Me & Miss E: My Niece and I Talk Picture Books

I have a gorgeous little niece who turned 2 in April. Despite over a twenty year difference in our ages, there are three things we agree on. Finding Nemo is a great movie (FISH! NEMO!), babies can be a little messy (Eww! BABIES GROSS!) and we both love books (BOOK! BOOK!).

Me and Miss E

My brother and his wife have been reading Miss E books since she was born and whenever I visit her at her house the first thing she does is take me by the hand and drags me to the bookshelf. She has amassed quite a library with over fifty books and I thought who better than to help me talk about picture books than an expert! We caught up over drinks (coffee for me, frothed milk with a marshmallow for Miss E) to discuss just two of our favourites.


That’s Not My…. by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

That's Not My Mermaid

This is a series of touch-and-feel board books with a range of topics. Miss E has over 15 with her favourites being That’s Not My Truck (CAR! DOOR!) and That’s Not My Mermaid (FISH!). You can buy them individually or they also come in boxed sets of five. There are even specially themed books for special events like Christmas (SANTA!). These books are great because there is something to touch on each page like furry eyebrows or slimy spots. They are heavy-duty and one of the few books Miss E is allowed to read by herself as there is no chance of pages ripping. There’s only a sentence on each page meaning even the little ones with a very short attention span can sit still enough to read them and lately Miss E has taken to sitting next to her infant sisters (BABIES!) and reading these books to them. (MOUSE!) Oh, and in every book there is a mouse on each page for children to find and point out. Anything else I need to say Miss E? (RAWR! RAWR!) That’s Not My Dragon is another of her favourites.


Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy

If you know of a little one who likes dogs – this series is a winner. The Hairy Maclary books by New Zealand author Dame Lynley Dodd is a series I remember from when I was little and even as an adult I enjoy reading them to Miss E. They follow the adventures of Hairy Maclary and his friends (Doggy! WOOF WOOF! DOGGY!). There is a book about their time in obedience class (SIT! WOOF!), another about a very windy day and many more. The illustrations are lovely and the stories are poems of sorts with rhyming and repetition. There is a paragraph on each page and if your little one is as eager to turn the page as Miss E then you may not get though all the words on each page before you find yourself on the next. Whilst you can get these in board book format, Miss E has them in regular page format which wasn’t quite up to her enthusiastic page turning (BOOK OH NO!). These books are a lot of fun for young and old alike.


Thanks for reading our discussion about a few children’s books. I’m always looking for new books to buy for Miss E and her sisters so if you have any you enjoy, please give us a few recommendations 🙂


  1. Oh my gosh! Hairy Maclary! I used to LOVE that (still do o_o but let’s not go there). And my little brother did! My relatives used to bring them back from England when they came to visit. I think I still remember some the TV theme song. And there was Hercules Morse as big as a horse and that little sausage dog. And a cat. I’m pretty sure there was a dalmation too.

  2. Awww she is so cute <3 none of my little cousins like reading so I haven't been able to go back to the picture books I used to love. Although I do remember Hairy Maclary 🙂 it's nice to know what's popular in the picture book world these days!!

  3. Your niece is adorable! I used to read the That’s Not my… books to my younger brothers and little cousins too. 😀 Also, loved Hairy MacLary as a kid. XD
    Maybe for when she’s a bit older, but Dr. Seuss books are always fun to read and to this day I still remember rhymes from Dr.Seuss that I was read to as a kid!

  4. I loved Hairy MacLary too! Miss E is absolutely adorable!
    Other books I loved as a child were the Spot books. We would borrow 10 books per week from the library and by three years old, I could recite them back entirely, but at four I could read some words. I don’t know what happened to me during my tween years, I just fell out of love with reading but so glad I got back into it again.
    Grab the Spot books for Miss E, she’ll love them (WOOF WOOF) <3

    • She has two Spot books! There’s Where’s Spot (Naughty Spot It’s dinner time. where can be be? – see I know it off by heart!) which she loves and another one about Spot and his grandfather. She’s been reading Where’s Spot to the babies. She grabs their hands and makes them point at stuff!

      I’ve tried to get her to read more Spot books when I take her to the library but she’d rather play with the lego there than read books! Shall have to try harder with Spot….
      Thanks for the suggestion, Kelly!

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