Are you one of the two million people who have listened to tiny Fenn Rosenthal sing ‘Dinosaurs in Love‘ on YouTube? If not then you MUST because it’s utterly adorable.
Fenn was just three and a half when she freestyled the song with her Dad, musician Tom Rosenthal, and the results were surprisingly profound. The lyrics have now been made into a picture book and it’s fair to say that Ivy is obsessed.
The story gives us a toddler’s take on what happened to the dinosaurs, with a little romantic spin. In a nutshell – they eat some people, have a party, fall in love and then die. The end.
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 the majority when they don’t think they measure up and then aren’t able to share how they feel?
Toxic masculinity is a very real phenomenon and boys need to be reassured that they can show their emotions – especially right now.
Big Boys Cry is about a little boy who is nervous about starting school, unaware that his father is much more worried than he is. It’s a moving look at how our words can affect our children, and why we need to choose them carefully.
Does your home feel like a circus right now? I dedicate this review to everyone out there trying to parent through the pandemic!
In this colourful story, the children wake up to discover a note from their Mum pinned to the fridge. It says that she needs some alone time so she’s decided to join the circus. She invites them to take on her share of the chores whilst she’s away.
The beautiful spreads which follow perfectly illustrate the ‘Mum juggle’ with which we are all so familiar. On the left hand page we see the children doing a household chore and on the right hand page we see how that chore has helped make Mum a fantastic circus performer.
Right now everything feels very unsettled. We are locked down in our homes, juggling the education of our children with our day jobs, dealing with sorrow and and being faced with a constant barrage of negative news. We’re all just muddling through and taking it one day at a time.
But what will we remember about this strange time in years to come? And perhaps more importantly, what do we want our children to remember?
A love letter from parent to child, this gorgeous picture book adds a sprinkle of magic to what has been a very difficult year. It alludes to the bad but focuses on the good, and in doing so the story of 2020 takes on a wonderful fairytale quality.
We see giant sunflowers and animals running wild on empty streets. We see rainbows shooting from rooftops as families take their daily walks. We see smiling faces as communities come together to celebrate everyday heroes.
We are officially launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter to celebrate our love of children’s literature. All subscribers will receive a free 15 page PDF featuring some of our top picks. Squee!
Why are we launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter?
We share daily children’s book reviews and features on our blog www.ivyslibrary.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – but because of the nature of social media you probably aren’t seeing all our posts. Subscribing to our newsletter means you won’t ever miss out on the good stuff!
What does it entail?
Once a month we will hit up your inbox with a curated selection of children’s book reviews, interviews, opinion pieces, special offers and other treats. Some of it will be content we’ve shared on our social media channels but there will also be extras which are exclusive to newsletter subscribers. The first newsletter will be sent in February and of course you can unsubscribe at any time.
Hands up who has a little worrier? Both Ivy and I have a tendency to be a bit anxious and the current situation has definitely exacerbated this. Who knew there were so many things to stress about?
Jeremy knows all about worries. From morning till night all he can think about is the potential danger swirling all around him, from shoe-eating worms and too-crunchy crackers right through to runaway dinosaurs and evil squirrels. His biggest fear is the wind though – so he tries not go outside on blustery days just in case.
But then one day fastidious Jeremy meets Maggie. With mismatched clothing and trailing shoelaces, she seems an unlikely friend but the two hit it off straight away. Maggie’s mantra is ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ and fearful Jeremy is determined to show her!
Since Ivy started school last September we’ve had some struggles with perfectionism. If she’s not immediately the best at something then she gets disheartened and doesn’t want to try. It’s an uphill battle but, as always, we’ve found books really helpful to try and put things into perspective for her.
This new title in the Mini Monsters series has therefore come at just the right time for us. We both loved the first book – ‘Can I Play?’ – so Ivy was very excited to see a new story with familiar characters.
Scout, Sparkle, Arthur and Tiny are back once again and, having worked out how to play nicely together in book one, they have a brand new pres-school problem. They each want to be THE BEST.
We all need a little bit of calm in our lives right now so I wanted to highlight this gorgeous immersive story which we received towards the end of last year.
Inspired by hypnobirthing, ‘Kaiholo the Whale’ combines words, watercolour illustrations and music to great effect. You scan the QR code on the first page with your phone or tablet to access the music and then read the story whilst it plays in the background. It’s a simple concept but it’s very effective.
The gentle rhyme tells the story of a family of whales as they explore the ocean and sing their songs together. They are a tight, loving family unit and baby Kaiholo worries about what would happen if they were ever separated. His mother explains that they will always be there to protect him, but if they find themselves apart he must look for the light of the stars in the night sky and listen for their voices. The strength of their love will always bring them back together.
Ivy and I love discovering new book subscriptions so we were very excited when this one landed on our doorstep on Christmas Eve.
Cureadosity is a brand new subscription service for 2-6 year olds and I have to say I am impressed. Our sample box contained lots of bookish fun – and Ivy dived straight in!
If you are as obsessed with picture books as we are then subscription boxes can sometimes be an issue. We buy a lot of books so i’m naturally wary of receiving duplicates. Cureadosity seem to be right on top of this though. They only include books which have been released within the last three months, thus drastically reducing the chance you might already have them in your collection – and sometimes they even include books before their official publication date so you get a sneaky advance look!
Families come in all shapes and sizes and this gorgeous board book celebrates the ones which we often don’t see in mainstream books.
The brightly coloured pages show happy families enjoying life together whilst the words explore the different ways in which people can show their love.
We see two children waking up their dads in the morning by shaking maracas and banging a drum. We see a family with grandparent carers baking and sharing cakes. We see single mums finding lost objects and single dads jumping in puddles in the park. We see a group of children reading stories by the light of a torch with their two mums. I particularly like the inclusion of a dad wearing a baby carrier as i’m not sure i’ve seen this in any of our other picture books!