Best books for six year olds: picture books
Sleep Well, Siba and Saba by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl
(£7.99, Lantana Publishing)
This gentle, rhyming picture book is gorgeously illustrated and has a wonderful dream-like quality to it. Set in Uganda, the story follows two sisters called Siba and Saba, who are inseparable. However, they are constantly losing things – slippers, sweaters and sandals. Every night they dream of all the things they’ve lost. One night the sisters dream of a stiffly starched school uniform and a silver shilling – but they’ve never lost a school uniform or a silver shilling! When they wake, strange things start to happen and their lives are changed forever. Beautiful, poetic language and stunning, colourful illustrations make this the perfect picture book to share before bedtime.
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Rooster Wore Skinny Jeans by Jessie Miller
(£7.99, Maverick Arts Publishing)
Poor old Rooster! When a package arrives for him, he is beyond excited. Inside are the stunning, slimming skinny jeans he has been longing for. However, when he puts them on and parades around the farm, he is dismayed to find the other animals jeering and laughing at him. Ashamed, he hides in the barn and sobs. But a quick glance in the mirror tells him all he needs to know – he looks fantastic and doesn’t need the approval of the other animals to feel good! This is a hilarious, heart-warming picture book about the power of self-belief and ignoring the naysayers. Rooster is a delightful creation – flamboyant, confident and excitable. Young children will love the bright illustrations and the hilarious rhyming text.
Poppy and the Blooms by Fiona Woodcock
(£6.99, Simon & Schuster Children's)
With the last park in the city about to be closed, Poppy and her skateboarding friends know they have to do something! Can they turn the grey, foreboding city into a colourful oasis of calm? Will they save the park? This is a lovely story. There’s an uplifting message for younger readers about working together and how even small acts of kindness have the ability to transform and spread positivity. The illustrations are stunning too, especially when Poppy and her friends work their magic and turn the drab, abandoned park into a blossoming riot of colour. The characters are determined and feisty and the pictures offer an excellent platform for talking about how we can all look after the environment and our local community.
Hamster Sitter Wanted by Tracy Gunaratnam
(£7.99, Maverick Arts Publishing)
“Dear Marco, Please look after your little cousins. I need some ME time! Love from Aunt Fluff. P.S Never leave them alone!”
When Marco and Polo receive a note from Aunt Fluff, asking them to babysit their little cousins, they are horrified! No more adventures for them! Surely looking after their naughty cousins will take up all their time? They decide to place an ad for a hamster sitter in the Daily Whale. Poor Mrs Baaton is given the run around and wound up and the yoga teaching giraffe Mr Yogani is whirled and twirled into a very large pretzel! Will they ever find a hamster sitter who can deal with their lively, boisterous cousins? This is a charming story, full of jokes and hilarious illustrations. There is lots to explore and talk about within each illustration and children will love the silly, slapstick humour.
Hibernation Hotel by John Kelly
(£7.99, Little Tiger Press)
Can’t doze off? Cave too cramped? Friends too loud and whiffy? Then check into a hotel: the Hibernation Hotel! It’s way past hibernation time but Bear just can’t sleep! His friends are snoring and fidgeting and poor Bear is fed up of being treated like a big furry mattress, so he decides to check into a fancy hotel with a luxurious bed and as much food as he could possibly ask for. But still, Bear isn’t happy. Could a visit from his friends help him finally get to sleep? This is an amusing book about realising that what you want isn’t always what you need. The detailed illustrations are quirky, mischievous and goofy and seeing grumpy Bear in an expensive hotel offers lots of laughs too.
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too by Keith Negley
(£11.99, Flying Eye Books)
Superheroes, wrestlers, ninjas, knights, pirates and bikers… nothing seems to get them down. They’re tough guys, after all, and tough guys aren’t allowed to, or supposed to, cry or show their feelings. This colourful, stylish book offers a different perspective to the view that men shouldn’t cry – by reassuring children that everyone has feelings and that it’s OK to show them. It encourages young children to explore their own emotions by showing them that even astronauts, cowboys and Formula One drivers get frustrated and feel lonely. The bold illustrations perfectly capture the essence of the story, too, and offer a good opportunity to start to talk about feelings and how to deal with setbacks.
Moon by Patricia Hegarty
(£11.99, Little Tiger Kids)
Have you ever wondered why the moon shines in the night-time sky? Under its luminous glow, a wide array of night-time animals scurry, scuttle and scamper. Through the clever use of peek-through holes, this beautiful book shows young children how the moon changes shape. The lovely, gentle rhymes help explore the mysterious world of nocturnal creatures. Teckentrup’s muted pallet gorgeously depicts puffins, parrots, jellyfish, mountain bears and scorpions and a variety of night-time landscapes around the world. On each page a few animals shimmer and shine in the moonlight and repeated viewings are certainly encouraged in order to find all the animals silhouetted and cleverly hidden in the darkness. A magical, mesmerising book about the moon and darkness.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
(£6.99, HarperCollins Children's Books)
This short picture book, first published in 1968, is still enchanting and relevant today. The book follows Sophie and her mother who are interrupted by a knock on the door one day whilst having their tea. To their surprise, they find a tiger on the doorstep, who soon comes in and causes havoc. The slinky tiger really is a fantastic creation – naughty, amusing and greedy, he scoffs all the food, drains the water from the taps and then leaves. The next day, Sophie and her mother go to the shops to buy a large tin of tiger food in case the tiger should ever return… but he never does. This timeless classic is as charming and delightful as ever and young children will adore the idea of a mischievous tiger turning up for tea one cold night.
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
(£5.99, HarperCollins Children's Books)
This simple book is a real treat. One day, a little boy finds a penguin on his doorstep. Convinced that the penguin is lost, he returns him to the Lost and Found Office, only to discover that no one has actually lost a penguin. The boy decides to help the penguin find his way home and together they row across the sea. Floating through good weather and bad, the boy shares stories with the penguin until they finally reach the South Pole. In a lovely twist, the boy realises that the penguin is not lost at all, just lonely. A heart-warming, special tale of friendship that will certainly resonate with young readers.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Dr Dominic Walliman
(£9.99, Flying Eye)
Welcome, Planet Explorers! For young children interested in space, this informative picture book is a must! Professor Astro Cat and his friends take us on a fact-filled mission throughout the solar system; packed full of interesting diagrams and facts, the book is easy to read and the glossary at the back is a useful addition to help younger children understand some of the trickier space-themed vocabulary they will encounter on their out-of-this-world adventure. A perfect reference book for any aspiring young astronauts; other books in the series include Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space and Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure.