Book review: Baby bumps, pop-up gardens and dolly dressing heaven with Usborne

Top notch childrens books publisher Usborne know how to put the fun into reading and learning and its never too early to start.

Top notch childrens books publisher Usborne know how to put the fun into reading and learning and its never too early to start.

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Top notch children’s books publisher Usborne know how to put the fun into reading and learning… and it’s never too early to start.

A sparkling spring selection of new books for under-fives helps teach little ones those fascinating facts of life (but in the most delightful way of course!), a garden literally springs to glorious life and there’s super sticker fun for budding ballerinas and fans of fairyland.

Age 3 plus:

Where Do Babies Come From? Lift-the-Flap First Questions and Answers by Katie Daynes and Christine Pym

It’s the question that most inquisitive children ask… and the one that parents find the trickiest to answer!

Few mum and dads have not felt a little nervous when hearing their young ones pose that awkward, age-old question, ‘Where do babies come from?’ Fortunately, the experts at Usborne, one of Britain’s most experienced children’s publishers, have created a book which answers kids’ questions in the most delightful and inventive way.

Written by best-selling Usborne author Katie Daynes, with expert advice from Lucy Emmerson from the Sex Education Forum, Where Do Babies Come From? is the perfect age-appropriate introduction to the facts of life for younger children.

Featuring everything from baby humans to kittens, caterpillars, tadpoles and kangaroos, this simple but innovative book lets young children lift the flaps to find out how babies are made, when they are born, what new babies need and how they grow.

Beautiful, eye-catching illustrations, a simple text just made for sharing with children and informative facts under every flap make the book ideal for parents, carers, nurseries and schools.

The facts of life made fun and fascinating…

(Usborne, board book, £9.99)

Age 3 plus:

Pop-Up Garden by Fiona Watt and Alessandra Psacharopulo

Spring has sprung… and it’s popping up in a glorious array of 3D shapes and colours in this brilliant board book garden.

Five pages of extraordinary pop-ups by paper engineer Jenny Hilborne, including a shed packed with tools, a bed of multi-coloured flowers, a striking vegetable patch, a surprise-packed pond and a busy bird bath, provide little ones with a journey of discovery.

The sunny garden is full of life, and some visitors are hidden amongst the flowers and leaves. Peep into the three-dimensional scenes to find bees buzzing around a flowerbed full of blooms, a mischievous rabbit hiding in the vegetable patch and goldfish swimming beneath the lily pads in the pond.

Each page contains a super pop-up surprise, easy-to-follow words which encourage observation and discovery, and lots of delightful detail to pore over and discuss.

So step into the garden and share the joys of the great outdoors in a picture perfect, pop-up extravaganza!

(Usborne, board book, £9.99)

Age 4 plus:

Little Sticker Dolly Dressing by Fiona Watt and Lizzie Mackay

All dressed up… and plenty of places to go!

A budding ballerina and her pals are rehearsing for their latest stage roles, and a fairy and her friends want to dress up for some very special occasions. They are going to need some help choosing their wardrobes.

Not content with the runaway success of their Sticker Dolly Dressing books, Usborne have created a super spin-off series of books for younger children aged four and over.

These fresh, bright and colourful Little Sticker Dolly Dressing books have larger stickers and less elaborate scenes making them easy for little fingers to dress the dolls and complete the pictures without any a pair of helping hands.

The first two books in the series, Fairy and Ballerina, have beautiful and very practical glossy pages and each includes hundreds of hard-wearing, reusable stickers and a handy, fold-out back cover to ‘park’ spare stickers when they are not being used.

Kids will love the amazing selection of gorgeous costumes and accessories to dress the fairies and ballerinas.

In Ballerina, children can dress the ballerina dolls in their costumes, ballet shoes and accessories, and learn about the wonderful stories of famous ballets like Cinderella, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird.

And in Fairy, there is a different fairy to dress on every page, from Willow the woodland fairy to Marina the sea sprite and the beautiful Fairy Queen. Follow their story as they take us on a journey through fairyland and enjoy dressing them in fairy frocks, fluttering wings and colourful flowers.

Fashion fun for the under-fives…

(Usborne, paperback, £5.99 each)