There’s nothing like sharing a touch-and-feel book with a little one: inviting them to interact and explore language, story and ideas in a tactile way! And for slightly bigger kids, subtle tactile additions like raised ‘paths’ or holes in pages can help them engage with a story and plot, as well as reinforcing fine motor skills.
Here are some of our favourite touch-and-feel books (click on the titles or cover images below for more about each book, or to buy a copy).
The popular ‘That’s Not My’ series for very little ones now runs to well over forty titles, featuring all sorts of animals; princes and princesses; and tractors and things that go. With their repetition of the words ‘That’s not my’ and a texture to feel on every page, they’re such a clever concept, with huge baby appeal! That’s Not My Lion was a particular favourite in our family: That’s not my lion, his paws are too scratchy/That’s not my lion, his tail is too fluffy.
The ‘Noodle Loves’ books focus on early childhood experiences (meals, bedtime, visits to the park and zoo) and feature rhyming texts which are lovely to read aloud. There are textures to feel throughout and the high-quality mirrors in the back of each book completely delight the little ones we know!
Lynley Dodd’s classic dog and cat characters feature in the Hairy Maclary and Friends Touch and Feel book. It’s not a story as such – more an introduction to the characters – but the textures are really clever (including a scratchy tongue for tomcat Scarface Claw) and many pages have more than one part to feel. Ideal for Dodd’s younger fans.
Toddlers adore the very clever Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings, which has been in print for almost twenty years! Feel the texture and try to guess which animal it might belong to, then lift the flap and find out. Matthew Van Fleet gives his animal characters wonderful personality and expression.
Camilla Reid’s Lulu is the star of a number of novelty, flap and picture books. Lulu’s Clothes is a touch-and-feel delight: there’s a furry dressing gown, a party dress, ‘floatie’ armbands for swimming, a bike helmet and more, and each has a textured material to feel, bow to tie, or zip to do up.
And finally, a mention of two simpler – but very winning – tactile treats:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been adored by generations of kids (it’s been in print for over 45 years). Part of its charm is the clever holes punched into each page, tracing the caterpillar’s journey through various foods. So pleasing for little fingers to explore! (Find out more in our article about the story behind the publication of The Very Hungry Caterpillar – including the inspiration for those holes.)
In Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten, naughty puss has gotten itself tangled in some wool and is running through the palace and grounds with a trail of wool behind it. Each page of the book features a raised line of glitter representing the wool, which kids will love tracing with their fingers.
What are your family’s favourite touch and feel books? Please tell us in comments below.
You might also be interested in our selections of the best lift-the-flap books and our favourite pop-up books.
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