Month

September 2020

Clap Hands for Key Workers by Pat-A-Cake & Kat Uno

The events of 2020 have definitely highlighted the critical role which keys workers play in our society. This gorgeous little touch-and-feel board book celebrates the part they play in keeping us safe and well.

Each double page spread introduces us to a different key worker and encourages your child to talk about what they are doing. Harriet the doctor is bandaging a child’s leg. Jay the shop worker is working the tills at the supermarket. Ruby the postal worker is delivering parcels. Logan the bus driver is helping people get around the town. Once you’ve talked about the role each worker plays, your child is invited to clap for them and say thank you for their hard work.

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Pirate Nell’s Tale To Tell
by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty

The day Nell becomes a pirate she thinks that all her dreams have come true, but her curmudgeonly Captain brings her crashing down to earth with a bang. Nell loves to read swashbuckling stories but Captain Gnash says there’s no time for reading on his ship. He takes one look at her most treasured possession – The Pirate’s Almanac – and he laughs in her face. He doesn’t believe in all this book nonsense!

Nell decides to keep out of the nasty Captain’s way so she spends her days scrubbing the ship clean and regaling the other pirates with fabulous tales of buried chests and daring rescues. But then one day she finds a treasure map sealed in a little bottle bobbing on the waves and she realises that adventure is just over the horizon.

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Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise
by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend

It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is utterly adorable!

Little Rabbit is a very bored bunny, so when the opportunity comes along for her to spend the day with her grandfather – Big Rabbit – she is very excited indeed. Big Rabbit tells her he has lots of work to do and she can be his assistant. Little Rabbit thinks this sounds like fun but she’s a little confused. As far as she’s aware her grandfather doesn’t have a job – he just spends all his time talking to his friends!

Over the course of the day the two rabbits encounter lots of different animals who need help. The entrance to Mole’s new burrow is much darker than he had realised and he’s worried that Little Mole and his friends might take a tumble. Granny Hedgehog has a nasty cold and she’s feeling very lonely in her little nest by herself. Dormouse has just moved in to a new house but it needs a lot of work and he has four little babies to  feed and look after. And poor Squirrel has sprained her paw which means she can’t forage for food for her young children.

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Brothers
by Harriet Evans & Andrés Landazábal

This lovely little hardback celebrates the brilliance of brothers big and small.

The gentle rhyme and wonderfully diverse illustrations give us a detailed look at what the world is like with a brother at your side.  They are playmates and mentors, mess-makers and occasional tormentors but whatever you face in life you know that your brother will always be by your side.

We see that all families are different and a brother doesn’t just mean someone with whom you share both parents. Half-brothers and step-brothers are equally special and even our friends can become like brothers to us. The bond between siblings is strong and you will always be there for each other, whether you are near or far.

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Kindness Makes Us Strong
by Sophie Beer

You’ve probably spotted that I’ve shared quite a few books about kindness of late. With Ivy starting school last week we have been spending a lot of time talking about friendship, specifically around being kind and sharing and I’ve been using books as a way to get those conversations started.

This brightly coloured board book teaches children that kindness doesn’t have to involve great sweeping gestures. Whether it’s waving hello to someone you know, sharing your favourite food, taking turns, or giving someone a cuddle, it’s the little things which count.

Featuring a diverse group of children in familiar, everyday situations, the simple text and heartwarming illustrations clearly show how a good deed can make someone’s day and help to make the community stronger.

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Is My Mom Like Other Moms?
by Humera Malik

This super sweet story follows a little girl as she starts to notice the differences and similarities between her mum and the mums of other children in her class. She wonders – does the fact that her mum wears a hijab make her different?

Her friend Sarah’s mum has curly hair in a bun and she is lots of fun. The little girl’s mum is lots of fun too. She was wearing her red scarf when they played hopscotch and they laughed so much they were nearly late for school!

Laura’s mum has blonde hair and she takes Laura shopping at the weekend. The little girl’s mum takes her shopping too. She was weraing her blue scarf the last time they went to buy fruit and vegetables.

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Peter Bently & Steve Antony

This gorgeous adaptation of Ian Fleming’s original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story has made me super nostalgic. I loved the movie as a kid so it has been wonderful watching Ivy absorb the story then wing her way around the house pretending to fly, yelling ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ as she goes!

Fortunately there is no evil childcatcher here to give her nightmares as the movie strayed considerably from the original story.

Jeremy and Jemima Pott live in a rundown house with their mum and dad. They don’t have much money until one day their dad invents ‘Toot Sweets’ which become an overnight sensation. Now considerably richer, they set off to buy a car and  are all drawn to a sad-looking racing vehicle which is rusting in the corner of the garage.

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Loretta’s Gift
by Pat Zietlow Miller & Alea Marley

When Loretta discovers that her Aunt Esme and Uncle Jax are expecting a baby her whole world changes. Her family explain to her that babies are a celebration of love, life and hope and soon the whole household buzzes with activity as they prepare for the new arrival. Nappies are purchased, a cradle is built, a nursery is prepared and little woolly hats are knitted. There is even a baby shower with a  huge stack of gifts!

Loretta is a kind and thoughtful girl so naturally she wants to give the baby a gift too – but she just can’t think of anything appropriate. She doesn’t have enough pennies in her money box to buy anything and when she tries to make something she ends up just making a mess. What can she possibly give to someone as precious as a new baby?

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Oi Aardvark!
by Kes Gray & Jim Field

If you’ve been following us a while you’ll know we are huge fans of the Oi Frog & Friends series from genius duo Kes Gray and Jim Field. We have all the books in the series and Ivy literally jumped for joy when the latest was delivered to our door.

A quick recap in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years and haven’t encountered these joyful stories before… Frog, Cat and Dog are 3 friends with a penchant for rhyme and a slightly unhealthy preoccupation with seating arrangements. Cat started the trend in book 1 (Oi Frog!) when she insisted that frogs can only sit on logs then Frog took up the baton in book 2 (Oi Dog!) and has been a tiny bit obsessed ever since.

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How To Drive A Roman Chariot
by Caryl Hart & Ed Eaves

Albie is an ordinary boy who has some extraordinary adventures! The first Albie book was released 10 years ago and we have amassed quite a few of them of late. Ivy really enjoys the way he is whipped away to different time or location whilst doing normal everyday things.

In this latest installment, Albie’s mum takes him to see some horses in a field. Whilst they’re there it starts to rain so the little boy shelters in a nearby barn – but inside he discovers a girl wearing a dress from Roman times.

Albie soon finds himself roaring through the backstreets of Ancient Rome as he and his new friend Julia try to stop a runaway chariot from crashing into the crowds of people at the market. The girl successfuly grabs the reins and takes control of the horses but they accidentally turn in to an arch at the side of a very large building.

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