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Recommended Reads

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Nathan | That's my new friend By Lola Adebayo | Back History Month | Milkshake!

Join Nathan as he reads 'Thats my new friend' - Lola Adebayo in honour of Black History Month.

All Kinds of Families by Sophy Henn (HarperCollins, 2020) 

Sophy Henn brings her inimitable illustrations and incredible non-fiction prowess together to create a non-fiction book about different types of families. The opening pages show a gallery of different types of families. The rest of the book explores how the animal world creates families in a multitude of ways as well. We find out that daddy emus raise their chicks, grandmother orcas often look after young orcas while their mothers are hunting, and that adoption also happens in the wild! Stuffed with facts – that were new to me – this book highlights Sophy’s messages that all families have one thing in common: love! 


My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin and Lyndsey Yankey (Walker Books, 2019) 

This gentle and unusual book has been a massive hit in school. Many children are brought up by their grandparents and this book shines a light on the relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Told in the first person and set in Iran we learn about the rhythms of daily life, and the importance and reverence that the little girl has for her grandmother’s chador. Many of the children adored seeing the chador in a book and stroked the pages lovingly. The illustrations have a different style and bring Iran’s beauty to life. 

Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren | Read by Sita | Story Time | Milkshake!

And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three is a children's book written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole which was published in 2005. The book tells the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who create a family together.

Tomorrow by Nadine Kaadan | Read by Amy | Story Time | Milkshake!

Yazan no longer goes to the park to play, and he no longer sees his friend who lives next door. Everything around him is changing. His parents sit in front of the television with the news turned up LOUD and Yazan's little red bike leans forgotten against the wall.

  • If you’re looking for fun, rhyming poems that children won’t be able to resist adding actions to, look no further than Big Green Crocodile by Jane Newberry (Otter-Barry Books, 2021). If the tag line ‘Rhymes to Say and Play’ entices you, you won’t be left disappointed! 

  • Caterpillar Cake by Matt Goodfellow (Otter-Barry Books, 2021) is a cheerful, engaging collection. The poems are short, designed to be read aloud and packed with lots of different settings and themes that young children will be able to relate to. 


  • Shirley Hughes’ timeless first book of poems Out and About (Walker Books, 2016) has been enjoyed in many Early Years classrooms since it was first published in 1988. The poems are divided into sections based on the seasons and are paired with Hughes’ rich and endearing illustrations.  

  • Wriggle and Roar! (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2015) is a collaboration between author of The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson and prolific children’s illustrator Nick Sharratt. Each page is filled with colourful and bold illustrations, guaranteed to engage young poetry fans. 

  • Zim Zam Zoom! (Otter-Barry Books, 2016) contains poems that burst off the page! Featuring poems with rockets, farms, dragons, animals and monsters, there is something for everyone in this read-aloud collection from James Carter

  • Poems Out Loud! (Ladybird, 2019), illustrated by Laurie Stansfield, brings together 29 brilliant children’s poets. It includes work from Joseph Coelho, Karl Nova and Sue Hardy-Dawson. 

  • Previous Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and illustrator Chris Riddell have teamed up to create A Great Big Cuddle (Walker Books, 2017). Specifically aimed at ‘the very young’, this collection contains short but exciting poems that children will enjoy listening to again and again



You're Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry | Read by Jen

At the start of winter, two bear cubs are born, deep in their den in the frozen north. "Mama, what lies beyond here?" they ask. "'Above us is a land of ice and snow." "What lies beyond the ice and snow?" they ask. "The ocean, full of ice from long ago."