Month

October 2019

Danny’s Dream by Victor Margiotta & Ian Parker

Danny’s Dream tells the story of a little boy with big ambitions and how he learns to overcome obstacles in order to achieve them. It’s aimed at a slightly older age group than the books I would normally recommend on this blog (probably best for those aged 5+) – but I’m sharing it because Ivy was fascinated by the illustrations and the story behind them.

As soon as we opened the book, Ivy had questions! The inside cover shows a photograph of the artist, Ian Parker, painting using his mouth. She was utterly intrigued by the fact this was possible and amazed that each of the 34 illustrations had been painted in this way. Before reading the story we looked through all of the artwork and talked about how long it must take to be able to paint such intricate pictures without the use of your hands – 2 whole years in fact! It sparked a great conversation about disability, a theme which would continue when we started to read…

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Anna Whitaker, Founder, ToyDrop

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hey readers, I’m Anna, Mum to Arlo (4), Rudi (1) and ToyDrop Mag, an ethical lifestyle blog for grown-ups trying to raise awesome humans. We live in North-East London with my husband, Thom, and two fur babies, Zissou & Django. Our family time is split between Epping Forest, the impossible number of pizza places in Walthamstow and somewhere on the road to the beach. My heart is normally in Cornwall.

Continue Reading…

Hello, Friend! by Rebecca Cobb

If your child has recently started nursery, pre-school or reception then they’re inevitably in the process of navigating new friendships. This beautifully-illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb follows a child’s journey to securing a new friend.

The main character in this story is an extremely enthusiastic little girl who very much wants to be buddies with a boy in her class. She loves spending time with him and she tells us about all the things they do together. They play, build towers, share lunch, draw pictures, play music and dance. We see her smiling and practically bouncing with excitement about the special time they share.

Look closely though and we see that the little boy doesn’t seem quite so sure. He appears reluctant to join in the games and his facial expressions and demeanour suggest that he is shy and perhaps new to the class. The girl’s optimism wins him over though and we see them become firm friends.

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Davina, Founder, beeniebuds&co

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello I’m Davina, Wife, Mama, Entrepreneur, Creative Consultant and a Co-founder at beeniebudsandco.com. We have a 9 year daughter and 5 year old son. We live in London.

What is your son’s favourite book?

As a family we all love reading, we have a selection of books in every room!. At the moment our 5 year is loving Mibo – The Safari Set by Button Books (We stock these books on our site) Great activity book, which allows him to explore through rhyme and pictures. Teaching him about Safari regions while having fun. The best feature is the pull out 2D figures which can be constructed into 3D. Bringing the story to life!

Continue Reading…

The Terribly Friendly Fox by Susannah Lloyd & Ellie Snowdon

If your child likes books with a dark sense of humour then I’d highly recommend you have a look at this one!

It’s time for the Annual Woodland Creatures’ Ball and the little Mouse host has been busy getting his house ready for the occasion. He’s over the moon when a throng of guests appear but is somewhat surprised when a Fox turns up wearing a tuxedo and clutching a bunch a flowers. The tiny animals are all very concerned because the fox has something of a reputation, but when he explains that he’s a reformed character (and a vegetarian!) their worries ease. The fox joins the festivities and soon everyone is having a lovely time.

Gerald the Fox turns out to be the life and soul of the party. Who knew a fox could be so much fun? He proposes a toast over dinner, he sings, he makes balloon animals, he starts a game of musical chairs and even performs some magic tricks. The Mouse is really impressed with his guest (and will definitely be inviting him again next year) but as the evening draws on he starts to get a little concerned that some of his revellers seem to have left the party early. At least that’s what he presumes…

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Daisy Cartlidge Brown, Social Media Manager

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! I’m Daisy and I’m a freelance social media manager. I live with my husband, Chris and our one year old daughter Florence. We live in Lincoln after moving up here from London last year and are really enjoying the change.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

It has to be Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. She’s loved it since she was around 7 months old and still gets excited when we read it together. It’s starting to get a little worse for wear! It is a lift-the-flap book with animals hidden underneath and has been a children’s classic since 1982. She loves lifting the flaps and there is a great rhythm to the story which makes it almost musical to read.

Continue Reading…

Turn and Learn: Our World by Isabel Otter & Hannah Tolson

Technically this book is a little old for Ivy – the publisher recommendation is 6 to 8 years  – but she’s had so much fun with it this week that it really doesn’t matter!

Our World by Isabel Otter and Hannah Tolson is a fantastic book of facts with an interesting interactive twist. It takes five different habitats – desert, rainforest, polar, savannah and sea – and teaches you about the flora, fauna, animal life and indigenous people.

Despite the slightly older age bracket, Ivy has shown lots of interest in what the book has to say. Her favourite section is about the arctic and antarctic and she has learned that penguins and polar bears actually live on opposite sides of the world (something i’m ashamed to say I didn’t realise until I was in my twenties!)

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Lily Rice, Founder, The Sportswear Designer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Lily. We live in Bristol and I split my time between being a freelance sportswear designer and being a mama to my daughter aged 4 and my son who is now 19 months.

What are your children’s favourite books? 

Cillian, my youngest, is obsessed with the ‘That’s Not My’ series from Usborne books. When I say obsessed, his 2nd word was book! He has numerous versions and carts them around the house demanding that we read them to him. I didn’t use them with my daughter but they’re really brilliant, firstly with just getting him to recognise books at a super young age, but then as he progressed he could turn the chunky pages and now we use them to help him identify body parts as many of the pages are on noses, eyes etc. They’ve set him up for a fall though as he’s now super disappointed in any book that doesn’t feature a textured page!

Continue Reading…

Nope. Never. Not For Me! by Samantha Cotterill

Ivy is an extremely picky eater so I like to keep an eye out for books which might encourage her to expand her tastes a little. Results are generally a bit hit and miss but we have had some success with this one so I wanted to share it with you.

The child in the story loves dinosaurs but absolutely does not like broccoli! She refuses to try it or even touch it because she thinks it looks yucky. But mum steps in with a thought which makes her think twice. She cleverly points out that broccoli looks like tiny trees and dinosaurs like to eat trees…

The girl (who is dressed in a dinosaur costume) asks if her toy dinosaur can try it first – and together they take baby steps towards a first mouthful of broccoli.

Continue Reading…

Oi Puppies! by Kes Gray & Jim Field

We are massive fans of this zany series so when the newest book – Oi Puppies! – arrived, Ivy was bouncing off the ceiling.

Frog, Dog and Cat are back to discuss the important issue of where everyone should sit, but this time they have a slight problem. Dog is babysitting a zillion puppies and they just won’t behave. They clamber all over Dog, hang from Cat’s whiskers and even start chewing on poor Frog’s swimming trunks.

Something needs to be done, so Frog gets on the phone to the wonderfully named ‘Oi Animal Seating Supply Co.’ to try and arrange some suitable ‘chairs’.

Continue Reading…