Book reviews - babies & toddlers (page 6)

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 young children. 

Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 1)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 2)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 3)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 4)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 5)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Little Learners)
Book reviews - Babies and toddlers (Tiger Kids)

Say Hello to the Gruffalo (Gruffalo Baby)​ by Julia Donaldson

Now the youngest members of the family can enjoy meting The Gruffalo and friends, thanks to Macmillan's lovely new Gruffalo Baby books which celebrate 20 years of this wonderful character. This chunky board book has colourful pages and peep-through holes on each page to introduce the characters Axel Scheffler's classic illustrations are simple enough to be enjoyed by young ones and yet capture the essence of the characters. Older siblings will love to share this book with younger ones, and introduce this much-loved character.

Gruffalo, What Can You Hear?: Buggy Book (Gruffalo Baby)​ by Julia Donaldson

Now babies can take The Gruffalo wherever they go - clipped to the buggy, car seat or high chair, no worries about losing the book, or constantly picking it up, thanks to the round clip and stretchy elastic fastening. What can you hear in the deep dark wood? And what is Mouse's favourite food? Axel Scheffler's delightful illustrations capture the personalities beautifully and this chunky little board book is bound to be a success. An ideal gift, neatly packaged in its own box.

Farm 1 2 3: A Lift-the-flap Book by Rod Campbell

This is a lovely way to introduce very young children to numbers 1 to 10; they will love to lift the flaps to find their favourite farm animals beneath. There are cats and dogs, hens and geese, ducks and rabbits and more. Clever illustrations show some of the creatures on each page, and lifting the flap reveals the full number. The bright, bold artwork, and simple text are perfect for young ones. The thick board pages, chunky cased cover and sturdy flaps are just right for small hands.

The Ugly Duckling (First Stories) illustrated by Dean Gray

Young ones will be absorbed by all the interactive elements of the book, as they push, pull and slide to make the story come alive. The classic story of the Ugly Duckling needs no introduction and now it's given a refreshing new feel with bright artwork which features plenty of birds, animals and insects, set against attractive backgrounds which offer plenty for children to spot and discuss. Can your child find the dragonfly on every page? Children's manipulative skills will be developed as they explore the range of different actions needed to make the pictures change. With its shiny board pages, this is an enticing book to encourage young ones to enjoy books.

ABC Zoo (A Lift-the-Flap Book) by Rod Campbell

From A to Z, here's a whole world of favourite animals for children to explore as they start to learn their letters. Clear attractive pictures have just the right level of detail for young ones. The flaps are cleverly cut out to blend in with the animal, giving children just enough of a challenge to make the book fun. The friendly animals are a good way to stimulate discussion and there are some which as just a little out of the ordinary, like raccoon and walrus. At the end, open the gates to the zoo!

Kindness Rules! from HelloLucky!

Manners - such an important thing to get right, and something we all try to instil in our children so they become second nature. This unusual book introduces Magic, a very polite little elephant. He shares his top tips with children in an inimitable way that gets the message across with a wonderful dose of humour that children will remember - and adults will appreciate many of the subtleties in the text. It covers all the basics - I really like the page where Magic 'breathes and says his words' - the words come spilling out, just like a child's, and just how we want to encourage an upset child to share his or her thoughts. This is a wonderful book, so cleverly written and with lots to share and learn.

Hide-and-Seek Words (Tiny Town) by Joshua George

With their pretty pastel colours, these are really appealing board books. Young children are intrigued by tabs to pull, so they will enjoy this cute early learning book. The rhyming text adds to the enjoyment. Adults will read the clue aloud to children, who can then have a guess before pulling the double sided tabs to reveal the answer. The tabs are well sized and easy to use, with a satisfying 'clunk' when returned. The stylish illustrations by Lemon Ribbon are full of detail to spot and enjoy. A lovely book.

Hide-and-Seek Counting (Tiny Town) by Joshua George

Help children learn their numbers 1 to 10 with this attractive rhyming text book. The lively illustrations by Lemon Ribbon are full of child-appeal and there are lots of familiar objects to spot; some of the sets of pictures have subtle differences, offering another learning opportunity. The format offers plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction, and pulling the tabs develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Lovely books to display in a child's bedroom.

Animal Families: Jungle by Jane Orme

A daddy tiger is called a tiger... a mummy tiger is called a tigress... a baby tiger is called... children need to lift the generously sized animal-shaped flaps to disciver the name of the baby. This is a striking introduction to animal families, with screen-printed artwork accompanying bold neon ink to capture the attention and imagination of babies and toddlers. The pictures are bright and simple, ideal to appeal to little ones, and there are plenty of opportunities for discussion about animal families. A lovely board book.

Sloth Slept On by Frann Preston-Gannon

The children don't know what the sleepy creature is in their garden, so they decide to find out. In this imaginative book, the two older children dream up all sorts of ideas, from an astronaut to a pirate, to a space creature. But it's the youngest who is practical and uses books and a globe and discovers what the creature really is and where it lives. So they decide to send him back where he belongs... but was this the right decision? A cute book with an entertaining twist at the end for children to spot.

Builder's Tool Kit (Pop Out & Play) by Robyn Gale

This is clever! It's a neat combination of board book and puzzle for children to explore and learn about building. There's lots of work for everyone on the construction site and the builders need all the help they can get. Each spread has a pop-out play piece, perfect for little hands to hold, so children can help the workers with their jobs and then put the tools back in the right places. The objects such as a hammer, nails, a saw and screwdriver will be familiar to children and they can look at the colourful pictures then act out their own scenes. It's ideal for role play, good for exploring different occupations in the Early Years classroom, and develops problem solving and motor skills as children replace the pieces once they have enjoyed the story and acted out some scenarios. Nicely done with lots of possibilities for play and discussion, and the detailed pictures by Barry Green enhance knowledge.

Animal Families: Farm by Jane Ormes

Young children always respond well to books on baby animals and especially to farm animals, as these will be familiar from books, TV and the countryside or city farms. This is a striking book with simple but effective pictures set against colourful backgrounds. The animals are beautifully depicted with delicate artwork with bright touches ideal for young children. The flaps are animal-shaped and easy for little fingers to life and for children to discover lots of baby animals underneath. A lovely book.

Nibbles: Numbers by Emma Yarlett

Young ones will be immediately engaged by the cheeky eyes peeping over the top of the cut-out on the cover. Nibbles has munched his way into a book of numbers and this brightly coloured book with its nibbled cut-outs will really capture children's attention as they learn numbers 1 to 10. The approach draws the reader in as there are questions asked throughout - 'Do you know what's after 1?', 'Can you catch him, bring him back?' Nibbles is a lovely character, the illustrations are great and there are lots of opportunities to talk about the pictures in this fun book.

100 First Things That Go from DK Publishing

Young children love to share books with their adults, and this colourful board book offers plenty of opportunities for spotting and talking. The clearly labeled vehicles are grouped by type of place, such as trucks, tractors, in the air and on the water. There are vehicles by colour and even make-believe vehicles as well as a page of children's toy 'vehicles'. It's a great selection, stimulating and well chosen for maximum appeal. The pictures are a good size, the text labels clear and the colourful backgrounds set it all off well. Use the pictures to stimulate storytelling - the emergency vehicles rushing to the rescue, or an exciting day at the races. A lovely gift for a baby.

Flip, Flap, Find! Counting 1, 2, 3 from DK Publishing

Little ones can count the 10 die-cut eggs on the front cover, before enjoying the counting activities in this colourful board book. They can explore a world of animals - flamingoes, hummingbirds, chameleons, tortoises and more are hidden beneath the large sturdy flaps. But first children have to guess "What will my babies be?" - and they can get clues by peeping through the die-cut holes in the flaps before opening them; it's nicely done. It's a good way to encourage young children to think about animals as well as developing early counting skills. The detailed pictures offer plenty of stimulus for discussion.

Roar with Zog based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Join Zog and help him learn his lessons at dragon school with the detachable wand that can be hovered over the star on each page to activate a different sound. He learns to fly, to roar, to breathe fire and capture a princess and children can help by waving the magic wand over the star to hear the sound. It's an interesting variation on pushing the button to hear sounds and easier for little fingers - but mind you don't lose the wand, which slots neatly into the cover.

Listen to The Nutcracker by Marion Billet

Enjoy the most iconic tunes from The Nutcracker with this attractive board book. The book is intended for the very young reader, although older children and adults won't be able to resist pressing the buttons to hear the music; they are good length extracts, clear and enjoyable. The book has a button on every spread, which triggers one of six different samples of beautiful music from The Nutcracker, including The March, The Chinese Dance and (of course) The Sugar Plum Fairy. Little ones will soon be dancing along to the tunes, as they enjoy hearing the text being read aloud too. Colourful animal characters make the book very attractive. It's good that the buttons are really easy to press, so no frustrated little ones! A lovely way to introduce the classic ballet.

Baby Robot: A Beep-buzz, Light-up Story! (Light & Sound Board Book) by DK Children

This bright colourful interactive book has so much to offer little ones as they explore the pictures, lights and sounds. Baby Robot is a colourful character who is always very busy - so busy, that he is tired by the end of the day. His lights don't shine and his sounds are fading away. He tells Big Robot, who reassured him that there's nothing to worry about... just like all little ones, he needs sleep to recharge his batteries, and next morning, he's ready to go again. The buttons are really easy to press - sometimes they are hard for little fingers, but these are perfect and help develop fine motor skills. Children will also learn shapes as they press the labelled buttons. Baby Robot is a lovely character, and the book is reassuring and perfect for today's children who will love the clear sounds and bright lights. It's brilliant - so much in one book.

Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 1)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 2)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 3)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 4)
Book reviews - Babies & toddlers (page 5)

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


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