If you’ve been following us a while you’ll know we are huge fans of the Oi Frog & Friends series from genius duo Kes Gray and Jim Field. We have all the books in the series and Ivy literally jumped for joy when the latest was delivered to our door.
A quick recap in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years and haven’t encountered these joyful stories before… Frog, Cat and Dog are 3 friends with a penchant for rhyme and a slightly unhealthy preoccupation with seating arrangements. Cat started the trend in book 1 (Oi Frog!) when she insisted that frogs can only sit on logs then Frog took up the baton in book 2 (Oi Dog!) and has been a tiny bit obsessed ever since.
Today is the big day! Ivy had her very first day at school. She went through the gate full of smiles ready for her big adventure so I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the transition is a smooth one.
One of the books we’ve been reading over the weekend to prepare her is this gorgeous hardback called ‘Wise Before Five’ which I spotted over on Instagram and simply had to buy. It has helped reassure her that she actually knows lots of things and is more than ready for school.
Featuring a diverse cast of children (including a child in a wheelchair and a child with a hearing aid), this essential guide to being almost five covers a wide range of topics whilst quietly celebrating the joy of being unique.
I studied French at university so I am really keen for Ivy to learn some basic words and phrases whilst she is small. This brand new book from Jim Field – his first as both author and illustrator – is absolutely perfect for that!
Monsieur Roscoe is a friendly little dog with a pet goldfish called Fry. The pair are about to set off on the holiday of a lifetime to visit some friends, but first they have to pack. As they throw all of the things they need in to a suitcase we see that each one is labelled on the page in both French and English. This continues throughout the book, giving your child the opportunity to learn lots of new French words.
Once packed they say goodbye to their friends and set off on their adventure. They get stuck in traffic on the way to the train station, which gives us the opportunity to learn the words for different kinds of vehicles and the names of the many shops they pass.
If you’re looking for a gift for a new baby, or a sweet bedtime read for a toddler then i’d like to draw your attention to the ABC of Kindness because it is utterly adorable!
The gentle rhyme takes us on a soothing trip through the alphabet, highlighting all the ways we can be kind to each other. Whether it’s F for Forgiveness, P for Patience or U for Understanding, this sturdy little board book is the perfect way to introduce the concept of kindness from a very early age.
The book features a host of loveable animal characters and the illustrations exude warmth and comfort. Ivy’s favourite is the little elephant who pops up on multiple pages with a joyful smile on his face.
Quick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field always gives us the giggles!
Quentin is a duck with a very unusual problem. His quack has lost an A so he can only say quck. He goes to the doctor for help but the he can only offer him a D, O, C, T, O or R and those letters don’t help him at all.
Bemused, Quentin heads to a nearby farm to see he can borrow their A – but they’re not interested in becoming a frm and the farmer doesn’t want to be a frmer. He speaks to a dog, a hen, a pig and a bull who let him try out their vowels but a quock, a queck, a quick and a quuck just don’t sound right. What is poor Quentin going to do?
Ivy is fascinated by this multi-sensory board book which shows wild animals and their habitats.
Each page features a different animal and they’re all beautifully drawn with really cute faces. The combination of raised and concave sections (which fit together so that the pages aren’t bulky in any way) give your child lots to explore. They can trace their fingers across the bumps and shapes whilst trying to identify the different creatures. Our favourite is the zebra page – Ivy loves the baby zebra hidden amongst the stripy trees!
The book also provides some inspiration for older toddlers by showing a small word cluster for each animal. The combination of nouns, adjectives and verbs will teach them new words and also give parents some great discussion points around the pictures.
We have lots of word books but this big chunky board version is definitely Ivy’s favourite. It features 150 words across a wide variety of topics, including clothes, food, vehicles, animals, mealtime and bedtime.
Each durable page features at least one textured image for your child to play with – a cosy blanket, a rough sponge, a corduroy jacket, some denim jeans – which make the book a great interactive experience as well as a learning tool.
The animal section is definitely the highlight, with really cute illustrations and lots of fur to stroke and scales to explore.
My only criticism (as someone in the UK) is that there is a handful of Americanisms in here (zucchini, eggplant etc) but it’s such a small percentage that I don’t feel it affects the book as a whole.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2jyVuZK
I bought this book online on a whim purely because I fell in love with the artwork on the front. I had no idea what it was about or whether it was any good but fortunately when it arrived the contents lived up to the cover!
The book is an alphabet of feelings, with each double page dedicated to one letter/emotion and a corresponding image. The range of emotions covered is really wide and the beautiful illustrations and colours give a fantastic sense of how each one feels.
From Adored and Brilliant to Yucky and Zzzz (via Jealous, Patient and Warm) this gorgeous book is a fantastic way to start discussing emotions and feelings with your child.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2uCxnSj
Poor Stick Man. All he wants to do is go for a little jog but everyone interferes and he ends up on an epic adventure trying to get back to his family.
First a dog uses him as a stick, then a little girl uses him as a pooh stick, then a swan weaves him in to her nest, then a dad uses him as a flag mast for a sand castle…
As Christmas approaches he worries that he won’t reach his family, but a chance encounter with Santa might just get him home on time.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2B1kuQa