School & Family Family life Best children and parenting books August 2013 What could be nicer on a summer’s day than settling down to a story in the garden? There’s plenty to choose from this month - including the tale of a dashing rodent and two very different witches... 1 of Ad break 18 months+ - Peep Inside the ZooIn this beautifully illustrated book by Simona Dimitri each spread features plenty of animals to spot and includes flaps to lift - each revealing something interesting about the particular animal. The sturdy pages are great for little hands and the flaps are tough enough to withstand a good few peeps! This is a lovely book that combines facts and fun - perfect for little animal lovers. Published by Usborne, 1st August, priced £6.99 2+ - Pi-Rat Although pirates have always been popular with little ones, there seems to be a real surge in sea-faring tales at the moment. But Pi-Rat by Maxine Lee is a little different as it features a particularly cheeky rat and his nasty cat crew as they sail the globe on their ship the ‘Soap Dodger’. There’s a real clue to the story in the ship’s name... as the only thing the brave and bad Pi-Rat is scared of is bath time. This is a lively story that really builds the tension on first reading. Great for reluctant bathers. Published by Caterpillar Books, 4th August, priced £5.99 3+ - AbigailBy the award-winning Catherine Rayner, Abigail is a gentle story about a giraffe who loves to count. The soft, watercolour-style drawings really reflect the warmth of the African plains as Abigail encourages her friends to count to 10 with her. But as night falls, they soon run out of things to spot until Abigail looks up to see a sky full of twinkly stars that will keep them counting for hours. This is a gorgeous bedtime book that will calm even the most chaotic of toddlers. Published by Little Tiger Press, 5th August, priced £10.99 4+ - Rich Witch Poor WitchRich Witch Poor Witch is a very amusing book from Peter Bently and Jim Field - winners of the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize. One day there is a panic at the palace as the princess refuses to smile - Witch Rita is called and for a fee she conjures up all manner of delights to tempt the moody princess. But her royal highness is having none of it until Rose arrives and simply asks her to play. This is a really witty story that romps along in rhyming couplets. It also has a very important message that children and indeed parents should try and remember! Published by MacMillan, 1st August, priced £6.99 Continue slideshow > 5+ - Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts is the keenly-awaited follow-up to Emily Gravett’s Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. Little Mouse has found a book all about scary creatures - noisy lions, snapping crocodiles and bad bears. He would like to read about them, but the pages are just too scary so he decides to create his own version... The lion’s killer claws are covered by cute mittens and the rhinocerous’ big feet are now squeezed into a dainty pair of high heels. This is such a clever book, full of humour and innovation. Perfect for sharing and reading again and again. Published by MacMillan, 1st August, priced £11.99 Making the ‘Terrible’ Twos TerrificMaking the ‘Terrible’ Twos Terrific by John Rosemond is full of ideas and tips on how to get through this often challenging period in your child’s development. Although a prescriptive method doesn’t suit every family, many parents feel reassured if they are following someone else’s tried and tested programme. This is all about getting your child to take responsibility for their actions, while you stick to your guns. Although it did seem a little on the strict side, his previous books have sold in their thousands and many people really believe in his methods. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, 13th August, priced £9.85 Expecting Better - Why the Conventional Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Want to KnowExpecting Better - Why the Conventional Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Want to Know by Emily Oster is designed to empower women while they are pregnant and give them the tools to deal with pregnancy their way. When you are expecting a baby (especially your first child) everyone has advice and an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t do, eat, ask for, drink etc. Here, Oster takes a much more pragmatic and scientific approach to give women a clearer picture of what is happening to them and their unborn child, often overturning commonly held practices and medical advice. This book will appeal to women who feel confident about their pregnancy, and who want to have the facts without all the ‘fluff’. Published by Orion , 22nd August, £14.99 By Jane Thynne Comments Latest on MadeForMums Mums reveal the 12 BEST things about being pregnant Mum's 'overweight' post-baby pic: 'My body can wait. My life is beautiful' Should smacking be banned all over the UK? Cheryl's new mum confession: 'I hated being pregnant'