Author

Shelley John

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

Odd Dog OutIn the big city, the dogs move in highly visible tribes. The business dogs all wear suits and scurry busily along. The football dogs all wear matching kits. The scout dogs all wear khaki. Everywhere you look there are groups of dogs, all uniformly dressed.

But in the middle of the hustle and bustle is an odd dog out. Wearing a woolly hat and scarf and listening to music on his snazzy headphones, it’s apparent that this little guy does not fit in. No matter how hard he tries, he realises he’s just not like the other dogs in the city.

Saddened, he decides to leave his home town to try and find a place where the dogs are more like him. He travels far and wide until he stumbles upon Doggywood – a place where all the dogs wear woolly hats and scarves and listen to music on their headphones. He is so excited because he thinks he has found his place in the world!

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One Button Benny by Alan Windram & Chloe Holwill-Hunter

Benny the robot is a little bit different. All of his robot friends have lots of shiny buttons which do fun things, like flash lights, blow bubbles and play music. But poor Benny only has one button. It’s bright red and says ‘Only Press In An Emergency’.

The other robots make fun of him and call him ‘One Button Benny’ and this makes him sad. He doesn’t really know what an emergency is but he secretly hopes one will happen so that he gets to press his button and find out what it does.

One morning Benny wakes up, eats his breakfast and brushes his teeth, unaware that outside his house an actual emergency is unfolding. The evil Collectors have landed on his planet and they are planning to gather up all of the robots, crunch them up and turn them in to teapots! The Collectors are small hairy aliens with green bums and they mean business!

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The Big Blue Balloon Blog Tour: How To Draw Kipper

Kipper 1Can you believe that Kipper the dog is 30 years old? I was 11 when his very first adventure was published but somehow he still feels like he was part of my childhood because I remember reading the stories to younger members of the family.

Fast forward to the present day and my daughter and I love reading about Kipper’s adventures together. There’s something about the series which is so simple yet so engaging for little ones.

We are big fans so I was over the moon when Hachette Children’s UK asked us to take part in Kipper’s Big Blue Balloon Blog Tour to celebrate his birthday!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Marie Farmer, Founder, Mini Mealtimes

Marie FarmerTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Marie Farmer and I’m the founder of the family nutrition app, Mini Mealtimes. Coming to an app store near you soon. I live in London with my wonderful husband and 2 year old son, who is on the spectrum.

What is your son’s favourite book?

My sons favourite book seems to vary from week to week but Not Now Bernard by David McKee is a staple in our house.

Which book do you most like reading to him and why?

I love to read him any book by Julia Donaldson. Her engaging plots, memorable characters and the unique illustrations always keep my son glued to the spot. Plus they are entertaining for me so reading them over and over isn’t a chore. At least until the 5th reading in a row anyway 🙂

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When Sadness Comes To Call by Eva Eland

When sadness Comes To CallWhen the little girl in this story hears a knock at her front door, she is surprised to find Sadness standing on her doorstep with a large suitcase. She lets hims in and he follows her around, sits too close to her on the sofa and refuses to go away.

Sadness consumes her to the extent that all she can feel is sad, even when those around her are playing happily.

Trying to hide Sadness away doesn’t work so she tries a different approach. She gives him a name and she asks him why he’s here. She listens to what he needs and they learn to work together. They sit in comfortable silence, they draw, they cuddle, they go for walks and they accept each other. 

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Competition Time: Win A 30th Anniversary Edition of The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen

Can you believe that it’s been 30 years since the world first met Kipper the dog? To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the lovely folks over at Hachette Children’s UK to give you the chance to win a gorgeous 30th anniversary edition of the very first Kipper book – The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen.

We have two copies available – one for Facebook followers and one for Instagram followers.

Click here to enter on Facebook

Click here to enter on Instagram

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Find Colours by Tamara Shopsin & Jason Fulford

Find ColoursIf you’re trying to teach your child about colours then the last thing you need is a black and white book, right? WRONG! This genius little board book, which was published in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, is the best colour book we have encountered so far.

Made up entirely of black and white pages, the book features clever cut outs which encourage kids to think differently. The first instruction is ‘Find Yellow’, accompanied by a cut out of a sun. You then need to find something yellow to either hold the book up to or place under the page to make the sun shine. This continues throughout the book, where you need to make a red cockerel, a green leaf, a blue cup, some purple grapes, a grey elephant, an orange, black sunglasses, pink worms, brown paw prints, a white moon and a multi-coloured rainbow.

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Kevin by Rob Biddulph

KevinThere’s no getting around it, Sid Gibbons is a little bit naughty. Just this week he’s smashed a bird bath, thrown his dinner on the floor, trashed his bedroom and left his colouring pens on the floor for so long that they’ve all dried out. His poor mum doesn’t know what to do, because when she asks him about these misdemeanours he just lies and says that his imaginary friend Kevin did it all. Kevin is invisible and no one can see him except Sid, so he’s the perfect fall guy.

Then one day, when Sid has once again been sent to bed for being naughty, a hatch in the ceiling opens and a bright light appears. Sid climbs up to take a peek and finds himself faced with none other Kevin himself – he is real! Sid is super excited to see his (incredibly cute and fluffy!) friend and they have lots of fun playing together. However it soon becomes apparent that in Kevin’s world, it is Sid who is the invisible friend.

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Sunflower Shoots And Muddy Boots: A Child’s Guide To Gardening by Katherine Halligan & Grace Easton

Sunflower Shoots and Muddy BootsSpring is just around the corner and this lovely book from Nosy Crow and the National Trust is packed full of interesting little activities you can do with the kids to encourage a love of the great outdoors.

From building dens and spotting bugs to growing radishes and making compost, the simple instructions help you make the most of the garden. And if you don’t have any outside space, there are just as many projects to do indoors, like growing beans in a glass jar, making a tiny magic garden and creating a little window box.

Alongside the myriad activities there are garden-related words to learn, flowers, trees and vegetables to identify, and a handy section on how to stay safe whilst digging and planting.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Ruth Bradford, Owner, The Little Black & White Book Project

Ruth BradfordTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi! I’m Ruth and I am the owner/creator of The Little Black & White Book Project, monochrome animal illustrations for babies and toddlers in the form of books, flash cards, prints and accessories. After 6 years overseas in Singapore, we moved to Bristol in 2017 and I live with my husband and my little boy who is 2.

What is your son’s favourite book?

My son is a real little book worm! We’ve read to him since birth and it’s now his go-to activity every morning and of course at bedtime. His favourites change weekly but he usually comes back to the same few time and time again. So I’d probably say Paddington by Michael Bond would have to be right up there for him, but like most toddlers he’s also really into Room On The Broom and Zog at the moment too, I think he likes the lyricalness (if that’s a word?) of the stories.

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