Author

Shelley John

Ivy’s Guest Book: Stephanie Sadler, Owner, Little Observationist

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Steph. I live in southwest London with my husband Jorge, our 2-year-old daughter Emilia and a lazy cat called Oakley.

I’m a freelance social media strategist and content creator with a focus on small businesses in travel and the visual arts, plus a wonderful charity that advocates for disability inclusion. I’m from New York, but have lived in London for 12 years. Jorge is from Spain. He’s a garden designer, manages a local garden centre and teaches garden design to university students.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

Emilia’s favourite book is one that I dug out of a box in my parent’s attic last year. It’s called I’m Not Sleepy by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins. It was written in 1988 and was one of my favourite books when I was a child.

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Umar by David Cahn & MollyPukes

Umar is a little boy with a big obsession. He absolutely loves keys! He likes to look at all the keys his family own and observe how they work. He watches his dad as he locks the door when they go for a walk. He watches his grandmother when she unlocks her front door for him to visit. He notes that his teacher has a different kind of key which he swipes to open the doors at nursery. How do they all work?

Umar is fascinated, and he dreams that one day he will be able to use keys all by himself. His grown ups let him practise all the time but he can’t quite master the skill. Will his hard work and determination pay off?

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Lucy’s Blue Day by Chris Duke & Federica Bartolini

Meet Lucy Pear, a little girl with truly amazing hair. Her long flowing locks have a special ability – they change colour according to her mood!

Most of the time her hair is a bright shiny blonde to reflect her sunny nature but occasionally the shade is a little more exotic. When she gets mad her hair turns red, when she’s jealous it’s green and excitement turns it purple!

However, one day Lucy wakes up with a head of blue hair and a heavy feeling in her heart which she just can’t shake. The feeling is new to her and she doesn’t have the words to tell the people around her how she feels. She’s not even sure why she’s sad. She just…is.

Her friends think her hair looks cool and they just don’t understand why she isn’t her happy self. But then she spots a little boy in the cafeteria sporting blue hair and a smile. How could this be?

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Becky Gilbert, Founder, Rumpuspuss

RumpuspussTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello. I’m Becky, and I am the creator of Rumpuspuss. I make beautifully illustrated personalised jigsaws for children where their name features in both the illustration and the pieces, so it is integral to solving the puzzle. I live in Bristol with my husband, 2 children (aged 6 and 3) and 3 cats.

What are your children’s favourite books?

The runaway winner with both children is Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake. Both kids find it hilarious, and I must admit that we adults quite enjoy it too. If you haven’t discovered Simon the little rabbit then look him up. The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak is another favourite, and anything by Mo Willems. All three encourage a bit of participation, and make the adult reading it look a bit silly, so the kids love them. My son is also really into Asterix at the moment, though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get the puns.

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The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith & Katz Cowley

The Wonky DonkeyThe Wonky Donkey has been a firm favourite in New Zealand since it was first published there back in 2009, but to the rest of the world it was relatively unknown until a hilarious video appeared in late August 2018, which quickly went viral.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 9 months then you will know the one I mean! It features a lovely Scottish lady reading the book to her grandson for the first time and giggling wildly as the story gets increasingly silly. You can watch the video again here if you need a bit of a pick me up!

The story is about a 3-legged donkey which the reader sees as they are walking down the road. Each time you turn the page you learn a new fact about the donkey, which slowly turns the rhyme in to a massive tongue twister.

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The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson & Catherine Rayner

The Go-Away BirdThis book is a little controversial in our house as it’s the first Julia Donaldson book that Ivy and I don’t agree on! I personally don’t think it’s one of her best – but Ivy loves it so what do I know!?!

The story is about the ‘Go-Away Bird’ who (as you’d expect from her name…) isn’t a big fan of company. She sits in her nest with a disgruntled look on her face and sends away all of the nice birds who try and make her acquaintance with a loud ‘Go Away!’

She doesn’t want to talk to the Chit-Chat bird, she doesn’t want to share a meal with the Peck-Peck bird and she certainly doesn’t want to fly with the Flip-Flap bird. But then the hungry ‘Get You’bird appears and the Go-Away bird discovers that maybe she does need friends after all.

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Milo Goes To The Seaside by Rachel Jane & Jamie Flack

Milo Goes To The SeasideMilo the Campervan lives at Red Hatch Farm with Farmer G and a whole little family of other campers. He loves adventure and likes nothing better than going on a long drive – but somehow Milo has never been to the seaside! He’s tried to go many times, but somehow always ends up getting lost.

Luckily a little bird called Billy is on hand to help. He guides Milo along the country roads until finally they reach the sea. The little Camper can’t believe his eyes. He loves everything about the seaside, from the smell of fish and chips to the way the waves break on the shore. He even joins in with a game of beach volleyball!

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Little Tigers by Jo Weaver

Little TigersThe majority of the books on our shelves feature cartoon creatures, loud colours and bouncy rhymes – because let’s face it, all kids love a fun story!  However at 3.5, Ivy seems to have reached a stage where she’s showing interest in books which require a little more thought (but still have lots of pictures).

This book is perfect for her as it works on two levels. The story itself is simple, but it encourages lots of questions about habitats and environmental issues.

The story follows two little tiger cubs and their mother as they move through the jungle trying to find a new home. Frightened by the sound of men and dogs the previous evening, mother tiger is determined to find somewhere safe before sundown.

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All Kids Are Good Kids by Judy Carey Nevin & Susie Hammer

All Kids Are Good KidsIvy is fascinated by this beautiful little board book which celebrates the fact that all children are different.

The gentle rhyme encourages the reader to think about their own personalities as they explore the detailed illustrations. Are they a big kid or a little kid? Are they calm or a little crazy? Do they like hugs? Are they outdoorsy? Do they like to make a mess?

There is a diverse host of characters, playing in lots of different ways and I like the fact that care has been taken not to genderise the activities. We see little girls climbing, making a mess and dressing as superheroes and little boys snuggling with teddy bears and showing emotion.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Daisy Seale-Barnes, Founder, Raise And Shine

Raise and ShineTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, my name is Daisy. I am a South-East London girl and I live in Peckham Rye with my husband and three children (Flint aged 9, Jackson 7 and Honey 18 months).

I run Raise and Shine,which helps parents better manage the everyday challenges of parenthood through evidence-based parenting and mindfulness skills. As a previously self-confessed ‘parenting education’ sceptic (I thought parenting courses were just for the totally reckless!), I discovered the techniques I teach by chance, but they transformed our family life so much for the better that I went on to train as a parenting coach. Given that everyday parenting is such a hard job, I now believe all parents should be taught this stuff!

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