Hug Me Please by Przemyslaw Wechterowicz (Words And Pictures, €14.20 HB)
This opens beautifully with an illustration of the sun brushing its teeth and in the process forming fluffy little clouds.
Soon Daddy Bear and Little Bear head off on their round of hugging.
First to be hugged is a Mr Beaver who is rather dubious about the whole concept.
The weasels and rabbits are far more enthusiastic, as is the big Bad Wolf who is so overcome that he doesn’t see Little Red Riding Hood pass by.
So, in a book suffused with warm colours by Emilia Dziubak, the hugging goes on to the delight of young readers who will pick up the message that showing your feelings is such an important part of life.
Suitable for age four and upwards.
Animal Activity by Isabel Thomas (Bloomsbury, €9.30)
This is an ideal nature book for those old enough to wield a scissors.
Page by page the book will disappear leaving behind paper trees, spring-loaded bugs, colourful butterflies, bird feeders, and even a honeycomb for the bees.
As well as construction exercises there are challenges — count the number of animals in a nearby habitat by observing the prints they leave; see if you can match their movements by hanging, running and balancing; and paint some flowers using paint made from fruit and plants.
Useful bird-friendly advice too — protect them from hitting into your windows by pulling your curtains at night when your light is on. Good creative fun with cheerful illustrations by Nikalas Catlow.
Suitable for age five and upwards.
The Dictionary of Dads by Justin Coe (Otter-Barry, €8.20)
This has 55 bouncy poems about a variety of dad types, from the lovable to the embarrassing. Some dads are friendly giants, others are more sergeant-major figures.
The most striking are the working dad who ‘By the time you wake up he will have left.’ And the kid who now has two dads because of a break-up, or the utter beauty of the dad-less child who ‘could not have asked for a better dad than mum.’
All human life is here.
Suitable for age six and upwards.
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