Ivy’s Guest Book: Kemi Omijeh, Owner, Relax Kids

Relax KidsHi Kemi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

We are a family of 4, my husband and I and a 4 year old darling girl and a 6 months old ravenous boy – he loves his milk! The adjustment from 1 child to 2 children was certainly a shock to my system! I am Kemi, a children’s therapist and an emotional well-being coach. We live in Barnet and absolutely love it here.

What are your children’s favourite books?

The first book that sprung to mind when I saw this question was ‘So Much‘ by Trish Cooke. ‘So Much‘ is a lovely story about mum and baby waiting for dad’s arrival and whilst they wait different members of their family arrive and engage with the baby in various funny and loving ways. Then there is a surprise at the end. This book was a firm favourite with my daughter from about 7 months until 2.5 years old, I can recite the story off by heart. 

Continue Reading…

Aaaarrgghh, Spider! by Lydia Monks

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!The little spider in this book is very lonely – all he wants is a family of his own. So the enterprising little fellow finds a family he likes and sets about trying to become their pet. The problem is that they’re all scared of spiders!

He tries to impress them with his dancing, he shows them how nice and clean  he is by hanging out in the bath and he builds a web and catches flies to prove he’s self-sufficient and can feed himself. However every time they seem him they yell ‘Aaaarrgghh! Spider!’ and throw him back outside.

Feeling defeated, the poor lonely spider decides to set up house in their garden instead and builds himself a giant sparkly web. Will this be the final straw for the family or will they see the spider as a potential pet after all?

Continue Reading…

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell & Henry Cole

And Tango Makes ThreeThis gorgeous classic tells the true story of two very special male penguins at Central Park Zoo.

Choosing to ignore the female penguins, Roy and Silo are inseparable. They sing together, bow to each other and go on little strolls around the penguin enclosure. When they see the other penguins pair up and build a nest of stones they do the same and snuggle up to sleep. Soon however they see that the other penguins all have eggs in their nests. They watch as the eggs grow then hatch, and they want a baby penguin of their own.

Clever Roy spots a large round stone which looks just like an egg. He brings it home to Silo and they pop it in their nest. For days and days they take turns sitting on the egg, just as they have seen the other penguins do, but no baby penguin appears.

Continue Reading…

Valentine’s Day: Our Favourite Books About Love

It’s Valentine’s Day so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on love.

We recommend:

Aalfred And AalbertAalfred and Aalbert by Morag Hood

A lovely tale about two (male) aardvarks who are potentially a perfect couple, and the little blue bird who plays matchmaker.

Read the full review

Guess How Much I Love YouGuess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram

A gorgeous book about trying to vocalise the extent of your love. This makes a perfect gift for a small child (or even a grown up!)

Read the full review

Continue Reading…

Love Monster by Rachel Bright

Love MonsterCutesville is home to lots of cute and fluffy creatures, like puppies and bunnies and kittens. However it has one resident who is a tiny bit different – Monster. Monster isn’t cute or fluffy. He’s red and hairy with googly eyes and little pointy teeth.

Everyone loves cute things, but nobody seems to love him. He looks so different to everyone in Cutesville that sometimes people point and laugh. This makes Monster sad as all he wants is for someone to love him.

The sadness spurs him to take action. Instead of sitting at home moping he’s going to head out in to world and try to find a life partner. He looks everywhere but love continues to evade him! Disheartened, he decides to give up and head back to Cutesville – but when the bus finally arrives, something amazing happens…

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Lucie Gray, Owner, Paper Aeroplane Creative

Paper Aeroplane CreativeTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hullo, I’m Lucie. I live with my partner Mark and two children, Eloise 4 (& the all important 3/4) and Oliver 2. We live in Keynsham, a town squeezed between Bristol and Bath. I’m a packaging and branding designer.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Oliver’s favourite book is ‘Ten Little Pirates‘ by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty. Each pirate peril is met with an “Oh NO!” and we are guaranteed an arm swooshing “Arrrrr” at the end followed by “again Mummy!”

It’s really hard to pin Eloise down to just one favourite book, she won’t go to bed without at least an armful to read, but at a push it would be something written by Julia Donaldson.  She knows them off by heart and can be regularly heard reading them to her favourite soft toy, Rosie.

Continue Reading…

Wishing For A Dragon by Becky Cameron

Wishing For A DragonIt’s almost time for bed but Olive, Barney and Ella aren’t ready just yet. They want to go on one last adventure before they fall asleep! Olive wants to go to the jungle, whilst Barney wants to head out in search of treasure. And Ella? Well she would secretly really like to see a dragon.

The three friends hop in to a giant hot air balloon which has magically appeared outside their window and then whoooosh, they’re off!

Their first stop is a pirate ship which they eagerly explore, but their time is cut short when the crew decide they don’t want to share their treasure. Next they float down in to the jungle but a hungry tiger makes them a little nervous about staying. This adventure really isn’t working out as planned and poor Ella still hasn’t see a dragon! 

Continue Reading…

Think Big! by Kes Gray & Nathan Reed

Think Big!When you think of Humpty Dumpty you can’t help but immediately picture him falling off a wall – but what if he could be so much more than that?

This brightly coloured book starts with Humpty sitting on his famous wall, talking about the future with his friends. One of them asks what he wants to be when he grows up and his response shocks them. He wants to be a boiled egg! Aghast, they suggest that he thinks outside of the box.

Wee Willie Winkie thinks Humpty should be a footballer, Little Bo Peep suggests he becomes a detective, whilst Mary Mary Quite Contrary thinks he would make a great musician. Soon everyone is sharing their career aspirations. Little Miss Muffet dreams of becoming a scientist, Goosey Gander plans to become a builder, and This Little Piggy wants to be a traffic warden!

Continue Reading…

Hop Little Bunnies by Martha Mumford & Laura Hughes

Hop Little BunniesIvy always gets excited when we receive parcels of books in the post but when we opened this one she was bouncing with joy as it combines two of her favourite things – the song ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ and lots and lots of little flaps to lift and explore.

Adapted from the popular nursery rhyme, this beautiful book starts with a group of very sleepy bunnies lazing on picnic blankets. You are invited to wake them up by lifting the flaps and then turn the page to see them all ‘hop hop hop’.

The group of bunnies then take a little walk through the countryside and find lots of other animals having a snooze, including lambs, chicks, kittens and ducklings. Your little one can wake them all up by lifting the flaps (or by yelling ‘WAAAAAAKE UUUUUUP’ as Ivy chose to do!) and watch them play together.

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Jaclyn Townshend, Owner, Lingotot Gravesend

Lingotot GravesendTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! My name is Jaclyn and after having my son in April 2016 I left my Facilities Manager role in London and I now run Lingotot Gravesend. I live in Hoo in Kent with my husband and our son Finn who is 2.5, and we love to travel to see my parents who live in rural Spain. I’m part of a book club who meet monthly and I love to read, sadly I don’t have as much time as I used to when I used to commute to London and had hours to read, but I now enjoy reading with my son who loves to sit down with a new book and read it over and over (and over…) again!

What is your son’s favourite book?

Finn’s current favourite is Oi Frog! By Kes Gray & Jim Field – it’s a hilarious rhyming story about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit. Finn loves saying the relevant rhyming word to the animal (i.e. cats sit on mats, foxes sit on boxes) and he’s learnt lots of new words as a result. There are lots of different animals in the series and I can’t wait to get more books for us to read.

Continue Reading…