Book reviews - fiction age 2 to 5 (page 19)

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.


Kevin by Rob Biddulph

Oh no! Sid is in trouble... again. But with a bit of quick thinking, he passes the blame onto Kevin - imaginary Kevin. But what seemed like a good idea at the time backfires when Sid finds out that Kevin and his world might not be so imaginary after all. The tables are turned when Kevin takes Sid into his own world - and Sid becomes the invisible one. Soon he is up to mischief, only to discover that while his friend might be make-believe, his feelings are very real. This thoughtful book tells the story through rhyming text and gloriously detailed pictures. Its message of friendship and thinking of others is superbly conveyed.

What Makes Me A Me? by Ben Faulks

We are all very special and we are all very different - but just what does make me me?. This humorous and thought-provoking look at what makes us us in a wonderfully imaginative way, comparing 'me' with all sorts of things around us including cars and trees and dogs. The conclusion is that everyone is different... and everyone is special in their own way The superb illustrations are by  David Tazzyman, and they perfectly reflect the theme of the book. Guaranteed to feed the imagination, this celebration of being who we are is perfect for inquisitive (and inventive!) little minds.

Hamster Sitter Wanted by Tracy Gunaratnam

We can always rely on Maverick Arts Publishing for great stories and this is no exception. Marco and Polo simply love adventures and won't be held back by looking after Marco’s many cousins. Instead, they try a series of hamster-sitters - but disaster ensues until Ms Bottomus comes along with the perfect answer to quash the high spirits of the hamsters. I love the wonderful illustrations of the hamsters with their gorgeously expressive faces and cute named jumpers. There are some wonderful plays on words which adults will thoroughly appreciate, even if they go over children's heads. Great fun and superbly illustrated by Hannah Marks.

Clumpety Bump by Phil Allcock

Clumpety Bump is a lazy horse, a VERY lazy horse. His owner, Wally Wobblebottom, needs him to trot, jump and gallop, but Clumpety can’t be bothered. Disaster follows disaster until Wally decides to leave Clumpety Bump behind... but things STILL go wrong. When Clumpety Bump realises that he really is needed, he steps up to the mark in this humorous story that shows children the importance of hard work and helpfulness. The expressive illustrations from Richard Watson perfectly capture the humour. Another gem from Maverick.

One Hundred Things to Spot by Naomi Wilkinson

Help children develop their observational skills with this stylish book which will really help children think. Children can look out for Little Mouse and spot the cat on all 17 colourful pages. Not only will they learn about colours, numbers, shapes and opposites, but there are more challenging concepts to spot and discuss such as textures and feelings, taking this book beyond the ordinary. The book concludes with a picture packed with 100 objects; where are they in the book? This is a book which will keep children enthralled for hours and adults will love sharing with them and taking the opportunities presented for lots of parent/child interaction..

Look for Ladybird in Plant City by Katherina Manolessou

I think adults will love to share this superbly stylish book with their children - the pictures are just so enticing. There is an incredible amount to look at and enjoy and every time you look, you will spot fresh joys. The objective is to seek out the Ladybird on every page - Daisy's pet Ladybird is missing, so she visits super-sleuth Basil, the best detective in Plant City, and we follow them on their quest. I am slightly concerned that a conventional ladybird is pictured in the introduction, but the insect shown on the pages is totally different - this could be a problem for children. Is he in the museum, the fun fair, the train station, the school, the concert or the restaurant? This stylish search and find picture book is full of witty, colorful illustrations packed with visual jokes and all sorts of things to spot; there are some additional challenges set out too.

Sir Scaly Pants: The Dragon Thief by John Kelly

When the king is abducted by an evil dragon, his queen is distraught and its up to Sir Scaly and his trusty steed, Guinevere, to rescue him. Their journey takes them to lands far and wide, and along the way they meet some creatures that children may recognise. When they finally catch up with the wicked king-napping dragon, Scaly needs Guinevere's crafty help to rescue the king. But then the evil dragon discovers the identity of his foe in a clever twist to the tale... With vibrant illustrations, this book is great fun.

The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright

A hilarious story of two greedy squirrels, Cyril and Bruce, both of whom are determined to get the very last pine cone. As the nut goes on its way through the forest, the squirrels race after it, but it always stays tantalisingly out of reach. Will the squirrels ever get the pine cone - or will they learn a more important lesson? Told in catching rhyming text that reads aloud superbly, and illustrated in great detail by Jim Field, showing off the beauties of the forest, this is a charming story.about sharing and friendship.

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide by Emma Yarlett

Nibbles the Book Monster is back - and he's already nibbled his way through the cover of this book! Nibbles the book monster is back! Hopefully, he hasn't bitten off more than he can chew as this time he finds himself in the middle of a book all about dinosaurs. As well as enjoying all the fun-filled interactive elements, children will also find lots of facts about dinosaurs as they giggle their way through this book. This is just the sort of book that will encourage children to love books - it's such fun, combining a super story with lots of novelty features like flaps and peep-through holes.

A Thousand Billion Things (and Some Sheep) by Loic Clement

Decisions, decisions. Every day, children are faced with decisions, from what to have for breakfast to what to eat for dinner. But when night comes and it's time for bed, what choice is there but to lie in the dark ... and count sheep? This book takes us through all the choices in a typical child's busy day and presents the reader with a puzzle. On every spread there's something specific to find amongst the thousand billion (well, almost) things in the bright and busy artwork. The tiny pictures are absorbing and make the most of this book by seeing what other favourites your child can spot. You will be glad to know that the answers are given - but no cheating until you have really, really tried!

Max Makes a Million by Maira Kalman

Max dreams of being a poet living in Paris. But it's not easy for a dog to pack a small brown suitcase, put on a beret, and hop on a plane? No one will buy Max's poems, so without money he must stay where he is. But maybe that's not so bad after all. Where else could he have friends like Bruno, with his invisible paintings, or Marcello, who builds upside down houses? And where else could he drop in at Baby Henry's Candy Shop? It's all possible in New York, a jumping jazzy city. A wonderful cast of characters in an unusual and eye-catching book.

hey willy, see the pyramids by maira kalman

Alexander can't get to sleep but luckily his sister Lulu is the best storyteller. She knows about the three cross-eyed dogs at a fancy restaurant, about blue and green mountains where fish fly, about the family party where Maishel Shmelkin forgot to wear his pants and of course about the noodle woman the pointy red nose. The stories, told by a sister to her little brother, are short and sweet and make you remember things and forget things.These quirky and unusual stories are perfect for your child's bedtime too.

I Want to Go First by Richard Bryne

Get children really involved with reading with this interactive picture book which involves the reader in the action throughout the book. Elephant rule decrees that littlest always goes last - but Elphie, who is the littlest elephant, doesn't think that's fair and she's determined to go first... with a little help from the reader. It's great fun to share as children will love the participation... and the ending is simply superb!

Florence Frizzball by Claire Freedman

Poor Florence - she has a bad hair day every day! Instead of her frizzy, fuzz-ball hair, she wants hair like brother Ben’s sleek and shiny do. Her hair is such a pain that she begs her mum to let a hairdresser try and tame it, but when she gets the restyle she's after, will Florence be happy with the outcome? Told in rhyming text and accompanied by delightful illustrations by Jane Massey, this amusing story delivers an important message about being comfortable in your own skin.

Toad has Talent by Richard Smythe

It's time for the annual talent contest, held in the woods when Moonlight Pond freezes over. Ducks dance, snakes wriggles, mice perform... but poor Toad watches the talent show from behind his rock, convinced he doesn't have any talents to share. Until, that is, he is finally discovered and realises he does have an incredible! This hilarious, heart-warming, story shows that you never know what you can do unless you try. Perfect for any child who is reluctant to put themselves forward; a great confidence booster.

Dragons Father and Son by Alexandre Lacroix

To prove he is a real dragon, young Drake the dragon is sent by his father to the local village to cause some mischief and start a fire. But Drake has only ever breathed fire to roast a tasty caterpillar so how will be burn down a whole house? And it gets even harder when the villagers all turn out to be really friendly. What will Drake's father say? Luckily, Drake is a clever little dragon and he has just the answer. A lovely story for fathers to share with their sons, with a positive peaceful message.

The Knight Who Took All Day by James Mayhew

Far away and long ago, there lived a foolish knight; all he wanted to do was impress the golden-haired princess with his marvellous talents. His chance comes when a terrible fire-breathing dragon arrives, threatening to destroy the kingdom. But our valiant knight is so concerned about his appearance that he misses his chance altogether and a hilarious cautionary tale about the dangers of showing off is the result. An enjoyable story with a strong message about not being overly concerned about appearances.Strangely, the book is not paginated - and several pages of the content are promotional material

Through the Eyes of Me by Jon Roberts

This sensitive and beautifully illustrated book gives a touching insight into the world of an autistic child. It is narrated by 4-year old Kya, who guides readers through her likes and dislikes and all the nuances of her character. The book Uses colourful text and illustrations to give a real understanding. It comes from the heart as it is inspired by the author's experiences of raising his own daughter with the condition. Autism is such a hard condition to understand, so this book will be welcomed as an ideal tool for encouraging an understanding of Autism for both children and their families.

A Bear Hug at Bedtime by Jana Novotny Hunter

This imaginative story reflects the touching relationship between a child and an extended, diverse family. On the child's way to bed, he plays with a tiger, a lobster and a bear – and lots of other creatures too... but they are all strangely familiar. Why is that? In this celebration of imaginative play, a young child is surrounded and enriched by an extended and diverse family. Vibrant illustrations by Kay Widdowson are full of fascinating detail in this book with its message of love.

All About Cats by Monika Filipina

Have you ever wondered just what your cats get up to when you leave them alone? Surely they just sleep all day? This book takes a hilarious look at what cats might get up to when they are left alone. The activities get ever wilder and wackier as you enjoy this extremely funny book... and of course, the humans will never know - or will they? The illustrations are a real joy and quite fascinating and absorbing in their detail; there is so much to look at and enjoy.

A Home Full of Friends by Peter Bently

This is just what a picture book should be! It's full of lovely animals, beautifully illustrated and all about friendship and helping others - and all told in read-aloud rhyme. One stormy night, Bramble Badger offers his home to a group of animals in need and gets more than he bargained for! He's worried about how everyone will fit, but when his house is crowded with friends, he gains something truly special. This wonderful rhyming story is full of friendship, love and fun, and is beautifully illustrated by Charles Fuge.

World Pizza by Cece Meng

Wishes can come true in unexpected ways, as this entertaining book shows. When Mumomma spots a wishing star, she starts to ask for world peace, but a sneeze garbles her wish, changing 'peace' into 'peace-AH-AH-AH… choo!' World PIZZA! Suddenly, yummy pizzas of every kind come drifting down from the sky. That's not exactly what Mum hoped for - or is it? With humour, warmth and heart, this delicious picture book celebrates the things that truly bring us together.

Mrs Noah's Pockets by Jackie Morris

When Mr Noah sees the rain coming, he decides to build an ark... but his ark won't include any of the troublesome creatures as he has two lists - one for all the animals who will come on board and one for those troublesome creatures he will leave behind. But Mrs Noah has got other ideas... she gets out her sewing machine and makes a coat with very deep pockets. Lots of pockets. Can you guess what they are for? The beautiful, other-worldly illustrations by James Mayhew encapsulate the dreamlike feel of the story; they combine collage, shape and print-making to excellent effect. The lyrical text carries a significant message about our stewardship of the world. An unusual and thoughtful book.

Pirate Baby by Mary Hoffman

This is a delightful story about some very unusual and very resourceful pirates. When the crew of pirate ship Ramshackle find a tiny baby adrift on the high seas, they are rather at a loss; but they are good-hearted pirates, and then ingeniously find a solution to all the problems in this rip-roaring story. They sew nappies, make baby clothes out of pirate shirts and even a toy squid out of pirate gloves for the baby. The pirates won't give up their baby - not even to the women pirates who pass close by. And when a huge sea monster appears, it's baby Isla who saves the day in a very surprising way. A lovely story, full of unexpected twists and turns.

Alfie in the Woods by Debi Gliori

Alfie Rabbit is gathering treasure and playing hide and seek the woods... and magically, his world turns from real to imagined as a gatefold spread is opened. Now he's turning into different woodland animals. Alfie is a gliding owl, a buzzing bee, a sticky prickly hedgehog and a just-woken bear ... and then here's daddy to carry him safely home. Gorgeous illustrations of all manner of woodland creatures set off the story, which is a lovely celebration of the imagination.

Fergus Barnaby Goes on Holiday by David Barrow

This is a book with immediate appeal - the big portrait format and the gorgeous illustration of a house and its inhabitants are super. Fergus Barnaby is going on holiday... but, oh dear, he seems to have lent some of his holiday essentials to his friends. Fred has his bucket and spade... Emily Rose has his swimming goggles. Soon all is well and they are off - but wait! Something even more essential has been forgotten! A delightful talel of friendship.

I Can't Sleep by Stephanie Blake

Simon's little brother can't sleep without his special blanket. Simon usually just tells Casper what to do. But he is going to have to be very, very brave to solve this problem. With simple bright illustrations and minimal text, this is a good bedtime story, full of fun and ultimately, of brotherly love.

Super Rabbit by Stephanie Blake

The little rabbit is not afraid of anything. He's Super Rabbit! But one day when he goes out to save the world, he comes across a situation he wasn't expecting... and even Super Rabbits need their mummies! An entertaining story, brightly illustrated.

Where is Grandma? by Peter Schossow

When Henry visits his grandmother in the hospital he decides to set off to find her room on his own. The result is an adventure, on which Henry finds friends, humour, lots of information, and - finally - Grandma.A realistic book about some of the many things that go on in a hospital; not one for children to read alone as some parts could be worrying.

The Children's Garden: Growing Food in the City by Carole Lexa Schaefer

There is an increasing emphasis on encouraging children to enjoy gardening, and this picture book shows the pleasure it can bring. The Children's Garden is where the neighbourhood children get together to plant and grow their own food - and have lots of fun together at the same time. This visual picture book shows children as urban farmers, exploring the sights, smells, sensations and tastes of growing their own food in a community garden, and the satisfaction that comes from this. Published by Sasquatch Books, ISBN 9781570619847, July 2017.

Dinosaur Detective's Search-and-Find Rescue Mission by Sophie Guerrive

There's plenty here to keep children occupied as they join Dinosaur Detective aboard the red aeroplane and travel the world in search of lost animals. From the jungle to the stormy sea to outer space, test your spotting skills in this puzzle-packed tour of a dozen different destinations. Follow the story through the text and illustrations on the left of each page, and then spot all the elements in the detailed and colourful pictures. Kids will love this mystery hide-and-seek spotting adventure with a flying dinosaur detective!

10, 9, 8 ... Owls Up Late!: A Countdown to Bedtime by Georgiana Deutsch

Even owls have to go to bed eventually! The ten cheeky, bouncy, noisy owls are playing in the tree when it's bedtime. It’s bedtime, but they’re having far too much fun to go to sleep... will Mummy Owl persuade them? This is the perfect book for little ones who don’t want to go to bed! This is a really stylish counting book, superbly illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan, and with plenty of cut-outs for little fingers to explore.

Animazes by Melissa Castrillon

This fascinating book takes children on an exciting trail as they follow the world's most amazing animal jpurneys. Did you know that humpback whales are some of the furthest travelling mammals in the world? Or that Arctic terns fly from the Arctic to Antarctica and back again? Young (and not so young) readers can follow these incredible journeys through twisting, turning mazes. The book is packed with information about a whole host of animals including wildebeest, red crabs, rockhopper penguins and many more.

I Really Want the Cake by Simon Philip

Being told you mustn't do something is the perfect way to really, really make you want to do it - as the little girl discovers when her Mum leaves a note telling her not to eat the cake. The temptation is just too much in this delightfully humorous story. Utter chaos ensues as the little girl tries to put things right. The wonderful illustrations by Lucia Gaggiotti are the perfect complement to the story.

Wilfred and Olbert's Totally Wild Chase by Lomp

Wilfred and Olbert are wildlife explorers and young readers will be excited to join them on a race through colourful coral reefs, wild grasslands and secret tropical jungles. Packed full of puzzles, activities and fascinating animals on every page, Wilfred and Olbert’s Totally Wild Chase is the perfect book for budding explorers and adventurers. With bright and lively illustrations from new talent, Lomp, this utterly riotous storybook brings the natural world to life. There is so much here to explore and to talk about, it will keep kids happy for hours.

Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet (Molly Mischief 1) by Adam Hargreaves

Yes, that's right - the author of the iconic Mr Men books has brought us this charming story. Molly wants a pet... but not any old pet; she wants a big pet. BSo she sets off to find her perfect pet... but the elephant's a bit too big for her house... the tiger is too fierce... the giraffe too tall... and the polar bear gets too hot. Will Molly ever find the perfect pet? This extremely funny story is perfect for reading aloud, and the bright bold illustrations are ideal for sharing. Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet celebrates a larger-than-life little girl learning a valuable lesson in appreciating what you ve already got (unless he s your younger brother!).

Storytime Classics: Puss in Boots by Saviour Pirotta

This is the perfect retelling to introduce children to the much-loved classic tale, told with simple yet descriptive language. Puss in Boots used his cunning and trickery to win for his lowly master the hand of the princess in marriage. Brilliantly illustrated in a fun modern style for a new generation to enjoy, this delightful book is part of the much-loved range of Storytime Classics which offers collectible, child-friendly format editions of classic stories to make the perfect home library for children everywhere. A lovely series of books to collect for a child's first library.

Storytime Classics: Little Red Riding Hood by Saviour Pirotta

The contemporary style of Olivia Beckman's illustrations combines well with the simle yet expressive text. This beautiful new edition breathes new life into the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood and her meeting with the Big, Bad Wolf. Handed down through generations, today it's one of the most popular tales for young children and this stylish new edition is brilliantly illustrated in a fun modern style for a new generation to enjoy, telling the story simply and compellingly for today's youngest readers.

What's Next Door by Nicola O'Byrne

Peep through the die-cut cover to be drawn into this intriguing book which really involves its young readers as they follow the directions. It stars the crocodile from Open Very Carefully is back, and he's not happy. All he wants to do is find his way home, but he can't get there by himself -- he needs your help! In this unique interactive book, children are encouraged to take part in the story and use their imaginations (and the cut-outs) to guide him door-to-door on his journey. Will he ever find his way home? Brilliant!

Cat Learns to Listen at Moonlight School (Moonlight School 3) by Simon Puttock

On their moonlight nature walk, the animals all find something special... Mouse finds a special starry leaf, Bat finds a swirly snail and Owl finds a swirly stone that LOOKS like a snail. But then Cat follows a flittery firefly and suddenly . . . she's lost! Luckily, she has left behind lots of clues for her friends to follow, and they soon find a very relieved little Cat, who wished she had listened properly in the first place. Then they all go back to Moonlight School together to talk about their eventful excursion. Put across in a fun, light-hearted way, this book nonetheless carries an important message - don't wander off! Teachers of Reception and KS1 children will find this makes an excellent read prior to a school trip.

Poppy and the Blooms by Fiona Woodcock

We should all pay heed to the environmental message of this book. When a group of zesty wildflower characters discover that the last green space in the city is about to be paved over, they decide they have to act! A positive, uplifting story about how the actions of even the smallest can have a big impact. The illustrations are a real delight - beautifully depicted flower people.

Moon by Britta Teckentrup

The superb collage-style illustrations from this renowned illustrator are perfect to depict the changing phases of the moon; they are really atmospheric. Young ones will learn why the moon shines in the night sky as they see the moon waxing and waning above the world full of busy night-time creatures; from turtles laying their eggs on white sandy beaches, to migrating birds using the moon to navigate their way to sunnier climes - there is so much going on. The die-cut moon shapes which are found throughout the book ((showing a lovely silvery moon) give a great opportunity to talk about the changing cycles of the moon.


This is a beautiful hardback gift adaptation of a classic from the much-loved Dr. Seuss and one which has an enduring message; an account of the journey that lies ahead of each one of us as we grow up. From fun times and triumphs to lurches and slumps, Dr Seuss takes an entertaining look at the adventures that life may have in store for us. This book would make a lovely gift to mark any of life's milestones, with its encouragement to grab opportunities and to make the very best of all life has to offer. Author Trish Rabe poetically explains the joys awaiting newborns when they meet the iconic characters of Dr. Seuss, with appearances from the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and many other beloved Seuss characters.

Sunk! by Rob Biddulph

Penguin Blue is back, in a swashbuckling new adventure about pirates, treasure, and friendship! I love rhyming stories for young children but sometimes the rhymes can be rather contrived - but not these, which really trip off the tongue. "A pirate hat. A sunny day. For Penguin Blue. A game to play." Oh no! Sailing the seven seas in search of treasure, Captain Blue and his friends are unexpectedly sunk! But with a shipwreck to explore and a mysterious stranger on a desert island to meet, they might still find some treasure after all... Everything a picture book should be.

There's a Bug on My Arm that Won't Let Go by David Mackintosh

This unusual and memorable book makes a refreshing change from the normal subjects. When a little bug looks for safety on a little girl’s arm and won’t let go, she moves from annoyance to affection in this stylishly atmospheric story. A modern-day fable about being a friend and the contentment that can come your way when you choose to be kind makes this an important book for today’s new generation.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph

Imaginary friends are a part of many a child's life, and this story will resonate with all who have an imaginary (or not-so-imaginary) friend. When Sid makes yet another mess, and his mum is at the end of her patience, Sid does what every quick-thinking kid would do – he blames it on his big, furry, vanilla-and-pink friend Kevin! And while it seemed like a good idea at the time, Sid gets an unexpected surprise when he finds out that Kevin and his world might not be so imaginary after all – and while his friend might be make-believe, his feelings are very real. A beautifully illustrated rhyming tale of friendship, kindness and stepping up.


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.

Crocodali by Lucy Volpin

This wonderfully interactive book really gets the young reader involved as they help Crocodali create a masterpiece. Crocodali is the greatest artiste in the whole world, but he just needs a little help, so readers can get involved by tilting, shaking and blowing on the book. As the story progresses, it becomes more and more hilarious... and chaotic. Great fun.

The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks

This is an unusual and touching story. As the rest of the world sleeps, the Gritterman goes out to work. Through the wind and the snow. Through the blue-black hours when time slips away, he grits the paths and the pavements and the roads. For him, a life without gritting is no life at all... A song for the unsung hero, this is a story about stoicism, dignity and a man leaving behind the work that he loves. The illustrations are by the author and capture the spirit of the story perfectly.

Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

Every time the thief committed a crime, he replaced what he stole with a rhyme. Hammy's brand new hat was swapped for a cat! Arney's comfy chair was switched for a bear! It's great fun to guess what the next replacement will be - and even more fun to enjoy the hilarious illustrations. Will the rhyme thief ever be brought to justice? Packed with the silliest of rhymes and wordplay, this original, hilarious, and interactive tale will have the youngest children in fits of giggles - and could be the inspiration for children's own writing and drawing.

Salty Dogs by Matty Long

Children will instantly be engrossed in this colourful picture book with its comic strip style and amazingly detailed illustrations. Join the Salty Dogs on an adventure through the Pirate Islands in search of treasure. They must outwit rival pirates, navigate stormy seas... and keep the poop deck clean if they are to become pirate legends. Enormous fun that will appeal to a range of ages.

Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet

Simple on the surface, this is a really clever book that will have children interacting with sounds as never before. Make some noise! Shout Oh ! Whisper oh ! Sing Oooooooh ! Hervé Tullet's book magically responds with dots, bubbles, and bursts of colour, shape and motion. Tullet extends an irresistible invitation to readers to whisper, sing, cajole, and even shout out syllables so that they may experience the book magically respond.

Pinocchio retold by Stephanie Dragone

This well-loved story has been given a fresh new look with lively and expressive illustrations by Jennie Poh and text which is perfectly adapted for children of 3+ - just right for a bedtime story. Once upon a time there was a lonely old man called Gepetto, who had no children. Gepetto wished that he had a son to love and keep him company, so he carved himself a puppet that looked just like a little boy. He called his puppet Pinocchio.

Roar! Went the Lion by Joshua George

Young children love books they can join in with and this, with its plethora of animal sounds, really invites participation. The little boy's toy animal friends come to life at bedtime in this riotous, shout out loud picture book ... but have they got the noises right? Children age 3 and up will laugh out loud when the animals make the wrong noises... and join in with the noisy fun when they finally get them right! With its lively and olourful illustrations, this is great fun.

Charlie the Choo-Choo by Beryl Evans

The author if this book is actually bestselling author Stephen King and fans of his bestselling series will recognise Charlie, the Choo-Choo, adapted from a section of his novel The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands - so this picture book will have a wide-ranging appeal. Engineer Bob has a secret: his train engine, Charlie the Choo-Choo, is alive... He is a talking, singing engine and the book holds a heart-warming message about friendship. The artwork created by Ned Dameron for book three is now the cover image for this picture book.

Fred by Mick Inkpen

This is a follow-up to the lovely I Will Love You Anyway, and it'ss just as enjoyable. It's a happy feel-good story about a little dog who understands plenty of words, such as sit and stay... but just what is Fred? this touching rhyming story is full of friendship and tail wagging and will touch a chord with all children who love pets. Fred is a lovely character, superbly depicted in Chloe Inkpen's lovely illustrations. It's perfect to read aloud and if read as a bedtime story, will send children off to sleep with a warm glow of contentment.


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.

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.

The Thank You Dish by Trace Balla

This story about gratitude, community and eating locally will give readers, young and old, plenty to think about. It's dinnertime at Grace's place... and Grace wants to be sure she thanks everyone, including the kangaroos and the alpaca. 'Thank you, alpaca,' says Grace. 'Alpaca?' asks Mama. 'Why would you thank an alpaca?' A playful mealtime conversation becomes a joyful act of giving thanks in this thoughtful story which shows we should never take things for granted.

Going to School by Rose Blake

A child's first day at school is always going to be busy and this book is a great way to introduce children to some of the many experiences of the first day of school, from breakfast to bedtime. There's plenty to involve children as they the little girl's classmates and try to spot what each friend is up to in every lesson throughout the book. Can you guess what they want to be when they grow up? This reassuring introduction to the school day for little ones has bright, friendly artwork and is perfect for children about to go off to school for the first time, with lots of opportunities for discussion and reassurance.

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones

Izabelle Gizmo is a wonderfully imaginative character who just loves to invent... but her inventions never seem to work the way she wants them to. When she finds a crow with a broken wing she just has to help. But will she be able to put her frustrations to one side and help her new friend to fly again? A lovely story of ingenuity and determination.

A Classic Case of Dr. Seuss

Enjoy a wide range of Dr Seuss' best known and best loved picture books in this boxed collection which features 20 of the hugely popular author's all-time favourites. Titles include the best known titles such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and The Lorax, as well as some lesser-known titles including Wacky Wednesday, Hop on Pop and Ten Apples Up On Top. This is a lovely collection for Dr Seuss fans, but please be aware that they are not the normal large format picture books.

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

Just imagine - one day, you are a perfectly normal little boy... and the next, you have grown wings! Although the wings are fun, poor Norman is very embarrassed by them, so he wears a big coat all the time to cover them up... but trying to keep them hidden produces all manner of problems. But it turns out he is not the only one to have a problem... Cleverly illustrated in monochrome with touches of colour, the pictures enhance the feel of the book, which all goes to show we should be proud of who we are.

Mouse House by John Burningham

John Burningham is the much-loved author of classics such as Borka, Come Away from the Water, Shirley and Mr Gumpy's Outing, so it's sheer delight to see a new title from him. Not one but two families live in the house - when the human family are all asleep, out comes the mouse family. But one day, the mice are spotted and the mouse catcher is called. Luckily, the mice have warning from the children and they escape... and have wonderful fun in the garden until winter comes. What then? A lovely story of kindness and empathy, touchingly told.

Stomp School by Jeff Norton

Rikki is a little kaiju (that's Japanese for a strange beast, in case you were wondering!) and he loves to build things. It seems he is now ready for Stomp School; reluctant at first, he is soon in for a few surprises! Will he ever be able to show Daddy his big city? Parents of toddlers will identify with the universal themes of creativity and destruction cut-outs and flaps which make the book great fun to explore.

Have You Seen My Giraffe? by Michelle Robinson

When you go to the fairground, you won't come away with a goldfish any more... but you might win a giraffe! The trouble is, a giraffe doesn't really fit in at home... so you will have to be very inventive in finding places to hide him - and there are some hilarious suggestions. Have fun with your child and see what ideas they can come up with - perhaps they could make some pictures like Claire Powell's hilarious illustrations. Eventually, and with a bit of determination, the family finds the perfect home for the giraffe... and themselves. A lovely story, full of gentle humour.

Tug of War by Naomi Howarth

Poor Tortoise - he is looking for a friend is on the hunt for a friend, but both Elephant and Hippo reject his friendship. But, although he may be small and wrinkly, Tortoise is very clever, and he decides to challenge Hippo and Elephant to a tug of war... but he has a very cunning plan. This beautiful version of a well-known West African myth just goes to show that wit and wisdom are more important than size and physical strength, and friendship is what matters most. The stunning illustrations really evoke the natural world and are a real treat in themselves

Big Brown Bear's Cave by Yuval Zommer

Big Brown Bear has just moved into a new cave. It seemed perfect, but somehow it just doesn't feel like home. And then he makes an interesting discovery - human have their own caves - buildings outside their houses that are packed full of STUFF. He decides that is the answer to the perfect cave so he decides to fill it up... but there's a bit of a problem when he tries to get out! It's a good job his friends are on hand to help out... This is a simply delightful story about friendship, beautifully illustrated and charmingly told.

Have You Heard? by Hannah Dale

"Have you heard?" Rumour is spreading throughout the wood that there's a fox on the prowl ... and gradually the attributes of this fox become greater and greater. This is how rumours spread and get out of hand, so be warned! This beautifully illustrated picture book has a surprise at the end which will delight young readers. A wonderfully rhythmic text has the repetition that children love and it is a fabulous read-aloud, giving the opportunity to bring in plenty of voices and actions.


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.

Very Little Rapunzel by Teresa Heapy

I love this story which tackles an issue common to so many schools and nurseries. Very Little Rapunzel really is very little - but she has very long hair, just like her namesake. But when, one day, a very little prince climbs the tower using Rapunzel's hair, he brings some unwelcome visitors. How will Mummy cope with all that hair to brush and such a tiny comb? Very Little Rapunzel makes a big decision... and finds the perfect use for her hair. Sue Heap's lovely illustrations complement a really well told story that brings a fun approach to a very sensitive topic and it would be great to share with any class when those (unnecessarily) dreaded letters are going home.

The Hat That Zack Loves by Michelle Robinson

This is one of those exceptional rhyming stories that is an absolute joy to read aloud. Children will soon learn what is coming next and will join in with great glee. Zack loves the hat in the shop window - and the adventure starts when a dog steals the hat from the shop window and it's off to the park and on for all sorts of excitement in this rollicking rhyming story. Just wonderful.

Where's My Jumper by Nicola Slater

This is a book that has so much to offer it's young readers, with flaps to explore, cut-outs to peek through and a trail to follow. Rudy's searched everywhere for his jumper but can't find it anywhere. Can your child guess what has happened to it? The clue is right there on every page. It's great fun, with a whole host of lovable characters - and luckily, there is a happy ending. Warm and vibrant illustrations complement the text tp perfection.

Flip Flap Ocean by Axel Scheffler

This series is such fun and has children in fits of giggles as they flip the split pages to produce some amazing creatures. Have you ever met a dopus, a squark or a lobstale? What do you get if you cross a squid with a fish? It's a squish, of course! And how about a shark and a turtle? With over 121 possible underwater creations (including the real creatures, of course), there's plenty to keep children entertained for hours - and they will learn about the real creatures too. They will also enjoy making the strange sounds associated with each creature. The hilarious rhyming text makes for even more fun. The brilliant illustrations are set on brightly coloured backgrounds which are really effective.

Where's the Baby by Britta Teckentrup

One of the best children's illustrators around brings us another book in her bestselling Spotting series. Each illustration is a miniature work of art featuring a whole array of each animal, including elephants, hens, parrots, frogs, giraffes and many more - the variations are fascinating to spot. On every one of the brilliantly patterned pages of this book, there is a mother animal with a baby - and some of the babies are quite tricky to spot! Children will love searching for the baby animal in this spot-and-find book., perfect for developing observation skills.

I am Actually a Penguin by Sean Taylor

The little girl loves dressing up, so when she is given a penguin suit she decides that living as a penguin is much more fun than just dressing as one. But the trouble is, penguins don't exactly behave like people. They come down stairs differently, they live on ice and their diet is quite different. But when her family tell her, "You're not actually a penguin," she knows that she ACTUALLY is. But all good things come to an end... Fun and unusual.

Bing - Paddling Pool

The new, large picture book format will really appeal to children of 2+, who love to watch Bing's adventures on TV. Today, Bing, Flopand Sula are going to the paddling but when they get to the pool something is missing - the water has all gone! Oh no! How will Bing and Sula play in the pool now? Luckily, the inventive friends soon find other ways to enjoy themselves - just like toddlers everywhere.

Up, Up and Away by Tom McLaughlin

Orson wants to build his very own planet, so he carefully gathers together everything he will need. Soon he has a tiny planet with rings around it, of his very own. But once the planet is built, it doesn't seem very happy, however hard Orson tries. Eventually, he realises that his planet needs to be free and that sometimes you have to let go of the things that you love the most ... Touching and heart-warming, with a very positive ending. A lovely story, beautifully and delicately illustrated.

There is no Dragon in This Story by Lou Carter

This was supposed to be a story about a dragon - but nobody wants the dragon in their story. Full of fairytale characters, this is such fun. The dragon tries to get into all manner of stories but The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel, are just a few well-loved characters who refuse to let poor old dragon into their stories. Undaunted, Dragon keeps on searching and finally his chance comes. With vibrant illustrations and a host of favourite characters, this is a super story.

Dreamweaver by Claire Freedman

When night falls, the dreamweaver is ready to share her sack full of dreams. This magical bedtime story follows the dreamweaver as she travels around, seeking out those baby jungle animals who need her help to sleep. Little Bear, Little Tiger and Little Monkey are just some of the creatures who get magical dreams to help them sleep. Superbly illustrated by Carrie May, this is perfect bedtime reading, gentle and thoughtful - and ideal to send your little one into a world of peaceful dreams.

Never Take a Bear to School by Mark Sperring

Why not? you may ask. Well, bears are clumsy, they don't sit still, they are bigger than the teachers, they eat an awful lot of lunch - and generally cause havoc! So even if it is your first day at school, it's not a good idea to take a bear along with you. And who would need to, with new friends to meet, painting to be done and so much more to enjoy. At the end of the day, Bear is waiting at the school gate and there are precious moments to be shared. With lovely illustrations by Britta Teckentrup, this is the ideal warm and reassuring story to share with any child starting school.

Fairy Tale Pets by Tracey Corderoy

Children will love to meet their favourite fairy tale characters in a different guise as they take their pets to Bob, who has decided to be a pet-sitter. But instead of the cute creatures he is expecting, he's in for a shock! Lots of fairy tale favourites turn up - but as they are all acting in character, there are soon problems - but can Bob solve them by the end of the book or is more trouble on the way? Great fun.

That Is Actually MY Blanket, Baby! by Angie Morgan

Like many toddlers, Bella loves her blanket, which goes everywhere with her. But when the new baby arrives, it seems that the only thing that will stop him crying is Bella's blanket. What can Bella do? Luckily, she comes up with the perfect solution and soon the siblings are happily enjoying all sorts of activities together. This is the perfect book for little ones who are adjusting to a new brother, sister or baby in the family. Kate Alizadeh's clever and simple drawings encapsulate the mood of the text perfectly.

Tiny Tantrum by Caroline Crowe

Tiny may only be little but when she has a tantrum, it can be heard for miles. Windows rattle, jelly quakes and birds fall out of trees. Can anyone persuade Tiny to eat her vegetables, share her toys and brush her teeth? How about a band of hairy monsters? I love picture books with rhyming text - they are great to read aloud, and the words in this really flow well. The quirky illustrations from Ella Okstad realy set off the funny story which is perfect for anyone dealing with toddler temper tantrums.

The Only Lonely Panda by Jonny Lambert

Poor Panda is lonely. All around him, the other creatures have friends, but he doesn't know how to make friends. But who’s that peeking through the bamboo? And can Panda work out how to be her friend? But when he tries to copy the other animals, things go very wrong... until finally, Panda has the best idea ever. I love the illustrations from Jonny Lambert with their silvery shimmery backgrounds - really unusual and visually stunning. The Only Lonely Panda is a funny and uplifting celebration of friendship and individuality. Perfect for little ones who are learning to make friends at a new nursery or school.

Sleeping Beauty: a Mid-century Fairy Tale by Lynn Roberts-Maloney

This nostalgic book is set firmly in the 1950s and is full of period detail in the illustrations by David Roberts. Annabel dreams of a future with jetpacks, flying cars and robots know that she is living u - but she doesn't know she is living under an evil spell that could mean she has no future at all...When the curse is fulfilled on her 16th birthday and she falls asleep for 1000 years, her house is overgrown by a magnificent rose tree. A young explorer called Zoe discovers the story of Sleeping Beauty, but can she find Annabel in time to lift the curse and show her what the future actually looks like? A really unusual story and a refreshing take on the classic.

Little Red by Lynn Roberts-Maloney

This time, the author and illustrator have whisked us back to the 18th century with this delightful retelling of the classic fairy tale - with a boy as the hero! Little Red is on his way to visit his grandmother but when he strays from the path, the greedy wolf spots him and hatches his evil plan. That s when the greedy wolf, lurking in the wood, hatches an evil plan. In a twist on the original, can a keg of delicious sparkling ginger beer save him from a gruesome end? With settings from the fabulously quirky 'Ye Olde Belch' Inn to grandmother's eerie old cottage, this is cleverly done and perfect to read in conjunction with the original so children can spot the similarities and differences.

Woolf by Alex Latimer

Woolf is half wolf, half woolly sheep - the son of a wolf and a sheep who fell in love. Life is hard for Woolf, who doesn't fit in with one group or another. When Woolf tries to impress the wolves, he finds it fun for a while, but they re a bit too wild. When when he tries to follow the sheep, he finds it all a bit, well, boring. Can Woolf find his own way in life and make his own friends that like him for who he is, not who he s trying to be? I really felt for Woolf as the story progressed, and he struggled to fit in but happily, his parents convinced him to just be true to himself and soon Woolf had made lots of new friends. Touching and sensitive, this is a delightful story.

The Chalk Rainbow by Deborah Kelly

Zane is not like other children - he has his own very special way of doing things and gets upset when things are not done his way. His father gets frustrated and angry with him, and his mother tries hard to explain things to him. Things change when Zane’s big sister starts to draw a chalk rainbow at the top of the front steps. This perceptive story is told through the eyes of Zane's older sister in a way that young children will relate to and understand, so it is excellent for explaining Autistic Spectrum Disorder to any who encounter it. It’s also a story of unconditional love, of trust and of learning to look at the world through the eyes of others. Ultimately, the story is empowering and uplifting, as we see Zane's family work together in harmony.

The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk

A title bound to appeal to children! There's a terrible stench in the fridge and Inspector Croissant has begged Sir French Toast and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odour. Could it be the devious Baron Von Waffle? A fetid fish lurking in the bottom of Corn Chowder Lake? Told in catchy rhyming text that is perfect for reading aloud, the book is cleverly written and adults will appreciate many of the subtleties of humour. Vibrant illustrations show the contents of the fridge in all their glorious detail and there are all manner of quirky things to spot and enjoy. Unusual and great fun. Published by Sterling, ISBN 9781454919606, June 2017.

Caring for your Lion by Tammi Sauer

 The little boy was expecting a cute little kitten - but instead, he gets a great big lion. Luckily, the lion comes with plenty of instructions... and a feather. It's important not to look like a zebra or a gazelle, and to give the lion plenty to eat (including antelope pizza!). And give your lion plenty of space to play. despite all this, life is chaotic, but enormous fun in this really cleverly written book which guides the reader step-by-step through the lion's day. The illustrations are simply wonderful, absolutely packed with humour. Great fun and very unusual. Published by Sterling, June 2017, ISBN 9781454916093.

You Can do Anything (Hip and Hop) by Akala

This is the first in a new picture book series from the MOBO award-winning hip hop artist Akala, bursting with bright colour artwork from acclaimed illustrator Sav. Children will love the vibrant colours and jazzy layout. Hip, a wise hippo; and Hop, his energetic bird friend are taking part in the Blueberry Hill bike race. Hop struggles at first, but with help from Hip, they learn that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. This series aims to inspire children to grow up as happy, emotionally intelligent and socially responsible human beings. Part prose, part rap, this book is packed full of rhyme and rhythm, making it perfect to read with young children. Really confidence building, and addressing children's concerns, this is an excellent book, quite different from the norm.


Everybody's Welcome by Patricia Hegarty

With so many picture books on the market, something to make one stand out is good - and this has a cut-out on the cover to attract attention. Wouldn’t it be great if you could build a home that opened its doors to everyone – tall or short, fat or thin, rich or poor. It all starts with a little mouse who takes pity on a frog whose home has dried up... and then some rabbits... and so it goes on, as warm-hearted mouse opens up his home. Die-cuts and split pages set off Greg Abbott's delicate illustrations in this heartwarming book.

Ollie's Treasure: Happiness is Easy to Find if You Just Know Where to Look! by Lynn Jenkins

Ollie's grandma has sent him a treasure map that promises to lead him to 'something that will make him happy always'. Of course, just as any child would, Ollie thinks this 'something' will be a toy of some sort... but that's not the case. By following his grandmother's treasure map, he is taken on a journey of his senses, encouraged to notice what he can see, hear, touch, smell and taste. By the end of his quest, Ollie has realised that happiness can be found in the things all around. Thoughtful and gentle, this book carries a perceptive message.


Celebrate 60 years of the timeless Dr Seuss with this special collectors' edition, with a foreword by Philip Nel and coloured sketches from the original draft. 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!

The Pond by Nicola Davies

A touching picture book for children about a young boy and his family overcoming the loss of his father. This colourful, emotional book is filled with natural imagery, centering on a small pond in the garden, and will teach children not only about death and loss, but the importance of the natural world. By Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher, the duo behind CILIP Greenaway nominated Perfect. Thoughtful and perceptive, this really gives a positive message.

Follow the Trail At the Zoo: Take a peek! Fun finger trails! by DK

This is a really superb series that manages to combine so many elements to entrance children. Firstly, they can follow the textured trails all the way from the front cover of the book - this will help to develop pre-writing skills, as they are cleverly used to give all sorts of shapes to follow. As children go along the trails, they will enjoy the photos of zoo animals, which are accompanied by informative snippets of text for adults to share with them. And then there are the peepholes that show children which creature is coming next. Follow The Trail At the Zoo is perfect for developing hand-eye coordination and pre-writing skills. A super book which offers young children so many experiences and plenty of fun.

Daddy Long Legs by Nadine Brun Cosme

Warm and reassuring, this is a captivating story about the different ways Dad would collect Matty from nursery if the car won't start.The suggestions for alternative modes of transport get more and more unlikely and imaginative - from a tractor to a dragon, a polar bear to a rowing boat. But, if all else fails, he'll come on foot... because to come and pick up Matty, Dad's legs will never be too tired. A lovely traditional style book with joyous retro illustrations, which celebrates the love and trust between father and son.

Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin

We all know the story of Rapunzel, who is kept trapped in her lofty tower by a wicked witch. who lops off locks of her beautiful hair and sells them for her own profit. Can Rapunzel ever figure out a way to escape? This version of Rapunzel is a determined and feisty girl who won't let the fear of a witch stand in her way, and soon she finds herself free in the forest... but returns to the tower so the witch doesn't know. Until, one day, Rapunzel seizes the chance to escape in this lovely twist on the old favourite. Printed with stunning pantone inks, Bethan Woollvin's unique and striking art style and drily comic voice make this the perfect gift for fairy tale fans of all ages. Really enjoyable.

My First Mog ABC by Judith Kerr

Mog is an enduring favourite - who can resist this cute cat? And now she is here to help young ones learn their ABC in this brand new book for very young readers. There's plenty of humour to enjoy in the text, which is carried through into the illustrations. A perfect first ABC book. This delightful book is the perfect introduction to the alphabet and with its gorgeous illustrations and Mog’s unique humour it’s sure to remain a favourite for years to come.

Best-loved Paddington Stories by Michael Bond

Paddington needs no introduction and now he's a major movie star, with more fans than ever. They will love these three favourite stories of Paddington, the beloved classic bear from Darkest Peru, brought together in one volume. This special edition brings together three favourite classic adventures – Paddington Goes to Hospital, Paddington at the Circus and Paddington Goes for Gold. With colour illustrations by R W Alley, this is a lovely book for all fans of Paddington Bear.

Sun by Sam Usher

It's the hottest day of the year, the perfect day for a boy and his grandad to set off on an adventure - and the perfect day to share a picnic with some unexpected new friends. The boy and his grandad gather together everything they need for their expedition and then they set out. Trouble is, grandad keeps needing to have a rest as they look for the perfect spot... and when they get there, someone was there first. A wonderful sense of anticipation builds up through the book, often through just a few well-chosen words and the illustrations capture the sense of looking forward to perfection.

When the World is Full of Friends by Gillian Shields

Little bunnies Albert, Tom, Flossie and Pipkin love to play, although they all enjoy different things. When a family of squirrels move in to the house across the river they are so excited! to have friends to play with ... But how will they cross the stream? Ever-inventive Flossie tries all sorts of ideas, and finally hits on the perfect solution and soon the little creatures are playing happily together. This cute story captures the trouble-free world of young ones and friendship to perfection.

William Wobbly and the Very Bad Day: A story about when feelings become too big (Therapeutic Parenting Books) by Sarah Naish and Rose Jefferies

William Wobbly finds it hard to cope with his feelings and when he goes to school, he has a really bad day. Something happened to William Wobbly when he was very little which makes it hard for him to understand or control his feelings. Luckily, his new mum is here to help with his wibbly wobbly feelings. Written by a mum who understands, and her daughter (who used to have a lot of wobbly feelings), this is a story for children functioning at age 3-10 who struggle with sensory overload. It's sensitively written and is perfect to share with children who suffer from the same problems, and also for those around them. Charley Chatty and the Wiggly Worry Worm is a story about insecurity and attention-seeking. Sometimes, Charley's imagination takes over and she tells stories about things that didn't really happen. She doesn't mean to but she likes how it makes her feel important and the wiggly worry worm inside her belly goes away. Sophie Spikey Has a Very Big Problem: A story about refusing help and needing to be in control Sophie Spikey has lost her shoes, again but she's not going to ask her mum for help, though. I can fix it all by myself, she thought. Sophie did not have an easy start in life and now she cannot trust grown-ups to help her. Luckily, her new mum is good at guessing when Sophie needs a helping hand. Rosie Rudey and the Very Annoying Parent: A story about a prickly child who is scared of getting close  Rosie gets tired of being told what to do all the time did not have an easy childhood which has made her build a hard shell around herself so no one can get in. Luckily her new mum knows just how to help soften Rosie's hard exterior. This is an ideal series of books for any home, school or nursery setting; they can be shared with all children (Suitable for ages 3 - 10) to help them understand and empathise.Written with compassion and understanding, with thoughtful illustrations by Amy Farrell which can be used to further discussion.

Once Upon a Jungle by Laura Knowles

This book is simply stunning with a superb visual impact. Laura Knowles' simple text introduces us to the world of the jungle. Her words are accompanied by vibrant pictures by James Boast, that use the brightest colours you could imagine. More than that, subtly concealed in each picture are the outlines of animals - my favourite is the panther who is made up of dozens of bright beetles - and the words fit the pictures to perfection. An outstanding book which provides an early introduction to food chains.

My Sister is Bigger than Me by Kate Morgan and Lisa Stubbs

A common childhood dilemma! "My sister Gracie is bigger than me, because she's nearly six and I am just three." Join Gracie and Ava as they play together in their world of imagination. And with plenty of imagination, there are all sorts of games the siblings can play together. This is the perfect book to share if your children say they can't play with their older/younger sibling, as it just shows how much fun is to be had. The lively illustrations draw it all together and make for a lively and amusing story, enhanced by the catchy rhyming text.

My Magnificent Jelly Bean Tree by Maura Finn

What do you think - do jelly beans grow on trees? They certainly look as if they should! Some people will tell you that Jelly Beans do not grow on trees but don't tell this little boy that because he believes in magic. He plants his tree and he watches it grow. He feasts on jelly beans and crowns himself Jelly bean King. A wonderful feast for the imagination and testament to the power of belief in what you want to see. The illustrations by Aura Parker are lively and perfectly reflect the feel of this uplifting story.

How many Dinosaurs Deep by Ben Kitchin

This reassuring book looks at a situation many young children will face, and tackles it with empathy and insight, just right to generate confidence. Little Jim is not quite sure that he is ready to move from the baby pool to the middle-size pool.He is obviously a big fan of dinosaurs, so clever mum uses the example of lots of splashing sploshing dinosaurs to reassure him, capture his imagination and help him face his fear. The book ends with a two page spread about the various dinosaurs, making it perfect for all young dinosaur fans. Unusual and very appealing.

Edward and the Great Discovery by Rebecca Mcritchie and Celeste Hulme

Edward's family are all archaeologists, and they have all made very important discoveries... except for Edward The only problem is Edward has never discovered anything, however many holes he digs. Then one rainy night he stumbles on what could be his first great discovery... an egg, which he carefully nurtures. He is sad to find his bird can't fly but then, one special day, he finds that friendship is what really matters. An unusual and very entertaining story about extinct animals, discovery, friendship and history - and never giving up. The delightfully detailed ilustrations are a delight, especially 'Edward's Kit'.

Daisy Doodles by Michelle Robinson and Tom Weller

Michelle Robinson is the award-winning author of the excellent fGoodnight Spaceman and this book is equally appealing. When Daisy draws a little mouse named Pipsqueak, he comes to life and leads her on the most magical adventure. Celebrating the imagination and encouraging creative play, Daisy Doodles will be a big hit with children who love drawing and making things. It really does encourage creativity and imagination, and parents and teachers can use the book to help develop these skills in the children in their care. The brilliant illustrations overflow with fantastic detail - there is so much to ponder over and enjoy.

My Dog Mouse by Eve Lindstrom

Definitely tinged with sadness, My Dog Mouse offers friendship, humor, and gentle heartache in one dog walk. This is a book for anyone who knows what it is to love an old, slow dog with ears as thin as pancakes. Mouse is very slow and the little girl is very patient with him... and there's an unexpected surprise at the end.

Waiting for Goliath by Antje Damm

Bear patiently and loyally waits for his friend Goliath for a long time, even when others doubt he'll show up. But just who is he waiting for? From dawn to dusk, from autumn to spring he waits and finally reaps his reward. This is a warm and surprising story about waiting for a friend whose identity is a surprise. Beautifully produced in hardback with thick paper, this is a quality book to really make reading papealing.

The Big Bad Mood by Tom Jamieson

We've all been there, haven't we? One of THOSE days - and George is having a day when he shouts, 'I WILL NOT play nicely. I WON'T ... I CAN'T ... I DON'T WANT TO!!' George's mum says there's a Big Bad Mood hanging around him, but George has never seen a Big Bad Mood, even though he looks everywhere for it. Until suddenly, there appears in front of him the Big Bad Mood - and off the two go to create absolute mayhem. A superbly written about tempers, tantrums and making amends, which really captures the emotions of a young child. Share this with your young one and I promise they will be soon out of their own big bad moods as they enjoy all the antics.

Me and My Dad by Robin Shaw

The author is the award-winning animator of The Snowman and the Snowdog, Ethel & Ernest and We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and now he has turned his considerable talents to writing his own book. Of course, as you would expect, the book is a visual feast as well as a perfect story for children and dads to share. Dad can make a simple trip down the road really exciting. There are snapping crocodiles, stomping dinosaurs, sleeping princesses and golden treasure - but the best bit's at the end... But don't skip through too quickly, because there are so many delights to spot on the way with all manner of ingenious things in every illustration. This book celebrates so many things - the love of a dad and child, the excitement generated by the imagination... and a love for books. A really enjoyable book.

Digger Disaster (Dino Diggers) by Rose Impey

It's time to meet Tyrone T. rex, Stan stegosaurs and the rest of the Dino Diggers - the best builders in Dino Town, who will never let you down; this is the first in a promising new series that boys and girls will love. The Dino Diggers are building a car factory, but disaster strikes when Tyrone T. rex hits a water pipe. Time for the Dino Diggers to do what they do best and save the day. With stunning illustrations to capture the attention, this is a lively enjoyable story. And the best thing? The book comes wit a press-out digger model and t-rex so children can extend their imaginations even further by making the model and acting out scenes from the book - or making their own stories

Old Hat by Emily Gravett

Harbet has a very special hat but his friends make fun of him. So Harbet decides to get a new hat to keep up with the latest fashions... but however hard he tries (and he finds some simply superb creations) it still seems that whatever he wears is old hat. Finally, Harbet decides to give up following everyone else and do his own thing... A delightful story engagingly told, about being your own person and not following fads; a story all about the joy of finding your own style, full of brilliantly inventive hats for children to spot. Great fun.

Hedgehog Holidays by Ruth Green

This cheerful and summery read sees Hilda and Herbert off for a day on the beach, all related in catchy rhyme. With a delicious picnic under one arm and swimsuits under the other, they enthusiastically make the most of everything the seaside has to offer: sand castles, playing ball, surfing with dolphins and last, but not least, a satisfying ice cream at the end of the day. I love the illustrations which are bold and clear, set against colourful backgrounds, perfect for young children.

The Three Little Pugs and the Big Bad Cat by Becky Davies

I'm loving the current popularity of different takes on fairy tales - they are really refreshing and will encourage children to seek out the originals as well as enjoy these new twists. Big Bad Wolf faces another troublemaker - with her sharp, scratchy claws and her terrible twitching tail, the Big Bad Cat is the meanest moggy around! Will the three little pugs build homes strong enough to fend off this mischievous cat? The illustrations are a clever blend of drawings and photography, which will intrigue and captivate young readers . This fantastic retelling of The Three Little Pigs is perfect for young readers and pug-lovers alike! It's also a great way to encourage children to write their own variations on traditional tales.


The Snugglewump by Lou Treleaven

I love to read rhyming picture books - children respond so well to the rhythm and they are a pleasure to read aloud. Molly’s toys are arguing one day about which of them is loved best. As they list their many amazing qualities they forget about the Snugglewump, who is sitting in the corner of the page, quietly pointing out his existence. So the Snugglewump snugglewumps off on a journey and discovers you don’t need bells and whistles to be loved. This beautifully told story catches at the heartstrings and reminds us all about how precious our toys are. The stunning illustrations by Kate Chappell are the perfect complement to the story, and show the characters of the people and toys to perfection.

Wishker by Heather Pindar

Whatever Mirabel wants, the answer always seems to be the same. A sleepover? No. A pet monkey? No. But then a rufty-tufty roaming cat with magic powers shows up. Is this the answer to Mirabel's problems? Soon Mirabel has everything she wants - but life is utter chaos and maybe things are better as they were... perhaps with the granting of just one more wish... but what about Marabel's brother Jim? Beautifully illustrated by Sarah Jennings, with wonderfully joyful and action-packed pictures,this is a lively sparky story that will make us all think about what we wish for. Another gem from Maverick, who produce such excellent picture books.

Just Like Daddy by Lucy Freegard

This is a wonderful look at the very special relationship between father and child and it's perfect for sharing as a bedtime story to reinforce that bond. Daddy's love for his child is unconditional and they have such fun together - so much fun, that the little one wants nothing better than to be just like Daddy, who 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. With delightful illustrations that reflect the theme of fun and closeness to perfection, this debut picture book from Lucy Freegard is funny, charming and heartwarming.

My New Room by Lisa Stickley

Picture books are such a good way to help children come to terms with new situations, and in this story of a move to a new house, Lisa Stickley really shows an insight into how children feel and how to help them. Edith has made the big move into her new house, with her big bedroom and a big bed, and her toys are all arranged around the room, each with a special role to help her to settle in. Join Gary Guardsman, Osbert T Octopus, Major Ted and the other toys as they give a guided tour of the room and the role each of them plays in keeping the room safe, tidy and happy. Quirky and unusual, the font is written as if by a child (I have slight reservations about this, but it does give the book immediate child-appeal). It is certainly a reassuring and friendly book and I recommend it especially for that.

And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

Revel in the joyful carnival of creatures in this, the very first Dr Seuss book. Marco is very bored walking to and from school, so he decides that it's time for his imagination to run riot, creating a crazy carnival of creatures as “A plain horse and wagon on Mulberry Street grows into a story that no one can beat!” The joy of this story is at least as much in the wonderful illustrations, as the horse and cart gradually get filled up with an amazing cast of characters. A wonderful celebration of the power of the imagination and a little different from the expectations of Dr Seuss - but just as good for all that.

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

If you have a sleepless child, then this is just the book for you! This sleepy taleis full of wonderful yawning creatures - and we all know how catching a yawn is! "Sleep thoughts are spreading Throughout the whole land The time for night-brushing of teeth is at hand!" The original story designed specifically for putting small children to sleep, Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book is full of wonderful yawning creatures who spread sleep thoughts at bedtime. More fun than counting sheep and more effective than the sandman, this book is the perfect remedy for children who don't want to go to sleep. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures, from all manner of places - and they are all going to sleep. Share this with your young one - and make sure you share the pictures too - and with plenty of yawns (but not from boredom), they will soon be asleep.

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss

Every child should share the joy of Dr Seuss, and this sequel to the iconic The Cat in the Hat is a must-read. The Cat in the Hat has a brand new look for today's readers as he once more steps into the lives of Sally and her brother, in this chaotic sequel to the original classic adventure. When the Cat in the Hat comes back, Sally and her brother know it’s going to mean trouble. And guess what? They’re right! A hilarious story, told in catchy rhyme and accompanied by brilliant illustrations - what more can we ask?


All dads want their baby's first word to be 'dada'; all mums want that first word to be 'mama'. This simple picture book shows us lots of animal dads all trying to get their little ones to say 'dada' - and all they get are animal noises until, with one big effort, there's a big surprise at the end of the book! The simple and stylish pictures would make great 'spot the difference' puzzles for children! Perfect for dads and young children to share.

A Home for Gully by Jo Clegg

Gully was looking for a home when he found a family. On the day that he decided to look for a new home, he is joined by Fetch (a sausage dog), Madison (an alley cat) and Zachary (a kindly rat) and he discovers something much more important: a ready-made family who would just love to share with him This warm and funny story is all about the bonds of belonging that tie every family together, illustrated with a retro style that's full of panache from talented newcomer Lalalimola. OUP give us five very good reasons to like this book - there are funny details on every page (make sure you share these with your child); you'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll love sharing Gully's journey... and it contains fleas!! The busy pictures are delightful and this unusual story is a really enjoyable read.

The Dressing-Up Dad by Maudie Smith

Danny loves dressing up, and what makes it even more fun is that his Dad loves dressing up too. They dress up at every occasion whether it is pirates at a party or superheroes in the supermarket but fancy dress parties are the best. A joyful funny and uplifting celebration of the special relationship between dads and their children, and the importance of being yourself - whoever that may be!

My Daddy is a Silly Monkey by Dianne Hofmeyr

"My daddy is a great big bear. He gets out of bed and grumbles and grouches, scratches and yawns!" This charming picture book for younger children portrays a day in the life of a dad and daughter in a single-parent home, as they get up, have breakfast, go to school, go swimming, make dinner and prepare for bedtime. Dad seems to get it all wrong but in the end it's Daddy being Daddy that the little girl loves best. A positive message and it's good to see the scenario of a dad looking after his little girl - and to see the love that abounds on every page of this vibrant picture book.


The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show by Mini Grey

Children of 2+ will love this colourful picture book about two very, very bad bunnies. When the great magician, Hypno, goes missing just before a show, his naughty rabbits Abra and Cadabra step in to save the day. But are they all that they seem? Or is there more to their sleight of paw than meets the eye? An exciting new novelty book from British author and illustrator Mini Grey that will have children and parents laughing out loud. With lots of flaps to explore, revealing plenty of exciting things to capture children's attention, this is a fun and enjoyable book, delightfully illustrated.

Time for a Nap (Snuggle Time Stories) by Phillis Gershator

Right from the delicately coloured and gorgeously illustrated cover, this book definitely shows it's time for a nap... zzz. Dear little bunny is always busy, with people to see and places to go. But sometimes all that activity leaves a toddler tired and - dare we say it? - irritable. And that means it's nap time! The trouble is, little bunny doesn't always want to nap... or at least, he doesn't think he does! With its delicate pastel illustrations, and cosy feel, this is ideal to persuade your little one it really is nap time. Published by Sterling, April 2017, ISBN 978-1454919810.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt

You just know that any book by Drew Daywalt is going to be hilarious, with a novel twist on a story that nobody else can quite imitate - and this is no exception. Themed on the popular playground game, find out what really lies behind the game... perhaps! Long ago in the Kingdom of Backgarden lived a fearsome warrior named Rock - but Rock couldn't find a worthy opponent - a clothes peg and an apricot both succumb. But worthy opponents are on their way - there's scissors from the village of Junk Drawer, and paper, who resides in the Empire of Mum’s Study.; they too are seeking challenges. So, when the three mighty warriors meet, who will be victorious? Well, I think you know the answer to that one! A brilliantly different perspective on a much-loved game, superbly illustrated by Adam Rex to make full use of the zany storyline.


Tony Ross and David Walliams team up again to bring us another engaging picture book. At the top of the world lived a mischievous polar bear who loved nothing more than giving the other animals a fright. "BOO!" he would go, and then laugh to hear the animals shriek. When a TV producer is expected, the cheeky little cub causes all sorts of hilarious havoc. But there's one person who simply won't put up with it... will the little bear have any friends left? It's a hilarious story and will be brilliant to read aloud - young ones will definitely join in with the boos! Full of zing and eb=nergy, the wonderful pictures convey the story to perfection.

Six Blind Mice and an Elephant by Jude Daly

A tired old elephant decides to take a rest in a farmer's barn... and soon finds himself the centre of attention. But it's when six blind mice go to see him, that the magic of this story really takes place. Each mouse perceives the elephant differently, depending on which part of the elephant it touches - is he a fan, a rope, a wall, a spear, a snake or a tree? But then the huge creature awakes - and only then is the full wonder of his being revealed. Based on a classic Indian fable, Jude Daly's new picture book, set in the South African countryside, is an unusual and thought-provoking book which shows we should never take things for granted.

The Cave by Rob Hodgson

A little creature lives in a cave... and all we see of him are his eyes. Outside the cave is a wolf, and because of the wolf, the creature in the cave never comes out to play - despite the wolf trying everything to get the creature to leave the cave. But finally, the bear's patience pays off - but he is in for a very BIG surprise as the tables are turned completely in this clever story. It's so subtly done, that children may well have to take a second look to work out what is actually happening - it's an excellent way to encourage children to look at the pictures and work out for themselves what is happening.

Grumpy Frog by Ed Vere

Grumpy Frog isn't grumpy at all... as long as everything is in his favourite colour - green. But life can get a bit lonely when everything - even your friends - must be green. Grumpy Frog isn't about to change his mind, not even when a pink rabbit asks to be friends - until he has a very scary encounter with a green crocodile and realises the error of his ways. This deftly told story shows how important it is to say sorry, and to compromise - and how that will get rid of the grumps in the best possible way.

Edgar and the Sausage Inspector by Jan Fearnley

Edgar always looks after his sister, so when he and Edith are hungry, it's up to Edgar to bring home something tasty. But there's an Inspektor on the prowl - a very important-looking rat with a big hat - and he takes Edgar's sausages, so poor Edgar and Edith are left with nothing but dry crackers and pickles for dinner. And that is just the start... but Edgar finally gets suspicious and soon the tables are turned and he and Edith (but mostly Edith!) are enjoying a delicious feast. Very entertaining and a good warning not to take things at face value! The book comes with a free Stories Aloud smartphone audio book for even more fun.

Through the Gate by Sally Fawcett

This perceptive story is all about change, and how we can gradually accept changes and the way they make things better. The little girl has just moved house and is struggling to cope with all the changes in her life. Gradually, the run-down house is brought back to perfect condition, and as it is, so the girl accepts the changes which she sees every time she returns to the new house. It all goes to show the importance of our physical circumstances and how we respond to them, and as children become absorbed in the pictures, they will spot the changes and see how a small effort in maintenance can improve our physical surroundings.. Within the illustrations is a 'spot the difference' game that encourages interaction with the story and develops observation skills.

Goldilocks and the Three Potties by Leigh Hodgkinson

Potty training, with all its highs and lows, is best approached with a good dash of humour - and that's just what this hugely entertaining book offers. With its gentle humour and encouraging, 'keep-trying' message, this adorable little book will help set toddlers (and their parents) on the right track to a nappy-free day. Goldilocks is tired of nappies but the pants and the potty - and the timing - have to be just right and soon Goldilocks is well on the way to success. With lots of humour in the illustrations, this is perfect to share with your child to show that, while undoubtedly important, potty training doesn't need to be taken TOO seriously.

The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden

The boy in this book thinks he has the most boring dog in the world. Or so he thinks ...until one morning when he opens the door a little early and sees his dog jump out of a limousine. That night he decides to follow his dog, and that's when the fun starts. Turns out his dog leads the lifestyle of a Humphrey Bogart-type, treating our protagonist to a true nighttime adventure where he learns where dogs go to relax and sees what they do while their masters are fast asleep. A terrific read aloud, Nina Laden's story will have everyone captivated by the coolest dog around. The book makes good use of an unusual and well-sized font which adds to the appeal and will help young readers on their reading journey. The illustrations are a true delight - everything that would make a great night out, dog-fashion. Unusual and very enjoyable.

I Lost My Sock!: A Matching Mystery by P. Roberts

Ox is helping Fox to find his missing socks - in a rather bizarre fashion! He presents each new option just before the page turn so the reader has a moment to decide for him or herself whether Ox has, in fact, found Fox's sock. More than just a story, though, this is also about pattern, colour and shape recognition; comparing and contrasting; and object identification. Mastery of these skills enriches a child's vocabulary, prepares him to understand letters and numbers and helps him gain a better sense of the world around him. Elio's bold, geometric character designs further reinforce the early maths concepts hinted at in this book. Just a note - this book uses US spelling, which is rather a shame.

Supertato Run Veggies Run by Sue Hendra

It's midnight in the supermarket but it's far from quiet! The veggies have decided they need to get healthy, so it's Sports Day. Everyone has been practising hard and is ready and raring to go. But when a new competitor joins the event, accompanied by The Evil Pea, everything goes pear shaped. Things don’t seem quite right… but will Supertato be able to foil his nemesis’ plan in time? It seems that the swimming race might just sort out the good from the bad... Vibrantly illustrated and with lots of humour in text and illustrations, this will elicit plenty of giggles.

The Birthday Invitation by Lucy Rowland

Dropping A birthday party invitation can have some very unexpected - and very positive - results! When Ella accidentally drops an invitation on the forest floor, and who should find it? A wizard, of course ... and a pirate and a parrot and then a whole host of wonderful characters as the single invitation travels on a magical journey! Join Ella for her very exciting birthday party, complete with a hilarious array of unexpected guests! A thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted story, with a nicely traditional feel to it. Laura Hughes' illustrations are packed with fascinating details and they are perfect to share and enjoy with your child.


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