From tiny bugs to the entire universe, there’s a lot to learn about when you’re small, and these five books all showcase different things to get little kids interested in the workings of the world. All of these books were sent to me free of charge, but that doesn’t affect my opinions – I enjoyed all of them and think they’ll get a lot of reading!
Touch and Learn: Space by Becky Davies, from Little Tiger
This is a really fun concept – an interactive boardbook with felt inserts that you can trace with your fingers, following an orbital path or the bounce of an astronaut in low gravity. I really love the way the pages are staggered, each one slightly longer than the last and with a felt tab at the end, which makes it very easy to grab and nicely tactile. The illustrations are cute and nicely diverse where they feature humans, and though the text is fairly simple it’s filled with a sense of excitement about the wonders of space. Plus there are sections of things to spot on each page, which adds another layer of interactivity. Very cute!
Vehicles by OKIDOKID and Liuna Virardi, from Little Tiger
This vintage-feeling book is incredibly simple but it really works! Each spread has a pair of single-word opposites illustrated with a bright, blocky picture of a different kind of vehicle. There’s a flap on all the right-hand pages, which lends a surprising amount of humour to the illustration – they’re very cleverly designed, so the ‘fast’ flap makes the train look like it’s whooshing past, or the ‘big’ flap doubles the size of the cruise ship. It may feel too simple for some slightly older toddlers once they’ve read it a couple of times, but it’s very stylish and slick.
100 First Words: Nature by Edward Underwood, from Nosy Crow
We absolutely love the other book we have in this series, City, so I was so excited to see this one pop up! It’s full of words to do with the natural world, from gardens to the seaside, and it’s just as stylishly illustrated as before. I really love the way Underwood draws animals, with friendly little faces – his fish especially are wonderfully cheeky! There are flaps interspersed at random, though I will say that a few of the City ones came off in eager hands as they’re only thin cardboard and they’re shaped, so sometimes have narrow parts, so we’re being very careful with this one. It’s got everything you could think of, from the useful ‘seeds’ and ‘ladybird’ to the more obscure ‘flatfish’ and ‘snow goose’ – a lovely, outside-the-ordinary book of words.
Bugs by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup, from Little Tiger
I realy enjoy Britta Teckentrup’s warm, vintage-feeling art style, and my son loves bugs, so reviewing this gorgeous hardback was a no-brainer! I really like how old-school this feels, with rhyming couplets in a separate section at the bottom of each page, and a beautiful big spread above enhanced with leaf-shaped cutouts that let you peek through almost all the way to the back of the book. This is a very gentle book with a very strong focus on the flow of nature in general rather than bug facts or a story about bugs – it would be a lovely bedtime read as it’s so calm and nice.
How it Works: Dinosaur by Amelia Hepworth and David Semple, from Little Tiger
Just like Rocket, the other book in this series that we have, this is a fun and informative book that makes clever use of successive cut-outs to burrow through the layers of something and get to what makes it tick – in this case, we explore the anatomy of a T-Rex! As you can see from the cover, this is more about fun than technicalities, but it does give a great sense of the general body parts and for small science fans, it will be super fun! I really like this series and this is no exception.