Let’s Find The Dinosaur by Alex Willmore

These days Ivy takes great care with her books, particularly the interactive ones, but when she was tiny she took great pleasure in pulling off the flaps and chewing on them. That’s why I think the new generation of chunky board books with felt flaps are a bit of a revelation!  This one is particularly charming and features lots of super cute dinosaurs for your little ones to find.

The aim is to follow the clues, peep through the cut out sections and lift the textured felt flaps to locate the T-Rex. Along the way we meet a whole host of other dinosaur characters who share some of the T-Rex’s features. The sharp teeth poking out from behind the volcano actually belong to a Pterodactyl. The scaly head hidden behind a bush looks promising but turns out to be a Triceratops. And the swishy tail behind the trees? That’s just a Diplodocus. Where could that cheeky T-Rex be?

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The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty by Katy Flint & Jessica Courtney-Tickle

On Christmas Eve, Santa was kind enough to make a special trip to our house to leave a book, a teddy and some festive pyjamas for Ivy. A new tradition which really helped with getting her settled for bed in all the excitement. Santa didn’t disappoint with his choice of book and the whole family was entranced!

The Sleeping Beauty is part of a wonderful series called The Story Orchestra which introduces children to classical music. The books are  beautifully made and the illustrations are truly wonderful. They each feature a host of diverse characters and there is a lot of detail in each picture for little ones to explore.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Rebecca Stevens, Founder, Nourish and Nurture Nutrition

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Rebecca Stevens and I live with my three kids aged 5, 6 & 8 and husband in SW London. We all love reading! I recently retrained as a nutritionist after many years in the world of healthcare PR and work freelance to fit in around the needs of my family. I wrote and illustrated my own picture book a few years ago that I gave to friends and family as a gift. From this I have an appreciation of just how much time bringing a story to life takes.

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Animal World: Clever Mini Board Books

When we received this in the post we thought initially thought it was a chunky hardback, but upon opening it we found a lovely surprise. It actually contains nine mini board books, each dedicated to different types of animals.

Each tiny book contains 5 double page spreads, featuring a gorgeous illustration of an animal along with its name. This makes them perfect for babies and younger toddlers who are just starting to recognise different creatures.

But this set isn’t just for reading. The books are shaped like cubes so they’re great for stacking and sorting. If you turn them upside down they become puzzle pieces which when ordered correctly display a larger animal scene. You can also play a matching game when placing them back in the box because the cover images are repeated inside.

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The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

If you’ve been following Ivy’s Library for a while you’ll know I’m really passionate about books which help small children to understand and verbalise their feelings. I’m also a huge fan of author Rachel Bright, so when The Worrysaurus landed on our doorstep I was really excited. Ivy was instantly entranced by the title character – an adorable little red dinosaur with a tiny green backpack – and demanded we read it right away!

The Worrysaurus is a planner and a worrier (to be honest, he’s a lot like me!). When he decides to go on a picnic he organises it all in his advance. He plans out a route, he packs all of the things he might need in to his trusty bag and then he heads out in to the sunshine.

However it’s not long before his brain starts to itch. What if he didn’t pack enough to drink? What if he gets lost on the way? Slowly his happy mood starts to slip away and anxiety creeps in. When a little lizard warns him that there might be a storm poor Worrysaurus starts to panic. He’s not prepared for rain!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Carys Worsdale, Founder, Be Kind Hypnobirthing

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi there, I’m Carys Worsdale. Originally from Aberystwyth in West Wales but now living in Hertfordshire with my family. I have a 2-year-old son, William, and an 8-year-old step son, Jacob. So the house is a loud and messy most of the time!

My background is in museum and galleries, but after having my son I retrained as a Hypnobirthing teacher.

What is your youngest son’s favourite book?

William was 2 in July so we have finally moved away from the “That’s not my…” books – hurrah!! At the moment he loves Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Or as he calls it “Rahhh book”. We even say “goodbye, goodbye, goodbye” every bed time just like the book.

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We’re Off To Find A Unicorn by Eloise White & Cory Reid

When a multicultural family set off on an adventure to find a unicorn they don’t expect it to be too hard. After all – a unicorn has a shiny horn, a colourful, swishy tail and it sparkles and glistens all over. Surely they’ll spot one straight away!

As they search a variety of different habitats they spot things which *might* be a unicorn but each one turns out to be a magnificent endangered animal. The creatures they meet include a chameleon, a pangolin, a rhino, a polar bear and a bush baby. But will they ever find a unicorn?

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Sarah Billingham, Co-Founder, Confident Kids

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Sarah, a special needs teacher, living in Bracknell with my husband and our 2 daughter’s Clara (5) and Alice (6 months). I grew up in South Africa and came to England looking for a bit of an adventure and the chance to travel. 15 years later it is safe to say that it became more permanent than I had planned!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Clara has returned to Julia Donaldson books over and over. As a toddler she loved The Smartest Giant in Town and as a pre-schooler she really enjoyed the Highway Rat, Jack and the Flum Flum Tree and The Troll. Clara loves books and reads new books every week (lots of library visits!) but she has returned to her Julia Donaldson favourites.  I think the rhythm and rhyme in these books is very engaging. She is now taking great pride in reading to her little sister.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Hannah O’Donoghue-Hobbs, Founder, Tilly Hobbs & Co

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name’s Hannah and my little passion project is Tilly Hobbs & Co – an insta blog where I sell Manchester themed muslin cloths and document me guessing my way through motherhood ha in our glorious city. I have one little girl called Cora, she’s my little livewire, I’m obsessed!

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

Now this does vary from day to night. Our daytime favourite has to be The President’s Cat by Peter Donnelly – it’s a lovely, lovely story about the President of Ireland leaving his cat behind when he comes home after a holiday in Kerry. Cora loves pointing out the cat on his little journey, the horse poo on one of the pages and the many, many cars and buses on a page featuring Dublin city centre. Reading that backward sounds insane, please go and read it ha! The illustrations are like food for my eyes.

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In The Stars by Sam Kitson & Katie Faithfull

This is a book about baby loss so if this topic is a trigger for you then please do not read any further———————————————-

When someone dies, children will naturally have a lot of questions and reading books together is a great way of helping them understand. I’ve come across quite a few whilst writing my blog and it seems that most focus on the death of an older relative. But what happens when the lost loved one was just a child themselves?

This beautiful book, published by SANDS – the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity, is designed to help small children work through their grief. Written to help author Sam Kitson’s own children understand the death of their sibling, the book follows a conversation between Minnie and Moss as they contemplate where in the universe their sister might be.

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