We are huge fans of the Shifty McGifty series here. In the very first book, we saw Shifty and his best friend Sam give up their life of crime and open a cafe when they discovered they were much better at baking cakes than robbing houses. In this fantastic sequel we see them use their skills for good as they help track down an infamous cat burglar.
The story begins at the newly-opened cafe, where all of the local dogs gather for a good gossip, a coffee and some cake. They begin to discuss the fact that a notorious robber called Kitty Le Claw has been spotted in town and and has been causing lots of trouble.
Together the dogs decide to hatch a secret plan to catch the criminal, but before they can get started a poor, rain-sodden cat called Dotty comes in and ask for their help. Eager to be good dogs, they offer her a job at their cafe – but perhaps Dotty is not all that she seems…
Kipper is undoubtedly one of the best-loved characters in children’s literature and this year he is celebrating a very special birthday. The little pup has just turned 30! To mark the occasion, ‘The Blue Balloon’ (Kipper’s very first adventure) has been re-released in a shiny new anniversary edition.
When we first meet Kipper he is carrying a soggy little blue balloon. He takes it to his owner, a small boy, and together they play with it. It’s not long before they realise that it is a very special balloon indeed. They squish it and squash it and kick it and stretch it but it just doesn’t burst – not even when Kipper tries to bite it! It changes shape all by itself and one day it floats so high that Kipper and the little boy find themselves up amongst the stars!
It’s almost time for bed but Olive, Barney and Ella aren’t ready just yet. They want to go on one last adventure before they fall asleep! Olive wants to go to the jungle, whilst Barney wants to head out in search of treasure. And Ella? Well she would secretly really like to see a dragon.
The three friends hop in to a giant hot air balloon which has magically appeared outside their window and then whoooosh, they’re off!
Their first stop is a pirate ship which they eagerly explore, but their time is cut short when the crew decide they don’t want to share their treasure. Next they float down in to the jungle but a hungry tiger makes them a little nervous about staying. This adventure really isn’t working out as planned and poor Ella still hasn’t see a dragon!
This book is aimed at slightly older toddlers, but if you like art and have a child who will happily sit still for a 10 minute story then I would definitely recommend it!
The clever tale is about a little girl called Katie who visits an art gallery with her grandma. Katie finds herself standing in front of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and is amazed at how real the flowers look. She reaches forward to touch them and her hand magically goes right in to the painting! She is so shocked that she knocks the vase and the sunflowers fall right off the canvas and on to the floor of the gallery. What on earth should she do now?
When Mummy Cow announces that it’s time for bed she’s not surprised when her little calves say no. After all, resisting bedtime is just what kids do. However these siblings have a very unusual reason for not wanting to catch some Zzzzs – they’re Supercows!
They excitedly explain to their mum that they can’t possibly go to bed because they simply have too much to do. Their Supercow duties include catching pirates, rescuing dragons from angry princesses, fixing broken tractors and fighting foes. If they go to sleep then who will be there to save the world? Fortunately Mummy Cow has a cunning plan…
This book is fairly new to our collection but it has quickly become a firm favourite!
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam are a pair of robber dogs – their goal is to steal things to make lots of money. The problem is that they are absolutely rubbish at it! Every night they come home with empty swag bags having failed yet again to burgle a bank or a shop. They decide that in order to increase their chances of success they need an easier target – their neighbours. Their plan is to hold a party, invite them all round and then sneak in to their house and steal their belongings whilst they’re having fun.
So that the party seems legit, they whip up some doughnuts, cupcakes and fruit pies, and they discover that they’re actually pretty good at baking. Very good, actually – and it turns out to be fun too! When the day of the party arrives their neighbours are all very impressed with the sugary treats and declare them the “best buns in town”.
We’re big fans of the Little People Big Dreams series and this one about Amelia Earhart is currently getting a lot of attention from Ivy.
The story begins with Amelia as a small child who is fascinated by the thought of flying. She dreams of flapping her wings and taking to the skies. As she gets older she visits air shows and her passion for flight grows and grows. As soon as she is able to sit in a plane she knows that this is where her destiny lies and she sets out to make it happen.
After a lot of hard work she becomes the first woman to fly up to 14,000 feet and later becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. As the story ends we see her take on the ultimate challenge – to fly right the way around the world.
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.