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Oh, I do like to be ...

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside and other popular refrains will become all too commonly heard soon as children and their families embark on a summer of fun - for many, by the seaside! To sate some of the excitement, why not delve into a story or two first?

For little ones, a chunky board book with flaps to lift and an adventure to follow could be just what is needed. Lois Looks for Bob at the Seaside by Gerry Turley finds Lois the cat hunting for her friend Bob the budgie behind the bucket, among the rocks, and even by the beach bag! This story is the perfect introduction into the interactive nature of books; a colourful hunt for a friend that presents many different elements of the seaside. Simple, fun, delightful!

Yet the seaside may not be all that it seems... Don't forget some of the terrors of the sea! Steve is one such terror... or is he? It seems that all the small fish, the big fish, the humans paddling in the sea are all scared of Steve. But he's just a little fish with some stripes and a big smile! His teeth aren’t even that scary … You’ll have to read this witty and clever story for yourself to find out just what it is about Steve that makes him such a terror! Funny, fascinating and maybe just a little bit scary, Megan Brewis has created a picture book to treasure.

Never been to the seaside? Taking the children on their first trip? The Walker Books’ First Experiences series is ideal, particularly Let’s go to the Seaside. Written by the much-loved picture book author Caryl Hart and illustrated by Lauren Tobia, this is an easy-to-follow a story to help children develop and extend their vocabulary. The book is inclusive of age and ethnicity, teaches sound words, concept words, all the while telling a story that is fun, inviting and comforting.

Sea Star Wishes by Eric Ode and illustrated by Erik Brooks is a book of seaside poetry. It is ideal for teaching children not only about the wonders of the seashore, but also how to appreciate the natural world and wildlife there. The wide variety of poems provide endless enjoyment; some rhyme, others blend, and some jump and tumble over the pages. This collection will champion the art of poetry just as much as it inspires a love of the seaside.

Before you go to the seaside, you have to prepare! This is when Time for a Trip comes in handy. Phillis Gershator has written a charming rhyming story for little ones to share and enjoy as they travel with two little bunnies on a trip. But where to? And how? It could be by choo-choo train or maybe bus - or maybe even plane! In fact the possibilities are seemingly endless... David Walker’s gentle but bright illustrations will enable young readers to visualise the possible modes of transport and more. This is a great way to introduce children who are new to travel the concept of going on a trip - and all that it involves. Read it before you take that first trip to the seaside this summer and there may well be fewer ‘are we nearly there yet’ moments!

Maybe your holiday is a trip which involves taking a tent?! What is the best thing about camping? A night under the stars? Waking up with the dawn chorus? The campfire? Of course! If, like me, singing is not your strength, perhaps you will be telling stories around the campfire instead. A Campfire Tail by Sarah Glenn March and illustrated by Ana Gomez would be the perfect book for just that. With its combination of dragons and marshmallows, this book will certainly be fun, squishy and even scary! Join dragon on his first day camping as he learns that even though sailboats and puppet shows aren't necessarily for him, there may well be something that he is very good at indeed...

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