I’ve been sent a treasure trove of beautiful board books recently. Some are wonderful new editions of classics and some are brand new. We all know the benefits of starting the bedtime story habit with babies – bonding time, language acquisition, fun! So whether you’re looking for a new bedtime read or buying a gift for a little one, there’s sure to be something amongst this selection to entice you…
The Gruffalo Baby range by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books)
This year, Macmillan are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the modern children’s classic, The Gruffalo. They’ve created a new range which is the perfect introduction to the characters and sounds of The Gruffalo.
There’s a teeny buggy book, ‘Gruffalo, What Can You Hear?,’ designed to clip onto the buggy frame for little ones to enjoy on the move. Explore the sounds of the deep dark wood with the Gruffalo – who will you meet?
There’s also a new chunky board book, ‘Say Hello to the Gruffalo,’ where Mouse takes a journey though the woods and bumps into a few old friends on the way. With Scheffler’s iconic illustrations and satisfying peep-through pages, this would make a great addition to any toddler’s bookshelf.
‘Dear Zoo’ Snuggle Book by Rod Campbell (Macmillan Children’s Books)
This classic story has been reimagined as a gloriously soft, fleecy snuggle book. Take a trip to zoo and see if you can pick the perfect pet – a naughty monkey or a jumpy frog perhaps. The fabric pages make this a chewable, washable treat for budding zoologists.
‘Pets’ by Jane Foster (Templar Publishing)
A stunning new addition to Jane Foster’s boardbook collection with her trademark colour palette and bold style. Featuring pets of all shapes and sizes, from the every day to the more exotic – this book is a great way to teach littlies the names of our favourite furry (or not-so-furry) friends.
‘Nibbles Numbers’ by Emma Yarlett (Little Tiger Press)
Nibbles the book monster is back and this time he’s learning to count. Practise the numbers 1-10 (with a little help from Nibbles!) With flaps, peep-throughs and finger-poking holes, this is a brilliantly interactive romp through the number system. Cleverly, the numbers have been represented in several different ways: as numerals, in words and nibbled holes to count. Brilliant fun and the perfect introduction to the Nibbles series.
‘ABC Zoo’ and ‘Farm 123’ by Rod Campbell (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Two timeless boardbooks from the legendary Rod Campbell aimed at helping toddlers learn the alphabet and count to ten. Campbell’s animal alphabet features all creatures great and small, hiding behind leafy flaps or peeping through the grass. In his farmyard counting book, you’ll meet mice causing mischief and a cat on the chase. Again, full of flaps to lift and doors to open – so tempting for little fingers!
‘The Ugly Duckling,’ from Campbell Books, illustrated by Dean Gray.
A brilliant re-telling of the traditional tale of the Ugly Duckling. Cast out by his mother for not looking like the rest of her hatchlings, the poor Ugly Duckling swims sadly away until the time comes when he discovers his inner beauty.
This version has lots of sturdy pull and slide pieces and which add a brilliant interactive element to the story. My six-year-old thoroughly enjoyed exploring his book, so I’m sure it will be a hit with younger readers too.
‘Hello, Mr Dinosaur,’ by Sam Boughton (Templar Publishing)
This is a board book for slightly older dino fans – pre-school rather than baby. Meet a whole host of dinosaur friends in the pages of this eye-catching, fact-filled book. I loved the way that the characteristics of each dinosaur were compared to objects you would see now if you were out and about.
Featuring the big-hitters of the prehistoric world as well as some lesser-known beasts (the kronosaurus?) and plenty of fold-outs and flaps, this is sure to be a hit.
Encourage good habits early on and get reading!
*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books, Templar Publishing and Little Tiger Press for sending me these titles to review*