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Annette BayneBy Annette Bayne, a freelance writer, journalist and mother of two young boys (4 & 1).  As a journalist she covers theatre, dance, art, entertainment and culture. 

In our house bedtime is one of our favourite times of the day, it’s a time of calm and cuddles, and always involves some books. There is always at least one story and if we have managed to get that fine balance of time between dinner, bath and bed right, two or three. These recent additions to the bedtime routine were welcomed with much excitement and enjoyed night after night. Even the nearly-two who prefers pictures to stories couldn’t wait to roar along with his brother in Dinosaur Roar. Any of these would be a great addition to a children’s library, and bedtime routine

Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland Macmillan Children’s Books 2016 (First published 1994). image2
ISBN: 978-1-5098-2738-1.  Appropriate age: 2-5yrs

Have you got your biggest voice, and smallest voice ready to take on this children’s classic – with dinosaurs, rhyming words, and opposites what is there not to love? In every child’s mind there seems to be a special space reserved for dinosaurs and the book is bold, with quirky illustrations to delight over and over again. The usual opposites are all there; while the few unusual ones keep the book surprising and the rhyme flowing. The book also offers the opportunity for you and your child to bond over some very silly actions. The importance of hearing, and later reading rhymes can never be overstated in terms of language acquisition and reading and writing preparation. In our house Dinosaur Roar is regularly enjoyed by both toddler and preschooler, and of course mom! This edition comes with a pull out dinosaur poster.

The cow that tripped over the moon and other nursery rhyme emergencies by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Joelimage4 Stewart. Walker Books 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4063-6561-0.  Appropriate age 4-6yrs.

There is an accident in storyland and the ambulance is on its way. Turns out there are a lot of little emergencies in nursery rhymes. This delightful book follows the ambulance crew through Storyland as they patch up cows, mend eggs and fix noses. The beautifully illustrated characters are drawn from classic nursery rhymes and they caper across the pages, curiously leaving one nursery rhyme to find out what’s happened in the next.  It’s a quick witted and funny book, full of little details that both you and your child will love. Reciting the original nursery rhymes together and talking about the jokes can make the book an even more enjoyable reading experience.

The dragon and the nibblesome knight by Elli Woollard and illustrated by Benji Davies. Macmillan Children’s Books 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4472-5481-2. Appropriate age 4-6yrs. image1

This is the story of an unlikely friendship between two sworn enemies: a dragon and a knight. Dram, a young dragon, is kicked out of the Dragons of Dread nest and sent on his way to find a bite of nibblesome knight. While the kind-hearted James helps out a friend in need while on his way to the school sports day. Poetic in nature with beautiful word play, this is a book that is both enjoyable in story and sound. The tale promotes kindness and good deeds towards strangers and the importance of rethinking differences. Preschoolers and upwards will love this tale, and although the dragons might be a little scary at first, the delightful Dram and ever-smiling James will quickly win them over.

The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. Macmillan Children’s Books 2016image3
ISBN:978-1-5098-0159-6.  Appropriate age 4-6yrs

Now a firm favourite with children, Julia Donaldson has done it again, this time with the artistic talents of Sara Ogilvie. Nel is the detective dog with a nose that can sniff out anything. She solves crimes and hunts for her rather messy owner’s missing items. What she loves best though, is the smell of books and children reading. Until one day when all the books are gone and she has to find the culprit. This is a fun read that promotes and celebrates books, reading and libraries. The lilting rhyme keeps the story fast paced and exciting. The design of the book and illustrations also contribute significantly to the flow and speed of the book. Interestingly, the reading scenes are all calmer and slower than the rest of the action in the book. This is a good book for your children’s collection and it’s sure to become a bedtime favourite.

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