Best children and parenting books January 2016

It’s a New Year and there’s fresh crop of books full of fun, friendship and fairy stories

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Elmer’s Little Library

Age: 1+

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For fans of David McKee’s Elmer the elephant comes Elmer’s Little Library a 4-book collection perfect for taking out and about. The miniature, chunky board books cover shapes, colours, numbers and actions. There is plenty to look at on each page and the books are a nice introduction to the gentle world of Elmer and his friends. It’s now more than 30 years since the patchwork Elmer appeared, and it is rightly just as popular now as it was then.

Published by Anderson Press, 7th January, £4.99

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Peppa’ Gym Class

Age: 2+

It would seem that even cartoon characters can’t avoid the New Year-call to head to the gym! In Peppa’ Gym Class, we catch up with our favourite porcine pupil as Peppa and her class attend Grampy Rabbit’s jungle gymnasium in a bid to get fit. The Peppa Pig brand is still going strong and this latest story is full of the wit and charm we have come to expect. Great fun and the chunky board book format is great for little hands too.

Published by Ladybird Books, available, £4.99

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In How to Find Gold

Age: 3+

In How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz, Anna and her crocodile friend decide to go in search of treasure. But there is a lot to do before their adventure can really begin… they must draw a map, they practising carrying each other (so they will be able to carry a lot of gold) and they perfect their ‘secret-keeping’ faces so they won’t give the game away. This is a fantastic story for children who already enjoy imaginative play and should suggest to those the fun they could have if they gave it a go. The friendship between the two characters is very touching, while the amusing text will keep littles ones gripped.

Published by Walker Books, 7th January, £11.99

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Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat

Age: 4+

Emily MacKenzie’s Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit Book Burglar was one of my favourite books of last year, and Emily’s second work Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat is just as fabulous. Stanley loves to knit and more importantly he likes to knit things for his friends. But one day he sees an advert for a knitting competition and Stanley knows exactly what he will create in order to win. But in order to get knitting he needs to unravel all the winter woollies he has given to his pals. This is an engaging story with an important message about friendship, made ever-more appealing by the exquisite illustrations.

Published by Bloomsbury, 14th January, £6.99

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10 Ten-Minutes Stories

Age: 5+

Usborne’s 10 Ten-Minutes Stories are perfect for confident young readers or as a quick bedtime story you know is sure to please. The collection features a selection of traditional tales, including Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast and The Tin Soldier, all beautifully told with accessible language. The text is very heavily illustrated so even the most restless of children will have something to look at while listening to the story.

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Published by Usborne, available, £12.99

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