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Introduction to the
Under 5's Booklist

In this Under 5's booklist there is a selection of titles that are ideal for parents, grandparents and carers to share with their children as well as for use in reception classes.  Whether it is The Big Yawn from Germany with its delightful rhymes about animals in the Zoo settling down for the night, Slovenian author and illustrator Lila Prap's distinctive Animal Lullabies and Daddies – a perfect book for fathers to share with their children at bedtime – or When I was Born, from Portugal with its poetic prose about the wonders of discovering the world for the first time, they all offer something to savour.

Five books from India, with their unique style of artwork and handmade paper, have been included.  Catch that Crocodile!, One, Two, Tree, Tiger on a Tree, and To Market To Market! written by the award-winning nonsense verse author Anushka Ranivankar.  Monkey Photo – with the delectable monkey photographing his friends and (enemies) is written by Gita Wolf. These books are perfect for sharing with young children, not only for their rhyming verse but also the vibrant rich colours of the stunning illustrations by Indian artists.

Two tales about elves and fairies, by German author and illustrator Daniela Drescher, provide an old fashioned gentleness. With exquisite watercolour illustrations In The Land of the Elves and In the Land of the Merfolk follow a magical world in verse. 

Animals also feature with Hedgehog, Pig and the Sweet Little Friend from Sweden by award-winning illustrator Lena Anderson – a story of getting lost and finding your way home – and Elfrida from Austria about a vain sheep who wants to change her appearance that will have children giggling from the start.

To capture a flavour of lullabies and nursery rhymes from around the globe – My Village: Rhymes from Around the World compiled by Danielle Wright from New Zealand is a beautifully illustrated book of international nursery rhymes. Hush, Baby, Hush by Katherine Hendersen is a selection of lullabies collected from a whole host of different countries, providing a translation as well as the text in the original language.

Two books that are not distribution in the UK but have still been included on the list are the evocative bilingual Winter Afternoon from Argentina by Jorge Luján in English and Spanish and The Tortoise Who Wanted to Sleep from Spain, an enchanting funny story about caring for others.  Both are in verse with exquisite illustrations that any young child will really enjoy. 

One of the most stunning and exciting new rhyming picture books to come out recently is the wacky Happiness is a Watermelon on your Head by Bulgarian author and illustrator Stella Dreis and expertly rewritten in rhyme by Daniel Hahn.  This will prove a firm favourite with children from the start as both the rhyme and illustrations make this a perfect book to share.


For a pdf version of the booklist please click below.

Poetry Under 5's

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