Our top five recommended books for toddlers aged 18 months to 2 1/2 years

Here’s the next installment of top book guide … enjoy …

HOW MANY MONSTERS ?   Mara van der Meer

Although the title may sound a little scary, the endearing monsters in the book are so much like little boys and girls having a bad day, that even the most timid child will find nothing to be scared of.   Throughout the book are a series of questions about the monsters, designed to entertain and also to build early counting skills, such as ‘how many smelly feet has the monster got?’.
With the great imagery and fab comic humour, parents will love this one as much as the little ones.
Our large Monster puppets always remind me of this story, and we love having them at home to help bring the story to life.


A classic and a lovely book with a series of charming images inviting children to hunt for some favourite nursery rhyme characters, such as Baby Bunting, Tom Thumb & The Three Bears.


Handa starts her journey with seven fruit in the basket she carries on her head, however throughout her walk, various animals steal the fruit … the monkey takes the banana (of course, what else !), an elephant takes the mango, a parrot takes the passion fruit, and so on … until she arrives with her friend and is surprised to look in her basket and find it is now full of tangerines (I won’t spoil the storyline as to how they got there) …. With a hint of pantomine, children will be calling out to Handa ‘it’s behind you’  to try to warn her of what is happening.

A delightful story and one the children will never tire off.  Why not make a story bag with the book, a basket full of fruit and Handa herself.  Our soft doll Souri makes the perfect Handa.

DEAR ZOO   Rod Campbell

Every young child loves to dream about the perfect pet and here’s the book the brings this to life.  It’s been a best seller for over 25 years and quite rightly as it is a delight for all ages.  The zoo sends various animals as possible pets, and each page contains a flap  hiding each animal sent by the zoo.  The flaps themselves are perfect to get children guessing, from the crate labelled ‘very heavy’ for the elephant to the basket for the snake.   The book is available in a range of formats, our favourite for this age group is the board book.


One pickle, one cup cake, one slice of watermelon – who can remember the full list of all the yummy items the Caterpillar eats ?  Little ones just love the Very Hungry Caterpillar story as they follow him on his growing journey from a tiny caterpillar to a great big fat one and then into a beautiful butterfly.
It’s a delightful book to share with even the very smallest listener through to the young reader who will then love to read to younger siblings.  A must for all bookshelves.

Check out of beautiful range of  Hungry Caterpillar products.   It’s the perfect theme for a two year olds birthday party.

Handa puts seven delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo. But as she walks, carrying the basket on her head, various creatures steal her fruits. A monkey takes the banana, an ostrich the guava, a zebra the orange, an elephant the mango, a giraffe the pineapple, an antelope the avocado and a parrot the passion fruit. Handa walks on, wondering which of the fruits her friend will like best, oblivious to the fact that her basket is now empty. But then, behind her, a goat charges into a tangerine tree and fills Handa’s basket with the fruit. “Hello, Akeyo,” she greets her friend. “I’ve brought you a surprise.” But when she lifts off her basket, it’s Handa who gets the biggest surprise. Akeyo, meanwhile, is delighted, because tangerines are her favourite fruit! Eileen Browne also created “Through My Window” which was shortlisted for the Smarties Book Prize (1986), “No Problem”, “Tick Tock” and “Where’s my Bus?”.