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Reviews from birth to 5 years

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By Bev HarroldReception teacher and early years consultant

Kit out your early years story corner with the best new books on the market

Kitty Princess

Kitty Princess and the Fantastic Frog by Trevor Dickinson and Emma Carlow (Orchard Books, £5.99 PB)

This is a delightful book with witty text and clever collage illustrations. Kitty Princess thinks all her toys are boring… until Frog plays with them. As the story progresses, Kitty learns that sharing can be the best game of all. This is a story of friendship that all children can relate to. The illustrations promoted much discussion and every time we looked at them we discovered new things.

Suitable for ages three to six.

Me and My Dad

Me and My Dad by Alison Ritchie (Little Tiger Press, £10.99 HB)

This is a gentle story about Little Bear and his dad and the wonderful things they do together. They explore the mountains, swim in the rain and tell stories. The children soon picked up the rhyming format and were able to predict the rhyming word. They commented on the close bond between the bears and then started their own discussion on where Mum was. Ideas varied such as out getting food, working and being dead!

Suitable for ages three to five.


Toes by David Bedford and Leonie Worthington (Little Hare, £5.99 HB)

This is a simple lift-the-flap book with bright pictures and easy-to-follow text. Each page shows an animal with its toes hidden under the flap. You flip the flap to see what their toes can do! The patterned text means the children can join in, but it took a couple of readings before they picked up the rhyme. The pages are made of card so they should take a certain amount of handling.

Suitable for ages two to four.

Here we go round the Mulberry Bush

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush by Sophie Fatus and Fred Penner (Barefoot Books, £10.99 HB book and CD)

This book lets everybody sing along as they follow four children from different countries getting ready for school. To get the most from this book, you need to explore the pictures with the children before playing the CD. Each picture tells you about different ways of life in Europe, Mali, India and China and the children can compare them with what they do in the morning.

Suitable for ages three to five.

Happy I'm a Hippo

Happy I’m a Hippo by Richard Edwards and Carol Liddiment (Scholastic, £5.99 PB)

This is a story about a young hippo who does not like being a hippo so she decides to leave the other hippos in the river. As she travels along, she meets other animals that she would rather be and tries to copy them. The children loved the colourful pictures and soon started joining in with ‘Don’t call me hippo!’. At the end, something happens that makes the hippo change her mind. This promoted discussion on ‘Good to be me’.

Suitable for ages four to six.

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