March 2018

Ivy’s Guest Book: Kate AKA The Muddled Mum

The Muddled MumTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! My name is Kate but I am also known as The Muddled Mum because, well, my mind is a bit of a muddle. I live in Dorset with my wonderful husband and 2.5-year-old daughter. My daughter is also called Ivy – a name I didn’t realise was so popular until I started going on Instagram!

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

Ivy has many favourites that get rotated around. Her current favourite is Lunchtime by Rebecca Cobb. I bought it to see if I could encourage her to eat more and it worked! She knows most of the pages off by heart and likes repeating phrases like ‘a nice clean plate’, and ‘revolting!’ The illustrations have a certain innocence to them and Ivy often says that she is the little girl.

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Mini Myths: Good Job, Athena! By Joan Holub & Leslie Patricelli

Good Job, Athena!We recently discovered the Mini Myths series and we’re busy collecting the whole set! Each book takes a well-known tale from Greek mythology and distils it in to a simple modern day story which is relevant relevant to toddlers.

This particular book takes the myth of Arachne and Athena (about hubris and boastfulness) and turns it in to a story which would be very familiar to most pre-schoolers.

In this re-telling Athena is very good at tying bows. Arachne is not as skilled at bow-tying but would very much like lovely bows on her shoes. Athena is a good friend and she ties some nice bows for her. Arachne boasts to the whole class that her bows are the best but she fails to credit poor Athena for having tied them. What will happen when another child in the class asks Arachne to pass on her skill? Will she be able to admit that Athena actually did all the hard work?

We love the simple but spellbinding illustrations (by Leslie Patricelli) and the easy to digest parable. Other myths in the series include Pandora, Hercules, Medusa, Midas, Icarus, Aphrodite and Odysseus.

Buy it now:

Glitter The Unicorn Goes To The Moon By Callie Chapman & Bronwyne Chapman

Callie ChapmanWe’re really excited about reviewing this book as it’s a little bit special. Not only does it feature one of our favourite things – unicorns – but the author is only 7 years old!

When she was just 6, Callie Chapman won a contest with her story about a magical unicorn called Glitter and her best friend Ellie. This was published as a book (Glitter The Unicorn) and since then Callie has added two more to the series (Glitter The Unicorn Goes To The Beach and Glitter The Unicorn Goes To The Moon). We have all three and Ivy loves them!

Glitter The Unicorn Goes To The Moon is the newest title (and our favourite) so we’re reviewing that one here.

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The Way Back Home By Oliver Jeffers

The Way Back HomeThe Way Back Home is one of our favourite books by Oliver Jeffers. It’s a beautifully illustrated story but it’s also so much more. It covers off lots of important themes – like friendship, courage and helping other people – but still delivers an exciting story filled with space travel, aliens and even landing on the moon!

One day a little boy finds an aeroplane at the back of his cupboard so he decides to try it out. He flies so high that he ends up in space but then suddenly he runs out of petrol. He finds himself alone and scared on the moon. How on earth will he get home?

Unbeknown to him, a little martian is also having engine trouble and soon there are two of them on the moon. The boy and the martian are two very different creatures but they both have the same problem. Can they work together so that they can each get back home?

Highly recommended (and if you’re a fan of Lost and Found then there’s a little treat as the tiny penguin features in the illustrations too!)

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George Saves The World By Lunchtime By Jo Readman & Ley Honor Roberts

George Saves The World By LunchtimeOne morning, George gets out of bed and declares that today he is going to be a super hero and he’s going to save the world. His Grandpa thinks this is a fantastic idea and promises to help him to not only save the world but to do it by lunchtime!

He’s keen to get started but Grandpa has some things for him to do around the house first. Together they recycle the packaging from breakfast rather than throw it straight in the bin. Then they hang out the washing rather than putting it in the tumble dryer. This is followed by a bedroom-tidying session where Grandpa encourages him to bag up all of the toys he doesn’t use any more so they can donate them to charity.

This isn’t what George had planned at all and he starts to get grumpy. He wants to go out and be a hero, not stay at home and do chores! But Grandpa carefully explains to him how each of these little actions affect the world, and how much better the world would be if everyone followed their lead. George discovers he’s actually been saving the world all morning and he didn’t even realise it!

This is a fantastic little book to introduce a small child to all the little things they can do to reduce their footprint on the planet. As well as the engaging story and the fantastic illustrations the books is packed with simple tasks your toddler can do to help save the the world themselves!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Becky Coletto from Small & Wild

Small & WildTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Becky, one half of Small & Wild – a recently launched range of yummy herbal teas blended especially with little people in mind. I’m also mum to Amelie, 4, and Monty, 2 and wife to Phil. We live in lovely Nunhead in South East London.

What is your son/daughter’s favourite book?

Oo, this is always changing. We’ve had many favourites along the way.

A current hit is Quentin Blake’s Three Little Monkeys, which is beautifully illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.  It tells the story of Hilda Snibbs and her three little monkeys.

Now, some people have dogs, and some people have cats, but Hilda Snibbs – Hilda Snibbs had three little monkeys. Their names were Tim and Sam and Lulu…

Both of my two enjoy hearing tales of the mischief the three little monkeys cause whilst Hilda is out running errands. Poor Hilda always returns home and despairs at her house having been turned upside down. (My 2-year-old likes stomping around the bedroom at story time re-enacting some of the chaos they cause!) But one day Hilda comes back, the house is spotless, and her little monkeys are nowhere to be seen and she quickly realises that despite all their trouble-making she can’t bear to be without them. I imagine the story reminds my two a little of life at home and how they can wind me up no end but at the end of the day I will always love them to pieces!

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She Persisted Around The World by Chelsea Clinton & Alexandra Boiger

She Persisted Around The WorldOur pick for International Women’s Day 2018 is the fantastic new book by Chelsea Clinton – ‘She Persisted Around The World’.

Featuring the stories of 13 inspiring women, the aim is to show little girls that whoever you are and wherever you live you can achieve their dreams and help change their world. All you need is the courage to believe in yourself and to take that very first step.

The book will introduce your little one to familiar faces like J.K. Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, Marie Curie and Viola Desmond, along with some less familiar but equally amazing characters such as Kate Sheppard, Wangari Maathai, Leymah Gbowee and Yuan Yuan Tan.

This is an important book and I’m really excited to have this in Ivy’s Library. Although she’s still a little young to understand the impact these women have had on the world she is drawn to the beautiful illustrations and is listening to the inspiring stories as she strokes the pictures. I hope they stay with her and encourage her to take big steps out in to the world.

Highly recommended!

Buy it now:

Mad About Dinosaurs By Giles Andreae & David Wojtowycz

Mad About DinosaursWe love a good dinosaur in this house so it’s no surprise that this book is a popular choice.

The bouncy rhythms and brightly coloured illustrations are perfect for toddlers who like to yell ROAR!

Every page features a mini rhyme about a different dinosaur. All of the well-known ones are in there so your child’s favourite will hopefully be featured.

Personally we like the big purple stegosaurus and the chicken-sized microraptors!

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Princess Scallywag And The Brave, Brave Knight By Mark Sperring & Claire Powell

I naturally gravitate towards stories with strong female characters and this quirky book turns the usual princess/knight dynamic upside down.

The kingdom is plagued by dragons and appears to be in need of a brave knight to solve the problem.

An enterprising young knight appears and the queen tells him that if he can get rid of the dragons then he may have her daughter’s hand in marriage.

The knight is horrified saying he’s heard disgusting things about how stinky and mean the princess is and he wouldn’t marry her in a million years.

The queen is angered and tells the nearest dragon that he will just have to marry her instead. Terrified at the prospect of marrying this horrible-sounding princess the dragon quickly flies far away.

The dragon problem is solved but what about a husband for the princess? Hmm. Hang on. Let’s take another look at that knight. Is it possible he’s a she? And is it possible she’s not a knight at all?

A fab, funny story about a very smart mother/daughter duo. Recommended!

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Be Brave Little One By Marianne Richmond

Be Brave Little OneThis beautiful little book about courage is perfect in every way.

It shows your tiny reader all the ways in which you can be brave – from the loudest actions to the tiniest little steps.

Whether it’s exploring unknown places and situations or simply plucking up the courage to talk to another child, being brave (and being brave enough to show your feelings and follow your heart) is always to be commended.

The gentle illustrations and lovely message make this ideal for a toddler who is beginning to learn about emotions.

It would also be a beautiful gift for a new mum and baby.

Buy it now: