Meet the Parents by Peter Bentley and Sara Ogilvie, published by Simon and Schuster
This is a book for all parents of toddlers, perfectly capturing the complete metamorphosis that occurs on becoming a parent. It's a very fun book to read aloud, with some laugh out load moments alongside expressive illustrations that are full of feeling.
Our toddler loves this book too, relating to the many children portrayed in the book, depicted through a cycle of feelings felt on rotation at this age, including the affection, longings for adventure, urges for home comforts, and occasional moments of sadness and frustration that are part and parcel of being a toddler (and indeed any age for that matter!).
The illustrations are ideally matched to an amusing and musical rhyme, such as: "Parents are sofas for putting your feet up, and dustbins for bits that you don't want to eat up".
Our favourite spread features a dad being used as a ride-along by three little cowboys, and a mum, transforming before our eyes, from a breezy lady-about-town, to a carthorse with shopping, scooter and toddler all in arm ("Dad is a horse, and mum is a donkey").
It has moments of gentle poignancy too, with one picture of an excited boy in bed being presented with a present alongside the phrase "Parents remember", while another shows a red-faced boy, head resting on a parent's knee with the line "They make it all better when something's upset you".
The final page is our toddler's favourite. The last line states "And once they have fixed all your problems and pickles, you'd better watch out because parents love..." - at which point our daughter joins in to shout the final word of the book: "TICKLES!"
Feedback from the author: @PeterBently said "Thanks for the lovely review!"