Hi Clare! Thank you so much for speaking to me about your gorgeous new book ‘The Perfect Shelter’.
Could you give us a quick overview of what the story is about?
Hello! Thank you for hosting me on your blog and for helping us to celebrate our new story. The Perfect Shelter sets out to unravel the difficult emotions we face when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer. It is not a book about loss, but rather living with life’s uncertainty. I hope that it brings love and support to others going through difficult times.
Stella has two dads. This has never been an issue but when her teacher announces they’re going to be throwing a special Mother’s Day party she finds herself in a bit of a pickle. She doesn’t have a mum so who is she supposed to invite?
As the other children play, Stella finds herself worrying about the party. She can’t concentrate on anything and she doesn’t want to eat. She doesn’t know how to explain that she doesn’t have a mum to bring to the party.
Eventually her friends ask her what the matter is and she tries to explain. The children are surprised and they have lots of questions. If she doesn’t have a mum then who makes her packed lunch? Who reads her a bedtime story? Who gives her kisses when she hurts herself? Stella explains that her two dads do all of these things for her and more. Plus she has Nonna, Aunt Gloria, Uncle Bruno and Cousin Lucy. She has a whole host of people who love her – but she still doesn’t have a guest for the Mother’s day party.
Baby Badger is extremely curious about the world. He explores every detail and corner of his underground home and then asks his Dad “What’s Next?”. His Dad explains that there’s a whole forest up above them so together they head out in to the dark.
Baby Badger sniffs and snuffles, learning everything he can about this new environment. He discovers soft moss and bluebell bulbs and his dad takes him to a spot where he can look at the stars and the perfect full moon. But inevitably, impatience sets in and Baby Badger asks “What’s Next?”. There are more things to learn and more things to see and he wants to do it all right now.
As the rain beats down on a sandy beach, Little Turtle pushes her way up and out of her nest and gets her first view of the world. Instinctively she moves quickly towards the waves and soon she finds herself swimming in the ocean which will become her home.
As she grows and becomes more confident she marvels at the beauty she sees around her. The bright colours, glittering shoals of fish and reefs teeming with life all delight her senses and make her feel so happy to be alive. The ocean is her very best friend.
When Turtle matures she returns to the beach where she was born to release her own clutch of eggs on the sandy shore. She makes this journey many times and she loves the fact that each journey is different because her beautiful ocean is always changing, always offering something different for her to behold.
This diverse and inclusive picture book encourages children to think about all the things which makes their dad unique.
Is your dad grumpy in the mornings? Does he have big feet? What colour is his hair? Does he give you a bath? What fun things do you do together? How does he get to work? Every page poses a question and then the lovely illustrations give your child lots of options to choose from.
The book features a huge variety of different father figures. There are dads from different cultures and races, dads in wheelchairs, dads in glasses, gay dads, beardy dads and tattooed dads. There’s even a dad with a blue mohican!
This gorgeous little hardback book celebrates the joy of having a sister.
The gentle rhyme takes us on a journey through siblinghood, highlighting all of the ups and downs. They may steal your toys, make you cry and drive you a little crazy at times but a sister will always be there for you through thick and thin. They will brighten you up on dark days, share your adventures and celebrate your successes.
The simple but heartwarming illustrations show siblings from different countries and cultures as they move through life together. It also references how friends can become like sisters because of all the experiences you have shared together.
Hi Caryl! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Mini Monsters: Can I Play?’
Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Mini Monsters is a brand new series that deals with some of the challenges and emotions that young children experience within a pre-school setting.
The first book, Can I Play? focuses on the tricky subject of playing with more than one friend. Sparkle is putting on a magic show with Arthur, but when Scout wants to join in, Sparkle isn’t happy. She just wants to play with Arthur. But her inability to be flexible upsets Scout and leaves Arthur feeling worried and confused. It is only when Sparkle herself experiences being left out, that she realises that playing together is more fun after all.
We recently interviewed the author about the inspiration behind this book. You can read what she had to say by clicking here.
Scout, Sparkle, Arthur and Tiny are four colourful little monsters who go to pre-school together. They are all friends but sometimes – like most children – they find the politics of playtime somewhat difficult to navigate.
When Arthur and Sparkle put on a pretend magic show Scout really wants to join in. The problem is that Sparkle doesn’t want him to get involved. It’s her show, she’s the star and she only wants Arthur in the audience. There is shouting and snatching and eventually there are tears. As Scout and Arthur retreat outside to find a new game Sparkle finds herself all alone. Even Tiny doesn’t want to play with her now.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hi, I am Jennifer Warwick, I am a paediatric speech and language therapist and mama to two girls aged nearly 3 and nearly 5. I live with my girls and husband Alex in South East London. We love exploring the libraries and great selection of local independent book shops in our area. Books are something that I have always loved to buy so we are lucky to have a huge selection at home.
What are your daughters’ favourite books?
A longstanding favourite of my elder daughter’s is ‘Creaturepedia’ by Adrienne Barman. She was given it nearly a year ago and she returns to it at least a few times a week. It’s a pretty big book for a 4-year-old which I think she likes as it makes her feel grown up carrying it around! The book groups the animal kingdom into different headings with beautiful illustrations and unusual facts which my daughter loves to share with people, I mean who knew that an elephant seal could held their breath for 100 minutes!
We live in a society which tells boys that they need to be strong, that they need to be leaders, play sports and show no fear. However, these behaviours don’t come naturally to most, so what does it mean for kids when they don’t think they measure up and then aren’t able to share how they feel? Boys need to be reassured from a young age that it’s ok to show their emotions and that they can be whoever they want to be.
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the uniqueness of every individual and encourages you to stop thinking about strength as something purely physical.
The pages follow a young boy as he learns about himself and his own strengths. He is encouraged to try a wide variety of activities and to always be curious about the world around him. We see him baking cakes, planting vegetables, reading books and playing instruments.