Board Book World

Who’s Tickling Tilly?
Rob Jones
Pavilion Children’s Books

Following on from a search for Brian’s Bottom, Rob Jones’ second concertina fold-out book features some prehistoric creatures, one very lengthy one in particular.

In the forest Tilly dinosaur is being tickled, but who is the tickler and where can they be? It’s certainly making her laugh but her enormously long body makes discovering the perpetrator of those fidgetty-inducing feelings very tricky. It’s not Valerie – she’s busy with her cup of tea; Terry is otherwise engaged enjoying his book beside the volcano; 

Al (in the swamp) has already had his fill; Steve, hidden in the long grass can’t help; but is there anything in the cave that could be the culprit? A-ha! Lo and behold something has emerged there and is eager to say hello to very long Tilly. 

Like many stories, there are two sides to this one: the first has the questions and answers text concerning the hunt for the tickler; opening it the opposite way reveals the nocturnal happenings: 

Tilly busy with her new arrivals while her prehistoric pals enjoy either some play or slumber blissfully under the stars.

Unfolding to a whole two metres of double-sided fun, the combination of playful visual storytelling and clever design add up to a hugely enjoyable experience for the very young and those who share it with them.

Animal Families: River
Jane Ormes
Nosy Crow

Young children are introduced to four animal families whose habitat is the river and its environs in this beautifully illustrated board book. There’s a drake, a hen and their ducklings, the father otter – a boar, a mummy – a sow and their offspring – pups. My favourites, the king and queen dragonfly and their nymphs come next 

and finally the father swan, called a cob, the mother, a pen and their four cygnets. The final double fold-out reveals all four families – a paddling of ducks, a flight of dragonflies, a raft of otters and a bevy of swans.

Lots of new vocabulary learning potential, counting opportunities and lift-the-flap fun in this chunky book to share at home or in a nursery setting. Adults especially will appreciate all the lovely textures and patterns in Jane Ormes’ illustrations.

Rosa Explores Life Cycles
Jessica Spanyol
Child’s Play

Using the dialogue between Rosa and her friends, this book, which is part of a new STEM series for the very young, is both fun and educative. The four children, Rosa, Jiyoon, Noah and Joshua are excited to discover frogspawn in their pond. They go on to learn about metamorphosis by careful observations of the growth and changes the frogspawn undergoes until they have some baby frogs. So excited are they that Joshua’s suggestions that they create another pond in the hope that other frogs will lay their eggs therein is enthusiastically received and the friends set to work right away. The four have clearly already absorbed a fair amount of basic information and are able to explain what they know and to make connections.

Jessica Spanyol’s signature style art – bold, bright colours, exciting images and diverse characters – work well to illustrate the concepts.

Almost all nurseries and foundation stage educators include change and life-cycles as part of the curriculum and this little book is definitely one to add to any collection for young children.

Sarah Dellow
Child’s Play

Little ones will enjoy exploring the wealth of patterns Sarah Dellow has created with spots, stripes, hexagons, ovals and more as they discover the seven named ocean creatures in this board book with its peep-through die cut pages and exciting images. This little book offers lots of potential for language development and playful experimenting with creative materials.

What Can You See? In Space
Maria Perera and Kate Ware
Little Tiger

Making use of cut out pages with different shaped holes cleverly positioned, illustrator Maria Perera gradually reveals various basic space facts starting when a rocket blasts off skywards, launched by people in Mission Control Centre. Young children are introduced to the astronauts and discover what it’s like to be inside a spacecraft; learn a little about the moon and what can be seen on and from its surface. There’s a look at the solar system, a spread about the sun and nebulas, and the final one shows the Milky Way and mentions other galaxies too. With the factual text supplied by Kate Ware, this sturdily built space themed board book is a good starting point for the very youngest.

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