Book reviews: Fun, facts and learning with DK Children's Books

Let little fingers do the walking with an enchanting selection of new books from favourite children's publisher DK.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 8:27 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:54 am
Follow The Trail: Baby Dinosaurs
Follow The Trail: Baby Dinosaurs

DK (Dorling Kindersley) has become a byword in beautifully designed and illustrated children’s books and a raft of new titles just made for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers ensures that there will be smiles all round this spring.

From a child’s first words to dinosaur finger trails and woodland craft activities, DK’s fun and factual books have something for everyone.

Age six months plus:

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Follow The Trail: Baby Dinosaurs

Take a peek! Fun finger trails!

Fingers at the ready for some magical hands-on fun!

What better way to let your curious youngsters learn to find their way in the big wide world than by following the trails in these two playful board books.

Babies and toddlers will love using their fingers to follow the bumpy, sparkly trails in DK’s two new Follow the Trail books, Baby Dinosaurs and Minibeasts.

These lovely-to-look-at and fun-to-handle board books are packed with colourful illustrations to help encourage early learning. Perfect for hands-on discovery, every page of these chunky, hard-wearing books has a bright, bold finger trail with an alluring and glittery finish.

Baby Dinosaurs is brimming with dinosaur images which bring these giant creatures to life in a riot of shape, texture and colour. Help your toddler explore the lives of the Allosaurus, the Barosaurus, the Styracosaurus and other extinct dinosaurs. Chase the baby dinosaurs as they stomp along the trails, follow a baby dinosaur’s stripy tail or help a lost dinosaur to find his mum.

In Minibeasts, toddlers follow the trails of butterflies, ladybirds, honey bees and lots of other small creatures. Travel with a honey bee as it flies to its hive, watch a dragonfly zigzagging to the pond to lay her eggs, or follow the spiral on a snail’s amazing shell.

Highly tactile pages, little peepholes, bold, eye-catching illustrations and the fun of using your finger to follow a trail across each page help to develop hand-eye co-ordination and pre-writing skills and make learning both exciting and a true journey of discovery.

A wild world of colour, interactive fun and learning on every page…

(DK Children, board book, £6.99 each)

Age six months plus:

100 First Words

DK really does put fun into words in this big, bold and beautiful look-and-point book.

100 First Words is a bright, colourful and educational picture book for babies and toddlers that builds vocabulary and is specially designed for sharing. All the familiar things that little ones are interested in, from my body and my food to animals, things that go and bedtime, are covered in an eye-catching series of pictures and words.

Crystal-clear photos show the wonder of the real world while engaging illustrations tell simple stories that foster learning. Enjoy penguins playing in the snow and ice, and a mouse climbing a ladder to reach the height of a very tall giraffe.

Get to know the parts of your body, recognise the names of clothing, enjoy spotting all the different types of toys, pick out your favourite foods, name your pets, get ready for bed with familiar objects and get out and about in the park or at the farm.

Word labels encourage pointing, naming and talking while building vocabulary and language. Cleverly designed with a leading early years educational consultant to both inform and entertain, 100 First Words offers an exciting start to your baby’s learning adventure.

With its big, square format, chunky pages to withstand lots of wear and tear by inquisitive hands and a riot of colour, words and ideas, this book contains a whole world of amazing discoveries and plenty of fun and facts to get your little ones talking, learning… and smiling!

(DK Children, board book, £7.99)

From Birth:

Baby Touch and Feel: I Love You

And if you are looking for a special gift for a baby, DK’s new Baby Touch and Feel book, I Love You, is guaranteed be a hands-on winner.

With its touchy-feely pictures and word labels, the much-loved Baby Touch and Feel series helps little ones learn new words. The stunning photos with foil or textured areas help to expand baby’s senses while the simple illustrations and labels promote language skills.

From shiny love hearts beside a little girl hugging her toy, to a baby with a fleecy heart on his vest and a mirror to reflect baby’s own face, you can introduce your little one to the concept of love with touch and feel textures.

All this is packed in a handy, small format that is just perfect for pre-schoolers to hold, and an inspirational way to help develop their fine motor skills.

A safe, sturdy, tactile book to encourage love, contact and learning…

(DK Children, board book, £3.99)

Age 2 plus:

Skills for Starting School: Sharing is Caring, and Please and Thank You

Lessons in learning to be a good friend, and to always be polite, are turned into entertaining concepts in two ingenious little board books from DK.

Funny, friendly characters Bip, Bop, and Boo learn about friendship and good manners in two simple, colourful and reassuring stories which promote social skills and help your child to get ready for starting school and making new friends.

Learning to get along with others, to share play and to have good manners, are key skills at school and both these sturdy books provide the perfect way to open a discussion with your child about friendship and always using those all-important magic words… ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

Open questions and speech bubbles encourage children to take an active role in the stories, giving them a chance to empathise with the characters and to consider their feelings, and to practise being polite. Learning these social and personal skills will help school starters to settle in their new classroom and feel confident, comfortable and independent at school.

Developed in collaboration with educational experts, Sharing is Caring, and Please and Thank You are part of DK’s Skills for Starting School, the only dedicated school skills series on the market that equips children with all the key skills for starting school.

Easy to understand, filled with bright, colourful illustrations and engaging characters, these two new books are a delight for reading and sharing, and ideal for both school starters and the very youngest of children.

(DK Children, board book, £3.99 each)

Age 3 plus:

Forest Life and Woodland Creatures, and Sharks and other Sea Creatures

Facts can be fun, fascinating and educational… and that’s a fact!

Long before children start school, many are eager to learn about the world around them and DK’s clever, interactive series, Practical Facts, brings them the information they want through fun activities.

Practical Facts Forest Life and Woodland Creatures, and Sharks and other Sea Creatures, are the two latest titles in the pre-school series, gently blending educational content with simple practical activities such as puzzles, craft, cookery challenges and reading games.

Pairing learning with subjects and activities that children enjoy allows information to be absorbed and retained more easily whilst giving brain development, dexterity and memory a boost.

Take a trip to the woods in Forest Life and Woodland Creatures, a colourful introduction to life in the forest through fun, educational activities. Meet cheeping birds, winter wonders, brave bears and all their other forest friends in a fact-filled pre-school activity book. Learn how to make a bird feeder and create bear masks and discover lots of interesting facts about forest creatures.

In Sharks and other Sea Creatures, we meet cool clownfish, delightful dolphins, snappy sharks and other amazing marine life creatures. Make dolphin bananas, design a pretty paper plate clownfish, bake super starfish cookies, and get to know all about the sea’s most colourful creatures.

Come rainy days or sunshine, these busy, colourful and entertaining books ensure there will be no dull moments as curious youngsters head for the woods and dive into the sea in search of a feast of fun, facts and action…

(DK Children, hardback, £7.99 each)