Month

November 2018

Jasper The Firefighting Dragon By Val Blackburn & Sarah-Leigh Wills

Jasper The Firefighting DragonIn Huffenpuffen Valley, dragons and humans live peacefully side by side. The dragons are very well-liked because they are really useful companions – in the winter they light bonfires and fireworks, and in the summer they help with campfires and roast corn on the cob with their flames!

But there’s one dragon who is a little bit different. Jasper breathes water instead of fire! He tries his absolute hardest to assist the people in the valley but the jets of water he sprays just leave them cold, wet and unhappy. Poor Jasper decides that the best thing to do is leave the people alone and just be by himself.

Then one day a fire breaks out at a nearby house and Jasper realises he can help. He swoops down and sprays his water through the windows and over the roof and soon the fire is distinguished. Jasper has saved the day! He may not be able to breathe fire but it turns out he has a very bright future ahead of him as a firefighter.

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Gary’s Banana Drama By Jane Massey

Gary's Banana DramaPoor Gary the Gorilla. He absolutely loves bananas but one day he discovers that there are no more left. What on earth is he going to do? But Gary doesn’t panic. He puts on his hat and heads out to try and find some.

Fortunately he spots some of his favourite fruit right outside his house – what luck! But no. Poor Gary realises he is hallucinating when the ‘bananas’ start to woof. He walks all around the town seeing ‘bananas’ everywhere he goes – but there isn’t a single real banana in sight!

Eventually he bumps in to a giant banana which turns out to be a rocket and when he looks up he sees what looks like a banana in the night sky. He hops in the rocket and heads for the stars. Is it possible that he could find bananas in space?

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Who’s On The Farm? By Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

Who's On The Farm?We’re big fans of ‘What The Ladybird Heard‘ by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks. In fact we went through a stage towards the end of last year where we read it at bedtime every night for about 2 months! The illustrations, in particular, are fantastic so we love this little spin off board book with a ‘peekaboo’ theme.

The book starts by asking you who you can see on the farm. It shows you pictures from the original title and identifies the characters, but there are also lift-the-flap sections which encourage you to guess who is hiding. Little fingers can open the chicken coop to find the fat red hen, move a haystack to spot the hairy hog and find the cats behind the hedge. Look carefully and you might even spot Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len in a pile of manure!

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Gently, Bentley! By Caragh Buxton

Gently BentleyBentley is a cute little rhino with an exuberant personality. He throws himself in to situations with gusto – but unfortunately this often gets him in to trouble as he has no concept of his own size or strength. Something that will be very familiar to parents/carers of toddlers!

At breakfast he accidentally smashes his boiled eggs. He cracks the ceiling getting ready to leave the house for school and causes mayhem playing tag at playtime. He doesn’t mean to be so rambunctious – he just is!

‘Gently Bentley!’ is repeated frequently throughout the book as his parents and teachers try to stop him from breaking everything in sight. But then one day he goes home and there is a tiny new baby, fast asleep in her crib. His mum and dad hold their breath as he approaches. Surely he’s going to wake her up – or is he?

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Niki Chapman, Owner, Little Smarts

little smartsTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi everyone, my name is Niki and I am a mum of three to Archie 8, Baxter 5 and Luna 3. I am married to Chris and we all live in South London. We love going to the local parks, woods, museums and of course, reading!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Luna’s favourite book changes all the time, but this week it’s ‘Oi Dog’ by Kes and Claire Gray. It’s a funny book that we enjoy reading together and Luna likes to shout out the rhyming words and loves the illustrations by Jim Field. It was great to see that this year the World Book Day chose the ‘Oi Goat’ book from the same series. I can’t wait to see which animals they are going to use in the next instalment.

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Little People Big Dreams: Frida Kahlo By Isabel Sánchez Vegara & Gee Fan Eng

Frida KahloWe have a number of books from this fantastic Little People Big Dreams series. I bought them with the intention of putting them away until Ivy was a little bit older but she’s really drawn to the pictures and often asks for them to be read to her.

I recently visited the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A museum as I am hugely fascinated by her story and her art. In the gift shop I bought Ivy a flowered headband in a similar style to the one you can see on the front cover. She loved it and squealed with delight when I showed her that she looked like the lady on the book. As a result we’ve read this one lots of times over the last few weeks!

This beautifully illustrated title gives a brief overview of Frida Kahlo’s short and troubled life but deals with it in an age-appropriate way. We see that she suffers a childhood illness which affects her leg and is later involved in an accident which means she must spend much of her time in bed.

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Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev & Taeeun Yoo

Strictly No ElephantsThe little boy in this story has a pet elephant which he loves very much. They go everywhere together and help each other when things get hard, because that’s what friends do. However sometimes having an unusual pet can be tough.

One day the little boy takes his elephant to Pet Club but when he arrives there is a big sign on the door saying ‘Strictly No Elephants’. He watches all of the other children head in to the club with their dogs and cats and he feels very sad. He hasn’t done anything wrong but he is being excluded.

The boy and his elephant walk the grey and rainy streets until they bump in to a girl with a pet skunk. She’s also sad because she was excluded from Pet Club too. They quickly form a bond over their unusual choice of animals and decide that the best course of action would be to set up their own club!

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Competition Time: Win A Set of 5 Picture Books With An Adventure Theme!

Ivy turned 3 earlier this week so to celebrate I thought we would run a little competition!

Our prize bundle contains 5 of our favourite picture books, all with an adventure theme. We have 2 bundles available – one for Facebook followers and one for Instagram followers.

Click here to enter on Facebook

Click here to enter on Instagram

Contest is open internationally and will run until the end of this month. The winner will be selected at random at 8.30pm GMT on Friday, November 30th 2018

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Flip Flap Pets By Axel Scheffler

Flip Flap PetsThere are lots of books on the market which allow you to mix and match animals to comic effect but this one is our outright favourite.

Each double page features a familiar pet such as a cat, a dog, a guinea pig or a bunny. On the right hand side we see a picture of the animal and on the left is the name of the animal and a cute poem which describes what it looks like and what it’s like as a pet.

The pages are split in the middle, allowing you to flip over the top or bottom sections to different pages – thus creating new names, poems and creatures. There are 121 combinations in total so there’s lots to keep your little one entertained.

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The Grumpy Hamster By Sophie Johnson-Hill

The Grumpy HamsterThe hamster in this book is not a happy chap. In fact, he’s very grumpy INDEED! But why? Perhaps it’s because his mummy is very cross. But why is she cross? Maybe it’s because her teacher was mean to her. But why was the teacher mean? Well her manager was always moaning so maybe that has something to do with it…

The story shows how bad moods and the grumps can spread from person to person – but how can you make this cycle of grouchiness stop? The little hamster doesn’t know the answer, but one day he meets a wise old pigeon who lets him in to a little secret. You don’t have to hold on to all the grumps! You can take that energy and turn it in to something good.

Can the hamster overcome his grumpiness and learn how to be happy?

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