Best children and parenting books

With spring hopefully just around the corner, this new crop of books reflects the brightness and fun of the coming season


12 months+: Baby Touch Rainbow

Baby Touch Rainbow is great for teaching your child all about colours. Each shaped page features a different colour of the rainbow, a textured character, some basic counting and various creatures to spot. The bright design, shaped pages and touch-and-feel elements will appeal to younger toddlers, while older ones will have great fun learning the names for different animals and vehicles and all the different noises they make.


Published by Ladybird, 4th April, priced £7.99


2+: The Wheels On the Bus

The Wheels On the Bus by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner is a fresh take on the popular nursery song. Follow the bus as it takes a tour through the wildlife park, where you will meet lots of different animals all moving and grooving to the song. This is a perfect sing-along-book and is a fun way of teaching little ones about animals and their characteristics. The rhymes are bouncy and easy to remember and the cheeky illustrations are a pure joy.

Published by Oxford University Press, 4th April, priced £11.99


3+: Sidney, Stella and the Moon

Sidney, Stella and the Moon is the first book from illustrator Emma Yartlett. It is a really imaginative read that tells the story of twins, Stella and Sidney. The twins love each other very much but they hate to share. However, when something goes disastrously wrong, they soon realise they will have to work together to make it right. This book would make a lovely gift for twins and has a nice message about the value or respecting each other’s views.

Published by Templar, available, priced £12.99


4+: Backstage Cat

Backstage Cat is the second book from the writer/illustrater team of Harriet Zeifert and Jenni Desmond. This funny book tells the story of Simon, a loveable but mischievous cat who lives backstage in a theatre. Simon has been quite happy to potter around the dressing room and keep the leading lady company… until one day he decides he wants to be the star of the show! This is a very amusing book that adults will also appreciate. It also offers children their first glimpse of what goes on in the life of a theatre.

Published by Blue Apple Books, 7th March, priced £11.99


5+: Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy

Scott Menchin’s Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy is a whimsical look at what truly gives us pleasure. Sweet Pea feels a bit low and wonders what she should do to cheer herself up. She decides to take a survey of what makes other people happy to see if one of those things would make her happy too. She interviews all sorts of weird and wonderful characters, including an elderly gentleman who enjoys counting rings on a tree, a centipede who just loves shoes and a rabbit who likes running on a wheel. This is a great book to read to your children and for talking about what really makes us happy. You may be pleasantly surprised by what they say!

Published by Candlewick Press, 23rd April, priced £4.65


Baby or Bust

Baby or Bust by Nicola Field pulls no punches when it comes to explaining how much your little bundle of joy will cost you. It looks at everything from managing the mortgage on one wage to the cost of paying for your child′s education. Field suggests that as well as being physically and emotionally ready for motherhood, it’s also a good idea to be as financially fit as you can be. As an experienced personal financial journalist and mother–of–four, Field takes parents and parents–to–be on a step–by–step guide through funding a family. It features lots of easy–to–follow tips and plenty of good, sound financial advice, all presented in an entertaining and informative style. Although there is never the perfect time to have a baby and even the best laid plans often go awry… if you are thinking about starting or extending your family this is well worth a read.

Published by Wiley, Blackwell, 23rd April, priced £15.95


50 things you really need to know

Discovering you are going to be a dad, can I imagine, be a jaw-dropping experience. And although men don’t get to share in all the physical aspects of pregnancy their role as ‘dads-to-be’ is an important one. Tim Mungen’s Fantastic First Time Father (50 Things You Really Need to Know) has all the expert advice you need for every step of the way, from receiving the news to managing life and work on two hours of sleep a night. Written with warmth and wit it also includes some personal words of wisdom and practical tips. The perfect gift for all fathers-to-be.


Published by Quercus, 25th April, £9.99

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