Month

November 2019

The Golden Acorn by Katy Hudson

Squirrel loves to win and she’s definitely on a winning streak. For the last 8 years she has taken home the trophy for the annual Golden Acorn Hunt and once again she has her eye on the prize. She’s the fastest animal in the forest so she’s bound to win. Isn’t she?

The day before the race the organisers throw a spanner in the works by announcing a change to the rules. This year everyone must compete in teams! Squirrel eyes her friends in horror. How can she be expected to win when Beaver, Tortoise and Rabbit will just slow her down?

Race day arrives and Squirrel races off in to the distance but soon her friends call her back because they need her help. Tortoise gets lost, they all get tangled up in some hanging branches and then Beaver gets his bottom stuck in a tree! Annoyed at the fact they’re wasting time, Squirrel reluctantly assists but then speeds off on her own in search of the Golden Acorn.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Jaime Cox, Founder, Compelling Copy

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! I’m Jaime, I’m a copywriter and editor based in Berkshire and I have three children – 12-year-old identical twin boys and a 2-year-old daughter.

What are your children’s favourite books?

All 3 of my children adore books – a huge relief as I do too! My youngest has several favourites, but the current number 1 is Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson. Mae is very much into babies at the moment, so I think that’s the main appeal of this particular book. She also loves the animals in the story – woolly mammoth and sabre-tooth tiger. She loves to roar at the moment, and this book provides the perfect opportunity 🙂

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Taco Tuesday by Brick Puffinton & Amy Blay

This is easily the smallest book on our shelves but it has had a huge impact on Ivy since it arrived last week. She is obsessed with it!

Taco Tuesday is a tiny, chunky board book which is perfect for little hands. There’s a Taco finger puppet built in to the middle and you use him to read the rhyming story.

As you move through the pages the Taco does everything within his power to convince you not to eat him. He says he’s not delicious. He claims his cheese is suspicious. He tries to point out that pizzas and hamburgers are far tastier than he. Why on earth would you want to eat a spicy little Taco when there are so many other options out there? But then he realises it’s Taco Tuesday – will you choose to eat him or set him free?

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RWR Book Club: Best Books of 2019

Earlier this year I was invited to join a #bookstagram group called the Read with River Book Club. The group consists of 16 lovely members from around the world, including a number of educators, a speech language pathologist, a paediatrician, social justice activists, a reading education specialist, a few bloggers, a retired literary agent, and some marketers.

It has been an absolute joy getting to know these amazing people and sharing our favourite picture books and thoughts/ideas about the children’s book industry.

Between us we have a lot of expertise so we have come together to form a judging panel to create a list of the best new picture books of 2019. Publishers have been invited to send submissions across a number of categories and my dining room table is now awash with stacks and stacks of fantastic books which are awaiting the judging process.

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The Space Train by Maudie Powell-Tuck & Karl James Mountford

Jakob lives on a space station at the very edge of the galaxy with his granny and a robot chicken called Derek. Life is good, but deep down Derek really wishes he had some friends to play with.

One day, whilst exploring one of the empty decks, he finds an enormous abandoned space rocket. He shows it to Granny and her whole face lights up. This is the space train which she used to ride when she was a young girl! Once upon a time it streaked across the universe carrying star explorers and comet chasers to the 2,747 stations in the star network.

Jakob’s mind starts to whirr. If he can get the train running again then he can travel to other planets and meet other children! Granny rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. Can they work together to fix the train and head off on an intergalactic adventure?

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Stephen, the Sprout of Kindness by Richard Dungworth & Samantha Meredith

“Time to help!” thinks Stephen Sprout. ” I know a way to sort this out…”

Love them or hate them, sprouts are an essential part of Christmas, and the sprout in this book is extra special. Stephen is a sprout of kindness!

Whenever he sees a child in distress, Stephen knows just what to do. He helps a lost girl find her friend. He makes sure everyone gets a turn on the swings. He helps people understand how to share. He even gently helps someone overcome their fear of the water. Stephen spreads kindness wherever he goes and his friendly enthusiasm is infectious.

We love this gorgeous little board book and it’s been requested repeatedly since it arrived. The rhyming text is super tight which makes it really fun to read aloud and the brightly-coloured illustrations have lots of lovely detail.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Trine Hansen, Founder, Pickled Herring PR

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi I’m Trine. I live in Hertfordshire with my other half Andy, our busy two-year-old son Oskar and our French bulldog Alfie, three. We are raising Oskar (and Alfie) bilingual as I am originally from Denmark but have lived in the UK for 13 years. It is important to me that Oskar knows his heritage.

I run Pickled Herring PR, where I specialise in getting small to medium sized brands exposure outside of social media, print and online, to help drive credibility, exposure and a different revenue stream to your brand. I’m incredibly passionate about telling your story, to the right people, in the right places, to help you grow.

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The Blanket Bears by Samuel Langley-Swain & Ashlee Spink

When a child is going through a difficult transition or is about to experience something new, the first thing we do is look for a book which can help guide them through it. That’s easy enough if you want to talk about starting school or moving house, but there are some topics which just aren’t covered in mainstream books – like adoption.

Written by an adoptive Dad, ‘The Blanket Bears’ follows two little cubs as they go through every step of the adoption process.

When we first meet the bears they are cold, alone and losing their fur. They are found by Tilly, a social worker bear, and taken to a foster home to be looked after until a Forever Home can be found for them. Their foster carers look after them very well and make them adorable little onesies out of blankets to keep them warm until their fur grows back. Eventually a Forever Family is found for the bears and they slowly make the transition to their new home.

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Around the World in 24 Hours: An Advent Calendar Story

It feels a little early to be mentioning Christmas, but this book is designed to be used as an advent calendar from the beginning of December so you’ll want to get your hands on one pretty soon!

This gorgeous, personalised gift book follows Santa’s journey as he travels around the world delivering presents. Written in rhyme, it’s designed to be read one page per day in the run up to Christmas and features lots of interesting facts about the festive traditions in different countries.

Did you know that in Tahiti the children leave out mangoes and peanut cookies for Santa and his reindeer? or that in Latvia children traditionally have to recite a poem to receive a present? Nope – me either and it’s fascinating stuff!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Julie Comfort, Publisher & Editor, Rabbel

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Julie Comfort. Originally from the US, I have lived all over the world including San Francisco, Indonesia, Austin, Costa Rica, Mexico, New York, and now Berlin, where I am putting down roots with my Danish partner and our two wonderful daughters, Tully (12) & Nova (1.5). I work as a freelance experience designer and brand strategist and am also the publisher and editor of Rabbel, the creative print magazine for fierce-hearted girls.

Since we are a multi-cultural family, we have a pile of books in three languages: English, Danish, and German. I try to read the Danish picture books with my daughter as it helps me improve my Danish as well.

What are your children’s favourite books?

My older daughter loved Wildwood by Colin Meloy. We read it together when she was about 5 or 6, and then she reread it herself last year. My younger daughter hasn’t gravitated toward a favourite yet.

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