The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi & Lorena Alvarez

Helping kids develop a growth mindset is both tricky and vitally important. They need to learn the power of persistance but their big emotions mean that they are easily frustrated when they don’t get something right the first time.

Recently i’ve received lots of requests from parents for books which tackle this topic, probably because we’ve all been doing a bit more homeschooling than we expected in 2020! The one which I recommend most frequently is this one – The Magical Yet.

Written in beautifully tight rhyme, the story is about a little girl who is learning to ride her shiny new bike. When she struggles to pedal and steer the bike ends up on the ground and she refuses to try again.

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The Night the Reindeer Saved Christmas
by Raj Kaur Khaira & Kasia Nowowiejska

Yesterday I dug out all our Christmas books and added them to the towering pile of new titles sitting on my desk. We have so many lovely ones but as I flicked through them one thing was immediately obvious – an almost total lack of diversity. It seems that white boys have a monopoly on saving Christmas, white girls are all about the gifts, and black and brown people barely feature at all.

So I’m kicking off my Christmas books with this little gem which we have only recently discovered. It features an Indian Santa and a Black Mrs Claus and the story highlights the fact that the reindeer are all female!

It’s December 23rd and Mr Claus is 100% prepared for Christmas. Hooray! But naturally, this doesn’t last long and his peace is shattered when a fault is discovered with the rockets on his sleigh. With no way to deliver the presents it looks like Christmas will have to be cancelled!

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Lambies in Jammies
by Bea Shepherd & Sharon Harmer

What could be more relaxing than counting sheep? This little board book teaches children the numbers 1-10 and introduces them to a calming way of settling down to sleep.

Every adorable page features little sleepy lambs, each wearing different nightwear. There are lambs in pyjamas and lambs in nightgowns. There are lambs slumbering on haystacks and lambs snoozing in hammocks. There are even lambs being sung to sleep by puppies!

Ivy enjoys counting the animals and exploring all the details on the tiny pyjamas. There’s an array of different styles and she loves to pick out her favourites. She also likes trying to spot the sneaky little sheep who still have their eyes open when they should be asleep.

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Little Folk Nursery Rhymes: Colouring Book
by Cat Bateman & Michelle Poultney

It’s World Nursery Rhymes Week so this evening i’m sharing something slightly different –  a fabulous colouring book which we recently bought from the lovely Cat Bateman who runs Little Folk Nursery Rhymes.

If you have a child under 5 and you haven’t yet discovered Cat then you are most definitely missing out! Armed with her guitar and an amazing repertoire of rhymes she is a fantastic entertainer and kids adore her. She runs music classes in South London but she can be enjoyed by everyone as she has an album and a fabulous YouTube channel – plus she does online parties!

This gorgeous colouring book features characters from 11 popular nursery rhymes, all beautifully drawn by artist and jewellery designer Michelle Poultney. The pictures are adorable and it’s printed on thick, high-quality paper so there’s no seepage through the pages if your child is a bit heavy-handed with their felt tip pens (something which is a bugbear of mine with most colouring books!). The pages also have perforated edges so you can neatly extract your child’s artwork without having to rip or cut.

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M is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child by Tiffany Rose

This gorgeous alphabet book is a celebration of black children everywhere.

Each page features an affirmation, beautifully illustrated with happy children who are making their mark on their world. From A for Afro, B for Black, and C for Creative right through to X for Malcolm, Y for You and Z for the Zillion people trying to tell you to be someone else – this book encourages kids to be the best version of themselves.

Every child featured is unique and each has their own special style. We see black skin in a wide variety of hues (including a child with vitiligo and another with albinism) and so much joyful freedom of expression –  I really can’t recommend this book highly enough!

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Book Box Review:
The Brave Girls Book Club

Do you subscribe to any book boxes for your child? We get a monthly ‘Koala Crate‘ craft/innovation box from KiwiCo but we don’t have any book subscriptions so I have been doing some research in to what is available here in the UK.

I have followed Books that Matter (a feminist book box for grown ups) on Instagram for some time so I was very happy when they offered to send me one of their brand new boxes for kids – The Brave Girls Book Club!

The box is aimed at middle grade readers (age 7-12) so it’s currently a bit old for Ivy but the contents were so lovely that I wanted to share it with you anyway! I’m sure that many of you will have older children who would really benefit from this box.

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Good Evening Star Baby
by Kathy Walsh & Clare Wasserman

Written by mindfulness expert Kathy Walsh, this book encourages children to stay connected to the love and light inside themselves.

The gentle rhyme asks children to consider how it might feel to shine as bright as the stars, to have love flow through your veins and for their joy to light up the world for all to see.

The vivid illustrations take you on a dream-like journey through the night sky. We see children flying through the clouds on giant white birds, sliding down rainbows and communing with nature.

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Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf
by Rachael Mortimer & Liz Pichon

What would the story of Little Red Riding Hood have looked like if the wolf was a peace-loving creature with a penchant for frills and fairy tales? Let’s find out! This adorable book takes the well-known traditional tale and turns it in to brand new story which Ivy absolutely loves.

Deep in the woods there lives a family of wolves. The mother and father wolf are very big and very bad, so they’re a little confused by their child’s sweet nature. Their Sweet Little Wolf is happiest when she’s reading books and twirling through the trees decked in flowers and frills. She has no interest in being big or bad at all.

One day they decide the time has come for the Sweet Little Wolf to become a ‘real’ wolf and they send her off with a shopping list for their dinner. Along with the onions, carrots, potatoes and rosemary, she must find a tender and juicy little girl…

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My First Book of the Cosmos
by Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferrón & Eduard Altarriba

Since reading City Moon by Rachael Cole we’ve taken a few evening walks around our neighbourhood. Ivy really enjoys spotting the moon and the stars and it’s prompted lots of questions about Space. This isn’t my specialist subject at all so I’ve been turning to our copy of ‘My First Book of the Cosmos’ for help!

Aimed at children aged 8+, this fascinating book introduces kids to a complex subject in a really fun way. It breaks down a wide range of topics in to manageable chunks and does a great job of explaining it all in a way which is easy to understand (even for me!).

There are pages on gravity, galaxies, the big bang, stars, planets, black holes, wormholes and the possibility of other life forms. The layout is engaging, with brightly coloured illustrations, simple graphs and accessible examples.

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Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice
by Nikki Grimes & Laura Freeman

When little Eve slams the door on her return from school her Mum instantly knows that something is wrong. She listens carefully as her daughter explains that a boy in her class had laughed at her when she said she wanted to be President one day because “Girls can’t be President, stupid.” Her Mum sits her down and tells her a story about a girl from their own town – a girl called Kamala…

What follows is a detailed but child-friendly look at the life of Kamala Harris, the Vice President-elect of the United States. We learn about her heritage, her childhood and how the quest for justice and peace has been a part of her life since she was a baby. We follow her story as she deals with family separation, moves to a new country, graduates college and fails an important exam. Whatever the obstacles she has to face in her own life, she never stops fighting for the rights of the people around her as she edges ever closer to her dream.

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