If you’ve been following Ivy’s Library for a while you’ll know I’m really passionate about books which help small children to understand and verbalise their feelings. I’m also a huge fan of author Rachel Bright, so when The Worrysaurus landed on our doorstep I was really excited. Ivy was instantly entranced by the title character – an adorable little red dinosaur with a tiny green backpack – and demanded we read it right away!
The Worrysaurus is a planner and a worrier (to be honest, he’s a lot like me!). When he decides to go on a picnic he organises it all in his advance. He plans out a route, he packs all of the things he might need in to his trusty bag and then he heads out in to the sunshine.
However it’s not long before his brain starts to itch. What if he didn’t pack enough to drink? What if he gets lost on the way? Slowly his happy mood starts to slip away and anxiety creeps in. When a little lizard warns him that there might be a storm poor Worrysaurus starts to panic. He’s not prepared for rain!
Most parents will be familiar with the sense of trepidation you feel when starting a busy day with a small child in tow. You know it’s *possible* that everything could go to plan, but realistically you’re going to be late for everything (if you even manage to get out of the door at all).
Such is the plight of Mama Bear who has a very long list of things she needs to achieve before the end of the day, starting with dance class and a trip to the supermarket.
Little Bella Bear has other ideas though. She wants to bounce on her bed. She wants to wear the red outfit and not the blue outfit. She wants to count the stairs slowly on her way down. She wants an elaborate breakfast (which she inevitably wouldn’t eat!). She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She might want to use the potty though – but not until it’s time to leave, and not without reading at least 3 books whilst she ‘tries’. Sound familiar?
Cutesville 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…
We were lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this lovely new story which is out today in the UK and we’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you. We’re big fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s previous collaborations (‘The Lion Inside’ is in our all-time top five!) and fortunately this new title is just as good!
The heartwarming tale is about a little wolf cub called Wilf who is extremely strong-willed and independent. He wants to do everything by himself and he wants to do it right now – which will sound very familiar to any parent with a toddler!
When his wolf pack is forced to leave their cave, Wilf wants to lead the expedition to find a new home. But the little wolf soon discovers that life in the wilderness is much tougher than it looks and he finds himself lost in a storm. Too proud to call for help he sits alone on the ice, which at that very moment begins to crack. It looks as though all hope is lost but then a friendly face appears from the depths.
We are big fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field so we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new collaboration and we’re happy to say that it’s fab!
Cyril and Bruce are Squirrels who both have their eye on the last pine cone of the season – but for very different reasons. Cyril has partied his way through the year and hasn’t collected any food for the winter. Bruce, on the other hand, has amassed large stocks of food but is worried it won’t be enough.
An epic squabble ensues which puts both of their lives in danger. Can these two squirrels put their differences and work together to survive?
This is a gorgeous tale about friendship and sharing, with a big splash of adventure thrown in for good measure.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2otV4Xt
Side by Side is a really sweet book about finding your best friend.
Little Mouseling is the smallest mouse in a large family of mice. She desperately wants a friend of her own but all of her brothers and sisters are so busy running and playing that they forget all about her.
She sets out to find a friend but although she has plenty of offers of friendship she just can’t find someone who is the right match. Toad is lovely but she can’t swim so can’t join in with his games. Squirrel is great fun but Little Mouseling is too scared to climb his big tree.
But just as she thinks she won’t ever find a friend a shy little vole appears. Could this be the little buddy she’s been searching for?
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2B8y6Z7
Kevin the koala lives in a tree surrounded by a beautiful landscape and scores of fun-loving animals. However instead of exploring with his friends he stays up in his tree because he is scared of change. Up there he is safe and nothing bad can happen to him. Why would he risk doing something which might scare him?
Then one day a woodpecker arrives and changes Kevin’s world forever. What will happen when he is forced out of his comfort zone?
I love this book because we’ve all been Kevin – and I think it’s so important for kids to see that stretching yourself and facing your fears can truly enrich your life and bring you closer to your dreams.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2BuEJt5
As a shy person with more than a pinch of anxiety, this is the book I wish I had read as a child and I hope it inspires Ivy in the future.
The story is about a tiny little mouse who is often overlooked because of his quiet little voice. He looks up to the mighty lion who lives nearby and wishes he could be big and brave like him.
One day he realises that in order to be who he wants to be he needs to find his courage, so he sets off to find the lion so he can ask him to teach him to roar.
But the meeting doesn’t quite go to plan. Could it be possible that the mighty lion is scared of mice?
We adore this one, and I’m not ashamed to say that the first time I read it to Ivy I cried at the end. Beautiful!
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2zwAZUk
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.
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
It’s Valentine’s Day so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on love.
Aalfred 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 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