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As it’s National Storytelling Week this week, we’re starting a new series of regular blog posts with some book recommendations and reviews.  First of all, we’re concentrating on 10 must read books for children under the age of 5.  We’ve made sure that all the books featured are totally age-appropriate for the littlest members of your family.

The gruffalo

1 – Baby’s World by Angela Wilkes

This book was given to my youngest child on her first birthday and was used on a daily basis for the next five years.  The realistic photos of everyday stuff provide great reference points to teach little ones about themselves and the world around them.  We took this book everywhere with us and it kept my daughter occupied for so many hours.  Great images that promote conversation, memory and, eventually, reading.  If you only buy one book for your little one, make sure this is the one.

2 – Dear Zoo by Michael Campbell

This is a brilliant little early years book about a child that writes to the zoo asking them to send a pet.  Get your child to lift each flap to view the totally unsuitable pets sent until they finally get it right on the last page.

3 – The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

This is one of the most popular books for little ones, telling the tale of a friendly tiger who arrives at tea time.  Although friendly, he’s also rather hungry and eats all the food in the house.

4 – The Pop Up Mice of Mr. Brice by Dr. Seuss

This is out of print and hard to get hold of, but well worth the effort if you do.  This delightful book is full of tiny mice and packed with surprises and fab and funny pictures.

5 – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This has become a childhood classic since its publication in 1969.  The imaginative illustrations and cut back pages make for a great short story for little ones.

6 – The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen

This was the first Kipper book, introducing the little dog to pre-schoolers the world over.  The magic blue balloon takes Kipper and his friend on a wonderful adventure that will thrill your little one time and tiem again.

7 – The Large Family Collection by Jill Murphy

The Large Family are elephants and they’re a typical family with Mum struggling to keep it all under control in a most endearing fashion.

8 – There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly illustrated by Pam Adams

This is a book version of a children’s song telling the story of the Old Lady who swallowed a fly and then continued to swallow more and more creatures in an effort to catch the fly.  Make sure you buy the version with the cut out holes for maximum fun with this one.

9 – The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

This rhyming story will fascinate your little one with its tale of a mouse walking in the woods.  He comes across many dangerous animals who try to invite him home for tea (with a view to eating him).  The wily mouse avoids danger at every turn and goes on to totally outsmart the most dangerous of all, the Gruffalo.

10 – Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

This much loved tale from the author of The Snowman has become a kids’ classic and a must have for every child’s bookshelf.

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