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.


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.