15 things not to do with a baby by Margaret McAllister, illustrated by Holly Sterling (Frances Lincoln, £6.99 paperback)

It seems like a lot of people are having second babies recently. Maybe it’s just something I have noticed. This is a wonderful thing, clearly, but when visiting a new baby, it can be a good idea to give the toddler in the room some attention too and a present of their own. After all, he/she might be slightly bemused by all the fuss afforded to the baby, especially as they themselves can dance and chat, whereas all the baby seems to do is cry and be smelly!

So here is a book that tries to help, by showing us funny things not to do with a baby. For instance 'Don’t peg the baby on the washing line' and 'Don’t swap the baby for the school guinea pig'. Some of the suggestions are almost feasible ('Don’t take the baby to school') while others are pure fun ('Don’t give the baby to an octopus to cuddle'). I’m sure many young readers will enjoy thinking of other things not to do in a similar vein.

The painted illustrations are joyous and full of wonderful detail, and the book ends with a positive, happy message about things we can do with the baby such as to 'make your baby laugh' and give your baby 'lots and lots of love'.

This is a great gift and promises to become a firm family favourite. Plus when you’ve all successfully discovered what not to do with your baby, you can safely move on to '15 things not to do with a Granny' by the same writer/illustrator team...

Review by Philippa Morris, Little Apple bookshop