July 2018

Dinosaurs Love Underpants By Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

Dinosaurs Love UnderpantsLike most toddlers, Ivy loves dinosaurs so as you can imagine we have quite a few dinosaur-themed books. This is one of her favourites and it never fails to make her laugh.

The story is about how the dinosaurs became extinct, and if you think they were wiped out by an asteroid or another mass extinction event then you are sadly mistaken. It’s all because of UNDERPANTS!

The clever little cavemen invented underpants to cover up their rude bits because they felt a little bit embarrassed when they were nude. As soon as the dinosaurs see them they are besotted with pants and they all want some, but they just don’t fit right which makes the dinos all grouchy. Soon a massive pants war is raging as they each try to get their claws on the best pairs. 

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Ten Little Superheroes By Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty

Ten Little SuperheroesWe are big fans of the ‘Ten Little …” series by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty and this one is our second favourite (Nothing beats Ten Little Dinosaurs!).

The story sees our ten tiny heroes take on the League of Bad Guys who have an evil plan to take over the city. They do their best to battle the hilarious baddies (which include Hippo Man, Glue Girl, Crab Man and Hypno Girl) but on each page we see one superhero disappear. The book counts backwards from ten until eventually there’s only one hero left. The bad guys think they’ve won and start to celebrate but the Super Kids have one last trick up their sleeve. Can all ten of them reassemble and save the day?

Ivy gets really excited when we read this as the rhyme is really bouncy, the illustrations are a riot of colour and there are lots of big superhero words to shout as you read –  POW! ZAP! SPLAT!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Emily Lawler, Owner, Mama Needs A Mimosa

Mama Needs A MimosaTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Emily. I live in London with my husband Gavin and our 16 month old son, Max. I’m mostly a nurse but whilst I was on maternity leave I started the restaurant review site for parents ‘Mama needs a Mimosa‘, so my son and I eat out quite a lot. I love being a mum but my aim isn’t to entirely sacrifice the person I was before I became one.

What is your son’s favourite book?

Right now I think Max’s favourite book is probably Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. A time tested favourite in most households about getting someone to try new food that they don’t think they will like. It has not, as yet, had an impact on Max’s fussy eating. He frequently thrusts it into my hands and shouts HAM, even if we have only read it 5 minutes before. He loves anything that rhymes and sort of does a little dance if I recite it all fast enough. We take a lot of books out with us when we eat at restaurants and his favourite changes pretty regularly.

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Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

Giraffes Can't DanceI have been reading this wonderful book to Ivy since she was just a few months old and this is our second copy as the first was so well-thumbed that it had started to fall apart! It’s written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.

Gerald is a giraffe whose skills include standing still and eating leaves from tall trees. They don’t include running and they most definitely don’t include dancing, which is a shame as every year all of the animals get together for the Jungle Dance and everyone has to take part.

On the night of the big Dance, Gerald watches the warthogs, rhinos, lions, chimps and baboons take to the floor to roaring applause, but when his turn comes the reaction is very different. As soon as everyone sees him they start to laugh and call him names because they know he is so clumsy. Devastated, Gerald takes off in to the jungle where he meets a wise old Cricket who teaches him that everyone can dance – they just have to find their own song.

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Poo Bum By Stephanie Blake

Poo BumThis quirky book from Stephanie Blake is a guaranteed crowd please because all toddlers think the words Poo and Bum are hilarious!

The story is about a little bunny called Simon who can only say two words – “Poo Bum”. Every time he is asked a question he only has one response – “Poo Bum”. One day he meets a wolf, who asks if he can eat him. When Simon responds “Poo Bum” the wolf takes this as a yes and gobbles him right up!

The little bunny causes a tummy ache though so a doctor is called, who happens to be Simon’s Daddy. When the Wolf starts saying “Poo Bum” during the examination the doctor begins to suspect the wolf has eaten his son. Can he rescue him, and what effect might the incident have on the little bunny’s vocabulary?

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My Little Book Of Big Freedoms By Amnesty International & Chris Riddell

My Little Book Of Big FreedomsThis beautiful little book from Amnesty International and Chris Riddell seems very appropriate right now given all of the things which are going on around the world.

‘My Little Book of Big Freedoms’ is a simplified version of the Human Rights Act with fantastic illustrations which will help your child understand each point. Showing 16 different ‘freedoms’ including family, love, hope, mercy and knowledge, it highlights why our human rights are so important and why we all need to work together to protect them.

The format takes a heavy topic and makes it really accessible for children. For parents it offers a great introduction to human rights and I would imagine it’s also a very useful tool for primary school teachers. It’s definitely one that should feature in school libraries.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Bridget Da Silva, Owner, Lulu Loves

Lulu LovesTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello I’m Bridget and I’m a mummy to one strong-willed, independent 4 year old called Lulu (Lucia). We live in North West London. I run Lulu Loves, making headpieces for any occasion and other crafty stuff including children’s wear and accessories.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

At the moment we have two favourite books – ‘Ada Twist, Scientist’ by Andrea Beaty and ‘Hans and Matilda’ by Yoko Shima.. Lulu loves reading ‘Ada Twist, Scientist’ because of the clever way the story is told through rhyming text. She also loves ‘Hans and Matilda’, the anticipation leading up to the unveiling of Matilda by shouting out very loud ‘MATILDA’ gets her every time

Which book do you most like reading to her and why?

I love reading  ‘Ada  Twist, Scientist’ to Lulu as it’s a great book with great illustrations. Ada is a role model for young girls and especially for girls of colour. It is very important for my daughter to see positive images like these being represented. Ada is also a scientist, which as we know can be quite a  male dominated field. She embraces her hunger for knowledge through questions and thinking and reassuring us that it is OK to question things no matter how big or small. By building self confidence with supportive parents by her side and embracing her uniqueness, she is ready to face the world of science.

What do you look for when shopping for a new book for your child?

I tend to let Lulu choose first then oversee if it is appropriate or not. She always tends to go for books with some sort of animal on the front cover. I do look out for books that have a positive message and are confidence building but not too serious. They also have to be quite short as she tends to get a bit bored toward the end if there are too many pages.

What would you like to see more of in kids’ books today?

I would like to see more of a representation of mixed children and families in books as my daughter is mixed race. Growing up as a mixed race girl and a black girl  in this present time (with social media about) can be quite difficult as there will always be issues of not ‘fitting in’ to different groups or not ‘looking’ a certain way. The pressure is on young girls to fit in so if they see positive reflective images in children’s books from a very young age this will help them eliminate self doubt in the future and embrace self love

Lulu LovesAbout Lulu Loves

Lulu Loves was created  from my love of carnival, which I have been doing for over 21 years. The beads, the feathers, the gems, the jewels, the vibrant colours – I absolutely love it and thought I will create all this glamour and glitz on a smaller scale through my headpieces so people can enjoy all year round.  This is followed closely by my other love – pom poms. I enjoy making them and find it very therapeutic so I incorporated these onto jumpers, t shirt’s, swimwear, and socks. They are so quirky for children and adults.

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Wild Animals By Xavier Deneux

Wild AnimalsIvy is fascinated by this multi-sensory board book which shows wild animals and their habitats.

Each page features a different animal and they’re all beautifully drawn with really cute faces. The combination of raised and concave sections (which fit together so that the pages aren’t bulky in any way) give your child lots to explore. They can trace their fingers across the bumps and shapes whilst trying to identify the different creatures. Our favourite is the zebra page – Ivy loves the baby zebra hidden amongst the stripy trees!

The book also provides some inspiration for older toddlers by showing a small word cluster for each animal. The combination of nouns, adjectives and verbs will teach them new words and also give parents some great discussion points around the pictures.

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Maisy Goes To London By Lucy Cousins

Maisy Goes To LondonIvy has lived in London her whole life (and I have been here for almost 18 years) but we still love to take a tourist day and explore the city as if it’s all brand new. This Maisy book from Lucy Cousins is perfect for tiny tourists who are planning a trip to the city and it’s guaranteed to get them excited about all the sights they will see.

Maisy and her friends visit London for the day and they tour all of the major attractions including Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column and Big Ben. The book provides small facts about each so that little ones know what to expect and it also addresses things which they may find difficult about the city at first – including the noise, the bright  lights and the fact the underground can get pretty crowded.

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Last Stop On Market Street By Matt De La Pena & Christian Robinson

Last Stop On Market StreetIt’s easy to see why this beautiful book was a New York Times Bestseller. The warm and multi-layered story about a boy and his grandmother gets me every time we read it.

As they do every Sunday, CJ and his Nana go to church then take the bus to Market Street to help at a soup kitchen. On this particular day it is raining and young CJ is cold and uncomfortable. He questions why they have to catch the bus when all of his friends have cars, and even why they have to go to church at all.

Rather than reprimanding him, his Nana uses this as an opportunity to point out all of the things which make their journey together special and the sights and experiences they would miss out on if they didn’t go to church and didn’t get the bus. This includes a host of fascinating, culturally diverse characters including an old lady with a jar of butterflies, a heavily tattooed man and a man with a guitar.

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