Everything they need to know before they’re five in one book

It’s probably quite reasonable to suggest that children only need a handful of alphabet and counting books – my kids had a few with different themes (heavy on the animals). So when I spotted Valorie Fisher’s new release, Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five, I was intrigued – a ‘manual’ for pre-schoolers?

Wow. Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five is a visual treat. Fisher has photographed all sorts of retro toys from farm animals and glossy marbles to fifties-style plastic dolls and wooden alphabet blocks to create a complete guide to letters, counting, shapes, colours, opposites, seasons and the weather.

There are details on every page to delight such as four lambs in glasses and six penguins with handbags. The ‘Opposites’ section is a masterpiece – ‘full’ and ’empty’ is depicted with a full and empty glass but with a tiny man perched at the top of a ladder sipping from a striped straw. Likewise, the dolls posed to show ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ are sensational.

I also love the section on ‘Mixing Colours’ where different coloured rubber ducks are used to show various colour combinations – so simple, so effective and so gorgeous.

Put this book on your go-to list for pre-schoolers birthdays. Find it at Fishpond for $16.87.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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