Jane Blatt (text) & Sarah Massini (illustrations)
(Nosy Crow)

Books Always Everywhere is a joyful celebration of books and enjoying them from the earliest age. What is utterly lovely about this book is how it portrays babies, toddlers and preschoolers reading books wherever they are and whatever they are doing  in turn conveying to little readers that this is common behaviour and the most natural thing to do. And so what if children choose to use books as a hat, a chair or to build a fort? It is all part of the fun and it is crucial that children (and their parents) see them as such from as early as possible.

The very short and simple text is perfectly pitched for toddlers. Each short sentence begins with the word “book”, and we all know how much young children love repetitive patterns in text, and adjectives are used copiously for young readers to build their vocabulary. The text is teamed with Sarah Massini’s gorgeous artwork, which is just so dainty and charming. She gets the essence of reading and books as fun perfectly but also manages to express the escapism it provides, and the imaginative thinking and playing it encourages within us all. This spread is particularly delightful:

It can be interpreted in two ways: that the little reader is so engrossed in the story that he has not realised what is happening behind him, or that these are actually the characters from the story, which again has the reader so engrossed that he is feeling part of it himself. Whichever one of those theories is right (if any) does not really matter, are both are incredibly positive.

Books Always Everywhere is a wonderful celebration of books and all the magic they bring into children’s lives. It is perfect PR for allowing the very young to enjoy books. Every new baby and parent should be given a copy.

All illustrations @Sarah Massini

Source: review copy from publisher