Pre-school play

The home learning team recommends the following books:

More books for pre-school children

'Everybunny Dance' by Ellie Sandall. This is a lovely story about friendship. Did you know that bunnies love to dance, sing and play the flute? Your child will love finding out what they get up to when no-one is watching! Why not borrow a copy of Everybunny Dance from your local library or click on the link to see the interactive retelling of this story by radio and television presenter Lauren Laverne, there are top tips along the way to make reading together more fun and the option to watch the storybook as a British Sign Language video. You can even read along with this story on your tablet and mobile phone.


'Oh Dear' by Rod Campbell. Buster goes down to the farmyard to fetch the eggs for Grandma. On each unsuccessful attempt at finding the eggs the phrase “Are they in here? Oh Dear!” is repeated. Lift the flaps, meet all the farm animals, and help Buster find an egg for his breakfast.

Reserve 'Oh Dear'

'Peep Inside' by Anna Milbourne. Does your child enjoy looking at non-fiction information books? The library service have invested in a series called Peep Inside, many of which are non-fiction based, with peep holes and lift the flaps which are bound to excite your young child!

Explore the 'Peep Inside' series and make reservations

'Fancy Dress Jungle' by Nick Sharratt. Books with doors to open, flaps to lift and holes to explore are not only great fun, creating an element of surprise as children love to guess who is hiding, but they also help young children to start to develop their motor skills. All the jungle animals love wearing fancy dress - but who's hiding under each disguise.

Reserve 'Fancy Dress Jungle'

'The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water' by Gemma Merino. Everybody knows that crocodiles love water, but this little crocodile is different. He doesn't like water at all. In fact, he prefers climbing trees! But it can be lonely when you're the odd one out, so the little crocodile tries his best to change.

Reserve 'The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water'

'Slug Needs a Hug' by Jeanne Willis. When it begins to bug slug that his mummy doesn't hug him, he leaves home to find out why. Kitten suggests he should be furrier, so he puts on a woolly hat, while Bird suggests he needs a beak. Soon, Slug has a new look, will his mummy hug him now?

Reserve 'Slug Needs a Hug'

'Bear on a Bike' by Hannah Shaw. Bear is taking a birthday cake to his friend, Mouse - but Mouse has already zoomed off on his bike! How can Bear catch up with him? On a bike? In a lorry? On a train? In a trolley? It'll be a very battered cake by the time he reaches Mouse.

Reserve 'Bear on a Bike'

'Florentine and Pig Have a Very Lovely Picnic' by Eva Katzler. Florentine and Pig are going to celebrate a lovely sunny day by having a picnic. Florentine puts on her thinking cap and comes up with a delicious menu, including treats like apple and carrot muffins - only to realise that Pig ate the last of the apples! Pig knows what he has to do when he spots three perfect apples at the top of the tree in the garden and a near disaster is avoided. You can also join in the cooking fun by following the recipes at the back of the book.

Reserve 'Florentine and Pig have a very lovely picnic'

'Mr Gumpy’s Outing' by John Burningham. A great story about water, boats and a picnic! Mr Gumpy takes a trip along the river in his boat, the children, the rabbit, the cat, the pig and a whole host of friends decide to join him. Everyone's having a lovely time until the boat starts to rock!!

Reserve 'Mr Gumpy’s Outing'

'The Flying Bath' by Julia Donaldson. When everyone has left the house in the morning, the bath toys spring into action and head off on exciting adventures in their magical flying bath! From giving a muddy piglet a shower to putting out a fire for a frightened baboon, they have water at the ready for any emergency - but they're always home for the children's bathtime at the end of the day.

Reserve 'The Flying Bath'

'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers. One day a penguin arrives on a little boy’s doorstep. The boy decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. But no one seems to be missing a penguin. So the boy decides to take the penguin home himself, and they set out in his row boat on a journey to the South Pole; when they get there, the boy discovers that maybe home wasn't what the penguin was looking for after all. 

Reserve 'Lost and Found'

'The Very Busy Spider' by Eric Carle. This story follows a little spider as she busily spins her sparkly web. Many animals try to distract the Busy Spider but she doesn’t stop until she is finished!

Reserve 'The Very Busy Spider'

'A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea' by Jessica Law. You will discover amazing and fascinating sea creatures in the hole in the bottom of the sea! Each verse introduces a new creature with the shark chasing the eel, who chases the squid, who chases the snail. What will you find at the bottom of the sea? Click on the link to see the interactive retelling of this story by Angelica Bell, there are top tips along the way to make reading together more fun and the option to watch the storybook as a British Sign Language video. You can even read along with this story on your tablet and mobile phone.

Reserve 'A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea'

'Sharing a Shell' by Julia Donaldson. The hermit crab doesn't want to share his new shell, especially not with a blobby purple anemone and tickly bristleworm!

Reserve 'Sharing a Shell'

'The Pig in the Pond' by Martin Waddell. One day, Neligan's pig sits by the pond watching the ducks and geese play on the cool water. The pig gets hotter and hotter; the ducks and the geese get louder and louder. Then Neligan's pig does something quite unheard of - she jumps in the pond.

Reserve 'The Pig in the Pond'

'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen. Join in the fun of going on a bear hunt-through tall, wavy grass (SWISHY SWISHY!); swampy mud (SQUELCH SQUELCH!); and a swirling whirling snowstorm (HOOOO WOOOO!) - only to find a "real" bear waiting at the end of the trail!

Reserve 'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt'

'Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?' by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle – a great repetitive book which is easy for your child to join with. The book introduces a new animal on each page. Your child will enjoy guessing which animal comes next. There are other similar titles to this by the same authors.

Reserve 'Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?'

Some dogs do’ by Jez Alborough. Share together this uplifting tale of Sid the dog and the special talent that he has. This book encourages positive thinking and self-belief.

Reserve ‘Some dogs do’

This link takes you to a simply animated retelling of the book to enjoy together

Nursery rhyme books - Your local library has many nursery rhyme books for you to share with your child. Use the link below to explore their directory and make some reservations!
Reserve nursery rhyme books

‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson. This is a great rhyming story to share with your child. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. Imagine his surprise when he meets the real Gruffalo!

Reserve ‘The Gruffalo’

‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper. Cat, Duck and Squirrel live in an old white cabin, with a pumpkin patch in the garden. Every day Cat slices up some pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in some water and Duck tips in some salt to make perfect pumpkin soup... until the day Duck wants to do the stirring... This is a funny, rhythmical story about friendship and sharing. 

Reserve ‘Pumpkin Soup’

'Tap the Magic Tree’ by Christie Matheson. A really nice interactive book to share with your little one! Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss. Tap the Magic Tree asks you to help one lonely tree change with the seasons!

Reserve ‘Tap the Magic Tree’

‘The Little Red Hen’ There have been many versions written of this classic story. Why not pop along to your local library to borrow a copy! The Little Red Hen decides to plant some wheat, but the other lazy animals won’t help her! This is a great repetitive and rhyming story to share with your little one!

‘Where’s Spot?’ by Eric Hill. Spot’s first and most famous adventure! Where has Spot gone? Very young children will love lifting the flaps and searching for Spot.

Reserve ‘Where’s Spot?'


'Peck Peck Peck' by Lucy Cousins. A little woodpecker has just learnt how to peck and - yipee! - what fun it is! Off he goes, on his first big pecking adventure, and he peck peck pecks his little heart out. He pecks the hat and then the mat, the tennis racket AND the jacket ... just LOOK at all the holes he has made! Have fun pecking with your child!!!

Reserve 'Peck Peck' by Lucy Cousins

‘Washing Line’ by Jez Alborough. A great book to share with your child. Who owns those thin stripy socks, that extra-long-sleeved jumper, that enormous scarf, that tiny dress, those huge underpants, hanging on the washing line? Children are encouraged to guess which animal each item of clothing belongs to.

Reserve ‘Washing Line’

‘Stanley’s Stick’ by John Hegley, illustrated by Neal Layton. Stanley's stick is not just a stick. With a stick in hand, Stanley's options are endless – he flies to the moon, writes in the sand, goes fishing, plays a whistle and rides a dinosaur. 

Reserve ‘Stanley’s Stick’


‘Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. A lift the flap book with a catchy line “I sent him back”, until the zoo sends the perfect pet. 

Reserve ‘Dear Zoo’

‘Bubble Trouble’ by Margaret Mahy and Polly Dunbar. In this story Little Mabel blows a bubble and it causes lots of trouble! Follow the hilarious efforts of the townsfolk as they chase a baby far across the town in an effort to get him down from the bubble safe and sound!!

Reserve ‘Bubble Trouble’

'No Matter What’ by Debi Gilori. Children need to know that above all else they are loved. This wonderful book sees a little fox questioning unconditional love and acceptance. Perfect to snuggle up to with your young child.

Reserve ‘No Matter What

‘Billy’s Bucket’
 by Kes Gray and Gary Parsons. Billy only wants one thing for his birthday…..a bucket. Billy sees all sorts of amazing things when he looks in his bucket and he warns his Mum and Dad never to use it. Find out what happens when they do!

Reserve 'Billy's Bucket'

‘Where’s My Teddy?’ by Jez Alborough. Little Eddy has lost his toy bear and goes looking for him in the dark woods - but he doesn't know he's in for a big surprise! 

Reserve ‘Where’s My Teddy?’

Stories about Winter

‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Butterworth. Percy the park keeper always feeds the animals in the park, but one cold winter's night he discovers that his little friends need more than food.

Reserve ‘One Snowy Night’

‘Snow Bears’ by Martin Waddell. Mummy Bear goes outside to look for her cubs in the snow, only to discover they've been replaced by snow bears.

Reserve ‘Snow Bears’

‘The Foggy Foggy Forest’ by Nick Sharratt. What can that be in the foggy, foggy forest? Your children will love trying to guess what each foggy silhouette could be!

Reserve ‘The foggy foggy forest’

Stories about the night

Many young children have night time worries, often related to being worried about the dark and night time noises. There are many stories available to share with your child; here are three suggestions to try, or alternatively visit your local library to explore those available.

‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy. It was late and Mr Bear was tired, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not get off to sleep. The familiar night time noises and repetition make this a great book to share with young children.

Reserve ‘Peace at Last’

‘The Very Noisy Night’ by Diana Hendry and Jane Chapman. Little Mouse feels scared when he lies in bed. What is that huffing and puffing? Little Mouse asks if he can come into Big Mouse's bed. But Big Mouse is determined that Little Mouse should sleep alone.

Reserve ‘The Very Noisy Night’

‘Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?’ by Martin Waddell. Little Bear can't sleep. He's frightened of the dark even with the biggest lantern of them all at his bedside. But Big Bear finds an ingenious way to reassure him.

Reserve ‘Can’t You Sleep Little Bear’

Counting books

There are many stories and rhymes available to support your child's understanding of numbers; here are a few suggestions to try, or alternatively visit your local library to explore those available:

‘Five Little Ducks’ There are many versions of this well-known rhyme in book format. A little duck disappears on each page but happily they all return at the end!

Reserve 'Five Little Ducks'

‘Five in the Bed’ There are many versions of this well-known rhyme in book format: ‘There were five in the bed and the little one said roll over! roll over!’ A great counting rhyme book with fun peek-through holes to explore.

Reserve ‘Five in the Bed’

‘Ten Terrible Dinosaurs’ by Paul Stickland. ‘Ten terrible dinosaurs standing in a line, soon began to mess about, until there were nine’. A countdown book of dinosaurs with a noisy surprise ending.

Reserve ‘Ten Terrible Dinosaurs’

Visiting a dentist

There are books available to support your child's understanding of visiting a dentist. Here is a suggestion, or alternatively visit your local library to explore those available.

‘How to Brush Your Teeth with Snappy Croc’ by Jane Clarke. Little Croc's been crunching, snip, snap, SNIP! She doesn't want to clean her teeth. Watch out! She can nip. A board book about brushing teeth featuring a loveable little crocodile.

Reserve ‘How to brush your teeth with Snappy Croc’

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