Category

Animals

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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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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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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Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett

Dragon PostWhat would you do if you found a dragon living in your basement?

When little Alex finds himself in this situation he is beside himself with excitement but he knows that he’s going to have to get some expert advice so that the dragon doesn’t burn down his house.

First he writes to the Fire Brigade, who send him back some excellent advice on keeping the dragon cool and moist. Next he contacts a local butcher to find out what the dragon might like to eat. The reply is a little concerning (the butcher is quite keen to find out what dragon meat tastes like!) but offers up some useful suggestions re dragon diets. Soon Alex and his dragon are having lots of fun!

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Zara DogDog On The School Run by Anna Crichton & Siobhan Barlow

Zara DogDogThis lovely book is the first in a series called ‘The Zara DogDog Club’ which is designed to teach children how to behave around dogs.

Children of this age are very focused on themselves and the things which make them happy but the story is told from the perspective of the dog which helps kids see how their own actions might make a dog feel.

The story starts with Zara DogDog being awoken by an alarm clock. It’s time for Amelia and Isaac, her owners, to get ready for school. Excited at the prospect of a big walk, she paces around waiting for them and then heads excitedly out of the door. She really enjoys the walk with all the sights, sounds and smells but when she gets to the school she becomes scared. Lots of loud children run towards her and try to touch her and she doesn’t know if they are friendly. Frightened, she lets out a growl.

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Shifty McGifty And Slippery Sam: The Cat Burglar by Tracey Corderoy & Steven Lenton

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Cat BurglarWe 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…

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The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen

The Blue BalloonKipper 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! 

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Aaaarrgghh, Spider! by Lydia Monks

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!The little spider in this book is very lonely – all he wants is a family of his own. So the enterprising little fellow finds a family he likes and sets about trying to become their pet. The problem is that they’re all scared of spiders!

He tries to impress them with his dancing, he shows them how nice and clean  he is by hanging out in the bath and he builds a web and catches flies to prove he’s self-sufficient and can feed himself. However every time they seem him they yell ‘Aaaarrgghh! Spider!’ and throw him back outside.

Feeling defeated, the poor lonely spider decides to set up house in their garden instead and builds himself a giant sparkly web. Will this be the final straw for the family or will they see the spider as a potential pet after all?

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell & Henry Cole

And Tango Makes ThreeThis gorgeous classic tells the true story of two very special male penguins at Central Park Zoo.

Choosing to ignore the female penguins, Roy and Silo are inseparable. They sing together, bow to each other and go on little strolls around the penguin enclosure. When they see the other penguins pair up and build a nest of stones they do the same and snuggle up to sleep. Soon however they see that the other penguins all have eggs in their nests. They watch as the eggs grow then hatch, and they want a baby penguin of their own.

Clever Roy spots a large round stone which looks just like an egg. He brings it home to Silo and they pop it in their nest. For days and days they take turns sitting on the egg, just as they have seen the other penguins do, but no baby penguin appears.

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Hop Little Bunnies by Martha Mumford & Laura Hughes

Hop Little BunniesIvy always gets excited when we receive parcels of books in the post but when we opened this one she was bouncing with joy as it combines two of her favourite things – the song ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ and lots and lots of little flaps to lift and explore.

Adapted from the popular nursery rhyme, this beautiful book starts with a group of very sleepy bunnies lazing on picnic blankets. You are invited to wake them up by lifting the flaps and then turn the page to see them all ‘hop hop hop’.

The group of bunnies then take a little walk through the countryside and find lots of other animals having a snooze, including lambs, chicks, kittens and ducklings. Your little one can wake them all up by lifting the flaps (or by yelling ‘WAAAAAAKE UUUUUUP’ as Ivy chose to do!) and watch them play together.

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