If you can get your children into books while they’re still babies and toddlers, then I reckon half the reading battle is won. Obviously though, little hands can cause big damage to traditional tomes, which is why board books are so fabulous. We’ve picked out five eye-catching new titles to entertain your smallest bibliophiles.
Bedtime with Ted by Sophy Henn (Bloomsbury, RRP £6.99). Henn’s new character series, featuring an imaginative toddler, comprises two books (the other is Playtime with Ted), with two more titles to follow in the autumn. Lots for little people to laugh at – Ted brushing his teeth with a crocodile and splashing in the bath with penguins – and flaps to investigate, all realised through colourful illustrations. Sure to become a preschooler favourite.
Masha and Her Sisters by Suzy Ultman (Chronicle, RRP £7.99) is a quirky look at a family using Russian matryoshka dolls. Each doll is larger than the last and each is illustrated front and back with her particular interest or hobby. Not a story book as such, but extremely aesthetically pleasing (we love Ultman’s work – remember Mr Sun & Friends?) and tactile for tiny hands.
The Safari Set by Madeleine Rogers (Button Books, RRP £4.99). The Mibo designer’s animal tales get the board book treatment in this gorgeous trio (see also The Polar Pack and The Jungle Crew) featuring rhyming couplets to accompany Rogers’ distinctive illustrations. Meet a lion, hippo, giraffe, elephant and zebra as they go about their business, then discover facts about the animals on the final page. A super little baby gift.
First Baby Days: On the Move illustrated by Mojca Dolinar (Pat-a-Cake, RRP £5.99). One of the first titles from the new early years imprint from Hodder & Stoughton, this transport-themed book is designed to stimulate babies’ senses with high-contrast black, white and red illustrations for developing vision and chunky tabs, easy for the smallest hands to grip and pull to reveal additional images and words.
Before and After by Jean Jullien (Phaidon, RRP £8.95). Jullien’s This is Not a Book is still a favourite with Alfie (nearly eight) and Kitty (four and a half). His illustrations are so engaging and entertaining they have been known to make them laugh out loud. His latest work looks at the concept of before and after, with a surprise reveal on every page turn, plus a bonus gatefold. It explores dirty then clean, long hair then short and bump then baby, plus more advanced ideas such as egg then chicken (or chicken then egg?) through bold, striking images on colourful glossy pages.