Board Books for Christmas

Who Said Merry Christmas?
Becky Davies and Yi-Hsuan Wu
Little Tiger

Ho Ho Ho! comes the mystery voice, but who spoke the words? Was it Penguin? Feel the tactile soft tummy (it gives a clue), lift the flap and discover the owner of the jolly utterance. Do similar for the “Tweet!”, the “Roar!”, the “Merry Christmas!” greeting and lastly, respond to the final question above the mirror.
Hide-and-seek fun for the very youngest, engagingly illustrated in Yi-Hsuan Wu’s jolly scenes of Penguin, Mrs Claus, Snowman and Reindeer and the characters hidden beneath the four flaps.

Can’t See Santa!
Mandy Archer and Chris Jevons
Little Tiger

It’s Christmas Eve and all is ready but where oh where is Santa? That’s what the little mouse asks as he searches everywhere both inside the house, and outdoors in the snowy garden where at least there should be signs of Santa’s sled. Then back indoors again the tiny creature’s so downhearted he can’t even face a nibble of his carrot let alone the seasonal fare spread out on the table. Worse still is the complete lack of a single present beside the sparkling tree. Has Santa forgotten our little rodent friend? So miserable does he feel that Mouse heads off to his attic bed. But there’s something he doesn’t know and that’s not revealed until the final flap in Chris Jevons’ festively detailed sequence of story-telling pictures is opened. Mandy Archer’s rhyming couplets tell the tale from Mouse’s viewpoint on the bottom stair, in snow-filled garden, on the table, beneath the Christmas tree or in his bed. With several flaps to explore and assist mouse in his search on every spread, little ones will delight in the hunt and the secret that they might or might not, already know about.

Peas on Earth
Jonny Marx and Lindsey Sagar
Little Tiger

The five little peas in their pod can barely contain themselves so full of festive cheer are they feeling. Indeed, one by one the small spherical objects pop out io their case so great is their excitement once that Christmas wreath is attached to the door. So, we have four left to help decorate the tree one of which needs to get the star bringing their number to three enjoying the view outdoors. Santa’s grotto isn’t too far so off goes another and so on till atop the tree sits just one. It’s she that will delight in the appearance of a pair of booted feet before a special delivery is made and there’s something for them all. HURRAH!
A fun-filled yuletide countdown to share with the very young who will love poking their fingers into the die-cut circles, as well as following the frolics of the peas described in Jonny Marx’s rhyming text and shown in Lindsey Sagar’s jolly seasonal scenes.

My Magical Snowman
illustrated by Yujin Shin
Campbell Books

Oh dear! Santa’s sleigh – so the elves say – is in need of a quick repair before he can start on his delivery round. So who can they call upon to help? Snowman seems willing once his door has been opened (move the slider) and off they all go whooshing over the frozen lake and whizzing down the slippery slope (2 more sliders). Then with a touch of the snowman’s magic, it’s up and away for Santa “Ho, Ho Ho-ing” on his sleigh as he bids all his helpers a “Merry Christmas”.
Simple, satisfying and lots of fun – both in the manipulating of the sliders and the rhyming text that accompanies the chilly wintry scenes of elvish frolics and willing assistance.

Dear Santa
Rod Campbell
Macmillan Children’s Books

This is a board book version of Rod Campbell’s Christmas classic which, almost unbelievably, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Yes, it’s that enormously engaging sharing of a letter to Santa requesting something special for Christmas and what the old man does and thinks as he wraps up all manner of not quite right gifts before, on Christmas Eve, he decides upon the one that’s just right and much appreciated by the letter writer.
A Christmas must if you have a toddler.

Say Hello to the Sun / Under the Stars

Say Hello to the Sun
Dr Lin Day and Lindsey Sagar
Scholastic

This picture book is essentially, based on a song from Dr Lin Day’s Baby Sensory interactive developmental programme, illustrated with Lindsey Sagar’s bright alluring, patterned illustrations.

Starting with the sunshine, tinies are invited to greet in turn the moon beaming down and guiding, growing corn that provides food, twinkling stars,

the cooling rain, colourful flowers to bring cheer and loving friends with whom to play.

Embedded in each illustration is a small circle showing what look like Makaton symbols and the final double spread talks about ‘how to use this book’ and repeats all the signs.

Whether or not you and your little one goes to Baby Sensory classes, this enormously attractive book is worth adding to your collection to share again and again no matter what time of day it is.

Under the Stars
Rosie Adams and Frances Ives
Little Tiger

With glowingly gorgeous illustrations by Frances Ives and Rosie Adams’ gentle rhyming narrative that has a repeat refrain: ‘The world is a family: / we are all one, / …….. together / under the sun.’ an adult fox and a little one spend the day exploring and observing together from sunrise, until the stars twinkle and the moon shines bright in the night sky.

They watch squirrels playing, pause to relax as otter and its little one float on the water.

They listen to the sky humming with the beat of birds’ wings and enjoy their songs. Then in the cool of the forest, bear cubs share their findings, watched by the two foxes;  so too are the deer family and then under the starlit sky the parent fox reminds its cub, and readers, “The world is a family: / we are all one, / United together / under stars, moon and sun.’

Would that this were so, say I.

With its lilting words and beautiful scenes of the natural world, this is a book to read with little ones either at bedtime; or perhaps earlier in the day when there’s more time to talk about the ideas presented.