They can entertain, excite, quieten and teach – is it any wonder we’re madly in love with books? Luckily there is no shortage of brilliant children’s reads, which we’ve loved bringing to you throughout the year. And now it’s time to reveal which ones were our readers’ favourites.
10. Nutritionist, food stylist and mum Amie Harper put together a collection of 26 recipes inspired by daughter Pip’s introduction to solids. Its beautiful and nutritious dishes made Baby Pip Eats our 10th most popular book post of the year. When you look at the pictures, it’s easy to see why!
9. The birth of a new sibling can be a time of mixed emotions for older brothers and sisters. Too Busy Sleeping tells the sweet, albeit sometimes heartbreaking, tale of Eleanor – and the excitement and frustrations she faces on becoming a big sister. One to add to your collection if you’re expecting another child.
8. Many kids are fascinated by the natural world, and Nature Anatomy brings it to life with beautiful, clear illustrations of the great outdoors. Suitable for children aged over five, it’s sure to become a firm favourite with any junior science buffs.
7. My Amazing Dad – the tale of a dad who bungles day-to-day tasks but still makes every day fun – challenges gender stereotypes and serves as a reminder that fathers don’t have to be the stereotypical handyman to be a good parent. A collaboration by talented Australian writer Ezekiel Kwayamullina and illustrator Tom Jellett, it’s a book your kids – and their dads – will want to read over and over.
6. Who knew beards could be so much fun? They most definitely are in the Book-O-Beards, which lets kids try facial hair on for size. From a woolly ginger lumberjack beard to an impressive cowboy moustache, just open the book, rest your nose in the hole and show off your new look. Laughs aplenty!
5. Also for the budding scientist (and their parents), handmade Eureka! soft cloth books also left an impression on our readers. The eco-friendly cotton books provide fun content for grown-ups – with subjects ranging from microbiology to surf science – and a sensory experience for baby.
4. Explaining where babies come is often an awkward conversation for parents – and that’s without going into 21st-century themes such as IVF, sperm donors and surrogacy. The 21st Century Guide to the Birds and the Bees has all those covered, with its factual guide to conception in all its forms. It uses simple, one-sentence explanations to help children understand not only how babies are made, but how they arrive in the world (covering both natural births and C-sections).
3. You know how it gets to your kids’ bedtime and you’re all exhausted – and then they get a burst of energy that lasts for hours? Now you know how Bear feels. Poor exhausted Bear just wants to go to sleep – but his persistent neighbour, Duck, is having none of it. Their comical adventures form the gorgeous tale of Goodnight Already. We think you’ll be able to relate.
2. Are you parenting a worrier? If so, Don’t Think About Purple Elephants may be a helpful remedy for their anxiety. Through the eyes of little Sophie, the beautifully illustrated book gives kids a practical approach to dealing with their worries. It also lets them know that anxiety is common, but helps them understand its negative effects if left unchecked.
1. Its cover claims it “can make anyone fall asleep”. So it’s perhaps no wonder that The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep: A New Way Of Getting Children To Sleep not only flew off store shelves, but was also our readers’ favourite book of the year. Author and Swedish behavioural scientist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin claims to have created the magic sleep inducer we’ve all been waiting for in his 26-page book about a bunny called Roger. Its secret? A “hypnotic” story that he says is the “verbal equivalent of rocking your child to sleep”. Not everyone was convinced – but it seems many, many parents were keen to at least find out what all the fuss was about!
We hope you enjoyed our year of literary discovery as much as we did – stay tuned for more wonderful book finds in our Sunday Arts section in 2016.