What to Read After... That's Not My

Published on: 10 December 2018 Author: Anna McKerrow

The That's Not My... board books are always popular - but if your baby loves them, what other titles can you try? We've got some ideas, and we want to hear your thoughts too...

A selection of That's Not My... board books

Since 1999, Usborne has published more than 50 That's Not My... board books by Fiona Watt. Each book introduces little ones to a new animal, vehicle or character, with bright illustrations and lots of touchy-feely textures to get babies and toddlers engaging with books from a young age.

But when your child has chewed their That's Not My... books to death and is ready to move on to something else, where should they go? Here are some of our ideas, but we want to hear yours, too!

For more books about everyday life

A little boy sitting in a cardboard box from the cover of Playtime with Ted by Sophy Henn

Playtime with Ted by Sophy Henn

Books about children's everyday experiences - shopping, playing, being at the park, trips out, pets, and friends - are a great way for them to start to understand the world around them. Child's Play's Wheels at Work series is huge fun and includes Construction, Farm, City and Emergency as themes. They all use flaps to 'show and reveal' language and illustration that describes places and objects.

There are also Nicola Slater's Hello books with publisher Nosy Crow, which feature charmingly retro illustrations, flaps, tactile pages, and interesting animal characters going to the zoo and the farm.

Elsewhere, Sophy Henn's Ted series explores bedtime, playtime, teatime, going out, dressing up and storytime with a little boy in an appealing, colourful board book format which has reassuring, comforting tone to it.

Lastly, Who? A Celebration of Babies is a lovely reassuring read to share with little ones; they will enjoy spotting other members of the family such as Dada, Mama, Doggie, Gramma and Grandpa... and even a blankie.

For books about letters and numbers

A goose with three water buckets from the cover of 123 with Goose by Laura Wall

123 with Goose by Laura Wall

Letters and numbers are standard fare for toddler board books, and it's never too early to get your little ones familiar with them. Lucy Cousins' Count With Little Fish takes an appealing little character and explores counting one to ten in an attractive but accessible board book, while 1,2,3 with Goose uses Laura Wall's popular Goose character to help children to count alongside a simple narrative.

Jannie Ho's Animal ABC and Vehicles ABC are bright and fun, with some interesting solutions for some of the letters ('N is for Narwhal', for instance), guaranteed to expand vocabulary.

For classification books

The cover of Colours by Susan Steggall

Colours by Susan Steggall

Books that help toddlers start to learn colours, seasons, days of the week and so on are hugely popular with little ones, many of whom enjoy repetition, cycles of 'what comes next' and the process of naming and learning ways to make sense of the world.

Elmer's Weather, Colours and Friends have all recently been reformatted into attractive and sturdy tabbed board books that work very well for little hands, and the text is simple without being dull.

Alternatively, Susan Steggall, the queen of vehicle classification books for toddlers and pre-schoolers, has a lovely Colours book which presents colours via vehicles - perfect for those wheel-obsessed kids.

For books that help us learn about self-care

A rabbit hugging a blanket from the cover of Tickle My Ears by Jörg Mühle

A rabbit hugging a blanket from the cover of Tickle My Ears by Jörg Mühle

Finally, being a toddler means that there are LOTS of new things to learn about managing our daily lives.

Jo Lodge's board books are always brilliant (the Mr Croc series comes highly recommended) and Campbell Books' Wiggle and Giggle series includes Tiger Tiger, Time to Take a Bath and Giraffe, Giraffe, What Will You Wear Today? Each page has a slot that can be moved to make the animals do things, and onomatopoeic words on each page (such as 'Scrub!') add an extra level of activity.

Whether it's a 'rumble in your bumble' or a 'sprinkle in your tinkle', Super Pooper and Whizz Kid: Potty Power is a brilliant and fun guide to 'what to do when you need to go #1 or #2'. And, Jorg Muhle's Little Rabbit series includes interactive board books that focus on self care for little ones in just the right way.

Your suggestions

The covers of Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Snore by Michael Rosen and Jonathan Langley, and All About Rosa by Jessica Spanyol

The covers of Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Snore by Michael Rosen and Jonathan Langley, and Rosa Loves Dinosaurs by Jessica Spanyol

We'll kick off with this suggestion from BookTrust's Early Years Manager Jennifer Luk, who loves the Yu-hsuan Huang nursery rhyme books and the Bizzy Bear board books. Her son also adored Ingela Arrhenius' books like Where's Mr Dog for the felt flaps, and those also went down well with @BookSuperhero2, who said: 'They are a recent discovery for me, but I love them!'

Here are some other ideas we loved:

  • @marymayf recommended 'books with noises and actions', flagging up Peace at Last by Jill Murphy ('lots of household noises to make') and Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram ('stretching arms wide and high').
  • Rod Campbell's classic Dear Zoo went down well with @13JAMartin's family, along with Rod's book Pop-Up Pet Shop, saying: 'Questing little fingers absolutely love being able to make the bunny hop and the fish swim!'
  • @Jomarymonk had two fabulous suggestions: the 'delightful' Spot books by Eric Hill and Michael Rosen and Jonathan Langley's 'wonderful' Snore.
  • @Readitdaddy suggested that Usborne's Step Inside a Fairy Tale books are 'similarly magical for little ones', adding: 'Nice, sturdy and engaging books with awesome cut-outs to bring the stories to life.'
  • And finally, @momoreihill recommended Jessica Spanyol's All About Rosa and All About Clive books for 'gender equality and inclusivity', adding simply: 'Brilliant!'

Do you have any suggestions about What to Read After That's Not My? Get in the comments below to let us know or share your suggestions on Twitter or Instagram @BookTrust, using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter. 

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