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)

My First Book of Irish Vehicles from O'Brien

Discover things that go with this fun and engaging baby board book. My First Book of Irish Vehicles is filled with different kinds of transport from bikes to trucks and boats to planes and everything in between. Babies will learn to recognise the vehicles moving around them with this compact book. With simple text and pictures, this bright and colourful book is perfect for babies learning how to understand the world around them.

An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing

This is a thick chunky board book, quite big for little hands who will appreciate sharing it with an adult. Although the format of a board book puts it firmly into the baby book category, the text is actually suitable for older children. So this book covers a wide age range - the bright images and colourful characters are ideal for little ones, and the text gives lots of opportunities for older ones to learn about the complex qualities of equality. Each letter/word has a two page spread, offering even nore differentiation. A thought-provoking book with a range of different use.

Llamaste and Friends: A Yoga Story about Being Kind​ by Pat-A-Cake

Llamaste helps her friends become happy and calm by teaching them yoga - something that is becoming increasing popular, even for young children, in today's frenetic world. The free downloadable guided relaxation audio and yoga poster add value and usability to the book. Llamaste helps Tiger calm down and Koala be brave by showing them simple, useful yoga poses. The easy-to-use text also encourages children to talk about how the animals are feeling and if they have felt like that too, which helps develop empathy skills and encourages them to talk about emotions - this ties in perfectly with the relaxing feel of the book.

A Book About Ralphie the Dog at the Station by Melissa Crowton

Familiar concepts are used to introduces the concepts of size (small, medium, large), opposites and journeys, through illustrations of cute colourful trains and other items which may be found at the station. With busy, detailed scenes, textures to explore, lots to point at and name and a straightforward storyline, this is the perfect introduction to a lifetime's love of books.

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.

Star in Your Own Story: Ballerina by Danielle McLean

Children will love the opportunity to appear in their very own book. The pride of ownership will encourage a love for reading. Just pull out the slot-in card, write your child’s name, slot it back in and watch them become the star of the book! See the ballerina leap and twirl, sparkle and shine through the pages of the book.

Star in Your Own Story: Firefighter by Danielle McLean

Now it's the turn of the aspiring firefighter to take their place in the colourful pages of their very own book, racing out in the fire engine and putting out the fire to save the day in this personalised board book.

Busy Friends by Samantha Meredith

Interactive board books are perfect to engage young children with books - they love the action and onvolvement, and the changes they can bring about. They are also an excellent way to develop hand-eye co-ordination and manipulative skills. Children will love seeing two best friends share their toys, swap treats, play in the park and give each other a big hug; recognisable scenes stimulate interest. This bright and colourful board book with its gentle rhyming text is part of the popular Busy Book series.

Let's Find the Tiger by Alex Willmore

This is a lovely tactile book for young ones to explore, helpingb them develop fine motor skills and distinguish between different textures. Children will love exploring the leafy jungle to find the tiger in this stylish book with its bright bold pictures, peep-through pages and sturdy felt flaps. Plenty of different shapes and textures keep interest levels high. A stimulating book which offers lots of opportunities for sharing, talking and exploring.

Flamingo (My Little World) by Patricia Hegarty

Little ones will discover a world of pretty pink flamingos in this playful book of numbers which introduces numbers one to ten. The bright artwork shows the flamingos eating, flying and enjoying their everyday lives. There are lots of finger-holes plus a fun rhyming story to make early learning fun.

Unicorn (My Little World) by Patricia Hegarty

Young children will be immediately attracted by the remarkable covers of this series; the graduated cut-outs with their bringt colours go right through the book. As children enjoy the book, so the cut-outs decrease in size - but they are always brightly coloured to keep attention. And it's colours that are at the heart of this pretty book with its catchy rhyming text. A great way for parent and child to share learning.

Engineering for Babies (Baby 101 Science) by Jonathan Litton

This brightly coloured board book shows how engineers work with things big and small - from bridges and tunnels to chemicals and molecules. All sorts of people show us how engineering is part of all our lives. A stimulating book which shows you're never too young to have fun learning. There's a surprise lift-the-flap ending too.

Economics for Babies (Baby 101) by Jonathan Litton

From stocks and shares to supply and demand, tiny tots will discover just how simple economics can be! The bright colourful pitures show how economics are a key part of our every day lives, with lots of familiar scenes for young ones to enjoy. I think these books would be great for older siblings to share with young brothers or sisters, with plenty for them to enjoy together.

Dotty and Dash's 1, 2, 3​: A Pop-Up Counting Book bu Craig Shuttlewood

Bigger than most board books, the portrait format makes it a little different. Join Dotty and Dash as they choose their favourite numbers between 1 and 100 in this colourful pop-up counting book. It's beautifully illustrated in gentle pastel colours, with lots of little pictures for children to enjoy and to stimulate discussion. It will keep them happy for hours as they count 50 caterpuillars and then 100 butterflies. A pretty and appealing first learning book.

I Love my Llamacorn by Prisca Le Tande

This is another really pretty book, with an enticing cut-out on the cover which shows lots of different colours in a graduated heart peep-through; there's glitter too! Ever met a llamacorn? As you can imagine, it's a cute fluffy creature with a colourful stripy horn. He romps through the pages, bringing joy wherever he goes. A cute and engaging book that little ones will love.

I Thought I Saw a ... Monkey by Lydia Nichols

Somewhere in this sturdy board book there's a monkey hiding - can your toddler find it by moving the sliders? This is so cute and full of fun and silliness to get little ones giggling. I love the way the sliders move with a satisfying clunk, too - this will really appeal to young ones. The holes are just the right size for little fingers and all the sliders are easy to use, helping children to develop manual dexterity and coordination. The familiar setting of a supermarket gives plenty of opportunity for discussion and identification of the many elements in the simple colourful pictures. Great fun.

I Thought I Saw a ... Penguin by Lydia Nichols

This book immediately engages children's attention as there's a slider on the cover and up pop two friendly penguins. Where's the penguin? Is he inside the beach hut? Behind the sunshade? Or surfing in the sea? With bright lively illustrations, simple and colourful to capture the attention of the youngest child, this is a fun-filled interactive book.

Harris Finds his Feet by Catherine Rayner

Harris is only a little hare... but he has very big feet. When he shares his concerns with Grandad, he soon learns that having big feet has all sorts of benefits, some quite unextected. A lyrical story delicately illustrated, as we discver how Harris not only learns about the world around him but also discovers the importance of finding his own feet. A lovely celebration of a very special relationship.

The Story of Rap by Nicola Edwards

Perfect for music-loving parents to share with their little ones, this colourful board book shows rap has shaped generations and brought a voice to the voiceless. From Grandmaster Flash to Kendrick Lamar, babies can along with the greats in this adorable baby book that introduces little ones to the rappers that started it all. A lovely way to get children involved with music as they listen to the rhyming text and enjoy the bright pictures. Accompanying this is The Story of Rock. The greats are here, including Elvis Presley , the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. A delightful baby book that introduces little ones to the rockers that started it all.

Where Do Pants Go? by Rebecca van Slyke

There's a question to amuse little ones! A hilarious story all about the trials and tribulations of getting dressed when you are young and don't quite know where things go. This collection of adorable toddlers - accompanied by their dogs - show how children to put on their clothes from the underwear on their bottoms to the hats on their heads - and everything in between. Full of fun, this colourful board book is lovely to share. Published by Sterling, April 2019, ISBN 9781454932291.

Choo Choo Peekaboo​ by Gareth Lucas

Poor Zebra! He's trying to do his favourite thing - paint (quietly) - but his animal friends have got different ideas and they are causing chaos! This lift-the-flap book is perfect for little ones beginning to discover the joy of books. So often, flaps can be tricky for little fingers to manipulate but these flaps are almost full page size, so they are really easy. As children explore, they will find, among others, bouncing baboons, rowdy rabbits and dirt-biking dalmatians. Bright pictures are full of life and activity, with plenty to spot and discuss. A really fun book.

Bright Start - A Thank You Walk: A story about gratitude​ by Nancy Loewen and Hazel Quintanilla

How many things can we be grateful for? We often read this as advice to adults - think of things for which we can be grateful, to finish each day on a positive note. Join a mother and daughter out for a walk with the dog; as they go, they find so many simple things to appreciate. The Bright Start series of board books stimulates conversations about emotions and mental well-being, providing you with the tools and language needed to develop and nurture emotional intelligence in your child. Early development of emotional intelligence helps children to form healthy and long-lasting relationships, builds the foundations for stable mental health and lays the groundwork for academic achievement. These sem high ambitions, but it's the little things that count at this age and this well thought out book is a step on the way. Just a personal thing, but I prefer shiny covers for books for little ones. Although the grainy fabric-feel cover has a lovely retro feel, it will mark easily.

Peter Rabbit Tales - A Spring Surprise

Introduce the youngest children to the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter with this colourful board book. The animals are planning a picnic to celebrate the spring and they all have to bring something to share with their friends,. But Peter Rabbit doesn't know what to bring. While he is searching, he spots something very special, and soon he's able to deliver a really important surprise. It's a touching story about sharing and caring, springtime, and the importance of friends.

Jump! by Tatsuhide Matsuoka

This joyful book will have children bouncing up and down as they share the fun of each animal's jump with sounds and actions. A frog... a kitten... but not everyone jumps! A gentle touch of humour adds to the pleasure of this simple but effective board book.

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks boardbooks

This set of books is a wonderful treat and perfect to introduce the youngest children to the much-loved books by the sublime partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. Macmillan have issued an amazing nine books as cased boardbooks to celebrate their work. These popular favourites are already great hits with children and what a superb opportunity to give little ones a matching set. These board books are beautifully produced on strong shiny card that will withstand plenty of enthusiastic use and the bright colours have immediate appeal. The stories need very little introduction of course. Everybody will have their favourite. Mine has to be What the Ladybird Heard with all the clever use of animal sounds - and its successors are just as good. The clever storylines never cease to entertain and the superbly rhyming text just flows through the books. In What the Ladybird Heard, it's up to the smallest, quietest creature on the farmyard to foil the crafty plot of Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len - it's such a clever storyline and reads aloud to perfection as children enjoy joining in with the sounds. The villains return in What the Ladybird Heard Next, this time plotting to steal the fat red hen - but the ladybird is too smart for them. The tricky pair are off to pastures new in What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday but unluckily for them, the ladybird is there too, to foil their plans to steal the Queen's crown. The pacy rhymes are brilliant to read aloud, racing you through the book, and the illustrations are full of little touches of detail to enhance the story - don't miss the ladybird on every page! Unlike many board books, here we have the whole story to enjoy, which is great as children can really get involved and all the quality of the originals is included. These imaginative stories are ideal to stimulate children's imagination and story-telling, and to encourage them to enjoy rhythm and rhyme.  They look great on a bookshelf too, with their lovely bright matching spines. There's a special What the Ladybird Heard website to enhance pleasure in all of these the books too, so don't miss that.

Sharing a Shell is the story of a little crab who finds a shiny new shell - and he doesn't want to share it. He soon finds out that it can be lonely on his own, though, so luckily he finds some friends. Meet all sorts of lovely sea creatures in this charming story about sharing and friendship. The Singing Mermaid is another opportunity to enjoy Lydia Monks' vibrant pictures as we head to the world of the circus with the Singing Mermaid who is off in search of fame and fortune. But soon, she misses the freedom of the ocean, and her circus friends can help her return.  The Rhyming Rabbit is another one of my favourites - the rabbit is lonely as none of the other rabbits share his love for poems and songs. But then, as he's pondering over a rhyme, help comes along and he has a new friend to share poetry with; it's a lovely way to encourage children to create and share poetry. Sugarlump the rocking horsed is the star of Sugarlump and the Unicorn. He longs for adventure and it seems his dreams have come true when the unicorn grants his wish - but perhaps things were better before?In the modern-day fairy story that's The Princess and the Wizard,  a wicked fairy turns up (uninvited of course) at Princess Eliza's birthday party and turns all the guests to stone. But a fairy Godmother is on hand - can she and Eliza work their magic together? It's a clever tale with lots of twists and turns to enjoy. In Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox, Ellen is in for a shock when her reflection climbs out of the mirror and they both seem to have dragon pox. Will any of their rather messy (but very amusing) ideas cure it? All these books have the loveliest covers, with lots of glitter to embellish the lively colourful pictures, which are bold and strong, just right to capture children's attention. A wionderful collection of books to celebrate an exceptional partnership.

Busy Beach from Campbell Books

Young children respond well to interactive books and they are a great way to develop an early love for books. There are tabs to push, pull and turn the tabs to bring the seaside to life. Through the catchy rhyming text, children can enjoy the fun of playing ball, building sandcastles, enjoying an ice cream and more. The colourful pictures have plenty of details to enjoy and there's a question on each page to encourage observation skills and discussion. Perfect for summer holidays!

Busy Boats from Campbell Books

With tabs to push, pull and turn, little ones can enjoy the world of busy boats, as they set sail from the harbour, join the fishing boats, watch the working boats and find the lighthouse. The busy pictures are bright and colourful in this board book and there are plenty of chances to enhance children's knowledge and understanding of the world as they learn about different boats and the seas they sail on. Toddlers' manipulative skills will be improved as they learn to follow the arrows to turn the tabs - and then delight in the changing scenes.

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

Now the youngest members of the family can enjoy meeting 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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