Ivy’s dad and I will be getting married later this year so it seems appropriate to kick off 2019 with a book about a wedding – although hopefully ours will go a little more smoothly than the one in this story!
Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are two scarecrows who are very much in love. When Harry proposes, Betty is overjoyed and the pair start planning the best wedding the farm has ever seen. They make a list of all the things they will need – “a dress of white feathers, a necklace of shells, lots of pink flowers, two rings and some bells” – and then set off together to gather the beloved items together.
Soon they have everything except the pink flowers so Harry heads off on his own to find some whilst Betty has a little nap. However things don’t quite go to plan and Harry ends up being away for such a long time that the Farmer brings in a new scarecrow to replace him! Reginald Rake is the total opposite of Harry O’Hay. He’s selfish and showy and he isn’t nice to Betty at all. He boasts about all the things he can do but Betty isn’t impressed – she just wants her lovely Harry back.
But then things take a perilous turn. Reginald Rake tries to show Betty how good he is at blowing smoke rings, but he drops his cigar and sets the field alight. Will Harry make it back in time to save his bride?
This is one of our favourites from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a lovely mix of romance and adventure and Ivy gets very excited as the story twists and turns at the end.
I guess you could choose to criticise the fact that we have a girl scarecrow being rescued by a boy scarecrow – but I think that does the story a disservice. I prefer to focus on the way the story shows the difference between someone who respects women and someone who doesn’t.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2GQEo7Z
Thoughtful George has a plan. As Santa brings him presents every single year, this Christmas George decides he’s going to take some gifts to Santa instead. He makes himself a sleigh, packs a big box of presents (throwing in some extra woolly socks for himself just in case it gets cold!) and he sets off for the North Pole.
However when he gets there he is met by a little elf in despair. They are really behind at wrapping the presents and Rudolph’s nose has stopped glowing because he has flu. George mucks in to help and soon everything is ready for Santa’s journey. He digs in to his box of presents and gives the elves some treats to make them feel better and also finds a torch for Rudolph. However the other reindeer get a little over-excited at the sight of all the presents and soon the big box of gifts George had brought for Santa is empty!
We love this festive lift-the-flap book which will appeal to fans of the 80’s classic ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’.
Join a group of bunnies, wrapped up warm in their winter woollies, as they head off on an adventure to find Santa’s elves. On the way they encounter sliding penguins, chirping robins, snoring polar bears and clippy cloppy reindeer.
The bunnies do an excellent job of manoeuvring around the obstacles in their path but they will need your child’s help to find all the elves, who are sneakily hidden away behind flaps on the pages.
Ramsey and Blue, two rescue dogs, are fast asleep in their beds dreaming of sausages when Santa and his reindeer come crashing down in their back garden. Some of the reindeer have colds and are too ill to pull the sleigh – but Santa still has a whole sack of presents to deliver and he doesn’t know what to do.
Fortunately the two dogs have a solution! Ramsey, a lurcher, is super strong and Blue is a retired greyhound who can run really fast. With a sprinkle of magic they leap to the skies and they pull Santa’s sleigh with ease.
Soon all of the presents have been safely delivered and grateful Santa asks them to make a wish. Will they ask for more sausages or will they ask for something which benefits dogs less fortunate than themselves?
When little Albie goes to the museum with his mum he is expecting the visit to be dull, dull, dull. However the arctic exhibition holds a lot more than just boring old exhibits!
Albie tries on a wintry outfit and is just about to start building an igloo out of blocks when BAM a snowflake falls on his nose, followed by a whole flurry of real snow. As Albie turns in confusion he sees a polar bear running towards him and realises he has magically entered an arctic world!
He befriends a little girl called Yura who is desperately trying to make her way home in the snow. Together they head off on an icy adventure featuring polar bears, an avalanche and some howling wolves. But will Albie be able to help Yura find her way home or will they be lost forever?
Penguin Small has a lot of fears. He is scared of the nasty polar bears bears who have been playing tricks on him and his friends, he’s scared of water and he’s not a big fan of being on his own. So when all of the other penguins decide enough is enough and head out to sea to make a new life in the South Pole, he is left in an unhappy position. He can’t follow them because he won’t go in the water, but he can’t stay because of the polar bears and the loneliness. What is a little penguin to do?
At exactly the right moment a Snowman appears and a series of events result in them floating off to sea on a small piece of ice and discovering a beautiful tropical island. The new friends meets lots of exciting new animals in this weird and wonderful place and the Snowman vows that he will stay there forever.
At the top of a very tall hill stands a lonely snowball in a tiny yellow hat. As he stares down at the little town miles below him he decides that today is the day his life is going to change. He’s going to leave his quiet hill and go and find some new friends to have fun with.
As he takes the first few steps towards this new adventure he trips and falls – and starts rolling down the hill! Being a snowball, he gathers more snow as he rolls. Getting bigger and faster, his descent is soon out of control! His big snowy body collects things as he rolls – first some twigs and a pebble, then a sheep, some pants and even an acrobat team. Even rolling through the zoo doesn’t slow him down.
What will happen when he finally reaches the bottom of the hill and will he make the new friends he so needed?
This magical story is about a little girl called Josephine who loves to run. When her running shoes begin to get a little tight she buys a new pair from an old lady who has a shoe shop filled with cats. The lady tells her that the shoes are magic bit she won’t reveal their special powers!
When Josephine leaves the shop she discovers she is being chased by a big white polar bear. She runs and runs and runs until she reaches a tall, snow-capped mountain. Feeling defeated, Josephine worries that she won’t be able to climb it to escape the bear – but then her shoes start to talk. They utter a little motivational rhyme before magically turning in to snow boots!
Josephine successfully climbs the mountain but the bear is still hot on her heels. Fortunately the magic shoes know just what to do. When they encounter snow, they turn in to skis. For a muddy bog they transform in to yellow wellies. And when Josephine stumbles upon the shores of a lake they become flippers and power her across to an island.
In Huffenpuffen Valley, dragons and humans live peacefully side by side. The dragons are very well-liked because they are really useful companions – in the winter they light bonfires and fireworks, and in the summer they help with campfires and roast corn on the cob with their flames!
But there’s one dragon who is a little bit different. Jasper breathes water instead of fire! He tries his absolute hardest to assist the people in the valley but the jets of water he sprays just leave them cold, wet and unhappy. Poor Jasper decides that the best thing to do is leave the people alone and just be by himself.
Then one day a fire breaks out at a nearby house and Jasper realises he can help. He swoops down and sprays his water through the windows and over the roof and soon the fire is distinguished. Jasper has saved the day! He may not be able to breathe fire but it turns out he has a very bright future ahead of him as a firefighter.
Poor Gary the Gorilla. He absolutely loves bananas but one day he discovers that there are no more left. What on earth is he going to do? But Gary doesn’t panic. He puts on his hat and heads out to try and find some.
Fortunately he spots some of his favourite fruit right outside his house – what luck! But no. Poor Gary realises he is hallucinating when the ‘bananas’ start to woof. He walks all around the town seeing ‘bananas’ everywhere he goes – but there isn’t a single real banana in sight!
Eventually he bumps in to a giant banana which turns out to be a rocket and when he looks up he sees what looks like a banana in the night sky. He hops in the rocket and heads for the stars. Is it possible that he could find bananas in space?