The Song of the Tree

Coralie Bickford-Smith, Particular Books, RRP£14.99

Bickford-Smith’s tale — at the turn of the season, a bird refuses to migrate from the tree that is its comfortable home — is an affecting little fable in itself. However, her woodcut-style illustrations take this book to the level of masterwork, every page a sumptuous feast of colour and composition.

Would You Like A Banana?

Yasmeen Ismail, Walker Books, RRP£12.99

Parents having trouble getting toddlers to try new foods might want to use this book, with its fun, Dr-Seuss-like rhymes, as an object lesson. A grumpy gorilla keeps refusing the banana being offered to him. That’s until the banana is taken away, whereupon it becomes eminently desirable.

The Moonlight Zoo

Maudie Powell-Tuck and Karl James Mountford, Little Tiger, RRP£12.99

One night a little girl, dearly missing her pet cat, finds her way to the Moonlight Zoo, where all lost animals go. The images in this book are fetchingly bright and teeming with life; the narrative is haunting. Add laser-cut peek-through apertures, and you have something truly cherishable.

Everybody Counts

Kristin Roskifte, translated by Siän Mackie, Wide Eyed Editions, RRP£12.99

An unusual, absorbing, at times sombre book about the interconnectedness of human lives. Starting with a lone boy lying in bed, each page adds further characters until by the end an entire community is depicted. Along the way there are puzzles for the observant reader to solve and inferences to draw.

Mr Rabbit’s Symphony of Nature and Other Tails

Charles van Sandwyk, Folio Society, RRP£42.95

Van Sandwyk’s tales and poems about woodland creatures are all the more delightful thanks to his illustrations. His penmanship and watercolour brushwork are exquisite, combining a naturalist’s eye with an innate understanding of how to make animal anthropomorphism work. The result is like some Edwardian children’s classic you never knew existed.

All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too. Explore the series here

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