersea world and, finally, discover the hidden treasure. The sliders work with a satisfying 'clunk' and the book is very robust, perfect for plenty of enthusiastic use by little ones who will love to share another adventure with the friendly bear.

Listen to Things that Go (Listen to the...) by Marion Billet

I am a great admirer of Marion Billet's illustrations which are just perfect for young ones. They combine simple shapes with bright colours and just enough detail to encourage discussion. This book really encourages children to join in - 'Can you ring the bell on wolf's bike?' 'Beep the horn, giraffe.' There are sound buttons to press on each page - these produce 6 super real life sounds to engage the attention, and at the end of the book, children are asked which vehicle they would like to drive. Great fun.

Mog and Me and Other Stories board book by Judith Kerr

The much-loved Mog is perfect for babies so it's lovely to see her starring in a board book. Mog the Forgetful Cat is everyone’s favourite family pet and this bumper board book is a collection of four Mog stories - Mog and Me; Mog in the Garden; Mog’s Kittens and Mog’s Family of Cats. The drawings are a perfect evocation of all the fun of childhood and little ones will love to see all the familiar things they enjoy playing with, as they listen to the simple text and enjoy sharing the stories. This well-sized board book has rounded corners and the pictures are set against a white background, perfect for young ones.

It Wasn't Me (The Hueys) board book by Oliver Jeffers

A fight has broken out amongst The Hueys. “It was not me! It was him!” But no one can remember what they’re fighting about. If only they could find an interesting distraction... You'll be surprised by the fun ending! Simple, child-like drawings and a scenario familiar to many a child guarantee that children will enjoy this simple story, which is perfect for young ones so ideal presented as a board book to share and enjoy together.

Things That Go Vroom: A Book of Vehicles from Flash Kids Editors

Children are always fascinated by vehicles, so young ones will be very taken with this colourful board book which illustrates all manner of vehicles. There's a police car, a school bus, snowmobiles, a rocket ship and many more to enjoy. The pictures are simple and colourful, set against clear backgrounds which makes them perfect for young ones. Published by Sterling, March 2016, ISBN 978-1411475892.

Begin Smart: Meow from Sterling Books

This board book combines photographs and drawings set against vividly coloured backgrounds along with sound and a touch-and-feel element to introduce babies to the world of cats - and a surprise element. Children will love to find toy cats, happy cats and noisy kitties. The touch-and-feel fur and the 'meow' sound chip will delight children and help them to appreciate that books are fun. Begin Smart is a developmental programme for babies and toddlers. Published by Sterling, March 2016, ISBN 9781454918776.

Bing Something for Daddy Board Book by Ted Dewan

Bing is busily making something for Daddy. He loves his daddy and he loves making shiny, feathery, sparkly things... but shiny, feathery, sparkly things need a big bottle of goo... be careful Bing! "Ted Dewan has created a series that focuses on the dynamic between toddler and parent, and that speaks to them both equally, about life as a toddler and life with a toddler. With short, repetitive texts, bold, bright artwork and appealing characters, Bing offers both parent and child an enjoyable reading experience and a simple, reassuring guiding principle – that, whatever happens, it’s just a Bing thing, a normal occurrence, and nothing to get upset about."

Bing Bubbles Board Book by Ted Dewan

Bing, Coco and Baby Charlie are playing with blocks but when Bing and Coco argue, can Flop find a way for the friends to enjoy playing together? Toddlers will enjoy this story which is a good reflection of the little upsets that can take place between friends - and the way they can be resolved. Bing stories are perfect for toddlers; they are warm and reassuring and Bing feels all the emotions that any toddler feels. He is a lovely character, warm and loving but sadly accident-prone. But, as children will learn, accidents don't matter and things can go wrong - they are just a Bing thing and they can be put right. These books are perfect to share to help children cope with emotions that can be overwhelming at their age; delightful stories with a comforting message.

Bing Messy Cake Board Book by Ted Dewan

Toddlers can join Bing and friends in this enjoyable board book, with a fun story that helps children to explore the little hiccups that can occur when playing together. When Bing tries to show Sula the cake, being Bing, he has a little accident... but happily, the friends decide to have a messy cake party, so all is well. The characters are delightful and children will readily identify with both the characters and the scenarios. This series of books offers an excellent opportunity for adults to discuss the situations with children in a non-confrontational way, as children will respond well to this approach.

Twirlywoos Gone Board Book

Meet the Twirlywoos – Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick, and Peekaboo too. In this lively story, they’re learning all about… Gone! They watch a train going round and round a track. Then it disappears into a tunnel. It’s gone! Here’s a toy rocket... and now it’s gone! And even Peekaboo has... gone! This colourful and chunky board book helps pre-schoolers learn all about the idea of ‘gone’.

A Pocket Full of Treasures: A Baby Journal by Hannah Tolson

The first year of a baby's life passes so quickly; it's a time that both parents and child will want to look back on, so what better way than this book which allows the collection of little treasures. You can stow away keepsakes in the pocket at the rear of the book, as well as recording your child's first words, first tooth, first smile, first steps, and all the other precious memories. The journal covers all the key milestones, from preparing the nursery, to your baby's first birthday. Once completed, it will remain a wonderful and unique memento full of happy, funny, and appealing memories of the first year of your child’s life. Bright and stylish illustrations are far removed from the traditional pastel colours, and the ribbon binding is a pretty touch - the book cover is yellow, so no problem whether boy or girl. Refreshingly different, this will be a book to treasure.

I Wish I Were a Pirate by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Your little one can be a pirate for the day and do all the things that pirates love to do, like sailing the seven seas and digging for treasure. Children will have great fun with the tabs to push and pull and the sturdy nature of this board book means they all work with a very satisfying 'clunk'. Bright pictures offer plenty to spot and discuss on every page and the rhyming text is fun to read aloud. It's a lovely way to foster a love for books from an early age, and children will be developing hand-eye coordination, language skills and observation as they enjoy the book.

My First Book of Opposites by Alain Grée

The wonderful Alain Gree never fails to delight. His illustrations have just the right level of detail for young children and you can guarantee there is always plenty to spot. I love the way this book brings in an element of humour - the tiny little mouse perched on top of the word 'small'; the giraffe who is so tall his head goes off the page; and the ladybird floating away on the balloon. Little ones will enjoy learning about opposites and discussing what they can see in the pages of this colourful board book. Published by Button Books, April 2016, 978-1908985675.

My First Book of the Farm by Alain Grée

Join Alain Gree down on the farm to find out about the animals who live there and the food that is grown on the farm. And make sure you spot the birds and other little creatures who have found their way onto every page. This first book is an excellent opportunity to talk about where our food comes from as children enjoy the lively pictures. Practical and hard-wearing but above all, really attractive and appealing, these board books are perfect for taking out and about and will outlast the wear and tear inflicted by babies and young children. Young ones will enjoy the tactile titles on the front covers too. These are lovely books which will give hours of interest and fun. Published by Button Books, April 2016, 978-1908985682.

Paddington Buggy Book by Michael Bond

Paddington is perfect for little ones - maybe they already have their very own Paddington Bear. Now they can take a story about Paddington wherever they go with this sturdy, chunky board book to attach to their buggy with a stretchy velcro strap and attaching loop. The rhyming story takes us through Paddington's day - not forgetting a marmalade sandwich and is delightfully illustrated by R W Alley.

It's a Little Baby by Julia Donaldson

Lift the flap fun from the irresistible creators of The Paper Dolls. It's five little babies, doing all the things that babies do - waving, clapping, pointing and more - all ready for children to join in. The simple rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud and there's an online song to enjoy too. Written and recorded by Julia Donaldson, the wonderful It's a Little Baby song is the perfect accompaniment to the book and sure to become a favourite sing-along tune. Rebecca Cobb's delicate pastel illustrations match the words to perfection and little ones will love exploring underneath the generously sized flaps.

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

This is a board book edition of a superb story. The crayons have gone on strike! When Duncan goes to do some drawing, he finds a series of letters from some very discontented crayons. The letters are hilarious and very clever - adults will appreciate them just as much as children. Luckily, Duncan comes up with a creative solution. I love Oliver Jeffers' illustrations - they are just like children's drawings and young children will delight in seeing the world as if through their own drawings. And, hopefully, they will be inspired to draw some of their own illustrations. A stand-out book, clever, unusual and full of inspiration and imagination. Highly recommended.

The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams

Two superb talents have come together as Tony Ross adds his talents to those of David Walliams. Sam gets a surprise one day - he filled in an 'Adopt an Elephant' form at the zoo, but the last thing he expected was one to turn up on the doorstep! In this hilarious story, the very demanding elephant causes total havoc - and there's an even bigger shock for Sam at the end of the day! The moral of the tale? Always read the small print. It's a giggle a minute but I am not quite sure it is a book for the younger end of the market, which one would expect a board book to be.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

Buggy books are a great idea - they are a good way to introduce very young children to books and the strap means they can be safely attached; this one comes with a nice stretchy strap. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don't expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger! This story has become a much-loved classic and this edition combines Judith Kerr’s captivating artwork with a simplified version of the story. An ideal first book.

Noisy London by Marion Billet

I love Marion Billett's illustrative style - her pictures are simple yet full of detail and they are perfect for encouraging toddlers to talk about what they can see. The pictures in this book have so much to explore and all London's iconic features are here to be explored and enjoyed. It's perfect for when you are planning a visit to London - children will love to see the places pictured in real life, and to hear the sounds they have heard while reading the book. There are six realistic sounds to listen to, including a genuine Big Ben chime and 'mind the gap' recording. This busy book about London has a visiting family and jewel thief to spot one every page - will the police catch up with him in time? A super book to introduce children to our wonderful capital city.

Peekaboo A to Z: An Alphabet Book by Gareth Lucas

This chunky board book is perfect for little ones. They will love to lift the flaps to meet a whole range of amazing animals, all catchingly described in alliterative text. They will meet an alligator admiring some art, a bear balancing on a bean, a camel catching coconuts - and all the way through the book, an attention-seeking zebra wants to know if it's his turn yet! This mad menagerie of animals will have your little ones laughing from A to Z. The big flaps are perfect for little fingers, and the animal drawings are cleverly interwoven with the letters to make a very appealing book.

Peekaboo 123 by Gareth Lucas

The attention-seeking zebra is back again, and this time he's setting the animals off on a race - and adding his own amusing comments on their progress. Once again, beneath the generously sized flaps, alliterative text makes learning fun. There's one polar bear on a pogo stick, two turkeys on a tandem, three gorillas in a gondola... all delightfully illustrated with touches of humour that will appeal to children and adults. With numbers 1 to 20, then counting in tens up to a hundred, this is a very special first counting book.

Paddington and the Disappearing Sandwich by Michael Bond

In this lovely new series of board books, Paddington is introduced to younger readers. The irresistible and much-loved bear is, of course, now a movie star! Paddington Bear is off to town, to see how many different shapes he can spot. The trouble is, that some of the shapes can disappear rather quickly... It's a lovely way to introduce toddlers to shapes; the story is fun to read and there's plenty to look at and talk about in the pictures. Then, next time you are out and about with your little one, see how many shapes they can spot around them. In Paddington at the Rainbow's End, our friendly bear sets out to see if he can find the colours of the rainbow - but there is one colour which is his most favourite. Can you guess?

Paddington - King of the Castle by Michael Bond

With lovely art work on the cover, young ones can meet Paddington and share his adventures on the beach. Of course, with Paddington involved, nothing quite goes to plan. This fun counting book sees one... two... three... and up to 10 hungry seagulls joining Paddington Bear. Will they manage to get his favourite treat away from him? The story is fun and toddlers can be encouraged to count the seagulls (and other objects too). Paddington is one of the most-loved and iconic of children's storybook characters and it's lovely to introduce him to young readers, who can then go on to continue to revel in the joy of his stories as they grow up.

The Crocodile Under the Bed by Judith Kerr

Matty was sad, because he wasn't well enough to go to the party. Matty must stay home with Grandpa - but look at the pictures and you will see that Grandpa may not be the best of childminders! But when Matty gets an unexpected visitor, it seems that he might not miss out after all... This board book has lovely illustrations and more text than is normal for a board book, making it a very enjoyable read-aloud story. Look out for some much-loved favourites in the story too.

To Baby with Love: a Baby Record Book from Little Tiger Press

With its delicate pastel colours and lovely pictures, this book is perfect for friends and family to write their hopes, dreams and messages of love for a new baby. Perfect for sharing with guests at a baby shower, christening or on that special first visit, there are spaces on every page for well-wishers to complete. The pages are thin card, and the padded cover includes an elastic to keep it safely closed. With cute quotations as well, this record book with a difference will be treasured for years to come, making a perfect keepsake to look back on and remember all baby's special people.

Hello Baby! (To Baby with Love) illustrated by Sarah Ward

These two books perfectly complement the baby record book above. Hello Baby introduces Lion, Puppy, Mouse, Bunny, Teddy and more friends all having fun with the games little ones love to play. With a surprise mirror ending, Peekaboo Baby! (To Baby with Love) is full of fun, with oversized flaps that are perfect for little fingers to turn as they help to find Mouse, Bunny, Lion and friends. Both are sturdy, cased board books and Hello Baby has a spotty orange touch-and-feel crinkly shape on the cover. With gentle rhyming text and cute pastel coloured illustrations, both are just right to share with baby and will make lovely gifts.

Upside Down (Twirlywoos) by Anne Wood

The Twirlywoos are learning something new. They are learning all about upside down - when they visit the art gallery, all the pictures are upside down. What can they do? Why, they can turn upside down too. And when the Very Important Lady falls apart, they have to make sure they put her back together the right way up. This board book is based on the popular CBeebies series, and young children will love enjoy seeing the familiar characters; the bright colours will attract them and they will love to join in with the lively text.

There's a Mouse Hiding in This Book! (Tom and Jerry) by Benjamin Bird

Encourage your child to engage with books from a young age with this colourful interactive book., which hides a surprise on each page. Tom has cornered Jerry in his mouse hole and he needs the reader's help to get him out - by shaking the book, by blowing on it... until Jerry appears. Or does he? A fun way to involve children with books.

Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone

Babies communicate in many ways, and as they communicate, so the people around them communicate in return. This unique board book has been specially created for parents and older children to share with new babies, helping to lay the foundations for secure attachment and early language skills. High contrast colours are best for young babies, so the use of black and white in this book is ideal for a first book. The book features photos of people and on the opposite pages there is text contained in a circle and surrounded by bold black and white patterns with just a tiny hint of colour. It's well thought out and very different from most of the books for babies on the market. Try it with your baby and see the response.

Hedgehugs Board Book by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper

These are the first board books from the wonderful Maverick Books and it's lovely to see that the first two introduce babies and toddlers to the lovable Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie. Horace and Hattie are great friends, but they can't hug because they are too prickly - so they come up with a clever solution.
In Horace & Hattiepillar (Hedgehugs Board Book), the friends find a caterpillar; when they see its beautiful transformation, they want to change too! The texts have been adapted to suit younger readers but the essential feel of the stories has been kept, and the Hedgehugs are as lovable as ever. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the publisher's excellent picture books brought to a younger audience.

Boo! (My Little World) by Jonathan Litton

The cut-outs n the cover, which gradually decrease in size to show a different colour every time, really invite young fingers to explore the pages of this colourful board book. Young ones can join Pumpkin and his friends in this spooky game of peekaboo as they enjoy the rhyming story to find out who is playing Halloween tricks and planning a spooky surprise. With bright artwork, colourful characters and ingenious finger holes, Boo is definitely more treat than trick.

Dinosaur Rescue! by Penny Dale

This board book version of the catchy rhyming story full of noises to make and copy is perfect for babies and it's lovely to see this edition. The dinosaurs' truck is stuck at the level crossing and the dinosaur train is coming down the line... It's time to call dinosaur rescue - the ambulance, fire service and police, even the helicopter. Will they get there on time? I love the way the whole story races along echoing the urgency of the mission. All the dinosaurs join together for a very satisfying ending. I particularly enjoyed the brightly coloured pictures - they completely fill the pages and to me had a gently nostalgic feel whilst being lively and full of action.

Sing Along with Me! The Wheels on the Bus by Yu-Hsuan Huang

Little ones will love to join in with one of their favourite songs as they enjoy the colourful and amusing pictures and try out the sliders to push and wheels to turn. The song comes to life as the wheels go round, the wipers swish and the babies bounce their way through the story. Scan the QR code to hear the song too. The passengers are a lovely bunch of cheery animals and there's plenty to spot and talk about in the pictures.

Walter's Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood

Walter's building a web and he wants it to be perfect. Every time the wind goes whoosh, his web blows away, whatever shape he tries. But one thing Walter can spin is spectacular shapes and one day he spins the most spectacular shape of all! It's better than perfect - it's a truly wonderful web. Walter is a cute character and young ones will enjoy seeing and talking about the shapes he tries. It's a good introduction to shapes for babies and toddlers, with bold and stylish illustrations that will appeal to them. I like the way the book aims to introduce young children to shapes but I'm not sure that a board book is the best format - children who are old enough to answer the questions about shapes at the end of the book may well feel that a board book is a little too babyish.

Peek-a-boo Ghosts (Charles Reasoner Peek-a-boo Books)

This lovely chunky little book is perfect for little hands. The tabbed cut-outs are in the shape of the moon, ghosts, a cat and a house - ideal for learning to turn the pages of a book. Open the book and you find bright pictures, catchy rhyming text and holes to peep through. In the same series is Peek-a-Boo Monsters (Charles Reasoner Peek-a-Boo Books) by Reasoner, Charles (2013) Board book, with cut-out monsters giving a lovely tactile feel to the pages. Neat little books which are perfect early books for babies and toddlers.

How to Bath Your Little Dinosaur by Jane Clarke

bookHere are two perfect board books to share with your little one at bedtime. The lovable animal characters will appeal to young ones and the playful, rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud. 'Dirty little dinosaur doesn't want to wash'... but with a little help, he soon realises bath time is fun - and doesn't want to get out again! In How to Tuck In Your Sleepy Lion, young ones will meet a lion who, just like them perhaps, doesn't want to go to bed. But a story, a lullaby and being safely tucked in soon do the trick.

Busy Alice In Wonderland (Busy Books) illustrated by Colonel Moutarde

Another one in the superb range of books produced by Macmillan to mark 150 years since the publication of Alice in Wonderland. How lovely to see a book which introduces Alice to young readers in such an engaging way. They can push, pull, twist and turn to see the pages change as they meet Alice along with the White Rabbit, the March Hare, Mad Hatter, Dormouse and the Queen of Hearts. With bright pictures that offer plenty of chances to expand on the rhyming text and introduce the story, this is a lovely book.

Best Friends from Campbell Books

This board book for babies and toddlers manages to incorporate many of the best features of books for little ones. Colourful tabs along the top and side of the book show little pictures relevant to the page and make it easy for little fingers to turn the pages. The lovable animal characters 'say' simple phrases which child and adult can share. Best Friends is all about friendship and having fun together, with plenty of familiar scenes, events and objects for young children to spot.

Bear and Hare Go Fishing by Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett's drawings of animals are among the best around - she manages to capture their mannerisms and expressions brilliantly. Bear and Hare are going fishing... at least, Bear is going fishing but Hare finds other things to amuse him as told in this gently humorous book. Bear isn't having much luck - he catches all sorts of things but no fish but then, Hare makes a surprise catch... A lovely story, full of warmth and friendship.

Rhyming Stories Book 1 by Axel Scheffler

Pip the Dog and Freddy the Frog are the two stories in this charming board book. These lovely rhyming stories are perfect to share with little ones, who will respond well to the catchy rhymes - "Pip is a pup with a very loud bark. He scares all the cats when he strolls through the park". The pictures are full of detail to spot and discuss - look at the park-keeper glaring at Pip when he digs up the flowerbed and Freddy the Frog croaking at night. Lovely to see this talented illustrator bringing us books for young children.

Playtime Stories: Follow the finger trails from Campbell Books

Young ones will really enjoy following the curvy cut-out finger trails through the book - it's a great way to engage them and to develop early hand-eye coordination skills. There are other shapes to enjoy too - wiggly trails, cut-out raindrops and lots more. And as if that's not enough, there are flaps to lift and explore too. Each of the colourful stories has lots to read, things to spot and count and quotes from nursery rhymes to find. I love this book - there is just so much to do - and all accompanied by lovely illustrations. A real treat of a book.

Alphaprints 123 (Alphaprints) by Roger Priddy

I love this board book - it's really clever. The pictures are all created around fingerprints which are cleverly interwoven with superb colour photographs. It's highly imaginative and could well set off a spate of copy-cat pictures - see what your child can produce. From 1 to 10, from chameleon to bumblebees, children (and their adults) will love to count some very unusual animals - there are caterpillars made from macaroons, lambs made of cauliflowers and many more. The tops of the pages are tabbed and the numbers given, making the book perfect for little ones to enjoy.

My First Soccer Book from Sterling Children's

Football-mad mums and dads will love to share this book with their little ones. This colourful board book has a single word and a bright photo on each page - given child-appeal by the fact that the pictures all show young players. Football equipment is shown, then teams, and finally photos of specific football moves - pass, corner kick etc. It's a fun way to engage with young children - older siblings will find this good to share with their little brother or sister. The bright colours and action-packed photos make for a very appealing book. Publication date May 2015, ISBN 9781454914891.

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope by Jack and Holman Wang

Now Star Wars fans can share their enthusiasm with even very young children. The series launches with the original trilogy, with each volume featuring 12 iconic scenes. The photographs show each scene as handcrafted in felt . The attention to detail is superb and quite amazing, given the medium with a single word on the opposite page neatly summing up the picture; cleverly done and fans will really appreciate the clever way a story is encapsulated so simply. In A New Hope, Princess Leia sends a hologram message through R2-D2, Luke Skywalker will learn how to use a lightsaber, and our heroes triumph. In Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes BackLuke meets his teacher Yoda, Han Solo makes a friend, and there is a lightsaber duel with a Sith Lord in the dark. Finally, in Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi the monster Jabba is encountered, C-3PO conducts story time and there is a happy ending. Enthusiasts will want these too, whether or not the have the excuse of young children!

Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland

Who can resist the catchy rhyming text that gallops through this book? Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes are here to help children learn about opposites as they meet the most colourful range of dinosaurs ever, now in board book to share with very young children. It's perfect to read aloud - but only if you share the vibrant pictures at the same time. The simple text just trips off the tongue - 'Dinosaur roar, dinosaur squeak, dinosaur fierce, dinosaur meek...' An exuberant book that will have little ones clamouring for you to read over and over again

Rabbits Don't Lay Eggs! by Paula Metcalf

Rupert the Rabbits is bored with life in his lonely burrow - especially when he hears the animals in the farmyard. So he digs a tunnel and when he reaches the farmyard, he tries very hard to be useful... with unhappy but hilarious consequences. But then he finds a job he is good at, and all the animals are very grateful. The gentle humour is just right for young ones and the bright detailed pictures give lots of opportunity for talking about what happens on the farm. The lovely glittery yellow cover is very spring-like.

My Mummy is Magic by Dawn Richards

This board book edition is a perfect gift for young ones to give on Mother's Day - or a gift for any time of year, this is a delightful celebration of all the things mothers do day after day and is an excellent way to remind children (and dads!) of just what mothers do. Mothers do all sorts of magic things and are always there to make their children feel better, to care for them, cook for them, read them stories and much more. A lovely story to snuggle up with and share.

Train! by Judi Abbot

Trains - but not only trains - cars and planes and diggers too. Little Elephant loves trains, so he has a train ride as a special treat. But Cat wants to play with his plane, Penguin wants to play with his car and Rabbit would rather play with his digger. How will they learn to play together? Luckily, they find a solution in this, an ideal book for all young children who love things that go. It's gentle message helps little ones learn about playing together and sharing too. A joy to read aloud and young children will love to join in with the rhythmic text - and shout aloud TUNNEL!

Lulu Loves Numbers by Camilla Reid

Lulu is one of those lovable characters who has great appeal for young children and I've found both girls and boys respond well to her. Now Lulu is learning how to count and having lots of fun along the way - and so will your child as they learn with her and enjoy lifting a flap on every spread, and guessing what's underneath. Lulu's learning her numbers on a trip to the farm with her mummy and there are lots of friendly animals to spot. Perfect for little fingers, this board book has rounded corners to make it safe to hold. The busy pictures give plenty to talk about, stimulating observation and discussion as well as number skills.

Cheep Cheep Pop-Up Fun (Little Snappers) by Jonathan Litton

This colourful lift the flap book will immediately engage toddlers with its bright colours and generously sized flaps. As they lift the flaps, they will love the cleverly engineered animals who pop out to delight them. There's engaging text alongside the pictures, which encourages children to guess who is hidden beneath the flaps - there are clues to spot in the pictures too. So take the time to encourage your child to guess before revealing the surprise. The bright colours and friendly animals guarantee the appeal of this book.

I Love You to the Moon and Back by Tim Warnes

This lovely story is perfect for parent and child to share together at bedtime, and for them to share all the things they have done together during the day. When the sun comes up, Big Bear and Little Bear share a happy day together, through simple text and warm loving pictures which show the shared love perfectly. As the day ends,  wrapped in each other's arms, they reflect on their love and how it extends to the moon and stars.

Words (Let's Look & See)

An eye-catching book with simple colourful photos of familiar objects, set against bright clear backgrounds. Each page has one large photo plus text label, and along the bottom are photos of related objects for children to name and discuss. A plate faces the knife, fork and spoon and the other photos are related, encouraging children to observe the world around them. With a soft-feel padded cover and rounded corners, this is a perfect first book to stimulate early learning and enjoyment of books.

Puss in Boots (First Fairy Tales) by Jan Lewis

How lovely to see a colourful board book introducing this much-loved fairy tale to the youngest of children. There are plenty of versions of fairy tales for older children but this is the first I have seen for this age group. The story is told in rhyming text and this will get a good response from little ones who will enjoy the flowing words. It's a simple but accurate re-telling with delightful illustrations. The soft padded cover, rounded corners and wipe-clean pages make this perfect for babies and parents will love to share this with their young ones. Children are encouraged to spot the butterflies too!

Colours (Learn-a-word Picture Board Books) by Nicola Tuxworth

Another excellent board book from Armadillo, a publisher new to me but one I am delighted to have discovered. The board books are bright and colourful and ideal to stimulate early learning. This colours book is much more detailed than most colours books for young children. To take an example, the page on blue shows flowers, a fish, a butterfly, the sea, and much more. Each page has a question to answer, so the book will work well for younger children who will enjoy the pictures, on to older ones who can discuss the questions and the objects. Good quality photos against bright backgrounds make for an attractive book.

First 20 Numbers (Bright Baby Lift-the-Flap Tab Books) by Roger Priddy

Priddy Books are always eye-catching with bright clear colours and well set out pages which are perfect for young eyes. The bright photographs of familiar objects including toys, food, animals and more will capture toddlers' attention and they love to spot familiar things. As they enjoy the book, which helps with counting up to 20, they will find questions to answer and more than 25 flaps to lift and explore. As well as learning numbers, children will be encouraged to talk about what they see and will develop manipulative skills as they turn the pages and lift the flaps. Big tabs on the edge of the pages help children navigate and add another level of interest to this enjoyable book.

Farm (Lift-the-flap Tab Books) by Roger Priddy

With tabs and flaps, this colourful book offers plenty of fun for young learners. The tabs make the pages easy to turn, thus encouraging children to read and enjoy the book, whether on their own or sharing and discussing with an adult. It's a busy day on Huckleberry Farm and children will follow Farmer Rob and his family as they work on the farm. From producing the food to selling it, this gives an early introduction to where our food comes from. The sturdy board pages have bright, colourful pictures to capture children's attention, and there is a surprise under every flap. The use of bright colours and simple illustrations makes the book appealing for young readers and children will love to learn about the farm.

Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun (Little Snappers) by Jonathan Litton

Just look at that bright fun cover! Don't you agree that children will be instantly attracted to it? And then they will open the pages to find giant flaps behind which pop up colourful and quirky jungle animals. Rhyming text asks a question and the rhyme is continued under the flap. The cleverly engineered pop-ups will capture children's attention and they will be eager to see what is hidden under the next flap. Zingy colours and charming animal pictures complete a lovely book for little ones.

Peek-A-Boo Pirates by Charles Reasoner

This lovely little board book is just right for tiny hands. Every page has a different shaped edge to encourage children to explore shape; as well as that, there are little cutouts on every page to peep through - a circle, an arrow and a cross to look through forward and backwards. Catchy rhyming text accompanies the bright pictures and all these aspects combine together to make a super first book. Peek-A-Boo Fairies (Curious Fox: Charles Reasoner Peek-a-Boo Books) is equally lovely with softly rounded shapes and circles to peep through.

Peep Inside the Farm by Anna Milbourne

This engaging non fiction title is the ideal way to introduce toddlers to life on the farm and to show them where our food comes from. It's packed with flaps to lift and cut-out shapes to explore, giving a lovely tactile experience. Each page has a question to answer - and the answer is (almost) hidden under the flaps, making for an interactive experience that is ideal to share and enjoy together. There's lots to learn and plenty to discuss in this super colourful board book.

Let's Play... Ice Skating! by Yu-hsuan Huang

Set against a colourful and detailed townscape, three little children learn to skate on an outdoor rink in a park - just like many children will over the festive season! Pull tabs and spin wheels to watch them cleverly turn from slippery beginners into gliding stars of the ice show! All the joy is shared through the rhyming text and vibrant pictures, and these are enhanced by plenty of mechanisms to slide, turn and twist to change the scenes. I love the fact this book is a good size, giving plenty of scope for the lovely lively pictures and plenty of interaction from toddlers. I also like, and I know little ones will too, the satisfying 'clunk' when the tabs are turned and twisted. The book is sturdily made, perfect for enthusiastic handling!

Bear Hugs (Charles Reasoner's Little Cuddles) by Charles Reasoner

This bear-shaped board book is a lovely cuddly celebration of all the lovely things bears love to hug outdoors - but most of all, they love to hug mummy! Warm and gentle, the text and pictures are perfect to introduce little ones to the wonderful world of books.

Wind (Whatever the Weather) by Carol Thompson

This exuberant series of board books celebrates children's reactions to the weather - whether it be rain, sun, snow or wind. The lively pictures show children thoroughly enjoying all that the weather brings and are an excellent way to introduce the different types of weather - and to show that they can all be fun, especially when you are very young. We see how children experience weather through all their senses and the simple text offers ample opportunity for sharing and discussion - and that's what books are all about at this age! Also available are Sun (Whatever the Weather), Snow (Whatever the Weather) and Rain (Whatever the Weather) I love the child-friendly style of the pictures and the sheer joy of these books from Child's Play.

Playtime (WILD!) by Courtney Dicmas

Another lovely set of board books to share with your young one. Wild! shows us that play times can be fun - especially for the baby animals. Each book features a series of enchanting baby animals, pictured in gentle pastel colours, and all enjoying the same activities that human babies do. Perfect for sharing and for stimulating discussion, the short rhyming texts flow through the books and each one expresses all the warmth and love that are felt by families everywhere, be they animal or human. Courtney’s wacky style and eye for detail perfectly illustrate the fun, laughter and love shared each day in family life. Other stories to enjoy and share throughout the day are Mealtime (WILD!), Bathtime (WILD!) and Bedtime (WILD!)

Max's Bath by Barbro Lindgren

This lovely set of board books would make an ideal present for a newborn. Delicately illustrated in pastel colours, with rounded corners and lie-flat pages, they have instant appeal - I love the coloured spines. Simple text with plenty of repetition will mean little ones find the story easy to follow. The books use familiar settings, to which children will readily relate and the gentle story lines are charming. Join Max as he has a bath - with one or two friends and his long-suffering dog! In Max's Wagon our playful hero fills his wagon with his favourite things - and one goes missing at the end! Max's Bear is another playful story featuring Max's bear and dog - and a potty! Publication January 2015.

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark Book & Plush Set (Book & Toy) by Jill Tomlinson

A much-loved story is given a fresh take with the inclusion of an irresistible cuddly toy owl - Plop. Boxed up with a mini book based on the best-selling story, this would make a lovely gift. Plop is almost perfect, except for one thing - he's afraid of the dark! But one day, he learns that the dark isn't quite so scary and dangerous as he feared and learns to embrace the dark and its wonders. With its stunning illustrations by Paul Howard, this is a real gem of a story. Using the toy owl, children can be encouraged to talk about their fears and gain reassurance from this comforting story.

Words (Alphaprints) by Roger Priddy

Give babies and toddlers a clever tactile experience with ten coloured fingerprints are turned into everyday objects - an apple, a dog, a boy... The delicate fingerprints are embellished with clever designs to make a lovely-looking book to share and enjoy. I love this series from Priddy Books - I reviewed Alphaprints ABC a while ago and I must say that, although the larger format is impressive, this smaller chunky book is easier for little hands to hold as they trace the embossed fingerprints.

Count to 10 With a Mouse by Margaret Wise Brown: Storybook and Cuddly Toy Gift Set

Aaaah! This is really cute! Open very carefully - there's a soft cuddly mouse in the box along with a mini hardback counting book. The little mouse decides that he needs to learn to count and as he runs through the book, he finds one hole, two holes, three fish, four monkeys... Delicate pastel illustrations and an unusual take on counting books make this rhyming book a delight. Coupled with the fluffy mouse and packed in a gift box, this makes a lovely gift for a baby.

Peppa Goes Ice Skating from Ladybird Books

With all the skating rinks that spring up around the festive season, many young children will experience the fun of ice skating - and this first experience book is the perfect way to introduce them to skating. Peppa and George have never been ice skating before and Peppa keeps falling over - until Mummy Pig teaches Peppa her to skate and then she finds out what fun it is. But George doesn't need teaching at all! A lively story with well loved characters.

I Am the Wolf ... and Here I Come! by Bénédicte Guettier

Watch the wolf put on his trousers, his T-shirt, his socks... in this great read aloud story with a surprise at the end. Simple text and bright illustrations give the book instant eye-appeal for young children and a sequence of events always appeals. I do have reservations about the thickness and weight of the book though. The cloth spine is good and durable as are the heavy card pages but they do make a very thick and heavy book for little hands to manipulate.

Five Silly Snowmen by Steven Lenton

The shiny squashy cover with its bright blue background and comical snowmen will immediately attract children's attention. Inside, they can count the silly snowmen who bounce and race and zoom around in this brightly coloured counting book. And by the end of it, they are quite worn out and huddle into bed together.

Five Little Ghosts by Patricia Hegarty

Another comical counting book and this one is perfect for bedtime as the ghosts end up with a sleepy goodnight - and nobody could be frightened of these friendly creatures! This board book has a soft cover, rounded edges and a rhyming story little ones will love.

Lulu Loves Noises by Camilla Reid

Lulu is a lovely little character who has instant appeal for young children. They can join Lulu as she goes through a busy day, from waking to the noise of the birds in the tree to settling down at the end of the day. Little ones will love to lift the flaps and explore the busy and engaging pictures beneath as they find the answers to the questions. A lovely first board book to develop early skills and pleasure in books.

Woolly and Tig: Finger Puppet Book by Brian Jameson

Just right for snuggling up at bedtime, this cosy counting board book features a soft Woolly finger puppet to share the story. I've found that, quite often, finger puppet books can be quite hard to manipulate but the shape of this book means it's easy to turn the page and use the puppet, the rounded corners make it safe for little ones too. Woolly and Tig are popular TV characters and children will enjoy this gentle learning to count lullaby to soothe them to sleep.

Can You Say It Too? Growl Growl by Sebastien Braun

Children love to imitate animal noises and they are often among the first 'words' children say. Add to that the fun of trying to guess who is hiding behind the flaps, aided just by a hint of the animal showing, and you have a book packed with fun for little ones. This board book has bright pictures which include plenty of lively details to enjoy, plus big sturdy flaps with shaped edges which are easy for little fingers. A lovely first book.

Girls' Noisy Potty Book by Sarah Davis

This super book should even make parents look forward to starting potty training! Children will be captivated by the humorous rhyming text - 'Buy a potty to suit your botty' - and the lively photos of everything potty related. It's all done with wonderful touches of humour, such as the little girl mopping up an accident; this all lightens what can be a stressful time. There are lots of flaps to lift - with some very funny questions and answers - and some really good sounds. Keep this lovely book by the potty and little girls will be very happy as they sit there! And don't worry - boys don't miss out on the fun as they have Boys' Noisy Potty Book to enjoy.

TouchThinkLearn: Shapes by Xavier Deneux

This is a really stimulating book for babies and toddlers. Solid and chunky, it's a delight to handle - although you will need to help your baby look at it as part of the delight is the heavy card used to create the book so the book is quite weighty. Shapes offers simple raised die-cut shapes on a left-hand page mirrored in the scooped-out shape on the right. It's clear and crisp and also very clever - for example, the snake is a raised spiral that is reflected in the cut-out circle containing a spiral. It's beautifully done - the sheer simplicity of the white backgrounds and reflected shapes is brilliant. One of the best concept books for young children that I have seen. As children mature, they will still enjoy this book as each age will see more in it.

Farm (Toddler Town) by Roger Priddy

This illustrated first word and picture board book is full of things to look for and find on the farm including farm animals and vehicles. The special features include tabbed pages which are perfect for little fingers, die-cut holes to the pages and shiny, holographic foil textures. There's even a clever page with an acetate window which creates two new pictures when flipped over, so the book is full of features to grab little ones' attention.

Bizzy Bear: Zoo Ranger by Benji Davies

Bizzy Bear books are lovely! Full of interactivity yet sturdy enough for the youngest child, they provide hours of fun as little ones explore the pushes and pulls and spot how the pictures change - and not always in the way you would expect! Today, Bizzy Bear is at Happy Zoo , working as a zoo ranger - helping look after the lions, scrub the crocodile (mind those teeth!) and feed the penguins. The brightly coloured pictures are full of detail with plenty to spot and talk about.

Baby Shine (Baby Look) by Samantha Meredith

We all know how important it is to capture babies' attention when they are enjoying their first books, and this new series with its sparkly foil embellishments really catches the eye. Baby Shine features many of the first objects babies will spot - drum, book, bib - with an eye-catching shiny green finish and a simple illustration against a blue, green, black or white background. The book has been kept simple, with high contrast images against the clear uncluttered background perfect for little ones. The tabbed pages make opening the book easy for little fingers - babies can get frustrated with 'normal' pages so this is excellent.

Baby Bright (Baby Look) by Samantha Meredith

Baby Bright is another lovely book with more objects familiar to babies, many linked in pairs. Little ones will enjoy tracing the wiggly line that weaves its way across the pages, joining the pictures together. This time, the pictures are yellow, green, black and white with shiny gold foil that really makes the images stand out. A very stylish and attractive pair of books - a real joy to read and to share.

Daddy is My Hero by Dawn Richards

A perfect story for daddies everywhere to share with their little ones. We all know that Daddy is a hero to his young child and this book celebrates that loving relationship. A child plays dressing up with Dad, and together they go on some amazing adventures. As if by magic, Dad becomes a cowboy and a knight, fights pirates and flies a spaceship, all in the course of one special day together. The simple rhyme and bright pictures will capture the attention - and give daddies lots of inspiration!

Early Starters: Can You? by Rod Campbell

We all know and love Rod Campbell for his wonderful Dear Zoo as well as many other childhood classics. Early Starters is his major new series for toddlers. Each book has a a key theme and uses a variety of carefully selected novelty elements to encourage participation and fun as well as early learning. In Can You? the toddler is encouraged to copy the actions of the baby and the cat and the textures in the book encourage this interactivity. Encourage your toddler to learn and explore with this lovely series.

Scooter Bee (Whizzy Wheels) by Marion Billet

When children have shared and enjoyed the adventure in the park, they will enjoy pushing the book along and re-enacting the story. See if you can encourage them to remember what happened as they push Scooter Bee along on his integral wheels. The bright action-packed pictures give adults lots to talk about with their child, plus all sorts of things to spot on the busy pages. Great fun!

A Day on the Farm (Pull-the-Tab Books) by Sally Hopgood

This is lovely! The quirky patchwork style illustrations are full of fun with lovely humorous details for little ones to spot, such as the cat on the farmer's head. The soft colours are delicate and appealing. Meet all the friendly farmyard animals and find out what they do all day - and then see if your child can name them all at the end. Each page of this board book has a generously sized pull out - a pull out which is really easy for little fingers and they go back with a satisfying clunk and no sticking.

Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean

I was pleasantly impressed with the amount of detail in the illustrations - not a book for babies but for toddlers who will delight in spotting everything that is going on in the lively pictures of the busy garden with lots of people working and playing; so much to talk about as the scene changes and new things happen in each picture. In between, the toddler and mum dance and sing together. It's a lovely way to encourage little ones to observe and to discuss what they see - and what they would enjoy doing. An unusual and very effective board book.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes by Steven Lenton

First impressions count - I love the soft padded cover and rounded corners which are perfect for a first book. The book opens out to reveal sturdy board pages with bright illustrations featuring lots of friendly creatures and people. Many familiar rhymes are here and a few less familiar, such as Turtles. These first rhymes are lovely for sharing and babies always respond well to rhythm and rhyme; there are plenty of chances to incorporate actions too.

Sleepy Time (Little Friends) by Roger Priddy

This lovely soft cuddly cloth book is a perfect first book, and ideal for bedtime cuddles as it goes through the going to bed routine in company with friendly little Baby Bear. The pages are soft and thick and the soft furry cover with its fabric Little Bear is perfect to snuggle down to sleep with. It's presented in a gift box so makes a lovely gift for a newborn. And before bedtime, let your little one enjoy splashing in the bath with Splish Splash (Little Friends) - a soft padded bath book all about Little Duck learning to swim. I love the delicacy of the colours.

Home Sweet Home (Little Friends) by Roger Priddy

The delicate colours and friendly animals are appealing and attractive and the catchy rhyming text is enjoyable to read aloud. There are full page sturdy flaps for children to lift and explore and these give plenty for the adult to discuss and name. Each features a different natural setting with its appropriate animals. In the same series, Happy Birthday (Little Friends) is a touch-and-feel book with lots of textures for your baby to explore as she enjoys sharing the story with you. It's Little Puppy's birthday so there's plenty of excitement to share. Babies love textures and it's a great way to encourage exploration.

Let's Play (Little Friends) by Roger Priddy

I like the delicate colours used in this series of books and with the variety of book types, this makes a really lovely set to give to a baby - all different formats are included to develop a range of early learning skills. Babies and toddlers love sound books - they will play the sounds over and over again. Gradually, they learn to match the sound to the text and this is another developmental skill. The sounds in this book are loud and clear and a good way to encourage listening skills when out and about. This set of reviews is completed by Hello Friends (Little Friends). This chunky pastel coloured shaped board book is also a rattle and a teether, with soft knobbly 'ears' which will ease those painful gums. A well thought out series which offers lots of variety.

Seaside (Toddler Town) by Roger Priddy

Toddlers are busy exploring the world around them and this series of colourful board books is just the thing to encourage that inquisitiveness and to share as your little one starts to get to know his wider world. There are die-cut holes in the pages and shiny, holographic foil textures to add interest to the colourful pictures. Each book features a clever page with an acetate window which creates two new pictures when flipped over. At the seaside includes beach toys, boats, clothes, sandcastles and much more.City (Toddler Town) is another in this set of word and picture board book full of things for toddlers to spot and talk about. The bold use of colour and the simple illustrations are perfect for children of 1+.

Farm (Toddler Town) by Roger Priddy

Farms are exciting places and toddlers can get to know what to look for through the pages of this colourful book. Talk about animal noises, how things grow, animal babies and much more. Each book features an acetate cut-through which changes the picture as it is turned. The holographic textures which show through the holes on the cover of each book in this series will instantly attract attention as little ones love anything glittery. There are questions to discuss on each page and lots of things to look out for. Each book has curved cutout shapes at the top, making them stand out and giving another tactile experience. And for more animal fun, there is Toddler Town: Zoo which let's young ones meet all sorts of colourful animals and talk about them. A great series for discovering the places toddlers will visit and helping them become familiar with their world.

First Words (My First Books) by Roger Priddy

A touch-and-feel first word board book for babies. The pictures are simple, bold and striking and each has a clear text label . The contrasting background makes the pictures stand out and the strong board construction will withstand enthusiastic handling. There's a stimulating texture on alternate pages to touch and feel thereby developing sensory skills.

Can You Say It Too? Woof Woof by Sebastien Braun

Animal noises are often among the first sounds children make so encourage them to explore beneath the flaps and copy the animal sounds. These are ideal lift-the-flap books for little hands. So many lift-the-flap books, even when aimed at small children, have small fragile flaps that just can't withstand enthusiastic opening. Not so these - they are great big flaps made of strong card. The book can also be used as a guessing game - who is in the hutch? Who is in the pond?

Can You Say It, Too? Moo! Moo! by Sebastien Braun

More big flaps to lift, animal noises to make and creatures to discover. Bright colourful pictures offer plenty of interest with lots of talking points. Another good thing about these books - the flaps are easy to lift even for young children, and lifting the flaps is a great way to develop manipulative skills. Each flap has a different cut out shape too - another dimension for children to explore. Use the picture clues to help your child guess what will be revealed when the flap is lifted.

One, Two, Peek-a-Boo by Annette Rusling

Your young child's interest will be grabbed from the start of this book with its cut-outs on the cover - and that interest will be held by the enticing flaps throughout the book. Rhyming text leads the reader to discover a linked surprise under each big flap - a dog in his kennel; bees enjoying honey. The artwork is clever and the transformations will intrigue and amuse children. There is plenty of tactile opportunity in this book with all the different shaped cut-outs within the flaps. Bold and colourful with simple illustrations which are perfect for young children, this is a lovely book with plenty to enjoy.

The Perfect Hug by Joanna Walsh

There are hugs for everyone - for wrigglers and gigglers; hugs that are tickly and hugs that are prickly ... but which is the perfect hug? This fabulous feel-good picture book is simply bursting with the cuddliest, snuggliest, most perfect hugs. It's warm and loving with some very colourful creatures that children will love. I see this board book as a perfect gift for Mother's (or Father's) Day - just right for a child to give as well as receive so that you can both share the warmth of the book.

Baby Touch Feel Hugs (Baby Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy

Young children respond well to textures and to bright colours so this good-sized board book will be stimulating for them. Lots of cute baby animals are shown in gorgeous photos and there are fluffy and shiny textures to explore. The backgrounds are bright and the rhyming text will encourage children to read along and say their first words. The curved top gives another shape to enjoy.

Baby Twinkle (Baby Look) by Samantha Meredith

Babies, as we all know, respond to contrasting colours and to shiny textures so this board book is a great way to capture their attention. Every page has an eye-catching shiny red finish with slight embossing to feel, and a simple illustration of objects that babies will be familiar with. The black and white pages which have rounded cut out and staggered edges are easy for little fingers to manipulate and babies can trace along the lines which link the pages.

Little Master Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (BabyLit) by Jennifer Adams

An interesting concept this, which sets out to introduce the youngest of children to the great classics through the means of board books. Simple text and stylish design show clothes as they could have been in Anna Karenina. Each page has a question for your child to answer, thus helping observational and discussion skills. Good use of colour adds to the appeal.

Sophie La Girafe: Peekaboo Sophie! (Sophie the Giraffe) by Dawn Sirett

Sophie the Giraffe seems to be a must-have accessory for every baby, such is the instant popularity of this import from France. Babies who have Sophie (and those who don't) will love to see Sophie in the pages of this colourful interactive board book. Every page has a big flap to lift - easy for little fingers and strong enough to withstand enthusiastic use. As little ones help Sophie look for her friends under the flaps, they will find a range of textures to explore as they meet each friend. As your child grows, there are questions to discuss to enhance enjoyment and learning.

Chug, Chug Tractor (DK Board Books)

The cover says 'The best tractor book ever' and that could well be true for this age group. My young tester, was most intrigued when he lifted the flaps and all the sounds came with no further action on his part. So often, the sound tabs in books are too stiff for little fingers, so this was sheer joy for him - I'm surprised the battery didn't wear out! There are five flaps that have light-activated sounds and lots more flaps to explore as well. There are learning opportunities on every page and lots of text labelling. These, combined with the bright child-friendly pictures packed with detail and the rhyming text, give plenty to talk about.

Baby Touch and Feel Numbers from DK

Tactile board books are the ideal introduction to books for babies. This sturdy board book is small enough for little hands and has safe rounded corners. Inside, little ones will enjoy exploring animals from 1 to 10 with fluffy, bobbly and shiny textures. As baby feels her way around each page, count aloud with her and name the animals, helping counting and naming as well as sensory development. This is so important, even from a very young age, as children learn the pleasure there is in books and in cuddling up with an adult to share them.

Dippy Duck's Dance (Bath Books) by Lyn Wendon

Little ones are relaxed and happy at bath time so it's a lovely time to share books. This soft padded bath book with its bold colours has a lovely feel for little ones and they will enjoy sharing Dippy Duck's story - perhaps along with their own bath time duck! There's more to the book than you'd expect - it squeezes to squirt out water and opens up concertina-fashion for extra play fun. Young ones will enjoy joining in with the song and actions and it's a good way to start introducing the Letterland characters.

Baby Jake Loves Counting (Baby Jake Lift the Flap)

Young children love Baby Jake so they will enjoy learning to count from 1 to 5 with his help. Each spread has the number on one side and on the opposite side there is a hole to peep through and a flap to lift to find out who is hiding alongside Baby Jake's friends. All the favourites are here, along with the familiar scenes, so toddlers will have fun pointing out all the things they recognise. The flaps are shaped and also textured differently.. Lots to learn and talk about.

In the Night Garden: Wiggle and Giggle Finger Puppet Book (Ladybird Finger Puppet Book)

An enduringly popular CBeebies programme is brought to life for toddlers with the Igglepiggle puppet in this finger puppet book. Wiggle, giggle, dance and jiggle and help Igglepiggle say hello to all of his In the Night Garden friends. Little ones will love to point out their favourite characters and familiar scenes in the pages of this colourful board book. My only negative comment is that the hole at the back to use the puppet is a little tight to be able to really wiggle the puppet around as much as I would have liked.

Peter Rabbit Let's Cuddle from Ladybird Books

Peter Rabbit, as a soft cuddly puppet, pops his head out from the front of this board book and entices children in with as series of actions which encourage the child to join in with the story. The backgrounds are classic Beatrix Potter illustrations. This is a lovely puppet - generously sized, there are great opportunities to act out the story 'Scratch my nose and watch it wiggle!'. As well as reading the story, the puppet (and the book) could be used alongside reading other Beatrix Potter stories. A lovely way to give little children their first taste of Beatrix Potter.

Thomas & Friends Totally Thomas! Fold-out Fun Book

Much more than just a book, this folds out to make a long track to use with any toy trains. One side of the book is a story about the day Thomas started seeing double and as well as the story, there are activities to enjoy including a maze, spot the difference and many more. There are also lots of facts about the stories. The fold-out track encourages children's imaginative play as they enjoy the activities. There's even a ludo game at the end. I think it would be great for train-mad children to take on holiday with a few toy trains so they can still enjoy playing trains! A lovely way to complement the ever-popular stories, versatile and full of different activities.

Little Bubba Looks for His Elephant (Tiny Tabs) by Jannie Ho

Little Bubba is having fun at nursery but he really wants his toy elephant, which he can't find anywhere. Little ones will love to pull out the tabs and help him - but there are a few surprises along the way as Bubba's classmates pop up all over the classroom. The simple repetitive text is perfect for young ones and they always respond well to surprises behind tabs. The tabs on this book pull out with a nice satisfying 'clunk' which babies love. The illustrations are bold and clear and they give adults plenty of opportunity to discuss what happens in the classroom.

Baby Animals (Touch and Feel) by Roger Priddy

Right from the koala's leathery soft nose on the cover, children will love to feel the textures as they learn about baby animals in this chunky board book. There are simple rhymes about each baby animal to read out loud while the child  explores the different textures - the lion cub's soft fur, the elephant's bumpy trunk, the piglet's soft ear, the zebra foal's stripes and lots more. The contrasting pictures, with bright full page photos set against the animals on white backgrounds are also good for young eyes.

Baby's Treasure Hunt (Activity) by Roger Priddy

Roger Priddy got the idea for this book from seeing the pleasure babies get from catalogues, as well as seeing bright patterns. The book certainly succeeds - a nine month old obviously enjoyed the shapes and patterns of the objects repeated on the pages, while a two year old found the spotting questions fun. There are seven spreads, some with mainly identical pictures and a spread of very different baby faces. It's fun to share and gives plenty to talk about.

Animal Noises (Picture Books) by Nicola Killen

Young children will enjoy the anticipation as they look at the clues - a tail showing, an eye peeping out, an insect wing - can they guess who is hiding? There's a clue in the sound, so this is fun to share and read aloud in this book which teaches basic concepts. Gentle language and soft yet detailed pictures make this a lovely first book.

My First Word Book by Felicity Brooks

Books like this are really stimulating for young children. They are learning at such a phenomenal rate and sharing books like this can only enhance that learning. This book contains over 270 words, divided into key areas such as food and drink, things that go and on the farm. Each is illustrated with a simple yet colourful illustration, often with an element of humour. Children love to spot familiar objects and to learn new words and there's plenty of opportunity for both here. The pages are very thick card and the book is a generous size without being unwieldy for little ones.

Alphaprints: ABC by Roger Priddy

Clever! An animal alphabet with a difference. Each creature is cunningly formed around a textured fingerprint - perfect for little fingers to trace around. The colouring is spectacular - it's hard to do it justice in writing but the images jump off the page at you, with the shiny texture and the vibrant and often unexpected use of colour. There are so many elements to the pictures - they are made up of many parts; the rhino has a carrot for his horn, the iguana is adorned with crayons... It's such fun to share with children who will love to spot the unexpected, and rhyming text is fun too. This really is one of the best board books I have enjoyed for a long time.

First 100 Words Lift-The-Flap by Roger Priddy

A big, bright, bold book with lots of vibrantly coloured pictures to attract young children. Books like this are a superb way to extend vocabulary and the flaps have the added benefit of helping the development of hand-eye coordination. Children love the anticipation of looking under the flaps and you can extend this by either asking them to guess what lies beneath, or seeing if they remember from last time. On each two page spread, the flaps are just one side - this saves a lot of searching! The flaps are differing formats so manipulative skills come into play. The book manages to introduce shapes, counting, animal babies and much more. Excellent.

Play and Learn ABC (Play and Learn Books) by Roger Priddy

Five tabs, each leading to a page with different features to explore - slides, flaps, textures, stencils and foil - this variety is great for young children as it helps to keep their attention and develops concentration. Bright photos and clear lettering, est against vivid backgrounds, make the pages eye-catching and children will enjoy spotting and naming the familiar objects. Turning pages is not an easy skill, so these tabbed books are great for young fingers which haven't quite the dexterity to manage pages.

Play and Learn 123 (Play and Learn) by Roger Priddy

Number skills, speaking skills and hand-eye coordination will all be developed with this book, which is in the same format as ABC (above). There is plenty to engage children and questions to answer on every page. The stencils to draw numbers are a particularly good feature. Bright and colourful (like all Priddy Books!), this is excellent for helping young ones learn their numbers as well as many other skills. generously sized and with strong board pages, this will get lots of use.

Snug by Carol Thompson

This is a comforting story to share with little ones and as a sturdy board book, it can safely be left with them too. Each double page spread compares different children to a variety of animals - and even to peas in a pod as we look at the different things that make us feel snug. Cosy and gentle - a lovely first book.

Blankies by Carol Thompson

"Blankies" - by whatever name they are known - are a familiar and essential part of many small children's lives. Here we see all sorts of blankies in all sorts of places, showing how important they are - and there's a surprising ending! Fun illustrations of toddlers will help little ones enjoy the book.

Mockingbird Song by Carol Thompson

An old favourite, but one we don't see as often as I would like. 'Hush, little baby, don't say a word, I'm gonna show you a mockingbird!' This beautifully illustrated retelling of the traditional song celebrates the unconditional love and warmth that surrounds a precious child. Share this with your child and enjoy it together. Young children will love the pictures of toddlers.

Climb! (Little Movers) by Carol Thompson

The four books in this series work beautifully together to encourage activity. Little Movers Run, climb, crawl or jump – everybody loves to move! Fast or slow, up or down, alone or with our friends and the sheer pleasure children experience in movement shines through the pictures. These books are perfect aids to help build confidence and control. Ready? One, two, three...let’s move! The charming illustrations depict a lovely range of exuberant children in all manner of likely and unlikely situations and the texts encourage the learning of positional language.

ABC & DO by Lee Singh

This is a fascinating interactive book with some really clever elements that will be much appreciated by adults, and as children get older, they will return to this book with a new appreciation every time. There are many, many alphabet books but this one really stands out for its innovative ideas and the clever way the letters are linked together. Very ingenious - for instance, G is for giraffe and as you lift his neck, you find H for height. It's clever and witty and there are lots of tabs to pull and turn, which little children love. There's an extra level of interest as you may need to search out some of the letters - clever!

Stick Man's First Words by Julia Donaldson

I always like it when I see that a book for young children has tabs along the edges - this shows a real understanding of the way little children use books. The popular character introduces children to a range of early learning concepts, including counting, colours, animal sounds and opposites. Axel Scheffler's amusing illustrations give lots of opportunity for discussion and the bright backgrounds will attract even the youngest child.

Going to Playschool by Sarah Garland

Sarah Garland's children and her depiction of family life have always appealed to me for their down-to-earth depiction of everyday life, with which we can all readily identify. The detailed pictures are so lively and full of activity that they really draw the reader in and the minimal text is the ideal complement. Playschool is a busy confusing place and discussing this book will be the ideal help for your toddler to learn what to expect - there is so much to talk about.

Going Swimming by Sarah Garland

Although most young children love swimming, getting used to the noise and activity of the swimming pool can be quite a challenge. Here is the ideal way to show your toddler what happens at the pool and to give them the chance to ask questions about all the activities they see in the pictures. The baby takes a bit of persuasion to enter the water - but then it's so much fun he doesn't want to get out! A real understanding of the realities of family life is the highlight of these warm and reassuring books.


Rabbit Pie (Child's Play Library) by Penny Ives

This is the ideal first bedtime story for your little one. In this unusual story, told like a recipe, we meet six cuddly rabbits who are the perfect ingredient for sweet Rabbit Pie! The charming illustrations in this board book show the preparations for bedtime, and this is a book you will love to share with your child with its lively pictures of a mischievous rabbit family and its clever wording.

That's Not My Prince (Usborne Touchy-Feely Books by Fiona Watt

This is one in Usborne's hugely popular That's Not My ... series. Very young children love to explore new textures and it's an excellent way to develop their manipulative skills. This time, they can explore the prince's soft hat, fluffy hair, silky sash , bumpy shoes and much more. At the same time, they will enjoy listening to the story and enjoying the bright uncluttered pictures which are perfect for little ones. And at the end, of course, they will find their prince!

Wilbur's Book of Colours by Valerie Thomas

Now the very youngest children can get to know Wilbur with this new range of board books. Packed with bright colourful images, this is a lovely way to introduce children to colours. The illustrations are full of fun and of course Winnie the Witch puts in an appearance. Older children, who already love Winnie and Wilbur, will love to share these books with younger siblings. Other titles include: Numbers, First Words, and Opposites.

That's Not My Princess (Usborne Touchy-Feely Books by Fiona Watt

I wonder which book will be the one for the royal baby? This little princess has a bumpy tiara, silky bows, a thick dress, a fluffy fan and more textures to enjoy. Children's vocabulary and sense of touch will be enhanced as they enjoy the colourful pictures and simple story.

Baby, It's You by Ruth Redford

This innovative book is specially designed for parents to share with their new baby. The left hand spread is for the parent, with plenty of ideas to stimulate baby - playing, moving and peekaboo are just some of the topics covered, with innovative ideas to help development. On the opposite page is a page just for baby, with bright colours and textures to explore. The combination of lots of varied and gorgeous touch-and-feel elements with fun activities mean that parents and baby can explore this great book together and learn at the same time! It's a super concept and I highly recommend the book for its wide and varied range of ideas.

Baby, Let's Play by Ruth Redford

Follow on from Baby, It's You with this book which is equally packed with super ideas. The generous size of these books gives lots of scope for the inclusion of textures and this is ideal for a baby who is just sitting on her own to explore. Again, one page is for adults and the opposite page contains complementary ideas for baby. This book includes more physical and imaginative play activities specifically designed to help develop gross motor skills, as well as to aid baby's cognitive development. I love the use of embossed images on the final two pages - not just one, but lots of them. The range of ideas throughout is excellent; there's lots of variety and plenty of opportunity to expand on the ideas. A super pair of books which will inspire many hours of happy and instructive play.

David Carter's 100 by David Carter

A massive 100 flaps for young children to lift and explore - and the clever twist is that there are lots of flaps in the flaps! As children explore, they will find all sorts of amusing surprises - and the numbers are all shown on the flaps. An interesting variety of brightly coloured settings feature - from city streets to a noisy farm. Children will love to uncover the bright dinosaurs! A clever and attractive way to learn to count. ISBN 9781402787386, published July 2013.

Builder Goose by Boni Ashburn

Your child will thoroughly enjoy hearing the rhythm of favourite nursery rhymes with completely different words in this fun book about a building site. The entertaining construction-themed nursery rhymes are based on a Mother Goose favourite, which children will recognise. The sturdy board book features diggers, graders, crushers, cranes, jackhammers, forklifts and wrecking balls - all the big machines children love. Cleverly done! ISBN 9781454908579, published July 2013.

Collette the Cow (Olive&Moss) by Nina Govan

These are superb! A really stylish set of board books which are sheer joy to read. Join Collette the Cow on a colourful walk to learn about colours; Lois the Lion is playing on the beach and learning his shapes; Michael the Monkey is being very noisy as he plays his musical instruments; and Margot and Mo learn about their numbers as they prepare a tea party. From the embossed covers, which encourage little fingers to explore, to the shiny illustrations, these books are quite delightful. The simple stories are based on Olive&Moss' lovable bestselling characters and children will respond well to the familiarity. A series which will appeal to child and adult alike. Publication date 22/07/13.

Spot the Animals illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Somewhat more challenging than the average, this is a book which will generate plenty of interest with its unusual cut-outs. Peek-a-boo holes in the flaps reveal just part of a colourful animal, leaving the reader to guess. The flaps reveal six animals cleverly camouflaged in their natural habitats, from rain forests to coral reefs -an excellent way to stimulate interest in different environments. ISBN 9781402777233, published March 13.

1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Great fun - the dinosaurs have taken bites out of the pages - -1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and there's not much book left by the end! It's a great way to capture children's attention and help them count, and the last page takes them up to 10. There are lots of excellently drawn dinosaurs for children to enjoy in the amusing text. ISBN 9781402777226. Publication March 13.

Snip! Snap! Pop Up and Play from Parragon Books

Children will love it if you build up the tension while reading the book and slowly open it to reveal the big colourful pop-ups - there's a crocodile, a monkey, a snake, an elephant and a giraffe; I love the friendly monkey! Lots to talk about as you and your child learn about the animals who live in the jungle. Not suitable for under 3s.

Hello Dinosaur from Dwell Studio

Young children are drawn into this book as a question asked about a dinosaur's whereabouts is answered by turning the five die-cut gate folds. Someone prehistoric is hiding in a cave, behind (really big) bushes, in the water, etc. Sturdy card is perfect for the youngest child and the bright colours and big flaps combine with minimal text to produce an enjoyable book. 

Mmm...Let's Eat! by Libby Koponen

As we follow the book through the day, we are introduced to lots of friendly animal characters, each of whom wants to eat only food of a certain colour' linked to what is happening - so as the sun goes down, for example, it's time for orange foods. It's a great way to encourage your child to be observant and spot the colours of foods at home and when out shopping. Food items for each colour are shown - plus a few to test your child! -   then a flap is lifted to show the chosen food. Just a note - the book is US and therefore has US spelling and words.

My Zoo by Rod Campbell

Meet the animals in this colourful board book with its shaped pages, softly coloured backgrounds and friendly animals. From the large grey elephant and the stripy zebra, to the bouncy kangaroo and the big friendly hippo, there are 16 animals to learn about and discuss. The format is clear, simple and uncluttered and there are far more animals here than most board books offer. The animal name is given in clear font on one page and on the reverse is an interesting fact. Of course, Rod Campbell is the author of the perennial favourite Dear Zoo.

Animal Babies by Catherine Veitch

Meet the cute cuddly babies as they play, huddle, ride and more in the pages of this brightly coloured board book with lovely animal photos of babies, some of them with their adult animals. Rhyming text is simple, catchy and enjoyable to read aloud as you share the fun of the pictures.

Animals On the Farm (Lenticular Board Books) by Mike Bryne

The chick's wings flap; the horses tail swishes, the milk comes out of the cow's udders... a super moving picture book that young children will love for its novelty. It's summer on the farm and the reader meets lots of the animals and learns a bit more about them in this colourful board book. There are lots of little details in the pictures to spot and discuss too.

Excuses, Excuses! by Rebecca Rissman

A naughty little boy is having a bad day - but none of it is his fault, of course! He didn't break the vase, soak the cat or any of the other calamities which took place - or did he? Look carefully at the pictures and you will be able to see the evidence of what happened - this gives parents a good chance to discuss the pictures. The little boy realises what he has done wrong and promises to do better - an important message for every child. A board book edition of the picture book.

Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa! (Flip Flap Fun) by Petr Horacek

These super books have the bright bold colours babies love yet there is also a pleasing subtlety to the animal pictures which give them grown up appeal too. "Heehaw," says the donkey. "Miaow," says the cat... and lots more animal sounds for children to copy and learn. The shaped pages gradually reduce in size, making a clever surprise at the end of the story.

Time for Bed (Flip Flap Fun) by Petr Horacek

Again, this is a book with beautifully textured illustrations that will engage baby's senses. The bedtime routine is described in simple text and with engaging pictures - it's bath time but where's baby... The colours all come together in the clever cut outs at the end of the book to make a bright surprise.

In the Night Garden: Rhyme Time Ribbon Book

Perfect for little fingers, with softly coloured little silky tags to help turn the pages. They are a lovely touch sensation for little ones. Children meet the characters from the hit CBeebies series and learn more about them through a series of catchy rhymes. They will love to recognise the familiar characters.

Where's Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max

A delightful story about a favourite childhood game. Lenny plays hide and seek with his dad... but could it be that Lenny is playing tricks on his dad? Dad looks everywhere and he seems to be getting close, but no... At last Dad and Mum hear a little giggle and look - there's a lump under the bedclothes in Lenny’s bedroom. A warm and enjoyable story with bright pictures and strong card pages to ensure it lasts well.

Lenny Goes to Nursery School by Ken Wilson-Max

Lenny’s a bit anxious - it's his first day at playschool. But he soon settles in and find a new playmate and enjoys singing, drawing, riding the tricycles and playing ball. It's such fun, he doesn't want to go home! The series picks up on the way toddlers feel and the result is a reassuring series of books.Interestingly, the books show Lenny is a little boy with a dual heritage - a reflection of Frances Lincoln's commitment to multi-cultural publishing.

Teeny Weeny Looks for His Mummy (Tiny Tabs) by Jannie Ho

Tabbed books are perfect for little ones and this one immediately engages their interest as there's a tab to pull out to show a friendly sun on the cover. Teeny Weeny is t worried - he can't find his mummy anywhere. Little ones will enjoy pulling the tabs to help Teeny Weeny as he looks around the neighbourhood and finds all sorts of friendly creatures - and finally, the best of all! The double sided tabs are very strong, so this book will cope with lots of enthusiastic handling.

Big Trucks (Rhyme and Find) by Melanie Palmer

Double page spreads show bright pictures of a trucks, a tanker and a road train. These big vehicles always fascinate young children, so they will enjoy talking about the pictures and spotting the two images featured on each page. Excellent to develop observation, vocabulary and recognition skills. The catchy rhyming text races through the book, and it good to read aloud.

Emergency Vehicles (Rhyme and Find) by Melanie Palmer

Another colourful book, this time picturing the emergency vehicles which are common on our roads - young children will enjoy spotting in real life the vehicles they have seen in the book. Again, rhyming text and small objects to spot encourage key skills at the same time as having fun.

Noni the Pony by Alison Lester

Noni is a lovable little pony with a tail the colour of honey. She has lots of friends on the farm overlooking Waratah Bay - the cows, the hens, the ducks - but her best friends are Dave Dog and Coco the Cat. It's all fun in the daytime and Noni cares for all her friends, but at night Noni needs her friends - and they are all there for her. Charmingly illustrated, this is the perfect bedtime story for children who snuggle up with all their cuddly friends.

Zoe and Beans: Look at Me! (Zoe & Beans) by Chloe and Mick Inkpen

Now even babies can enjoy the wonderful friendship of Zoe and Beans in this new series of board books. Zoe and Beans and their best friend Oscar have found a dressing-up box, so who can they be today? Robots, doctors, bumble bees, pirates - which is best? This is the first in a brilliant new series of board books featuring the adorable Zoe and Beans and all of their friends. With its gentle rhyming text and irresistible illustrations, this book is perfect for sharing with toddlers and young children, and this story is great for stimulating the imagination..

Zoe and Beans: How Many Pets? (Zoe & Beans) by Chloe and Mick Inkpen

How many pets can your child see in this first counting book? Join Zoe and Beans and their new friend Oscar as they count the animals, from one to ten. There’s a hungry rabbit, a kitten, a duck a puppy and even a cow! There's a huge crowd on the last page - can your child spot all the animals throughout the story? Delightfully toddler friendly illustrations will captivate young children and it's a lovely read-aloud story.

We Go Together! by Todd Dunn

I love the bright colours and shiny look of this book, and it will have great appeal to little ones. See if your child can guess, with the help of rhymes, what goes together - horse and ..., fire and ..... There are some unusual pairings and these set the book apart and will lead to lots more talking and pairing. A lovely book with a touching ending - perfect for bedtime.

Crododaddy by Kim Norman

A celebration of the love between father and son, set out in catchy rhyming text with evocative and poetic language. The use of language is exceptional for a toddler book. One summer day, the little boy sets out on a 'crocodaddy hunt' in the lake. It's fun and imaginative and the pictures by David Walker are full of life and action - and the final spread has a lovely twist. Perfect for dads to read with their boy at bedtime.

It's a Little Book by Lane Smith

I loved the wonderful 'It's a Book' so I was pleased to see that even very young children can enjoy this clever book which shows how vital books and reading are. An uninformed young donkey and a book-loving young ape discuss what a book is really for. This fun and satisfying board book is perfect for small hands, so now the message about the joy of reading can be shared with toddlers too. If you have a toddler and a slightly older child, each can have a copy of the book appropriate to their age and share the fun and joy together.

I Love My Daddy by Giles Andreae

The sequel to 'I Love My Mummy' is the perfect Father's Day present. The gentle rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud and perceptively sums up a lovely father/child relationship, with all the things dads and little children enjoy doing together in real life - playing and singing and just having fun. Emma Dodd's simple but expressive illustrations set off the book perfectly.

Farm Animals by Daniel Nunn

This lift the flap book is a superb way to get young children to really think about where things come from. We are all familiar with the fact that children see things on the supermarket shelves without realising their origins. "Does wool come from sheep?" "Does wool come from cats too?" Young children lift the flaps in this generously sized board book to find the answer, plus some more information. Eye-catching bright illustrations will capture children's attention and spark plenty of discussion.

Little Poppets: Mouse's Sock Tree: A lift-the-flap first story by Paula Metcalf

Little Poppets is a new series for young children which features a cast of lovable animals - Mole, Rose, Pippin and Mouse. This story has a lovely nostalgic feel which will delight parents and bring back childhood memories. When Mouse finds socks growing on his tree, nobody believes him - but there's even more growing on his next day! Children can explore the story through the flaps and they will be very amused by the ending!

Dig In! by April Jones Prince

The industrious mice are creating something special on the building site! Can your little one guess what it is with the aid of the clues that are hidden through the book - or can you guess?  Look carefully and you will find all the information you need to learn they are making.... I'm not telling you! Lots of tabs to pull will keep young ones interested although they may find some of the clues a little subtle. The language in this is unusual - in a positive way - in a book for young children. It's richness makes this a lovely read aloud book - " "In the mixer, goop galore! Spin to mix, reverse to pour."

Dive In! by April Jones Prince

Meet the busy construction mice again - this time, using lots of different big vehicles as they make - well, it's up to you and your child to work it out from the clues on every page. There's lots of detail and plenty to explore, plus tabs to pull and again, some lovely language - " Grabber twists a great big knob. Grounded ships begin to bob." Great fun.

Quack Like a Duck! by Simms Taback

A rhythmic text makes this delightful to read aloud and the book is packed with animal noises which children will revel in imitating, encouraged by the vibrant illustrations call on young readers to imitate the noisy denizens of a bustling barn. Children's attention will be drawn to this book by its lenticular cover which shows a duck waddling and quacking.

Noah's Ark by Susan Collins Thoms

There's plenty in this board book to keep young readers entertained, as they enjoy sharing the classic Bible story with an adult. The animals are delightfully depicted and there are lots of quirky details to spot and giggle over, like the little birds hitching a ride on the elephants. It's a simple retelling, just right for little children and with the message of hope of the rainbow at the end. Just look at the animals having fun when they finally leave the ark! Published by Sterling ISBN 978 1 4027 8549 8

Baby and Me by Emma Dodd

This is a lovely interactive book to help a little one understand how to 'help' with a new baby - and what hard work they are! Push the pram, drink milk, change a nappy, have a bath, wrap in  a towel and put to bed - all with textures and tab ls to explore. Take care! I have put this book in the babies and toddler section as I feel that is the most suitable, but the book does carry a warning about small parts that may be a choking hazard, so ideally share this with your little one so you can enjoy the story together and take the opportunity to discuss what having a new baby means for your family.

Baby Touch: Hide and Seek Ribbon Book from Ladybird Books

This colourful book is designed for babies from three months upwards, and it's lovely to see books for such young babies. Babies are taking in so much information about the world about them, so build on that with this book which stimulates the senses and encourage their dexterity. Share the rhyme on each page and then encourage your baby to turn the pages with the silky tabs, each a different colour. Perfect for sharing and the bright colours will help develop visual skills.

This Little Footballer (Ladybird Touch & Feel) from Ladybird Books

Each page features a different footballer for children to talk about, described in catchy rhyming text and each featuring  a different touch and feel texture. The textures help stimulate sensory awareness as children learn shiny, silky furry and more. Bright colours and generously sized textures will appeal to little ones - and of course, almost all children love football! At the end, your child can choose the last footballer's name.

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion: Let's Play Together

Raa Raa is very popular with the young viewers of CBeebies - of course, they love all the noises and copying them, so they will enjoy the opportunity given by the book to make lots of noise! Raa Raa and Crocky are playing together, but Ooo Ooo feels left out. The friends all learn to play together in this enjoyable story, which also helps children to learn to play together.

Charlie and Lola: Sizzles, Where are You? by Lauren Child

The thing that immediately appealed on my first scan through this book was the large number of flaps to open. Some of them are quite hard to spot and that's a good thing as it means that there will be plenty to explore on second...third...fourth reading. Charlie and Lola are searching for Sizzles the dog - in the living room and into the kitchen, outside in the garden and all the way to the park. Can your child spot Sizzles? There's lots to talk about, with the familiar settings and plenty of colourful scenes.

Touch and Feel Playbook by Eric Carle

A super book which features lots of artwork from Eric Carle's books - a lovely way to make sure children see he wrote lots more wonderful books as well as The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's a generously sized book, with rounded corners and lots of well-sized touch and feel textures and flaps to explore. It introduces first concepts such as animal sounds, colours, numbers, shapes and first words and gives a wealth of opportunities for adults to share and discuss these concepts with toddlers. The butterfly on the last page is an absolute delight!

Touch and Feel Playtime from Dorling Kindersley

Little ones love touch and feel books and they are a super way to encourage them to engage with books. Soft, silky, sticky (the paint pots are brilliant!), fuzzy, scaly and crinkly - a super variety of textures in a chunky board book. All linked with playtime toys and games, so children will love to recognise familiar things. Ideal for encouraging sensory development and plenty of opportunity for discussion.

Let's Talk About: My New Baby by Stella Gurney and Fiona Freund 

This really is an excellent series - I love the way it really gets inside the way a small child thinks. Very perceptive in the way it is written, this would be the perfect book to share with a young child when a new sibling is due, so he knows what to expect - and why. The combination of photos and speech bubbles works well and provides a great basis for discussion. There are real-life tips at the end too. It's reassuring, comforting, empathetic - do please take a look!

My First Playtime: Let's Get Busy! (My First) by Charlie Gardner

Encourage your little one to talk and learn new words with this colourful book, which is absolutely packed with pictures of familiar objects. Each double page features a specific topic - play house, cuddly toys and busy town, for example. There are questions on each page and super photos. Little ones just love to point out familiar objects and learn to say the words. The picture tabs are ideal for little fingers to turn to the page they want.

Pop-Up Peekaboo! Colours from DK

An eye-catching book that will entrance children. The bold bright pop ups feature bright colours and friendly animals, with a special surprise at the end - and they are sturdy enough for little hands!  Four toys each with a different favourite colour and each one is looking for their friend. Ideal to encourage colour recognition and lovely to read aloud.

Jack and the Beanstalk: Noisy Fairytales from Ladybird Books

Sometimes it can be hard to find a fresh take on well-loved stories - this noisy book certainly succeeds in bringing something new. The story is retold in easy-to-follow language perfect to share with the youngest children. There are five exciting sounds - one for each double page of the story. This encourages children to follow along so they can press the sound button in the right place. The pictures are bright and appealing and the sturdy board book will withstand plenty of enthusiastic use.

Mummy and Baby Farm (Handy Little Books) by Samantha Meredith

This is just right for little hands, with its chunky carry handle, embossed cover and lay-flat pages. Inside, children will meet some lovely friendly animals with their babies, all illustrated in right clear colours just right for little ones. The added value of this type of book lies in the many opportunities they give for discussion and learning - you can talk about animals, colours, numbers...

Cloudbabies: Fly Away Home from Ladybird Books

Children love to see their favourite TV characters in books, and it's a super way to interest them in books from a very young age. They respond well to the familiar characters and there are lots of opportunities to discuss the stories. The Cloudbabies are brightly coloured beings who look after the sky. While the Cloudbabies are busy preparing for night-time. Bobo looks after the Skyhorseys by himself. And it isn't long before the Skyhorseys escape! Will the Skyhorseys ever get back home? A lovely bedtime story for little ones and the sturdy board book can be safely left with small children.

Farm Babies (Baby Animal Books) by Liz and Kate Pope

Much more than just a book - this comes with baby animal pieces which slot into the pictures. It's a lovely idea - there are seven colourful animals and they all have a place in the pages of the book. Jigsaws are such fun for young children and they help to develop all sorts of key skills, including manipulation and recognition. Read the story, enjoy the colourful pictures, slot the pieces in, make the animal noises.... lots of fun. And then the pieces all store neatly and securely in the pocket at the front of the book. Lovely and I really hope to see more like this.

Pop-Up Little Lamb by Roger Priddy

Little ones will love to read this book, which has a friendly sheep, some happy ducks, a pretty flower (complete with bee), a fluffy bunny and a cute fawn all leaping off the pages to delight the child. The pictures are clear and simple, with bright colours, just right for young children and there's even a tab to pull on the last page. I find young children react well to pop ups, with their element of surprise and this is a lovely book.

Pets (Bright Baby Touch, Feel and Listen) by Roger Priddy

The combination of a range of soft fluffy textures with four animal sounds (dog, cat, guinea pig and parrot) will capture children's attention. Coupled with the bright pictures of adorable animals means lots of pleasure to be had. Many skills are developed by using books like this - recognition of sounds, tactile skills, manipulative skills plus the opportunity for discussion make these books really valuable - and enjoyable.

Noodle Loves the Park by Marion Billet

The sun is shining and Noodle is out for a walk in the park. Just like your child, Noodle loves to see the ducks, the birds, the trees, the flowers and the bees, but he really loves the swings and playing in the puddles. Can your child see himself? There are plenty of other things to spot in the pictures too. I love Noodle and he is a great favourite with a toddler I know - in fact, Noodle seems to be his very favourite! The friendly face of Noodle and the appealing mix of tactile shapes to feel are always attractive to little ones. A lovely series.

Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer (BabyLit Books) by Jennifer Adams

I must confess I was a little doubtful when I saw this book, but its charm soon won me over. Stylish design and some attractive pictures (all with a Jane Austen theme) make this an unusual book. It is a refreshing change and well designed. It is produced as one of a series designed to introduce children to classic literature - a very laudable aim but I am not sure children of this age will appreciate the literature, rather they will just enjoy an attractive counting book. The adults, however, will love it for the Jane Austen charm.

Flip-A-Shape: Yum! by SAMi

An inventive and unusual way to introduce shapes to young children. It helps young ones with colour and shape identification and connecting those things to a range of familiar foods. Alternating die-cut pages transform one featured shape into a featured food with the flip of a page, so an ice cream cone becomes a carrot, a crescent becomes a banana and so on. Children will love to guess what is coming next. There's lots to talk about in the book and the topic can be extended to all sorts of uses in the world around us.

Flip-A-Shape: Go! by SAMi

The first step - recognising colour and shape - is linked to the next step - identifying objects - in this colourful and fun book. Children will be intrigued by the way shapes change into something different and you can encourage this to extend to things all around, as you look at the various shapes that make up a toddler's world. Sturdily made, these books will withstand lots of enthusiastic use - and I am sure that is what they will get! Fun and educational.

Kipper by Mick Inkpen

Kipper is one of those endearing characters loved by adults as much as children - and he has been delighting us for over 20 years. Now, with the publication of this board book, the very youngest children can meet the lovely Kipper and start to share his adventures. Older children, who already love Kipper, will enjoy sharing this book with younger siblings. Kipper's basket is old and slimy - can he find a new place to sleep? Perhaps a flowerpot? A lily pad? Or a nice dark hole? But he soon finds the ideal place!

I am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

Getting Lola to bed is always a challenge - the cheeky but lovable little girl has an answer for everything! Lola says, "I am not slightly sleepy at 6 or 7 or 8. I am still wide awake at 9 and not at all tired at 10, 11 and 12 and I will probably still be perky at even 13 o'clock in the morning." It's lovely to see this imaginative story in board book format so that very young children can be introduced to this feisty character and her lovely world.

Let's Talk About: Big Beds and Bedtime by Stella Gurney

This is a topic I haven't seen discussed before in the new experiences type of book - but an excellent one as this transition can be hard for little ones. It's time for two year old Layla to move to a big bed We follow Layla as she prepares for her first night; banishes monsters; attempts some late-night wanderings, and finally wakes - a little earlier than ideal! The realism of the photos and especially the way the child's thoughts are presented mark this book out from others. The approach of the whole series is realistic, down-to-earth and above all, very child-friendly. I like it!

Bright Baby Lift-The-Tab: Words by Roger Priddy

Your little one will love this book with its bright colour photos of all the familiar things in his world. The colourful tabs are just right for little fingers and they help develop coordination as they are used to turn the pages. Encourage early recognition skills too, as you ask your child to open the page at the bear, ball etc. Talk about the pictures with your child and develop speaking skills. A super board book for the very youngest children to enjoy.

Guess How Much I Love You: Colours by Sam McBratney

Little Nutbrown Hare is curious about the world around him - just as young children are, so they will enjoy finding about early learning skills with his help. all about colours. He says hello in different ways to his friends – a yellow butterfly, a blue bird, a red ladybird and a green frog; and then says goodbye to brown leaves as they blow away. It is a clear and enjoyable way to learn about colours with appealing shiny elements to the pictures which highlight the colour.

Guess How Much I Love You: Counting by Sam McBratney

Little Nutbrown Hare is exploring with Big Nutbrown Hare in this attractive board book. See and feel dandelions, frogs, butterflies, leaves and bedtime stars. The attractive illustrations will appeal to young readers as they enjoy counting one to five. I like the way the pictures are largely matt but as you tilt the book, you realise some of the elements are shiny - just the things that are being counted. Subtle and appealing.

Peppa's Big Day Out from Ladybird Books

Reading about their favourite TV characters is a super way to develop a love of books in young children, as they readily identify with the characters. Peppa Pig, George and their family are off to a theme park - Potato City. This is an enticingly shaped board book, with lots of curved edges and layered pages to little ones to enjoy. Bright colours and a fun story will engage the attention and give plenty for child and adult to share and discuss.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: A Sound Story Book by Beatrix Potter

Introduce very young children to the delights of Peter Rabbit - complete (I am very glad to see) with Beatrix Potter's original illustrations. What better way to instil a lifelong love of these classic tales, than through a colourful board book complete with a range of sounds. As you share the book with your child, encourage her to press the buttons at the appropriate point, guided by the symbols - super way to make the story interactive and the sounds are bound to elicit a few giggles! The glossy pages and generous size of the book make it extremely appealing.

Animals (Usborne Very First Words)

Encourage your child's first words and animal recognition with the colourful and lively pictures in this chunky first word book. There are over 60 familiar animals to spot and name, grouped into farm animals, pets, wild animals, by the pond and sea animals - plus another page at the end with all sorts of animals - use this page to discuss with your child the groups these creatures belong to. The illustrations are quite charming and perfectly pitched for the age group.

Axel Scheffler's Noisy Farm

Sound chip books are a great favourite with children and what better than to be able to hear - and imitate - the cockerel, sheep, pig, duck, cow and horse. It's a fun story too, as we are taken through the day on a very noisy farm - and there are even more animal sounds to copy at the end of the book. Children are prompted to press the right button by icons through the story - this helps develop listening and observation skills as well as being great fun. This is a strong board book, so durable in even the youngest hands. Bright illustrations and catchy text add to the delight of this book.

Doll's House by Roger Priddy

A lovely book for little girls - I know boys play with doll's houses too, but this is delightfully pink - and boys have their truck book (below). Colourful tabs around the edges of the book show objects from the dolls house - toddlers can be encouraged to name these before using the tab to help them open the pages of this durable board book. Inside are lots of flaps to explore as children meet sisters Lily and Pippa, who live in the doll's house. There is lots of opportunity for discussion about what goes on inside a house as we travel around all the rooms - and even visit the garden! Ideal to develop a range of early learning skills.

Trucks by Roger Priddy

A bright colourful board book for children of 1+ - it will especially appeal to boys, of course. It encourages co-ordination with tabs to open the pages along the side and top of the books - these ensure that even the youngest child can turn the pages. As your child grows, encourage him to spot the various vehicles on the tab before turning to the page. On each page, there is lots to learn - and even more when children lift the flaps to explore the detail underneath. Lots to look at and discuss and many hours of fun to be had.

Things I Say and Do (Carry Along) from Parragon Books

'Learn all about manners with animal friends'. Toddlers will love these neat little packs of chunky board books, complete with carry handle. Each pack has 10 little board books which are just the right size for little fingers. The simple text and colourful pictures will give plenty of interest and each little book teaches toddlers an important message. They are an excellent way to encourage your child to discuss and think about the various sorts of behaviour and what is expected in different situations. The books are: Please, Thank You, Quiet, Take Turns, Tidy UP, Listen, Share, Goodbye, Hello and Sorry. Each features a charming set of animal characters.

How Do I Feel? (Carry Along) from Parragon Books

'Learn all about emotions with animal friends'. It can be hard for young children to understand and to discuss feelings, so this set of 10 chunky books provides an excellent introduction. There are books on Happy, Sad, Angry, Scared, Sleepy, Hungry, Shy, Proud, Playful and Brave. They will be good starting points for discussion - children will learn to recognise the emotion covered by each book and will be happy to choose and discuss the book. Lots more animal friends 'talk' about their feelings when different things happen in these reassuring books which will show toddlers that we all feel these emotions.

My First Opposites from Parragon Books

A brightly coloured board book to introduce children to opposites. Here are Lightning and all of children's favourite Disney Pixar Cars friends - children will enjoy spotting the ones they know. This exciting tabbed board book for little hands helps children enter the world of opposites and begin to develop language comprehension skills. The tabs are perfect for little fingers - toddlers can struggle to turn pages and these help, as well as giving picture clues to the page. The pictures are on the back of the tabs too.


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

Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (Priddy Hello Baby)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Little Learners)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Tiger Kids)


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