At the start of this lovely book the King is sat at his royal table eating takeaway pizza from a box. He needs a new cook and he needs one now. There’s a problem though – he’s really, really fussy! He auditions lots of impressive chefs but none of the meals they create for him is quite right. Then in walks Wobbly Bob – a self-confessed wimp who really wants the job!
The King agrees to give Bob a trial and sets him to work making fish and chips, but Bob is scared of every single step of the process. He’s scared of catching fish. He’s scared of digging for potatoes. He’s scared of slicing up chips. And he’s very scared of using the frying pan on the cooker. Fortunately the brave King is there to help and every time Bob is nervous about a task he steps in and shows him it’s okay.
We love this series of books by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Ada Twist is the best of the bunch in our opinion but this one comes a close second!
Shy little Rosie Revere dreams of becoming a great engineer. Like a magpie she collects gizmos and gadgets that other people have thrown away and in her bedroom at night she turns them in to amazing inventions – including a hot dog dispenser and some helium pants!
Her favourite uncle is a zookeeper so she makes him a special hat (made of parts of a fan and some squirty cheese) to keep the snakes off his head. She proudly hands it over but her uncle laughs! He says he likes it but poor Rosie is mortified and vows never to invent anything again.
But then one day she discovers that her very clever aunt (who used to build aeroplanes) dreams of being able to fly and she begins to wonder if she could make this happen. Can she use all of her ingenuity and help her aunt take to the skies?
Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson & David Roberts is one of our favourite dinosaur books. It tells the story of a gentle little duckbill dinosaur who accidentally ends up hatching in a Tyrannosaurus nest. He tries his hardest to fit in with the family he believes to be his but he is just too different. His sisters are big and strong with sharp teeth and a love of hunting whereas poor little Drip is gentle and kind and just wants to eat some veg.
When his family start to pick on him for being different he decides to run away and he finds himself swimming with some Duckbill Dinosaurs in the river, unaware that they are his real family. Drip finally feels like he belongs and plays happily with his new friends. When he spots his reflection he is shocked to discover that he was never a Tyrannosaurus at all!
But then a storm comes and knocks over a tree, giving the nasty T-Rex family direct access to the Duckbill’s home. Quick-thinking Drip comes up with a plan but will it be enough to save his new family?
Little Ada drives her parents to distraction because she refuses to talk. Whilst all the children around her are starting to spout their first words, Ada just silently observes the world around her. Then she turns 3 and suddenly everything changes. She starts to talk and she just can’t stop. She wants to know why? when? where? how? and she needs the answers right now!
Ada’s endless need to question everything means that she is a perfect mini scientist. She devises experiments and builds hypotheses, trying to work out how everything she encounters works. This causes new problems for her parents however, as Ada pushes them to their limits with her constant questioning and tinkering.
One days she smells something horrible whilst playing in the garden and vows to track down the source. Can she puzzle it out? And how will her parents react when she starts experimenting on the cat and scribbling equations on the walls?
The Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson has an extremely random story but the rhyme and illustrations never fail to make Ivy giggle.
3 little bath toys (a duck, a frog and a turtle) operate their own little emergency service for animals in urgent need of water. When they receive a call they jump in their magic flying bath and set off to the rescue.
On their adventures they help a thirsty kangaroo, a bee with droopy flowers, a pig who needs a wash and many more. But will they make it home for bathtime?
March 8th 2020 is International Women’s Day so I have collated a list of our favourite books which feature strong female characters. Take a look and let us know in the comments if there are any others which you think should be included!
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts – Little Ada’s endless need to question everything means that she is the perfect mini scientist. She devises experiments and builds hypotheses, trying to work out how the world around her works. Read the review.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman & Caroline Binch – An uplifting story is about a little girl called Grace who loves stories and has a big imagination. Can she find the confidence to follow her dreams? Read the review.
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.
Hi Anna! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hi, I’m Anna and I live in Clapham, London with my husband, Greg and our two children, Charlie who’s two years old and Sophia who’s two months old.
Alongside my mum, Daphne, I am a co-founder of Offshoot Studio, an art studio specialising in handmade limited edition archival giclée prints for children. Mum is the artist and I run the studio.
The natural world is a huge source of inspiration in the studio. It’s endlessly fascinating and appealing to mum, and we think to most children too. Our prints are illustrations to stories waiting to be told. Things are happening up in the sky, deep in the jungle, out in the desert, and under the sea. All it needs is a little imagination, and a child wanting to hear or tell their own special story. Our prints let you escape into their world together …
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Kate, founder of Kate Phipps Writes. I write bespoke poetry and poetry prints for people, places and events from my studio in East Sussex. I have two children a daughter of 7 and a son of 6.
What are your children’s favourite books?
My children are starting to extend their reading range now that they can read on their own, but two books we always return to, which we have been reading since they were small are “Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts and “Marshall Armstrong is new to our school” by David Mackintosh.
There are lots of lovely books available which celebrate friendship and help children learn how to form healthy relationships with their peers. Here we have compiled a selection of our favourites.
Big Hid by Roisin Swales – A beautifully illustrated tale about the friendship between Big (a tortoise) and Little (a squirrel). Together they have many adventures but one day Big just doesn’t feel like doing anything anymore. Can Little help him feel better? Read the review.
Bob Goes Pop! by Marion Deuchars – When a rival artist comes to town Bob is not impressed. Locked in competition, the pair try their best to outdo each other, but soon discover that life might be better if they work together instead. Review coming soon.