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The Gruffalo is a modern classic, and rightly so. Its impulsive rhythm makes it a great read aloud even for very young children - my twins were gripped by it when they were one.
Martha the dog eats alphabet spaghetti and starts to talk - offering her every thought to her delighted, then exasperated, family. It's a funny journey into a dog's mind and how she sees the world.
Mr Big is a gorilla whose size terrifies everyone he encounters - leaving him deeply alone and lonely.
On his way to school one day, Sid the dog discovers he can fly. When he excitedly tells his classmates what he just did, they mock him, and his teacher scolds him for lying. Put on the spot to prove his ability, Sid falls flat on his face.
This is a comic story about what happens when you fail to empathise. Professor Dupont has ten cockatoos in his conservatory and greets them in exactly the same way every morning.
The Octonauts are a team of undersea animal explorers in search of adventure, but always at the ready to help other sea creatures. One day they encounter a fish that is constantly frowning.
I'm going to declare this book as the ideal early-years first introduction to empathy. Bobo is a baby chimp living in the jungle and he has lost his mum. Everywhere he goes, he sees other baby animals being cuddled by one of their parents and he cries the same refrain on every page, "hug!".
In a city full of bustling strangers, only young Will notices a bird lying wounded on the paverment. With his mum's help, he takes it home and nurtures it back to health.
Willy is a lonely chimpanzee living in a world of intimidating-looking gorillas, until one day he literally bumps into a gentle giant, Hugh Jape, and thus begins an exceptional and charming friendship.
Cat lives in an apartment in New York City, and his owner thinks he lazes about all day. Little does he know that every morning Cat lets his friend Canary out of his cage and they go up to spend the day on the roof together.