Learning & Development: Book choice

For three- to five-year-olds

Evil Weasel by Hannah Shaw, Jonathan Cape, paperback, £10.99

Weasel is evil and, thanks to his mean tricks, super-rich. Not content with just having a castle, swimming pool and fast car, he decides to flaunt it at a grand party. Only no one turns up. His bullied little friends soon set him straight: they didn't come, because he is a terrible friend who never says sorry. And, so, Weasel tries to learn the error of his ways and be good.

Older children within the EYFS will enjoy Shaw's debut tale, with its chaotic and detailed drawings and important messages about greed and friendship. A story for our times?

Conker and Nudge by Adria Meserve, Piccadilly Press, paperback, £5.99

For anteater Conker, playing with his little brother can be fun because he teaches him new skills. Then sometimes, it's plain annoying, because Nudge just copies him and cramps his style. But it is little brother who comes to the rescue when Conker stomps off on an adventure with his other friends.

This lovely little story introduces children to some unfamiliar animals - anteaters, jaguars, armadillos and capybara - and reminds them of some very familiar phrases: 'Stop copying me!', 'No. You're too small!' 'Go away!'

Fine As We Are by Algy Craig Hall, Boxer Books, hardback, £11.99

One brother might seem a handful (see above), but spare a thought for poor Little Frog, whose cosy life with mum is turned upside-down when eggs turn to tadpoles and then to hundreds of noisy, little brothers and sisters. To make matters worse, the new arrivals just want to follow big brother around and copy everything he does. Sibling affection, of course, wins out in the end. A great addition to a nursery collection for exploring brotherly love and minibeasts.

It's a George Thing! written by David Bedford and illustrated by Russell Julian, Egmont, hardback £10.99

George, the zebra, may share a friendship with Peachy, the gorilla, and Moon, the lion, but that doesn't extend to their interests. Peachy likes playing 'big ball', while Moon is into weight-lifting with rocks, but George discovers that his first love is dancing. The problem is: what will his friends think? An amusing tale about friendship, following your interests and joining in.

Silly Goose written by Marni McGee and illustrated by Alison Edgson, Walker Books, hardback, £10.99

When Fox tells silly Goose that her ears are missing, Goose is all a-fluster. Where can her ears be? Then she meets Peacock, who is selling ears. But Peacock has pointy ears, a bushy tail and sharp teeth. Will Goose's friends save her from such a terrible trick?

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