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The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr; Judith Kerr
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My first memory of The Tiger who Came to Tea is hearing it at story time in nursery school. I love the way that Sophie and her mother treat the arrival of the tiger as they would a neighbour by politely inviting him in. At four I was fascinated that the tiger managed to drink ‘all the water in the tap’. Judith Kerr’s illustrations and storytelling are full of charm. Definitely a classic.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew...
Werner Holzwarth; Wolf Erlbruch
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Oh how I love this book! One day Little Mole pokes his head out of his hole only to have something rather nasty land on his head. I suppose you could class this as educational (I can certainly identify more types of poo than I could) but I chose The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business because whoever you read it to, will love you for it. The illustrations are sketchbook gorgeous, and the text . . . I’ll let speak for itself . . . ‘Rat-a-tat-tat-fifteen little round beans shot past the mole’s ears. He saved himself with a daring leap.’ Genius!

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat (Paperback)
Dr. Seuss
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I couldn’t put together a list of my favourite books without including a Dr Seuss. To be honest you could swap The Cat in the Hat for Fox in Socks, The Lorax, or any Dr Seuss, but The Cat in the Hat is the first one I reach for when only Seuss will do (I have days like that). I like the limited colour palette, but it’s the rhyming, slightly anarchic story that I love.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
The Giant Jam Sandwich
John Vernon Lord; Janet Burroway
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This book is my all time favourite picture book. It was first published in 1972 (the year I was born) and I still own my childhood copy complete with my name written inside with multi coloured felt tips. The Giant Jam Sandwich's rhyming text is the tale of a village invaded by wasps (can you guess how they solve the problem?). It's brilliant to read out loud with witty and intricate illustrations. As a child I used to spend hours poring over the details and loved looking for the three men who were chased from the village by wasps and turned up in subsequent pages.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
Cops and Robbers
Cops and Robbers (Paperback)
Allan Ahlberg; Janet Ahlberg
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I could pretty much be happy with any Janet and Allan Ahlberg book here, and in fact I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour sat on the floor reading a selection out loud to myself (it’s one of the perks of my job!) I could have chosen any Jolly Postman, and Burglar Bill came close, but in the end I chose Cops and Robbers because I couldn’t resist Grandma Swag . . . who could? ‘Hallo, hallo,’ said Officer Pugh, ‘Now then, what’s going on here?’ ‘Not much, young man,’ Said the criminal gran, ‘We’re just having a robbery, dear.’ I was quite glad she got away!

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
There Are Cats in This Book
Viviane Schwarz
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This is a recent favourite of mine, and another that falls into my ‘Why oh WHY couldn’t I have thought of this’ category. It’s clever from beginning to end. The illustrations are bright and friendly, but it’s Viviane Schwarz’s use of flaps that lifts it out of the ordinary. It’s truly interactive, and I know that kids love it as much as I do because when I opened it to write this piece I found it stuffed with pieces of tissue where a three year old visitor had ‘tucked’ the cats in at the end of the book with extra blankets.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
Penguin
Penguin (Paperback)
Polly Dunbar; Polly Dunbar
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This is a VERY funny book! Ben is given a present. His very own cuddly toy penguin. Ben does everything he can to make the penguin talk to him, but of course it can’t. Penguin falls into my ‘I wish I’d done that’ category. I adore Polly Dunbar’s illustrations. They have wit and yet are gentle without any twee-ness (quite tricky to pull off). The colours are clean, and the page layouts really carry the reader through the story.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
Slow Loris
Slow Loris (Paperback)
Alexis Deacon
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There’s really not enough Slow Lorises in picture books. Probably because they’re so s...l...o...w, or are they? Alexis Deacon’s drawing are fresh and sketchy and full of personality, and the book is quirky and stylish.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?
Lauren Child
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This book was first published when I was an illustration student and my daughter was five. I was SO excited when I saw it. It’s about Herb, who falls into his book of fairytales, a book that (sadly) he hasn’t treated with great respect! It’s full of things guaranteed to make anyone smile.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011
Ernest
Ernest (Paperback)
Catherine Rayner
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This is the story of Ernest the Moose and his efforts to fit inside the book. He squeezes and squashes but of course he’s still too big. Ernest’s solution to his problem (which I won’t ruin for you) is deeply satisfying.

Emily Gravett - 10/11/2011

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