Five of our favourite board books…

When it comes to reading, the younger you start the better. We’ve been reading to both children since they were babies and it’s paying off: our two little bookworms love nothing more than a story. Once you’re past the black and white fabric books, there’s plenty of choice. Here’s a rundown of our current favourites – see if you can spot the re-occurring theme throughout!


‘That’s not my…’ series from Usborne books.

panda update

Okay so I said top 5 and I guess it’s cheating to choose an entire series, but how could I possible single just one out?! They’re an obvious choice, but also a fail safe one, especially since over 20 million copies have been sold worldwide. ‘That’s not my puppy’ was published over twenty years ago and there’s a total of 51 different books in the series ranging from unicorns to planes! You could pick up any one of these books and your toddler will probably love it – Zoey’s personal favourite is ‘That’s not my baby’ because of the little mirror at the back! ‘

Why should you buy? 

thats not my puppy

This series is popular for a reason: these ‘touchy feely’ books are a great early introduction to sensory play and the vibrant colours really appeal to older babies and toddlers. Zoey started sustaining an interest in these books when she was 6 months old and they’d be suitable up to the age of 3. Whilst the repetition tends to drive parents mad, it’s actually really beneficial for babies and young toddlers. The familiarity is not only comforting but also helps young children to master new skills too.


‘Where’s Mr/Mrs…’ series from Nosy Crow

wheres mrs hen

Nosy Crow are fast becoming my favourite publishers of children’s books.  One of the main reasons is to do with design: I’m a big sucker for illustrations and to be honest, when it comes to children’s books, illustrations are kind of a big deal! We’re all in love with the cute animals on each page and the mirror at the end of each book is a nice touch. We have three of the ‘Where’s Mr/Mrs’ books by Ingela P Arrhenius because Zoey is pretty obsessed with the ‘lift the flap’ format. The flaps are made from vibrant pieces of felt which adds to the whole sensory experience.

Why should you buy?

wheres mrs deer

Whilst repetition is of course a good thing, variety is a necessity! Arrhenius still has the magic formula of repetition plus sensory element which as mentioned above, is so beneficial to toddlers. The colour palette is vibrant and the illustrations fun, which is bound to be a big hit with your little person!


Circle, Triangle, Elephant! by Kenji Oikawa & Mayuko Takeuchi


I am so in love with this book (and so is Zoey which I guess is what truly matters here!). Circle, Triangle, Elephant! is a fresh approach to the classic toddler shape book – I think Kenji Oikawa and Mayuko Takeuchi are total geniuses for coming up with a clever, funny and simple approach to learning shapes. The Phaidon publishing group are becoming my go-to for arty books that would also double as wonderful presents – I have my eye on several of their children’s books, so if anyone feels like gifting me a few, just comment below!  😉

Why should you buy?

Let’s be totally honest here, the usual toddler shape book is super dull. By mixing in total randomness like elephants, boats and hats, it becomes hilarious! Such a simple idea, but a brilliant one too. What I love the most about this book is that no words are needed, so Zoey drives the way we read the book: she points to the picture and I read. Of course, what makes it funny to young toddlers is the expression too, so prepare your best ‘straight out of drama school’ over exaggeration!


A B See by Elizabeth Doyle

ab see update

There’s no other way to describe this book other than to say its completely gorgeous! We have our fair share of A B C books and this is by far the best i’ve seen (please do comment below if you can top it!). Doyle moves away from the traditional ‘A is for alligator’ approach and has instead created a visual masterpiece. This book is part hide and seek, part sensory wonder.


Why should you buy? 

a b see inside

We’ve taken this book on holiday several times and it never gets old. In fact, it’s our number one choice when space is limited. There are so many ways in which you can use the book: from a literal ABC book to a spot and find adventure. We love the fact the pictures are raised, making for the perfect sensory experience for little hands. Even the big kid loves this book as some of the pictures are quite a challenge!


Listen to the Birds by Marion Billet

birds feature image

Another book out of the Nosy Crow publishing house (I told you they were fast becoming my favourite!) ‘Listen to the Birds’ is a sweet sound book that is just perfect for toddlers. Zoey absolutely loves interacting with this book – she can press the sound buttons easily and the birds actually sound like real birds too! As I’ve come to expect from Nosy Crow, the illustrations are beautiful in their simplicity and the colours get another big thumbs up from us!

Why should you buy? 


The common running thread among all the books I’ve mentioned is the interactivity. Again Zoey is able to take ownership of her reading experience by pressing the sound buttons herself. Engagement is so important from an early age and having a sensory element will always do the trick perfectly. When I shared this book over on Instagram, a follower mentioned that her older children now enjoy trying to identify birds by their calls, all because of this book. Don’t you just love it when you can extend the life of a board book?

Have you got any other recommendations for board books? I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments section!



Want more? Try the following posts:

How we’re raising readers

Books About Babies


2 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Books About Babies

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