Fun, Facts and More in Boardbook Format

Here’s a handful of board books to entertain your little ones courtesy of the Little Tiger Group:

ABC of Kindness
Patricia Hegarty and Summer Macon
Caterpillar Books

Rhyming couplets by Patricia Hegarty together with Summer Macon’s small scenes of super cute animal characters showing the way make for a lovely reminder of the important things in life.

For instance, there’s ‘Cc is being caring in everything you do. / Dd is for dear ones – who mean the world to you!’

The pastel backgrounds to the kindnesses illustrated complement the softly spoken text in a lovely introduction to the behaviours we’d all like to see in little humans. Perfect for sharing and talking about.

Cook with Me: Bunny Makes Breakfast
Kathryn Smith and Seb Braun
Little Tiger

Big Mummy invites her Little Bunny to share in the creation of a ‘yummy breakfast’ but what are they going to cook? They already have butter, flour and maple syrup, but that’s not all they need.

Out they go and pick juicy berries, collect eggs from the hens, and creamy milk from the cow.

Back in the kitchen comes the fun, messy part of mixing all the ingredients and by the time the delicious aroma comes wafting from the cooker, Little Bunny has worked out what their surprise meal will be. Hmmm!

Kathryn Smith’s is a story with a bonus – the final spread includes a recipe book – Bunny Oliver’s Breakfast for Bunnies.

With flaps to explore on every one of Seb Braun’s engaging spreads, this is a tasty little book for sharing with small humans – preferably not at breakfast time though in case of sticky fingers.

Curious Kids: Sea and Shore
Jonny Marx and Christine Engel
Caterpillar Books

From early morning to sunset, there’s a wealth of wildlife to enjoy at the seaside.

This board book format non-fiction title presents in eight spreads, snippets of factual information about some of the marine creatures to be found in and around our seas from seagulls

to seahorses, octopuses to turtles.

There’s a pop-up feature on each bold, bright spread and observant eyes can also look for marine flora both in the sea and on the shore.

With the seaside likely to be off-limits for some time, maybe one way to remind little ones of its delights is with Christiane Engle’s sturdy book.

Also out in boardbook format now is:

Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle
Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup
Little Tiger

I reviewed the original hard cover edition of this smashing book that absolutely buzzes with bee-uty almost 4 years ago and it’s great to see it in a sturdy format for tinies: Britta’s illustrations are stunning.

Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle

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Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle
Britta Teckentrup and Patricia Hegarty
Little Tiger Kids
Buzzing with bee-u-ty, this sent shivers all through me; right from that arresting die-cut front cover with its centrally placed sunflower, through spread after spread of exquisite collage-style scenes linked by strategically-placed, die-cut hexagons, to the glowing endpapers: it’s just SOO breath-takingly gorgeous.

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Stunningly beautiful endpapers

With each new book from the inimitable Britta Teckentrup, I think, she won’t better this; but, she’s done it again here in this glorious collaboration with Patricia Hegarty whose rhythmic rhyming text transports readers and listeners, accompanying a single bee as she travels here and there, flitting from flower to flower on a vital, life-giving journey –

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    Gathering nectar as she goes,
From every foxglove, every rose.
Dusty with pollen, the little bee
Buzzes, buzzes, busily.

It’s almost as though you can smell the sweet-scented flowers …

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and hear the sounds of that bee and of those back at the hive. For they in turn hear bee’s crucial message – with the vast numbers of flowers, it’s too huge a job for a solo bee- and join her in that all-important role of pollination …

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until:
‘ … A tiny miracle occurs.
For every plant and flower you see
Was given life by one small bee.

What a testament to one crucially important little insect and its symbiotic relationship with plants. The author gently imparts nuggets of scientific information into her poetic text as she tells of pollen harvesting and transporting; that bees use the sun to navigate by; that bees communicate one to another and crucially, that the life of most flowering plants is dependent upon them.
Bees have become almost an endangered species, yet not everyone is aware of either the contribution they make to our precious planet, or the magnitude of the crisis of their dwindling numbers. I’m currently living in Stroud, which claims to be ‘Britain’s First Bee Friendly Town‘. May there soon be many others that follow suit. There is a snag though, this ‘bee friendliness’ seems to give my partner tacit license to allow bees to build a nest right above my front door; and to let a large area of our front garden become a wild ie ‘bee welcoming’ space!
This book may well start a small revolution. It’s certainly a MUST have for every family bookshelf, early years establishment and primary school.
Now try this: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and imagine yourself into one of those stunning scenes from the book; place your lips close together, inhale through your nostrils, place your finger tips gently just inside your ears, then slowly exhale, also through the nostrils, making a deep buzzing sound in your throat like a bee: you will hear a ‘swarm’ of bees in your throat. That’s brahmari or bee breath and it has a wonderfully calming effect. Just like this book, although that’s exciting too.

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