Class One have worked really hard all year so the teachers have decided to reward them with a special treat – a Splash Day! When the children arrive, dressed in swimsuits, trunks and wet suits, the school playground looks very different to usual. There are buckets, sand trays, crates and washing up bowls everywhere, and each one is filled to the brim with water.
Anticipation rises when the teachers appear. Taking no chances they are armed with rain coats, shower caps and wellies! Mrs Thistle lays down a few ground rules before she blows her whistle and then the children are off. They splish, splash, splosh and spray until the whistle sounds again.
But just as they are reaching for their towels, Mrs Rose appears with a hose. She wouldn’t, would she?
The animals in this story are about to sit down for dinner, but nothing about this particular meal is going to be straightforward.
Chimp’s food is too hot, Duck won’t eat his carrots, Goose has forgotten his manners, Hyena is licking the bowl and Moth is busy nibbling on the wash cloth. It’s mayhem!
Finally the plates are empty – but will the naughty animals help clean up after themselves or do they have other ideas?
This brightly-coloured board book is perfect for younger toddlers, especially if they are picky eaters (like Ivy!) or are still learning the rules of the dinner table. They rhyme is bouncy and fun and we love the detail in the pictures. Ivy likes to point out the fact that the kangaroo has popped some carrots in her pouch for later!
Timothy Pope has a new telescope and he’s taken it to the park to play. The park is nice and tranquil – there are birds in the trees, ducks on the pond and children playing happily. Yet, each time Timothy takes a peek down his telescope he shrieks in surprise as he can see a shark!
The clever paper cut outs let you see the ‘shark fin’ each time and then when you turn the page you can see what it really is. A cat’s ear, a birds wing and even a hair quiff can all look like a shark down the lens of Timothy’s telescope. It’s definitely Timothy’s eyes playing tricks on him because there can’t really be a shark in the park. Can there?
The repetitive nature of this book – and the little visual surprises – make it perfect for reading aloud to toddlers. We’ve now read it so many times that Ivy can anticipate what’s coming next and can recite part of the rhyme!
Ivy is partial to a boogie so we are big fans of this musical number by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt.
The raucous rhyme runs through a whole orchestra of animals, each playing a different musical instrument. It’s really fun to read and has also been a great way for Ivy to learn the names of animals that don’t often show up in kids books.
She particularly likes the crooning crayfish and the bison who plays the cello!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Sharan, I’m 41. I live in South Wales with my husband (Tommy) and our two daughters, Iona (5) and Ada (2). I grew up in Bedfordshire, but moved to South Wales for University and have pretty much been here ever since.
During the day I work in Public Protection, when I’m not trying to home school. When the house is quiet I am the Founder and Chief Baker at The Happiest Brownie, a postal brownie company. Tommy helps me out a lot, I couldn’t do this without him. He makes sure that he keeps the kids distracted for long enough periods of time, so I don’t have to bake with a small child hanging off my legs, or shouting “Brownies” at me and standing there with their mouth open until food is given. He is also chief printer.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Jo and I have three boys, Ollie 12, Sam 9 and Matthew 6. I am married to Nick, who I met at University and after lots of years living in South London we decided to make the move to Surrey 3 years ago. In November 2018 with my good friend Lynsey, I launched an online children’s clothing company called Mini Motto Clothing.
What are your sons’ favourite books?
For years Matthew has loved You Choose by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Nick Sharratt. The book is full of amazing illustrations with only a few words. It is very interactive as it introduces the concept of choices to children. It has been amazing to see the change in Matthew’s responses over time. At the beginning he would just make a choice but over time, he began to explain the reasons for his choices and then started making stories around the choices.
Hi Cat! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Cat Bateman, a mum of two very energetic & football-mad boys, 11 & 8. I met my husband 26 years ago (I know! I am that old!) and I have a business called Little Folk Nursery Rhymes. I hold weekly sessions singing nursery-rhymes to lovely little customers accompanied by my guitar. I completely love singing and sharing music and am passionate about spreading the word about Type 1 Diabetes as my eldest boy was diagnosed when he was 5 years old.
What were your sons’ favourite books when they were small?
I will answer all the questions from my memories of what they loved when they were your demographic of 0-5 years – I have totally enjoyed digging these books out and taking another look at them – haven’t been able to get rid of any of them in the constant battle to reclaim the house from the children’s stuff as they hold such gorgeous memories.