Our Recommendations for Babies to Age 4

​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.

​The Perfect Guest by Paula Metcalf

Meet Walter: a very neat and tidy dog with a brand new teapot. He has invited his best friend Pansy over for tea. Unfortunately, Pansy the squirrel is not neat and tidy at all. In fact, she's not a good guest at all. Pansy tries to help, but instead she cuts up the curtains, floods the garden, and even breaks Walter's brand new teapot! How will they stay best friends? This book is charming, wonderfully illustrated, and an enchanting tale of friendship.

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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