April 2020

Soul Pretty by Linda Giacomino & Paula Romani

This pretty little book teaches children about values and what it means to be beautiful on the inside.

The delicate illustrations show a young girl as she makes a journey on her bicycle. As she navigates the hills, valleys and tiny cobbled streets of her life we learn how to stay positive, how to treat others well and how to shine in a world which sometimes seems to be working against you.

Each page takes a different value and breaks it down so a child can understand what it means and the benefits it can bring. It covers integrity, harmony, honesty, optimism, attitude, self-respect, sincerity, wisdom, charisma, grace, gratitude, self-acceptance, confidence, loyalty, love and patience – all values which I am sure we’d like to instil in our children as they grow up!

Continue Reading…

I Can Do It! A Book of 5 Fastenings by Patricia Hegarty & Hilli Kushnir

If you’re looking for a book which will both keep your pre-schooler entertained and teach them some new skills then I can highly recommend this one!

Each double page spread introduces a different kind of fastening which they have probably encountered in everyday life. The simple instructions show your child exactly what they need to do to open and close them, and then there’s an actual fastening which they can try for themselves.

There are 5 sections, which allow them to button a shirt, zip up a hoodie, do the velcro on a coat, push a popper on a backpack and tie up a shoelace. It starts easy but gets progressively harder as you move through the pages.

Continue Reading…

It’s A No-Money Day by Kate Milner

This sensitively written book explores the topic of poverty in a way which is easy for small children to understand.

The mum in this story works very hard but despite this, like so many people, she struggles to pay her bills. Life is a constant juggle, and on this particular day there is no money and no food in the cupboard so she and her daughter need to visit a foodbank.

The little girl is upbeat throughout and she sees the positives in every situation. She tells us about all the fun things you can do on a no-money day, like reading a library book, practising your singing or trying on the clothes at your local charity shop. She enjoys the visits to the foodbank because she gets some squash and a biscuit, and she likes to talk to the volunteers about the cat she hopes to have one day.

Continue Reading…

Ivy’s Guest Book: Georgina Durrant, Founder, The SEN Resources Blog

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Georgina, I’m a mum of two little ones under 6 and a former teacher/Special Educational Needs Coordinator. I now run The SEN Resources Blog which is a site for parents and teachers of children with Special Educational Needs. My website provides advice, recommended resources, learning activities and (most recently) home learning videos for those who are now home schooling due to the school closures.

What are your children’s favourite books?

My eldest’s favourite book is Captain Flinn and The Pirate Dinosaurs. He mostly loves non-fiction books so we were delighted when one of his friends bought him this book and it became such a hit. It felt like when we were reading these books together that we’d suddenly made the jump from toddler books into more grown-up childrens books. He loves that they are a bit scary…and obviously that they include dinosaurs!

Continue Reading…

Competition Time: Win a 12 Month Subscription to Wonderbooks

You may remember that a few weeks ago we reviewed Wonderbooks, a fantastic new children’s book subscription service from Save the Children UK. We’re excited to tell you that we’ve teamed up with them on a very exciting competition!

We’re offering you the chance to win a 12 month subscription to their fantastic service, worth £108.00.

The winner will receive 1x Wonderbooks parcel per month for 12 months. Each parcel contains a new book inspired by the real-life stories of amazing children Save the Children has worked with around the world, plus a Grown-Up’s Guide, packed with activities and additional resources to help you start interesting conversations about the topics explored in the stories.

Continue Reading…

Our Favourite Picture Books About Friendship

There are lots of lovely books available which celebrate friendship and help children learn how to form healthy relationships with their peers. Here we have compiled a selection of our favourites.

Big Hid by Roisin Swales – A beautifully illustrated tale about the friendship between Big (a tortoise) and Little (a squirrel). Together they have many adventures but one day Big just doesn’t feel like doing anything anymore. Can Little help him feel better? Read the review.

Bob Goes Pop! by Marion Deuchars – When a rival artist comes to town Bob is not impressed. Locked in competition, the pair try their best to outdo each other, but soon discover that life might be better if they work together instead. Review coming soon.

Continue Reading…

Take Me Outdoors: A Nature Journal for Young Explorers by Mary Richards

Today is Earth Day 2020, which seems like the perfect time to share this gorgeous nature journal with you.

Split in to 5 chapters, this beautifully illustrated book is designed to help kids explore the great outdoors, discover new facts about nature and preserve the memories of their adventures.

Children are encouraged to engage with their surroundings, whether they are in their own garden, at the park, on the beach or on a woodland walk. What can they see? What can they hear? What can they name? What can they imagine? What can they do to help preserve?

There are sections to write field notes and draw pictures, as well as prompts and ideas for children to craft their own stories about nature. The pages are filled with interesting and accessible facts about nature, animals, artists and explorers. It’s hugely inspiring and extremely well designed. We’ve had lots of fun with it in the garden over the last few weeks!

Continue Reading…

My Pet T-Rex by Fabi Santiago

The T-Rex is Ivy’s favourite kind of dinosaur so she squealed with excitement when she spotted the cover of this book! Set in prehistoric times, the story follows a little girl called Kiki as she learns to look after her new pet T-Rex, Petunia.

At first it seems like having a dino will be easy – but Kiki soon learns that a pet is a big responsibility. Petunia needs to be washed, fed and exercised, plus she needs lots of sleep and visits to the vet. Just when Kiki thinks it might be a little bit too much, Petunia gets lost!

Wil Kiki be able to find her and if she does, will she want to keep her?

If your child is hankering for a pet then this is the perfect book to help them understand how much work they can be. It highlights all aspects of pet care and also teaches that you can’t just give them back if you don’t want to put in the effort anymore.

Continue Reading…

The Diddle That Dummed by Kes Gray & Fred Blunt

I love picture books which encourage kids to embrace their unique qualities and this new story from Kes Gray and Fred Blunt is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

Flinty Bo Diddle is a musician and he’s trying to write a a new piece of music to play on his fiddle. He lines up all the musical notes on the page and then starts to play. It’s all going very well until he gets half way through the tune and one little diddle goes dum.

The little diddle apologises for messing up the music but explains that that’s just how he is. He’s a diddle but sometimes he can’t help going dum. 

Continue Reading…

Where Are You Lydie? by Emma Poore

This is a book about child bereavement so if this topic is a trigger for you then please do not read any further———————————————-

This deeply moving book by Emma Poore deals with the extremely difficult topic of sibling loss. The story follows two young boys, Henry and George, as they try to decide what they should do on what would have been their sister Lydie’s first birthday.

The day starts off filled with sadness as they discuss their baby sister. They wonder whether she’s a star in the sky or a special fairy in a magical land. Wherever she is, they miss her and they don’t know how to feel on her special day.

Tentatively they start to play at dressing up and become superheroes in search of Lydie. Then they decide that all birthdays should involve cake so they set about making their sister the best birthday cake ever. When the cake is ready they throw a party because their Dad has explained that even though Lydie isn’t there anymore she is still part of the family and will always be with them.

Continue Reading…