Our Recommendations for Babies to Age 4

A Dress With Pockets by Lily Murray and Jenny Lovelie

I can’t read this book without smiling! It’s Lucy’s birthday and her Aunt takes her to choose a new dress… but amidst the fantastical array of options (brought vividly to life by the brilliant illustrations), none have the essential feature Lucy is looking for – POCKETS! Because, with pockets to provide a home for a beetle or a safe place for a seashell, a world full of treasures opens out. With a rollercoaster rhythm perfect for reading aloud, this book celebrates children’s inquisitiveness and encourages them to actively explore their world.

Edgar and the Sausage Inspector by Jan Fearnley

Meet Edgar and Edith: two cats just minding their own business. That is, until Edgar’s attempts at food shopping are sabotaged by a rat masquerading as an ‘inspector’. The tastier the treats Edgar has in his bag, the quicker the ‘inspector’ appears. Claiming the food needs to be checked, the wily Rat seizes the treats for himself. But while Rat may have an important-looking hat and a badge, he is no match for Edgar, who has his own plans for a tasty supper…  A hilarious and delightfully cheeky tale!

Pip and Egg by Alex Latimer, illustrated by David Litchfield

This is the most beautiful story, gorgeously enhanced by David Litchfield’s charming illustrations. A pip and an egg meet each other in the forest and quickly become friends. At first it’s so easy, each one so glad that they’ve found someone who’s a similar shape and size. But as pip begins to sprout leaves and roots and egg finally hatches into a bird will their friendship be able to endure through these dramatic changes and will there still be a place for each in the other’s life? This is the most wonderful story about the changing nature of friendship, it’s both wise, beautiful, and totally beguiling.

Mabel and the Mountain by Kim Hillyard

This joyous book is the tale of a small fly with big plans. Mabel may be the size of your thumbnail, but she won’t let that stop her climbing a mountain. Despite her friends’ doubts – and the sheer size of the rather craggy challenge facing her – Mabel gets stuck in. It’s not easy. In fact, at times it is really, really hard. But Mabel keeps going until she is, literally, on top of the world – and what a feeling! Beautifully illustrated, this uplifting book will encourage little minds to dream big.

The Bookshop Cat by Cindy Wume

What’s not to love about this wonderful story. A cat who loves reading can’t decide what job he’d like to do; all he wants is to read his books. One day while out exploring he discovers a bookshop displaying a ‘help wanted’ sign and in he goes and meets Violet the owner’s granddaughter. Straightaway the cat knows he’s found his dream job; helping the children who come to the shop to find a book that’s perfect for them. Even potential ruin can’t dent Violet and the bookshop cat’s resolve and their ‘can do’ attitude sees them triumph over adversity. This is such a lovely read, charmingly illustrated and filled with a fantastic positive energy.

Number 7 Evergreen Street by Julia Patton

This is a wonderful story to share, introducing some big ideas along the way. Pea lives in a block of flats – grey on the outside but bursting with life on the inside. Each of her neighbours brings something special to the Number 7 community, and Pea loves living there. So when plans are announced which put their building under threat, Pea comes up with a plan of her own… Delightful to read aloud, this book could inspire a whole new generation of civil engineers – with green fingers!

The Tree Keepers by Gemma Koomen

I first came across The Tree Keepers when my kids watched Gemma Koomen reading it online as part of a Hexham Book Festival initiative. We were entranced by her beautiful illustrations, bringing a bustling treetop community of tiny people immediately to life. This gentle story follows shy Sylvia, who prefers to hide than play with the other Tree Keepers – that is, until she finds herself sharing her den with an unexpected visitor who expands her world and introduces her the pleasures of friendship. Full of wonderful detail, the Tree Keepers’ world springs to life on every page, making for lots to talk about as you read.

The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson

This is my favourite Julia Donaldson book. It’s an absolute dream to read aloud, as well as being a brilliant story. It has all the hallmarks of a traditional ballad and yet works as well if you are 4 or 40! The sing-song rhythm and vibrant imagery create a magical tale of a mermaid captured from the sea and stolen by the circus – until her friends from the seashore intervene… Babies will love the rhythm of the words and the bold and characterful illustrations, whilst older children will be spellbound by the mermaid’s adventures – and relieved that good friends are on hand to save the day!

The Girl and The Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes and Sarah Massini

Gorgeously illustrated, I love this tale of a young girl who dares to dream. While the grown-ups think she has better things to do than dig for bones on the beach, she keeps going and uncovers a dinosaur ‘beastie’... who comes to life at night! And so begins a magical adventure…. A beautiful tribute both to real-life palaeontologist Mary Anning and to the power of a child’s imagination.

No-Bot the Robot with No Bottom by Sue Hendra

Well known for her inimitable Supertato series, this is another wonderfully wacky gem from Sue Hendra. It all begins with an innocent play in the park – but when Bernard the robot jumps from the swing… he leaves his bottom behind!! Can Bernard’s friends help him find it? Great fun to read aloud, this book is guaranteed to have everyone laughing!

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell

Franklin the dragon loves stories, and he especially loves reading to others and sharing his stories with them. But everyone in the village is too scared of Franklin to come and listen – everyone, that is, apart from a small girl called Luna. Together, they make a plan to bring Franklin’s stories to life, but can a bookshop on the back of a flying dragon really work? A beautiful, wonderful story all about the magic of reading, friendship and sharing stories.

The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore

It’s six o’clock and time for tea – but one little pea decides that being eaten is no fun and sets out on an adventure of his own! Will he survive the perils of the dog bowl, fish tank, and toaster – and worse, the gloomy depths under the fridge – for a haPEA ending? Find out in this hilarious rhyming tale that proves being small is no barrier to doing big things!

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

One small dog knows that she doesn’t fit in, and so she packs her suitcase and sets off in search of a new home. Along the way, she learns that perhaps being different – and being proud to be herself – isn’t such a bad thing after all…a fun, charming and uplifting rhyming story that both children and adults will love!

Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett

Cyril the squirrel and Pat the rat are best friends. They do everything together – play hide and seek, put on puppet shows, and tease the other animals in Lake Park. But everyone knows that squirrels and rats can’t really be friends. Or can they? All about the power of friendship and how difference really doesn’t matter, this fun story is great to read aloud.

​Little Red Train: Runaway Train by Benedict Blathwayt

This is a wonderful series of stories all about the little red train and his driver Duffy. The stories are told with a steady pace and the information about trains interests young railway enthusiasts. However, it is the illustrations that really make these books stand out. The pictures are fabulously detailed and children’s observations from within them always spark delightful conversations.

​The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This is an all-time favourite of mine. It’s a beautiful and moving story of the love between a young boy and his old velveteen rabbit and about how the power of love makes us real. Even reading it now, every word is familiar; I must have made my parents read it to me over and over again!

​Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins

It’s books like this that reinforce why real books are so brilliant! Peck Peck Peck tells the story of a baby woodpecker whose dad is teaching him to peck a tree, but little woodpecker’s enthusiasm for his new found skill spreads beyond tree trunks, to a front door, an armchair, a picture of Aunt Geraldine, until there’s nothing left to peck - you can even peer through where he’s pecked through the pages!

​Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

This is a fantastic simple interactive book in the traditional sense. As we go through the seasons, children have to tap, blow, rub the tree for the magic to happen on the next page. It’s a fun way of developing motor skills, learning about the changing seasons and sharing a story.

​Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

This beautiful rhyme about babies from all over the world flows with warmth and gentleness. Lovingly complemented with the delicacy of Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations, this is sure to become a classic family favourite in the way of Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo.

​Baby Sees

You are never too young to begin a lifetime’s love of books. The Baby Sees series are full of black and white illustrations that stimulate a baby’s vision and engage their attention. They are a great way to introduce even the youngest of babies to the joys of books.

Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar by Emily Mackenzie

This is a great story that shares the pleasure of reading. Ralfy loves reading so much that he starts burrowing up into people’s houses at night and stealing their books! But when Arthur notices his favourite book is missing he sets out to track down the mystery book burglar. Emily’s colourful illustrations and entertaining humour are wonderful for children….and adults – it is one of my all-time favourites for storytelling in the bookshop!

Join Our Mailing List

Indulge your inner bookworm with our latest book news, book reads and bookish events

Sign Up

Copyright © 2018

Design & Build by r//evolution