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4.8 out of 5 stars368
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 June 2007
Here is reality - a household with toys strewn all over the floor, cupboard doors bulging open, a little baby throwing his food around. Here is a family existing on limited means, but making the most of what they have.

Open each new page and follow the day through the eyes of a little baby/young toddler, from the moment he wakes to last thing at night, asking "What does he see?" All the while the little baby is having a wonderful time. Does he mind that his house is in a mess? Does he care that his parents haven't got the latest designer trappings? No! He just seems to be concerned about what his family are up to and the whereabouts of his teddy and his ball!

The historic backdrop of WWII makes this book an interesting read for the older child - and what a great way for grandparents and greatgrandparents who were young themselves during this period of history to share their memories with their grandchildren today. Look at the pages carefully, and you will spot gas masks, men in RAF and army uniforms, a Winston Churchill photo pasted to the parlour wall, a bomb damaged house, a barrage balloon and aeroplanes high in the skies above baby who blissfully unaware sits on a rug chewing his teddy's arm. Most heart wrenching of all, baby's daddy bathing him and then kissing him goodnight, dad dressed in his army uniform ready to leave and to face goodness only knows what. Most children will no doubt miss many of these subtleties (I showed a girlfriend of mine who had been brought up with this book in the home and had never noticed the WWII background!) but every time I read it I can't help thinking of all the families who went through these times with small children, and it has emphasised to me that at any time in history how fleeting and just how precious our time with our children is.

This is an amazing book on many levels. This is now the present I give to all my friends when they have a baby. The larger paperback makes an ideal present for an older toddler, or perhaps an older child with a baby sibling.
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on 16 February 2006
Children of all ages will love this book(Both mine did from babies). It is definitely preschool but with its fabulous illustrations and rhyming text this is a really incredible book for children. They gain so much from it, it is incredible to watch. They will interact with you, they learn to read and my four year old has actually started asking when it was set and asking about "the olden days".
If this is not already in your children's collection then buy it(you might need a spare as they really will read it to death!)
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on 30 August 2005
On one level, Peepo is a simple "day in the life of a toddler" book which uses sweet picures and repetitive text to engage and involve a small child. My little boys loved to join in with the cry of "Peepo" as a loving extended family play with and involve the baby with their lives, in the home, the garden and the park. However, the carefully detailed illustrations show that Peepo is set during the Second World War. The daddy is home from leave from the army, and soon he will have to go back. Mum and gran are having to work hard and manage on very little. But they are all making sure that baby is protected from all this and is happy and loved, as all families try to in times of war and hardship. I found this book quite moving and it made me think, about my own familiy during the War, and about all the families in the world who are going through the same thing. Quite an achievement for a board book.
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on 1 September 2011
Peepo is, to my mind, not just a children's book, but also an ingenious work of art which works on different levels.

Firstly, the original and imaginative layout of the story gives you a sense of anticipation and a view of the world from the baby boy's viewpoint. It achieves this by showing the baby boy at various stages of the day and then partially revealing an illustration, depicted from his viewpoint, of what he can see via a page with a circular hole which gradually reveals his world with the word "Peepo".

Secondly, this book gives you a fascinating portrayal of life during the 40's, as the baby boy's world is set during the 2nd world war and his home houses 3 generations who live in cramped conditions, yet the baby is shown nothing but love by his family.

Thirdly, this book has repetition and rhyme that give children a comforting sense of familiarity. The rhythms of the words make them pleasing to the ears.

Fourthly, Peepo is a great bedtime read, mentally preparing your child for sleep as the book gently concludes with the baby boy in his cot, himself ready for sleep.

Fifthly, the detail in the illustrations is enchanting, almost every time I've read it I've been able to pick out additional details, and this layering of information makes the book versatile in its appeal to a broader range of age groups, as your child is able to pick out as much visual detail as they like or they can simply enjoy the rhymes.

Finally, this book is quite poignant and bittersweet, for it depicts the stiff upper lip of the English. Strength in adversity and solidarity through hard times. The family are working hard, pulling together, yet you can't help but notice that throughout the baby boy's day, the father is slowly getting dressed into his army outfit, and the baby boy in the picture is blissfully unaware that his dad is about to go to war and may never return. The baby boy is shielded from the harsh truth. Which is uncannily how it would be for most children being read this by an adult. The child being read the story would not understand the significance of his outfit, yet the adult would. So by reading Peepo to your child, life is imitating art. Thinking back through the story, I realise now that the grandmother took the 3 children to the park to give the mother and father a final private moment together before he is dispatched, so what seemed insignificant at the time takes on a new gravitas with the realisation of the father's call of duty.

A very charming book that I will miss reading when my youngest is too big for it.
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on 8 February 2004
This is one of the first books I bought for my children. The illustrations have great detail and humour. The rhyming text is good for reading out loud and talks about things that are happening in the illustration, encouraging the child to look all the more. This is a great book for babies and toddlers and older.
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on 4 February 2004
What a fantastic book for both children and parents.
Beautifully illustrated - so much to see in each picture.
I first bought it for my daughter when she was a baby and now she's nearly 3 years old, she thinks it's about her new baby brother. She still shouts out PEEPO! at every page.
A joy of a book.
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on 3 September 2001
A simply delightful book. My 17 month old son has been enjoying it for many months now, as has my husband - so much so, that when my husband is reading the bedtime story, it will always include Peepo. My son now chimes in with 'Peepo' at the right time. Delightful, traditional illustrations with lots of detail, sing-song rhyming verse, and a lovely old-fashioned story about the day in the life a toddler. Well worth buying.
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on 19 December 2010
I love this book so much. I bought it for my son when he was 18 months old and he still enjoys it now, aged five. There are many many more years of detail in the book yet.

The author, Allan Ahlberg, IS the Peepo baby and the book shows the details of his childhood. His text is rhythmic, soothing and reassuring. The ending is perfect for bedtimes. Janet Ahlberg's illustrations provide a wealth of information from the tiny every day details, such as a shoe on the table, to the wider world of the Second World War. Even as a baby, my son's attention was drawn to the fine detail of the pictures.

I work as a teacher of history and one of the first historical skills that children develop is an understanding of similarities and difference. This book enables very very young children to compare their own toys, food, pushchairs, buggies and bath times with those of Baby Allan almost seventy years ago.

The warmth and love of the family, going through a difficult time, shines through on every page. No matter what is going on in the outside world, the baby is always safe and always happy. I often have 'something in my eye' by the time I finish reading Peepo.
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on 25 June 2003
I wrote a review of this when my daughter was 9 months, which wasn't particularly favourable.
Now that my daughter is 2, I must admit that she loves it! Only recently did she become more interested in it, but now wants to read it a couple of times a day. The pictures and words are perfect for her age as she can now name and recognise things and says "Peepo" in all the right places.
Recommended from 2 years up, I would say.
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on 24 January 1999
With its beautiful illustrations and lilting rhythms this is a delightful book to read with your child. The pictures are detailed and draw the child in to the story as they look for the things mentioned in the text. The gentle sing-song phrasing takes you both through the story to the conclusion of bedtime. A calming and soothing way to ease a lively child in to sleep. We love it!
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