Category Archives: 2+

The Higgledy Piggledy Pigs by Sally Crabtree & Barbara Nascimbeni

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The Higgledy Piggledy Pigs

The Higgledy Piggledy Pigs


Mess. Something every parent can relate to. The cast of characters here is, in case you haven’t yet guessed, a family of pigs. There’s “mummy pig, baby pig, sister pig, brother pig and daddy pig” as my daughter says. She kind of glosses over the fact that granny pig is also there, but, you know, cut her some slack, she’s only two and a half. Anyway, the pigs live in a muddle, a mess, a higgledy piggledy house where everything is everywhere….much like any house that has kids in it. Mum of course wants it tidy and so she hustles granny, sister and brother pig to tidy up their little house, much to everyone’s chagrin. Baby pig gets excused from tidy up duty because he is too small. He sits and plays with his teddy.

Eventually, the place is spic and span, but only mum likes it like that. Baby pig is wailing because “he lost his teddy”. Yep. quite right. So mummy, gran, sister and brother pig start looking for baby pig’s teddy. And, as with many children’s books, you can see this one coming a mile off…..in the course of looking for the teddy (which is obviously right there under baby pig all along), they make a mess of the house, unpacking everything they have tidied up.

Still, they haven’t managed to located the missing bear. Luckily, daddy pig arrives just in time to pick up baby pig and give him a cuddle, revealing the teddy. Why mummy pig didn’t pick him up in the first place for a cuddle is beyond me. I’ve never seen my wife just leave our daughter to cry for a lost blankie…..there’s always a “cuddle from mum”, but there you go. Teddy found, house all higgledy piggledy again, and we can rest easy knowing all is well.

Buy The Higgledy Piggledy Pigs – UK

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Silly Billy by Anthony Browne

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Silly Billy

Silly Billy

Sometimes it’s very worrying to be a small person. And it doesn’t help if your worries are dismissed by Mummy and Daddy. Billy’s worries are detailed and comprehensive and it’s hard for him to get to sleep, what with all the worrying. Luckily Billy’s Granny knows just how he feels and even better, she has a solution! Apparently worry dolls are made by the anxious children of Guatemala and at bedtime the dolls listen to a worry each and then get placed under the child’s pillow, ensuring a good night’s sleep. Granny gives Billy her collection of worry dolls and all goes well until he starts to fret about the worry dolls’ worries. So he gets with the arts and crafts and makes the dolls some dolls…but not to worry (ha!), it doesn’t get ever more recursive. Lookit, educational about different cultures, problem-solving (possibly), and you and your own Silly Billy can even make your own dolls out of bits of wood and cloth. Makes a change from the usual story-book.
Silly Billy

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Counting Birds by Alice Melvin

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Counting Birds

Counting Birds

This learning-to-count book has beautiful, detailed illustrations of many (some quite obscure) kinds of birds, increasing in number (as you might expect) from one cockerel to twenty of some other kind of feathered friend. In case you’re puzzled by my vageness, it’s because my daughter showed so little interest in this book that we had to stop at three China ducks. However, to give the book its due, it’s quite unusual to go as far as twenty in early counting books, with the result that the two-year-old son of the friend who lent me the book already counts fluently to twenty (obscure birds). He liked it more, it seems, and so may you. Good luck!

Counting Birds Page

Find Counting Birds on Amazon UK
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Why I Love My Daddy – Illustrated by Daniel Howarth

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Why I Love My Daddy

Why I Love My Daddy

A rather belated happy father’s day to all the dads with a book that is the perfect gift for the aforementioned hallmark occasion. Why I Love My Daddy has no story line per se. Rather it is a collection of illustrations put to words that have been uttered by kids around the world…..each two page spread has a cuddly looking pair of animals – dad and offspring in various moments of affection with a little sentiment of “I love my daddy because…..” (fill in the blank – you know “he is so strong”, “he is so handsome”; that sort of thing).

The illustrations are nice – I like the elephant in particular, playfully squirting water on his tot, which reminds me of bathtime. Though, it has to be said, usually it is the little one who is watering me, not the other way around. I mean, at bathtime you are bound to lose if you start a splashing war….what with the kids being in the water and already wet, and dad being next to the bath, still clothed. It’s a recipe for having to change just after you’ve got the little ‘un dry and dressed.

Cuddly Polar Bears

Anyway, Why I Love My Daddy is a perfect little bit of sentimentality, and really, you would have to have a heart of stone to page through the book and not feel a little twinge of emotion. “So it is more for the dads than the kids?” you ask. Well, not really. I think it is a good book to read with children because they like to be told that their parents love them and that they love their parents. My book was made all the more special the inclusion of a lot of lovely stickers on the inside covers and a beautiful card/bookmark that my daughter presented (very proudly) to me yesterday.

This is a perfect book for a cuddly read after an exciting day!

Buy It!
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Skip Through The Seasons by Stella Blackstone and Maria Carluccio

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Skip Through The Seasons

Skip Through The Seasons

This book we took out of the library and methinks we’ll be taking it back pretty soon. Of course it is difficult to characterise each month what with the vagaries of UK weather. But to my mind this is a fairly charmless effort, featuring twelve rhythmless rhymes. Not that my daughter would necessarily agree, mind you. We teamed it with her seasons placemat and a wall calendar and she had lots of fun (easily) spotting all the things you’re supposed to spot on each page. Yet I do not think the tricky concept of the way months go round every year has been successfully got across. Perhaps the next step is a torch and a globe? So this was both too hard and too easy, and not especially prettily drawn.

Skippable.

Balloon by Jez Alborough

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Balloon by Jez Alborough

Balloon by Jez Alborough

The title says it all really – this is the tale of every toddler’s sometime balloon adventure in the park. The text is minimal but full of action and humorous rhyme. On occasion the story is told only in pictures, an ideal opportunity for my three-year-old daughter to tell me the story for a change. From happy purchase to inevitable eventual loss with fun (balloon gets splashed in a puddle) and drama (balloon gets stuck in a tree) along the way, there’s plenty of rereadability here. Why not buy a pack of balloons to go with it? The author also wrote the delightful Where’s My Teddy?, which our whole family can recite by heart, and this is well up to that gold standard.

 

Balloon Page

Read up what Jez himself says about the book and the ideas behind it.

I suspect this one might be out of print but you can probably get a second hand copy from the usual suspects….

Amazon UK
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Where Is That Duck? by Dan Crisp

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Where is that duck

Where Is That Duck by Dan Crisp

Cleverly and charmingly illustrated, these toddler picture books introduce the concept of things not being always what they seem to be, quite a difficult one for the literal brain of the typical toddler to grasp. The tale is a search for the eponymous duck, parts of which appear to be visible through cutouts in each alternate page (“Is that her tail behind the tractor?”), but which then turn out to be parts of another creature or object. The illusions are usually excellent. The duck is eventually revealed with all her ducklings. (Not to be confused with the much simpler That’s Not My…” family of baby touchyfeely books.) Also in the series are the equally good Where’s That Monkey?Where’s That Fish? and Where’s That Cat? Ages 2 and up.

Is she in the stable?

Is she in the stable?

No, it's a cow!

No, it's a cow!

Buy Where’s that duck? from Amazon UK

Buy Where’s That Duck? from Amazon US