10 best: New books for under fives
It’s no secret that I’m a book geek. And, much to my delight, so is my little one. There are so many fabulous new titles either just out or imminent that I couldn’t just pick a couple to feature, so I thought I’d bring you a round-up of my favourites. First up is Stephen Savage’s Where’s Walrus? (RRP £10.49, Scholastic Press) a colourful picture book cataloguing the adventures of a walrus who escapes from the zoo and subsequently disguises himself in a variety of hats. Great for sharing with your little one as it has no words, so you can embellish on the images together.
Lorena Siminovich of Petit Collage can do no wrong in my eyes. I can’t get enough of her folky illustrations, and touch and feel booksI Like Bugs and I Like Fruit were both big hits with Alfie when he was younger. Now small people can feast their eyes (and hands) on the glorious colours, shapes and textures of I Like Toys and I Like Peas (RRP £6.99, Templar). And learn a few words in the process. They make a lovely gift.
As does Wheels and Wings (RRP £6.99, Templar) from Alison Jay’s Nursery Collection, another touch and feel triumph. Jay is a London-based illustrator with a signature retro crackle-glazed style that’s just the right side of twee. Youngsters will enjoy the interaction of this transport-themed tome – stroking a horse’s mane and squidging a hot-air balloon.
Illustrator Tomi Ungerer‘s books are nothing short of classic. First published in 1959, Adelaide (RRP £8.95, Phaidon) has been re-released by Phaidon, as part of their campaign to bring the underrated author back into the limelight. In this charming tale, the eponymous heroine is a kangaroo with wings who learns about the advantages of being different.
Alfie adore Richard Scarry at the moment – relishing pointing out every single item in the intricate pictures to me. So I’m hoping someone will buy him New Yorker Bob Staake’s Look! A Book! for his birthday (RRP £10.99, Little Brown Young Readers). Described as ‘a crazy seek-and-find adventure’, it features elaborate illustrations, die-cuts and seemingly every scenario imaginable.
If you’re looking for a way to teach your child about colours, I can think of few nicer ways than with Edward Gibbs’ I Spy with My Little Eye… (RRP £10.99, Templar) which features blue whales, orange orang utans and the green frog of the cover. Has holes through the pages so is brilliant for playing peepo.
Kate Ohrt’s The Rainbow Book (RRP £6.17, Andrews McNeel Publishing) is a lovely idea, exploring colour in a different way by examining the relationship between hues and emotions, in a really rather attractive way, using paper-cut techniques – check out the sample pages above. Does red = anger? Does yellow make us happy? Is blue peaceful? A great opportunity to kick-off discussions about feelings.
I know Kat is a fan of Nikki McClure’s work and also of shopping locally, so she’s going to love To Market, To Market (RRP £5.99, Abrams) which is released on 1 May. It tells the tale of a young boy and his mother going on a shopping trip and is hugely informative and educational, as well as looking exquisite.
Finally, two gorgeous creative books from Tate. I could witter on for hours about the gloriously idiosyncratic illustrations of French artist Hervé The Scribble Book Tullet. On his website there are some fantastic photographs of Tullet creating amazing artworks with a class of schoolchildren, but here in the UK we’ll have to make do with (not that it’s a hardship) his latest work, The Book with a Hole (RRP £8.99, Tate Publishing). The hole runs throughout the book and forms the centrepiece of fun drawing projects and activities.
What is it with small children and stickers? They love them, don’t they? Thankfully, the 400 (yes, 400) contained in All Around the World by Géraldine Cosneau (RRP £8.99, Tate Publishing) are beautiful and your little one will be learning about the natural world while they stick. What’s not to love about that? Happy reading, everyone!
Tagged Alison Jay, Art, Bob Staake, books, colouring, Edwrd Gibbs, Géraldine Cosneau, gift books, Hervé Tullet, Kate Ohrt, Lorena Siminovich, Nikki McClure, Petit Collage, picture books, Stephen Savage, stickers, tate, Tomi Ungerer, touch-and-feel books