January 2020

Ivy’s Guest Book: Laura Ansbro, Freelance Writer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Laura, a Freelance Writer with one little boy, aged 4. We live in Wiltshire, and have a whopping book collection. Wilfie loved books from a very early age, and as a full time parent who struggled with PND, I was overjoyed when reading became our world. We would begin each week with ‘New Book Monday’, and would regularly read sixty books a day together! Now Wilfie loves to read, and will devour anything with a decent amount of pictures.

What is your son’s favourite book?

Tigger Comes to the Forest and Has Breakfast – A.A. Milne

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Let’s Find The Dinosaur by Alex Willmore

These days Ivy takes great care with her books, particularly the interactive ones, but when she was tiny she took great pleasure in pulling off the flaps and chewing on them. That’s why I think the new generation of chunky board books with felt flaps are a bit of a revelation!  This one is particularly charming and features lots of super cute dinosaurs for your little ones to find.

The aim is to follow the clues, peep through the cut out sections and lift the textured felt flaps to locate the T-Rex. Along the way we meet a whole host of other dinosaur characters who share some of the T-Rex’s features. The sharp teeth poking out from behind the volcano actually belong to a Pterodactyl. The scaly head hidden behind a bush looks promising but turns out to be a Triceratops. And the swishy tail behind the trees? That’s just a Diplodocus. Where could that cheeky T-Rex be?

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The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty by Katy Flint & Jessica Courtney-Tickle

On Christmas Eve, Santa was kind enough to make a special trip to our house to leave a book, a teddy and some festive pyjamas for Ivy. A new tradition which really helped with getting her settled for bed in all the excitement. Santa didn’t disappoint with his choice of book and the whole family was entranced!

The Sleeping Beauty is part of a wonderful series called The Story Orchestra which introduces children to classical music. The books are  beautifully made and the illustrations are truly wonderful. They each feature a host of diverse characters and there is a lot of detail in each picture for little ones to explore.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Rebecca Stevens, Founder, Nourish and Nurture Nutrition

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Rebecca Stevens and I live with my three kids aged 5, 6 & 8 and husband in SW London. We all love reading! I recently retrained as a nutritionist after many years in the world of healthcare PR and work freelance to fit in around the needs of my family. I wrote and illustrated my own picture book a few years ago that I gave to friends and family as a gift. From this I have an appreciation of just how much time bringing a story to life takes.

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Made For Me
by Zack Bush & Gregorio De Lauretis

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me.”

This ode to fatherhood is an absolute joy and it made me cry the first time I read it. Written in gentle, heartwarming rhyme, the story follows a new dad as he cares for his child from birth through to early toddlerhood.

Through a montage of tender moments, we see him change nappies, administer feeds and do bedtime and bathtime. He tickles toes, reads stories, plays ball and builds sandcastles – and all the while he marvels about the wonder of this tiny being who seems to have been made just for him.

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Animal World: Clever Mini Board Books

When we received this in the post we thought initially thought it was a chunky hardback, but upon opening it we found a lovely surprise. It actually contains nine mini board books, each dedicated to different types of animals.

Each tiny book contains 5 double page spreads, featuring a gorgeous illustration of an animal along with its name. This makes them perfect for babies and younger toddlers who are just starting to recognise different creatures.

But this set isn’t just for reading. The books are shaped like cubes so they’re great for stacking and sorting. If you turn them upside down they become puzzle pieces which when ordered correctly display a larger animal scene. You can also play a matching game when placing them back in the box because the cover images are repeated inside.

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The Worrysaurus
by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

If you’ve been following Ivy’s Library for a while you’ll know I’m really passionate about books which help small children to understand and verbalise their feelings. I’m also a huge fan of author Rachel Bright, so when The Worrysaurus landed on our doorstep I was really excited. Ivy was instantly entranced by the title character – an adorable little red dinosaur with a tiny green backpack – and demanded we read it right away!

The Worrysaurus is a planner and a worrier (to be honest, he’s a lot like me!). When he decides to go on a picnic he organises it all in his advance. He plans out a route, he packs all of the things he might need in to his trusty bag and then he heads out in to the sunshine.

However it’s not long before his brain starts to itch. What if he didn’t pack enough to drink? What if he gets lost on the way? Slowly his happy mood starts to slip away and anxiety creeps in. When a little lizard warns him that there might be a storm poor Worrysaurus starts to panic. He’s not prepared for rain!

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Badger’s Parting Gifts
by Susan Varley

Badger is old and he knows that he doesn’t have long left on this earth. He’s not afraid to die, but he is worried about how his friends will feel after he has gone. He prepares them by explaining that soon he will be going down the Long Tunnel and that he doesn’t want them to be sad.

Sure enough, one day Badger’s friends come to visit and discover that he has died. They understand that he has gone down the Long Tunnel and that he was not scared to do so, but still they are very sad that they will not see their friend again. As Autumn turns to Winter, the animals stay at home and mourn their loss.

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