Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Animal Books!

I realised the other day that a lot of the books we’ve been reading recently have had an animal theme, so here’s a little round up! All of these books were sent to me for review by Little Tiger Books, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Sea by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup

This book is full of gorgeous underwater scenes and enchanced with cool cut-outs that reveal different creatures on each page, which makes it feel full of depth and mystery! It’s accompanied by rhyming text that tells you a bit about each of the fish and animals, and has an overt moral about keeping the sea clean to protect ocean life, which is very important. All the sea creature favourites are here, from sharks to manatees, and kids will love spotting them in the detailed background as well as when they’re the focus. A very pretty read!

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Books About Feelings

This time on Kitten Corner I wanted to highlight some beautiful picture books that tackle the subject of feelings, friendships, and other emotional issues – there’s been a gorgeous selection published recently, so if you’re in need of a book that speaks to your and your little ones’ hearts, this is the post for you!

All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions!

Sometimes by Stephanie Stansbie and Elisa Paganelli

Published by Little Tiger Books on 1st April 2021

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Interactive Books!

Flaps are still king in this house, so here’s a round-up of a few new board books with fun interactive elements! All the books in this post were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own (or accurately reported, in the case of my little one!).

Hatch and Grow by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Pau Morgan

Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021 and 1st April 2021 respectively

The books in the Little Nature series are made of 100% recycled board, which is genius – as a parent I’m very concerned about the amount of plastic and other waste babies and toddlers create. It seems pretty much unavoidable, so I’m thrilled that this series proves that something more eco-friendly is possible, and it definitely doesn’t mean the quality of the books has been sacrificed – these are beautifully made and feel substantial. I love the more muted colours that come from being printed on the recycled paper, and the cutouts make this fab for a baby who likes to be in control of page turning. There are a couple of sentences on each page which offer simple facts, as well as the lovely illustrations, and I appreciate the nature themes; Hatch looks at four creatures who hatch from eggs (chicks, tadpoles, caterpillars, and turtles) and Grow focuses on plants and the animals and people who grow them (a squirrel plants an acorn; bees pollinate flowers; a bird drops a blackberry; a boy plants a tree). They’re calm, beautiful books, and will inspire curiosity about the natural world from the very beginning.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Books About Feelings!

This time on Kitten Corner I’m featuring a selection of books that look at a range of emotions, good and bad, through sweet animal stories. If you’d have asked me a couple of months ago, I would have said that was quite a narrow niche to find books in, but it just so happens we’ve read quite a few recently! As always with these posts, any books I received for review will be marked with a *, but the fact they were sent to me doesn’t affect my opinions.

Love by Emma Dodd*

Board book published on 14th January 2021by Nosy Crow

Oh, this is one that will make you cry if it hits you on the right day! This is a sweet, simple rhyming book that describes lots of different things that love is all about, accompanied by beautiful art of two rabbits, a baby and an adult. There are no genders assigned to either rabbit, and no explicit mention of who the adult rabbit is to the child (except in the blurb, where it says “mummy”, but I wouldn’t tend to read that with a child), so this would be a beautiful one to read together no matter what your relationship to your young reading partner is – mum, dad, grandparent, or any other caretaker, this book makes it clear that love is simple and pure and brilliant. It’s a beautiful book in both sentiment and illustration, and one I’ll be buying for many people, I think.

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Non-fiction For Babies!

For this instalment of Kitten Corner I wanted to highlight some of the beautiful non-fiction books we’ve been enjoying recently. While I do love a good story, there are some wonderful books out there that look at interesting topics like wildlife and history, and they can be just as gorgeously designed and illustrated, and just as captivating, as fiction!

As always with these posts, books marked with a * were sent to me free of charge by the publisher.

The Castle The King Built by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Tom Froese*

Published 14th January 2021 by Nosy Crow

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Baby Books We’ve Been Loving!

I mentioned in my 2021 goals post that I was stopping star ratings for baby books, as it hardly seems fair given they’re judged on an entirely different metric than books where the story is the focus. But I still want to highlight some of the amazing board books and picture books that are coming out, so I’m introducing a new feature! Kitten Corner will be a less structured round-up of the things I’ve been reading with my little one – I hope you enjoy it. Books in these posts will be marked with a star if they were sent to me for review.

We’re all about the interactive books at the moment! If it has a flap, slider, or textured bit to grab, it’ll be a hit. The very first ones we tried, and a collection we love, is Nosy Crow’s Felt Flaps series by Ingela P Arrhenius – recently we’ve been loving Where’s Mr Narwhal? and Where’s Mrs Tiger?*. The bright colours, simple artwork, and huge soft flaps make these great for babies just starting to be interested in grabbing books. Each of the books has four animals (or people – I’ve previously reviewed Where’s Mrs Queen?*) to find, and a final flap that hides a mirror – you wouldn’t think something so short could provide so many hours of fun!

Books with fuzzy bits are something that have only just come into the spotlight here – I’ve been encouraging my baby to touch the That’s Not My… books for a while, but he’s only started to go for them himself in the last few weeks! One of my favourites is That’s Not My Bat, written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells, because the bats are just too cute, but we’re also fans of That’s Not My Robot and many of the others. More recently, I received Who Said Cheep?* by Becky Davies and Yi-Hsuan Wu from Little Tiger to review, and it was an instant hit! This book combines feely patches with flaps – each noise-making animal is hidden behind another, wrong, animal with a little bit of texture poking through a cut-out in the flap, and the combination is apparently hilarious. We get giggles whenever we read this one!

Probably my favourite of all the current interactive series at the moment is the new Peekaboo series by Camilla Reid and Ingela P Arrhenius (again! She’s so talented!). We received Peekaboo Apple* and Peekaboo Bear* just before Christmas, and I was wowed by the clever design, simple but effective rhymes, and fantastic construction quality. Some of the sliders are a little bit advanced for an eight-month old who hasn’t quite got the precision of older hands yet, but they’re so much fun to work, even for an adult, and they have a lot of humour in the art, too. Peekaboo Love* just arrived last week, and is already a new favourite, with some brilliantly cute images!

I know not all of you who follow me are parents or are interested in baby books, but I hope this new feature is helpful to some of you! I’d love to know what your favourite books to read with a baby are!