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10 brilliant picture books for the under fives

If you’ve got grannies and aunties and all sorts asking for gift ideas for small people – or if you’re racking your brains for neat books to buy for nieces, nephews, godchildren, whoever – then you can stop worrying. The darling Rachael from independent bookstore The Edge of The World Bookshop in Penzance has put together the perfect list to help.

Here’s Rachael’s pick of the best new picture books for under 5s…

Charlie and Lola One Thing, Lauren Child


Charlie and Lola’s new number book takes you from one to a billion. Mum takes Charlie and Lola to the shops and says they may choose one thing. “One thing to share?” Lola asks. No: one thing each, explains Charlie – which makes two things! Then Lola is nine minutes late getting ready. On the way, there are birds and bugs to count, and a squillion leaves on a tree… If you think numbers are scary, you’re wrong! Not when this cheeky pair are involved!

Orchard Books £6.99


Bear and the Piano David Litchfield


Bear learns to play the piano and dreams of leaving the forest to become a star, but when he gets the fame he hopes for, will he remember his happy times in the wood with his friends? Of course he will! Striking images and a beautiful story about friendship, music and reaching your dreams make this a charming picture book.

Frances Lincoln £6.99


Oi Dog, Kes and Claire Grey 


This is a fun book that will make little ones laugh out loud. Dog sits on frog and so frog is keen to let everyone know where they should and should not sit. Lots of silly rhymes and great pictures by Jim Field.

Walker Books £6.99


The Darkest Dark, Chris Hadfield 


Written by astronaut Chris Hadfield, this story is inspired by his own childhood. Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut. But at night he is afraid of the dark and his room fills with alien-like shadows. When he watches the moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is–and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company. Edgy books currently have copies signed by the astronaut himself.

Pan Macmillan £11.99


Storm Whale in Winter, Benji Davies,


In this beautiful sequel to the fabulous ‘Storm Whale,’ Noi misses the little whale he rescued last summer, and as winter deepens, he wonders whether the little whale is OK. One night, he thinks he sees the whale out at sea and rushes out to greet him, but soon gets lost amid the restless snow and ice. Who, or what, will rescue Noi?

Simon and Schuster £6.99 (3 +)


Blue Penguin, Petr Horacek

blue-penguinHoracek’s new tale is a heart-warming fable about friendship and belonging from this award-winning illustrator. Blue Penguin feels like a penguin, but the other penguins point out that he’s just not like the rest of them. Will he be able to convince them that he is one of them after all?

Walker Books £6.99


Ada Twist Scientist, Andres Beaty 


Ada, is a little girl with boundless imagination and curiosity. Why are pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source and embarks on a fact-finding mission but her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Abrams Books £10.99


Newborn Child, Jackie Morris


A beautiful and lyrical Nativity story, Mary and her precious new baby take centre stage, with less emphasis on inn-keepers, wise men and shepherds and the sumptuous pictures that Jackie Morris is well-known for, will make it a book to treasure and keep.

Otterbarry Books £12.99


The Fox and the Star, Coralie Bickford-Smith


The paperback edition of last Christmas’s favourite hardback, this is a story of a fox living in a dark forest whose only friend, Star, lights up the path each night. But one night Star isn’t there and Fox has to face the forest alone. The illustrations are magical and this is a book to savour.

Penguin Books £8.99


Christmas Bear, Ian Whybrow 

christmas-bearA lift-the-flap Christmas book with a laugh-out-loud text full of witty rhymes and silly scenarios from the creator of Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs. Paired with the quirky illustrator of the Gruffalo, Axel Shaeffer, it’s fabulous Christmas  fun. When Father Christmas sets off to deliver the presents, poor Bear is left behind in the workshop! How will he make it to Tom’s house in time for Christmas morning? Lift the flaps to find out, as he chases Santa’s sleigh through icy seas and snowy forests, all the way from the North Pole to Tom’s cosy bedroom.

Pan Macmillan £5.99



The Edge of the World Bookshop, 23 Market Jew Street, Penzance TR18 2HR

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