Open up a world of wonder for your baby and child by sharing books with them. Reading stories together is like magic. A shared story, read with a soothing familiar voice, calms and lulls before sending a little one off to sleep. They take your little one on an incredible journey of imagination. Very soon they open up a world of learning, as well as language development. Instil a love of stories from the start by sharing them together.

Books for tinies

You can start sharing books from birth. For now it doesn’t matter what you’re reading, but your baby will love the rhythm and sound of your voice. However, even the tiniest baby can benefit from their own book. Fabric books in black and white, such as Things That Go are ideal.

Start reading the absolute joys to your baby from the earliest age. Ones such as I Love You to the Moon and Back will then become firm family favourites for years to come.

For the inquisitive baby

Pretty soon your little one will have some control over their hands and want to explore the world around them. Now is the time for books which actively encourage their participation and touch. Touchy feely ones, such as this, and lift-the-flap are perfect for this stage. We particularly recommend Spot Goes to the Farm and the lift-the-flap version of What the Ladybird Heard.

This is also the time that your baby and young toddler can begin to enjoy ‘reading’ by themselves. Noisy books with buttons are a fabulous source of entertainment. Combined with a love of Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig Beep Beep Brrm is a huge hit.

Perfect for little hands, and sure to become favourites, are little libraries. Choose a theme appealing to your little one such as My First Gruffalo Little Library or In the Night Garden Little Library.

Don’t forget to keep sharing stories with your baby and toddler at this stage. Bring David Walliams in to your home with The Slightly Annoying Elephant and you’ll love these reading sessions too.

A love of reading

In the later toddler and preschool years you will be able to move on to longer books and stories. Now is the time that Julia Donaldson books really enter the stage. Soon your child will excitedly anticipate the most exciting parts such as “Oh help, oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!” Other favourites for their rhythmic dance and colourful imagery include Tiddler.