Looking for a fun board book for your own bub, or to buy as a gift? Here are two animal stories you might want to check out.

Charlie Chick Wants to Play, Nick Denchfield & Ant Parker, Pan Macmillan, 2017

Synopsis: Charlie Chick Wants to Play but he can’t find his ball. Can you help him find it? Lift the flaps to see if it’s in the pig sty, the kennel, the reeds or the hen house in this delightful book about friendship, farm animals, and fun!

This “chirpy” board book, made from strong, sturdy cardboard that’s perfect for little hands, has a beautiful, glittery cover, and is full of happy, bright colours and playful illustrations. It was created by Nick Denchfield, the paper engineer who is known for his work on versions of The Gruffalo and The Christmas Treasure Hunt, and illustrated by Ant Parker, who has worked on many novelty books during his career.

In the book, Charlie the yellow chick goes looking for his ball around the farm where he lives. As he searches, he meets a variety of new animal friends, who are all in their homes at the time. Young readers will delight in lifting the flaps to discover who is saying ‘Oink! Oink!’ in the pigsty, ‘Woof! Woof!’ in the kennel, ‘Ribbit! Ribbit’ in the reeds, and ‘Cluck! Cluck!’ in the hen house. All the animals Charlie meets have alliteration-based names (such as Frankie Frog), and help Charlie search for his ball.

The ending has a cute surprise, and the storyline provides an ideal way for children to learn about animals found on a farm, where they all live, and the various sounds they make. The sweet book also deals with friendship and outside play in an engaging way. Charlie Chick Wants to Play is a new book in a series about this character, with other titles including Charlie Chick Goes to School and Charlie Chick Learns to Fly.

Fluffy Chick, Rod Campbell, Pan Macmillan, 2017

Synopsis: Children will love discovering the different touch and feel textures on every page as they follow chick around the farm and meet all her animal friends in Fluffy Chick.

Most homes have at least one copy of Rod Campbell’s classic preschool lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo, as the talented created has been teaching early-learning concepts in a delightful way for more than three decades. Now, in Campbell’s new board book Fluffy Chick, little ones can enjoy a touch-and-feel story that introduces them to a range of favourite farm animals, including a chick and her friends lamb, pig, cow and hen.

Each page features Campbell’s trademark bright, bold illustrations, along with a touch-and-feel section that bubs will just love exploring. The concept introduces them to the different textures found on animals, such as a fluffy chicken’s covering, woolly coat on a lamb, hairy ear on a pig, and smooth horns on a cow. The story finishes with a fun lift-the-flap ending to boot, as children discover where Fluffy Chick has gone (nestling under her mother’s wing).

All kids love an outing to a petting zoo, so with this sweet book you can bring the joy of farm life to your house every day. The book encourages active learning and play, and has simple text that young readers will follow, while at the same time teaching them about different types of farm animals.

A copy of each of these books was provided by the publisher, Pan Macmillan, in exchange for an honest review

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