December 2017

Dear Santa By Rod Campbell

Dear SantaDear Santa is a little classic for smaller toddlers. Following in the tradition of Dear Zoo there is a little present hidden under a flap on each page – however this time it’s Santa trying to choose the perfect gift.

Will he send a toy car? No – too small! 
Will he send a kite? No – too big!

What will end up being the perfect present?

Ivy loves the excitement of revealing what’s behind the flaps – and the gift on the final page might just be a tiny bit fluffy!

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A Child Of Books By Oliver Jeffers

A Child Of BooksThis book is so beautiful that it made me cry on the first read through. Ivy received it on her birthday and it really is a perfect gift for a book-loving child.

The story tells of a little girl who sails across an ocean of words to invite a little boy on an imaginative journey with her in a world of stories.

The pictures don’t do it justice, but if you look closely you can see that the illustrations are all made of words from classic children’s literature – including Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Pinocchio, The Swiss Family Robinson and many more.

It looks and feels like something she can treasure for years and years. Go buy it – I cannot recommend it enough!

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Morris The Mankiest Monster By Giles Andreae & Sarah McIntyre

Morris The Mankiest MonsterIvy recently received this one as a birthday gift and she LOVES it. The grotty humour is perfect for a toddler – Ivy says ‘bleurghhh’ and laughs at every page.

Morris is a manky monster with some extremely bad habits. He picks his scabs, bathes in sewage, eats mould from his toes and washes his hair in the loo. You get the idea!

A very funny book with fantastic illustrations, but I wouldn’t advise reading it if you’re feeling a bit nauseous. It might just push you over the edge!

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The Snowman By Raymond Briggs

The SnowmanOur book for today is The Snowman because this morning Ivy experienced her first snow!

This classic book tells the story of a young boy who wakes one day to discover it’s snowing and runs outside to make a snowman. Later that night he slips from his bed and goes outside to check on his snowy friend, only to discover that he has magically come alive. Together they set off on a beautiful adventure and soar through the night skies.

The story is told entirely through pictures – there is no text. This allows you to adjust the story, detail and speed to your own child, and also gives you control over how you handle the tear-jerking ending.

Ivy loves the illustrations – and I’m looking forward to when she’s a little older and can try to tell me the story herself, based on her own interpretation of the pictures.

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Otto The Book Bear By Katie Cleminson

Otto The Book BearOtto is a little bear who lives on the pages of a book – but he has a special secret. When no one is looking he can climb out of the book and roam free!

He loves the children he belongs to and he loves exploring their house – however one day a removals van comes and takes everything away, but leaves poor Otto behind.

Otto bravely packs a bag and sets out find a new home but the city is big and scary and not at all like his lovely warm book.

Will he be able to find a place for himself in the big, wide world?

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The Jolly Christmas Postman By Janet & Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Christmas PostmanThis one is a must for fans of the original Jolly Postman book. This time around the postman is delivering Christmas post to all of your favourite nursery rhyme characters – and eating a lot of mince pies along the way!

Along with the lovely story and the detailed illustrations you get the added bonus of being able to open all the envelopes to see what’s inside.

Ivy loves pulling out the little cards and pretending to read them.

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The Highway Rat By Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

The Highway RatThe Highway Rat is a baddie – he roams the highway stealing food from his fellow animals. Chocolates, biscuits, clover and even leaves – they all end up in his tummy. He shows no remorse and is extremely ungrateful. Meanwhile, his fellow animals are growing increasingly hungry and sad.

Then one day he tries to steal from a quick-thinking duck and everything starts to unravel. Has the Highway Rat finally found his match?

This is Julia Donaldson at her best (and we love the cheeky inclusion of a Gruffalo cookie in the illustrations!)

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Not Quite Narwhal By Jessie Sima

Not Quite NarwhalNot Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima is a glorious little book about discovering your true self.

Kelp is born in the ocean and grows up believing he’s a Narwhal like his friends – but deep down he knows he’s a little bit different.

One day he gets swept away by a strong current and finds himself close to the shore. Up on a cliff he spots a majestic horned creature which looks just like him.

Is he brave enough to venture on to land and discover who he really is? And if he does, will he ever be able to return to his Narwhal friends?

This book carries such a great message about inclusion, diversity and being true to yourself.

Highly recommended – and the illustrations are some of the loveliest I’ve seen.

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Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer By Nicola Killen

Ollie's Christmas ReindeerOur Christmas tree is going up tonight so it seems appropriate to review our first festive book!

I love Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer by Nicola Killen because, instead of focusing on Santa and presents, it is all about the magic of Christmas. Ivy loves the beautiful pictures and she especially likes the little cut out sections which allow you to peek from one page to the next.

The story is about a little girl called Ollie who is awakened one night by the sound of bells. Mesmerised by the snow she sees outside her window, she decides to follow the sounds to see where they lead. She finds herself in a wood and spies a collar dangling on a tree.

Is that a Reindeer she sees in the distance? Adventure awaits!

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The Storm Whale By Benji Davies

The Storm WhaleWe love The Storm Whale by Benji Davies. The illustrations are beautiful and the simple story is really heart-warming.

Noi lives in a little beach house with his dad and 6 cats. His dad is a fisherman and he spends most of the day out at sea, leaving Noi on his own to entertain himself.

One day, after a storm, Noi finds a little whale washed up on the shore. He’s not quite sure what to do so he takes the whale home, gives him a bath and talks to him all day to keep him calm.

But soon it’s time for his dad to come home, and what will he say when he finds Noi’s new friend in the bath?

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