Our Recommendations for Babies to Age 4

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!

Slow Samson by Bethany Christou

Samson the sloth is very friendly. He loves to help others, and he has lots of friends and gets invited to lots of parties. But Samson is also very slow – so slow that he can never make it to a party on time! How will his friends encourage him to speed up? A delightful, gently funny story book all about the power of friendship…and time-keeping!

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.

A Home on the River by Peter Bently and Charles Fuge

When Bramble the badger discovers that he and his neighbours have no water because their river has run dry, he sets off to discover the reason. But the long trek along the riverbank has some surprises in store! Can he bring the water back and make it home in one piece? A delightful rhyming tale of sharing, caring and making new friends.

​Love is my Favourite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark

I discovered Plum the dog during an animal themed storytelling session during the summer holidays and she has become one of my favourite characters. Plum is a loving companion, slightly mischievous and she shares her thoughts in such an endearing and witty voice that provides great entertainment for all. For grown up dog lovers, check out Emma Chichester Clark’s Plumdog – with daily canine adventures in abundance!

​You’re Called What?! by Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson

Welcome to the Ministry of Silly Animal Names, where there’s a very long queue of creatures with one thing in common – they all want to change their names. Why ever could that be? Well, wouldn’t you if you were called a Bone-Eating Snot Flower Worm? A unique, laugh-out-loud funny story full of weird and wonderful real animals with unbelievable names from Kes Gray, author of Oi Dog, and illustrator Nikki Dyson.

​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!

​Oi Dog! by Kes & Claire Gray and Jim Field

The highly-anticipated sequel to Oi Frog is colourful, clever, and uproariously funny. Frog is changing all the rules so that dogs do NOT sit on frogs! But if dogs sit on logs, cheetahs sit on fajitas, and dragons sit on wagons, find out what frogs sit on! This brilliant rhyming book is sure to have the whole family joining in. And Jim Field's pictures are big, bright and hilarious. This book is such fun to read aloud.

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