Month

June 2020

Tiny Jumps In
by Inshra Sakhawat Russell

Tiny is a little girl who lives on the shores of a mysterious lake. She watches the water as it laps on the shore and feels a deep desire to explore it but she knows that first she must prepare. She starts to take swiming lessons and she immerses herselves in books and tv shows which will help her achieve her goal.

Finally the day comes when she feels she is ready to jump in. She packs up the things she will need and heads to her chosen spot. She tests the water with her toe and checks that it is deep enough for her to jump in to and then she carefully climbs a tree whose long branches lean out over the lake.

She has thought about this moment for so long – but suddenly Tiny is filled with doubt. What if she can’t do it? What if something scary lives beneath the surface? What if? What if?

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First Day Critter Jitters
by Jory John & Liz Climo

It’s the night before the first day of school and all of the animals are feeling a bit nervous.

Sloth is worried that he’s going to be late. Snake can’t get his backpack to stay on. Mouse is scared that he’s too little for big school. Kangaroo is feeling anxious about being away from his mum. Parrot is feeling skittish because he talks too much. Mole thinks his sight might let him down. Bear thinks he should probably just sleep instead and Rabbit has too much energy and is concerned she won’t be able to sit still.

Each of their worries is different but each one is valid – after all, they are about to start a whole new chapter in their lives.

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Freedom, We Sing
by Amyra León & Molly Mendoza

This powerful picture book encourages children to think about the concept of freedom and whether they are truly free.

A mother and her child dance through the pages as they discuss the world around them. Sometimes this world feels small as we wrap ourselves in the love of those dearest to us and othertimes it seems vast and unknowable.

In lyrical rhyme the child speaks to us of the lessons they have learned from their mother – that there are millions of children and parents under this same sky with different lives and different skin colours. Some people’s lives are more difficult than others, like whose who must escape from war to protect their families, but they all have hearts which beat the same way.

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Hope the Rainbow Fairy by Rosie Greening & Lara Ede

Inspired by the rainbow art which children have been displaying in their windows during the current situation, this story is all about connecting communities with kindness.

Hope is a Rainbow Fairy and it’s her job to spread colour and joy around Fairyland. She loves to wave her magic wand and make her fellow fairies smile with bright yellow sunshine and vivid green trees, but then everything changes when Fairy Flu hits and everyone has to stay indoors.

Hope starts to worry that, without her, the land will be colourless and everyone will be sad. In a bid to cheer people up, she tries sending rainbow lollies to her friends in the mail but they melt en route and when she sets up a colourful quiz online the ‘Wi-Fly’ cuts out. She even tries to magic the Fairy Flu away but her powers just aren’t strong enough.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Rachel Notarbartolo,
Owner & Designer, Ivy White

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I am Rachel! I am the owner of Ivy White, a luxury stationery and design studio. I am a graphic designer specialising on branding for small businesses and creating beautiful wedding stationery. I absolutely love my job! Having a home business is also great as it allows me to be with my little ones more.

I live in Windsor with my husband and our two children, Eva who is 4 and a half (the half is very important!) and Leo who is 2 and a half.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Eva loves so many books its hard to choose. She adores fairy tale stories, any princess falling in love with a prince and living happily ever after is right up Eva’s street. One book she does always go back to that isn’t a Disney tale is Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It’s a funny, rhyming story of quick wits and friendship. It starts with the witch and her cat flying happily around on their broomstick until strong winds hit, leading them to make new friends along the way and a dragon!

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Interview: Ruth Redford,
Author of ‘That’s My Daddy!’

Hi Ruth! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your latest book ‘That’s My Daddy!’’

Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

It’s all about daddies and is a celebration of them everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and forms. We wanted to encourage children to identify their daddies in a fun and interactive way. It covers everything from favourite foods, what they’re like in the morning, to jobs and hobbies and what they do around the house. Hopefully it’s silly and fun but also a really nice book to share and talk about what your daddy is like.

What inspired you to write this story?

I came up with the idea for That’s My Daddy when I was out running one day, one of the lines popped into my head and it developed from there, it was initially called The Daddy Catalogue! I did a first draft of the text and left it in my collection of unpublished stories for about six months. Then I happened to glance at it and thought there is something here so I sent it out on submission to a couple of publishers.

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Our Favourite Picture Books About Dads

Sunday, June 21st 2020 is Father’s Day in the UK, so to celebrate we have put together a collection of our favourite books about Dads.

It’s a varied list which includes books which make great gifts, bedtime stories with strong father figures and even some beautiful poetry.

We have dads of many different races, bearded dads, gay dads, tattooed dads, animal dads, flatulent dads and if you look closely you’ll even spot a book with a pregnant dad  (spoiler: he’s a seahorse – but still!).

We’d love to hear about your favourites too. What would you add to this list?

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Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari has just learned to swim, and he is desperate to try jumping from the high diving board. However, when he gets there he isn’t quite so sure.

He doesn’t want to look weak, so he lets the other children go in front of him and spends a little time stretching and thinking about what kind of jump he might do.

Jabari’s fear is stopping him from doing the thing he wants to do the most.

But all this time, his father is alongside him. He helps his son explore how he is feeling and quietly encourages without pushing. The father shares times when he has felt scared too so that his son understands that he is not alone in his fears. And eventually, in his own time, Jabari takes a deep breath and jumps.

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Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada
by Jimmy Fallon

Ivy is 4 now but I can clearly remember the days when we were eagerly anticipating her first word. Would it be Mama, Dada or something else entirely? If this sounds familar, then you’re probably going to like this hilarious book from American comedian Jimmy Fallon.

The story follows a range of farmyard fathers as they try to get their children to say ‘Dada’. Naturally it doesn’t quite go as planned! As the dads say ‘Dada’ over and over again, the babies all insist on responding with their respective animal sounds.

This is a book of few words – in fact, until you get to the end of the book there’s only one word per page!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Tricia Keracher-Summerfield, Founder, Portrayed Photography

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello!  I’m Tricia, – photographer, wife and mum to Mia (12), Isla (9) and Tristan (7).  I grew up in Canada and moved to London more than 22 years ago.  Over those years, I’ve had a few different jobs but nothing that really satisfied me.  After the arrival of my third child, I decided it was time to follow my passion and turn my hobby into my career and launched Portrayed Photography.  With three children under five years of age, the early days were a struggle and my time was very limited.  Now that all three children are in school, I’ve been able to grow my business and expand from family photography to include personal branding and headshots for small business owners and freelancers.  I photograph on location across London and the South East whether that be my client’s office, home or local park and in my South East London studio.

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