How To Be A Cowboy by Alice V. Lickens (£9.99, Pavilion)
Who wouldn’t want to be a cowboy, if the option was available? This incredibly unique book is the ultimate guide to becoming a cattle herder and riding across the plains of North America on horseback. From ranch name suggestions to an explanation of cowboy garments and the reason for their wear, it’s a comprehensive, humorous and engaging look at this increasingly uncommon way of life.
Alice Lickens has an interesting and unique illustration style, using bold shapes and layers of texture to make it appear like the images are popping out of the page and not only is How To Be A Cowboy a great read visually and in terms of contents, but it’s full of interactive elements too, including stickers, fold-out maps and a pull-out paper doll cowboy to dress. It’s a must-have handbook for any chickabiddys (cowboy speak for young children) aspiring to the life of a herdsman. Yee Haw!
Wolfie The Bunny (£11.99, Andersen Press)
It’s natural for an older sibling to be wary of a new arrival, especially when they suddenly find themselves forced to share the attention of their parents. But in the case of Wolfie The Bunny, it would seem that Dot has every reason to be suspicious of her adopted younger brother – after all he’s a wolf and they’re a family of rabbits!
If your child is similarly struggling with a new sibling, then Wolfie The Bunny is just the thing to help with the new transition. It’s a hilarious, unique and wonderfully heart-warming take on the typical sibling rivalry story, told in a charmingly relatable way by author Ame Dyckman. Zachariah OHora’s energetic, cartoon-style illustrations compliment the exuberant story and ensure it’s a fun and visually-stimulating bedtime story that you’ll both have fun reading again and again.
Blue & Bertie by Kristyna Litten (£6.99, Simon & Schuster)
The New Year is a perfect time for a fresh start, especially if you find yourself stuck in the same old dull routine like Bertie, who spends every day eating, drinking and sleeping. He never deviates from the predictable sequence of events, until one day he loses his herd and discovers all of the things he never knew existed thanks to his new friend Blue, who helps him find his way home.
Blue & Bertie is a gorgeously illustrated and sweet story from acclaimed artist Kristyna Litten. The central theme is about the importance of opening up your horizons and finding out about the world around you. Perfect for shy children who are fearful of the new and unfamiliar, it’s an engaging celebration of friendship and being different that will give little ones starting at nursery or preschool a much-needed self-esteem boost.
One Day On Our Blue Planet In The Antartic by Ella Bailey (£11.99, Flying Eye Books)
Global warming is causing the ice caps to melt and scientists have warned that Antarctic ice is melting so fast that the stability of the whole continent could be at risk by 2100. Expand your child’s geographical and biological knowledge and help him understand this increasingly fragile ecosystem and the animals that inhabit this unique environment with One Day On Our Blue Planet in the Antarctic.
Stunningly illustrated, it’s a charming and simple ‘day in the life’ story of a young Adélie penguin chick embarking on her first journey across the Antarctic Ocean. Author/illustrator Ella Bailey packs a lot of factual information into the text without it feeling like a demanding read and there’s an illustrated glossary of the animals that live above and below the ice, which is a wonderful way to familiarise your child with different species – plus it’s great fun to try to spot and name each different species within the story. Buy it for the curious animal lover in your life.
10 Ten-Minute Stories (£12.99, Usborne)
Not only is reading with your little one a really fun bonding activity for the two of you, but just ten minutes a day of reading can make a very significant difference to your child’s reading ability. Recent studies have shown that children who read outside of lessons are 13 times more likely to read above the expected reading level for their age and also develop a life-long love for books and reading.
With that in mind, Usborne’s 10 Ten-Minute Stories is a brand new collection of short tales that have been specially adapted to fill a ten-minute window in your child’s day, whether that’s first thing in the morning, post lunch or just before bed. Beautifully illustrated, children will enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to the stories being read aloud, and as they grow in confidence they can start to practice reading them alone. The book includes familiar tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Dick Wittington and Pinocchio, but it also contains less well known stories including The Firebird, The King’s Pudding and The Magic Gift to expand your child's fairytale repertoire.