Book reviews - fiction age 2 to 5 (page 18)

These are richly illustrated books and they are not just for young readers. Although we have given the ages 2 to 5 as a rough guide, many will appeal to older children. Some are thought-provoking titles from which all ages can gain pleasure. You're never too old for a picture book! Plenty here for all ages to share and enjoy.

The most recent reviews are at the top of this page - so these are generally the most recently published books.

Where's the Ballerina?: Find The Ballerinas Hidden in the Ballets by Anna Claybourne

Introduce young children to the magical world of the ballet with this unusual and engaging book, which really challenged children to pick out the characters. Children have to try to spot key characters from ten classic ballets, including Swan Lake, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and more. First they read a brief synopsis of the story and then a simple, illustrated narrative takes them through key scenes and introduces them to the main characters. Next they explore the wonderfully detailed illustrations as they search for the elusive ballerina and key characters in each busy scene. The character-spotting element is an innovative way to capture ballets’ timeless appeal, and the wonderfully detailed artwork brings each ballet to life. Beautifully illustrated, this is a lovely book which is packed with a surprising amount of information.

Town and Country: Flip the book - what can you see? (Turnaround Book) by Craig Shuttlewood

This is a lovely way to encourage children to identify the differences between town and country and to encourage their observational skills. They will spot buses, trains, and skyscrapers in the town and tractors, mountains, and farm animals in the country... and much more besides. The clever flip design means you open the book one way to explore the town scene and then flip the book over to delve into the country landscape. The extra challenge is to note the similarities as well as the differences. With a mini glossary for each picture, this is an unusual and absorbing for children who are just starting to engage with simple written words. For younger children, this is a great read-together title – pick an item on the glossary panel, then try to find it in the big picture – an excellent introduction to looking carefully and naming objects. Perfect for sharing and enjoying books together.

The Mighty Splash! (Picture Storybooks) by Lloyd James

The little Octopus Gus wanted to be brave, just like his hero 'The Mighty Splash'. But being brave is hard when you are frightened of... everything. So Gus sets out in search of 'The Mighty Splash' in the hope he can help him become brave. Gus' search seems in vain - until he finds those in need of help and he is able to use his own very special talent to save them. Soon, Gus is on his way home, overcoming all sorts of perils on his way - our little octopus is now a hero in his own right. Full of fun and reassurance, this is a lovely book about facing and overcoming fears, vibrantly illustrated and lovely to read aloud.

Fidget (Picture Storybooks) by Susie Linn

Fidget the sheepdog puppy is Fidget by name and fidget by nature. He is far too busy doing other things than listen to Farmer Fred decides that it's time to start training, the naughty puppy dog has other ideas. But a good sheepdog must be obedient - will Fidget ever learn? One night, when all is quiet... except for Fidget, the lovable little pup hears something... and he turns out to be the perfect sheepdog after all. Such an endearing little pup, and so gloriously brought to lie through Lizzie Walkley's illustrations, who can resist? A lovely story with gentle humour.

Rockabye Pirate by Timothy Knapman

Even pirates get tired when they have had a busy day. After all, who wouldn't be when they have been sailing the seven seas and making other pirates walk the plank. Mummy says it's bedtime and Mummy knows best - and she knows just what pirates do at bedtime, too. When pirates go to bed, they have the most wonderful dreams - and the reader will share in those dreams, and all the piratical adventures, through Ada Grey's wonderful illustrations which capture the fun and excitement to perfection before changing to sleepy bedtime colours. A perfect bedtime book for little pirates everywhere!

The Importance of Being Ernest the Earwig by Nanette Newman

All sorts of creatures have books written about them, so why not earwigs, thinks Ernest, and he determines to put that right. The results are unexpected... and hilarious. To redress the balance, Ernest visits the bookshop and finds his way into the pages of his favourite books - there's The Wind in the Willows, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and many more books which children will love to find through the pages of this unusual book. Superbly illustrated by Lindsay Branagh, this is an unusual and intriguing book which makes a refreshing change.

Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding Hood by Jane Clarke

The newly-popular genre of twisted fairy tales takes on a new aspect with a mystery element in this engaging read. Grandma has gone missing and the Big Bad Wolf has left telltale hairs at Granny's house, so Little Red Riding Hood calls on Sky Private Eye for help.Has the Big Bad Wolf gobbled Grandma up, or did he follow her on her beach side holiday, waiting to fatten her up? Will they save Grandma - and how can a cupcake help? A lovely funny story which has unexpected twists and turns, making it a great read.

Just Like Daddy by Lucy Freegard

Who wouldn't want to be just like daddy, when daddy is strong and silly, kind and practical? But he also knows how to have fun, and even if he messes up, it's never a big deal. Dad deals with the scariest of monsters (well, spiders at least), keeps his eyes open on the rollercoaster (most of the time), and puts on all the silly voices when he reads a bedtime story. The debut picture book from Lucy Freegard is funny, charming and heartwarming.

A Piece of Cake by Jill Murphy

The Large family are just like any other family - except they are a family of elephants. Despite that, they experience just the same problems as any family - but always hilariously expressed. Mrs Large the elephant is feeling a bit wibbly-wobbly - so decides the whole family need to shape up! Biscuits and crisps are out, veggies and jogs are in! But, when you're a hungry elephant ... healthy eating and exercise is no piece of cake!This is an amusing tale of family life and the problems of healthy living and dieting - and the temptation to give in. I would read this one with caution with children though - it does present some slightly disturbing thoughts about body image and healthy living.

MAISY GOES TO LONDON BY LUCY COUSINS

This is an ideal way to introduce children to the wonders of the city of London. Maisy and her friends are having a thrilling day visiting the big city. They see Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace and many more iconic places; they travel by bus, by tube, by boat and find out that it's very noisy in the city! This child's eye view picks up all the excitement of a young child visiting London for the first time, and the pictures of the sights give adults lots of opportunities to discuss the sights. Visit her amazing website - www.maisyfun.com - for activities, newsletters, games and more.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

Still going strong after 60 years, generations of children owe their early reading skills to the inimitable Dr Seuss. Now with a fresh new look, another generation can enjoy a zany mixture of animals from Aunt Annie’s alligator to the colourful Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz. Upper and lower case letters are introduced with humorous alliterative rhyming text that trips off the tongue - "Big N Little n what begins with those? Nine new neckties and a nightshirt and a nose." A lovely new edition of an old favourite, sure to garner new fans.

Ready, Set, Build! by Jarvis and Meg Fleming

A lively and fun rhyming adventure for every little builder by award-winning illustrator, Jarvis. Follow Dog and Bird as they build a home together - from sketching the building, to clearing the rubble, digging and using the machinery. Everything must be done just so... will the house be finished by the end of the day? Wonderful illustrations are full of interest with lots of intriguing details to spot and enjoy.

Under the Same Sky by Britta Teckentrup

Wherever we live, we live under the same sky - and this stunning hardback picture book with its peep-through cut-out shapes (which even adorn the cover) shows how We "sing the same songs, caught on the breeze... We sing the same songs, across the same seas." Written and illustrated by the award-winning Britta Teckentrup, this beautiful and heart-warming peek-through picture book celebrates the closeness of the world's communities through their shared hopes and dreams. Gentle and affirming, with softly coloured illustrations that reflect the beauty of our world and those who live in it.

Collecting (Twirlywoos)

The Twirlywoos are fun characters who experience just the same things in life as any preschooler, so young ones readily identify with them and learn from them. They love collecting! First they visit the hens where they see some children collecting eggs, and help them finish the job. Then they find lots of other examples of collecting in the outside world, before coming back to the Big Red Boat to discover a collection of brightly-coloured pebbles belonging to Peekaboo, which they have fun dividing into different colours. There are plenty of ideas here for you to use with your own children to develop their interest in collecting.

Noisy (Twirlywoos)

Today, the Twirlywoos - and Peekaboo, of course - are exploring the concept of noise. Join the Twirlywoos on their latest adventure as they explore the concept ‘noisy’. First the Twirlywoos visit a house where they discover a radio – and the volume knob. Then they find lots of other noisy things in the outside world. Back on The Big Red Boat they are visited by The Stop-Go Car with its very noisy horn! Children readily identify with TV characters and they will enjoy the Twirlywoos zest for life, as they enjoy all they discover; adults can get plenty of ideas from the book so they can explore the whole concept of noise (and perhaps quiet too!) with their young ones.

Tibs the Post Office Cat by Joyce Dunbar

As soon as I saw the cover, I just knew I was going to love this book! It's a wonderfully nostalgic picture book based on the real life of a cat called Tibs who was employed by Post Office in the 1950s to catch mice, earning a tidy sum of 2s 6d a week for his dedicated service.There's trouble at the sorting office and letters are being destroyed. When the postmaster discovers that mice are to blame, he decides to employ a brave new cat to sort them out. Tibs has all the right credentials... but it seems he prefers to make friends with the mice. Tat all works well, especially when a very VIP comes to visit. A superbly evocative book which takes you right back into a nostalgic world of stamps, letters and underground mail trains - perfect for grandparents to share with their grandchildren.

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

A star of the picture book world has brought us another gem of a book - a book that draws the reader in, making you feel a part of the book right from the start. Things are changing in the forest and trees are mysteriously losing their branches. It seems nobody is to blame, as everyone has an alibi - and the glorious illustrations are absolutely key to the story here. The only course of action for the forest dwellers is to begin a full scale investigation... who is the mysterious perpetrator? Almost wordless in places, the story is told as much in pictures are words, and children will love the stylish illustrations which are so very expressive. A superb story which nurtures the imagination and shows the value of cooperation.

Lazy Cat by Julia Woolf

Dogs and cats can get on together, as this delightful story of friendship goes to show. But this is a rather unequal friendship, as Lazy Cat is... very lazy and lets Doodle Dog do all the work. Finally, though, Doodle Dog has had enough... and it looks as though he has found the perfect solution. With delightfully hilarious illustrations, this is a lovely look at friendship, and not taking others for granted.

The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson

Peter's dog Nell has a great sense of smell, and she can sniff out a crime from a mile off. Her talents are endless, from finding a lost shoe to discovering who did a poo on the new gravel path. But that is not the end of Nell's talents - every Monday she goes to school with Peter and listens to children read. How brilliant to find a book celebrating the wonderful work dogs do in schools to encourage children to read (and my grandson's school has a reading dog, and I know how much the children love him, and respond to him). So Nell is just ideal to have on hand when the school's books disappear. Julia Donaldson's humorous rhyming text simply whisks you through the book - but make sure you stop are pore over Sara Ogilvie's brilliant pictures.

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg by Gemma Merino

 Lola the sheep is very proud of her beautiful wool... but we all know what happens to woolly sheep when the weather warms up. Poor Lola is so upset by her haircut that she runs away to the far side of the farm where she sits all alone, waiting for it to grow back. When it does, she gets a wonderful surprise... and a new friend. It really is the illustrations that make this a stand-out book - just look at them and revel in the amount they tell us about human nature. It's very cleverly done and hugely enjoyable.

Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman

When aliens come down to earth, did you know they are after your... underpants? The bigger and brighter the better, so beware when you hang your underpants out to dry... and make sure there are no aliens lurking inside them! Wonderfully rollicking rhyming text is simply packed with fun and humour, guaranteed to appeal to every child's sense of the ridiculous - and the catchy rhyme ensures parents will be happy to read the book over and over again, as they will certainly have to do! This 10th anniversary edition will see a 50p donation made to the NSPCC, and it also features some previously unpublished original sketches.

Grandad's Secret Giant by David Litchfield

Billy doesn't believe it when his Grandad tells him there's a giant living in his town, doing good deeds for everyone. Of course there can't be because a giant is too big to keep himself hidden... and anyway, why would he want to keep himself a secret if he is doing good? But as time goes on, Billy learns that some secrets are too big to stay secret for long, and it turns out that the giant wants what we all want - a friend. Superbly illustrated, the story captures the relationship between the little boy and his Grandad, and shows us the importance of friendship, loyalty and trust.

Emma Jane's Aeroplane by Katie Haworth

An exciting picture book for young ones, which takes them off into new worlds as they join intrepid Emma Jane as she flies around some of the major cities of the world in her very own aeroplane, picking up a crew of animal friends along the way. And she will be glad of them, too... It's a wonderful way to introduce children to the cities of the world and their landmarks, and the rhyming story really carries the reader along through the narrative, all perfectly set off by Daniel Rieley's vivid illustrations.

This is How We Do it by Matt Lamothe

Give children a real insight into the everyday lives of other children from around the world with this engrossing book - featuring the real lives of children is a great way to encourage young ones to take an interest in different cultures. The book follows a day in the lives of a child from Japan, Uganda, Russia, Iran, Peru, India and Italy; everything is different and the book will make a wonderful stimulus for discussion or a class topic. This real-life exchange between real children provides a window into lifestyles and traditions that may differ from our own, as well as a mirror reflecting the common experiences that unite us all. Inspired by his own travels to write this book, Matt Lamothe will transport readers across the globe and back with this gorgeously illustrated picture book. A superb book which will be read and enjoyed on many different levels.

Hug Me, Please! by Przemyslaw Wechterowicz

The lovely cover picture definitely gives this book the aaaah factor! I love the really unusual approach of the book, too - one morning as the Sun was still brushing his teeth... complete with the most gorgeous picture. When Daddy Bear tells Little Bear that the best thing is to hug someone, the pair set off to give everyone in the forest a hug... and I do mean EVERYONE! It's quite surprising just who they do hug. But they mustn't forget to hug the most important person of all! This is a simply glorious book, full of love and superbly illustrated

The Leaky Story by Devon Sillett

This book describes itself as a fun-filled adventure into the power of the imagination and the magic of books, and it certainly succeeds in its purpose. The family are too busy to read the book lying neglected on the shelf... until the time came when the book could contain itself no longer. It dripped and dripped and gradually the Blossburn's living room took on the appearance of the sea as everything came flooding out of the book. Gradually, normality is restored... but now the family have learnt to appreciate the wonder of books. An unusual and memorable book.

The Parrot and the Merchant by Rumi

Rumi was a thirteenth century poet, philosopher and mystic whose works have been studied for centuries, and still speak to us today. Some of his songs have been put to music by contemporary Western artists, and now this book brings a wise story about true love and freedom into the English language in book form. The delicate and detailed illustrations are outstanding. This, and the two books below are from Tiny Owl - "an independent publishing company committed to producing beautiful, original books for children. Established in 2015, our energy and passion stems from our belief that stories act as bridges – providing pathways to new experiences whilst connecting us to here and there. Our stories are visually rich and conceptually meaningful. They give children unique perspectives on universal themes such as love, friendship and freedom and a greater awareness of the diverse and colourful world we live in."

A Bird Like Himself by Anahita Teymorian

One day a large egg is left in a forest and out hatches out a chick who needs care and love... but his mother isn't there, so he must rely on a wonderfully unlikely assortment of foster parents. They do their best, but one thing they can't do is teach him to fly... Luckily, the answer arrives just in time. A meaningful and perceptive story about helping others, beautifully illustrated. Tiny Owl is really bringing us an unusual and much-appreciated range of books which are standing out from the norm.

Alive Again by Ahmadi Ahmadreza

What happens when things disappear, the boy wonders - are they gone forever? Will blossom and rain ever come back? If wheat dies and journeys end, can they come again? Yes they will, but in their own time. This reasurring story moves from feelings of loss to a new confidence that comes with knowledge that these and more do, and will, return. Gently and perceptively told, it's a good way to reassure children who are feeling a sense of loss./td>

Monster Baby by Sarah Dyer

Monster Mum is having a baby and Little Monster isn't quite sure how he feels about it. Sarah Dyer has caught the feelings of uncertainty to perfection as Little Monster finds Mum needs more time to rest and cannot carry him in her arms as she used to. She also needs to eat healthily and this means that Little Monster and everyone else in the family has to eat the same. Finally, Monster Baby arrives and alfer the initial hesitation, Little Monster finds it's really positive being a big brother, with lots to look forward to. A perfect book to share when a new baby is on the way.

Surprise! Surprise! by Niki Daly

There's only one thing missing from Mr and Mrs Tati's life - a baby. So when no baby appears, Mr Tati comes up with a rather unusual solution! He brings his wife a sweet little piglet with a rosy face and curly tail. How Mr and Mrs Tati love their piggy baby! All goes well until the time comes for Potter the pig to go to school... then things have to change. Will the family ever be happy? This is an unusual and sweet story about finding happiness and the importance of love.

Alphamals: A-Z by Graham Carter

This book is a real work of art, with stunning illustrations of every creature, faced by a lively and lyrical piece of text which perfectly captures the characteristics of each animal; the smaller pictures are just as worthy of attention as the big ones and the whole combines to bring us a beautiful book that goes far beyond being simply a picture book. There's an animal for every letter of the alphabet and the illustrations capture the strange and striking beauty of the animal kingdom, from the gauzy wings of a dragonfly to the chiselled jaw of a jaguar. A book for the whole family to share and enjoy.

National Trust: Look and Say What You See on the Farm by Sebastien Braun

Children love to visit farms, and farms are accessible for all our children with the increase in town and city farms. Encourage their interest with this look-and-say book which is a great way to start learning about nature on a farm. The spot-and-find aspect is perfect for the youngest of readers to become absorbed in the fascinating nature details; they will love the challenge of spotting and answering the questions. Each scene is packed with things to spot and ideas to stimulate discussion, with pictures along the bottom of every page to pick out in the scenes. There's also a free Stories Aloud smartphone audio book.

Here Comes The Sun by Karl Newson

Little Owl is far too busy to go to sleep - while all the other animals sleep through the night, she needs to blow the stars out one by one to make way for morning. A reassuring picture book, told in lovely rhyme that makes it a perfect soothing bedtime story. The charming illustrations are full of life and interest, with lots to spot and enjoy together and the ending should have your little one all ready to snuggle down and sleep.

I'm Going To Eat This Ant by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Even an anteater can get bored with eating ants so our enterprising anteater decides to have a little variety...seared like steak or squished in a sausage ... sundried, salted or sliced ... But don't hang about for too long, as the sneaky ant has got an escape plan up its sleeve ... Unusual and great fun.

Today I Feel . . . An Alphabet of Feelings by Madalena Moniz

Gently and tellingly illustrated by subtle watercolours, this unusual alphabet book follows a child through a whole gamut of emotions. Some are positive, some are negative, some are easily understood and others are more complex... but whatever they are, this clever book can be used to sensitively encourage a child to open up about their emotions.

Loo Queue by Nicholas Allan

One of my very favourite picture book authors, and another real gem to enjoy, guaranteed to elicit giggles galore. Why is the queue so long? Why isn't it moving? The queue for the loo gets very long indeed, as a series of multi-coloured animals impatiently join! Count, spot colours, spot animals, guess who is going to join the queue next and all join in to find out who's in the loo...Perhaps it's time for you? Wnnderfully witty with unexpected twists that keeps anticipation high throughout.

Jimmy Finnigan's Wild Wood Band by Tom Knight

Jimmy Finnigan's village is the nicest place you've ever seen. It' - the only thing that spoils it is the woods. Jimmy dreams of being a musician and wants to start a band, but no one in the village wants to join. So he starts to look further afield for band members... and the only place left to look is the wild wood. Will Jimmy be safe - and will he achieve his ambition? A super story about determination, the power of music and the impact it has.

Glitter! by Stella J Jones

Gloria the rhino loves glitter. But as we all know, glitter gets absolutely everywhere! This hilarious rhyming story can't fail to lift the spirits as Gloria spreads her own special brand of magic wherever she goes in this sparkly celebration of glitter and the little ones who love it. With glorious glitter on every page, children won't be able to resist reading this fabulous story again and again - and there seems to be more glitter every time you look... Gorgeous.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Celebrate 60 years of the timeless Dr Seuss with this special birthday edition. This much-loved favourite really needs no introduction, but you might like to know how the book came about. Dr Seuss was challenged by his editor to write a book using 250 of the words children use the most; the result was The Cat in the Hat, which uses 236 words. When Sally and her brother are left alone, they think they're in for a dull day – until the Cat in the Hat steps in on the mat, bringing with him mayhem and madness! A great adventure which stirs the imagination and turns the mundane into magic.It's perfect for beginner readers, who find the limited range of words, coupled with the catchy text, is easy to read and therefore confidence-building. Dr Seuss is the world's best-selling children's author - and no wonder! Here's another fact for you - Dr Seuss drove a car with a GRINCH number plate.

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

One day a boy found an aeroplane in his cupboard. He didn’t remember leaving it in there, but he thought he’d take it out for a go right away. It went well at first then, suddenly, it ran out of petrol and the boy was stuck on the moon. But he wasn't the only one stuck - a Martian whose spaceship had broken down was there too. The two work together to find a solution and a wonderful spirit of co-operation shines through. As they resolve the problem and set off their separate ways, there's a twinge of sadness - and then a message of hope at the end. It's simple and yet superbly imaginative and appealing.

The Great Dinosaur Hunt by Helen Flook

In this wonderful celebration of the power of the imagination, and the fun siblings can have playing together, Two young boys allow their imagination to run riot following a dinosaur museum visit, as they search for dinosaurs in their garden. There's plenty of humour in the story to keep children engaged, and the detailed illustrations are packed with colour and interest. To further engage children's attention, any who have been lucky enough to visit the |National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, will recognise the initial setting of the story - a great incentive to visit!

How Do You Do, Mr GNU? by Billy Coughlan

Mr Gnu has received a very special invitation - he has been invited for tea with the Queen. So he decides that he really needs to brush up on his manners - with a little help from his friends. As children read through the story, enjoying the superb illustrations on the way, they might just wonder whether Mr Gnu is getting his advice from the right place. Sure enough, things go a little awry when he gets to meet the Queen. A wonderful dose of humour makes this a book adults will love to share with their children.

Fum by Karl Newson

Fum has gone missing - help the Crumb family find him as you, along with them, travel through different fairy tales searching for the smallest Crumb. The storytelling is really engaging, drawing children in and giving them the joy of recognising familiar figures including Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs and many more. But the moral of the tale is - look thoroughly before you set off searching - as we see in a surprise happy ending. Gorgeous illustrations by Lucy Fleming are a real joy of the book. Perfect for sharing.

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

Wonderful to see that the magic of Dr Seuss is still bring us fresh stories to enjoy with this brand new collection of newly-discovered stories featuring old friends and new faces. Dr. Seuss' popularity never wanes, and this collection of four wonderful new stories will delight his fans of all ages. The collection contains four stories which were originally published in magazines in the 1950. The carefully selected vocabulary and rhyming text are ideal for young readers. Now collected together with freshly-coloured artwork which is really appealing, and with characters from Horton the elephant to a Grinch, this really is a book to read again and again and to treasure forever.

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby by Kelly Clarkson

A child too excited to go to sleep because of looking forward to an exciting day... we've all been there, haven't we? River Rose is going to the zoo tomorrow and she’s much too excited to go to sleep. That is, until her mummy comes and sings her a special lullaby and she drifts off on a magical adventure. With beautiful illustrations by Laura Hughes, this is an ideal bedtime story.It features an original lullaby written and performed by Grammy Award-winner, Kelly Clarkson, for you to download and enjoy with your child.

Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Libby Walden

This is an eye-catching version of one of Aesop's best-loved fables. Told in catchy rhyme, this peep-through picture book is beautifully illustrated in soft colours by Richard Jones; these perfectly capture this re-imagined tale of two mice on a quest to find their place in the big wide world as they learn the true meaning of belonging and home. This is a lovely hardback book, one to treasure.

Can I Join Your Club? by John Kelly

Just as all young ones do, Duck really wants to be part of a club. But he needs to be able to roar to join Lion Club, or hiss to join Snake Club... but all that will come out is a quack. Undaunted, Duck decide to set up his own club - and it will be open to everyone, not just those who can quack, because you can nevr have too many friends. With a laugh-out-loud text from John Kelly and brilliantly quirky illustrations by Steph Laberis, this heart-warming story is a lovely celebration of the importance of diversity and friendship. Ideal for ones who are learning to make friends at a new school or nursery, especially if they are a little apprehensive about joining in.

We're All Wonders by R J Palacio

This brand-new adventure is a specially written version for young children of Wonder, the unforgettable story of August Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Wonder has become a true modern classic, a life-changing read, and has inspired kindness and acceptance in countless readers. With spare, powerful text and richly-imagined illustrations, We're All Wonders shows readers what it's like to live in Auggie's world - a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he's not always seen that way. We're All Wonders taps into every child's longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It's an excellent springboard for families and teachers to talk about empathy, difference and kindness with young children. Difficult subjects to discuss, but this book really makes it easy and understandable and helps young ones perceive the world from another point of view.

Henry and Boo (Child's Play Library) by Megan Brewis

Poor Henry - he really isn’t happy when an uninvited guest suddenly interrupts his tea break... and everything else that Henry decides to do. Especially since Boo has a very annoying habit - can you guess what it is? But look carefully at the pictures, and there is evidence of a far more dangerous creature... Finally, Henry has had enough - but in a surprise twist to the tale, we have a very happy ending to this enjoyable story about friendship, tolerance and unexpected consequences. As you read aloud, children will love to join in.

The Frog in the Well by Alvin Tresselt

Based on a traditional Chinese tale, this is the story of facing up to fear and taking on the world. Once upon a time there was a frog who lived at the bottom of a well. The well was the frog's whole world, until the day the well ran dry and the bugs began to disappear. What was happening to the world, the frog wondered, and what could he do? Hungry, the frog overcame his fear and ventured out into a wonderful world. This is a charming tale of one brave frog and his journey into wisdom, presented in a cloth-bound edition to treasure.

The House of Four Seasons by Roger Duvoisin

All working together to make family life succeed is at the heart of this delightful picture book. When Father, Mother, Billy, and Suzy go house hunting in the country, they fall in love with a grand old house and soon a carpenter, mason, and tinsmith come to do the necessary repairs. The family agrees it would be more fun to paint the house themselves, but no one can agree on the colour, and to(this is an American book, so the spelling and terms are US). It's a great opportunity for Father to show how colours are made and soon the family reaches the perfect solution.

Small Things by Mel Tregonning

This remarkable graphic story, told completely wothout words is emotive and thought-provoking. A young boy has to find a way to rebuild his sense of self after losing everything he holds dear. An ordinary boy in an ordinary world. With no words, only illustrations, Small Things tells the story of a boy who feels alone with his worries, but who learns that help is always close by. A universal story, told simply and with breathtaking beauty, about dealing with sadness, anxiety, depression, heartache or loss, and finding your way in the world.

-Find your way through 14 magical mazes by Theo Guignard

These are truly amazing mazes and I certainly wouldn't contradict the publisher's claim that this is "the biggest maze book to hit shelves this year!" These are mazes with a difference - a far cry from boring boxes. You will find yourself exploring worlds made of plants, giant skyscrapers, wild habitats, deepest oceans and many more, in this book that asks you to trace your way through 14 magical mazes. With things to spot along the way, there is plenty to capture the attention. And as the mazes grow in complexity with every turn of the page, by the end of the book you will be enjoying a real challenge - you will be glad to know answer keys are included in this fabulous book for puzzlers everywhere.

The Bear Who Stared by Duncan Beedie

Whenever Bear meets anyone, he stares - but he doesn't mean to be rude, he's just curious but too shy to say anything. But nobody likes being stared at and it soon gets Bear into trouble. Luckily a goggly-eyed frog helps Bear realise that sometimes a smile is all you need to turn a stare into a friendly hello and soon Bear is making many friends in the forest. With charming illustrations to complement the text, this is a lovely story about making friends and overcoming shyness.

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner

This beautifully illustrated book focuses on the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Told through the eyes of a parent and child paddling across the pond, they draw us into the ecosystem as frogs jump and painted turtles slide off logs, disappearing beneath the murky water. Under the pond, leeches lurk, crayfish scuttle under rocks, nymphs build intricate shells, and microscopic animals break down fallen leaves to recharge the water with nutrients. Over the pond, fuzzy cattails sway in the breeze, and a pair of loons swim by, laughing in the dappled sunlight. An author's note discusses not only the different organisms featured, but also the truly remarkable balance of this wetland ecosystem, the way plants and animals create a chemical balance that sustains the lives of the pond. Being led through by the parent and child is a great way to feel part of the scene and the way the book concentrates on on, under and above the water is very effective.

Storytime: Archie's Bag of Treasures by Lucy Barnard

I always look forward to reading books in QED's Storytime series; not only are they invariably enjoyable stories, well illustrated, but they also convey important messages, making them really valuable classroom and library resources. When big brother Oliver comes back from a party with a party bag full of goodies, including a wonderful silver windmill, Archie is jealous. So when Mum suggests that Archie gather his own bag of treasures, it seems the perfect solution. But when a magpie spots the beautiful glass marble and steals Archie’s bag, it's his brother who comes to the rescue. Soon the brothers are sharing happily in this delightful story about siblings, sharing and overcoming jealousy.

Storytime: Snip Snap Croc by Caroline Castle

Snip Snap Croc sings to warn all the creatures just how sharp her teeth are; and all the mothers wqarn their little ones to keep well out of Snip Snap Croc's way. But then something wonderful happens and soon Snip Snap Croc has lots of lovely babies... but why is she putting them in her mouth, all the baby animals wonder.This delightful book shows that even the scariest animals have a softer side, and is sure to appeal to young lovers of jungle animals everywhere. The illustrations capture the jungle feel to perfection and the animals are gorgeous. QED Storytime introduces young children to the pleasures of reading and sharing stories. Next Steps, which are discussion ideas for parents and teachers, are a valuable addition to the books.

Peep Inside a Fairy Tale Beauty & the Beast (Peep Inside a Fairytale) by Anna Milbourne

This book will really capture children's attention as soon as they pick it up and see the stunning cut-out and embossed cover. This is a simple but very effective retelling of the classic fairy tale, with fabulous illustrations by Lorena Alvarez. Throughout the book, there are intricate, cut-out windows to peep through. Little children will love following Belle and the birds into the Beast's house, discovering the shy Beast hiding in the garden, the harp that plays itself - and the handsome Prince in the mirror. There are lots of details in the illustrations, making for a captivating read.

100 First Words (Dk My First)

This big bold board book uses DK's trademark excellent photos, simple illustrations and colourful layout to great effect to offer little ones and their adults plenty to talk about and find out about on every page. Ideal to develop vocabulary, each picture is labelled and the book is divided into sections familiar to toddlers such as colours, food and animals. Quirky additions to the pictures, such as a ladder at the side of the giraffe and a cow munching a flower, add interest and conversational opportunities. Word labels encourage pointing, naming, and talking while building vocabulary and language. A perfect first word book to engage, entertain and stimulate.

Vinnie Goes to Vegas (Tales from Leprechaun Land) by Stephen Walsh

Vinnie the leprechaun makes gleaming buckles for leprechaun shoes and shiny buttons for leprechaun jackets. He loves his job, and he has a happy life and many friends but he's never going to make a fortune. Perhaps the lucky horseshoe he finds will change his luck, so Vinnie sets out for Las Vegas to make his fortune. However, he soon finds that there is such a thing as too much good luck and he decides to return to his old life... but what happens to the horseshoe? A well-told tale with an important message.

Brendan and the Blarney Stone (Tales from Leprechaun Land) by Stephen Walsh

Ireland has a rich heritage of folk tales and this series of Tales from Leprechaun Land follows the tradition excellently, with captivating story-telling and appealing illustrations. When Brendan the leprechaun plays the tin whistle, the sound is sweeter than the sweetest songbird. But if only he could speak as well as he plays! His words spill out in a terrible jumble – he goes to the shop to buy peas and accidentally comes home with cheese! Could kissing the famous Blarney Stone, which is said to give you the ‘gift of the gab’, be the answer to all Brendan’s problems?

Adelaide's Secret World by Elise Hurst

This stunningly illustrated book is the story of Adelaide, who leads a quiet life in the midst of the city. At night she listens to the song of the stars, but during the day she watches over the others like her: the still ones, the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone. Little does Adelaide know that her secret world will soon be transformed into something unexpected and full of joy. A story about courage, change and finding your soul mates. The story is beautifully told, with minimal words but superbly expressive pictures that allow the reader to put their own interpretation on the story.

The Naughty Naughty Baddies by Mark Sperring

This is bound to appeal to children, who will love to read about the very naughty baddies, who love to get into mischief. The Naughty, Naughty Baddies liked nothing more than being diabolically dreadful. But best of all, they loved creeping ... When Four suggests a cunning plan to steal the spots off the Queen's Little Doggy Woof-Woof, they gleefully creep... creep... creep along to do the dastardly deed. But when they get caught, and the Queen comes up with a fiendish punishment, our Naughty Naughty Baddies just have to have the last word... A hilarious story with some wonderfully hilarious illustrations. Children will love this one, and adults will enjoy the humour too.

Henry and the Yeti by Russell Ayto

Do yetis really exist? Well, Henry is convinced they do, so he sets off on an expedition to find one. He takes everything he needs, including a camera to take photos for evidence, and sets off on a journey which takes him everywhere. But when he gets back with the evidence, his camera has gone missing and Henry looks as though he is going to be in huge trouble... until something comes to the rescue! A very funny story that shows we should have the courage of our convictions.

The Butterfly Dance by Suzanne Barto

n Caterpillars Dotty and Stripe do everything together, even turning into cocoons and then waking up as beautiful butterflies. But now they look very different - should Dotty only play with butterflies that look like her? And Stripe only play with butterflies that look like him? Happily, a good friend shows them that it's not appearances that matter and soon the two friends are happily flying around together. The beautiful illustrations complement the story to perfection, and this is a lovely gentle story about friendship.

I Love You (Nearly Always) (Pop Up Books) by Anna Llenas

Roly is a woodlouse and Rita is a firefly. On the face of it, they have very little in common - Roly keeps himself concealed and Rita shines out brightly - but that's exactly why they like each other. But one day they start to find that being different isn't so easy after all. Rita thinks Roly's suit is too hard and Roly thinks Rita shines too brightly. Just like true friends, though, they determine to overcome their differences and, with a little compromise, they reconcile their differences. The wonderfully engineered pop-ups are the outstanding feature of this book - I think children (and adults) will be so mesmerised by these superb creations that they may forget to read the story, so once you have enjoyed the wonderful pop-ups and clever combination of pictures and child-like drawings, make sure you enjoy the story too!

When I'm a Mummy Like You! by David O'Connell

Most children would like to be just like their mummy and do all the exciting things that grown-ups do. But is being a mummy really that much fun? Or can being small be just as special? Maybe they can both be wonderful, if you do them together... This is a joyful celebration of all the things that children can share and enjoy with their mummies.

Will You be My Friend? by Molly Potter

Making friends is an essential part of childhood but somehow, it's not always easy. Encouraging children to discuss friendship and all that it means is important to help children. Discussing "What makes someone a friend? How do we make friends? What makes us a good friend? And what makes us not such a good friend?" can really help and this book provides excellent prompts to facilitate those discussions. Each question is illustrated by a small picture, and questions are grouped together in larger categories, making this a book you can dip into to deal with specific situations, or one to read from start to finish. It's very well done and will be excellent for use in nurseries or with other groups of young children.

 Some Birds by Matt Spink

This gorgeously illustrated book is a real celebration of birds in all their variety. Big, small. Flappy, fluttery. Greedy, adventurous. Caged and free. A beautifully bright, fabulously fun and fantastically feathery book. The joyful rhyming text flows through the book and makes good use of decorative fonts for extra impact. The illustrations are really unusual and quite outstanding.

15 Things Not To Do With a Granny by Margaret McAllister

This is a joyous celebration of all that is wonderful about being a granny... and being a grandchild. That very special relationship is captured to perfection through entertaining text that warns grandchildren not to... hide an elephant in her bed... wear her pants on your head... or send her to the moon in a rocket. Of course, there are lots of things you should do, because she loves you. Lots. Holly Sterling's illustrations complement the text to perfection, and add plenty of humorous touches of their own. A perfect present for any granny.

Flip Flap Dogs by Nikki Dyson

This is such fun and is bound to have children in fits of giggles. We are used to cockerpoos and labradoodles but the weird and wonderful dogs in this book will truly amaze you! What do you get when you cross a Labrador with a Beagle? A Labradeagle, of course! What about a Whippet with a Chihuahua? Why, that's a Whippihuahua! My favourite has to be the spandoodle! Flip the pages in order and you get informative rhyming text about a range of popular dog breeds, but the real fun starts when you flip the two-piece pages out of order to create all manner of strange dogs. It's great fun and there are hours of entertainment as the outcome is different every time.

Don't Wake Up Tiger! by Britta Teckentrup

Tiger is fast asleep but she's lying completely in the way. That's a real problem as the animals need to get past - and they have balloons to carry too. Luckily, Frog has an excellent idea and, holding his balloon, he floats right over sleeping Tiger and soon the other animals follow... and, with a bit of help from you, the reader, they all get safely past until oh no! Luckily, it all turns out when in the surprise ending. Children will love the big shiny balloons and the stylish illustrations which are full of fun.

Monkey's Sandwich by Michelle Robinson

Monkey is hungry and his breakfast plate is bare. But he is quite sure his animal friends won’t mind if he borrows some of their food to make a sandwich. But each friend has such tempting fillings to choose from, that Monkey’s snack soon grows taller and taller until it is a ‘super sandwich’! Now Monkey is worn out... but his friends all turn up and soon they learn that sharing is the best thing of all. The hilarious rhyming text is great to read aloud, and the detailed pictures add plenty of value to the story and can be used to stimulate further discussion.

ODD DOG OUT BY ROB BIDDULPH

A busy dog is on a mission to find her place in the world.Revel in the glorious illustrations of dogs who, all alike, have their lives mapped out, be they swimmers, sailors, scouts or soldiers. The understated humour is spot-on - everyone is the same except for one dog who doesn’t quite fit in. So she decides to leave town to find her place in the world. When she meets another 'Odd dog out', she comes to realise that there's nothing wrong with being different, and returns home, to where she belongs - as one who stands out from the crowd. It's so clever, and all goes to show that different is good. I love this - an outstanding picture book.

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss

This is a brand new, never-before-seen rhyming romp of a picture book from the superb Dr Seuss - what a treat. When a brother and a sister visit the pet shop to choose a pet, they just can’t decide which one to go for. Sometimes making a choice can seem impossible to a child, and What Pet…? explores how it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it - it's an excellent way to show children that decision making is not always easy. The cliffhanger ending will encourage children’s imaginations and provide plenty of opportunities for discussion about their own choices. The book concludes with a useful and wide-ranging set of notes from the publisher.

Something for Mummy (Bing) by Ted Dewan

Bing is doing something special for his mummy. Making happy jammy toast is fun but it can get a bit messy. Bing helps toddlers to understand that things don't always go according to plan, but that really doesn't matter if, like Bing, the intentions are good. As the books emphasise - "But don’t worry, Bing. It’s no big thing!" Children can share the ups and downs of everyday life in this playful pre-school series from award-winning picture book creator Ted Dewan, which shows them they are far from being alone. A reassuring series which is perfect to share with your toddler.

Quiet! (Child's Play Library) by Kate Alizadeh

We live in a noisy world, and I love the way this book encourages its young readers to just listen. What can we hear when we’re really, really quiet? A toddler explores the range of sounds he can hear, from the bustle and chat of dinner time, to the quiet hush of his father’s voice at bedtime. The text and sensory clues to be found in this enchanting, inclusive picture book allow us to experience our home through its many noises. Auditory landmarks help all children to become familiar with daily routines, and can be particularly important to those who are blind or partially sighted. A thoughtful book which should encourage us all to slow down and just listen.

My Tail's Not Tired (Child's Play Library) by Jana Novotny-Hunter

Little Monster is definitely not tired enough to go to bed - his knees still have plenty of bounce in them; his bottom wants to wiggle; his arms still want to fly like a jet plane... Luckily, Big Monster has a strategy to outwit Little Monster, with the inevitable result. A humorous and charming bedtime story that adults and children will love to read – and play out – again and again. It's great fun for bedtime, but I don't promise your little monster will be soothed to sleep by it!

   

That's Not a Daffodil! by Elizabeth Honey

When Tom's friendly elderly neighbour gives him a brown bulb, Tom can't believe it will flower. 'That's not a daffodil!' says Tom. 'Well,' says the old gardener. 'Let's plant it and see.' Elizabeth Honey has created a playful story that little children will enjoy again and again - about an inventive boy, a kindly gardener, a growing friendship and the promise of a bulb. The story is simply told, and there's plenty of other interest to enjoy alongside the story of the blossoming bulb. The story is a lovely way to show children how plants grow - why not give your child a bulb to grow to accompany the story?

The Lost Kitten by Komako Sakai

When a tiny stray kitten turns up on the doorstep, Hina and her mother take the kitten in, even though it doesn't look very well and it's not quite the cute kitten Hina wanted. But soon Hina makes a home for her and learns all about caring for the tiny dependent creature. Then one day the kitten goes missing and Hina is reminded of the time she was lost.Luckily, the kitten is found safe and sound. Muted illustrations convey the gentle feel of this book to perfection.

Be Brave Little Penguin by Giles Andreae

This is the perfect picture book to help put children's fears of the unknown at rest... and it's brilliant for all those young ones who find swimming lessons rather daunting. Little Penguin Pip-Pip would love to join in with all his friends swimming in the sea, but there's just one problem . . . he's scared of water. Can Pip-Pip overcome his fears and finally take the plunge Illustrated with humour and warmth by Guy Parker Rees, with lovely watery colours which beautifully reflect the theme of the story, this cute and touching tale could well become a new family favourite.

Thank You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

The wonderful Steve Antony brings us a simple but oh-so-effective story about the importance of good manners. Mr Panda has presents for all his friends - but will they appreciate them? Just remember - it's the thought that counts! Wonderfully done with understated but effective illustrations to really get the message across. Another winner of a book from a very talented author.

Tiger Tiger by Jonny Lambert

Old Tiger thinks he is really too old for cub-sitting - all he wants to do is snooze the day away. But little Cub is having none of it – he wants to explore and have fun! Can Cub help Tiger to see the jungle in an exciting new light? The bold and stylish illustrations gradually get more and more colourful as Tiger rediscovers all the fun there is to be had in the jungle. Tiger Tiger is a lovely touching celebration of the fresh way that little ones can encourage us to see the world. It's a really enjoyable story, ideal for grandparents to share with their grandchildren as they enjoy their very special relationship and the way young and old can share and learn.

Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandal

Did you know that bunnies love to dance, to sing and to play the flute - just as long as nobody is watching, that is. So when Fox appears on the scene, they all decide to hide. But does he mean trouble or does he just want to play? There's a surprising twist in this lively and enjoyable story about friendship and not judging on appearances.

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty

This is a great way to introduce children to all sorts of different families as they find out the similarities and differences. All families are different - and yet in many ways the same! Through a gentle rhyming text, readers follow eight different families, celebrating their everyday differences as well as the similarities they share. With plenty of pictures to enjoy on each spread, this is a great way to encourage discussion and learning about families.

The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth by Ellie Hattie

Look out! There’s a mammoth on the loose! Follow Oscar through a magical museum of curious creatures to find the mammoth before the clock strikes one! Is he munching sandwiches with Diplodocus Dave in the Dinosaur room? Or joining an aerobics class with the Extinct and Endangered Species? The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth is a riotous adventure, packed with fascinating facts and lift-the-flap fun. With stunning illustrations from Karl James Mountford, this brilliantly interactive book brings museums to life! A wonderfully bright and exuberant story, packed with colour and action with lots of flaps to lift, explore and enjoy.

The Elephant's Umbrella by Laleh Jaffari

When the rain comes the elephant likes to put up his umbrella and invite his friends underneath. One day the umbrella is swept away by the wind and meets the leopard and the bear, who have very different idea about how to use the umbrella. This beautifully illustrated story is a tale of unselfishness and helping others, gently and effectively related.

The Little Black Fish by Samad Behrangi

In contrast to his fellow fish, Little Black Fish is a determined and inquisitive little fish. Ever-bold, Little Black Fish swims over the edge of the pool, into the stream and river which will show him much more of the world. He meets wonders and adventures, dangers and beauty. He makes it all the way to the sea, and finds his answers. Even though he doesn't survive to tell his own story, here it is being told to another generation, and the inspiration of it is passed on. An engrossing story about freedom, following your dreams and gaining knowledge.

When I Coloured in the World by Ahmadreza Ahmadi

This is a story that is told with poetic simplicity, offering beautiful images but also raising questions to set thoughts going in readers' imaginations as a child uses an eraser and crayons to bring happier colours to the world, replacing bad with good. A wonderfully positive, life-affirming book which takes negative topics and turns them into positives. A great basis for discussion.

Clever Mouse by Anahita Teymorian

A delightful story about a mouse who is rather too pleased with his own cleverness ...but a bit of realising his own foolishness teaches him what he needs to learn in order to become wise and happy. A mousy love story that shows how kindness is more important than beauty. The bright bold illustrations are full of detail but I found them slightly uncanny - I am not convinced that they are very child-friendly.

This Bear, That Bear by Sian Wheatcroft

Who will Little Bear see at the bear parade? Will it be 'This bear, that bear, likes to wear a hat bear?' One thing's for sure - the day will be full of surprises! This gorgeous book is a real celebration of bears in all shapes, sizes and styles, all introduced in superbly simple rhyming text that trips off the tongue - it's perfect to read aloud. The lively illustrations are packed with detail to explore and enjoy. I love it!

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William's grey little town is full of colour and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William and his town are changed forever. The muted colours of the illustrations are amazingly effective, and they complement the minimalist text perfectly, leaving the reader plenty of opportunity to put their own interpretation on this beautiful book.

William Bee's Wonderful World of Trucks

Join William, his dog and his gang of unruly traffic cones on a grand tour of the world of trucks. Perfect for every child who is fascinated by vehicles large and small - but mainly large! A wonderful exploration of the world of trucks - there are all manner of trucks here, all illustrated with a very personal feel that makes the reader really feel they are being taken on their very own tour of discovery. Wonderful characters throughout accompany the pictures and this is a great book to stimulate discussion.

Cheer Bear and the Treasure Hunt Storybook (Care Bears)

The lovable Care Bears are back to delight a new generation with new books to accompany the new Care Bears TV series on Netflix and Tiny Pop. It's the day of the Rainbow Race and the precious Care Crystal has been lost. But don't worry, Care Bears. If anyone can save the day, it's Cheer. The Care Bears are back with more fun and hugs than ever, and celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2017! Ready for a new generation to fall in love with Tenderheart, Grumpy, Cheer, Funshine, Share and Wonderheart, and their message of caring and sharing feelings. The Care Bears are always there to help each other and their warm and loving personalities will really appeal to children.

Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Runaway Biscuit: A Fairytale Mystery Starring the Gingerbread Boy by Jane Clarke

The Little Old Lady and the Little Old Man are bereft - the Gingerbread Boy has run away to train for the Fairytale Olympics. Is he fast enough to outrun hungry Foxy Loxy? Even worse, dark rain clouds are forming and he could turn to mush... Quick, don t delay. Call Sky Private Eye! With her bag full of detective gadgets and Just-in-Time cupcake recipes, she will sniff out the clues and solve the mystery in no time at all. Full of fun, with super illustrations - and even a recipe for gingerbread cupcakes.

D IS FOR DUCK! BY DAVID MELLING

Abracadabra! Duck is a magician. In this gorgeously different alphabet book, Duck can conjure up a bunny, a chicken, an egg... and as the book goes on, the things he conjures up get more and more outrageous... a jungle full of animals, a lion and - oh no - a great big red dragon. Now what is Duck to do? The giggles will come faster and faster as children enjoy this hilarious picture book from a wonderful storyteller.

Mr Bunny's Chocolate Factory by Elys Dolan

What child will be able to resist a visit to Mr Bunny's chocolate factory? This irresistible look at the workings of Mr Bunny's chocolate factory shows us just how hard the chickens work, but Mr Bunny is never satisfied. Cleverly written with cross-over humour which will entertain young and old, this book is great fun. Wonderfully illustrated, the humour is fabulous and the subject matter hilarious.

Lionheart by Richard Collingridge

A frightened little boy leaves the sanctuary of his room and the comfort of his favourite toy, to run through streets, fields, forests, over hills and into a magical jungle. Is someone chasing him? Soon he finds he is accompanied by his favourite toy, and gradually he learns to face his fears. Vibrantly illustrated, this reassuring and uplifting picture book takes the reader on a journey of discovery and learning, perfect for building confidence and encouraging children to face up to and talk about their fears.

The Girl Who Cried Wolf (Fairytales Gone Wrong) by Steve Smallman

I love this series, which takes well-known fairy stories and gives them a new twist to appeal to today's young readers and give them a whole new meaning. Meet Princess Arabella, who declares she is bored of living in the castle. She decides to swap roles with Tom, the lowly shepherd boy, as she thinks his job seems much more fun. A shocked Tom is sent off to the castle, whilst Arabella looks after the sheep. However, it isn't long before she is bored of this job too, and decides to play a trick on the townsfolk. And we all know what happened! This refreshing new spin on the traditional story highlighting the importance of telling the truth will be thoroughly enjoyed by young readers and the excellent illustrations bring it right up to date.

Who's Bad and Who's Good, Little Red Riding Hood? (Fairytales Gone Wrong) by Steve Smallman

Little Red Riding Hood is the perfect story to introduce children to stranger danger in a familiar, non-threatening manner but one which is very effective. On the way to Grandma's house, Little Red Riding Hood meets a wolf - and remembers her mother's instructions about strangers. But is the rabbit she meets a friend? The series provides an excellent way to stimulate thought and discussion about key issues, by taking a topic and offering a range of ways to use the story to convey a message, helped by the discussion points which are found at the end of every book. The approach is sensitive and thoughtful, and the books make excellent classroom resources, particularly for PSHE.

Lucy Ladybird by Sharon King-Chai

Lucy Ladybird feels that she doesn't belong with the other ladybirds, because she has no spots. So she goes to her friends, and asks for their spots. Soon, the other ladybirds realise that being different is great! This beautifully illustrated book is a wonderful way for young ones to explore the changing seasons as they follow Lucy on her quest. A stunning gatefold reveals all of the creatures' amazing new spots as they jump on board with being different in this lovely book about accepting what we are and being glad to be different.

The Bear Who Would Not Share (Picture Storybooks) by Oakley Graham

Bear has spent the whole morning baking delicious cakes and now all of his woodland friends are at the door, asking to try one. There's just one problem, although Bear is a great baker he's not so good on sharing. When Bear goes off for a rest, Little Bear takes matters into his own hands... see if your child can spot what has happened! Luckily, there's one cake left and Bear learns that it's good to share after all, in this charming picture book.

Search and Find Space by Joshua George

Perfect for children age 5 and up, who will love to search and find over 1000 out-of-this-world space objects in this full colour activity book from the creators of the best-selling 555 Sticker Fun series. From alien starships and rockets, to astronauts and creatures that live in galaxies far, far away, children must search the busy space scenes to find every hidden item. It helps children to learn their numbers too, as they spot from 1 to 10 of each object in the pictures. The simple text sets the scene and tells a story for each search and find adventure and is accompanied by fun, detailed illustrations.

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Search and Find Fairies by Susie Linn

This is such a pretty book! Girls are going to love searching for the busy fairies and discovering all the things they need to help them with their magic. There's so much detail in the pictures - plenty for children to pore over and enjoy. Each of the books in the series features sparkly highlights on the cover, making the books a quality gift and a fantastic activity title for travel, holidays, rainy days, party presents and more. With such a varied range of titles to choose from, there's bound to be something for every child.

Search and Find Vehicles by Joshua George

This colourful series is a great way to encourage children to be observant, both through the pages of the books and, especially with this title, when they are out and about, as they can spot some of the many vehicles encountered in the book. From diggers, dumpers and tractors, to cars, ships, trains and aeroplanes, children must search the busy vehicle scenes to find every hidden machine. The pages are packed with detail and offer excellent opportunities for stimulating discussions between adults and children. These well-produced books offer hours of enjoyment.

Search and Find Princesses by Susie Linn

Another really pretty book that girls are going to love. With over 1000 items to search for, across a variety of scenes including teatime, an indoor garden, royal treasures, beautiful butterflies and getting ready to ride, children will be able to spot and count. They will need to be very observant as sometimes it can be quite tricky to spot everything, especially as the books offer a useful extra level of challenge as the objects are not always the same size. A super series that is well produced and will offer hours of enjoyment.

 

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BEARSPOTTING BY MICHELLE ROBINSON

Next time you are planning on going out bearspotting, make sure you take this essential guide with you - after all, bearspotting can be a dangerous business! There are a few things you need to know, like how to identify black bears, brown bears... and blue bears? I hope you are taking this seriously, because what will keep you safe from a black bear is definitely not a good idea to try with a brown bear... With a hilarious and very unexpected ending, this book is a true delight from start to finish with wonderful illustrations and laugh-aloud text.

The Lumberjack's Beard by Duncan Beedie

Every day, Jim Hickory the lumberjack heads into the forest where he chops down trees and clears them away. Sadly, all sorts of creatures lose their homes in the process, so kind-hearted Jim gives them a home in his beard - until one day it all just gets too much. Time for Jim to come up with a better solution, which he does, very effectively. A lovely and unusual story with a green message which is superbly understated, and all the more powerful for that.

Fairytale Frankie and the Mermaid Escapade by Greg Gormley

Children will love to meet a host of storybook characters in this story of friendship and overcoming fears with a bit of help. Fairytale Frankie meets a worried mermaid, a wizard lifeguard, a surfing prince and a talking parrot, and it's up to her to help them overcome their fears - the scary sea monster is coming, and no one knows what to do! A fun-filled seaside caper, brightly illustrated, and full of lovely characters, with a positive message about overcoming worries and anxiety.

Love You Hoo by Rachel Bright

Rachel Bright's wonderfully simple but very effective style really conveys her messages perfectly. It's time to join Little Owl and Big Owl as they cuddle up at bedtime, thinking of the special times they've had together and all the exciting adventures the future holds. A positive and uplifting story about making the best of everything, with love at its heart.

The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright

Perfect for reading aloud, this book will immediately appeal to those who love a catchy rhyming text in their stories. Kevin the koala is very happy living in his tree and he doesn't like change. But one day, change is forced on him... and its not so bad after all! In fact, change is a good thing. A delightfully told and illustrated story that will help young children embrace change; reassuring and positive.

Captain McGrew Wants You for his Crew! by Mark Sperring

What's it like, being a member of a pirate crew? Maybe not quite as much fun as you'd think, if you're a member of Captain McGrew's crew. The fearsome (and, dare I say it, rather lazy) captain is on the look-out for some new crew members who can work all day and into the night! A right rollicking story full of zest and verve, and illustrated in bright bold action-packed illustrations. By the end of the book, it may be time for a career change!

Hiccups! by Holly Sterling

Oscar has got hiccups... but Oscar is a dog so it's hard to find a cure. Jumping around, drinking through a straw, and even a wizard's wand don't work. Then Ruby has a bright idea and gives Oscar a very BIG shock and the hiccups vanish... but it seems that hiccups are catching! It's great fun, plenty of silliness and some wonderful illustrations which perfectly encapsulate the joy of the book and the lovely relationship between the girl and her dog.

The Glump and the Peeble by Wendy Meddour

This heartwarming rhyming story tells of two quite different creatures. The Glump lives alone in his cave in the wood, wishing he could come out and dance with the Peebles. But nearby there’ s a peeble who wishes she could be quiet and thoughtful – like a glump. When they meet, it turns out they have a lot to teach each other! I love the rhythmic flowing text which is perfect for reading aloud. The story makes you ponder on differences, and being proud to find your own way, and the lovely expressive illustrations tell the story brilliantly.

Knock Knock Dinosaur by Caryl Hart

When one dinosaur turns up on the doorstep, it looks as though the little boy is going to have fun... but things get very out of hand when all the dinosaur's friends turn up in this uproarious counting book. There's chaos everywhere... but luckily the dinosaurs are very well house-trained and all is well before Mum comes home. And just how did all the dinosaurs arrive... well, all I will say is, be careful when ordering online!!! Great fun, full of humour (often nicely understated) and perfect for all young dinosaur fans with its catchy text and vibrant illustrations.

There's Broccoli in my Ice Cream! by Emily MacKenzie

If your child is a fussy eater, then this book is just made for them! Granville the Dalmatian loves sweet, sugary, chocky wocky gooey things to eat. He does not like fruit and vegetables one little bit. But when you belong to a family of passionate gardeners and greengrocers, that's quite a problem. They try hiding the fruit and veg in all sorts of unlikely ways, all to no avail. So the family hatch up what they think is a foolproof plan... but Granville knows better! A hilarious story, with lively illustrations - perfect to encourage everyone to try different foods.

I'll Love You Always by Mark Sperring

Love is forever, and this lovely celebration of love will reassure children of that - perfect for cuddly bedtimes. Perfect for snuggling in to read together, I'll Love You Always is a beautiful rhyming promise of love from Mark Sperring brought to sweetest life by bestselling illustrator Alison Brown. The illustrations are gorgeously detailed, with lots of natural wonders to spot and enjoy together. Through the days, the weeks and the months, the two little mice snuggle together and always love each other. The book is perfect to share with everyone you love.

The Tiddler Sound Book by Julia Donaldson

Simply wonderful! As if the joy of a book from the sublime pairing of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler isn't enough, we now have it brought to life with 10 excellent, high quality sounds which really do enhance the story. Tiddler is late for school every day, and each day he has a story to tell about why he is late. But did he really ride a seahorse? Did he really meet a mermaid? And did he really get captured in a net? This wonderful story is superbly illustrated with richly detailed underwater scenes to accompany the catchy rhythmic text.  love all the fishy characters! Pressing the buttons is a great way to encourage children to follow the text along as you read, as they can spot the right image in the text. The story itself is superb and the sounds add an extra level of pleasure. A book to be enjoyed over and over again.

Give Please a Chance by James Patterson

One little word that means a great deal is at the heart of this unusual and inspiring book. It shows a multitude of ways in which the one word, please, can be used - from finding a lovable stray dog to needing a partner on a seesaw, from reading a bedtime story to really, really wanting a cookie, Give Please a Chance depicts scenes and situations in which one small word can move mountains. What makes this book really stand out is the fact that seventeen different artists are showcased, all with very different styles. With simple text, this is a fun, unusual and memorable way for children to learn the magic power of one simple word: please.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Book & CD illustrated by Richard Smith

This enchanting book is, of course, inspired by the much-loved song Winter Wonderland. Join in with the happy family as they take a beautiful journey through a glistening winter landscape. There is plenty to spot on every page, as splashes of colour show the beauties of nature peeping through the snowy landscape. I love the way musical notes are carefully placed around the pictures to keep the song firmly at the forefront. It's a perfect gift for a special time of the year. and comes with an accompanying CD including the much-loved recording of the song by Peggy Lee. Everyone will be singing along! A book to treasure.

A Dot in the Snow by Corrinne Averiss

A beautiful glittery cover makes you want to dive into this book to discover what lies within. Curious little polar bear Miki wanders off while his mother is diving for fish. When he sees a dot in the snow and races towards it, he doesn't know what he has found... but the reader will. The two have a wonderful time together... but the world around them is changing and soon it will be time to part, and for both to return to the safety of their mothers. Beautifully set in a polar landscape, this touching book has themes of friendship, empathy, kindness, and courage.

Storytime: Superchimp by Giles Paley-Phillips

No job is too big or too small for Superchimp, the hero of the forest. Everybody loves Superchimp and he's always being called on for help in this lovely rhyming story... but even Superchimp is afraid of someone. When he hears a booming voice telling him it's time to go home, it's not just his clothes that are red! It seems Superchimp can be a superhero just as long as he doesn't upset his Mum and is home in time for tea – which is a lesson any child should know. A cute way to introduce the topics of helping others and understanding rules. The glorious illustrations by Karl Newson are full of vibrant colour which deepens into night as the book reaches its conclusion.

A Village is a Busy Place! by Rohima Chitrakar V. Geetha

This unusual book opens out fold by colourful fold to depict a gorgeous panorama of village life. As you unfold the pages, read about what is happening and encourage your child to discover with you the details of the picture, make connections, and set off on an exploration of village life teeming with people, animals and activities. An intriguing and unusual book which will stimulate interest - it even comes with a hanging hole so you can enjoy it displayed in its full glory. The book is in the Bengal Patua style of scroll painting, so it's a lovely authentic way to share this. It depicts the everyday world of the Santhal people who are among India's largest indigenous communities.

This Truck Has Got to be Special by Anjum Rana

This is a fascinating book that shows the beauty of Pakistani truck art - how wonderful it would be traveling on our roads if lorries looked like this! "This truck has got to be special!" says truck artist Zarrar to Chinar Gul, a truck driver from Pakistan. Gul, who drives along the mountain roads of the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush-has finally acquired his own vehicle and wants it painted beautifully - what a super way to show pride in his vehicle. We follow Gul as he watches and waits, learning about his life and his special truck. This unusual book is a richly imagined collaboration between a Pakistani writer, truck artists and an Indian illustrator; it celebrates the energy and joy of Pakistani truck art as well as the artists whose skill and labour breathe life into it. All along, the bold graphic vigour of truck art tells its own story. Stunning!

Stone Underpants by Rebecca Lisle

When you live in the Stone Age, life can be decidedly chilly... especially around the bottom! So ingenious Pod decides to make something to solve the problem - underpants. But stone is too heavy, wood is too splintery and none of his other ideas work either. Finally, he finds the perfect solution - and a whole new Age comes to be. This hilarious story is gloriously illustrated by Richard Watson with some fabulous details like the 'cave paintings' in Pod's bedroom. A wonderful story.

As Nice as Pie by Gary Sheppard

Mavis Manewaring loves cooking and sharing... but when the greedy birds start to take advantage of her, she cooks up a cunning plan. Soon the birds are helping Mavis to achieve her dream of opening a pie shop. Told in wonderfully catchy rhyme that is perfect for reading aloud, this is a lovely story about not being taken for granted, and working together to solve problems. Illustrated in vibrant colour by Tim Budge, this is a lovely story.

The Great Sock Secret by Susan Whelan

Like most of us, you have probably wondered where all those missing socks go. Well, now you can find the answer in this entertaining picture book. Sarah's mother is tired of finding odd socks in the laundry basket. Where do all the missing socks go? She thinks the puppy is responsible but Sarah knows better... but she doesn't want to share that with her mother. Follow Sarah and her mother and see if you can spot the socks! The Great Sock Secret is wonderfully fun adventure into an imaginative world that's home to some very cool fairies.

An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo

This beautiful work of art is perfect for children and adults to enjoy together. It features a whole menagerie of animals, some familiar and some less so, ranging from A for armadillo to Z for zebra. Accompanying the superb pictures are rhyming couplets which cover two creatures, as well as some factual information about each creature. The book is printed on extra-thick cream paper and with very high design and production values, which really make this a beautiful book - one that will make a lovely gift to treasure.

The Winter Fox by Timothy Knapman

A beautiful sparkly cover sets the scene for this stunning illustrated story. The sparkle continues throughout the book and is very effective - the sparkly silver birch trees really draws attention to the beauty of a tree which we can take for granted. The changing seasons are superbly depicted, starting with Fox busy playing all summer long, while his friends get themselves ready for winter. But when winter comes he is cold, hungry and all alone. So Fox makes a wish, which comes true in a special way; when Fox shares his goodies with his friends, everyone is happy. A charming tale of friendship which is the perfect story to snuggle up an share on cold winter nights. Rebecca Harry's sparkling illustrations are so beautiful.

Refuge by Anne Booth

This moving and thought-provoking book tells the story of perhaps the best-known refuge family ever - Jesus and his earthly parents Mary and Joseph. It's a thought to bear in mind when we thing about the plight of refuges worldwide, and the rights and wrongs of the situation in which they find themselves. It tells of the Christmas story and what follows - the flight of Jesus, Mary and Joseph from Herod’s soldiers to Egypt. This is a book with timeless crossover appeal and a message that couldn’t be more relevant. The story is told from a unique perspective - that of the donkey who carried the family. It's simply but movingly told, with subtle and softly coloured illustrations by Sam Usher. A perfect way to encourage children to think about a serious issue.

A Visit to City Farm by Verna Wilkins

City farms are a wonderful thing, giving urban children the chance to experience farm life and get closer to the way our food is produced. The story is set in a real city farm, huddled below the towers of Canary Wharf, and the book is the result of a collaboration between Chalkhill Primary School, Wembley, and Firetree books. Join the children of Rainbow Class as they walk along a busy road to take an underground train which takes them to meet alpacas and llamas, pigs and ponies and so much more in the city farm. Year 5 children helped develop the story, choosing the characters' names and writing poems for the book; it is a true celebration of diversity, superbly illustrated by Karin Littlewood.

Home and Dry (Child's Play library) by Sarah Smith

The Paddling family love living on their island beneath a big black cloud, surrounded by water. As the seasons change and the water dries up, life gets harder for the expanding Paddling family but not to be deterred, they set off to find somewhere to paddle. When an unexpected visitor arrives, the family is nowhere to be found. Before long, their visitor is in trouble and the rescue brings a big surprise! Richly illustrated, this story explores the themes of home, friendship and family.

That's NOT How You Do It! (Child's Play Library) by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

Lucy is quite a character - she knows how to do everything and all her friends ask her for help if they need to know the right way to do something. When Toshi arrives, Lucy thinks he can’t do anything properly at all, and she gets very frustrated. But things will change for Lucy - when she finally tries to teach Toshi the right way to do things, she learns a very important lesson herself. A simple, funny tale, delightfully told about understanding, respecting and enjoying our differences. A good book to share with a group and to use as the basis for discussion.

Don't Worry Hugless Douglas by David Melling

Who can resist this totally adorable bear? When Douglas' dad gives him a wonderful new woolly hat, he races outside to show it off to all his friends... but he doesn;t realise that his lovely new hat is turning into a heap of spaghetti. Perhaps his friends can help out... but their ideas just make things worse. Luckily, Dad is on hand with an unexpected solution. Hugless Douglas well deserves his place in the tally of children's favourite bears; this is the second adventure in the hugely popular series, which has sold over 1.4 million copies in 26 languages so far.

Boo-A-Bog in the Park by Lucy Owen

This is a heartwarming story about a little boy called Tom and how he overcomes loneliness... with a little help from a very unexpected source. Tom is in the park, wondering why nobody wants to play with him, when from the bushes a strange creature emerges. It's a Boo-a-bog. With Boo-a-bog at his side, Tom finds the courage to join in and soon he has lots of friends... and it's time for Boo-a-bog to fade away. A delightful rhyming story, vibrantly illustrated.

When an Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali

When an elephant falls in love, he does many foolish things - and they are depicted with a wonderful sense of humour in this engaging book. He hides when the elephant of his affection is near and he even washes behind his ears! Until, one day, the doorbell rings and everything changes, proving that love can happen to anyone, even elephants. The elephant is so glorious, you will be really wanting a happy ending - and that's just what you'll get. Wonderful stylish illustrations by Alice Lotte are the perfect match for the story.

Handstand by Lisa Stickley

Little Edith tells the story of how she loves to do handstands, and this unusual counting book shows how, through seven days of perseverance she learns the power of practice. Thwarted by all sorts of things - bees, spiders, worms and even a bird's whoopsie, nevertheless Edith perseveres and masters the art of being upside down. All the while, readers will be counting down the seconds with her and learning the days of week, in her story that ends with the prize of an ice lolly. I have reservations about the font used in this book - it looks to me just like a child's very untidy handwriting, and to me, it rather spoils the impact of the message of the story.

Fly Away Peter by Frank Dickens

This is a reissue of a classic story from the 60s; the retro feel is strong and yet the book somehow manages to feel totally contemporary. Jeffrey the giraffe is unhappy because he is not like the other giraffes - he has a short neck. Peter the bird is also unhappy because he can't fly. So when they meet up, both are delighted to become friends. When they decide to play together to cheer each other up, a game of hide-and-seek has surprising consequences. It's a charming story of friendship and working together to solve problems - but is being different wrong? The illustrations by Ralph Steadman are quite delightful, full of colour and gorgeous detail.

An Artist's Alphabet by Norman Messenger

Picture books are definitely not only for children - all ages will delight in this stunningly illustrated book which helps us to look at letters in unexpected ways; the words don't obviously match the letters, making you think. Exceptional and ingenious, Norman Messenger has transformed the alphabet into extraordinary objects in this visionary collection of flora, fauna and more. Not just capital letters either - lower case letters are cleverly juxtaposed to give thought-provoking illustrations. This is a Walker Studio book which will make a beautiful gift for any art-lover. Very clever.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

This book really needs no introduction - book and film have become a classic Christmas staple, without which a child's Christmas is just not complete. This paperback edition has a sparkly glitter cover. The wordless story tells of the winter's night when a snowman comes to life and transports a little child on an unforgettable adventure. The beautiful artwork tells the story as no words could, and allows children to take their own place in the story. Full of joy and yet tinged with sadness - who has not felt a little tear come to the eye at the end? The story superbly captures the wonder and innocence of childhood and has become a world-wide favourite.

The New Born Child by Jackie Morris

This sumptuously illustrated lyrical story is the story of a birth - a universal story and one that is especially appropriate for Christmas. Share the feelings a young mother-to-be, about to give birth in a strange land. And then share in her joy as she holds her precious new-born in her arms. The vibrant illustrations are full of rich colour and glorious detail, with beautiful depictions of plants and animals. A beautiful book, perfect as a gift for any mother-to-be.

Didn't We Have a Lovely Time! by Michael Morpurgo

Farms for City Children was founded by Clare and Michael Morpurgo in 1976, and this moving and heartwarming story shows the impact they had on one boy who attended. Published to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Farms for City Children, Didn't We Have a Lovely Time! is told from the viewpoint of a teacher and based on the true story of a boy whose confidence and speech returns after meeting a very special horse down on the farm. If anyone doubts the value of the project, they should read this book! Superbly illustrated by Quentin Blake, this is a lovely read. Buy this book and you will be supporting Farms for City Children, as all royalties will be donated.

Dare to Care: Pet Dragon by Mark Robertson

This hilarious account of how to care for your pet dragon (should you have such a thing) will have adults and children alike in fits of giggles. The scene is set by the lovely cover illustration which shows the proud owner busily cleaning up the dragon's mouth - and it just gets better and better. This essential guide includes clear, concise information on everything from choosing an egg to feeding, grooming and training your dragon, plus spreads on taking your dragon to the vet and teaching it to fly! M. P. Robertson's illustrations are not to be missed either - they continue the humour to perfection. It's superbly done and who would have imagined that so much humour could be found in a guide to caring for your pet!

Elliot's Arctic Surprise by Catherine Barr

When Elliott is enjoying the beach on a summer day, he finds a message in a bottle. It's from Santa, whose home in the Arctic is under threat from the oil drillers. Elliott gets a lift from a kind old sailor and on the way to the Arctic, they find children from around the world. Together, the children confront the oil men, who agree they shouldn't be there. There's a big surprise for all the children - and for all the young readers. This enjoyable story with its charming illustrations carries a strong environmental message, developed in conversation with Greenpeace UK. It's an excellent way to convey the message and to stimulate discussion for instance, about why the icebergs are on the move.

Raven Child and the Snow-Witch by Linda Sunderland

A stunning illustrated and very glittery cover gives a foretaste of joys to come. Anya lives with her mother and father in the shadow of the great glacier. Every spring, Anya's mother journeys to the glacier to pick the blue gentian flowers that grow there. But one spring, she does not return, captured by the Ice Queen. Anya and her father set off on a treacherous journey, and discover there are more victims of the Ice Queen, and she finds that determination and love conquers all. An emotion-packed haunting story, with outstanding illustrations.

One Hundred Sausages by Yuval Zommer

Sausages are Scruff's very favourite thing, especially the ones in the butcher's window. So just imagine how Scruff feels when there's a break-in at the butcher's and every single sausage is stolen! But guess who gets the blame? Poor Scruff - there's only one thing for it, Scruff will have to sniff out the thief. With a bit of help from a delightful array of friends, and after a few false scents, Scruff's sniffing talents and bravery win the day - and Scruff and his chums are rewarded with a slap-up meal at a posh restaurant. A lovely story with gorgeous illustrations of the lovely dogs; ideal for dog lovers but everyone will enjoy this - and will be delighted to see Scruff get his well-deserved reward.

Penguin's Christmas Wish by Salina Yoon

Fans of Salina Yoon's previous Penguin titles will love to see a new adventure for the lovable little Penguin. Penguin can't wait to celebrate Christmas with his family and friends, and as he makes his preparations, he meets an old friend... Things don't go exactly as planned, but everyone gets what they want, thanks to some clever thinking on Penguin's part, and he learns to find magic in the most unexpected places. A lovely message for Christmas, about what really matters, simply yet very effectively conveyed through the simple but perfect text and illustrations.

A Classic Treasury (5 of Dr Seuss' best-loved tales omnibus) by Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss has helped generations of children learn to read as well as instilling in them a love for stories. This classic treasury will make a wonderful gift, one that can be handed down from generation to generation as neither the stories nor the illustrations ever seem to date. The compilation includes five of the hilarious classics that made Dr. Seuss one of the best-loved children’s authors: The Cat in the Hat; The Cat in the Hat Comes Back; Green Eggs and Ham; Fox in Socks and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The wonderful rhymes are simple but very effective; the stories are full of humour that appeals to all ages. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranking among the UK’s top ten favourite children’s authors, Seuss is firmly established as a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide. A lovely collection of the very best of Dr Seuss - although everyone will have their won favourites.

Three Little Monkeys by Quentin Blake

What a combination! Words by Quentin Blake and illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark - the result is bound to be superb, and I wasn't disappointed. They have joined their talents to perfection to tell us the story of Hilda Snibbs and her three very naughty little monkeys, Tim, Sam and Lulu. They cause chaos and Hilda finds herself wishing she didn't have them... but beware of what you wish for! A glorious riot of a book, full of fun and a sheer delight from start to finish, with some unexpected twists and subtle changes in the picture style which reflect the mood of the story.

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer

A very effective collaboration between the Irish Children’s Laureate and picture book illustrator, Oliver Jeffers!, has produced a charming and very thoughtful book. How many children have imaginary friends? Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other. It's a wonderful celebration of that very special world that can exist in childhood, imaginative and full of gentle humour. The black and white illustrations with just a touch of colour here and there complement the feel of the story to perfection.

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby by Kelly Clarkson

This is the perfect bedtime story - and it even comes with a link to listen to the original song. It’s bedtime for River Rose in this brilliant debut picture book from superstar mum, Grammy Award-winner Kelly Clarkson, with beautiful illustrations by Laura Hughes. River Rose is going to the zoo tomorrow, but like all children in the same situation, she is too excited to go to sleep. But after mummy has sung a special song, River Rose is whisked away on a fantastical adventure. The pictures are gorgeous, full of life and movement and vibrant colours. A lovely book.

Help!: Lift-the-Flap Book by Sally Grindley and Peter Utton

This interactive take on the much-loved fairy story will captivate young readers. Based on The Three Little Pigs, Help! physically involves the reader in the narrative and adventure, as they lift the flaps and chase the Big Bad Wolf in the company of the Three Little Pigs; right from the start, readers are an integral part of the story, which speaks directly to them. You will, of course, be familiar with the original, but this story has the reader guessing at every turn of the page. Fantastically well told and illustrated to perfection, with detailed pictures that reveal something new every time you revisit them

There's a Snake in My School! by David Walliams

David Walliams and Tony Ross - what a combination! Miranda loves to be different, and on Bring-your-pet-to-school Day she introduces everyone to her very unusual pet, Penelope. Penelope the snake. Soon, the children realise that Penelope is really very friendly - and also very versatile and they have great fun... but Miss Bloat the headmistress doesn’t think snakes, or any other pets, should be allowed in school. Things take a surprising turn... and just where is Miss Bloat? Miranda knows, but she's not telling... Wonderfully anarchic, this is a gem of a story, and children will be in fits of giggles, especially at the antics of Penelope.

We Love Dinosaurs by Lucy Volpin

Dinosaurs are not usually perceived as lovely cuddly friendly creatures - but Lucy Volpin's definitely are! Dinosaurs big, small, fast, slow, stripy, spotty or anything in-between, they are all here, shown with colourful illustrations which include some lovely touches of humour. The simple rhythmic rhyming text makes the book perfect for reading aloud, or children can listen along to the smartphone audio book. Young dinosaur fans can learn the names of the dinosaurs, as they are all shown on separate pages. A lovely book for all young dinosaur fans.

Nothing Can Frighten A Bear by Elizabeth Dale

When Baby Bear hears a noise at night, the whole Bear family set out into the woods, with Daddy Bear insisting that nothing can frighten a bear. But as they walk through the woods, the bears vanish one by one, giving Daddy Bear a big fright This reassuring story, with its lovely flowing rhyming text and a lovely twist at the end, is perfect for bedtime - and even better if it's Daddy who reads it! The muted colours of Paula Metcalf's expressive illustrations set the night-time scene perfectly.

The Queen's Present (The Queen Collection) by Steve Antony

This has become a wonderful series - so clever, yet so simple and very funny. The Queen is in search of the prefect presents for the little prince and princess and luckily, Father Christmas is here to help! He takes the Queen on a journey around the world, via the State of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids and more, finally reaching the North Pole to the Sydney Opera House. Make sure you look closely at the pictures - simple they may seem, but they are full of cleverness; can you spot the Queen driving the sleigh? Steve Antony, is was winner of the Oscar's First Book Prize, nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. A wonderful book, full of humour and such fun to read and to share.

Robin's Winter Song by Suzanne Barton

Things are changing and the forest was abuzz with activity. As the red and orange leaves swirled in the wind, young Robin started to worry. because things were changing. When he asked, his friends told him winter was coming. Finch was flying south, because Winter was coming. Squirrel was burying food, because Winter was coming. Even Owl was making his nest warm, because Winter was coming. Robin didn't like the sound of Winter at all - until he sees the magical change it brings. And after that, it's time to look forward - to spring. It's a lovely way to introduce children to the changing seasons, and to explore how animals cope with it; it's beautifully illustrated, too. A lovely book.

Giving Thanks: More than 100 ways to say thank you by Ellen Surrey

We are always telling our children to say please and thank you - now there are 100 ways to say thank you! Follow one boy as he thinks about the people in his life he'd like to thank - and encourages young readers to think who they would like to thank. He thinks about the many reasons he has to be grateful, and all the different ways of showing affection and gratitude to the people we love. It's a lovely book to share and to talk about all the little pictures, encouraging children to show they care in all manner of ways. A lovely book, full of ideas and ways to show our appreciation - adults could take note too!

A Knit and a Knot by Amanda Brandon

Granny Mutton loves to knit and she is teaching Little Lionel to knit. But when her favourite red wool goes missing, Lionel and his friend Rocky become investigators to find it. Their quest takes them into a little danger, but they are safe and eventually they find the wool. Luckily, Little Lionel has a bright idea to keep Pipsqueak happy and to return the wool to Granny Mutton. A lovely story, delightfully illustrated by Catalina Echeverri.

The Snowflake Mistake by Lou Treleaven

Princess Ellie lives with her mum, the Snow Queen, in an ice palace floating high in the sky. A magical snowflake maker chugs away, turning clouds into snowflakes. Then disaster strikes on the day that Princess Ellie is left in charge – the machine breaks and Ellie has to find another way of making snowflakes and soon the world is covered again. But there's something different about the snowflakes and the Snow Queen soon spots it - but happily, she see how good the new snowflakes are. It's an unusual concept and one I really like - it's the perfect story to snuggle up with on a cold wintry day. The rhyming text flows through the book, making it lovely to read aloud. A clever story, wonderfully illustrated - and it shows children how to make their own snowflakes too.

My Little Pony: Where Equestria Comes to Life by Caroline Rowlands

This is a clever and unusual series which relies on Augmented Reality to give it its magic - it is the only Augmented Reality character guidebook for the world of Hasbro's smash-hit animated series, My Little Pony. Young readers will meet ponies of the magical land of Equestria as they join Twilight Sparkle and her firneds in Equestria. The interactive icons allow children to interact with their favourite ponies as they grow to their true size right before your eyes,. Children can even play along with their friends if they connect to a friend's device. Children have the chance to customize their pony and they will be amazed to see it come to life. The colourful book introduces lots of the ponies, describing them in words and pictures; it's a lovely way to enthuse children for reading.

Transformers Robots in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life by Caroline Rowlands

Just like the book above, this book relies on Augmented Reality to set it apart from other books, and to have children watching in amazement as their characters come to life. Children can find out who's who in the all-action world of Crown City, and then bring them to life. This is the only Augmented Reality character guidebook to the world of Hasbro's smash-hit animated series, Transformers Robots in Disguise. Bring Autobots and Decepticons to life in the palm of the hand. They can interact with and customize their favourite Transformers, then make them lifesize and watch them grow to real size. They can also connect your device to a friend's, and go head-to-head in a battle to see who is the ultimate winner. A great way to engage boys with books, as there's lots to learn about Transformers in the colourful pages too

The Night the Stars Went Out by Suz Hughes

Alien has a very responsible job - he is the star shiner for the entire galaxy. It was a big job for a very little alien, and Alien never had time to play or make friends. But one night, all the stars went out and Alien was told (by the Star Helpline) that he must get special varnish from Earth. So off he sets, but gets himself into a bit of a tangle, but luckily George is on hand to help out. This is a lovely story about friendship, helping others, told with gentle humour, and gorgeous illustrations.

Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra

Gordon is a very special balloon - after all, who knew that balloons go to balloon school? Life is dangerous for a balloon in the big wide world - there are porcupines, magicians who want to pop balloons - and then Gordon finds his niche in the circus. But when a storm hits their ship, they are stranded on an island with no means of escape What will they do? Lost in the middle of the ocean and with no means of escape, it’s up to Gordon to save the day - and he does, in style. Paul Linnet's colourful illustrations are full of clever details, and complement the enjoyable story perfectly.

A Day with Dogs by Dorothee De Monfreid

Wonderful! What dog lover could resist? Meet a group of comical dogs and share in their everyday lives which introduce homes, towns, seasons, colours, food,night and day, school and work, and much more. Every page is fill of lively little pictures as the dogs go about their business - making some amusing speech bubble comments all the while. The pictures are full of detail, giving almost endless opportunities for conversation and developing communication skills. Each of these funny and endearing dogs are a different breed and very distinctive character, and I think adults will enjoy this just as much as children.

Alone Together by Clayton Junior

This simple but very effective book takes an engaging look at opposites and contrasts through unusual and humorous examples taken from the animal world. The stylish illustrations appear simple, but are actually very clever. The book will spark conversations between adults and children and is a great introduction to a key early years concept. Its bold, colourful illustrations are perfect for parents and young children to explore together and to pour over time and again, finding something fresh every time.

That's Not a Hippopotamus! by Juliette MacIver

The class is off to the zoo - the zoo which claims to have every creature in the land. But there is no hippopotamus. So the class set off in search of him, meeting many other animals along the way. The text has a wonderful rhythm to it, which gallops along as the children search enthusiastically. The noise and drama reach a pitch, and no one thinks to listen to quiet Liam, who really might know where the hippo is hiding. It's cleverly done - just look at the illustrations as you read and you will enjoy a whole different story - what can you spot? There is so much to look at and appreciate in this wonderful story.

Pandora by Victoria Turnbull

This emotional story tells of Pandora, who lives alone in a world of broken things. She makes herself a handsome home, from all that people had left behind, but no one ever comes to visit. Then one day, something falls from the sky... a bird with a broken wing. As Pandora nurses the bird back to health, it begins to fly away each day, bringing a seed or small plant with him. Then one day, the bird doesn't come back. Pandora is heartbroken. However, day by day, things begin to grow… This is a heartfelt fable of hope and regeneration, with muted colours to the illustrations which speak of sadness and desolation; the bleak landscape is transformed by the end of the story into a place of life and hope.

Otto the Book Bear in the Snow by Katie Cleminson

Otto the Book Bear lives in a library and loves to explore the books when everyone has gone home. He and Ernest love nothing more than for their book to be borrowed and read, but one day, they are left alone by their borrower - and they are desperate to get back to the library for the special winter party. It's time for an incredible adventure through the snow... A lovely story - and what a great way to encourage children to use their library.

Free The Lines by Clayton Junior

If you want a thought-provoking book to share with children, there's one right here. A little sailing boat casts out his line to catch a fish in a busy, healthy ocean, but when a big, smoking trawler casts its mighty net, will any of the fish escape? Does the little sailing boat make the right choice? What do you think? This striking and artistic wordless picture book explores an environmental theme through simple linework, patterns and strong contrasts. Children can put their own words to the story, encouraging their storytelling and conversational skills, as they make their own choices on the rights or wrongs of the little boat' s decision

If I Was a Banana by Alexandra Tylee

This child's-eye-view of the everyday brings alive all the wonder and oddity of the world inside our own heads, as we follow the exploration of the things that are all around us, and share in the awe the child feels. It is simple and gently humorous, but also gives the reader plenty to ponder over, encouraging them to return to the book. Delicate illustrations allow us to share in the wonder the child feels.

Little Owl's Egg by Debi Gliori

This is a lovely reassuring book for parents to share with young children when a new sibling is on the way. Little Owl isn't happy when Mummy Owl tells him there's a new baby owl in the egg she has just laid - surely she doesn't need another baby owl? So Mummy pretends it might be a baby penguin ... or crocodile ... or elephant. I love the way the owl egg is treated just like a human baby, being wheeled out in a pram, playing with toys... When Little Owl thinks about what the egg could be, he decides that perhaps a baby owl is the best option after all. This is an really sweet story, full of gentle humour and perfectly illustrated to blend with the text. A perfect way to show that a mother's love never ends, and to make older siblings feel cherished and important.

I Saw Anaconda by Jane Clarke

The book cover describes this as 'a very silly lift-the-flap story - and it really is very silly and will have children in fits of giggles. Readers will instantly recognise that is is based on a certain story about an old lady - but this version is even more hilarious! It's full of strange animals and lots of flaps to lift, showing just what is going on in Anaconda's tummy. The little boy stands by, watching in amazement until... you've guessed! But the big question is, will she be sick? Great fun and children will love what they will discover beneath the wonderfully varied and creative flaps.

Goodnight World by Debi Gliori

Rhyming stories are ideal for bedtime, and the soothing rhythm of this one is ideal for soothing children to sleep. There are so many things to say goodnight to - there's the planet and the world, planes and trains, all the plants and all the animals... As the child says goodnight to them all, we see them all in beautifully drawn pictures that evoke night-time with their soft colours and delicate drawings. Gentle and reassuring, the book sends everyone to sleep... see what happens to dad! A lovely bedtime book.

Nuddy Ned's Christmas by Kes Gray

To give you a flavour of this cheeky story - 'Santa's sleigh was on its way just leaving Lanzarote. "Goodness Gracious," Blitzen cried. "Did I just see a botty?"' It's minus 3 outside and snowing - but Nuddy Ned doesn't care; he's off on an adventure in search of a special person, completely starkers! And there is a very special person Ned just can't wait to meet! A laugh-out-loud riotous romp of a book, with vibrant seasonal illustrations and lots of flaps to lift - all with strategically places objects to protect Ned's modesty. There's a big surprise at the end of the book...

By the Light of the Moon by Tom Percival

Ivan has moved house, and his new house seems unfriendly and unwelcoming, so he can't sleep. As he lies awake he sees a light, which turns into a creature called a Moji and he follows it on a magical nighttime journey. He visits wonderful places and, best of all, the Moji paints wonderful pictures in the sky to show Ivan he will be happy in his new home. Gentle and reassuring, the book with its stunning pictures will help children accept change and look forward to happy times.

Topsy Turvy Animals by Wes Magee

Rhyme is a special and unique way of introducing children to the imaginative worlds of stories, word play and creativity. Here award-winning poet Wes Magee has brought us a cross between picture book and poetry book that will extend and stimulate children's imaginations: "A pair of striped zebras are climbing a tree. Giraffes on holiday swim in the sea." the wonderful rhymes draw clear word pictures for us, and the illustrations carry on the theme by depicting a super range of creatures in hilarious situations. Take time to look at the detail - there is so much to spot and to enjoy.

Hello, Mr Moon (Storytime) by Lorna Gutierrez

Children are puzzled by the moon - why does it appear then disappear? The child in this story, peeping out of the window, asks just that as she sees that the moon is out and so are the animals in the garden. Mr Moon explains the phases of the Moon cycle to a child and to Bat, Fox, Cat, Owl Badger and fish who all have questions of their own. It is simply told and an excellent way to help young children understand about the phases of the moon. 'Next steps' provide further information about the Moon cycle, including experiments to understand how the moon orbits our earth. Perfect for enquiring children, share this at bedtime, enjoy the beautiful illustrations, and learn about the moon.

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

Young Chris is a very busy astronaut - too busy to go to bed. He is scared, because at bedtime it's dark - and although his parents try to reassure him, poor Chris is still scared. But then Chris watches the first televised moon landing and learns that there is a much darker darkness in space - and it can be exciting! Based on the author's own experiences, and beautifully illustrated, this is an inspiring story about facing up to fear and following your dreams.The Darkest Dark is the debut picture book by Commander Chris Hadfield, international bestselling author of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth..

Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton

Prepare yourself for fits of giggles from adults and children as you read this hilarious picture book. Surely it's not possible to drink the sea? Not for Danny McGee. And that was just the start of this wonderful rhyming story. Soon he's swallowing trees, flies, fleas, peas, mountains ... where will it end? When there was nothing more to see, it's up to sister Frannie to bring the story to a very surprising conclusion... Wonderfully funny and superbly illustrated.

Dance With Me by Penny Harrison

A ballerina in a music box loves nothing more than to dance, and the little girl loves to dance along with her. Her days are filled with joy as she dances for her little girl owner. For added fun, the little ballerina pops out of her box when the little girl isn't looking. Sadly, the little girl grows up, and the box is packed away. And then, one magical day, the box is unpacked and the little ballerina finds herself looking into a very familiar face... A heartwarming story about treasured possessions and the memories they hold.

Patch and Ruby by Anouska Jones

Patch the pony is lonely - although he does have friends, he never quite feels that he belongs. Then one day his special girl Sam has an idea and something happens that changes Patch's life forever, and soon Patch has his own very special friend. A lovely and gently humorous tale about friendship and finding out where you belong, with gorgeous illustrations by Gwynneth Jones.

Duck Gets a Job by Sonny Ross

Duck wants a job. All his friends work in the city, and they love it and they never stop going on about how much they love it. He doesn't think the jobs sound exciting, but he picks one out of the paper and gets an interview. He has tricky decisions to make - what to wear, how to get there and how to behave - and he gets the job. He soon realises that the job is not for him. Next time, he decides to follow his heart and goes for a job he really wants - and he gets it. The story is delightfully told, and Duck is a superb character; there's lots of humour in this debut bock from a new picture book author.

Sir Dancealot by Timothy Knapman

Sir Dancelot, that fearless knight of old, knew just how to defeat his enemies - he danced with them! But has he met his match when a fearsome dragon ti=urns up at the castle gates, wanting a dance-off - on ice? Things don't seem to be going well for our intrepid hero until... the dancers make a big hole in the ice. You can probably guess what happened then! Full of lively action, the text races you on through the story to its wonderful conclusion. Keith Robinson's action-packed illustrations show Sir Dancealot's skills off beautifully!

Monster Max's Shark Spaghetti by Claire Freedman

Children will revel in this gloopy, gooey, yucky yarn! Monster Max and his friends are heading off on holiday - but they are actually looking forward to all the things ordinary holidaymakers dread! In-flight meals may not be great but moth mash with tapeworm sausages, washed down with pureed eel? Just what monsters love! Spiders in the hotel, bugs in the breakfast, pongs on the beach - the monsters are having their perfect holiday. There's a problem at the end for Max though... Vibrantly illustrated, this eye-catching book will have children in fits of giggles. I love the glittery cover too.

Dragon Jelly by Claire Freedman

In gloriously yucky style, Max is having a monster party. They play all sorts of games then cool down in a fruit bat drool paddling pool! Then it's tea-time, with termite tarts, ear-wig rolls and eyeball birthday cake. But the REAL treat is the red-hot dragon jelly! Vibrant and fun-packed, the illustrations show us a lovely batch of monsters. The story is perfectly geared to a child's sense of humour. The book has a gloriously glittery cover too..

Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman

You are invited to tea with Max... but you may not be feeling very hungry when you see what's on offer! There's slug milkshake, beetle biscuits, space ants and lice rice... and when he runs out of ideas, there's the Monsters' Cookbook for inspiration. There's one thing that's his favourite and that's spider sandwiches, webs and all. But there is one thing monsters won't eat... you'll have to read the book to find out! Eye-catching illustrations by Sue Hendra show the food in all its glory - and there's a sparkly spider's web embellishing the cover. A superb series of books that children will adore - collect them all.

A Bottle of Happiness by Pippa Goodhart

The people one side of the mountain are rich; the people the other side are materially poorer, but they do have lots of stories. One day, Pim and dog Tiddle went over the mountain to find some more stories. Pim asked a man, "Please may I eat one of those beautiful fruits?" "What will you give me in return for the fruit?" said the man. "I haven't got anything," said Pim. "There must be something that your people have that we don't," said a woman. Pim looked around. "I think we have more happiness than you have," said Pim. "Bring us some of that, then," said the man. But how can you bottle and transport happiness? When Pim brings a bottle of happiness, he causes great merriment - and there's your answer, in this clever modern fable. Stunning illustrations make the book a real treat.

Bijan and Manije by Ali Seidabadi

The Book of Kings (Shahnameh) is a thousand year old book of Persian myths and legends, gathered by Ferdowsi. Originally told in the form of a poem, here the story of Bijan and Manije has been simplified for children. It is a story of love between two people from opposing territories; the love between Bijan and Manije puts them in danger, but Rostam, the legendary hero of Iran, is there to rescue them. The story is beautifully told and stunningly illustrated by Marjan Vafaian.

How to Save a Superhero (Albie) by Caryl Hart

Albie loves doing jigsaws, but when the time comes to tidy up, he's not so keen. When someone snatches the last piece, he just has to go after them - and he finds himself in a fantastic a world of flying superheroes, crazy contraptions and daring rescues in a lively, fun-filled adventure. Full of action, characters that young readers will find irresistible and vibrant illustrations all combine together to bring a picture book children will love.

Roo the Roaring Dinosaur by David Bedford

Every day Roo, the adorable little dinosaur, goes out to play. One day, he goes to the beach, and soon he has mad a new, but sadly clumsy, friend. But his new friend is a polar bear, who has arrived in an ice ship... and the beach is very hot! Little Roo, being a good friend, agrees that Erik could come on board his boat - and soon the two new friends are having great fun in the snow and ice. It's a charming story about friendship, beautifully told and illustrated, and great fin to read and to share.

Spinderella by Julia Donaldson

A new picture book from Julia Donaldson is always an eagerly awaited treat, and her many fans will love this counting book. The star of the story is a football-playing spider - yes, really! Right from the sparkling spider's web on the cover, children will be drawn in to the wonderfully humorous story - and adults will respond well to the humour too, making the book great fun to read aloud. Spinderella loves to play football - but as nobody in her family will help her learn to count, she finds it tricky to establish a team... until her Hairy Godmother comes to the rescue. Superbly illustrated by Sebastian Braun, this is a counting book with a difference, and children will thoroughly enjoy learning to count alongside Spinderella. Brilliantly written, it's great fun.

How to Hide a Lion at School by Helen Stephens

Hardly surprisingly, lions aren't allowed at school, but Iris's lion never wants to be left behind, so he follows Iris to school every day. One day, he decides to have a rest outside school - and imagine the mayhem when he finds he has joined the school trip to the museum! The superbly funny illustrations show him hiding in all manner of strange places - until Lily has a bright idea that didn't quite work... Finally, though, in a lovely twist in the story, the lion proves his worth. This is the third warm and funny adventure in the bestselling How to Hide a Lion series and it;s another book of sheer delight.

Ludwig the Space Dog by Henning Lohlein

Little dog Ludwig lives with his friends, in a world of books. Everything in their world is made of paper. Ludwig's favourite books are about space, but how can he ever leave his book world to see the real universe? He tried everything he - and hos friends - could think of, but nothing works. But when something from another dimension crashes onto Ludwig's page, he knows just how to help. Put on your 3D glasses and watch the world of Ludwig and his friends - both close to home and far away - come alive. A lovely story about being different and following your dream, given an extra dimension (literally) with the addition of 3D goggles which make the characters (and a lot more) jump right off the page. It's a great way to get children to really engage with the book, and they will be fascinated to see the change that such seemingly simple goggles can bring about.

Hyde and Squeak by Fiona Ross

If you have a child who likes grisly and gruesome picture books, then they have a treat in store! Would you dare to eat a beastly-looking jelly? Squeak the mouse just can't resist a taste ...Slurp! Burp! Grunt! Growl! Oh no - Squeak has turned into Hyde - a massive, hungry monster mouse who is never satisfied - until he makes a Mega Munch Machine. Hyde and Squeak is a hilarious twist on the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde, illustrated with plenty of the grossest details by the author-illustrator. Not a book to read at dinner time!

Molly Maybe and the Ghost Train by Kristina Stephenson

Molly Maybe and her faithful sidekick, Waggy Burns have a very special secret secret - they can travel to an amazing monster world which mirrors our own. Go with them on the incredible tmundervator and help Molly solve a problem. What is the terrible smell? Molly ventures down into Undermunder and discovers three little monsters... children will love to discover the source of the terrible pong! Never deterred, Molly is a likeable character. Molly Maybe books are perfect for girls who don't like their stories too girly, but who respond well to a strong feisty female character. There's plenty of excitement to keep children engrossed in the story.

Molly Maybe and the Monster Mission by Kristina Stephenson

This is the first book in the Molly Maybe series, and it has been re-issued with a bright new cover. It's time to take a ride in the incredible mundervator with Molly and help her solve a crisis in Undermunder - with a little help from Waggy, the talking dog. Someone is damaging the lawns in Smallsbury - and Molly knows it's not moles. It's a fun, lively story with plenty of action and mystery. The stories are a good length for a picture book, and I like the use of extensive vocabulary which will help young readers develop their own use of words.

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

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, by the same author, has been a runaway success, so whether you have used and loved that, or are new to the concept, this new book will be a welcome addition to the bedtime routine. You and your child can enjoy a relaxing bedtime routine as you join Ellen the Elephant on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the journey, and they all have calming experiences to share that will help your child to relax and slip into slumber quickly. It's great to have the two books to choose from, and this new book includes insightful sleep tips and answers to frequently asked questions to help guide families to an even more satisfying nighttime routine. It is quite a long story to read, but well worthwhile to make bedtime a relaxing and bonding experience.

The Wonderful Adventures Of Nils by Olivier Latyk

A little boy called Nils was a naughty little boy and one day, he makes the mistake of teasing an elf. He finds himself bewitched and shrunk to the size of a doll. This is the start of a magical adventure as he takes off on the back of a young goosey-gander, named Morten, for a wonderful journey among the wild geese. The book is delicately illustrated in tones of blue and orange, and incorporates detailed die-cut pages to bring us a book that is very different and very special. The story is adapted from a Swedish children's classic, and it would make a perfect gift as it is so beautifully produced; a joy to read. Publisher Words and Pictures have three main focuses to their books - imagination, innovation and inspiration and this book certainly has all three.

This Book is Out of Control! (Ben & Bella) by Richard Byrne

Lovable toddlers Ben and Bella are back again, and this time they star in a book which gently pokes fun at today's interactive world. It's the book itself which controls what is happening - when Ben presses the buttons on the remote for his fire engine, nothing happens... Just look at Bella's dog! It's only when Ben tries the VOICE button on the remote control that Bella's dog is able to speak, warning them that 'This book is out of control!' It's time for the reader to take control. Funny and inventive, this is unusual and great fun.

Winnie and Wilbur: The Haunted House by Valerie Thomas

There are strange goings-on in Winnie and Wilbur's house. Perhaps it is haunted? But when Winnie reaches gets her magic wand out, things just get even spookier. It's a ghostly Winnie and Wilbur adventure! Once again Winnie and her black cat Wilbur will delight readers with their hilarious antics, all superbly brought to life by the detailed drawings of Korky Paul. A new look for the website, too! www.winnieandwilbur.com Winnie and Wilbur are set to become even more popular with a new series in 2017 on Milkshake, Channel 5's popular pre-school slot, plus the Winnie and Wilbur stage show in Birmingham in 2017 followed by a national UK tour.

Happy Hooves, Yuk! by Anna Bogie and Rebecca Elliott

I love reading picture books with rhyming text - and especially when the rhyming text amuses me and makes me smile, like this does. The farmyard animals are back and they have all been invited to Pig's house for some very special food. There are worms for the cow, snails for the foal and earwigs for the donkey - and Pig can't understand why they prefer their own boring food. Luckily, Pig has a very special treat for them all. Great fun and delightfully detailed illustrations which are a visual feast.

What Shall We Do, Blue Kangaroo? by Emma Chichester Clark

Lily and Blue Kangaroo epitomise the wonderful friendships children have with much-loved toys, and their relationship is portrayed to perfection through the text and pictures. When Lily doesn’t know what to do next she often asks, ‘What shall we do, Blue Kangaroo?’ But Blue Kangaroo doesn’t always know, so he says nothing. But one day, when Tiny Teddy gets left out in the rain, Blue Kangaroo has to work out what to do all by himself... and he does, very successfully.

I'll Show You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark

Warm, funny and a heart-warming portrayals of happy family life, Lily and Blue Kangaroo encapsulate a child's world perfectly. Every child and every adult will recognise the situations and warm to these lovely characters who are so well portrayed through the engaging text and glorious illustrations. Blue Kangaroo goes everywhere with Lily... but when Lily starts to show off, Blue Kangaroo begins to wish he wasn't there. “I’ll show you, Blue Kangaroo!” she says. But one day Lily goes too far and poor loyal Blue Kangaroo suffers as a result. As we know, though, Lily is a loving child and soon sees the error of her ways. A nicely judged story, which takes a familiar scenario and turns it into a delightful story.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason…” He decided he has had enough, so he hatches a plot to make himself look like Santa Claus and then steal Christmas. Full of glee, he looks on to see what happen, but to his amazement, Christmas goes ahead. There must be something more, he thinks, so he returns Christmas - and so Dr Seuss teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas in his own inimitable fashion. Wonderfully rhymed and exquisitely illustrated, this is a Christmas classic.

An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

This book just goes to show that simplicity is a wonderful thing - the alphabet is beautifully illustrated with single words, colourful backgrounds and simple pictures. The pictures may be superficially simple, but they include a wealth of humour and some intriguing details. The letters are shown upper and lower case, and as part of the illustration. The plain coloured backgrounds set the whole thing off to perfection. This is a board book with rounded corners, just right for young ones. The book is the perfect way to introduce young readers to the alphabet and to Oliver Jeffers' wonderful illustrative style.

The Tale of Kitty In Boots by Beatrix Potter

Amazingly, this story was found 150 years after Beatrix Potter's birth - it is a wonderful addition to her work, and who better to illustrate it than the superb Quentin Blake? Unbeknown to her doting owner, Miss Kitty is an adventurous cat who sneaks out to go hunting at night. She has all manner of adventures, and meets old friends - but when she meets the foxiest hunter of them all, Mr. Tod, she is in real trouble. A wonderfully told story, full of action, mistaken identities, devious villains and old friends whose appearance will delight readers. The illustrations are very different from Potter's style, but capture the feel of the story. I wonder if the book will eventually be issued in the classic small format?

Thomas & Friends: The Ghost Engine by W Awdry

At Halloween, Thomas and Emily set out on the night run. There's nothing to be feared at the Smelter's Yard - or is there? When they hear spooky noises from the shed, the two engines start to get worried. But could it be that someone is playing tricks on them? The classic Thomas stories have been given a contemporary look and are aimed at younger readers, giving them the opportunity to read about the much-loved favourites including Percy, James, Gordon, Toby - and Thomas himself, of course. There's a spot-and-see challenge at the end. Thomas books are classics which every child should have the chance to enjoy

Little Monster and the Spooky Party by Pippa Goodhart

Little Monster has been invited to a spooky party and he's very excited. Young ones will love to lift the big flaps and discover who is at the party, what there is to eat (yummy and yucky!), who is hiding in the bathroom - and there's a big surprise when the friends find out who is underneath that enormous ghost costume?. Lovely bright illustrations by Nick Sharratt make this the perfect spooky story for the youngest of readers, with nice elements of anticipation given by exploring the flaps.

Mr. Men: Halloween Party by Roger Hargreaves

Mr Happy is having a fancy dress Halloween party and all the Little Misses and Mr Men have got right into the spirit of it. Mr Happy is a vampire, Little Miss Magic is a witch, but who is the very scary mysterious ghost? With a host of favourite characters and a spooky storyline, this is the perfect Halloween treat for all Mr Men fans. It is one in the Mr Men and Little Miss Celebrations series, which introduces children to all the exciting occasions that people celebrate; it's a great way to add to the classic tales.

I am a Very Clever Cat by Kasia Matyjaszek

Stockton is a very clever cat - he can do all sorts of things but he is especially good at knitting. Follow the bright pink fluorescent yarn as it winds its way through the story, following Stockton as he knits the fanciest scarf. He knows exactly what he is doing and is much too proud to admit he might need a little help. But when things go wrong, he realises that he has some very clever friends. A hilarious story which is bound to have the reader in stitches.

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies

. We left Noi at the end of The Storm Whale, having said a fond farewell to the whale, and knowing that the whale had enriched Noi's life. Now it's winter and the island is almost snow-bound. Noi's father hasn't returned from his last fishing trip and Noi is anxious. When he sees a shape, he sets off across the ice and finds the boat - but where is his father? Then he hears a bump - the storm whale and his family have come to the rescue. The story is told with few words, but words that really count - it is full of emotion and atmosphere which are also brilliantly conveyed through the pictures. Another exceptional story.

Yokki and the Parno Gry (Child's Play Library) by Richard O'Neill and Katharine Quarmby

Yokki, a young Traveller boy, has a wonderfully vivid imagination as well as a strong belief in his family. When his family experiences a run of bad luck, Yokki lifts their spirits with tales of a magical white horse; and one magical day, his stories come true. This traditional Traveller-family folk tale inspires hope and celebrates creativity, putting a positive spin on an oft-maligned group. The beautiful illustrations complement the feel of the story perfectly.

Ossiri and the Bala Mengro (Child's Play Library) by Richard O'Neill and Katharine Quarmby

Ossiri and her family are Travellers who collect and recycle as much as possible. Ossiri wants her own musical instrument, so creates one from a willow branch and recycled objects. It sounds terrible! Ignoring warnings about not awakening the ogre in the hills, Ossiri goes there to practise playing her instrument. Will she wake the ogre, and will it appreciate her playing? Told by a Romani storyteller and a picture book author, this original tale offers a fascinating insight into Travelling lifestyles and cultures, and will be a really useful resource for schools with Traveller pupils.

Mayday Mouse (Child's Play library) by Sebastien Braun

Little Captain Mouse sets sail on a bright, sunny day with a birthday present for her brother, little knowing that she will face all sorts of perils on her journey. little does she know the sea-going perils she will have to face! There are storms, caves, rocks and shipwrecks, but Captain Mouse is undaunted, always remaining positive - and luckily, she has friends on hand to help. Delightful illustrations keep the reader focused on the story. Just where was she setting out on this dangerous journey? Look at the last page of the story to find out!

Baking with Dad (Child's Play library) by Aurora Cacciapuoti

Today we’re baking with Dad - and what fun we are having We have everything we need, including the most important ingredient – Dad himself! It's utter chaos, beautifully illustrated by the author/illustrator. But who are we baking for? And who’s going to do the clearing up? A wonderfully funny story with illustrations to match.

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