Bedtime stories are tricky in our house at the moment. How do we cater to the interests and attention spans of a three-year-old and a three-month-old?
It’s meant separate choices for both and different rooms, so that when the littlest one gets overawed and tired after a couple of simple board books, he doesn’t fuss and interrupt the older one’s third reading of Baby First Bank Heist.
Trust those clever people at Usborne to come up with the perfect compromise: Don’t Tickle The Hippo!
This chunky new title is the first in a series that combines the tactile, touchy-feely qualities of their bestselling That’s Not My books with the wizardry of sound books, like our favourite Listen To The range from Nosy Crow.
On each page is an animal and when you stroke or prod a textured part of its body, it makes a funny noise, such as a parrot’s squawk or a monkey’s howl. Then on the final spread is a button which plays a hilarious combination of all the noises as a song.
I started off reading it with the little one as the recommended age range is six months and older. However, when Baby Bookworm got a look at it, he was hooked – and insisted this was HIS book.
It’s been a joyful bonding moment to sit and read the book with the two of them together. Baby Bookworm likes to do the stroking and pressing, which means he can shown his little brother how grown up he is.
There’s a lot of dancing from all of us at the end too. Which is always the nicest way to end the day.
Don’t Tickle The Hippo by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Ana Larranaga, is out now. £12.99 (board book), Usborne. Available from Amazon
Don’t Tickle The Dinosaur will be published in April 2020, priced at £12.99. You can preorder a copy at Amazon at a discounted price now.
More brilliant first books for babies…
The Baby 101 series: teaching children about the world around us
Alice Melvin’s stylish first concept books about family life
Teach your child the ABC with Nosy Crow’s Early Learning at the Museum series