As the May sun begins to shine why not venture outside for some story time fun with our pick of children and parenting books…
Teddy Bedtime by award-winning illustrator Georgie Birkett is a perfect end-of-the-day tale. The sturdy board book pages are just right for little hands and there are plenty of objects to point out and chat about as Teddy makes his way upstairs and into bed. The simple phrases also change from lively to gentle as Teddy begins to feel sleepier and sleepier. This book is also great if you want to get your child into a bedtime routine copying Teddy as he prepares for a good night’s rest.
The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh!
Perfect for springtime is The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy. What do you think animals do when the farmer is away? Well here they have a picnic, go on a rollercoaster and enjoy a boat trip. The story is told through the animals’ voices so it is very funny to read aloud – although, I would say this isn’t a bedtime book as it does get very noisy! Great for encouraging children to join in and to recognise the sounds animals make. But remember – watch out for the farmer…
Kipper is great for pre-schoolers and in Kipper’s ABC, he shares his guide to the alphabet. Mick Inkpen’s delightful doggy celebrates his 25th anniversary this year and his popularity shows no sign of waning. This is a memorable introduction to letters as Kipper and Arnold make their way from A to Z.
Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense
New from the Usborne Illustrated Originals series is Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense. Lear is probably best known for the Owl and Pussycat poem (which is of course included) but there are many other tales and rhymes that are just as delightful and that can be enjoyed by children and parents alike. This is beautifully illustrated and packaged edition which would make a lovely gift.
Kicking a Ball
Allan Ahlberg is a brilliant children’s author – and Kicking a Ball certainly lives up to his previous stories. If you haven’t come across them already, then take a look at Each Peach Pear Plum, Peepo! and The Jolly Postman, they really are stories you and your child will remember forever. This is a beautiful, rhyming story about a boy who just can’t help but kick a ball. An early nod to Father’s Day (as it follows the boy all the way to manhood) – and have the tissues ready.
The Baby Bedtime Book
The Baby Bedtime Book is the culmination of years of practical research by nanny, blogger and mum Fi Star-Stone. In it, Fi uses case studies of families she has helped to achieve a successful bedtime. She is never preachy and the gentle text is in no way patronising as it offers tips and examples of what has helped other people. She doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all-solution and accepts there is no ‘magic wand’, but what she does offer is calm, sensible ideas to build your confidence about putting your child to bed so that the whole experience is one to be enjoyed by both you and your child. Great for new parents to reassure them it’s not just them…
Clean & Lean Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: The Healthy Way to Exercise and Eat Before, During and After Pregnancy
This guide by James Duigan is what the (long) title suggests! Duigan is the man behind the Clean & Lean programme which has seen thousands (and many celebrities) convert to his methods of achieving a healthy lifestlye. Here, he shares tips on how to boost fertility through gentle exercises when pregnant and what to and not to eat. The book also goes past delivery to talk about breastfeeding and the best way (and when) to start thinking about getting rid of your ‘mum tum’.