All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman is a fantastic book about diversity and inclusion which can hold Ivy’s attention for ages as the illustrations are super detailed!
The simple story follows a class of children as they go about their day. We see them arrive at class, go through their lessons, eat their lunch, have story time, play in the playground, get picked up by their parents and then go home for dinner before being tucked up in bed. It’s a very normal day for the average child.
What is wonderful is that each of the 30 children in the class is different and we see those differences celebrated throughout the book and reinforced with the regular refrain that ‘All are welcome here’.
We love Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! so when we spotted this new one from Kes Gray we knew we had to get it right away. We’re glad we did because it’s hilarious!
The story takes place at the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where a little Cockapoo puppy is waiting to change his name because his friends make fun of him. However he soon realises that compared to some he’s actually quite lucky! Whilst waiting in the queue he meets a Blue-Footed Booby, a Tasselled Wobbegong, a Monkeyface Prickleback and lots more (real!) animals with crazy names.
The names get sillier and sillier until we meet a little wasp who has a name that literally can’t be said without laughing. Can you guess what kind of wasp he is?
Ladies – I guarantee that when you read this book you will want to buy a copy for each of your childhood friends. It is stunning!
The book is about a group of four little girls who find friendship under an apple tree. Despite having very different personalities, they share stories, adventures and scraped knees, forming a bond that will last a lifetime.
The character traits that we see in the girls as children follow them in to adulthood as we watch them chase their dreams and find love (and heartbreak). Their situations change and they don’t see each other as often as they’d like but their apple tree is always there, getting stronger and growing roots that reach ever deeper.
The Snail And The Whale is one of our favourite collaborations between Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a real sense of adventure but the rhyme is also very calming so it’s perfect for bedtime.
The story is about a little snail who longs to travel – but her family thinks she’s a little crazy and don’t understand at all! She’s determined to see the world so she hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. On their magnificent journey the snail sees icebergs and volcanoes, beautiful beaches and strange animals. She is amazed at how big the world is and this makes her feel small and insignificant.
Hi Claudine! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am Claudine. I am originally from Luxembourg and am now living in SE London with my partner Mike, our nearly two year old son Leonard and our black and white cat Sprite. When Leonard was 4 months old I started making baby clothes for him, as I couldn’t find things colourful enough in shops. As people commented on them everywhere we went, I took this as an opportunity to start Snuffles & Spud, a unisex super colourful baby clothing brand.
What is your son’s favourite book?
At the moment it has to be ‘The Queen’s Hat‘ by Steve Antony. It is a very simple story of the Queen’s hat being swished away by the wind and it flying over various London landmarks before it lands on Baby George’s head. He also loves ‘Shark in the Park‘, because he gets to shout out when the shark appears.
There’s something incredibly special about Oliver Jeffers. All of his books seem to work on two levels. Children love them because the stories are simple and the illustrations are beautiful – but there is something deep in each story which really resonates with adults too. When I pick up one of his books and read it for the first time, I know that it’s probably going to make me feel a bit weepy and this one affected me more than any of the others.
The story is about a little girl who loves life. She loves to explore, she loves to learn and she sees wonder everywhere she turns. Pictured beside her (but not mentioned in the text) is her grandfather. Then one day she discovers an empty chair in her house, and the grandfather is no longer there.
Steve Antony has only been on our radar for a few months but in that time we’ve bought (and loved) 3 of his books and have many more on the (frankly huge!) list of titles that we absolutely have to add to our collection at some point.
This is our first foray in to the world of Mr. Panda (there are 4 in the series) and Ivy is a big fan! This one follows Mr. Panda and his friends as they get themselves ready for bed.
Mr. Panda seems to know what he’s doing – he has a bath with his rubber duck, dries his fur, gets in to his pyjamas and brushes his teeth with minimal fuss but his friends are a bit more difficult. Hippo refuses to brush his teeth, Skunk won’t have a bath. The sheep don’t want to wear pyjamas. And the sloth? Too tired to move let alone get ready for bed! Finally everyone is ready but Mr. Panda has forgotten to do something very important. What could it be?
Ivy and I both love the ‘Ten Little…’ books by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty so we were super excited to discover this brand new addition. I believe there are now 7 titles in the series and this one is definitely in our top 3 (our absolute favourites are Ten Little Dinosaurs and Ten Little Superheroes!).
The story starts with ten shiny new robots who have just been switched on at the robot factory. They are very excited by their surroundings so they decide to explore – with catastrophic results! We slowly count the robots down from ten to one as they encounter lasers, crushers, cogs, drones and explosions.
Can the last remaining robot restore order to the factory and bring all of his robot friends safely back together? Of course he can!
This beautifully illustrated book about a group of woodland animals is extremely topical and we love it!
Badger is very proud of being a badger and he thinks that badgers are best. So much so that he thinks that everyone should be a badger! To try and make this a reality he builds a wall around the forest and puts posters up on all the trees encouraging the other animals to ‘be more badger’.
He’s a very confident public speaker so when he tells everyone that badgers are best the animals begin to wonder if he could be right and they question their own identities.
Hi Laura! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Laura, I live in Buckinghamshire with my husband Simon and two children. Posey (nearly 5) and Gilbert (just 3) and two rather grumpy old cats Burliose and Toulose. I own a small business making children’s clothing – The Whistlebrook Clothing Company
What are your children’s favourite books?
Posey is reading the ‘You Choose’ books a lot at the moment, especially at bedtime. She loves picking out characters and using her imagination. We just got the ‘You Choose in Space’ book and we love it, the illustrations are so detailed.
Bertie is little and is a bit late to the party with his speech, so we are still working through the ‘That’s not my’ books. He is also obsessed with a Thomas the Tank Engine counting book which is always the last one before the lights go out!