Best children and parenting books April 2016

April is a month of anniversaries – it’s the Queen’s 90th birthday and 400 years since the death of Shakespeare – both of which get a mention this month

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Chimpanzees for Tea

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Age: 2+

In Chimpanzees for Tea by Joe Empson, Vincent is sent to the shops to buy a bunch of carrots, a box of rice, some China tea, a big firm pear and a tin of peas… But unfortunately for Vincent, it’s a really windy day and his list blows away. Can he remember everything he needs or will they end up with Chimpanzees for tea? This book is great fun, featuring repetitive, rhyming text that is sure draw squeals of delight from little ones and exquisite drawings, also by Jo Empson. Sure to become a family favourite.

Published by Puffin, 7th April, £6.99

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Goodnight Spaceman

Age: 3+

Michelle Robinson and Nick East’s Goodnight Spaceman is published in collaboration with the European Space Agency and includes a letter from everyone’s favourite astronaut Tim Peake. Two little boys are getting ready for bed, but their thoughts turn to their astronaut dad millions and millions of miles away. Soon they are with him on an adventure in the Solar System, and their dreams are filled with planets and rockets before it’s time to say Goodnight Spaceman and come back to Earth. Fantastic bedtime story that is sure to appeal to little spacemen and women everywhere.

Published by Puffin, 7th April, £6.99

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Supertato: Veggies Assemble

Age: 4+

Supertato: Veggies Assemble is a very silly story by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, telling of a crime-fighting potato who is forced to spring into action once a bunch of dastardly, defrosted peas send the supermarket into meltdown! With the help of his trusty Veggies he takes on the might of the peas and manages to stop all the ice lollies from turning into mush. This is a very funny read that will keep parents amused too.

Published by Simon & Schuster, 21st April, £6.99

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The Royal Baby’s Big Red Bus

Age: 4+

I don’t normally include two books for the same age, but this month it was just too hard to choose. The pocket prince is back again in Martha Mumford’s The Royal Baby’s Big Red Bus which is published to coincide with the Queen’s 90th birthday. Everyone is present from Granny (aka Camilla) to the naughty uncle (Prince Harry) as the royals take in the sights and sounds of London and chaos, of course, ensues. These books are a lot of fun and the illustrations perfectly capture the essence of the various royals.

Published by Bloomsbury, 21st April, £6.99

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Shakespeare Sticker Book

Age: 5+

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Usborne has produced the Shakespeare Sticker Book – a humorous yet informative book based on the life and work of our most famous playwright. You can go behind the scenes at the Globe Theatre and many of his best-known plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V and The Tempest, all get the ‘sticker’ treatment. This is the perfect way to introduce the Bard to little ones – and it should keep them busy for hours!

Published by Usborne, available, £6.99

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Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters

You will receive no end of advice about baby sleep patterns, detailing the length of time, the position in the cot, nap times etc. You will be told about babies who slept through the night from day one and enter into battles with other mums and dads as to who has been awake the longest! But in Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters, you will find out how to nurture your child so they are getting the maximum benefit from their rest. A confirmed exponent of ‘gentle parenting’, Ockwell-Smith presents scientific research in a down-to-earth, accessible manner.

Published by Pinter & Martin, available, £7.99

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A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature

Just in time for the school holiday season comes A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature by Asia Citro. This book is designed to get kids back outside and doing what kids should be doing – getting dirty and making discoveries. You can learn how to make dandelion bubbles, rain drums and seed bomb lollipops or check out the health of your local stream. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for a range of ages.

Published by the Innovation Press, 7th April, £11.99

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