Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli (2009)

[Published by Candlewick Press]

highOoooh I’ve found a wee sweetie that would be perfect for library sessions with babies.

The illustrations are delightfully perky and the text is on the minimal but interactive side.

A teeny girl on a swing calls “Higher! Higher!” repeatedly. From the park, to the top of a giraffe, to the top of an apartment, up and up she swings.

Encourage your audience to pair the story with some lifting, or swinging or even tickly fingers and you’ll have an audience of giggling littlies in no time.

Check out Higher! Higher! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Higher! Higher! from Fishpond.


Wiggle! by Taro Gomi (2013)

[Published by Chronicle Books]

wiggleMagnificent in its interactiveness, Wiggle! features a finger-sized hole and a bunch of animals for the entertainment of your audience.

From a wriggly cat’s tail, to a swinging elephant’s trunk, you’ll find all your favourite animal features inside.

One of my most successful Wriggle and Rhyme experiments was en masse reading. I would request in a selection of board books in the series, “That’s not my…” by Fiona Watt the audience20150303_185711 would read them simultaneously. Wiggle! would be a great option for a group read aloud for babies and would pair nicely with some wriggly finger rhymes.

Check out Wiggle! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Wigglefrom Fishpond.


Say hello like this! by Mary Murphy (2014)

Oh boy, I’ve got a bit behind with my blogging, I’m tempted to start posting one word reviews from now on. Think “Super-cute” for today’s book. Not quite enough? Okay I’ll blast out a few extra words.

Mary Murphy is quite the legend when it comes to gorgeous books for very little people. And she’s created yet another winner with Say hello like this. Sweetly simple, each page features an animal with its noise. “A dog hello is licky and loud…” (turn part of the page to reveal the noisy bit) “Like this!  Bow-wow-wow-wow!” There are some great animal hello descriptions, including my favourites, the cat hello which is “prissy and proud” and the frog hello which is “jumpy and croaky”.IMG_1064

I love Murphy’s illustrations to bits, and as we all know by now, noisy books resonate with me, so it’s a guaranteed winner at my house. Interactive and entertaining, this will keep even the itsy-bitsiest of audience members happy.

Check out Say hello like this! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Say hello like this! from Fishpond.


Hide and seek Harry around the house by Kenny Harrison (2014)

Harry the hippopotamus not surprisingly is terrible at hide-and-seek. To be fair it was never likely to be one of his strengths, he’s not exactly built for squeezing into tight spots. It in no way quashes his enthusiasm for the game however!

“Harry is our best friend. Hide-and-seek is always on his mind. He tries so hard to hide – and he thinks he’s tough to find.”

I found this super short but super sweet board book absolutely hilarious and an audience of littlies is likely to do so as well.2014-10-17 22.54.49

With a nice tight rhyme and just ten pages, it’s perfect for the youngest of audiences. The
only disadvantage is that as a board book it’s in a pretty tiny format, so a challenge if your audience is big.

Check out Hide and seek Harry around the house at Auckland Libraries.


I’ve been asked for books-as-presents advice lately, and as Christmas isn’t far away, here are my top picks of board books to give as presents to babies. I’ve included links that will take you through to Fishpond. On that note, in the interests of honesty, I’ve signed up to Fishpond’s affiliate scheme so if you buy anything from them via my blog, I take a cut. Feel free to buy from your favourite bookstore instead!

Hide and seek Harry around the house by Kenny Harrison (funny)

Where is the green sheep by Mem Fox (consistent customer favourite)

Sleepy kittens by Cinco Paul (with interactive finger puppets)

Baby faces peekaboo by Dawn Sirett (for babies who love looking at pictures of other babies)

That’s not my Santa by Fiona Watt (part of a series of popular titles, with a little Christmas action)


Can you choo choo too? by David Wojtowycz (2001)

There is nothing I like better than saying to an audience something ridiculous like, “Can you nee-nar too?” and having the entire group, unquestioningly join in with loud nee-nars. I’ve always been lucky enough to work in communities where the adults are equally enthusiastic about these things as the kids!

Only available now as a board book, Can you choo choo too is fabulous for a preschool audience of any age. 20141016_144247

We are introduced to six modes of transport and encouraged to join in with a bit of group noise-making “Fire engine whizzing. See it speed by. nee-nar nee-nar nee-nar Can you nee-nar too?”

How can that not be a crowd pleaser?

Check out Can you choo choo too? at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Can you choo choo too? from Fishpond.


Peek-a-boo bunny by Holly Surplice (2013)

I’ve got one, I’ve got one! I have found another book that is perfect for that deliciously challenging group, babies! When you’re faced with a room full of babies, it can be tempting to bypass books and head straight to the songs and action-rhymes. One nifty move is to pick a book you can sing or add actions to, The Wheels on the bus in book form, that sort of thing. In exciting news I’ve got another one you can add to your collection, Peek-a-boo bunny.

Bunny is playing hide-and-seek with his friends. Each delightful double page features a simple rhyming line, “Bunny jumping on the spot. Bunny coming ready or not!” Most lines involve action words that you can get your audience to play along with, words like, jump, sniffing, and stretching high. And of course we finish with a gigantic group Peek-a-boo!20140924_173116

Between the gorgeous illustrations, the lovely rhyming text and the added bonus of possible matching actions, this is sure to keep an audience of tiny people happy and smiley.

Check out Peek-a-boo bunny at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Peek-a-book bunny from Fishpond.


Peek-a-moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti (2004)

This book can silence an audience of babies at fifty paces. A big claim, but I challenge you to test it out in any baby programmes you run in your library.

The illustrations are gorgeous with giant flaps to turn down, the text is simple and the audience will quite happily join you in making the animal noises. It’s always good to practise your moo-ing and baa-ing first, I recommend doing so loudly out the back in the workroom!

Pair it with some scarves and a peek-a-boo rhyme* or two and both you and your audience will have a blast.

Check out Peek-a-zoo at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Peek-a-zoo from Fishpond.

Peek-a-boo Rhyme with scarves *

(sung to Frere Jacques)

Where is baby? Where is baby?

There you are. There you are.

Where are you hiding? Where are you hiding?

Peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo.