(or just give you a chilled five minutes…)

Fact: it’s never too early to read to your baby. Some people even read to them while they’re still in utero (we preferred to binge-watch This Is Us while necking Gaviscon, but we’re basic like that). The trouble is, with libraries shut and real life book-browsing opportunities hard to come by, you might well be tiring of the same old stories every bedtime. So, if even your baby has started giving you the side-eye when you reach for that well-thumbed copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the fourth time this week, here, thanks to our friends at Bonnier Books, are a few new titles to keep them engaged and entertained (and, of course, expand your repertoire of silly voices…).

One to turn them into a young Carol Vorderman: One Lonely Fish by Andy Mansfield & Thomas Flintham

A simple counting book with big, bright illustrations, this is visually fun for very little ones, but also great for toddlers and preschoolers when it comes to those burgeoning numeracy skills. There’s a surprise ending too that will get them giggling. Just maybe avoid fishfingers for tea for a couple of days to avoid awkward conversations… 

One to make sure they’re nice to their mates: Everybody Belongs by Lorna Freytag

It’s great that there are now a lot more children’s books around that celebrate diversity – but it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to your little one’s cultural and social education. This bright, bold board book encourages children to embrace people of all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds, but in a really simple, accessible way.

One to help them through tricky emotions: Everybody Feels by Lorna Freytag

Lots of us are worried about our children’s emotional well-being at the moment, and feeling the mum guilt about our own pandemic stresses affecting them, so this lovely board book is the perfect opportunity to address those concerns. Designed to help toddlers understand their feelings –  whether they’re happy, sad, angry, worried or confused – it would make a reassuring present for any loved ones going through tricky times.  

One to help them understand what you do when you’re not with them: When Mummy Goes to Work by Paul Schofield and Anna Terreros-Martin

It’s so tough for kids to figure out why we might leave them every day to save lives/clock-watch/sell our souls to the corporate machine, but here’s a book that aims to do just that, using gentle, rhyming text and really cute illustrations. If you’re about to come off maternity leave or changing things up after a long stint working from home with them around, it’s a great way to get across that no matter where you are, you’re always thinking of them. Oh, and of course there’s a matching book about dads too. 

One to make them save the planet: Eco Baby: Ice Caps / Eco Baby: Rainforests by Lorna Freytag

It’s so important to get little ones clued up about the planet from a young age. They might not immediately transform into Greta Thunberg, but at least they’ll grow up knowing why they’re supposed to put their yoghurt pot in the recycling bin. Even the littlest ones will enjoy the simple, stylish illustrations, while toddlers and preschoolers can begin to get their heads around climate change. It makes the perfect new baby gift for any eco-conscious pals too.   

Mush has partnered with Bonnier Books to win all of these books (plus a few more!). To enter the competition please fill out this short questionnaire.