Listen with Mother (or Father!)
Keen to introduce your kids to some new books? We know the feeling. Children love being read to, but they always seem so eager to hear the same stories over and over. So if you’ve had just about enough of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and are losing patience with the Gruffalo, then try our tips for the best new picture books……
Little Louis Takes Off, written and illustrated by Toby Morrison, Simon and Schuster, £5.99.
Poor little Louis still can’t fly. So when his family go south for the winter, he has to travel by plane. Then, when he arrives, he has a series of adventures, which teach him not only to make new friends, but finally to learn to take off by himself!
This delightful book teaches children about overcoming fears, but not in any kind of preachy way. Instead it’s witty and fun, and will appeal to parents as well as children. The illustrations are also charming.
Tickly Octopus, written and illustrated by Ruth Galloway, Little Tiger Press, £5.99
Our testers loved this book, as it’s such great fun and zips along just as a perfect picture book should! It tells the story of Octopus, who loves to tickle fish, but has a disaster when he tickles Oyster and she drops her precious pearl.
This is the fourth title in a hugely successful series by Ruth Galloway. We also enjoyed the others – Smiley Shark, Clumsy Crab and Fidgety Fish – and this lives up to that high standard. Great for stimulating children’s imagination.
This is a terrific book, and very witty. It's the story of a child who is reluctant to accompany his mum on a boring shopping trip. But his boredom turns to sheer exuberance when he discovers that all the shops (not to mention the barber's) are giving awy free dinosaurs with each purchase! Zany, but great fun, and sure to be a hit with your younger - and older - children.
Note that, because it's written and illustrated by two Americans, the references and illustrations have a definite US slant.
Following on from the success of the delightful book The Selfish Crocodile (which is highly recommended for those who haven’t discovered it), this board book features the crocodile and all his friends as they count from one to ten. Beautifully illustrated, this was a big hit with our testers.
How do dinosaurs clean their rooms? Written by Jane Yolen, and illustrated by Mark Teague, Harper Collins, £4.99
These fabulous board books are the latest in the best-selling series, 'How Do Dinosaurs…?” So, how do dinosaurs clean their rooms? With rubbish bins and dusters and brooms! Simple, excellent fun, enjoyable to read, and with its own helpful tidying-up message too.
Ruthie loves tiny things – the tinier the better, from dolls houses to the smallest seashells. So when she finds a tiny camera at school, she’s thrilled. Until classmate Martin says that it’s his. That’s when Ruthie lies, and says it’s hers instead.
This insightful story teaches young children an important lesson - that it’s not good to lie, and that telling the truth can be a positive experience. Ruthie feels ill after her lie, but once she owns up, everything is right again.
Carl’s Crane, illustrated by James Croft, Little Tiger Press, £4.99
If you’ve got a child who’s mad about cars, trucks and other things vehicular, this is the book for you! This tough chunky book has a fun rhyming story, and even has moving parts and press out pieces to create a mini building site. A clever, enjoyable idea.
Josephine Wants to Dance, written by Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, Harper Collins, £5.99
This is the charming story of a very determined Kangaroo. Her name is Josephine, and she simply loves to dance.
Popular with our testers, this Australian book is terrific fun, and will appeal to the dancer in all of us! It also has gorgeous illustrations.
Where’s my cuddle? By James Mayhew, illustrated by Sue Hellard, Bloomsbury, £5.99
An excellent book written by one of our favourite authors, James Mayhew (who wrote the Katie books, about a little girl who has all sorts of marvellous adventures). This tale is about Jake, who doesn’t want his mum to give him a cuddle when she drops him off at school. But when he wants his cuddle back later, it’s gone…….
Bear’s New Friend, by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Simon and Schuster, £5.99
The latest in the Bear series, this one is about someone who is making rather a large clatter while Bear goes to meet his friends. Bear wonders who it can be, and eventually discovers a new, rather shy, friend.
Good fun for younger children, with an appealing board book format and a special interactive sound chip to give you a clue as to who the mystery guest may be!
Kids love books which feature their favourite character, and they’re sure to enjoy the latest adventure taken by the little enthusiastic race car, Roary. In this tale, Roary offers to help collect breakfast from Farmer Green, but will he really be able to deliver the delicate produce safely? Good fun, and an immediate favourite for Roary fans.
And one for the older siblings:
Children up to around the age of six will (hopefully!) like the books we’ve recommended above. Many of them are definitely relevant for older sisters and brothers – to read themselves and to be read to – as well as their younger siblings. But here’s one that’s definitely aimed at the stage above.
Ottoline Goes to School, written and illustrated by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Children's Books, £8.99 (hardback)
6+ (although younger children may well enjoy it as well)
This enchanting book has the feel of an instant classic, particularly because of the sumptuous illustrations. The latest in the Ottoline stories, this quirky tale features her going off to the Alice B Smith school for the Differently Gifted. But while Ottoline worries about her apparent lack of a gift, Mr Munroe is concerned about the ghost said to haunt the school halls at night…
A really excellent read.