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On the Move: A pull-tab board book to help your baby focus

On the Move: A pull-tab board book to help your baby focus

Pat-a-Cake
Pat-a-Cake
ISBN: 9781526380012

On the Move: A pull-tab board book to help your baby focus

A lovely bright and sturdy board book that comes with well-designed pull-out flaps to help engage little ones. For young children who love cars, trains and boats, this is perfect as the bold images - perfectly designed to help babies focus - take us through different forms of transport. The pull-out flaps are also useful for teaching concepts like 'up' and 'along'.

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Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps!

Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps!

Nicholas Allan
Red Fox
ISBN: 9781782951667

Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps!

Nicholas Allan's earlier Christmas title, Father Christmas Needs a Wee, has been a great success with young - and older - children and his latest book, Father Christmas Comes up Trumps, is just as appealing to young audiences.

Father Christmas Comes up Trumps is a lively and fun story to get children into the Christmas spirit and with its rhyming text, rooftop spreads and the delight of a naughty word, it makes a great story to read-aloud.

Father Christmas has filled up his tummy ready for all his hard work on Christmas Eve - but one too many helpings of sprouts has left his tummy feeling rather funny.... Poor Father Christmas isn't allowed to make a sound as he visits the children's houses, delivering presents - but his tummy isn't getting any better. How will he manage this Christmas Eve ordeal...?

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That's Not My Reindeer

That's Not My Reindeer

Fiona Watt
Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781409556046

That's Not My Reindeer

The 'That's Not My...' series of board books for babies and very young children have hit the mark in terms of their design and 'touchy feely' features which encourage babies and toddlers to explore the pages and find the sensory devices.

The simple and repetitive text - 'his neck is too fuzzy; his ears are too velvety; his nose is so shiny and red' - is perfectly pitched for this age range and again encourages young children to interact with the pages.

It's never too soon to share books with babies and the Christmassy feel of this title make it a fantastic first Christmas gift!

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Lorries and Buses: Cloth Book with Strap

Lorries and Buses: Cloth Book with Strap

Karen Wallace
Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444908251

Lorries and Buses: Cloth Book with Strap

Lorries and Buses is one of four new soft books in this series that are filled with favourite vehicles to spot. Other books in the series include Diggers and Dumpers, Planes and Jets and Cars and Trains.

Each little book is presented in vibrant colours and patterns and with appealing characters. The bold patterns are perfect for very young children and they can be encouraged to join in the sounds of a 'brrm, brrm car' and a 'beep beep bus'.

The books also come with a handy strap and a useful sticky pad that can be stuck to a variety of surfaces including car windows, tables and high chairs, making it the books ideal for when you and your little one are 'on the go'.

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Animal Opposites

Animal Opposites

Nicola Killen
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405262866

Animal Opposites

Animal Opposites and Animal Noises are the two latest additions to Nicola Killen's board book Animals series (see also Animal Numbers, Animal Colours).

Each spread is simply presented and beautifully designed with a flap providing an additional interactive element.

In Animal Opposites, we are introduced to the concepts of fast and slow, down and up, small and big and in and out through a range of animal images and flaps concealing the opposing concepts.

Animal Noises encourages us to guess the animal hidden behind the flap by the noise it makes.

Simple, effective and well produced books that will be fun to share.

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Baby, It's You

Baby, It's You

Ruth Redford
Red Fox
ISBN: 9781849417297

Baby, It's You

These first activity books for babies from naught to 12 months include two titles, Baby It's You (0-6 months) and Baby Let's Play (6-12 months).

Each book provides images of familiar objects for baby to explore as well as activities to try out, such as rolling over and stretching in the first book, and playing and moving in the second.

There are also suggestions for mum to help baby's development including ideas for activities from playing 'copycat' to creating obstacle courses as they develop.

These are quite large board books, so they are hefty, but this also helps make them very durable - a good thing as they are bound to see lots of use!

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Going to Playschool

Going to Playschool

Sarah Garland
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781847804693

Going to Playschool

Sarah Garland's books for toddlers (see also Going Swimming, Going Shopping) capture the hustle and bustle of toddler life and are a very engaging look at first experiences.

In Going to Playschool, a toddler is introduced to the activities at playschool, drawing, dressing up, making things and listening to stories.

Each of the spreads is full of children engaged in these different activities, and the toddler enjoying each of them in his/her own way. But when they get ready to leave, the all-important Rabbit has disappeared. Where can he be?

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Zoe and Beans: Look at Me!

Zoe and Beans: Look at Me!

Chloe Inkpen
Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9780230766549

Zoe and Beans: Look at Me!

Zoe and Beans are already established picture book characters and now we are introduced to them in board book formats. Zoe and Oscar are lively and mischievous and each of these books shows us the world through the eyes of a toddler.

In this story, it's dressing up time for Zoe and Oscar. After dressing as a bumble bee, a pirate and a robot, they wonder what to do next - they decide to dress up as each other!

See also How Many Pets, a counting book that makes numbers fun.

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My Toys

My Toys

Leonie Lagarde
Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407133287

My Toys

My Toys is one of a series in the Baby Can See range that also includes Things That Go, Animals and In the Water, and together they make a lovely set for a young baby.

Strong black and white images make these books suitable for babies in their early weeks and months, as well as for toddlers discovering the world.

Each page has an image of a toy (aeroplane, ball, drum and car) contrasted with a pattern on the opposing page. The final spread reminds us of the toys we have seen, and you can share the appropriate sounds for each toy.

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The Shape of My Heart

The Shape of My Heart

Mark Sperring
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408827055

The Shape of My Heart

This eye-catching picture book is a reassuring story about love. Although there are many shapes to explore, this story isn't just about the circles, squares, and triangles that children are familiar with.

The opening spread shows two smiling figures in white silhouette, reflecting a parent and a child, with the words: 'This is the shape that we are. The shape of you and me.'

The book goes on to explore the shapes of hands leading into an exploration of food and mouths, feet and shoes, vehicles etc.

Each of the pages is filled with colourful objects that young children will recognise and can be encouraged to explore - there's a dinosaur, a car, birds and stars in the sky.

It is a beautiful and appealing look at the places, animals, and objects common to a child's world.

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The Selfish Crocodile Book of Colours

The Selfish Crocodile Book of Colours

Faustin Charles
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408814499

The Selfish Crocodile Book of Colours

This is the latest title in a new series based on the award-winning and hugely popular Selfish Crocodile picture books. The series aims to introduce very young children to different concepts including Sounds, Words and Numbers.

The pages are bright and colourful and the animals are just bouncing with fun and energy, ready to take your child through a super-snappy learning adventure!

In this book they meet each animal in turn and explore what colour they are, from black and white zebras to grey elephants and green crocodiles.

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ISBN: 9781444909913

Mr Croc, an irresistible character created by Jo Lodge, has sold over a million books worldwide.

In his latest book, Mr Croc gives young children a noisy introduction to the world of music as he toots the trumpet, rattles his maracas and plays a screechy violin as he tries to discover which musical sound is his favourite – will it be the noisiest sound of all?

Each of the pages is cheerily colourful with exciting flaps to lift and clever pop-up features that will charm babies and toddlers. The pages are also far more durable than many pop-up books so making these suitable for younger tots.

Other books in the series that we have enjoyed include Ready or Not, Mr Croc? and Sleepy or Not, Mr Croc? - there are plenty of others to explore, too.

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Baby's Very First Touchy-feely Animals Play Book

Baby's Very First Touchy-feely Animals Play Book

Fiona Watt
Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781409549727

Baby's Very First Touchy-feely Animals Play Book

This is the latest title in a new series introducing babies to touchy-feely books. The busy, colourful pages explore animals in a range of different settings from the arctic to the jungle.

There is plenty for babies to look at on each spread and the animals are just bouncing with fun and energy.

Young children will love to hear the different sounds the animals make and which the reader is encouraged to share including a munching zebra, snapping crocodile and whooshing elephant on the African savannah spread.

Each of the colour spreads includes touchy-feely patches to explore, cut-out lines to run little fingers along and holes to peep through.

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ISBN: 9780230754003

Poppy Cat is heading off on new adventures in a series of 'first story books' that are ideal for toddlers getting to grips with following a story line. Each of the stories focus on exploration and friendship.

In All Aboard, Poppy Cat and her friends are on a treasure hunt and set off with a map, a boat and lots of sunshine. Unfortunately when their friend Egbert magically appears, things start to go wrong as he demands to be in charge and gets them hopelessly lost in a fog. But a kindly whale saves the day, treasure is found and contentment restored.

Blast Off, a companion title, sees Poppy Cat and her friends zoom off into space where they enjoy floating about and a space rescue before Egbert appears and steers them into an asteroid storm! Plucky Zuzu sees them safely through and the friends celebrate.

These sturdy board books are ideal for small hands and the trademark Poppy Cat colours of the rainbow make them appealing. Colourful pages tell the story in pictures, supported by simple text in the side panels on each page so they are simple to follow but with plenty happening.

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Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo

Rod Campbell
Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9780230757875

Dear Zoo

This gorgeous book for babies celebrates the Dear Zoo story - a boy who is trying to find the perfect pet. He is helped in his quest by the zoo, which sends him one animal after another to help him find the best pet.

However, the frog they send is too jumpy, the camel is too grumpy, the lion is too fierce and so on until the perfect pet is found for the little boy.

Instead of the traditional 'lift the flap' format for this book, there are 'touch and feel' elements on each of the pages that younger children can enjoy. Each of the animals being presented gets its own spread with a 'touch and feel' element including a fluffy lion's mane, a rough elephant's ear, a fur patch on the camel etc.

There is also guidance for the person reading the story to explain what baby can feel on that page.

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ISBN: 9781409312871

Toddler Touch books are designed to stimulate a toddler's curiosity through simple rhyming text, touch-and-feels and flaps, as they begin to explore the wider world around them.

Toddler Touch: Nursery is designed to familiarise toddlers with the sort of activities and routine they might experience at nursery. Each page focuses on a different part of a day at nursery, from arriving and saying goodbye to parents to finger painting, playing outside, lunch, imaginative play and reading a story.
There is also a companion title, Toddler Touch: Bedtime, which again is designed to familiarise toddlers with a practical, reassuring bedtime routine, from bathtime and putting on night clothes to brushing teeth, putting toys away and listening to a story before being tucked up tight. Going through the familiar routines in this book will help to calm and reassure young children at bedtime.
Each of these books has sturdy tabbed edges for helping to turn the pages, and is full of things to touch and feel, including finger trails to follow throughout, holes to peek through and flaps to lift.

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ISBN: 9781409312383

The Ladybird First Favourite Bedtime Book is a compilation of traditional lullabies and classic rhymes to share with toddlers and young children, either at bedtime or naptime.

The sturdy tabbed edges are easy for little fingers to grasp and turn to find and choose a favourite rhyme or lullaby to read or sing.

The first section contains five classic bedtime rhymes: Rock-a-bye baby; Star Light, Star Bright; Niddledy Noddeldy; The Man in the Moon, and Frère Jacques.

The second section includes favourite soothing lullabies to sing along with:Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Brahm's Lullaby; Hush Little Baby; Sleep, Baby, Sleep; and Hush-a-bye, Baby.

The final section has the full version of the classic lyrical poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear.

With a deluxe padded cover, bright, appealing artwork and a ladybird to spot and find on every page, the Ladybird First Favourite Bedtime Book is the perfect gift for any child. If your child enjoys this, you might also want to try the popular Ladybird First Favourite Nursery Rhymes.

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The Bad-Tempered Ladybird

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird

Eric Carle
Puffin
ISBN: 9780141383507

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird

The story starts with a friendly ladybird happily munching aphids on a leaf - only to be joined by a bad-tempered ladybird who also wants to eat the aphids, but doesn't want to share.

The ladybird picks fights with other animals too, and they get progressively bigger and bigger although the ladybird is never satisfied that they are big enough for him to fight (even if it is as big as a rhinoceros!)

There is a clock face on each page showing what time he meets the animal, so it is also a useful book to share with older children that are learning how to tell the time.

Finally, the ladybird learns its lesson - how to share - and it returns to the leaf where the story started.

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ISBN: 9780141380773

The beautifully nostalgic Baby's Catalogue by the famous Ahlberg duo has just been republished to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The 'catalogue' comprises pages of images based on five families, with each page loosely following set themes such as playtime, eating, bath time and bedtime.

The deliciously drawn babies dominate the pages – there is no writing – so a parent and child can follow the images and describe what is happening.

Young children will enjoy exploring familiar things in their life – a washing machine, radio or potty, to name a few. And there is nothing a baby likes more than looking at pictures of other babies!

If you enjoy this, you may also want to explore companion board books such as Peepo! and Each Peach Pear Plum by the same author and illustrator.

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Make with Maisy

Make with Maisy

Lucy Cousins
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406339659

Make with Maisy

This exuberant and colourful guide to 'making' will keep young children engaged for hours. There are loads of ideas, beautifully presented and made all the more appealing by the appearance of Maisy herself.

Feathers, buttons, beans and ribbons are among her materials as Maisy sets to work making box houses, blossom trees, useful pots and vegetable prints - and so much more.

Maisy and her friends illustrate each of the spreads, showing her in the act of making or using each of these special ideas.

Best of all it's not just toddlers who will be thrilled and entertained by these ideas – any child will enjoy getting stuck in and making!

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The Big Out and About Book

The Big Out and About Book

Georgie Birkett
Red Fox Picture Books
ISBN: 9781849411295

The Big Out and About Book

Very young children will enjoy the simple, rhyming text as baby says ‘hello’ to the objects he sees as he ventures outdoor and down the farm for a picnic. 'Hello tractor, hello sheep, and little chicks go cheep, cheep, cheep'.

The tactile, touch and feel elements including fuzzy sheep, sparkling sun and fluffy horse's mane, will also maintain their interest.

The charm and appeal of this sturdy board book is the simple journey made by a recognisable child, and the bold everyday images that young children will enjoy recognising and beginning to name.

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Who Lives Here?

Who Lives Here?

Michael Terry
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408819432

Who Lives Here?

This is a colourful and interactive book about creatures from around the world. Published in partnership with London Zoo, it depicts the wildlife you would find in a number of different settings including jungle, farm, wood and the ocean.

The animals and fishes are shown in their natural settings, but behind each of the creatures is a small surprise and children will enjoy lifting the sturdy flaps to find out what is hiding there: behind the monkey is a small chameleon balancing on a branch; when the crocodile dives you see a pink butterfly, while a woodpecker chips away at a tree behind the owl.

Who Lives Here? delivers a fun, shared experience for young children learning about the world around us.

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Counting

Counting

Ellen Giggenbach
Templar Publishing
ISBN: 9781848770904

Counting

A gorgeous first counting book that will be enjoyed by tiny tots and toddlers alike thanks to its sumptuous pages and colourful illustrations. It comes as a board book, so it's also very sturdy.

A little boy is going shopping with his mum and along the way they see one car, two houses, three trucks etc. The pages are filled with fabulous detail and each of the spreads includes a number of raised surfaces for children to feel.

The final spread provides an illustrated summary of all the things you’ve seen in the previous pages, from bright red balloons to the boy and mum in a car.

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Night Night Cloth Book: Amazing Baby

Night Night Cloth Book: Amazing Baby

Emma Dodd
Amazing Baby
ISBN: 9781904513964

Night Night Cloth Book: Amazing Baby


A combination of photography, stylish and bold graphics and gorgeous colours has ensured the Amazing Baby books from Templar have made their mark. The series is now ten years old and has been given a refreshed look.

This new cloth book in the series, for babies aged six months plus, makes a perfect gift for very young children. Stars and moons decorate the pages and remind baby it’s time for bed.

Babies will love the bold shapes and graphics in these pages, and the high contrast images. As babies are always drawn to images of other babies, the images of babies sleeping – both in graphics and photography – also give just the right touch.

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Sometimes I Feel Sunny

Sometimes I Feel Sunny

Gillian Shields
Picture Corgi
ISBN: 9780552565783

Sometimes I Feel Sunny

This ‘funny, sunny book full of feelings’ helps children to navigate the world of feelings and is a useful and visual early introduction to emotions.

‘Sometimes I feel sunny like a great big smiling sun,
Sometimes I feel sad, as though nothing will be fun.’

Funny, crazy and clownish or angry, sad and frightened are among the feelings that the young children in these pages explore, showing that grumpy days and sunny days are all part of life and it’s fine to feel strong emotions.

The ‘My First Picture Book’ series from Corgi introduces children to a range of different experiences. Other books in the series include Bigger Digger and A Quiet Day in the Jungle.

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We Love Bears

We Love Bears

Laurence Anholt
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408311691

We Love Bears

In this story, two small children are lead by their own teddy bear into the special world of bears.

'There were hundreds and thousands of bears,
Talking and walking in pears.
There were teddy bears dressed up in skirts,
And pyjamas and trousers and shirts.'

Children are lead through Teddy Bear Town and into some recognisable scenes such as swimming pools, a school, train rides and shops and the afternoon ends, naturally, with a teddy bears' picnic.
The scenes are colourful and detailed and children will enjoy exploring the bears' world, with the cosy reassurance of cuddling their own special teddy while they read it.

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I Love My Mummy: Board Book

I Love My Mummy: Board Book

Giles Andreae
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408309575

I Love My Mummy: Board Book

There is no one more special than mummy for very young children and this wonderful book celebrating mums everywhere is now available as a board book - just in time for Mother's Day.

It works with children of all ages because mummy does so many recognisable things in this book and the pictures will make children giggle – mummy singing in the car, dancing around in her underwear and of course giving treats ('when I'm good').

The text is by Giles Andreae, creator of Purple Ronnie, and the images by Emma Dodd are warm, funny and cosy - just right for celebrating that special person in a small child's life.

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Jump On Board the Animal Train

Jump On Board the Animal Train

Naomi Kefford
Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781847385895

Jump On Board the Animal Train

A clip-clopping, trip-trapping, click-clacking journey to meet the train - Jump on board and off we go!

One little boy is going on a fantastic journey to meet a train. On the way he is joined by bears, elephants, tigers and more - but just wait until the birthday boy reaches the train and discovers the biggest surprise in store!

Children can follow the visual clues on the split pages to guess which animal is coming up next and join in with the different sounds the animals make – the tiger's tail swishes, the bear's paws pad, the elephant's feet plod.

And look out for the cheeky monkeys, the happy hippo and the singing penguins in the final surprise!

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PULL AND PLAY Opposites

PULL AND PLAY Opposites

Ana Martin Larranaga
Campbell Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780230750401

PULL AND PLAY Opposites

Adorable jungle animals make learning about opposites lots of fun for very small children. Each page, including the cover, has a sturdy tab to pull - the elephant squirts water, the giraffe's neck grows and lion's tail wiggles.

With each tab come word-prompts for the reader, reminders that you can point out the opposite to the child. So the elephant is big while the bird is small, the snail is slow and the cheetah is fast and so on.

The colours throughout are gorgeously bright and the illustrations are full of energy, making them very appealing to little ones, while the mirror on the last page is going to catch their attention every time.

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Dance Together Dinosaurs

Dance Together Dinosaurs

Jane Clarke
Red Fox Picture Books
ISBN: 9781849410137

Dance Together Dinosaurs

Strictly Come Dancing meets dinosaurs in this fun rhythmic read that will get you dancing away the January blues!

Each of the dinosaur contestants has their own special dance to perform in front of the judges. Come and see the tangos and the sambas, the disco dance and the boogaloo - just mind the dinosaur poo!

Bright lights, outrageous costumes, funny details (check out the dino's platform boots and Kylie's sparkly number!) and the 'Strictly' package make this an appealing book for the adults in the family as well as the children.

But watch out for the vanishing judges and the twist in the tale ..... who is going to be the real winner among these competing carnivores?!

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Baby Touch and Feel Farm Animals

Baby Touch and Feel Farm Animals

DK
DK Children
ISBN: 9781405392570

Baby Touch and Feel Farm Animals

These 'touch and feel' books are a great introduction for babies to farm animals and will encourage early sensory learning. Fabric patches within the images are great to get little fingers exploring the pages to find a velvety cow, a woolly sheep, a feathery cockerel, and a cuddly kid.

Very young children also love looking at 'real' pictures so they are bound to find the photographic images appealing.

This book is also useful to introduce early concepts such as colours, shapes and patterns, and the sturdy pages, tactile covers and rounded corners make them easy and safe for young children to explore.

Other books in the series include Baby Animals and Tractor, and the three books together will also make an attractive gift.

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No, Baby, No!

No, Baby, No!

Grace Nichols
Bloomsbury Childrens
ISBN: 9781408802991

No, Baby, No!

Baby is having a busy time doing all kinds of fun things but everyone keeps spoiling it all by saying 'no', and then suddenly baby does something very special indeed and the refrain changes from 'no' to 'go'.

A lovely warm picture book, great for reading aloud and sharing with a familiar theme that all parents and carers will recognise.

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Father Christmas Needs a Wee

Father Christmas Needs a Wee

Nicholas Allan
Hutchinson
ISBN: 9780857540041

Father Christmas Needs a Wee

It’s good to see this funny and seasonal counting book made available in a smaller format that is perfect for toddlers and younger children.

It is also a subject that young (and older) children can identify with – Father Christmas needs a wee as he’s been ‘drinking drinks since half past three’ when his annual delivery round began. The humour is fuelled by images of an increasingly frantic, cross-legged Santa.

Each house offers a number of drinks (‘At number 3, three cups of tea. At number 4, he’d had four more!’) and so on until he reaches number 10 – and realises that in his rush, he’s forgotten to leave the presents behind!

The illustrations are simple but fun and children will enjoy following the counting game – and wondering just when and how Father Christmas will find the loo!

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ISBN: 9781409538462

This beautifully colourful board book makes a gorgeous Christmas gift. The sturdy pages each includes the words of traditional carols and songs including Away in a Manger, I Saw Three Ships, In the Bleak Midwinter and How Far is it to Bethlehem?

The CD also includes a medley of other seasonal, classical tunes such as O Little One Sweet (JS Bach) and Vivaldi’s Winter.

Each page is simply but distinctively illustrated and, with the accompanying CD, this is a perfect gift for very young children – and one that parents will also enjoy.

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Orla Kiely Numbers

Orla Kiely Numbers

Orla Kiely
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405258555

Orla Kiely Numbers

Created using Orla Kiely's distinctive designs, this numbers book for very young children is enticing and beautifully created, making a gorgeous gift for young children.

It is filled with objects that children will recognise, including boats, flowers and elephants, but presented in a simple and pleasing way.

The patterns are bold enough to work for very young babies and there is enough for older children aged two plus to enjoy in the images as well - not to mention getting their counting skills off to a great start.

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Orla Kiely Colours

Orla Kiely Colours

Orla Kiely
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405258562

Orla Kiely Colours

The Colours board books, with designer Orla Kiely's distinctive look, is a gorgeous gift for very young children - and their designer-conscious mums.

It also brings in colours such as brown and grey (beautifully done) that you don't usually see in young children's colour books.

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Dear Zoo Noisy Book

Dear Zoo Noisy Book

Rod Campbell
Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9780230757653

Dear Zoo Noisy Book

There will doubtless be a number of sound books coming out in time for Christmas but this will be one of the most fun and accessible ones around.

It follows the traditional Dear Zoo story, of a boy's attempts to find the perfect pet by writing to the zoo to send him a pet. Each time he receives a cage / basket / box, we have to guess what is inside and young children are invited to lift a flap and find out.

In the sound book version, children can press buttons to hear the sounds the animal makes. All eight animals the boy is sent have their own noise, but the lion is the stand-out one for its throaty growl. We were also impressed by the camel's breathy snort and the giraffe's chewing.

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Babies Very First Black and White Books: Babies

Babies Very First Black and White Books: Babies

Stella Baggott
Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781409535751

Babies Very First Black and White Books: Babies

You can never start to share books too soon with young children and this series from Usborne highlights that. Black and white images help very young babies to develop their ability to focus and using board books is a simple way to do this.

Each of the pages in these books features beautifully-designed, high contrast images that are easy for baby to focus on. The early titles in this series include Babies and Faces, with more to follow in the spring.

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ISBN: 9780141340012

This is a beautifully-created book for a child of any age, but it will also be loved by toddlers for its vibrant colours and its refusal to stick to established concepts.

The story opens with a child and the words, 'I am an artist and I paint...' and there follows a succession of colourful spreads - an orange elephant, a pink rabbit, a green lion and so all, all beautifully realised, until we reach the last pages and a blue horse.

The book is a celebration of children's imagination and is bound to encourage them to want to pick up a paintbrush themselves.

It is also a celebration of the artist and author who created such classics as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

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Big Book of My World

Big Book of My World

Kali Stileman
Doubleday Children's Books
ISBN: 9780857530424

Big Book of My World

This is a gorgeous book for helping babies aged 1 upwards in exploring the world around them.

The areas covered range from first words and opposites to their favourite things and activities.

All the spreads are bright and colourful with energetic illustrations to help explain the point - sounds, feelings, manners etc.

Our favourite spreads are those encouraging children to find different objects in the picture on the page, including Things in the Park, Home and Town.

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Bizzy Bear: Off We Go!

Bizzy Bear: Off We Go!

Nosy Crow
Nosy Crow Ltd
ISBN: 9780857630032

Bizzy Bear: Off We Go!

A new series of board books based on the Bizzy Bear character introduces young children to a range of different settings and situations, wonderfully illustrated and with sturdy moving sections on each page.

On the cover, Bizzy Bear is in a taxi that can race across the page when a child pulls the tab. Bizzy Bear also gets held up in traffic on a roundabout and there's a train to catch – each illustrated with moving vehicles.

These books are lots of fun and enable young children to make the story happen. Also see also Bizzy Bear Let's Get to Work for diggers and trucks.

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Have You Seen Puppy?

Have You Seen Puppy?

Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408315064

Have You Seen Puppy?

It's time for puppy's walk - but where is he? Follow the clues to find where puppy is hiding and encourage baby to use the flaps on the pages and to explore the touch and feel materials.

There are lots of places to look for puppy - under the bed or table, in a bag or in the garden, and your child will enjoy the surprises waiting under each flap they open and the different textures explored on each page.

If you enjoy this book, there are others in the new Go Baby! Series, including other 'Have You Seen' titles and 'Who Am I' books.

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ISBN: 9780141339672

This set adds a new dimension for the bestselling Hungry Caterpillar story by Eric Carle, and is a great way to share the classic story with young children.

This interactive gift set includes he bestselling board book with colourful number and picture blocks

Caterpillar is hungry and munches his way through a variety of fruit until he’s full, falls asleep and eventually emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

Once children are familiar with the story, they can use the blocks to tell the story, to count along from 1 -10, match the colours with all the things he eats and build a picture of the very hungry caterpillar.

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Farm

Farm

James Brown
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406320565

Farm

This is an eye-catching series of board book for babies that helps explain the world through patterns and pictures.

'Farm' explores animals using graphic patterns in a simple, effective way with contrasting colours and patterns that are perfect for young babies who are just beginning to develop their visual skills. Each animal is presented on its own and as a part of a pattern.

'Trucks' by Debbie Powell is another in the Shiny Touch series, which encourages young babies to develop their sense of touch by exploring the shiny wheels and shapes of the trucks.

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ISBN: 9781444903812

This is a story for small children everywhere who like playing doctors. Nurse Nibbles has lots of poorly animals who have come to visit her from all over the world.

There is Cynthia the Centipede who sprained 98 ankles playing hockey, Tiffany the tortoise who was trodden on by an elephant, Morgan the mole who tunnelled into a well, and so on.

Children will love the repetition on each page as we find out why each animal is poorly, with detailed and funny illustrations that tell the story of their mishaps.

Each spread is inventive and funny - our favourite is Connie the crocodile who broke her tooth 'biting a rhino's bottom'. But as you'll see, everything turns out all right in the end...

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Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You

Anita Jeram
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406321296

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You retains all the charm of its original publication in this beautifully-produced gift version.

Think very soft and very snugly with spreads from Guess How Much I Love You recounted on cloth pages with the characters sewn in to the story.

The original version has sold millions of copies worldwide and tells the story of Little Nutbrown Hare discovering just how much he is loved by his parent. The 'snuggle book' version has been pared down to three sentences from the original: 'I love you this much', 'I love you as high as I can hop', and 'I love you right up to the moon and back'.

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A Day with the Animal Doctors

A Day with the Animal Doctors

Sharon Rentta
Alison Green Books
ISBN: 9781407116440

A Day with the Animal Doctors

Terence is joining his mum for a day at the animal hospital. She’s a doctor, and today Terence is going to be one too.

The picture spreads are full of absorbing details. Look out for the dog with a barky cough, a crocodile who has lost his false teeth, a giraffe with a crick in his neck, and the leopard who has lost his spots.

Doctor Terence discovers that he has wonderful bedside manners (he gives loads of cuddles) and is great at entertaining the patients in the waiting room. But he also finds that putting on bandages and helping give out the patients’ meals is a little more tricky….

There are thrills, spills (lots of spills) and fun galore as we follow Doctor Terence through his very special day.

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My First Gruffalo: Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book

My First Gruffalo: Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book

Julia Donaldson
Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9780230753198

My First Gruffalo: Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book

Join the Gruffalo as he takes a stroll through the Deep Dark Wood in this bold, bright and portable buggy book. Spot the rustling leaves and scuttling bugs and favourite characters from the picture book.

This buggy book is part of the new My First Gruffalo series for babies and toddlers. What we like most about them is their size and convenience (they clip onto the buggy), as well as their bright, bold images.

Older siblings who enjoy The Gruffalo picture book will also love sharing these with their younger sisters and brothers.

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ISBN: 9781408313008

With Father's Day just around the corner (19th June), it's great to see such a lovely, expressive book aimed firmly at this age group in praise of dads.

The story and images are of the familiar, everyday things that dads and toddlers do (and we can’t tell if this toddler is a girl or boy).

We see dad lifting toddler out the mud - but nearly landing in it himself - tossing pancakes, playing air guitar, and in the playground, working hard to entertain his young child.

There are lots of things to recognise in these pages - the child feeling the prickles on dad’s chin, dad eating toddler's pizza, and the two of them eating chocolate biscuits in front of the tele while mum's not home!

The illustrations by Emma Dodd are just right, too, and inject all the humour and cosiness that the text implies. All in all, a perfect Father's Day gift, and just right for any other time of year, too.

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Play with Colours

Play with Colours

Laurence Jammes
Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444904079

Play with Colours

This is a new board book series for babies and toddlers that features a host of cute and cuddly characters, all with something to teach very young children.

In Play with Colours, each of the characters tells you its name and its favourite colour. There’s Rita the giraffe, who loves yellow, Olga the piglet who loves pink and cuddly Albert, a brown dog. Eventually, we meet a little stripy bird Talalo, who is all the colours of the rainbow.

Each of the pages has a cloth tab that completes a picture in the book, making it lovely and tactile for small people.

There are other books in the series, Play with Shapes, Play with Numbers and Play with Opposites, which are all appropriate for toddlers, too, and make a fun early learning experience.

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Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter

Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter

Nosy Crow
Nosy Crow Ltd
ISBN: 9780857630056

Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter

The illustrations in this story might seem familiar if your child is a fan of The Gruffalo - Axel Scheffler, who created the Pip and Posy books, is also The Gruffalo's illustrator.
In the Pip and Posy stories, Scheffler explores the world of toddlers and each story describes a recognisable toddler experience, based on his own child's early years.
In The Super Scooter, Posy is desperate to try out Pip's new scooter without realising that riding a scooter isn't as easy as it looks. She takes Pip's scooter without asking and soon comes a cropper, but Pip quickly steps in to help.

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Peepo!

Peepo!

Allan Ahlberg
Puffin
ISBN: 9780141337425

Peepo!

This is a special anniversary edition of the classic story that has enthralled countless babies and toddlers over the past 30 years.
Peepo! is a simple story, told in verse, that follows a baby through its day, from breakfast to bathing and bed time.
On each page, a small cut out circle allows the child reader an enticing glimpse of the next page.
he illustrations, which are set in the 1940s, are nostalgic and detailed. The verse often refers to objects hidden in the illustration so that a growing child can revisit the book to explore the images as they get older.

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I Love My Mummy: Board Book

I Love My Mummy: Board Book

Giles Andreae
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408309575

I Love My Mummy: Board Book

With Mother's Day around the corner, we felt it was worth highlighting that special bond between a mother and her young child. This story is written from a child's perspective and focuses on the everyday things that Mum does for her toddler, from cuddles, tickles and kisses to wiping noses and bottoms and stories at bedtime; things that young children will recognise and that make them feel special and loved. We also love the warm, modern illustrations.

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Maisy's Little Library

Maisy's Little Library


Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781844287031

Maisy's Little Library

This gorgeous little library of four books brings the endearing character Maisy within the reach of the youngest children. Maisy's bold images and highly contrasting colours are ideal for catching their attention and these bright and colourful board books will be loved by little ones. Each book focuses on a recognisable subject - animals, toys, clothes and food.

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ISBN: 9781846167942

Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Here comes a mini-monster - and he's looking for something special . . .

He crashes through the kitchen and stomps up the stairs, but he can't find that special something anywhere! Just what is the mini-monster looking for?

Jeanne Willis' text perfectly captures the single-mindedness of a toddler who is on a mission, and the artwork is charming. Children will love joining in the search with the irresistibly cheeky mini-monster and the bold, simple text make this perfect for sharing.

Once they'd read the story, the young children we shared it with were all set for their own game of mini-monsters, so be ready to play!

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ISBN: 9780230748453

Zoe and Beans – a young girl and her scruffy dog – are wonderful characters whose day to day adventures are aimed squarely at inquisitive toddlers. This is the first in a series of picture books created by Mick Inkpen (the creator of Percy the Park-Keeper) and his daughter, Chloe.
In this story, Zoe wants to play with her doll Molly but her dog Beans has run away with it.

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ISBN: 9780230753501

Driver Dan is a popular bedtime programme on CBeebies and a range of board books are now available.
In Hide and Sheep, Precious is playing hide and seek with rabbits Hip and Hop, but the bell on her tail keeps giving her away. Hip, one of the rabbits, has the same problem with her long ears. Luckily, the Counting Sheep are around to show them how to get it right.

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That's Not My Donkey...

That's Not My Donkey...

Fiona Watt
Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781409523048

That's Not My Donkey...

We love this series of 'touchy-feely' books from Usborne, which include a variety of different materials for very young children to touch. Each page follows a simple concept - 'That's not my donkey, his tummy is too squashy', or there is something wrong with his ears, nose etc and each page offers a new idea to absorb and a different material touch. The illustrations are kept simple with contrasting colours and tones, which are perfect for very young babies as well as toddlers.

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ISBN: 9781407106687

This is a gloriously colourful and exotic counting book and young children will love its humour.

First, the counting; 'One fluffy baa-lamb' and 'ten hairy caterpillars' become 'Two racing-car-lambs, nine skitter-scatterpillars' and so we go on until we get down to one caterpillar and ten fluffy baa-lambs.

What will capture children's attention, though, is the humour - for example, 'seven blah-blah-blah lambs' chatting on their mobiles alongside 'four chitter-chatter caterpillars'.

The finale is an impressive pop-up involving 'ten rock-guitar-lambs and one bash-and-clatterpillar'. What a great way to learn numbers.

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The Noisy Book

The Noisy Book

Soledad Bravi
Gecko Press
ISBN: 9781877467523

The Noisy Book

As its name suggests, this book is about noise and what noises different animals and objects make - cats, cows, flies, bees and police cars. There are also a few you might not have thought of, like 'Spinach goes yeuch' and 'The bottle goes mmmm', or how about 'The power socket goes NO!'

We like the clear, bright and colourful images and simple, but often fun, text.

It's not a new concept, but the format and number of pages means that there is an incredible amount to keep very small children entertained and learning.

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Maisy's Show

Maisy's Show

Lucy Cousins
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406323856

Maisy's Show

Young children love the bright, bold colours of the Maisy books and her everyday activities such as baking or going to nursery. Here, they get to see Maisy doing something a little special – putting on a show with music, magic tricks and dancing.

There are lots of tabs to pull and flaps to open to keep readers entertained as Maisy and her friends practice the show and then put on a sparkling performance. Watch Eddie the elephant tossing a ball and Charley flipping over, and there is a surprise on the final page.

Sparkly, colourful and interactive pages will make this an instant favourite with young readers.

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Noisy Machines Slipcase

Noisy Machines Slipcase

Roger Priddy
Priddy Books
ISBN: 9781849152884

Noisy Machines Slipcase

This Bright Baby Noisy Slipcase makes a great gift to start a child's library, or to keep a young car enthusiast engaged! From a very young age, children begin to distinguish their likes and dislikes and noisy vehicles are often an early favourite.

This slipcase includes three books about cars, trains and tractors. Each of the sturdy board books includes a sound chip that young children (or the reader) can press to make the sound of the car, train or tractor. The child is then guided through different kinds of cars (racing to police cars), or trains and tractors.

With their different sounds, buttons to press and brightly coloured pages, this is a winning combination for little people.

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Turn It Up Doris

Turn It Up Doris

Sam Lloyd
Templar Publishing
ISBN: 9781848774650

Turn It Up Doris

You might remember Calm Down Boris!, a puppet book selected as a highlight by Richard & Judy. This is the follow-up - Boris' little sister Doris who, unlike Boris, is very quiet.

Doris's mouth, like Boris's, is a furry glove which the reader uses to animate the story with singing, shaking and shivering. Children are encouraged during the story to stroke Doris' furry face to encourage her to be a little braver - and louder.

I've tested the book and it works, young children get totally absorbed by Doris and are very willing strokers. This is a fun book with bundles of entertainment value.

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The Orchard Book of Nursery Rhymes for Your Baby

The Orchard Book of Nursery Rhymes for Your Baby

Hachette Children's Books
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408304587

The Orchard Book of Nursery Rhymes for Your Baby

This collection of classic nursery rhymes, beautifully illustrated, will be a welcome gift to mums with young babies - one that they can revisit as their child grows. As well as being fun, nursery rhymes are a great introduction to the rhythms and sounds of our language.

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Black and White Buggy Buddies - Baby's Day

Black and White Buggy Buddies - Baby's Day

Jo Moon
Campbell Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780230743458

Black and White Buggy Buddies - Baby's Day

Black and white books are perfect for babies as the high-contrast images helps them to focus their eyes and begin to understand objects in the world around them.

This book is also a 'buggy buddy' version, so it can be easily attached to a pram or be grasped by little hands when you're out an about.

The bold and chunky books is one of a series and it has a high quality mirror at the end to show baby whose day we are talking about. The images are simple and high contrast combined with patterns that increase in complexity as you go through the book.

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Ants in Your Pants

Ants in Your Pants

Julia Jarman
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408305249

Ants in Your Pants

This is the kind of book that will appeal to toddlers and which they can continue to enjoy as they get older. It has everything - pants, bottoms, ants in pants and a birthday party!

It also has a great rhyming text by Julia Jarman, something that always gets the interest of young children who love listening to the rhythm of language.

'Cool' leopard is throwing a party and decides to invite all the animals, except Aardvark who 'only eats ants and cucumbers... And he slurps them down in one go!'. Leopard also makes the mistake of not inviting the ants - so Big Ant decides to exact his revenge by getting all the ants to play his favourite party game, biting bottoms, until Aardvark saves the day.

Guy Parker-Rees' illustrations are also spot on with plenty of humour and bottom-scratching animal fun!

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ISBN: 9781406323702

Sunhat, camera, books - Maisy is packing for holiday and she's very excited. The story shows Maisy on her journey from the train station and all the way to the sea.

There's lots for Maisy to do at the beach and she loves staying in the hotel.

Like the other Maisy 'first experiences' book, this is a brightly coloured, simple introduction to going on holiday that glances at all the exciting things to do while staying by the sea with an emphasis on friendship, fun and activities.

It is a gentle and reassuring book for any small child who is about to enjoy their first holiday - or to reflect on their experiences once they are home.

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ISBN: 9780141328744

Based on the iconic Moomin books by Tove Jansson, babies will enjoy seeing everyday objects such as book, moon, apple and cup brought to life by this playful little Moomn. Each spread is created with bright, contrasting colours.

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Hide and Seek First Words

Hide and Seek First Words

DK
DK Children
ISBN: 9781405351737

Hide and Seek First Words

This is an enticing book of surprising and colourful photographic spreads that encourage toddlers to learn a variety of everyday words and objects. Each spread is themed according to the everyday world of a toddler, including clothes, vehicles, bathtime or animals. The images are on the left of the page and children are challenged to find the same image in the photographic picture on the right of the page. When they find the object, they say the word.
This isn't a bedtime book, it is for sharing during the day when young toddlers are looking for a challenge and an exercise that will keep a carer's attention fully on their achievements. Great fun, and beautifully presented.

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ISBN: 0230747736

It's great to see this classic story being made available in a 'buggy buddy' format. A boy goes to the zoo to find a pet. The zoo tries to find the best pet for him, sending him one after another, but the elephant is too big, the giraffe too tall, and so it goes on.
Children will love gradually coming to recognise and learn the names of all these different animals and lifting each flap to find out what animal is in the box or cage.

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ISBN: 9781405248303

'Who's been eating all the cake? Not me, said Jake'. Jane hasn't been playing in the rain and Bertie hasn't made the carpet dirty... A gorgeous book that celebrates everything that mucky young toddlers can get up to from dirt on the carpets to handprints on the wall.

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ISBN: 140930051X

Babies and young toddlers will enjoy exploring the touchy feely elements on this page. The squeaky element is given a fresh look on each page, enticing young children to enjoy the noise again and again.

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ISBN: 1408300451

The Mr Pusskins picture book character is now available in board books for younger children. Mr Pusskins and his friends grapple with a range of emotions in one of these first concept books. Also see Colours, Numbers and Opposites.

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ISBN: 0230704220

For those that love dogs - good dogs, bad dogs, big or small - and those that don't. This is a wonderful introduction to opposites that will have children and grown-ups alike giggling at the illustrations and the twist in the tail....

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ISBN: 1904513654

This traditional song is given a modern baby twist in this board book with bold, colourful designs on each spread and 'touchy feely' patches that your child will love to explore.

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Book of the week

Witch for a Week

Kaye Umansky

Witch for a Week

~ Babies & Toddlers
~ Pre School
~ Early Readers
~ Confident Readers
~ Young Adult

Meet the Author


Clara Vulliamy, daughter of 'Dogger' creator Shirley Hughes, tells us more about her DOTTY DETECTIVE books in which friends work together to solve mysteries at home and at school.

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