Our favourite book this Halloween has been Mrs Blackhat by Chloe & Mick Inkpen. Ivy LOVES it and I’ve easily read it 2-3 times a day in the last week!
Mrs Blackhat is a witch whose life definitely has a colour scheme. Everything is black – her clothes, her broom, her cauldron, her house – except for one thing. She has a ginger cat!
She finds this splash of colour extremely irksome so she sets out to find a way to transform her cat so that he’s more in keeping with her witchy style. Being somewhat of an online shopping addict she hops on her laptop and orders some potions and spells from her favourite site. However when they arrive they don’t quite perform as they should.
I’m a big fan of books which helps children recognise and understand their feelings and this one does a fantastic job of showing how moods can affect you and the people around you.
The main character in this story is called Ed and he is in a bad mood. He’s been in bad moods before but not like this one. It starts off as something tiny, but instead of addressing the way that he feels he just ignores it, stares at the ground and pushes on through until his mood becomes worse. His feelings take hold and little Ed is no longer in control of his emotions. The bad mood takes over and starts to affect the people around him. Eventually the bad mood is so big that it affects the whole town.
Can Ed regain control of his emotions, and if so will he learn how to stop this from happening again?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hello! I’m Chrissy. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, I now happily call London home with my husband and three year old son (we’re hoping to adopt a cat soon too!). I’m a former youth worker turned textile designer. I recently launched Pipsqueak, my little business hand printing kids bed linen that also aims to support charities working to help children. I launched in June (2018) so it’s still very much a work in progress!
What is your son’s favourite book?
We’re currently loving all things dinosaur related but my son’s enduring favourite is The Barefoot Book of Children (by Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma & David Dean). It’s a fantastic celebration of children around the world. He loves the vibrant illustrations and talking about all the different activities children do.
Two of my closest female friends are primary school teachers so when I spotted this I knew we had to buy it!
The story is about a little boy called Bobby who doesn’t like school because he is always getting told off by his teacher, Miss Kirby. He doesn’t like her and thinks she’s a monster!
Then one weekend he bumps in to her when he’s walking in his favourite park, and neither of them are quite sure what to do. They both feel a little awkward seeing each other outside of school. Just as it’s becoming super uncomfortable a gust of wind catches Miss Kirby’s favourite hat and blows it away.
Bobby manages to save the hat and in the process learns a little bit more about Miss Kirby and she learns a little bit more about him. Bobby comes to realise that she’s not a monster at all. She’s just a regular person – who is actually rather nice! – and just needs to be strict at school because it’s her job (and because he’s actually quite naughty).
Brian is a piranha who loves nothing more than to tuck in to some fruit and veg – but his piranha friends think he’s bonkers because their favourite pastime is nibbling on tasty humans.
Brian’s attempts at converting them fall on deaf ears and soon they’re fed up with him waving bananas and plums in front of their faces. He agrees to stop but on one condition – they need to actually taste one of his fruit and veg platters. Will he be able to convince them to swap knees for peas or will they continue with their carnivorous ways?
Ivy finds this book hilarious, especially as it features the word ‘bum’. Always a winner with toddlers!
This lovely book about hearing loss was recommended to us by one of our recent interviewees – Nell Nash of Tatty Rose. I really liked the look of it so bought us a copy and it’s currently one of Ivy’s favourite bedtime reads.
The story is about a little boy called Freddie who finds a fairy called Bessie-Belle tangled in a tree. He helps her down and she says she will grant him some wishes to say thank you. She tells him that she can’t hear very well and if you look carefully at the illustrations you can see that she’s wearing a little blue hearing aid.
Freddie doesn’t really understand this though so he mumbles when he asks for his wishes. He really wants a pet but because she can’t hear him the fairy doesn’t quite get it right. Freddie’s requests for a cat, a dog or a parrot result in a bat, a frog and a carrot – none of which make great pets!
Ivy loves to play Hide & Seek so when I spotted this book I knew I had to get it for our little library.
The story is about a girl called Heidi who is extremely skilled at Hide & Seek. She plays it all the time with her friends and she always wins which makes her feel great. It never occurs to her that her friends might want to do something else.
On Heidi’s birthday she has a party at her house and they all play her favourite game. However she hides so well that they don’t find her until the very end of the party, which means she has missed out on all the balloons and ice cream with her friends. They all had fun together whilst she was on her own.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hi, I’m Maria, owner and maker at Maria Made It. I make silver handprint and fingerprint jewellery and keepsakes. Everything is made to order, by hand, by me.
I have 3 children: a boy and two girls aged 8, 6 and 3 and we love reading, we also have a lot of books! We are currently living in Belgium, but we are from South East London. We will be heading back there next year.
If you have a child who rejects story time because they don’t like to sit still then Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus might be the book that you’re looking for. The infectious rhyme encourages your child to dance around and I defy anyone to read this aloud without wiggling a little themselves!
The story introduces you to a whole host of dinosaurs as they take part in a Dinosaurumpus – a noisy, bouncy and frankly bonkers celebration of who they are. They twizzle, spin, bomp and stomp together until they hear a giant roar. What on earth is making that scary noise and will it want to eat them up or just join in the fun?
We’ve read this one so many times that Ivy joins in with the ‘chorus’ and bangs the sofa like a drum in time with they way I read the rhyme. We started off just reciting it but these days it’s more like (extremely amateur!) performance art as I rap the lyrics (badly) and she bounces up and down and squeals with delight. It’s definitely not a bedtime book in our house!
The Everywhere Bear belongs to Class One. During the week he sits on a shelf in Mrs MacAllister’s classroom and observes all of his friends as they learn their lessons and listen to stories. At the weekends he goes home with one of the children for an adventure and on Monday they come back and tell the rest of the class what they have done. He lives an exciting life!
One rainy Monday morning he is travelling back to school after a lovely weekend with a new boy called Matt when suddenly he falls out of Matt’s backpack and is washed down a drain. The Everywhere Bear is about to have his biggest adventure yet!
He ends up in the sea, gets caught in a fisherman’s net, is delivered to a fish shop, thrown in the bin and then stolen by a seagull – but will he ever end up back with his friends in Class One?