Month

September 2018

Believe In Pixie Hart By Sophie Valentine

Believe in Pixie HartPixie Hart is a little girl with a very special ability. When she truly believes in something, it comes true! Her strong sense of self-belief has been instilled in her since she was a baby – but it does mean that some of the people in her town think she’s a little bit odd and she doesn’t seem to have many friends.

One day she goes on a school trip which involves a long hike in to the woods. They walk for miles and miles until the teacher realises that they are lost. All of the children start to panic and even the teacher is worried that they might not be able to find their way back. What on earth are they going to do?

Pixie steps forward with an idea. She thinks that if all of the children hold hands in a circle and concentrate really hard on being rescued then someone will come. It seems like a crazy idea – could it possibly work?

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The Giant Jumperee By Julia Donaldson & Helen Oxenbury

The Giant JumpereeYou may have noticed that we haven’t posted any reviews for the last few days and this is because Ivy and I have both been under the weather. We’ve had nasty colds which has meant we’ve spent a lot of time together, cuddled under the sofa blanket, watching Disney movies and reading books.

This lovely collaboration between Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury (who illustrated ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’) has been Ivy’s first choice all week!

The story starts with Rabbit, who is heading home for the day. When he gets to his burrow he is met with a loud voice which shouts ‘I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’m scary as can be!’. Rabbit doesn’t know what this loud Jumperee creature is so he runs away. Cat offers to step in and help but when he approaches the burrow he is also shouted at by the terrifying Jumperee. Bear steps forward to help, followed by Elephant but each time they are scared away.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Nell Nash, Founder, Tatty Rose

Tatty RoseHi Nell! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Nell. I’m originally from Birmingham but Edinburgh became my home 9 years ago. I now live in an old mining village just outside Edinburgh with my husband  and 3 children aged 7, 6 and 3 years. I own the newly launched children’s clothing brand Tatty Rose. I adore reading and my happy place is snuggled up reading to my children.

What are your children’s favourite books?

My eldest son is a fantastically independent reader who has a real love of curling up with a good book. By far his favourites are from the DogMan collection by Dave Pilkey. I love the sound of him giggling away as he reads his hilarious books.

My daughter who is 6 is growing in her confidence reading alone and I will find her still awake reading at night. Her favourite book is The Day The Crayons Came Home.

My youngest son is 3 and his favourite is Oi Frog. We do have Oi Dog also but Oi Frog has remained the firm favourite. It’s such a fun rhythmic book, what’s not to love?

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Me And My Fear By Francesca Sanna

Me And My FearIf you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know that we are big fans of picture books which take on big emotions and break them down in a way which makes it easy for children to digest. Me And My Fear by Francesca Sanna is one of the best we’ve seen.

The book is about a little girl who has moved to a new country and is starting a new school. She has always lived with fear, who is depicted as a little ghost-like creature who goes everywhere with her – but the prospect of this new school causes her fear to grow so large that it takes up more space than she does. It fills her whole house and stops her from leaving her home. This super-sized fear doesn’t want her to go to school and doesn’t want her to make new friends. As a result the girl is lonely and her experience at her new school is a miserable one.

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The Paper Dolls By Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb

The Paper DollsWe discovered this gem in our local library about 18 months ago and Ivy loved it so much that I bought us a copy that same week. The story is beautiful and I’m not ashamed to say that I bawled my eyes out the first time I read it!

This lovely book is about a little girl whose Mummy makes her a set of 5 paper dolls. She gives them names, plays with them constantly and invents a little song for the dolls to sing about their friendship.

In the girl’s vivid imagination the paper dolls do battle with dinosaurs, tigers and crocodiles. They explore magical islands (on the breakfast table) and dance through forests (in the garden).

Together they come through every adventure unscathed. Until one day they encounter a little boy with a pair of scissors and suddenly the dolls are no more.

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Pink Is For Boys By Robb Pearlman & Eda Kaban

Pink Is For BoysThere are lots of books out there which teach small children about colours, but this one is definitely our favourite as it also challenges gender stereotypes.

The old adage that pink is for girls and blue is for boys has no place in modern times. Every colour is for everybody and this book illustrates this really well. As we move through the colours of the rainbow we are shown boys and girls wearing each of the colours and partaking in activities which are often seen as gendered.

We see both boys and girls dressed in pink at a fancy party, boys and girls dressed in blue playing team sports, boys and girls dressed in yellow and wearing golden crowns and boys and girls dressed in green running through the grass. It encourages your child to express themselves using whichever colours and pastimes they like best, rather than those which society pushes them towards.

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Oi Frog! By Kes Gray & Jim Field

Oi Frog!This series of books by Kes Gray & Jim Field definitely wins the award for most random but we love them!

The book centres around a set of ‘rules’ which determine what different animals are allowed to sit on. The two main characters are a cat and a frog and the former is explaining the rules to the latter. The cat tells frog that he has to sit on a log – but he doesn’t want to! Logs aren’t comfortable and they give you splinters in your bottom -but unfortunately those are the rules!

The cat then explains all the other seat-based rules and they get more and more crazy. We see moles sitting on poles, lizards sitting on wizards, gophers sitting on sofas, gibbons sitting on ribbons and even fleas sitting on peas (Ivy’s favourite!).

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Kirsty Moore, Owner, Roly Poly Pillow

Roly Poly PillowHi Kirsty! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Kirsty, mum, founder of Roly Poly Pillow and part time teacher. Myself, my fiancé, daughter and golden retriever live in beautiful West Sussex. We regularly take advantage of the woodland walks on offer as our 3-year-old is obsessed with squirrel spotting. I started my business, Roly Poly Pillow, when my daughter was 18 months. I worried about using a loose pillow in her cot-bed, so I designed a sheet with an inbuilt pillowcase for over 1 year olds. It takes away the danger of loose pillows and helps parents and toddlers get a great night’s sleep.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

My daughter loves Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It’s about a monkey looking for its mum. A butterfly tries to help but keeps taking the monkey to the wrong animal (they get back the monkey mum eventually though, phew). It’s a great book to start discussions about the way we describe something, it’s noises, features and colours, and also encourages children to think about phrasing questions. The illustrations are also really lovely. 

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One Love By Cedella Marley & Vanessa Brantley-Newton

One LoveAdapted by his daughter Cedella, this beautiful little board book takes the lyrics of Bob Marley’s much-loved song and makes them accessible to children. The song is about unity and brotherhood and we see this play out in the gorgeous illustrations which accompany the words.

At the start of the book we see a little girl playing with her friends in a green space which is overgrown and filled with rubbish. As we move through the pages we see the people of the culturally diverse neighbourhood come together and make plans for a park. All of the adults and children work hard to achieve this goal and everyone contributes something. They gather up rubbish, they rake the grass, and they bring flowers and seeds to plant borders.

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Sharing A Shell By Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

Sharing A ShellSharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks is a lovely little book about sharing and friendship, which we have read over and over again.

The story is about a little hermit crab who is looking for a new home. He finds a lovely shiny shell and moves right in but then he meets an anemone who wants to move in too! He really doesn’t want to share his shell but the anemone explains that he can help ward off predators so will earn his keep. The crab reluctantly agrees and soon realises that having the anemone around is really helpful and they are very happy living together. Then up rocks a bristleworm who also wants to move in. Again, the crab isn’t keen but relents when he realises that the bristleworm will keep the shell nice and clean.

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