That’s Not My Bus … – Fiona Watt

Illustrations – Rachel Wells

The latest cutie patootie animal that’s getting the That’s Not My … treatment is, um, not an animal. Sure, I’ve read about our white mouse’s preferences regarding planes, trains and automobiles cars before but I prefer it when mousie’s rejects are cute and cuddly.

Having found so many of their animals already, mousie probably needs more options for transporting them. So, buses … Before finding their specific bus, mousie rejects those that are either too smooth, shiny, rough, squashy or bumpy. I guess, under the universal law of finders keepers, that means I’m now the proud owner of five buses. This will be super handy for transporting mousie’s rejected animals I’ve previously claimed.

I found this one a bit boring, especially since the buses were all the same colour. I’m sure the target audience will love this addition to the series though, particularly if it comes with a rendition of The Wheels on the Bus.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

All aboard this exciting addition to the much-loved That’s not my … series. Babies and toddlers will love touching the textured patches as they look at buses with shiny doors, squashy bumpers and sparkly lights. The bright pictures and textures to stroke are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness.

That’s Not My Kangaroo … – Fiona Watt

Illustrations – Rachel Wells

In the latest That’s Not My … board book, Mouse turns its attention to kangaroos. The kangaroos that fail inspection are too fluffy, smooth, rough, fuzzy and shiny.

Mouse is thrilled when they find their kangaroo and I assume they’re now hanging out with all of the other animals Mouse has previously found. I know my backyard is getting pretty crowded with all of Mouse’s rejects.


I still really enjoy this series. The faces of the kangaroos didn’t always ring true for me when I compare them to the ones I used to ride to school in Australia [I can’t believe we used to tell exchange students that, or that they believed us!], but they’re really cute.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Babies and toddlers will love touching the textured patches as they meet lots of adorable kangaroos. The bright pictures and textures to stroke are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness.

ABC What Can She Be? – Sugar Snap Studio

Illustrations – Jessie Ford

This colourful board book goes through an alphabet of work options available for girls when they grow up. I really appreciated the diversity in this book, in the jobs explored and the girls pictured. The jobs traverse traditional male and female jobs, from pilots and teachers to yoga instructors and quantum physicists.

Because girls from around the world are represented, young girls looking through this book should be able to identify personally with at least one girl. There are girls with blonde hair, red hair and dark hair. One girl is wearing a hijab. Another is in a wheelchair. Girls are wearing dresses, skirts, pants and uniforms.

I would have liked P to be for president but the end of the book does specify that the jobs mentioned are only some of the options so I’d be adding that one if I read this to a young girl.

O is for Optometrist. She checks our eyes to make sure we see clearly.

Because this is a board book I had hoped it would be told in rhyme and was disappointed that it wasn’t. It was written in a down to earth way that makes the different jobs easy to understand but I found it a bit too matter of fact. This is the type of book I expect people would buy for a baby shower but I couldn’t imagine myself wanting to read it over and over.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster Jr. for granting my wish to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

ABC What Can She Be? explores 26 different career paths. Each page introduces a letter of the alphabet with bright artwork and highlights a career that is fun, challenging, and makes a big impact in its own way.

A boldly illustrated, fun family read, ABC What Can She Be? is a great way for parents to introduce their small children to the bright futures before them.

Today I’ll Be a Unicorn – Dana Simpson

🦄 Happy Unicorn Day! 🦄

The illustrations are everything in Today I’ll Be a Unicorn. This gorgeous board book features Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils from Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novels.

Phoebe dresses and acts like a unicorn throughout the board book accompanied by her unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils.

Phoebe is excited about dressing up with unicorn ears and a horn, which are both attached to a headband decorated with beautiful flowers. She loves trotting through meadows with her unicorn tail flowing behind her.

She enjoys all aspects of being a unicorn. Then she discovers that maybe being a young girl is sometimes better than being a unicorn. I’m inclined to agree with her reasoning!

Today I’ll Be a Unicorn is light on words but shines with personality. Phoebe’s expressions are captured so well, from excited to blissful, from dumbfounded to happy and content. I loved the choice of colours used, ranging from soft yet bright pastels to a vibrant rainbow.

I can imagine this becoming a favourite bedtime story. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Who wouldn’t want to be a unicorn?

In this charming, super-sparkly board book, the stars of Phoebe and Her Unicorn celebrate the magical and enchanting world of being a unicorn, along with reminding young readers that being yourself is pretty great, too.

Who wouldn’t want to be a unicorn? You get to trot majestically through meadows, perch high up on rainbows, and wear tiaras made of starlight. Phoebe lists all the wonderful things she’ll get to do and can hardly contain her excitement about having a tail and magic horn. That is, until she learns that unicorns like to eat hay instead of pizza. Maybe she’ll be a unicorn tomorrow instead!

Animal Babies – Charles Fuge

⚠️ WARNING! Cuteness Overload! ⚠️

Perhaps calling it in February is a tad early but I’m calling it anyway. That’s how confident I am. I’d like to officially present Animal Babies with the award for:

🏆 Favourite Board Book of the Year 2018 👏

If you have or know any children that are at or nearing the board book stage this needs to be on your radar. Charles Fuge has both written and illustrated this little gem. A sweet educational rhyme takes your child around the world with baby animals on land, ice, rivers and into the depths of the ocean.

Simply looking at the front cover illustration I could already feel it coming on and by the end I had one of the most serious cases of Melted Heart Syndrome ever. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Charles Fuge’s baby animals are some of the best animal illustrations I’ve ever seen.

Each animal is detailed and gorgeous, from the cuddly baby bears up a tree to the cheeky meerkat babies hassling the bewildered cobra. Their expressions are varied and you can see that they all have their own personalities. Even the background and small foreground animals are captured beautifully.

My favourite is the hatching platypus that someone needs to replicate in plush toy form for kids me to cuddle.

I also need a framed print of the procession of adorable ducklings.

I don’t care that this is allegedly a “children’s book”. I will be buying a copy that Mum and I will wear out together and another for my doctors’ waiting room.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – MoonDance Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

With simple, rhyming text and lavish illustrations by Charles Fuge, this vibrant board book explores the lives of the cutest critters in the land: baby animals!

From baby bears who feel safest up a tree and baby penguins who nest on their daddy’s feet to baby koalas who hitch a ride on their mama’s back, each spread features unlikely pairs of baby animals playing and interacting. Ducks, chimps, elephants, rhinos, meerkats, whales, and even sea horses all make an appearance to bring delight children of all ages. 

Trucks are Terrific! – Jibjab Bros Studios

Now, I’ve never heard of Ask the StoryBots, most likely because I’m one of the last people on Earth that doesn’t pay to watch TV. I selected this little board book at my library because of the adorable little guys on the front cover, StoryBots apparently.

This board book is so cute! With sweet rhymes and colourful pictures of trucks and the StoryBot guys, little kidlets will see some of the different things that trucks can do and what they may have on board. I love the expressions of pure joy on all but one of the Storybots and the cranky red one was fun too. With the array of bright colours this book would be helpful in teaching kids colours.

Besides the expressions on the StoryBots’ faces there are some other amusing moments, like when Mr Cranky Pants gets covered in mud. My favourite is the horse’s expression when he realises a Monster Truck is currently midair above him, already having cleared three cars with the horse shadowed beneath its wheels. Oh, and there’s ice cream!🍦What could be bad about a book with ice cream?!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

No matter their shape or size or what they’re hauling, trucks rule! Join the StoryBots as they drive trucks both familiar and silly. Toddlers and preschoolers will recognise the signature catchy rhymes and colourful art from the video “Drive a Truck” on YouTube.

Spot Goes to the Fire Station – Eric Hill

Confession time: All Spot books are automatically ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. I grew up reading about Spot. I still love Spot. My mother loves Spot. I made a Spot birthday cake for her 50th.

So, now that you know I’m completely biased, let me tell you something I didn’t know about Spot. His grandfather is a fireman! Grandpa is adorable in this board book and there’s also an adorable brown bear fireman. Outside the fire station a cat is having a lovely nap until Spot has some fun with the siren.

Fun fact: Cats don’t appreciate getting woken up by sirens.

Like all Spot books, there aren’t a lot of words but there’s still a nice little story, the illustrations are sweet and colourful, and the whole book is basically cute overload.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Spot’s visiting Grandpa at the fire station, where he decides he wants to be a fireman too! Grandpa gives him his very own fireman’s helmet and they set to work.

Cheeky Spot slides down the pole, climbs the ladder, soaks Grandpa with the hose and finally sounds the noisy siren. Spot thinks he’s a very good fireman, but Grandpa may not be so sure!

That’s Not My Unicorn … – Fiona Watt

Illustrations – Rachel Wells

This is the latest in my That’s Not My … obsession. This time we take on UNICORNS!!!! This is my second unicorn read this month and I have another two planned for the weekend. As I missed (shame on me!) Unicorn Day on 9 April, but will most certainly be celebrating it annually from 2018, I officially declare this …
🦄 Unicorn Month! 🦄

This was another cute addition to the That’s Not My … series, but so much better because, duh, unicorns! I for one am stoked that our sweet little white mouse rejected so many unicorns on the way to finding theirs, because that leaves five unicorns looking for someone to love them – and I call dibs on all of them!

I want the one with the fluffy mane. I want the one with the rainbow coloured mane and super soft ears. I want the bumpy hooved one with the pink mane and purple stripey horn. I want the furry tailed one with the yellow mane and horn. Oh, and I certainly claim the smooth winged one with pink mane and yellow horn flying past the rainbow. If any of you want to borrow one at any time you’re more than welcome but as I already made pretty clear, I’ve got dibs on every single one of the rejects. So there, Mr Mouse! You don’t get to change your mind now!

Just between you and I, Mr Mouse had better be on the lookout because I may well be planning on unicorn-napping borrowing his unicorn with the rainbow coloured mane and sparkly horn in the near future.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The 50th title in the internationally best-selling That’s not my … series. This sparkly, touchy-feely book features a magical unicorn to talk about, and a little white mouse to spot on every page. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the textured patches as they try to find their unicorn.

That’s Not My Witch … – Fiona Watt

Illustrations – Rachel Wells

This series of board books are just so adorable. I’ve borrowed every one that my library has in stock over the past month or so. Why? Because I can and because they’re just so darn cute. With bright pictures and sections of fuzzy, sparkly, soft and other touchy-feely bits on each page, they’re interactive and aww-worthy. Someone I know needs to have a baby soon so I can share the love. That’s Not My Witch has been published in time for Halloween so the next generation of trick-or-treaters can join in on the fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A touchy-feely board book with simple, repetitive text, tactile patches and bold illustrations specially designed for babies and toddlers. Small children can meet a range of friendly witches and their accompanying brooms and cats, just in time for Halloween. Don’t forget to spot the little white mouse that’s hiding on each page! Part of an internationally successful series by bestselling author Fiona Watt, which includes more than forty titles and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Where Is My Coat? Farm Animals – Anita Bijsterbosch

This adorable board book is aimed at toddlers from 12 months old. The farm animals in this book have lost their coats and need your child’s help to get them back. One page shows the animal and its young in silhouette and asks the child what animal it is. The animal is revealed in full colour on the next page.

I can imagine a toddler’s joy at saying the right answer and the page turning to magically reveal a coloured picture of the animal and its young. I’m sure I’d be following the correct answer with an, “And what does the duck say?” I’m getting clucky just thinking about it!

The coloured illustrations are lovely and make the animals look happy and friendly. I love young children’s books that are interactive and really like that this book engages the child by asking them to guess what animal the silhouette shape represents. Anita Bijsterbosch has created a really sweet book.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Clavis Publishing for the opportunity to read this book. If I knew anyone with a child in the right age group I’d be purchasing this book for them and would probably insist on being the first one to read it to them!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The farm animals in this book need your help. Will you help them find their coats and give them their colors back? Turn the page and discover who they are. Pigs, ducks or cows? Or maybe horses? An animal book with black-and-white and color pictures that stimulate visual development.