Preschool Menagerie

Animosaics: Can You Find Me?
Surya Sajnani
Words & Pictures
This lovely, large format search-and-find counting book will keep youngsters engaged for ages while they look for the animals illustrated on the right-hand pages that are also hidden within the full-page mosaic style habitat opposite; habitats such as the garden, the pond, on the farm, in the jungle or in the ocean.

In addition this is a counting book wherein you are invited to spot other creatures, for example, 1 butterfly in the garden, 2 tadpoles in the pond, 3 hens on the farm and so on, culminating in 10 fireflies in the nocturnal sky mosaic.
What makes this large format book stand out is Surya Sajnani’s bold, graphic art style, which is immediately striking, and also her cubist-constructed creatures set within the habitat appropriate coloured tesserae.

How Do You Sleep?
Olivia Cosneau and Bernard Duisit
What Are You Wearing Today?
Janik Coat and Bernard Duisit
Thames & Hudson
Here are two new additions to the playful, interactive Flip-Flap-Pop-Up series of board books with Duisit acting as paper engineer for both titles.
In the first readers can by manipulating the tabs, discover the sleeping places/positions of seven different animal species from various parts of the world.

In the second book children will enjoy changing the animals’ dress depending on their location, the weather conditions; or on occasion, the mood of the featured animal. This one has both tabs and flaps to help develop manipulative skills.
I’m sure Rita Rhino’s skirt being lifted by the wind …

will be a favourite with youngsters.

Dress Up Jojo
Xavier Deneux
Jojo rabbit is back and he’s in playful mood. He dresses up in eight different ways: as a snowman, a spotty leopard, a sword-wielding knight, a cowboy, an alien, an astronaut bound for the moon, a deep sea diver and finally a pilot.
Toddlers can develop their fine motor skills by covering the little creature with snow, helping him balance on a tree branch, swish his sword, open the gates for him to find his horse, roll his eyes like an alien,

spin around in space, dive down deep in the ocean and resurface, and fly away on an adventure; all by placing a finger on the red dots and using their fingers to activate Jojo in his let’s pretend activities.

Lisa Jones and Edward Underwood
Nosy Crow
In the second ‘Tiny Little Story’ Baby Boo and Daddy are off to the zoo on the bus. Once there, they meet giraffe, elephant, lion,

monkey, snake and the penguins and then it’s time to leave.
Short and sweet.
With attractive, brightly coloured, strikingly patterned illustrations and a brief text with some animal sounds to enjoy, soft, squashy cloth pages, and a velcro strap for attaching it to a buggy, it’s a perfect introduction to books for the very youngest; and, it’s washable.

Midnight At The Zoo


Midnight at the Zoo
Faye Hanson
Templar Publishing
We join Max and Mia on a school trip to the zoo; but this is no ordinary zoo for seemingly there are no animals there at all. So where are the lemurs, flamingos, pandas and salamanders, the lions, meerkats and monkeys? There’s not a single one in sight … they hunt but eventually it’s time to go. Everyone boards the bus; everyone except Max and Mia who manage to get themselves left behind …


Midnight strikes and that’s when the magic begins. With a new friend as guide …


there are fabulous fountains, flouncing flamingos, mischievous monkeys, prancing pandas …


and many more marvels to be seen before eventually, replete with wondrous sights, the two children fall fast asleep


and don’t wake up until morning light when there’s another warm embrace awaiting them – from their Mum this time. Will she believe what they have to tell her? Would you?
Everything about this wondrous whimsical book is dreamy delight. Faye Hanson’s artistic skill is truly awesome: Her intense rich colour palette glows with near incandescence; every line, every brush-stroke, every tiny detail builds up to an exquisite resplendent whole scene at every turn of the page.
Go back and look again at the early vignettes and you’ll notice that Max and Mia might not see any of the animals they’ve come for, but they do what small children tend to do, they stop and pay close attention to detail …


finding things of interest where less observant others have passed by unaware.
Faye Hanson’s The Wonder was truly that; this one is even more brilliant; even the endpapers are amazing.