Early learning books

Wise Before Five (2020) 

As we all know, five is a landmark age when growing up! And this gorgeous and vibrant book makes the perfect gift. Your child has started school and their curiosity about the world is never-ending. Whether it’s the alphabet, your daily routine or road safety, Wise Before Five is jam-packed full of amazing things for kids to know before they turn five. The colourful illustrations by Ekaterina Trukhan will help little ones grasp basic concepts, learn how special they and their friends are, and ultimately build lifelong confidence.

Peppa Pig: Practise with Peppa: Wipe-Clean First Writing (2016)

Learning to write can be daunting – luckily Peppa Pig is on hand to help new school starters practise their handwriting! This wipe-clean book features a variety of numerals, letters – lowercase and capital letters – as well as some simple words for children to trace over and get the hang of holding a pen. And no problem if they make a mistake, just wipe away and start again! There is also guidance for left-handers.

My Little Pony 500 First Words Sticker Book (2018)

Help your four-year-old increase their vocabulary with this interactive sticker book. It’s packed full of entertaining activities and an incredible 500 words for children to learn – accompanied by everyone’s favourite ponies. Children can draw pictures to match the words, trace missing letters, take part in activities to help them understand the meaning, and use the stickers to complete the pages. It’s the perfect companion for any My Little Pony fan learning to read and write.

Time, Shapes and Seasons: Ladybird I'm Ready for Maths Sticker Workbook (2015)

This motivating sticker workbook, compiled by experienced maths teachers, covers essential concepts that children begin learning during Key Stage 1 and their first years at school. Topics include telling the time, 2D and 3D shapes, the seasons, months and days of the week. The mixture of stickers and interactive activities helps reinforce learning in a fun and engaging way, and with parent notes on every page and a detailed glossary of terms, this is a great introduction to those moving from nursery or reception to Year 1 – parents as well as children.

Peppa Pig: First Science (2017)

Introduce your little piggies to the wonderful world of science with this hands-on-activity book, featuring pre-school favourite Peppa Pig. Join Peppa and her friends as Daddy Pig teaches them all about the basics of science. With exciting activities, thrilling experiments and press-out card aeroplanes to try (and fly) at home, this introductory book is part of the Learn with Peppa series and is a perfect read for would-be scientists. 

Interactive books for playtime

Busy Day: Astronaut by Dan Green (2020)

This astronaut has got a lot to fit into her day and she’s going to need some help. Use the interactive flaps to help her put on her spacesuit, launch the rocket and drive the moon buggy. The flaps are perfect for little hands to explore and develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. 3, 2, 1… blast off! There are also a whole host of other jobs in the Busy Day series to discover.

Choose Sloths by Charlie Green & Matt Hunt (2019)

There are so many to choose from, but who will join your super sloth squad? There is a sloth for when you’re feeling energetic. There’s a sloth for when you’re feeling sleepy. How on earth are you going to choose? Each page in this colourful and hilarious book has five sloths to choose from so why not snuggle up and take your time discussing and deciding who is the best fit for you? And once you’ve picked your sloth pals, why not Choose Llamas too?

Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Best Day Ever Magnet Book (2020)

Help Peppa make wonderful memories of the best day ever with this interactive magnet book. Use the colourful magnets to set Peppa, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig off on an exciting adventure to town. Who will they meet along the way? It’s never too early to start building imagination skills with one of the world’s most well-known characters.

Ladybird London: Sticker Activity by Klara Hawkins (2019)

Explore London with this interactive book, which comes with plenty of puzzles, lots of pictures to colour, and more than 200 stickers that can be used to decorate the beautifully illustrated pages. From Buckingham Palace to the London Underground, children will enjoy learning all about the UK’s capital city, and the many activities in this entertaining book are sure to keep them occupied for hours.

Little World: To The Moon (2019)

Written in collaboration with moon experts, this Little World book truly transports young readers into outer space, introducing them to the sights, sounds and experiences of life on the moon for the very first lunar astronauts. Interactive push and pull slides appear on every page, inviting children to uncover something new as they investigate the bright and colourful pictures. Curious young readers will find it fascinating to follow in the footsteps of the astronauts, as they learn all about the moon.

Topsy and Tim: Our Day Clock Book (2016)

Learning to tell the time is a key early skill for children starting school, and this interactive book is a great way to gently introduce the concept. Follow Topsy and Tim as they go about their busy day, moving the hands on the clock face to show what time it is when they wake up, go to school, eat dinner and go to bed. Young readers will enjoy playing with the clock and be encouraged by the familiarity of Topsy and Tim’s friendly faces. 

Books for first experiences

Hey Duggee: The Tooth Brushing Badge (2020)

Build up your badge collection by joining Duggee and the Squirrels on a beautiful sunny walk. But wait, what is that stinky smell? It seems to be coming from the lion they’ve met. It looks like he might need some teeth brushing help. It’s time to teach him the Squirrels’ special song. Featuring all of your favourite characters from the triple BAFTA-winning CBeebies show, this board book story is perfect for reading as part of the morning and bedtime routine with little Hey Duggee fans

Pablo and the Noisy Party (2020)

Pablo has been invited to his cousin Lorna’s party but he’s a bit unsure of the noise as he thinks differently to others. He decides he would rather hide in the car so his friends decide to take the party to him. They help Pablo realise it’s ok if he doesn’t want to go to the party. This heart-warming story about friendship will help readers understand that not everyone is the same and that parties can be difficult experiences for some people. All Pablo books are written by writers on the autistic spectrum and are grounded in the real-life experiences of autistic children.

Topsy and Tim: Have Their Eyes Tested (2017)

Does Topsy need glasses? She’s off to visit the optometrist to find out – and Tim’s coming too. Little ones facing a first trip to the opticians will find this sweet story reassuring, as it follows Topsy, Tim and their friend Stevie through the experience of having their eyes tested. All first experiences can be daunting, but this range of stories featuring everyone’s favourite twins are perfect for guiding children and parents through those tricky moments.

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Doctors and Nurses (2020)

It’s a special day at playgroup for Peppa and her friends – they’re learning about the people who help us. Dr Brown Bear and Nurse Fox are visiting and they’ve got some important tips for them. Join Peppa as she learns how to keep fit, eat healthily and most importantly, why we need to always remember to wash our hands. Then follow the youngsters as they have a go at being doctors and nurses themselves.

Little World: Shopping Trip (2020)

Our big world has been shrunk down for curious young minds in the interactive Little World series. These books help toddlers explore both familiar and new environments with a slide, push or pull element on every spread. This bright and charming book takes you on a trip to the busy shopping centre where there is lots to spot and learn about. Small hands will be kept busy as you try on clothes in a changing room or choose a snack from the food court.

Topsy and Tim: Go to the Dentist (2009)

This time Topsy and Tim are off to the dentist for the very first time, and they’re not quite sure what to expect. Will it be scary? Follow Topsy and Tim as they get their teeth checked, before learning how to keep them healthy at home. Little ones will be reassured by the twins’ experiences, and those anxious about visiting the dentist will soon realise there’s no need to be frightened. 

Bedtime books for sleepy heads

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn’s Christmas by Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton (2019)

Twinkle the Little Unicorn is so excited about Christmas there’s no way she’s going to be able to sleep! And she’s not alone – someone very special is having a stressful Christmas Eve and could do with her help. Will 10 minutes be enough time to come to the rescue and get tucked up in bed? Countdown to bedtime with this magical story from the Ten Minutes to Bed series that will have little ones ready to snooze before you’ve even put it down.

Goodnight Pablo (2020)

Mum says its bedtime but Pablo isn’t sure he wants to go to sleep. He and his friend Wren are worried that when it gets dark, they’ll disappear. Luckily their other friends are on hand to reassure them that there’s nothing to be scared of. This is an uplifting bedtime story about friendship which will also comfort any other little ones who might be afraid of the dark and will also teach an understanding of those on the autistic spectrum.

Ladybird Bedtime Stories for 4 Year Olds read by Theo Solomon (2020)

Curl up after a busy day with this fabulous new collection of original stories for four-year-olds. These tales are designed to be listened to before bed and are accompanied by soothing sound effects and music to send even the most excitable kiddies off to sleep soundly. And possibly their parents or carers too!

Ladybird Tales of Adventurous Girls (2018)

The six stories in this illustrated collection of classic tales from around the world feature some wonderfully adventurous girls, all using their wits, courage and strength to overcome the odds. Featuring an introduction from renowned children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, the tales included are Gretel and Hansel, Tamasha and the Troll, Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent, Chandra and the Elephants, Sea Girl and the Golden Key and The Snow Queen. Perfect bedtime reading for boys and girls alike. 

Gorgeous gift books

Ladybird Stories for Four Year Olds (2020)

Introduce your little reader to some of the most beloved classics with this beautiful collection. Each tale is accompanied by enchanting illustrations which will fill a child with wonder and delight over and over again. They can read about the adventures of Puss in Boots, follow Goldilocks as she inadvertently steals some porridge as well as a few more favourite fairy tales in this anthology.

Ladybird Tales of Super Heroes (2019)

Everyone loves a superhero and this collection of icons is sure to inspire any four-year-old. They can head off on awesome adventures with these six mythical and legendary heroes from around the world. They’ll meet a range of larger-than-life characters along the way, from the brave Hua Mulan to the shape-shifting Anansi. This is a wonderful compilation to read together at bedtime or when stuck indoors.

Poems Out Loud! (2019)

This diverse and contemporary collection provides a wonderful introduction to poetry for children aged four and up. From mermaids to rockets and everything in between, there’s something for every young poetry lover. Established and award-winning poets feature alongside new voices, spoken-word performers and hip-hop artists, and the gorgeously detailed illustrations by Laurie Stansfield make this an anthology everyone will enjoy dipping into. It even comes with an accompanying CD, featuring performances from some of the poets who appear in the collection. 

Fun books to read aloud

Topsy and Tim: Go to the Zoo - Read it yourself with Ladybird (2013)

Join Topsy and Tim as they visit the zoo, meeting all sorts of incredible animals from penguins to giraffes. They’d like to bring some of the animals home as pets, but Mummy and Daddy aren’t so sure… This Level 1 Read it yourself book is designed for very early readers. Again, it features a limited number of story words that are repeated throughout, building self-confidence for those who are new to reading as they have fun discovering the story.

Dinosaurs - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 1 (2015)

This Level 1 Read it yourself book is perfect for dinosaur fans taking the first steps in their reading journey. It has been carefully written to be read independently at home, or used in a guided reading session at school. With its frequently repeated keywords, clearly labelled images and simple captions, young readers will enjoy learning all about the dinosaurs that lived a long time ago, while also developing early reading comprehension. 

Peppa Pig: Going Boating – Read It Yourself with Ladybird Level 1 (2017)

Peppa Pig fans at the beginning of their reading journey will enjoy dipping their toes into this Read it yourself book. Peppa and her family are going boating, and early readers will enjoy finding out who is the best sailor – Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, George or Peppa. This Level 1 book is written to include the high-frequency words that are key to learning to read, with simple sentences and repeated words that offer plenty of opportunities for beginners to practise and build their confidence. 

Astronauts - Read it yourself with Ladybird: Level 1 (2015)

Ladybird’s bestselling Read it yourself series has been helping children learn to read for over 35 years, and this Level 1 book is perfect for would-be readers with a love of space. Find out how astronauts spend their time, from rockets and space stations to travelling and sleeping in space suits. The simple sentence structure, high-frequency words and charming stories found across the Read it yourself range all combine to help build the confidence of early readers.

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