On the edge of a busy, bustling town is a hill with a little house on top. This is the home of Billy McGill, a solitary child who avoids people and noise. He enjoys his own company and spends his days alone with his books for company, until one day he hears the squeak of a mouse…
Billy definitely doesn’t want to share his house with the tiny furry creature so he heads into town to fetch a cat to scare away the mouse. This seems like a great idea, until the two animals unexpectedly become friends. Billy then finds a dog to scare the cat, but this doesn’t work either. The boy’s plan soon spirals out of control and he soon finds himself co-habiting with a mouse, a cat, a dog, a bear, a tiger, a vet, a sheep, a hairdresser, a baby and a big red balloon!
Overwhelmed by the noise and the chaos, Billy storms out of his house and finds a new hill, but as he stares into the sunset he finds himself thinking of everything he has left behind. Could he be ready to let some new friends into his life?
I totally meant to post about this book on Valentine’s Day but, despite searching the whole house, I couldn’t find it anywhere. This morning I found it lodged down the side of Ivy’s bed which means she must have snuck it upstairs to read by herself! I’m not surprised though, as we have so many happy memories attached to lovely Gerald the Giraffe.
The original ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ story was one of the first picture books I read with Ivy when she was a baby and it is still a firm favourite. We were both so happy to receive this gorgeous new board book featuring all over our favourite characters.
The beautiful rhyme, written in Giles Andreae’s signature style, celebrates all of the ways which love can make us feel. Our favourite line is:
‘You make me want to somersault and leap up in the air.
You make me want to sing and skip and boogie everywhere!’
This heartwarming and stunningly illustrated book will tug on the heart strings of anyone who has ever had a beloved pet. Reading it brought back lots of happy memories of the cocker spaniel we had when I was a child. Pugsley (yes – I know! My brother and I were fans of The Addams Family at the time!) was incredibly naughty but gave the best snuggles.
At the start of this story we see a small stray dog brandishing a stick. He is looking for someone to play with him so he approaches a lonely little girl. What follows is a beautiful love story which lasts for many years.
Jake is bored and more than a little gloomy. As he sits at home staring out of the window into the cold grey street he longs for colour and excitement – but where can he find it? He twirls his globe and finds himself wondering what life is like on the other side of the world.
Feeling inspired, Jake heads out into the garden and starts to dig a hole with his bare hands. If he digs deep enough then surely he can tunnel right through the earth and pop up in the southern hemisphere.
As Jake digs something wonderful starts to happen. First a little girl appears with a spoon and asks if she can help, then a boy arrives with a toy digger. Soon the garden is full of children all working together to help Jake on his quest – but how far will they get?
Happy Shrove Tuesday! Did you make pancakes with your little bunny today?
This gorgeous board book follows a family of rabbits as they source ingredients and cook themselves a delicious breakfast – but they need your help!
They start off in the kitchen, where your child is encouraged to lift the flaps to find flour, maple syrup and butter. Next up they head outside for berries, fresh eggs and creamy milk from the cows.
Little Bunny is very excited but really isn’t sure what they’re making. Can your child help them guess what will be served up?
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a children’s author? Judy Carey Nevin, author of ‘All Kinds of Kindness‘ and ‘All Kids are Good Kids‘ talks us through what a typical day looks like for her (in the middle of a pandemic!).
“I wish I could say I have a regimented part of my day set aside for writing, that I write 20 minutes a day no matter what, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My days start and end with our daughter. She wakes up around the same time I do—sometimes earlier, to my husband’s chagrin. He’s an early bird and enjoys his time alone. I enjoy staying in bed to eavesdrop on them chattering away while they have their breakfast.
Once we’re all up and dressed and the grown-ups have had our tea (strong black tea with sugar, please), we go our separate ways, so to speak: me to my computer in our sitting room, our daughter to school, and my husband to his basement office. I sometimes work a full day out of the house. Then I’m a harried mess, always running late, looking for my keys, my glasses, my phone—you name it, I have misplaced it. And I always seem to be almost out of gas on those mornings as well.
Rocket is a little girl with a big passion. She loves to gaze at the night sky and when she grows up she wants to be “the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller who has ever lived”. Every day, she pops on her tiny replica spacesuit, dons her star-shaped earrings and dreams of the day she can follow in the footsteps of her hero Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.
The problem is that whilst she is looking up, everybody else seems to be looking down. She wants her brother to be as excited about the upcoming meteor shower as she is, but his eyes are permanently glued to his phone.
Determined to drum up some interest in this exciting event, Rocket creates flyers to distribute around her neighbourhood and even grabs the microphone at her local supermarket to make an announcement. She wants everyone to gather in their local park to view the meteor shower together – but has she done enough to get the community to join together and look to the skies?
In this new series we will be shining a light on some of the fantastic independent bookshops from around the UK. Here, Natasha tells us all about her bookstore – Chicken and Frog in Brentwood, Essex.
“A little bit of background about the people behind Chicken and Frog. Natasha and Jim met at Epping Forest College in 1989, when the world was cool and double denim was still okay. They fell in love, got married, had kids and went about life as a primary school teacher and a tech nerd. But, in the back of their minds, the whisper to open a bookshop kept on tickling their ears…
Those early days of motherhood are tough. The lack of sleep, the fear of getting it wrong and the utter shock that you are now responsible for the life of a tiny human is a potent cocktail which can you leave you feeling like you’re losing your mind.
When Ivy was tiny I used books as a way of bonding and calming my thoughts. We’d snuggle on the sofa, surrounded by a whirlwind of mess, and let the words wash over us both. It didn’t matter what I read – sometimes it was a picture book and sometimes it was a magazine or the novel I was reading – but the result was always the same. Ivy would listen to my voice (and inevitably fall asleep) and I would feel like I had been reset, ready to face whatever the next challenge of the day might be.