The Pawed Piper by Michelle Robinson & Chinlun Lee

The Pawed PiperThe little girl in this story really, really likes cats. She has lots of books about them but what she wants is a little fluffy cat of her very own – so she decides to lay a trail!

She gathers together an arsenal of cat toys, including balls of wool, skeins of ribbon and little jingly jangly balls. Then she visits her Grandmother and learns that they also enjoy playing with catnip, cardboard boxes and newspapers.

Soon her bedroom is full of exciting things designed to entice cats and she sits and waits for them to arrive. She waits all day but she has no luck so she heads to bed and sadly snuggles her cat book instead.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Lynsey Pollard, Director, Little Box of Books

Little Box of BooksTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Lynsey, I live with my partner Neil and our two sons Arlo, 5 and Kit, who was born in November. We live in London and run Little Box of Books which we set up in March 2018.

Before I started Little Box of Books I worked in humanitarian and charity communications, travelling to areas of war and disaster to raise awareness and funds for people who really need it.

We manage the business out of our flat, which we’re currently doing during baby nap times and on about 4 hours sleep a day.

What is your son’s favourite book?

I wanted it to be something really woke and in line with our ethos but it’s not. Arlo’s absolutely favourite book is ‘Not Now Bernard’, by David McKee. It’s the simplest, most ridiculous, brilliant children’s story.

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Daddy Fartypants by Emer Stamp & Matt Hunt

Daddy FartypantsDaddy Fartypants has a problem – he farts ALL THE TIME! And what’s worse is that he never owns up.  Every time he does a bottom burp he blames someone else, whether that’s a tiny baby, a snail or a bear on the telly. It’s all a bit too much for his poor son who is embarrassed by both the smell and the white lies.

But then one day Daddy Fartypants gets a taste of his own medicine when his son’s new teacher, Miss Lovelybear lets out a massive paaaaaaarp and blames it on him! Daddy Fartypants is mortified, but is it enough to make him to change his ways?

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Miranda Gregory, Founder, GPS Return

GPS ReturnTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Miranda Gregory, Mum to 2: Holly (6) and William (3) and wife to 1. Together with my husband Simon, we run GPS Return and we help people who have taken career breaks return to work. Simon works on the recruitment side of the business and I am the Career Mentor – working 1:1 with people to help them work out what it is they want to do and how they can get there. We live in beautiful Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Holly is a superstar reader and is enthusiastic about everything she reads. We have recently finished the Faraway Tree books. I think these were great for her imagination – Enid Blyton is so vivid that it was so easy for Holly to picture the fantasy world and it did influence her activities for a while, such as drawing and role play.

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Mix Up Muddle Bird by Laura Sydonie & Beverley Wilson

Mix Up Muddle BirdThe Mix Up Muddle Bird is a solitary creature who lives in a nest at the top of a very tall tree. She doesn’t come down because she is scared that the other animals will make fun of her unusual appearance. You see, the Mix Up Muddle Bird is a mix of lots of different jungle animals. She has the head of a crocodile, the body of a tiger, feet like a monkey and the long colourful wings of a parrot! Her only friend is Boris the Bee who lives in a nearby tree.

One day Boris overhears the jungle animals having a disagreement over who should be the ruler of the jungle. The crocodile thinks he should be king because of his snappy teeth. The tiger thinks he should be the boss because of his fantastic pounce. The monkey thinks his climbing ability should make him the ruler. And then the parrot swoops down and says she should get the job because of her beautiful wings. The problem is that no one can agree!

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The Colour Of Happy by Laura Baker & Angie Rozelaar

The Colour of HappyThis beautifully illustrated story is a lovely addition to our growing collection of books about emotions.

We follow a small boy as he experiences a range of emotions during a short walk with his dog. He starts off calm and then quickly becomes happy when he spots a dandelion stalk which would make a lovely present for his mum.

With a hop, skip and a jump he plucks it from the ground but then experiences sadness as the wind pulls it from his hand and it floats away. Anger ensues, followed by envy when he spots a little girl holding a stalk which he covets. His interaction with the girl teaches him about the importance of sharing before hope, pride and love carry him home with his gift.

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Captain Sparklebeard by Timothy Knapman & Sam Lloyd

Captain SparklebeardAt the moment, if you ask Ivy to go and pick a book then this is the one she inevitably comes back with. We read it every day and she’s even made me construct a sparkly beard out of an old headband so she can pretend to be the main character!

The story is about a girl called Peg who is utterly fed up of living with her wicked Step-Great-Grand Auntie. Her only refuge from all the chores she has to do is her beloved collection of adventure books.

One day she takes the cat for a walk and discovers that the pirates have come to town and are looking for new recruits to help them find treasure. Seeing a way out of her miserable life, she asks if she can join them but they rudely refuse. They tell her that she’s too nice, too small and, most importantly, she doesn’t have a beard therefore she can’t ever be a pirate!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Marisa Levenson, Founder, Young Folkies

Young FolkiesTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Marisa and I’m a musician. I graduated university with BA degrees in Sociology and Spanish and an MSc in Development Studies. I’ve worked at various charities over the years, but switched gears career-wise after becoming a mum so I could work more flexibly. I am American (and now also British) and have been living in London for the last 11 years, now with my husband and our 3-year-old daughter. During this time, I have been in a London-based folk rock band called “The Common Earth” as singer/songwriter/guitarist and then singer in an acoustic duo called “Acoustically Tuned,” which played cover songs at events.

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Mindful Millie by Louise Tribble & Rhiannon Thomas

Mindful MillieSmall children seem to live at 100 miles an hour. These days Ivy talks non-stop and is always on the move. She bounces from game to game, dances, spins and generally makes me feel exhausted just looking at her! This is one of the many reasons that I love to sit and read books with her. For those precious moments, the world stops and it’s just me, her and the story.

If you’re looking for more of those calm moments then this book is a lovely place to start. Mindful Millie is an elephant who is very in touch with the world around her. When she goes for a walk she notices the colour and texture of the leaves on the trees. When she eats she thinks about each of the flavours she can taste. Millie wants to help her friends (and you) to do the same.

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Competition Time: Win A 6 Month Subscription to Little Box of Books

We’ve teamed up with the fantastic Little Box of Books on a very exciting competition! We’re offering you the chance to win a 6 month subscription to one of their diverse & Inclusive children’s book boxes, worth £129.99.

Each month, for the next 6 months, the winner will receive a box containing 3 books which are theirs to keep (that’s 18 books in total!). Each box is carefully curated to include multicultural & diverse characters, gender equality, different kinds of family life and more visibility for under-represented children.

Boxes are available for ages 0-3 and 4-7 so you can pick the one most suited to your child.

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