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Snuggling up with your little one for a story before bedtime is a great way to encourage a love of reading, and it boosts your toddler’s language development too*. With such a wide selection of story books to choose from, we asked Tesco Baby Club members to tell us which book their little ones love the most – and why.

1. Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell

“My little one loves opening the flaps to reveal the animals and can’t wait to see the puppy at the end.”

Marie, mum to Toby, 13 months

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

“This is my childrens’ most popular bedtime story. They love listening to what the caterpillar ate over the course of a week, and how he changed into a beautiful butterfly!”

Jessica, mum to Lily, 5, Rory, 4 and Alfred, 2

3. The Going to Bed Book, Sandra Boynton

“We love this – it manages to be funny and calming at the same time. It was a favourite of my husband’s when he was young as well.”

Hannah, mum to Daniel, 2 and Joshua, 9 months

4. Ladybird Big Noisy Book: Farm Hullaballoo, Justine Smith

“Our toddler loves anything to do with farms and vehicles. He loves this because he gets to press the cockerel button and shout ‘It’s morning!’ even when it’s bedtime!”

Amy, mum to Elliot, 2

5. I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed, Lauren Child

“My son loves the illustrations in this book from the Charlie and Lola series, and the length is perfect for bedtime. Sometimes we read another Charlie and Lola story – he loves them all and likes to listen to us read them over and over again, but this is his favourite!”

Leanne, mum to Ollie, 2

6. Can You See a Little Bear?, James Mayhew and Jackie Morris

“My little boy loves this. It has lovely illustrations and we have fun looking for the little bear and pointing out the animals – it finishes with the little bear going to sleep. I think I love this book as much as William does.”

Georgina, mum to William, 11 months

7. Say Goodnight to the Sleepy Animals, Ian Whybrow and Ed Eaves

“We love this – it’s all about animals going to bed, with lovely rhyming text. My daughter can say the animal noises with me. What could be better!”

Hannah, mum to Carrie, 21 months

8. Usborne Touchy-Feely Books

“My little boy loves these just before bedtime. As I read to him, he likes to look through the pages by himself and feel the different textures on each page.”

Michelle, mum to Jasper, 16 months

9. Winnie the Pooh and the Trouble with Bees, Andrew Grey

“My son just calls this ‘The bee book’. It’s a counting book where a busy bee flies off each page until there are none. We count the bees together, which he loves. After all the bees have gone he likes to have a little read and try to count the bees by himself. It’s a fun book that has definitely helped him to understand numbers.”

Elaine, mum to Oliver, 2

10. Waiting for Baby, Rachel Fuller

“We are expecting another baby, so my daughter loves to read this book. She points to the bigger child in the story as herself and the big tummy of the mummy as her little sister. So cute!”

Nora, mum to Emily, 2

11. My Dad, Anthony Browne

“Oliver loves the way Anthony Browne’s story describes the dad as being the best at everything – every little boy likes to think their dad is a superhero!”

Wendy, mum to Oliver, 3

12. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury and The Smartest Giant in Town, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

“My daughter loves both these books. I think it’s the rhyming and repeat phrases that make them enjoyable for her. She has memorised lots from both and if I stop reading she can normally continue the story.”

Kristie, mum to Chloe, 2 and Austin, 8 months

* Statistic from the National Literacy Trust’s annual online survey of 18,141 UK pupils from 111 schools November and December 2010.


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