Now We Are One! Picture books for one-year-olds by Lucy Rowland

Last year, when my son was still teeny-tiny, I asked the mums in our NCT group which books their babies were particularly enjoying. I wrote about their answers for Picture Book Den.

Recently, our children celebrated their first birthdays- a big milestone, which perhaps felt even bigger given the very strange year we've had- and I thought it would be nice to catch up with the mums and babies once again.  This time I wanted to find out which picture books they are enjoying NOW WE ARE ONE! 

Of course, most of the babies still like board books with their sturdier pages (for enthusiastic hands), and novelty books with their flaps, textures, buttons and sounds, but some of the babies are starting to branch out into more traditional picture books too.

Answers included the classics: 'Guess How Much I love You' by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, the rhythmic 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, 'Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, 'The Tiger who Came to Tea' by Judith Kerr, 'Not Now Bernard' by David McKee and the ever-popular 'Peepo' and 'Each Peach Pear Plum' by Janet and Alan Ahlberg.

But there were also some picture books which were either less familiar to me or which took me by surprise but are, never-the-less firm favourites with these one-year olds.  

My own son, Benji, enjoys:

'The Flying Bath' by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts.

My sister gave us this one, as her own son had enjoyed it so much. It was not a book I'd come across before but, with its minimal text and simple bouncy rhyme, Benji loves following the journey of the flying bath as it travels around the world helping animals with their water-related problems.  I think he enjoys the repetitive refrain- 'Wings out and off we fly, the flying bath is in the sky!' I like the soft colours and patterns used in the illustrations.

Grayson's mum said: Grayson loves Oi Dog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field I think it's the bright, bold colours and the funny voices that I do!

 Poppy's mum said: 
Poppy likes 'So Much' by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury.

Flora's mum said: Flo really likes 'I want my hat back' by Jon Klassen.  

Teddy's mum said: Teddy's favourite is 'Chu's Day' by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Joseph's mum said:  Because I read it almost every day over lockdown, Joseph likes 'What the ladybird heard on holiday' by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. It's also my favourite of the trilogy! 

Ralph's mum said:  Ralph really likes non fiction picture books. He also has some lovely non-fiction 'Hello World' board books by Jill McDonald. He likes Solar System, Weather and Backyard Bugs. He really loves the bright and colourful illustrations and frequently after we've finished reading it, he will pick it straight up so we can read it again! There is a central text to read and then extra little facts for when he is older.

Holly's mum said: Holly likes 'Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes' by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. She will give us kisses at the end of the book so that makes it my favourite to read to her! 

Archie's mum said: Archie loves 'Handa's Surprise' by Eileen Browne.  It's a definite favourite! We have a story sack version of it and he loves playing with all the different fruits and the animal masks!

So there we have it- top picture book picks as chosen by our one year olds! Which picture books do you recommend for this age group? 

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