Months ago Bert gave me access to add books to the website myself; it’s probably lost of him a lot of impulse purchases on my part because I’m very lazy at heart but I’ve finally got around to making use of the function because I want to buy a gift for two little boys I know.
I spend a lot of time reading with my four year old daughter (who, regardless of what Bert tells you, is not called Meryl) and there are some picture books I absolutely love and cannot resist buying extra copies for her family and friends. I thought I’d share a list of some of my favourites with you:
You’re Called What?! Kes Gray.
I’m sure lots of parents will be familiar with the brightly coloured Oi Frog, Oi Dog, etc, books from this author which I know my daughter would definitely recommend because of the funny rhymes and tongue twisters although honestly, as the person who has to do all the reading these ones aren’t always at the top of my list!
You’re Called What? is just as silly as his other books but I love it, it’s all about real animals with strange names and includes a double page spread at the back with pictures and facts about these animals making the book just as interesting for me as it is for the little one. And even better, it’s actually helped me out in the weekly online family quiz a couple of times!
Odd Dog Out. Rob Biddulph.
Obviously it doesn’t hurt that I was introduced to this book by Tom Hardy reading it on Cbeebies Bedtime Stories but this is probably my all time favourite children’s book, the sentiment of the story is beautiful and is a delight to read out loud. I love the colourful illustrations and if you do too then I’d also recommend the authors YouTube channel, the whole family have been enjoying #DrawWithRob during lockdown.
I always buy this book for friends with new babies on the way, it makes a great gift!
Izzy Gizmo. Pip Jones.
A little girl who loves to invent and has to learn not to get frustrated when she doesn’t get everything right the first time is a fabulous role model. I bought this book (and the subsequent Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention) for all of my friends little girls, and then realised I was being sexist, so bought it for all the little boys too.
My four year old often gets in a strop when she can’t do something by herself immediately so you’ll often hear me saying “Be like Izzy Gizmo, try, try again”.
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. Anna Kemp.
This is another heart-warming book with a great message; about following your dreams, even if others don’t think you can achieve them. I love how enthusiastic my little one gets about sticking up for Biff the dog who wants to be a ballerina and this book has also made it into a few birthday presents for her friends.
Zog. Julia Donaldson.
Every self-respecting toddler has a large stash of Julia Donaldson books so you probably don’t need me to recommend any but the favourite in this household is Zog. Julia Donaldson’s books are always fun to read and fun to listen to which I’m sure is why they’re such a success. Zog features dragons, princesses, knights and (this is clearly a trend with me) has a story line about defying expectations to follow your heart.
If you do like this book I’d also recommend the follow up Zog and the Flying Doctors and The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp.
Unplugged. Steve Antony.
We have a lot of Steve Antony’s books, you always have to support your local talent and he’s very good at instilling good manners (check out the Mr Panda books if you haven’t already)! The latest addition to the collection though is Unplugged which see’s Blip, the (very adorable) robot, accidently get unplugged from her computer so off she goes to explore the outside world. The timing of my purchase of this book was perfect as my daughter had just discovered YouTube but through clever illustrations Blip has shown her you can have just as much fun outside with your friends as you can playing on your devices.
Supertato. Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet.
Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet’s books are great for little readers and we have all the Supertato books as well as many of their others.
I always think it’s a little bit strange when a picture book review describes it as hilarious but Supertato’s adventures with the other fruits and vegetables in the supermarket are peppered with clever one liners which keep me amused whilst the bright pictures and fun storylines keep the little one coming back to these books time after time!
The Love in My Heart. Tim Bugbird.
I couldn’t miss The Love in My Heart off of this list, this tale of love and family is so beautiful I actually had it as the reading at my wedding. This book was a gift from a friend years ago and was perfect as a bedtime story for my very young daughter with it’s simple rhyming stories and gorgeous illustrations, we’d all read it together night after night and it still features on the bedtime reading list often now.