Geography was never my favourite subject at school but if our textbooks had looked anything like this beauty from Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin then I suspect I may have paid more attention!
At the start of this gorgeous rhyming story we hop on board a submarine with a little girl and her dog. Together we embark on a journey to see the world’s oceans, but this is no ordinary tour as the guides are the waters themselves.
First we meet the Arctic Ocean, who smiles as she speaks of her pride at being the smallest. She shows us her narwhals, her beluga whales and the polar bears who inhabit her ice. Next is the choppy Atlantic who tells us about her underwater mountains and hidden caves. Our submarine glides past blue fin tuna in the Indian Ocean, sea snakes in the Coral Sea and millions of pieces of plastic in the Pacific.
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?
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?
I spotted a review of this one a few weeks ago and as soon as I saw the title I had to buy it. Ivy loves seeing her name in print so I knew it would be a popular choice but it also turned out to be an absolute corker of a story too!
When a little boy receives a plant for his birthday he decides to name it Ivy. It’s his favourite present and he spends lots of time tending to her to make sure she grows healthy and strong. As Ivy increases in size we soon discover that this choice of name was maybe a little incongruous. It doesn’t look like an evergreen climbing plant at all. In fact it looks distinctly carnivorous…
Over the next few days Ivy grows and grows and the boy asks different family members to keep an eye on her. The trouble is that those family members keep going missing! Where is the cat? and his sister? and his Grandpa? They are nowhere to be seen, but look closely and you might spot the sister’s saxophone and the Grandpa’s train set curled up in Ivy’s leaves.
Ivy and I read A LOT of books together, so when one comes along which truly captures her heart I know that it must really be very special. She is utterly entranced by ‘The Littlest Yak’ and I have to say I think it’s one of the best books we’ve read this year.
The gorgeous story follows a tiny little yak called Gertie who is fed up of being the smallest animal in the herd. She looks at the big yaks with their big horns and their big hooves and she wants to be just like them – but growing up takes such a long time!
Determined to speed up the process, Gertie comes up with a plan. She exercises, eats lots of vegetables and practises clip-clopping up mountains. She even reads lots of books to try and make her thoughts grow! But despite all her efforts, she remains the same size.
It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is the first in a fab series which will have your kids laughing out loud!
Bear wakes up early from hibernation to discover that someone has sneaked in to her cave and stolen all of her food. How rude! But Bear is a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so she decides to make the most of her early start by building a snowman.
Whilst rolling the snow into a suitable shape she encounters a rabbit who doesn’t quite share her joyful view of the world. Rabbit is grumpy and he wants everyone to know about it. Rabbit has never built a snowman but he knows that if he did it would definitely be better than Bear’s!
As the two busy themselves on their creations they start to talk and Rabbit gives Bear a rundown on how awful it is to be a bunny. He even lets slip that he has to eat his own poo!
A few weeks ago I shared a collection of books about different kinds of families and a discussion began in my instagram comments about how there aren’t enough books out in the world which depict single mothers. Somebody recommended this one and the author chimed in to confirm that she indeed had single mothers in mind when she wrote the story. Intrigued, I bought a copy and I am so glad I did as it is BEAUTIFUL!
One Autumn evening a young mother bundles her child in to pyjamas, a coat and boots and together they head out in to the crisp night. They are going on a walk to look for the moon! Hand in hand they traverse the city streets, catching brief glimpses of the moon as it hides behind buildings and trees. They talk about stars, reflections, the bustling pavements and the flashes of light from the speeding cars until eventually they return home and the child is tucked up warm and safe in bed.
We’re very excited to be part of the cover reveal team for this fab new book by Susannah Lloyd and Paddy Donnelly!
Publishing in February 2021, ‘Here Be Dragons!’ is a fiercely funny story about a hapless knight on a dangerous mission to find and slay a dragon.
His friends have all told them that the fiery beasts don’t exist, but he has discovered a map which seems to suggest otherwise. Determined to prove them wrong, the knight sets off into the wilderness.
Wanda’s words have a sneaky habit of getting stuck. Whenever she tries to speak, the words just won’t come out and this makes her feel nervous and small in front of her teacher and the other children. Everyone else just seems so confident so why can’t she be the same?
Wanda struggles along until one day a new girl joins her class. Flo looks nervously at her new classmates before dropping her eyes to the ground and blushing. In the playground Wanda gives her a little wave and a smile and soon the two are playing quietly alongside each other. They slip into an easy and comfortable friendship where few words are needed. The two girls just seem to ‘get’ each other.
Later that week their teacher announces something which terrifies them both – a school magic contest in which they will have perform a spell in front of the class! Flo and Wanda decide to work together but when the big day arrives they are both dizzy with nerves.
This contemporary fairy tale about an unlikely friendship is breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully atmospheric. If your child is a fan of intrigue and suspense then I would highly recommend The Wolf’s Secret.
In a forest far away lives an enormous wolf with deep, dark fur and big, golden eyes. All of the other animals fear him, but the wolf harbours a secret. He is in love with a young woman who lives in a wooden cabin hidden deep within the trees. Every day he secretly listens to her sing as she collects water from the well and tends to her sick father.
But then one morning the young woman fails to appear so the Wolf edges closer to the cabin. He sees his love sobbing on her father’s empty bed and her sadness consumes him.