Fox in Socks

Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss Tongue twisting fun For me the Dr Seuss books fall into two camps – wonderful poetic storytelling (like Cat in the Hat or the Lorax ) or brilliantly silly phonetic acrobatics – like this! The joy for me in reading this is seeing how fast I can read it … More Fox in Socks

Augustus and his smile

Augustus and his smile by Catherine Rayner Dripping in tigery fun [SPOILER ALERT] he tiger has lost his smile. He looks all over until he finds it .. in the lake. I love how this book breathes new life into a classic theme: from Aesop onwards, the idea of animals marveling at their own reflection … More Augustus and his smile

Scarface Claw

Scarface Claw by Lynley Dodd The meanest guy in town Lynley Dodd’s pets are generally loveable cuddly creatures – even Slinky Malinki’s thieving ways are endearing. Not so Scarface Claw! Well, except who can resist the ‘roughest and toughest of cats’? This is my favourite (well, probably) of the series. It combines all the Dodd … More Scarface Claw

We Found a Hat

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen A lesson in loyalty This is the third book in Klassen’s hat trilogy. It is quite a departure from the first two books, whose moral can be summed up as ‘don’t mess with bigger animals – or you’ll get eaten’ (See my review of ‘I want my hat … More We Found a Hat

Alan’s Big Scary Teeth

Alan’s Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis Nothing’s what it seems The joy in this one comes from the unexpected. [SPOILER ALERTS!] The scary crocodile really has a wibbly wobbly jaw line when his false teeth are out. Jarvis really plays this up with the illustration and lisping phonetically spelt words when Alan is toothless. There’s … More Alan’s Big Scary Teeth


Me… by Emma Dodd Tear jerking joy Has anyone managed to read one of this lovely series to their newborn without tearing up? Post-natal hormones aside, Dodd captures some essential truths of parental love in her brutally clear poetry. It’s the final lines that are the killers! Any guesses how this rhyming couplet ends? That … More Me…

The Boy Giant

The Boy Giant by Allan Plenderleith On the importance of hugs This was bought for me after my first was born. 9lb 9oz is big anyway, but during his (thankfully objectively brief) time in special care – where the target weight to reach for discharge is 4lb 4oz – he was a true giant! But … More The Boy Giant

The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field Motivational morals for small ones What would you prefer to be? A mouse or a lion? Well, this unlikely pairing: ‘both learnt that no matter your size,  we all have a mouse AND a lion inside.’ And there is the joy in this book – it’s … More The Lion Inside

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss Calamity capers in vibrant verse I never got into Dr Seuss as a child. I vaguely remember the Cat in the Hat but it left me with an uncomfortable feeling. I think it was because the cat got up to such bad tricks while their mother was … More The Cat in the Hat

How to Grow a Dinosaur

How to Grow a Dinosaur by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves Don’t you love it when a book has your own child’s name in it? This series is particularly brilliant for all the ‘Albie’s out there, as his name is revealed on page 2 or 3 in each book when mum calls “ALBIE!”. The look … More How to Grow a Dinosaur

The Bear in the Cave

The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds GUEST REVIEW by Angela Stapleford from FROM BBLH: My middle one adores ‘Bear Hunt’ so I’m excited Angela’s put me onto another Bear-tale from the ever-brilliant Michael Rosen. She’s full of great book tips for us oldies too so do check out … More The Bear in the Cave

Izzy Gizmo

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and Sarah Oglive   This is really the book of the moment. It has so many elements that are totally on-trend for the grown-ups (so far as children’s books are trendy). It’s got a girl in STEM – win! There’s a moral to the tale about perseverance – win! The … More Izzy Gizmo

The Twits

The Twits by Roald Dahl Objectionable adults get their comeuppance! There are so many wonderful things about Roald Dahl books. One of the huge appeals of Roald Dahl to children is the running theme across his work that children really know best. Bar one or two rare allies, adults are a negative influence to be … More The Twits

The Pirate Cruncher

The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle Peak pirate!! Pirates are up there with dinosaurs and unicorns as baffling adult-led obsessions for the under 5s. It really doesn’t make sense to encourage our youngsters to idolize violent thieves, even if they are in period costume (modern day piracy around the horn of Africa is much less … More The Pirate Cruncher

The Toilet Ghost

Wigglesbottom Primary: The Toilet Ghost by Pamela Butchart The 21st century Bash Street kids Reading the Beano as a child in the 80s, the tales of unsupervised mischief and trouble-making were entertaining but not really realistic. They seemed a bit ‘olden days’ even then. Or maybe things were never quite like that and the Beano … More The Toilet Ghost

When I Was Born

When I Was Born by Isabel Minhós Martins The miracle of life … and narcissism I’m not sure if I prefer the art or the concept of this book – both are winners! Check out the super cool Scandi style birds! And tree branches! Is it wrong my favourite page is the inside cover?! Or do … More When I Was Born


Sometimes by Emma Dodd Tear jerkers for new mums I don’t think I’m alone in crying sooo much easier since I’ve had children. It’s the final lines in this series of books that will have your tearing up and your voice catching as Dodd manages to capture some of the essential truths of deep, unconditional love … More Sometimes

Now I Know My Avocados

Now I Know My Avocados by Stephanie Wykoff **E-book provided for free in exchange for an honest review** Maybe the lovely Ms Avocado has been paying attention to my love for text-less books (as in Where’s Walrus and Rosie’s Walk) and got in touch via Instagram to ask if I’d review this one. Of course … More Now I Know My Avocados

The Colour Monster

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas Emotional intelligence for the young I had no idea how much I’d wished I’d studied psychology when becoming a parent. Not immediately – babies are simple creatures. But by the time they are over two the swirl of unarticulated fears, passions, desires and struggle to create a functional self-image … More The Colour Monster

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

   The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Required reading! This is the cornerstone of any kids bookshelf – perfect from newborn upwards and enjoyed by parents and children alike. But what is the long-lasting and near universal appeal of this book? Perhaps the story of growth that’s so apt for our own little caterpillars. … More The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Don’t call me sweet!

Don’t call me sweet! by Priti Prasadam-Halls Every toddler’s plea My kids love this one! In the monster’s plea you will surely hear the echo’s of your own offspring’s ascertation ‘I am a big boy/girl! Not a baby’. And this monster goes around trying to prove his stinky, slimy qualities win out over his babyhood. … More Don’t call me sweet!

Mother Fox and Her Cubs

Mother Fox and Her Cubs by Amandine Momenceau A creative cut above This book is ALL about the illustrations. There are some words but I kind of wish there weren’t. I’m not sure they add much. The story, such as it is, involves Mother Fox rounding up a pack of unruly cubs to go to … More Mother Fox and Her Cubs

Rosie’s Walk

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins Retro cool for early readers This book is all about the illustrations. Pure retro gold!  First published in 1967, this book would have graced the most stylish of paisley carpets mixing in with the Weebles and Rubric’s Cubes in the playroom. For us 90s kids who aspired to flares and … More Rosie’s Walk


Fleabag by Helen Stephens A true classic for the present I don’t chuck around the word ‘classic’ in the way university rugby teams describe their latest escapade after a particularly heavy drinking session (e.g.: “& then he broke the window. Classic Seb!”). Though neither am I up to Mary Beard levels of definition steeped in … More Fleabag

Where’s Walrus?

Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage Required reading for SE Londoners! Any child brought up within an SE postcode will surely develop a special place in their hearts for walrus’, or their parents will at least. For those not within an easy bus ride to the fab Forest Hill museum, the Horniman, it’s well worth a … More Where’s Walrus?

Pirates Love Underpants

Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman Poetry to inspire potty-use One of the unanticipated aspects of parenthood is how much you start discuss poo, wee and pants – and beyond the rainbow of baby’s nappy contents. In my limited experience, moving a two-year old out of nappies necessitates plenty of discussion of bodily waste and … More Pirates Love Underpants

The Baby’s Catalogue

The Baby’s Catalogue by Janet & Allan Ahlberg Pick your perfect variety We are now a three child family! My little one has become my middle one (the big one is still the big one) and we are all settling in as a family of five. Any tips on getting x3 children out on the … More The Baby’s Catalogue

Not now Bernard

Not now Bernard by David McKee Monstrous consequences of parental neglect In a time before iPADs and Netflix, children simply had to go away while their parents were getting on with the chores. But where to go? Bernard knows full well that ‘there’s a monster in the garden, and it’s going to eat me‘ but where … More Not now Bernard

Hoot Owl

Hoot Owl by Sean Taylor Will you believe the hype? Hoot Owl is a dangerous presence lurking in the shadows as he embarks on a night of hunting unsuspecting innocents … or is he? ‘The shadowy night stretches away forever, as black as burnt toast’ The joy here is in the contrast between the words … More Hoot Owl

Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson A lesson in good karma As everyone knows there are good witches and bad witches. Donaldson’s red-haired broom owner is firmly of the former variety. The witch warm-heartedly allows all sorts of creatures onto her broom. A kindness for which she is amply repaid when her generosity results … More Room on the Broom

The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr Seuss A poetic introduction to corporate responsibility I’ve only vague memories of Dr Seuss books from my own childhood but am now feeling that I seriously missed out! They are so satisfying on several levels, and The Lorax especially. Linguistically it’s a joy. Written in Dr Seuss’ accomplished verse, there’s a … More The Lorax

Dinosaurs in the Supermarket

Dinosaurs in the Supermarket by Timothy Knapman and Sarah Warburton Magical realism with hide and seek! It’s that irresistibly enticing idea for all under-18s … what if you could see something the grown-ups can’t? In this case, it’s magical dinosaurs livening up the most painful of parental outings – the weekly shop. Although the neat … More Dinosaurs in the Supermarket

I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen A tale with a dark twist (or two) This story of reunion with a lost love is surely one all toddlers can relate to. You are doing well if you haven’t been on at least one quest to locate a beloved hat, toy or (worse!) a shoe … More I Want My Hat Back