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10 best books for pre-schoolers

Venture into a world of bad bunnies, bickering puffins and an otter who want to be king with these 10 brilliant picture books

1. Hamish Takes the Train – Daisy Hirst

A quirky tale about friendship and adventure featuring trains and cranes, a bear called Hamish and a goose called Noreen. It’s also a great book for kids who are just learning to read.

2. The Weaver – Qian Shi

Stanley is a spider, a weaver and a collector who likes to keep seeds, twigs, leaves and all kinds of precious things he cannot name. It’s a simple and thoughtful story about what we collect in the world, and what we collect in our hearts.

3. Big Bad Bun – Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

From illustrator Tony Ross and author Jeanne Willis comes this story about a bad bunny – real name Fluff. But is he as bad as he makes out?

4. The Little Island – Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Robert Starling

Funny, warm and with a clear message about the power of togetherness, The Little Island is set on a farm looked after by the animals – until one day the geese hatch a plan to leave. It’s a story of building bridges and finding friendships.

5. The Rescue of Bunny Wunny – Emma Chichester Clark

A funny take on pets and favourite toys, and a little girl called Imelda. Emma Chichester Clark, studied at the Royal College of Art under Quentin Blake and is most known for her award-winning Blue Kangaroo series.

6. Clem and the Crab – Fiona Lumbers

This is a lovely story about a little boy called Clem who saves a crab from a plastic bag on the beach. It reinforces the moral message that we all have a responsibility to care for the environment.

7. The Steves – Morag Hood

A story of feuding puffins, arguing over their name. Who’s the best Steve? The first Steve? The Steve-est Steve? It’s bold, bright, colourful and hilariously funny.

8. Gwendolyn – Juliette MacIver and Terri Rose Baynton

A tale of friendship, adventure and finding your home, this story book follows the life of Gwendolyn, a penguin who lives in the jungle.

9. King Otter – Jane Porter

When an adorable otter finds a box filled with fancy clothes and a crown, he declares himself King Otter, ruler of his riverside realm. It’s beautifully illustrated by former journalist Jane Porter.

10. Lola Dutch is a Little Bit Much – Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright

Inspired by their own four feisty children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are have created the unstoppable Lola Dutch. She’s a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas – from how to serve breakfast to the ideal sleeping spot.

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