Our Recommendations for Babies to Age 4

Listen to the Music by Marion Billet

Life should be full of music and it’s never too early to learn to boogie! This joyful book introduces a different ‘groove’ on every page: from Charleston to salsa, rock ‘n’ roll to hip-hop, you and your child have all you need to dance the night (or day!) away. With interactive buttons to press, engaging illustrations and great sound quality, this sturdy musical board-book will be enjoyed by children and parents alike.

Woods by Anne-Kathrin Behl

There’s something magical about this stunningly illustrated board-book. From far-ranging views, where squirrels leap and deer hide amongst the trees, to wonderful close-up perspectives of the bugs on the forest floor, this book invites young readers to immerse themselves in the woodland environment. With interactive sliders, bugs hop, woodpeckers peck and owls fly through the pages, making engaging with nature a physical experience.

The Story Thief by Graham Carter

I don’t know what I love more about this book – the amazing (and hilarious) illustrations or the fantastic story. When Olive drops a much-loved library book in the sea, she doesn’t expect it to be caught by a giant octopus! Seeing how much children love these mysterious objects, the octopus steals more books to try to understand their magic. Soon he has taken them all! Undaunted, Olive sets out on an adventure to retrieve the books – and gets the octopus hooked on stories! A very funny book about the joy of reading – and finding friends in unexpected places.

Moomin Mail by Amanda Li and Filippa Widlund

A wonderfully interactive read, this beautiful book introduces young readers to the world of the Moomins! Moomintroll is sad – his friend Snufkin has just left on his annual winter adventure. To cheer him up, Snufkin has left him a letter. But it’s no ordinary letter – it’s the start of a ‘treasure trail’ of letters from all Moomintroll’s friends and family. Children will love following the clues with Moomintroll, reaching inside for the next letter and finding out more about each Moomin character as they go.

The Zebra’s Great Escape by Katherine Rundell

After discovering her gift for communicating with animals, the brave and adventurous Minka embarks on a journey with her new-found friend (who just happens to be a Zebra) to save animals from a horrid collector. A spirited and energising tale, perfect for animal lovers, The Zebra’s Great Escape celebrates friendship, kindness, and a dislike of bedtimes!

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.

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.

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!

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.

​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