A fiery dragon, forward thinking and a hiccups howler by various authors – children’s book reviews –

The House With a Dragon In It  by Nick Lake and Emily GravettThe House With a Dragon In It  by Nick Lake and Emily Gravett
The House With a Dragon In It by Nick Lake and Emily Gravett
Be careful what you wish for as you enter a bewitching world of adventure, go back to the future with a fondly-remembered book from 1979, join a modern-day Robin Hood who is out to catch the villains, gasp with laughter at a boy with never-ending hiccups, and kick off a summer of football with two of England women’s outstanding players in a sunshine selection of children’s books.

Age 9 plus:

The House With a Dragon In It

Nick Lake and Emily Gravett

Be careful what you wish for! Enjoy being transported – both verbally and visually – into a thrilling adventure full of magic, mystery, witches and dragons as critically-acclaimed YA author Nick Lake teams up with artistic genius and twice CILIP Kate Greenaway award-winning artist Emily Gravett.

The House With a Dragon In It is a dazzling and deliciously exciting adventure with family and friendship at its heart, and messages about believing in your own magic and accepting yourself for who and what you are echoing through the pages.

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A promise from a dragon is written in fire... when Summer and her foster family are having lunch one day, a hole appears in the middle of the living room. That hole leads to a dragon and the promise of three wishes, granted by a very unusual witch. Summer wishes for popularity and plenty of money, and things are looking up... until she realises that the hole in the floor is getting bigger and the witch is getting more sinister. As things begin to unravel, will Summer get her dearest, most secret wish?

Lake’s beautifully imagined story of wild adventures and wish fulfilment reminds us all that everyone is different and that acceptance is a vital component of happiness. Add on Gravett’s richly detailed and atmospheric black and white illustrations and you have a special gift book guaranteed to be loved and treasured by everyone who reads it.

(Simon & Schuster Children’s books, hardback, £12.99)

Age 10 plus:

The Usborne Book of the Future: A view from the 1970s of the Year 2000... and beyond

Written by Kenneth Gatland and David Jefferis, and illustrated by Gordon Davie, Terry Hadler, Michael Roffe and George Thompson

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To celebrate their 50th birthday this year, Usborne, one of the world’s leading independent children’s book publishers, is going back to the future!

First published in 1979, the Usborne Book of the Future is a fondly-remembered book from a time when people dreamed of the future as a place filled with wonder and amazing new technology. And after more than 40 years of science fiction focusing on dystopias and doom, it’s time to remind readers both young and old that, in fact, the future is STILL a place that holds hope and excitement.

This fascinating and nostalgic book – which offers predictions that now seem either spookily accurate or amusingly out-of-kilter – is built in three sections. The first explores all kinds of robots, the jobs they will do on land, sea and in space, and where they will get power from. The second is all about cities of the future, and how people will live, what new buildings they will build, how computers will change the world, and what people will do for fun. The final section is about the future of travel, from planes, trains and cars on Earth, to space shuttles and journeys to colonise other planets.

This re-issued edition retains the original text and stunning artwork but now comes with a foreword by renowned BBC Futurologist Tom Cheesewright who was inspired into his career by the original edition of the book. From outlining the internet and asteroid mines to 3D printers and robot helpers, readers will be surprised at how accurately this book predicted life in the 21st century.

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Long out of print, copies of the original printing of The Usborne Book of the Future fetch three figures on auction sites. But now people who remember this book from their childhood can find it again, and share it with the next generation... at normal bookshop prices!

(Usborne Publishing, hardback, £12.99)

Age 10 plus:

Robin Hood: Bandits, Dirt Bikes & Trash

Robert Muchamore

He might be a modern-day Robin Hood… but he’s still out to catch the villains who are cheating the poor and vulnerable!

Welcome back to international bestselling author Robert Muchamore’s contemporary take on the legend of Sherwood Forest in the sixth book of an enthralling series that delivers a gripping formula of fun, action and thrills.

In the new action-packed mission, Robin Hood is pleased to hear from his old school friend Alan Adale, not least because Alan’s father is Guy Gisborne’s top henchman. Now that Gisborne is in the running to be elected Sheriff of Nottingham, he needs to keep his criminal activities under wraps. So when Alan tips off Robin and the rebels at Sherwood Castle that Gisborne’s waste disposal business is costing its workers lives, the stakes become very high. Robin is soon literally digging the dirt on his arch enemy to finally bring him down in this latest high-octane adventure.

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Muchamore delivers more outrageous and high-intensity action as teen rebel and social-media star Robin Hood and his friends continue their campaign against the brutal and corrupt powers that be.

Brimming with guts, gusto, gags and gripping adventures, this is Robin Hood and his merry men as you’ve never before seen them… enjoy!

(Hot Key Books, paperback, £7.99)

Age 9 plus:

The Day The Hiccups Took Over

Jo Simmons and Lee Cosgrove

A never-ending case of the hiccups is set to make fun-loving readers gasp and gulp with laughter when they get their hands on another hilarious caper from comedy genius and bestselling author Jo Simmons. The Day The Hiccups Took Over comes from the same team of Simmons and illustration wizard Lee Cosgrove who won an army of fans with their riotous romp The Day My Family Disappeared. Meet Frank... he has a big day ahead of him, with a trip to the dentist, a trumpet exam, a swimming trial and then, the event he’s been looking forward to for months... he has tickets to see his knitting hero on stage at the World Knitting Games right here in his home town! But all that is put at risk when secret knitting fan Frank wakes up with the hiccups. Hic, hic, hic... they just won’t STOP! Helped by his new friend Daisy, Frank tries ever more wacky and hare-brained ideas to get the hiccups to go away. But will the whole day end in disappointment and humiliation, or will Frank manage to turn a hiccupping calamity into a dramatic triumph? Published by Barrington Stoke in their trademark dyslexia-friendly format, this madcap masterpiece of hiccupping mayhem is perfect for reluctant readers... and mischief-makers of any age!

(Barrington Stoke, paperback, £7.99)

Age 9 plus:

The Magician’s Daughter

Caryl Lewis and George Ermos

Award-winning Welsh novelist Caryl Lewis – author of the enchanting book Seed – plays with our heartstrings again in this funny, thrill-packed adventure about the power of true magic. After one hilarious, disastrous magic show too many, Abby’s dad decides it’s time to give up showbiz... until the day Abby finds a mysterious, dusty old book of spells among her mum’s things. Mum – who died suddenly when Abby was very young – had always been the dazzling magician, after all. And as Abby practises, each new spell brings wonder and joy, not only to Abby and her dad, but also to the whole community. One old lady feels young again when she is lifted into a dance, and two children learn that anything is possible when they fly. Nothing lasts forever, though, and after each public performance another spell vanishes from the book. So before the magic disappears forever, Abby and Dad plan one final, spectacular, impossible show in London... a show where the meaning of true magic will be revealed. Illustrated throughout by George Ermos, The Magician’s Daughter tackles important topics like bereavement, the shared comfort from being part of a community and the power of love to heal grief whilst delivering a heartwarming adventure full of colourful characters, stage dramas... and magic. The perfect book hug!

(Macmillan Children’s Books, paperback, £7.99)

Age 8 plus:

Ultimate Football Heroes: Leah Williamson and Beth Mead

Emily Stead

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As next month’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand draws near, kick off a summer of football with Leah Williamson and Beth Mead, two of England women’s outstanding players.

Williamson was born into a footballing family, following in the footsteps of her mother who cut her hair short so she could play with the boys. Williamson began playing at Scot Youth, a boys’ team in Bletchley, quickly becoming their star striker. Representing England since 2010, Williamson has played at an international level since the age of 13 and was made permanent captain of the Lionesses in 2022. Discover how this versatile player from Milton Keynes balanced school with a burgeoning football career to hone her skills. From her early start as a six-year-old and being a part of Arsenal's youth programme at nine to receiving an OBE in 2023 for services to association football and being made captain of England's National Team, Williamson is a true soccer star.

And Mead, an energetic six-year-old, was taken to a weekly local football session by her mum. Finding a passion for the game, Beth often found herself as the only girl on the team. Despite being laughed at for this, she let her natural talent do the talking. At 16, Mead was signed to Sunderland where she made a name for herself as a top goal scorer. She later signed for Arsenal and earned a place in the England national team. From becoming captain of her primary school’s boys’ team to being announced as the youngest winner of the Women's Super League Golden Boot and being named as the Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament, Mead is a footballing hero.

Ultimate Football Heroes is a series of biographies telling the life stories of the biggest and best footballers in the world and their incredible journeys to stardom. Written by passionate supporter of women’s football Emily Stead in a fast-paced, action-packed style, these new ultimate football hero stories are guaranteed to be bang on goal with all aspiring young players!

(Dino Books, paperback, £6.99)

Age 8 plus:

Me and the Robbersons: Bandit Karaoke

Written by Siri Kolu and translated by Ruth Urbom

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‘Thinkin’ with yer head, fightin’ with yer fists and relaxin’ with yer belly full. That’s what life’s all about.’ Buckle up and get ready for a rollicking ride alongside a bandit family that consumes a LOT of sweets and has a penchant for madcap adventures! Bandit Karaoke is the second title in a fresh, fun and anarchic series from Finnish author Siri Kolu whose Me and the Robbersons books have become an international hit. Translated into English by Ruth Urbom, these brilliant escapist reads – full of laugh-out-loud humour and a larger-than-life cast of characters – really hit the spot when it comes to child-appeal. Maisie’s summer can finally start when she’s whisked away from a boring music camp by her bandit family, the Robbersons. Bring on a summer of screeching down country lanes, camping out on lake shores and devouring sweets... Maisie can’t wait! The Robbersons are equally happy to have Maisie and her sharp skills back just in time for the robbers’ summer festival. This year a new Bandit Leader will be appointed and with the bandit clans out for revenge, the Robbersons need all the help they can get! This twisting, turning, all-action story – with a warm heart and important messages for our contemporary world – is guaranteed to have youngsters giggling from start to finish. Don’t miss it!

(Little Tiger Press, paperback, £7.99)

Age 7 plus:

Pizazz vs The Future

Sophy Henn

Enjoy more super-awesome laughs in the sixth book of award-winning author and illustrator Sophy Henn’s hilarious comic-book strip style series starring scintillating superhero schoolgirl Pizazz. Classroom politics, friendship fails and laugh-out-loud humour are the hallmarks of this perfectly pitched series which has all the ‘powers and stuff’ that you expect from a superhero story but with the added delight of some very human characters and some very human dilemmas. Being a superhero is the best thing ever, right? Wrong! Pizazz is everyone’s favourite 9¾-year-old (reluctant) superhero. You probably think being a superhero is really awesome and while it can be, it’s also REEEEEEEAAALLLLY annoying. Always having to zoom off to save the universe can be tricky at the best of times, but at the worst of times it’s practically impossible! And yet, despite all, Pizazz is ready to give this super thing her ALL... she’s even got a brand-new costume. Pizazz soon discovers that a bunch of baddies have formed Team Toxic and are trying to destroy the planet for ever, but none of the grown-ups even care! This time it’s up to Pizazz and her friends to save the world. Expect lots of wicked humour and evil plans as Henn serves up another ferocious and fast-paced feast of super-powered, caped crusader fun!

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £6.99)

Age 7 plus:

The Lost Bear Cub

Holly Webb and David Dean

Enjoy a trip into the wild and wonderful landscape of Canada with a warm, tender and action-packed story from bestselling author Holly Webb who has written over 130 books for children. Starring an adorable bear cub which seals the bond between two sides of a family who live oceans apart, and featuring the evocative illustrations of David Dean, The Lost Bear Cub is a delight. Lucy is so excited to spend the summer holidays with her cousins in Canada. Lucy and her big brother Jack don’t really know their three cousins, Reuben, Sam and Kitty, and she is a little nervous in case they don’t get on well together. All seems fine until they tell her to watch out for bears in the forest and her excitement immediately turns to fear. One day, she stumbles upon a bear cub on its own. At first she’s scared before realising that the poor creature is lost. Can Lucy help the cub find its mother without also putting herself in danger? Webb charms us all again with her trademark emotive animal adventure and for those wanting more of the same, check out her enchanting reads, The Dawn Seal, The Hideaway Deer, The Silver Pony and The Wildmeadow Hare.

(Little Tiger Press, paperback, £6.99)

Age 7 plus:

Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Refugees

Katie Daynes, Ashe de Sousa and Oksana Drachkovska

What happens when your home isn’t safe any more? Around the world, millions of refugees face this heartbreaking question and it’s important that young children understand the answers to some important questions about displacement and what it means to be a refugee. Written in consultation with the Refugee Council, this thoughtful and compassionate lift-the-flap book – stunningly illustrated by Oksana Drachkovska who grew up in Ukraine – answers some tricky questions with simple, direct answers. Why do people become refugees, when can refugees see their friends again and what is life like in a camp are just a few of the questions that are explored by authors Katie Daynes and Ashe de Sousa. Drawing on conversations with refugees and aid workers from around the world, the questions cover all stages of a refugee’s journey, from fleeing danger and embarking on hazardous journeys, to seeking asylum and struggling to find a new place to call home. The language and scenes have been carefully considered to be appropriate for younger children, providing an extremely useful educational tool for families and schools.

(Usborne Publishing, board book, £10.99)

Age 4 plus:

The Moon Is a Ball: Stories of Panda & Squirrel

Ed Franck and Thé Tjong-Khing

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If you’re looking for a book that speak directly to your child, then this adorable, warm, wise and wistful collection of nine stories about an unbreakable friendship between a panda and a squirrel is the perfect choice! The Moon Is a Ball – translated from the Dutch edition by David Colmer – is the creation of Ed Franck, one of Belgium’s most important and innovative children’s writers, and Thé Tjong-Khing, a world-leading illustrator for children whose many accolades include nomination for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Panda and Squirrel can’t live without each other and do everything together... they lie on the rocks to look at the moon, take walks and play games. Sometimes they argue... but they always make up again. Theirs truly is a friendship for any day, whether they’re roaring, quiet, grumbling or snoring! Ideal for youngsters starting to read alone, or to share with adults at bedtime, and gorgeously illustrated, each story in this collection is beautifully imagined and speaks straight to the heart of every child who has formed a close friendship.

(Gecko Press, hardback, £12.99)

Age 3:

Julia Donaldson’s Book of Names

Julia Donaldson and Nila Aye

‘What’s in a name?’ wrote William Shakespeare. Using that simple but resonant premise, bestselling author of The Gruffalo and many other children’s classics, Julia Donaldson celebrates the children she has met at hundreds of book signings over the years. Packaged as a magical rhyming celebration of children, imagination, stories and names, this beautiful picture book will delight readers of every age. ‘I’ve signed for boys called Romeo and girls called Juliet . I’ve signed for Roman, Saxon, Dane – though not for Norman yet.’ From months of the year and colours to flowers, fairy tales, food and gemstones, Donaldson has seamlessly grouped together a charming selection of children’s names and woven them together in her unmistakable rhyming style. Set in a magical transforming bookshop, Julia Donaldson’s Book of Names is a love letter to the world of books, wordplay and young bookworms and is brought to life by the colourful and heartwarming illustrations of the award-winning Nila Aye. Young readers will love trying to find their own name in this cleverly created book, and even if it isn’t included, there is a special dedicated space for them to add it.

(Macmillan Children’s Books, hardback, £12.99)

Age 3 plus:

Five Minute Mum: Starting School

Daisy Upton and Mackinzie Rekers

Starting school is a big day for both children and parents so let author and social media superstar Daisy Upton (aka Five Minute Mum) take you by the hand and lead you through what can be a daunting experience. With its funny and informative format, the colourful, child-friendly illustrations of Mackinzie Rekers, and lots of Upton’s trademark five-minute entertaining games and activities, this is the perfect, must-have guide from a writer who draws on her experiences as both a mum and a teaching assistant in schools. Covering topics like uniforms, meeting the teacher, getting to school on the first day, making new friends, finding the way around, having fun at playtime, asking for help, packing their bag, learning about letters and numbers, going to assemblies and getting changed for PE, there is everything here for that first big step to school. The book also includes lots of five-minute games and activities designed to help your child feel confident and excited about starting school, and offering them glimpses of all the learning they will do and all the fun they will have. Full of those vital key ideas, and perfect for reading and sharing together, Starting School is all you need for starters!

(Ladybird Books, paperback, £9.99)

Age 3 plus:

Don’t Disturb the Dragon

Rhiannon Findlay and Siân Roberts

It’s time to wind down the day and set off on a brilliant new bedtime adventure with Rhiannon Findlay, author of the much-loved Ten Minutes to Bed series, and her illustrator team-mate Siân Roberts. Somewhere near, a huge beast lies, with giant claws and great big eyes... do not disturb the dragon! Oh no... the Princess’s little brother has learned to crawl and has gone missing from his cot. It’s up to the princess to find him before he disturbs the fearsome dragon. Armed with a map and her dragon-fighting kit, she sets off with the readers on an exciting rescue mission... but can she save her brother and still get back in time for bed? Little ones will love joining the interactive hunt as they tiptoe over, under, round and through the book to make sure they don’t disturb the dragon. With Findlay’s rhymthic, read-aloud adventure providing the perfect preparation for bedtime, and Roberts’ winsome and wonderfully colourful illustrations adding an irresistible air of calm, little eyes will be closing as the last page turns!

(Puffin, paperback, £7.99)

Age 3 plus:

The Gardening Dog

Cindy Wume

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Meet two very special friends in this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated tale about gardening and the rewards of being patient from Cindy Wume, a freelance illustrator from Taiwan. The Gardening Dog is never chosen to go home with anyone who visits the rescue centre where she lives. Instead she spends her time quietly growing beautiful plants. Then one day she meets a shy boy called Lewis who much prefers drawing to running around with all the other children. Working together, Lewis and the Gardening Dog create a wonderful community garden for everyone to share and as new shoots grow outside, they build a deep friendship that leads to a new start for them both. Children will love meeting the boy and the dog who both don’t quite fit in but together discover that a friendship, like a garden, takes time to grow... and is always worth the wait. Illustrated in a riot of vibrant colours to match the seasons and the weather, The Gardening Dog delivers important messages about self-acceptance and following your passions. Enchanting and heartwarming, The Gardening Dog is perfect for all little outdoor lovers and ideal for storytime at both home and school.

(Macmillan Children’s Books, £7.99)

Age 3 plus:

NOT Just Another Book About... Farm Animals and Things that Moove

Illustrated by Jake McDonald

What parent or carer could resist a book that bills itself as ‘boredom-free guaranteed!’ These sturdy board books are the latest titles in what is definitely NOT just another first concept series. Packed with learning, fun, and a fine line in wit which will appeal to adults as well as children, these brilliant books offer entertainment all the way. This new approach aims to ensure toddlers and parents giggle together as they find out just how funny learning can be. As little ones travel their way through Farm Animals, you might find that they will never look at a cow, sheep or llama the same way again! And as they speed through the pages of Things that Moove, they will discover ridiculously funny facts, everything from from bicycles to space rockets, and lots to keep them amooosed! With a joke to enjoy on every page and the enchanting illustrations of Jake McDonald adding extra colour to learning time, these books are a must-have for all pre-schoolers.

(Noodle Juice, board books, £7.99 each)

Age 2 plus:

Sheldon's New Shell

Lily Murray and Sam Caldwell

A crab needs a shell like a foot needs a shoe... but what if there are none to be found? Author Lily Murray gets into the rhythm of the sea in this sparkling picture book which is published in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage, a successful environmental charity dedicated to the protection of our oceans. Sheldon the hermit crab needs a new home so it’s time for him to scour the beach and look for the perfect shell. However, the only thing he can find is rubbish! There are plastic bottles and tin cans littered everywhere. It’s a good job he has his fellow beach-side animal friends to help, as well as one little girl who is determined to clean up his environment for good. With Murray’s fun and addictive rhyme, a story that gently reminds youngsters of real-life ecological issues that affect animals and marine life around the world, and all brought to life by Sam Caldwell’s vibrant artwork, Sheldon’s New Shell delivers a powerful and resonant message for readers of every age.

(Buster Books, paperback, £7.99)

Age 3 plus:

Luna and the Sky Dragon

Bethan Woollvin

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Science meets magic in a gorgeous new picture book from multi-talented author and illustrator Bethan Woollvin who is much loved for her uniquely humorous twist on classic fairy tales. In this adventurous celebration of stargazing and the joy of storytelling, Woolvin brings us a terrific tale inspired by the Ancient Greek astronomer Aglaonice who used her knowledge of the moon to predict lunar eclipses. Luna loves the sky and finding out about all the wonders she can see above her. But the villagers can’t stop worrying about the mythical Sky Dragon... a fearsome creature who is said to dwell in the sky. Can Luna share her love of the sky and show the villagers that the Sky Dragon is nothing to be afraid of? Featuring real constellations as well as facts about the Milky Way, eclipses, comets and other astronomical delights, Luna and the Sky Dragon is a warm and playful feminist story which weaves together mythical legends, science and one curious little girl. With lots to learn and talk about and Woolvin’s striking artwork in a vibrant palette of colours, this is the perfect book to inspire your own little stargazers.

(Two Hoots, paperback, £7.99)

Age 2 plus:

Don’t Say Elephant

Stuart Heritage and Nicola Slater

If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for? Be careful what you wish for is the order of the day in this laugh-out-loud picture book from the top team who brought us the marvellously madcap Jonathan the Magic Pony. Guardian journalist Stuart Heritage’s weekly column about his young son, Man With a Pram, ran in the paper’s Family section between 2015-16 and now he has teamed up again with children’s books illustrator Nicola Slater for another slice of warm and wacky fun. So meet dog brothers Pancakes and Cha-Cha and fall into a brilliant world of magic, mischief and a whole lot of pizza! Pancakes and Cha-Cha are set for a perfect day of pizza and playing in the park... when they are surprised by a genie granting wishes! What in the whole wide world will they wish for? Treasure, magical powers, a lovely cheesy pizza the size of a paddling pool, or maybe – just maybe – they will be surprised by something unexpected. Brotherly love, the art of compromise and an elephant covered in cheese take centre stage in Heritage’s endearing and entertaining story, all brought to big, bright and beautiful life by Slater’s brilliant illustrations. An elephant story you’ll never forget!

(Puffin, paperback, £7.99)

Age 2 plus:

Into The Wild

Thomas Docherty

Enjoy a riot of colour, a boy on a wild journey, and a menagerie of the most amazing animals in a dazzlingly creative and joyful picture book from acclaimed author and illustrator Thomas Docherty. Joe loves wild things but there aren’t any in the city where he lives... or are there? One moonlit night Joe leaves his window open and with a swirl of leaves and a flap of feathers, the Wild invites him outside on an adventure to explore the night-time city. What will they find among the concrete and cars of Joe’s city? Before the night is over, Joe learns that animals and plants can thrive even in the most built-up environment, and that with a bit of imagination, a city can be full of surprises. Docherty fills his beautifully imagined story with a gallery of richly detailed illustrations and, with its message to youngsters that there are wild things to be found in every town or city, Into The Wild will inspire children to always expect the unexpected.

(Oxford University Press, paperback, £7.99)

Age six months plus:

Don’t Tickle the Shark!

Sam Taplin and Ana Martin Larranaga

Don’t tickle the shark... you might make it splash! Little ones will be well and truly tickled when they get their hands on this fabulously fun and ‘feely’ sound book. There’s a splashy shark, a screechy seagull, a squeaky dolphin and a grunting sea lion just waiting to entertain when toddlers give them a tickle! Tiny tots will love pressing the fluffy, touchy-feely patches to hear the different sea creature sounds in this delightful novelty board book. At the end of the story, all the animals get noisy at the same time in a musical finale guaranteed to get everyone dancing. With Sam Taplin’s fun narrative and the wonderfully vivid artwork of Ana Martin Larranaga bringing the sea creatures to life, expect loads of laughs and lots of singalong encores! Perfect for babies’ tummy time, sensory play, or snuggling up at story time. Simply splashtastic!

(Usborne, board book, £12.99)

Age six months plus:

That’s Not My Rocket...

Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

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Set your little ones’ imaginations on fire with the exciting new book in Usborne’s award-winning That’s Not My... series, a much-loved favourite with both parents and children. The bestselling touchy-feely series has over 70 titles and has sold over 20 million books worldwide. The simple text, bold, colourful illustrations and tactile patches are irresistible to babies and toddlers who love turning the pages and touching the fun and ‘feely’ patches. Written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells, this new title features different textured patches on every spread as we discover a rocket with a sparkly nose, a rocket with lumpy fins, a rocket with a shiny window and a rocket with a smooth fuel tank. These beautifully colourful and carefully created board books allow the youngest family members to have a hand in all the fun of reading as they follow the story and look for the little white mouse on every page. Specially designed to develop sensory and language awareness, the distinctive That’s Not My… board books really are a vividly visual and hands-on treat for inquisitive babies and toddlers. Touchy-feely genius at a stroke!

(Usborne Publishing, board book, £6.99)