Having won the hearts of parents and babies everywhere, ‘That’s Not My…’ is one of the most-recognised and best-selling series of baby books today. So what’s the secret behind the touchy-feely patches and that ever-resounding phrase? Creator and author of the series, Fiona Watt, gives you the full story:
The concept for ‘That’s not my…’ originally came from brainstorming puzzle book ideas for very young children. Babies love exploring different textures and learn through their senses, especially touch. It was this we had in mind when we developed the first title over 10 years ago. A combination of physical attributes of animals or characters (ears, nose, tail, tummy etc.), along with patches of tactile fabric and simple, eye-catching illustrations, seemed like a perfect way of stimulating babies.
The repetition of ‘That’s not my …’, the descriptive adjectives of the patches and the little white mouse to spot on every double-page brought a game element to the books and made them perfect for sharing. Very young children respond to the rhythm and repetition of sounds, even if they aren’t yet speaking. Not only does this contribute to language and sensory development, but also makes it fun! To be honest, the touchy-feely words are usually the last element of each book to be added when I select the touchy-feely materials from a huge catalogue of fabrics which have been rigorously tested.
Each title is a collaborative process, with rough designs going backwards and forwards between myself and the illustrator of the series, Rachel Wells, before we settle on the final version. We’re always coming up with ideas for new titles and the series continues to grow every year – we’ve now published over 35 ‘That’s not my…’ books with more to come! The latest is ‘That’s not my hamster’, and look out for ‘That’s not my panda’ coming later this year.
To win a selection of ‘That’s not my’ books, just leave a comment telling us which animal or character you would like to see appear in a ‘That’s not my…’ book!