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"pat-a-cake"

Out of This World
by Pat-a-Cake & Kat Uno

It’s World Space Week so I thought I would share this gorgeous little board book which is perfect for babies and toddlers.

Featuring bold illustrations and lots of eye-catching shiny sections, it introduces small children to some very big ideas. The pages are folded like a concertina and they are designed to be stretched out to create a frieze. You can use it to keep a baby entertained during tummy time by standing it up in front of them, and toddlers will enjoy sitting in the middle of it  and interacting with the pages.

On one side of he frieze we see all of the planets laid out in order. Each of them has a very expressive face (which can be used to talk about emotions)  and a descriptive name which tells us something about that specific planet – Little Mercury, Red Mars, Cold Neptune etc. As someone who was born in the seventies I love that there is also a little nod to Pluto as I refuse to accept that he’s been downgraded!

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Clap Hands for Key Workers by Pat-A-Cake & Kat Uno

The events of 2020 have definitely highlighted the critical role which keys workers play in our society. This gorgeous little touch-and-feel board book celebrates the part they play in keeping us safe and well.

Each double page spread introduces us to a different key worker and encourages your child to talk about what they are doing. Harriet the doctor is bandaging a child’s leg. Jay the shop worker is working the tills at the supermarket. Ruby the postal worker is delivering parcels. Logan the bus driver is helping people get around the town. Once you’ve talked about the role each worker plays, your child is invited to clap for them and say thank you for their hard work.

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Count to 100
by Pat-A-Cake Books & Villie Karabatzia

This fabulous counting book will take your child from their baby days right through to pre-school.

Made from heavy duty board, it first highlights the all important numbers 1 through 10 before moving to multiples of 10 in the later pages. Each number is illustrated with a familiar theme and there is A LOT of detail to explore.

If your child likes dinosaurs then they can see what 30 dinos look like all on one page. And how many of those dinosaurs have stripes? How many are red?

If vehicles are their thing then how about 70 of them on one double page spread? How many cars are there? What colour is the rocket? Which animal is riding a surfboard? You get the idea!

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Find Out About: Families
by Pat-A-Cake & Louise Forshaw

Families come in all shapes and sizes and this little board book from Pat-A-Cake is a great way to introduce this concept to small children.

Each double page spread looks at a different aspect of family life and then introduces you to a child and their individual set up. There is then a question which encourages kids to think about their own family and how it may differ from others.

The book explores family size, different types of homes and environments, leisure activities, special holidays, job roles, celebrations, and family trees. It is very inclusive, with different races and religions represented along with single parents, step-parents, same-sex parents, foster parents and families with grandparents as primary carers. We see children in wheelchairs and children wearing glasses. It also features a parent who is unable to work due to illness, which is not something I have seen in a children’s book before.

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Toddler’s World: Feelings
by Pat-A-Cake & Villie Karabatzia

This chunky board book from Pat-A-Cake is an ideal introduction to feelings for little ones. It teaches small children what it means to be happy, sad, brave, angry, scared or jealous.

Each double page spread is dedicated to a specific emotion. The illustrations and text show us multiple different scenarios which might make you feel this way, so for example you might feel angry when you are tired, when someone is mean to you or when you want something which you can’t have. It then offers practical suggestions to help you overcome the emotion (where relevant) and reassurances that your feelings are perfectly normal. Each page asks the child to recall a time they felt this way and to talk about it with an adult when the emotion feels too big to handle.

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Goodnight, Aliens by Pat-a-Cake Books & Kat Uno

This adorable little board book from Pat-a-Cake follows a family of aliens as they move through their bedtime routine. We see the three baby aliens playing with their toys, eating their dinner, having a bath, listening to a bedtime story and then snuggling up to sleep.

The rhyming text is short and repetitive which gives it a lovely sing-song feel. It’s a soothing read for babies, and toddlers will love memorising and repeating the lines back to you.

The colourful illustrations are super cute and there’s the added bonus of a pop up surprise on the very last page.

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Llamaste & Friends by Pat-A-Cake & Annabel Tempest

A few weeks ago, Ivy and I were having a chilled morning in our pyjamas with no specific plans for the day – but then this book arrived in the post and everything changed. Suddenly our living room was an exercise studio and Ivy was in stitches trying to hold a Tree pose whilst I read to her about a yoga-loving llama!

Llamaste is a kind and calm creature who loves to practise yoga and look after her friends. The story follows her as she pays each of them a visit and helps them feel better using different yoga poses. A scared flamingo tries the Warrior pose and soon feels like a superhero. A cross tiger calms down using the Downward Dog. Each friend has a different worry for Llamaste to ease and each page encourages your child to consider their own emotions by asking them if they have ever felt this way.

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Our Favourite Picture Books About Families

I’ve had quite a few messages recently from parents and teachers looking for books about different types of families, so I have created a list of our favourites.

There are 24 books in total and they cover a really wide range of family groups and family members. There are books about mums, dads, grandparents, siblings and new babies. There are books with two parents, books with single parents and books with same sex parents. There are also books about adoption and foster care, IVF and surrogacy.

Hopefully every child will see themselves represented within the pages of these stories and they will learn a little about other families too.

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Find Out About: Saving Our Planet by Mandy Archer & Louise Forshaw

It’s never too early to get kids thinking about the little things we can all do which make a difference to our planet. This lift-the-flap board book from Pat-A-Cake is perfectly pitched to teach your little ones the basics of key environmental issues.

Each double page spread tackles one issue and then introduces you to small child who wants to help. We then learn three ways in which they can effect change and see which option they choose. As an example, Harry learns that vehicles pollute the air but he wants to help jeep the air clean. His Mum explains that instead of using the car for their trip to the park they can walk, cycle or scoot. Harry considers each of the options and then decides he would like to walk.

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Dinosaur Party
by Fiona Munro & Rachael McLean

This sparkly board book from Pat-a-Cake is perfect for helping toddlers develop fine motor skills, especially those who love dinosaurs!

Panda and Penguin are off on an adventure. They need to get to Dinosaur Town in time for a party but they have a long way to go. They huff and puff their way up a steep hill and over a spiky track – but when they get to the top they discover a great big grinning dinosaur face. It turns out they haven’t been climbing a hill at all, instead they have scaled the back of a giant dinosaur! Fortunately he’s very friendly – perhaps he will offer them a lift to the party on his back?

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