Tall by Jez Alborough

As we have seen in his first book Hug, featured previously, Jez Alborough excels at telling stories with minimal words — just five different words this time, to be exact. And once you look at his beautifully expressive illustrations, you will understand why: his drawings already say so much that there’s really no need for words — well OK, just one per page.

In Tall, Bobo the monkey returns, and this time, instead of looking for a hug, he’s now trying his best to be, well, tall.

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Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake by Thomas Taylor and Jill Barton

The simplest stories can be some of the hardest to get right — if it’s too straightforward, it becomes boring; if it’s saddled with unnecessary fluff, it becomes fussy and try-hard. Thus, Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake is a breath of fresh air. Not only is this charming book executed well — with a good story that is complemented with understated pencil illustrations that look as sweet as the giant cupcake on the cover — but it also has a nice, feel-good message about the perks of sharing.

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How Big Is the World? by Britta Teckentrup

Children are innately curious about everything — hence their never-ending questions for us. Some questions are easier than others to answer, though — for example, anything factual and *ahem* Googleable — while others are more open-ended and tricky. Lucky for us, then, that talented writers and illustrators exist to make our lives a little easier, by doing a lot of the hard thinking and research on our behalf, and then presenting the relevant information to kids in a neat, easy-to-understand yet old-fashioned way, i.e. in printed books.

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The Number Garden by Sara Pinto

Counting books are a dime a dozen, and unfortunately, most of them are boring, no-brainer reiterations of the same number/object sequence. Of course, that’s not to say that these don’t serve their purpose for infants, but beyond the age bracket of, say, under 12 months, I think toddlers (and their parents) will need something more creative to sustain their interest.

Enter, stage left, The Number Garden, a quirky book that is the antithesis of a simple counting book — yet it can function as just that if you wish.

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Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky

There are many alphabet books out there, but none that we’ve read so far have incorporated a credible storyline nor been as funny as this one. The premise of Z Is for Moose is an alphabet theatrical production run by the zebra, who seems to double up as both an actor and the stage manager of sorts. Thus, the animal/person/object representing each letter is introduced alphabetically onstage.

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