The Space Train by Maudie Powell-Tuck & Karl James Mountford

Jakob lives on a space station at the very edge of the galaxy with his granny and a robot chicken called Derek. Life is good, but deep down Derek really wishes he had some friends to play with.

One day, whilst exploring one of the empty decks, he finds an enormous abandoned space rocket. He shows it to Granny and her whole face lights up. This is the space train which she used to ride when she was a young girl! Once upon a time it streaked across the universe carrying star explorers and comet chasers to the 2,747 stations in the star network.

Jakob’s mind starts to whirr. If he can get the train running again then he can travel to other planets and meet other children! Granny rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. Can they work together to fix the train and head off on an intergalactic adventure?

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Stephen, the Sprout of Kindness by Richard Dungworth & Samantha Meredith

“Time to help!” thinks Stephen Sprout. ” I know a way to sort this out…”

Love them or hate them, sprouts are an essential part of Christmas, and the sprout in this book is extra special. Stephen is a sprout of kindness!

Whenever he sees a child in distress, Stephen knows just what to do. He helps a lost girl find her friend. He makes sure everyone gets a turn on the swings. He helps people understand how to share. He even gently helps someone overcome their fear of the water. Stephen spreads kindness wherever he goes and his friendly enthusiasm is infectious.

We love this gorgeous little board book and it’s been requested repeatedly since it arrived. The rhyming text is super tight which makes it really fun to read aloud and the brightly-coloured illustrations have lots of lovely detail.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Trine Hansen, Founder, Pickled Herring PR

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi I’m Trine. I live in Hertfordshire with my other half Andy, our busy two-year-old son Oskar and our French bulldog Alfie, three. We are raising Oskar (and Alfie) bilingual as I am originally from Denmark but have lived in the UK for 13 years. It is important to me that Oskar knows his heritage.

I run Pickled Herring PR, where I specialise in getting small to medium sized brands exposure outside of social media, print and online, to help drive credibility, exposure and a different revenue stream to your brand. I’m incredibly passionate about telling your story, to the right people, in the right places, to help you grow.

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The Blanket Bears by Samuel Langley-Swain & Ashlee Spink

When a child is going through a difficult transition or is about to experience something new, the first thing we do is look for a book which can help guide them through it. That’s easy enough if you want to talk about starting school or moving house, but there are some topics which just aren’t covered in mainstream books – like adoption.

Written by an adoptive Dad, ‘The Blanket Bears’ follows two little cubs as they go through every step of the adoption process.

When we first meet the bears they are cold, alone and losing their fur. They are found by Tilly, a social worker bear, and taken to a foster home to be looked after until a Forever Home can be found for them. Their foster carers look after them very well and make them adorable little onesies out of blankets to keep them warm until their fur grows back. Eventually a Forever Family is found for the bears and they slowly make the transition to their new home.

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Around the World in 24 Hours: An Advent Calendar Story

It feels a little early to be mentioning Christmas, but this book is designed to be used as an advent calendar from the beginning of December so you’ll want to get your hands on one pretty soon!

This gorgeous, personalised gift book follows Santa’s journey as he travels around the world delivering presents. Written in rhyme, it’s designed to be read one page per day in the run up to Christmas and features lots of interesting facts about the festive traditions in different countries.

Did you know that in Tahiti the children leave out mangoes and peanut cookies for Santa and his reindeer? or that in Latvia children traditionally have to recite a poem to receive a present? Nope – me either and it’s fascinating stuff!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Julie Comfort, Publisher & Editor, Rabbel

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Julie Comfort. Originally from the US, I have lived all over the world including San Francisco, Indonesia, Austin, Costa Rica, Mexico, New York, and now Berlin, where I am putting down roots with my Danish partner and our two wonderful daughters, Tully (12) & Nova (1.5). I work as a freelance experience designer and brand strategist and am also the publisher and editor of Rabbel, the creative print magazine for fierce-hearted girls.

Since we are a multi-cultural family, we have a pile of books in three languages: English, Danish, and German. I try to read the Danish picture books with my daughter as it helps me improve my Danish as well.

What are your children’s favourite books?

My older daughter loved Wildwood by Colin Meloy. We read it together when she was about 5 or 6, and then she reread it herself last year. My younger daughter hasn’t gravitated toward a favourite yet.

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Danny’s Dream by Victor Margiotta & Ian Parker

Danny’s Dream tells the story of a little boy with big ambitions and how he learns to overcome obstacles in order to achieve them. It’s aimed at a slightly older age group than the books I would normally recommend on this blog (probably best for those aged 5+) – but I’m sharing it because Ivy was fascinated by the illustrations and the story behind them.

As soon as we opened the book, Ivy had questions! The inside cover shows a photograph of the artist, Ian Parker, painting using his mouth. She was utterly intrigued by the fact this was possible and amazed that each of the 34 illustrations had been painted in this way. Before reading the story we looked through all of the artwork and talked about how long it must take to be able to paint such intricate pictures without the use of your hands – 2 whole years in fact! It sparked a great conversation about disability, a theme which would continue when we started to read…

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Anna Whitaker, Founder, ToyDrop

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hey readers, I’m Anna, Mum to Arlo (4), Rudi (1) and ToyDrop Mag, an ethical lifestyle blog for grown-ups trying to raise awesome humans. We live in North-East London with my husband, Thom, and two fur babies, Zissou & Django. Our family time is split between Epping Forest, the impossible number of pizza places in Walthamstow and somewhere on the road to the beach. My heart is normally in Cornwall.

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Hello, Friend! by Rebecca Cobb

If your child has recently started nursery, pre-school or reception then they’re inevitably in the process of navigating new friendships. This beautifully-illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb follows a child’s journey to securing a new friend.

The main character in this story is an extremely enthusiastic little girl who very much wants to be buddies with a boy in her class. She loves spending time with him and she tells us about all the things they do together. They play, build towers, share lunch, draw pictures, play music and dance. We see her smiling and practically bouncing with excitement about the special time they share.

Look closely though and we see that the little boy doesn’t seem quite so sure. He appears reluctant to join in the games and his facial expressions and demeanour suggest that he is shy and perhaps new to the class. The girl’s optimism wins him over though and we see them become firm friends.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Davina, Founder, beeniebuds&co

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello I’m Davina, Wife, Mama, Entrepreneur, Creative Consultant and a Co-founder at beeniebudsandco.com. We have a 9 year daughter and 5 year old son. We live in London.

What is your son’s favourite book?

As a family we all love reading, we have a selection of books in every room!. At the moment our 5 year is loving Mibo – The Safari Set by Button Books (We stock these books on our site) Great activity book, which allows him to explore through rhyme and pictures. Teaching him about Safari regions while having fun. The best feature is the pull out 2D figures which can be constructed into 3D. Bringing the story to life!

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