Perfect Picture Books for Playful Toddlers

Looking for a picture book for your playful little one? Look no further!

2 minutes to read
Cover of Yes Yanga of the left - New in Picture Books blog title text

Let their curiosity take flight with Julia Donaldson's The Go-Away Bird. This beautiful hardback was inspired by a trip to South Africa and is expertly illustrated by Catherine Rayner. For the little cricket-lovers in your house there's Yes Yanga! written by the author of How Many Ways Can You Say Hello, Refiloe Moahloli, this story starts with a game played in a local township that helps a young boy develop the skills he needs to eventually join the South African World Cup Team. Illustrated by Mogau Kekana, the ball and tins simply shoot off the page! 

If it's humour and bold colours you're after, The Steves by Morag Hood is just the thing to keep you and your child laughing out loud throughout. Toddlers who love dress-up will be enthralled by Julian is a Mermaid, the award winning picture book by Jessica Love, that promotes acceptance and being yourself. Frockadile by Jeanne Willis and Stephanie Laberis is sure to put a toothy grin on any face as you follow the adventures of the most fashionable crocodile Cliff. 

For side-splitting fun and very special stories you can't go wrong with these playful picture books! 


by Jeanne Willis

Book cover for Frockodile

Celebrating acceptance and being who you really are, this joyful story is about Cliff, the crocodile who wants to wear a dress.

When the hyenas laugh at Cliff, he pretends he's dressing up for a play. But no play exists! Luckily his friend Freddy comes to the rescue and creates a show for Cliff to star in. But what will his dad say when he sees him?

A funny story about inclusion and supporting your friends and family.

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning author who has written over 150 books, including The Bog Baby, the Paddington Movie novelisation and Tadpole's Promise.

The Steves

by Morag Hood

Book cover for The Steves

When Steve meets Steve, neither can believe it. Surely one of them must be the first Steve, the best Steve, the Stevest Steve . . . The claims of each puffin become sillier and sillier as the argument descends into name-calling – until both Steves realize there’s really no need to fall out over a name.

The feuding puffins perfectly reflect the sort of silly arguments children have – and The Steves shows just how pointless they are. The bold, brilliantly coloured, graphic illustrations will have you laughing out loud in this glorious book from Morag Hood, creator of the hilarious Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea and I Am Bat.

The Go-Away Bird

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for The Go-Away Bird

A gorgeous story about friendship and working together from a star picture-book partnership, the bestselling Julia Donaldson and award-winning Catherine Rayner.

‘The Go-Away bird sat up in her nest,

With her fine grey wings and her fine grey crest.’

One by one, the other birds fly into her tree, wanting to talk or to play, but the Go-Away bird just shakes her head and sends them all away. But then the dangerous Get-You bird comes along, and she soon realizes that she might need some friends after all . . .

The Go-Away Bird combines brilliant rhyming verse from much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson, creator of the bestselling picture books The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard, with stunning illustrations from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner. A charming story about the power of friendship from a thrilling creative partnership, this beautiful book is perfect for reading together.