Small Matters

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I’ll Never Let You Go
Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Alison Brown
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
An inexhaustible supply of love no matter what, is something everyone needs, particularly in those early years when everything is new and exciting; when you’re finding out about the world around and testing those boundaries …

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when things don’t go just right and you get in a tizz…

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When you’re feeling fearful, or sad, or ready for sleep. Then again when it’s time for an adventure or you need to feel that little bit more brave …

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An understanding adult is on hand to share those moments with his or her unique brand of unconditional love as Smriti Prasadam-Hall’s gentle rhyming text tells. Alison Brown’s scenes beautifully capture the highs and lows these little ones experience in this celebration of love and life as shared between adult and toddler animal style.

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Hug Time
Patrick McDonnell
Orion Children’s Books
Meet Jules, an endearing kitten with an enormous globe-trotting mission. What’s behind this tiny feline’s massive adventure you might be wondering? The clue’s in the picture (and the title of course). ‘He wanted to give the whole world a hug.’
And to ensure that he fulfils his intentions, the little fellow’s first job is a ‘Hug To-Do List’.

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Thereafter it’s a case of starting with those closest to him then off he goes over land,

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and sea …

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First port of call is Africa with its elephants, chimps, giraffes, hippos, baobab trees even.
India is the next destination where stillness and determination finally bring rewards but there’s no time to waste with wombats and wallabies still to be hugged. Then comes the North Pole, a lonely place …

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but just in time there’s a polar bear offering – guess what. And then it’s time to head home to bestow a special hug to Doozy, the one he loves best of all.
Delivered in rhyming couplets and through a series of wonderful illustrations (the book’s real strength), this story of universal kindness and unconditional love really does demonstrate how one simple act can make a massive impact. How splendidly McDonnell portrays each animal’s reaction to Jules, be it benevolence, surprise, delight, or downright indifference, in those small watercolour pictures.
Right now in these troubled times, there’s no need to undertake a globe trotting journey such as Jules’; but we certainly need to embrace his sentiments to all those, who for one reason or another, are in desperate need of some warmth and kindness.

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Hush-a-Bye Bunny
Holly Surplice
Nosy Crow
It’s almost little Bunny’s bedtime. First though there’s milk and supper to be eaten, followed by ‘a ‘Rub-a-dub, scrub-a-dub, /Down to your toes.’; then a game of peekaboo and into those pyjamas for a snuggleup with Teddy. Best of all though are those magical moments with a storybook

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and off with the light.
So what can possibly be troubling that baby bun who doesn’t want to let go of Mummy?
No matter what comes, her reassuring words are ready to help,
Hush-a-bye bunny,
Now tell me your fears.
I can hug away worries
And kiss away tears.”
And of course, she does just that before finally putting her loved one back into bed and turning down the light.
Tender moments shared through suitably soft watercolour illustrations and a lilting lullaby. It’s perfect just before bedtime reading to share with your tiny or tinies, particularly when there might be moments of separation anxiety before lights out and a bit of extra comfort is required.

For even younger ones:

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Goodnight Baby!
illustrated by Sarah Ward
Little Tiger Press
One of the ‘To Baby, With Love series’, this one bids goodnight to all manner of soft toys as they prepare for sleep: there’s Bunny and Lion, Penguin and Mouse,

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Giraffe and Bear, not forgetting little Pup. They’re all ready in their pyjamas for a snuggly bedtime story with Elephant before everyone is tucked up ready for “zzzzzzzzzz”. Shh! Don’t wake them till morning when they’ll all be up and ready for a game of:

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Peekaboo Baby!
There are plenty of things to hide under, behind and maybe inside, or even have a little nibble on, which is fine so long as you don’t get caught in the act. OOPS!

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With a flap on every double spread and a surprise ending this companion board book is just the thing for a playful session with your baby.

Use your local bookshop       localbookshops_NameImage-2

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