25 Before 5

If Shakespeare were alive today, what’s the bet he’d be reading Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! to little Hamnet? In celebration of all that’s divine about the art of storytelling, here are 25 great books we consider worthy of the under-5s canon.

photographed by ian macpherson
text by elizabeth bentley

Dear Zoo
Can you guess which animal the zoo is sending as a pet? This engaging lift-the-flaps book is full of surprises and offers plenty of opportunity to make lots of noise.

Rod Campbell, (Macmillan) A$14.99.

Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Eric Carle’s humorous style and colourful, naïve illustrations make this gentle, rhyming book a dog-eared favourite on kids’ bookshelves.

Bill Martin Jr, (Puffin Books) A$12.95.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Who isn’t captivated by chubby little digits? Two of the world’s best-loved children’s book creators make a rhyming tale about the joys of babies everywhere.

Mem Fox, (Puffin Books) A$16.95.

Hug
Exactly what you need to enjoy reading with a toddler – colourful illustrations and few words. But of course, that doesn’t do justice to Jez Alborough’s unique sense of humour.

Jez Alborough, (Walker Books) A$14.95.

Goodnight Moon
Could this be the finest bedtime story ever devised? A little rabbit attempts to stave off his own bedtime with a little poem saying goodnight to everything he can see and hear.

Margaret Wise Brown, (HarperCollins) A$14.35.

All titles featured are available at kinokuniya.com unless otherwise noted.

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