Pug Hug by Zehra Hicks

The pug in this book really wants a hug. He asks all of his animal friends but no one seems interested. Hamster is busy spinning on his wheel, Rabbit is eating carrots, Cat just doesn’t like hugs, the parrots laugh at him and Fish… well, hugging Fish would be a little tricky.

Feeling dejected, Pug curls up and snuggles himself. His ears prick up when a crocodile offers him a cuddle but he soon realises the croc has ulterior motives! Will Pug ever get the big hug he desires?

This book has been a big hit with us! The vibrant illustrations jump right off the page and Ivy has fallen in love with the adorable Pug character.

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Slow Samson by Bethany Christou

Everybody loves Samson. He is a kind and considerate sloth who is always available for a chat or to give a helping hand. As a result he has many friends and gets lots of exciting party invitations. There’s only one problem – Samson is very, very slow.

On party days he always leaves home on time, but his slow movements and his kindly nature mean he is always late. In fact, he usually arrives after the party has ended which always makes him very sad.

His friends love him dearly and recognise that Samson is never late through any fault of his own. He just can’t move fast enough, and if he sees someone in need along the way he simply has to stop and help because that’s his nature.

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Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost

If you’re looking for a simple but effective way of teaching your child about germs then I highly recommend this book! It uses a mixture of cute characters and photographs taken under a microscope to show how germs spread and where they live.

On the first page we meet Min the microbe, a little blue creature with an enormous grin (who is actually an e-coli).

The reader is encouraged to take Min on an adventure by touching the page to pick him up. You are then asked to transport him to a variety of places, including your teeth, your top and your belly button! In each instance we see photos taken under a microsocope of the surface Min is standing on, as well as the other microbes he meets along the way (Hello Rae the streptococcus, Dennis the fungus and Jake the corynebacterium!).

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Chatterbox Bear by Pippa Curnick

Gary the bear loves to chat. He chats at the supermarket, he chats in the library and he even chats in the bath! The trouble is, he’s giving all the other bears a headache with his incessant ‘Raar-ing’.

The chatterbox bear decides to set off on an adventure to find some animals who like to talk as much as he does. He sets sail on a boat and eventually he finds himself on an island surrounded by chatty birds. However they all speak Bird and can’t understand Bear.

They try to make sense of all Gary’s ‘Raars’ but they are baffled by the noises he makes. Why can’t he just Squawk like they do?

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My Monster And Me by Nadiya Hussain & Ella Bailey

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions experienced by children but it can be a difficult topic to discuss with someone who is too young to put their feelings in to words. This book uses the metaphor of a monster, albeit a friendly yellow one, to help kids understand.

At the start of the story a young boy introduces his monster and explains that it has been around for as long as he can remember. It’s large, loud and bossy, and it often gets in his way when he’s trying to enjoy himself. When his parents are around the monster hides so he doesn’t feel like he can talk to them about it, but he really wishes it would go away.

One day it all becomes too much and he opens his heart to his grandmother. In tears, he tells her all about the intolerable monster and how it just won’t leave him alone – but as he talks, something special happens. The monster starts to shrink! As the words tumble from his mouth the monster gets smaller and smaller until eventually he can pick it up and pop it in his pocket. Although he knows the monster will always be there, the little boy now knows that he is in control rather than the other way around.

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Children’s Mental Health Week: Our Favourite Books About Understanding Emotions

February 3-9 2020 is Children’s Mental Health Week so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on understanding and managing emotions.

We recommend:

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas

A clever book which equates emotions to colours and explains how you shouldn’t bottle them up.
Read the full review

 

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

Written in perfect rhyme with utterly charming illustrations, this is a wonderful book to set the minds of little worriers at ease. As the Worrysaurus works through his fears he shares lots of little tricks that he uses to make himself feel better.
Read the full review

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Laura Ansbro, Freelance Writer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Laura, a Freelance Writer with one little boy, aged 4. We live in Wiltshire, and have a whopping book collection. Wilfie loved books from a very early age, and as a full time parent who struggled with PND, I was overjoyed when reading became our world. We would begin each week with ‘New Book Monday’, and would regularly read sixty books a day together! Now Wilfie loves to read, and will devour anything with a decent amount of pictures.

What is your son’s favourite book?

Tigger Comes to the Forest and Has Breakfast – A.A. Milne

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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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