12 months+ – Incy Wincy Spider: A Ladybird Finger Puppet Book
The title of Incy Wincy Spider: A Ladybird Finger Puppet Book really tells you all you need to know about this story. The popular rhyme is brought to life by a finger puppet and little ones will love helping the friendly spider as he battles with the elements and the slippery spout! This is a great way of introducing songs and actions to your little one.
2+ – The Gruffalo’s Child Sound Book
The Gruffalo’s Child Sound Book brings a lively new element to this modern classic. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s creation is further brought to life by the many sounds of the deep, dark wood. Toddlers will love spotting the pictures that tell you which buttons to press and it helps hold their attention right until the end of the story. Just one word of warning – beware the snake – my eight-year-old found his hiss a little too real for comfort!
3+ – A Patch of Black
A Patch of Black by Rachel Rooney and Deborah Allwright is a beautiful book, just perfect for easing your child into sleep. The story follows one little girl as the ‘patch of black’ outside her window leads her on a midnight sail to swim with mermaids and to have tea with a dragon before settling down to sleep in a tiger’s hammock. The warm illustrations are sure to soothe any fears your little one may have about the dark, while the gentle, lilting, lullaby-style text is perfect for settling them ready for sleep.
4+ – Herman’s Letter
Herman’s Letter is a delightful book all about first friendships. Herman the bear is sad because his friend Henry has moved a long, long way away and seems to be having a lot more fun than Herman. And even though they have promised to keep in touch, this is proving harder then Herman thought. This is a very inventive book, featuring lift-the-flap letters, really eye-catching artwork and a very happy ending. It is perfect for all those children who may be starting school this month without their ‘best’ friend by their side. There is also an ebook available featuring the voice of Lenny Henry (£6.99).
5+ – The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales
Jane Ray’s The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales is a stunning collection of stories about birds, including everything from the nonsensical Owl and the Pussycat to the morality tale, Mulungu Paints the Birds. The stories are all lovingly retold and beautifully illustrated by Ray, and are perfect for bedtime when there’s time for a little chat afterwards! This edition would also make a gorgeous gift.
Super Baby Food
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron is a guide to what (and when) to feed your baby and toddler to ensure they have as balanced and varied diet as possible. There are lots of books on the market on this theme as weaning and mealtimes are two of the most stressful parts of bringing up a child. However, this no-fuss guide offers tips on money saving, ‘green’ foods and has more than 350 easy-to-prepare recipes to try and prevent you from reaching for the oven chips!
Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All
Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All is a book that is bound to divide opinion. As a working mum myself, I have often struggled to manage my time and my guilt at both not looking after my children as I think I should, and also not giving my job 100%. But this guide by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober claims that everyone wins when men are more involved and women have a career. Basically it’s all about a shift in attitude at home and in the workplace by splitting careers and parenting equally between you and your partner which sounds great in theory but may be harder to put into practice.