Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Great New Picture Books

There have been some amazing new picture book releases – here are some I’ve really enjoyed! All of these were sent to me free of charge, but as ever that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Great New Picture Books”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Exploring and Learning

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!

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Exploring and Learning”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: A Cornucopia of Nature Books

We’re in the full flush of spring now, and if you’re looking forward to getting outside more often, I have a great selection of picture and board books that have a focus on nature, whether that’s the plants you might grow or the creatures you might discover. All of these were sent to me free of charge, but my opinions are my own as always.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: A Cornucopia of Nature Books”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Nature Books

With the very first hints of spring appearing, what better time is there to look at books that tempt you to get outside and explore nature?

All of these books were sent to me free of charge by Little Tiger, but that doesn’t affect my opinions. Let’s get started!

Toddler Take-Along: Nature, My Outdoor Adventure by Becky Davies and Ana Zaja Petrak

This is such a sweet idea: a book with soft handles, so kids can carry it out with them on a walk and identify the things they see! I do think that perhaps photographs rather than illustrations might have been more useful on a practical level for recognition, but the artwork is adorable and nicely stylised, so you can point out similarities easily. Each page has a category like ‘bugs’ or ‘the sky’ with several things to spot – I can see this being a big hit on walks for us when it’s warm enough to spend some time exploring!

Hello Frog and Hello Bee by Sophie Ledesma and Isabel Otter

These sweet interactive books are full of colour and tempting flaps, textures and cut-outs to hold the attention. You can follow Frog and Bee around their habitats and say hello to all the animals, plants and insects they encounter under lots of different flaps, then everything is rounded up in a really nice, easy-to-read gallery spread at the end. I really enjoyed the whimsical touches – spiders in hats! ant bedrooms! – and the bright, blocky artwork. Lovely for fans of the Peekaboo and What Can You See? series.

Above and Below: Dusk till Dawn by Harriet Evans and Nic Jones

I loved the previous book in this series that I reviewed, Sea and Shore, and Dusk Till Dawn is just as lovely. This time, the split-page landscapes showcase all kinds of different habitats, from the Arctic tundra to the savannah, and all the nocturnal creatures who live there. This is a delicate book, with the split pages just made of regular paper, so it’s one for more careful kids, and the language is also more aimed at an older reader, though the chunks of text are small enough not to be scary. I love the detailed artwork and the calm natural colours – this is a book to pore over to spot everything.

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Snowy Board Books

It’s the last Kitten Corner post before Christmas, so what better time to show you these lovely wintry reads for little ones?

All three of these were sent to me free of charge by Nosy Crow, but all opinions are my own!

Snow Still by Holly Surplice is a really beautiful book. The words are deceptively simple: three rhyming quartets with only two words on each page (“Snow white/snow slide/snow chase/snow hide”) mean that the focus stays firmly on the beautiful artwork, while creating a really gentle, calming poem. The illustration style is lovely, and really captures the soft crunch of snow underfoot – it’s cosy but also cold, and very pretty. I loved how plants were used to frame the animals in each scene, too – it gives a very woodsy feel to the whole book. This would be a nice bedtime read, as it’s very gentle.

Animal Families: Snow by Jane Ormes is a little more upbeat in its style, with bold, quirkily-drawn animals taking centre stage. Each spread gives you the names of a male, female, and baby animal from a snowy region – the baby is hidden behind a shaped flap for you to discover. The final spread has lovely big flaps that reveal the collective nouns for each animal. The flaps are just made of the same thin card as the pages, so this might be one better suited to older toddlers who can be gentle with them; equally, the language and concept will suit a slightly older kid. I will probably put this one away safely to be better appreciated next winter, but I really love it!

And finally, a bit of Christmas cheer with Sing Along With Me: Jingle Bells illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang! This is a sweet version of the well-known song: there are two lines of the chorus on each page and a nice big slider to play with. The art features very cute animals going about their Christmas business, and the whole thing feels very festive. My only complaint is that it’s a little impractical to actually use the book to sing-along, because you’d have to sing it impossibly slowly to keep pace with a kid who wants to look at all the details and slide the sliders! But if you just want to read it aloud, then that would work very well.