Ivy’s Guest Book: Dr. Rebecca Moore, Co-Founder, Make Birth Better

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family 

My name is Rebecca Moore, I am a psychiatrist working with women in London to support their mental health through pregnancy and early motherhood, infertility or PMS and I am also the co -founder of Make Birth Better a national collaborative working to reduce the life changing impact of birth trauma.

I have two wonderful kids, Dorothea who is 12 and Arthur who is nearly 10 years old. I live in South East London which I love!

Continue Reading…

Claude: Anyone For Strawberries? by Alex T. Smith

We’ve recently discovered the joys of Claude and his trusty side kick Sir Bobblysock via the TV Series on Disney Junior so we were very excited to receive this book in the post. Based on one of the episodes, this sporty story follows the two friends as they hunt down their favourite fruit!

When Sir Bobblysock wakes up early one morning with a craving for strawberries, he and Claude head out to their local fruit and veg van to buy some. However when they get there they discover that the entire strawberry supply has been bought up by the Pawhaven Tennis Championship. Oh no!

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Sarah Botting, Head Sparkle for Brockley, Forest Hill & Crystal Palace, Lucy Sparkles & Friends

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m based in Honor Oak Park in South East London, along with my husband and children – Edward (aged 5) and Alice (who is 2). Last year I decided to take the plunge and start doing something I’ve always wanted to do – teaching preschool music, drama and dance! It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but I’ve absolutely loved meeting so many local children and parents – and I’ve had a lot of support from my two most demanding fans at home!!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Reading together is often our most special part of the day, and we love sinking into our imaginations in different books. My son has a book called ‘Magic Beach’ by Alison Lester that he loves reading to me – the story intersperses between what an adult might see happening on a beach and the kingdom of imagination that children possess! We’re also big fans of Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandall, for which we’ve invented actions and songs!!

Continue Reading…

Competition Time: Win A Framed A4 Print & Six Picture Books!

We have teamed up with the lovely Milk & Mustard to offer you the chance to win an epic prize!

You could win a beautiful print featuring a quote from classic book ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott, along with 6 picture books which teach kids about self esteem, kindness, their emotions and their place in the world.

The bundle includes: 1 framed A4 print, Happy To Be Me by Emma Dodd, Incredible You by Rhys Brisenden & Nathan Reed, It’s Your World Now! by Barry Falls, Kind by Alison Green, Axel Scheffler et al, Super Duper You by Sophy Henn and The Colour Of Happy by Laura Baker & Angie Rozelaar.

Continue Reading…

There’s An Alien In Your Book by Tom Fletcher & Greg Abbott

Ivy and I are big fans of ‘There’s A Monster In Your Book‘ so I pre-ordered this new one from Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott as soon as I heard about it. We were both super excited when it arrived and it has definitely not disappointed.

The story is about a little alien who has crash landed in your book.  It’s up to you to try and get him back home where he belongs – but how? By wriggling and jiggling the book around, blowing on the pages, making loud noises and conjuring up some scary faces!

This is a raucous read which has Ivy hooting with laughter every single time. She has declared the alien ‘adorable’ and adopted his little catchphrase – ‘Zaa – Zee – Zoo!’ – which she has decided means ‘I Love You’ in ‘alien language’.

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Marisa Westcott, Owner, Milk & Mustard

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! My name is Marisa and I live in Wimbledon, London with my husband Jonathan and our 3 children Madison, Finlay and Felix (aged 6, almost 4 and 2). I also run Milk & Mustard, designing wall art prints for children and the home.

We had been quite rigorous about reading before bed with the older two, but it was hard to retain the same kind of focus once Felix arrived as bedtime was total chaos for a while. However it is easier now Madison can read to both herself and her brothers, which she loves doing!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Madison is quite into non-fiction at the moment. She is reading the Frozen Planet (the book that accompanied the BBC series) which is a bit unusual for a bedtime book. The photos are stunning though. She does struggle with some of the words but it is great to see her so interested in the natural world in this time of climate emergency.

Continue Reading…

Happy To Be Me by Emma Dodd

This colourful, body positive book is an absolute joy! It follows a diverse group of children as they take a trip around the human body, giving thanks for all the things it allows us to do.

Mouths are great for smiling and toes are made to wiggle. Hands allow you to touch things, like bunnies, sheep and snakes! Arms are perfect for hugs when you’re feeling sad and tongues let you taste all of your favourite foods!

The cheerful rhyme and gorgeous illustrations show us all the things we have to be thankful for, whilst highlighting the ways in which we are all unique. And this isn’t just a celebration of able bodies – wheelchairs, hearing aids and glasses are all positively featured too.

Continue Reading…

The Start Of Something Big by Annahita De La Mare & Jennifer Kirkham

When three little girls find a tattered hot air balloon hidden away in an old shed they realise they have found something special. The balloon used to belong to their grandmother, and they have heard many stories about the adventures she had in it as a girl.

With a flicker of excitement they realise that, if they can fix the balloon, they could have some adventures of their very own!  Working together, they mend the holes in the fabric and soon find themselves soaring through the sky.

However it’s not long before they discover that flying a hot air balloon isn’t quite as easy as it looks, and after a minor collision with a tree they start to doubt their own abilities. Will they manage to fly the balloon safely to Grandma’s house, and what on earth might she say when they arrive?

Continue Reading…

Where’s Mrs Zebra? by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Earlier this week we visited London Zoo as a half term treat for Ivy. The highlight of her day was undoubtedly seeing the giraffes up close, but for me it was our visit to the gift shop as they had a phenomenal selection of books. From baby books right through to detailed encyclopedias, there was definitely something for every child to enjoy.

Ivy was allowed to select one title from their shelves and she headed straight for this beautiful board book from Ingela P. Arrhenius and Nosy Crow.

She’s three and a half now, but we’ve seen renewed interest in board books of late because she likes to try and read them herself by guessing what is going on in the pictures. This book is perfect for this type of game and as a result I honestly think we’ve read it 50+ times in the last few days!

Continue Reading…

Why Are There So Many Books About Bears? by Kristina Stephenson

I love a book which isn’t afraid to ask the big questions, and this book asks the biggest of them all – why on earth are there so many books about bears? The rather genius story brings together some of the greatest animal minds in the world to try and come up with an answer.

The ‘summit’ takes place in the hallowed hall at Mollusc College in Oxford and is attended by William Snakespeare (a snake), Albert Swinestein (a pig), some PhDs (porcupines, hedgehogs and dragons with spines), Newton (a newt), Mary Shelley (a snail) and Trevor (an unassuming little mouse).

Many theories are put forward. Is it because ‘bear’ rhymes with so many good words? Is it because bears come in a handy variety of sizes? Or could it be because, with clothes on, bears look a lot like people?

Continue Reading…