Learning & Development:Under-Threes - First books

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- My Animals by Xavier Deneux. Bloomsbury Children's Books, boardbook, 6.99

The pictures are in black and white with only the odd splash of colour - on one page a tiny blue butterfly, on another an orange ant. Pop your finger into the hole in each page and turn to see how one animal becomes part of another - so, the panda's eye becomes a patch on the giraffe's neck.

This book is chubby and substantial. The cover is soft and spongy, with a cute white dog in relief against a black background. The black is dense and shiny and the boldness of the contrasting colours will appeal to very young babies.

- The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett. Macmillan Children's Books, paperback, £5.99

Out in paperback and in time for Easter is this little gem, wherein Duck has to endure the sniggers and sneers of the other birds as their eggs hatch while she waits patiently for 'her' enormous egg to hatch and spring one very big surprise!

The graduated pages, featuring bigger and bigger eggs, add humour and excitement about what will eventually emerge from the enormous green-spotted egg.

- Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett. Campbell Books, boardbook, £5.99

A miniature masterpiece out in a new format, also by Emily Gravett. Despite featuring just five words - orange, pear, apple, bear and there - the book offers rhyme, rhythm, humour and pattern. If you haven't got it already, then buy this new edition!

- Cock-a-doodle Boo! Tide Mill Press, pop-up, £8.99

Sunrise is a busy time for Ronnie the Rooster, as it's his job to wake everyone on the farm in time for breakfast. Children will enjoy seeing Ronnie creep up behind the various animals and give them a real wake-up call. Lots of repetitive language and good sounds (Boo! Shoo! Moo!) for children to join in with.

- Having a Picnic and Doing the Washing by Sarah Garland. Frances Lincoln, Hardback, £6.99

These are welcome new editions of Sarah Garland's classic series that looks at every aspect of family life and will appeal to toddlers. In Doing the Washing, we join the family as they load up the washing machine, hang up the wet clothes and enjoy a well-earned story and cup of tea. In Having a Picnic, the family heads for the park to feed the ducks and have a picnic. But who are the uninvited guests?

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