With picture books I generally find the simplest ideas have the biggest impact, and ‘The Cat and the Rat and the Hat’ is an absolutely perfect example of this. It’s colourful, creative and uses short, sharp rhymes to great comic effect.
Cat is having a lovely snooze on his favourite mat when he sees a rat wearing a lovely big hat. The cat decides he definitely wants the hat so he chases the rat – but what happens when they encounter a bat wearing a fancy cravat? Who gets the hat? Who gets the cravat? Who will sit on the mat? Will it be Cat, Bat or Rat?
Honestly – even typing that made me laugh so you can imagine how much fun this story is to read aloud with little ones! Toddlers and pre-schoolers will love the rhythm and the cheeky, tongue-twisting humour – and if your child is in their Reception year at school (like Ivy) there’s an extra level of enjoyment to be had…
It’s nighttime at the farm but little Mouse can’t sleep because it’s just too quiet. He tosses and turns in his bed until his mother comes to sit with him. She suggests that he snuggles down and lets the soft noises of the night carry him into slumber.
The mouse listens carefully and soon his little ears pick up the sounds of a bullfrog croaking nearby and some crickets chirping in the long grass. The old screen door bangs, the wind whistles through the trees and somewhere in the distance a coyote howls.
Alarmed the Mouse gets out of bed and opens the window. Where once it had all semed quiet, now he can hear nothing but pure noise. Owls, dogs, snoring, creaking, tapping – where is all this noise coming from and how on earth is he supposed to get to sleep?
“Elephants never forget, but Edmund did forget… a lot.”
Poor Edmund. Everyone knows that elephants have fantastic memories so he’s very self-conscious about the fact he is a little forgetful. Fortunately his mum is on hand to help, teaching him songs and writing him lists to help him remember important things.
However today Edmund is a little stressed as he’s been tasked with collecting some essentials for his brother’s birthday party. As usual, Mum has written him a list but Edmund has accidentally left it behind! Edmund panics but then he hears the voice of his friend Colin the Caterpillar. Colin knows what was on the list so as they approach the Party Shop he shouts out each item to Edmund.
In the beautiful city of Aleppo in Syria a little stray cat plays happily in the sunshine. She lives a charmed life, chasing butterflies, exploring the marble mosques and being fed by the locals – until one day, humans in big boots arrive and everything goes dark.
Now surrounded by sadness and war, the little cat doesn’t know what to do. She watches the city crumble around her and is startled by the loud noises and angry voices. She doesn’t understand where her friends have gone and why there is suddenly no food. She is hungry and afraid so she hides herself away in the darkness of the city.
I’ve read countless stories by Beatrix Potter but I have to admit that until I read this beautifully illustrated picture book I didn’t know anything about her life. Did you know that Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit were real live animals which she befriended? Nope. Me either!
At the start of Rebecca Colby’s story, young Beatrix is living in London and feeling very lonely indeed. She loves animals and has lots of pets but none of them can really play with her in the way that she’d like. But then, on a visit to the countryside, she meets Benjamin, a mischievous bunny who loves snuggles and games. Finally the little girl has a friend!
I totally meant to post about this book on Valentine’s Day but, despite searching the whole house, I couldn’t find it anywhere. This morning I found it lodged down the side of Ivy’s bed which means she must have snuck it upstairs to read by herself! I’m not surprised though, as we have so many happy memories attached to lovely Gerald the Giraffe.
The original ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ story was one of the first picture books I read with Ivy when she was a baby and it is still a firm favourite. We were both so happy to receive this gorgeous new board book featuring all over our favourite characters.
The beautiful rhyme, written in Giles Andreae’s signature style, celebrates all of the ways which love can make us feel. Our favourite line is:
‘You make me want to somersault and leap up in the air.
You make me want to sing and skip and boogie everywhere!’
This heartwarming and stunningly illustrated book will tug on the heart strings of anyone who has ever had a beloved pet. Reading it brought back lots of happy memories of the cocker spaniel we had when I was a child. Pugsley (yes – I know! My brother and I were fans of The Addams Family at the time!) was incredibly naughty but gave the best snuggles.
At the start of this story we see a small stray dog brandishing a stick. He is looking for someone to play with him so he approaches a lonely little girl. What follows is a beautiful love story which lasts for many years.
Happy Shrove Tuesday! Did you make pancakes with your little bunny today?
This gorgeous board book follows a family of rabbits as they source ingredients and cook themselves a delicious breakfast – but they need your help!
They start off in the kitchen, where your child is encouraged to lift the flaps to find flour, maple syrup and butter. Next up they head outside for berries, fresh eggs and creamy milk from the cows.
Little Bunny is very excited but really isn’t sure what they’re making. Can your child help them guess what will be served up?
When Esme and Bear finish opening their Christmas presents they are surprised to discover one last gift hidden away at the back of tree. It’s a small box wrapped in red paper with a beautiful golden bow. Who could it be for?
The tag reveals that the intended recipient is Little Bunny Boo-Boo – but they don’t now who that is! Saddened by the prospect of someone missing out on a gift, they pull on their hats and coats and head out in to the snow. Fortunately they spot a sign for Little Bunny Boo-Boo’s house straight away but it looks like the journey might be a tiny bit tricky….
First they have to slip and slide down a treacherous path and then they have to walk through a howling gale. When they come to a deep snow drift they consider giving up but they know in their hearts that they need to get the gift to its rightful owner.
If you have been searching for the perfect snuggly bedtime book then you can stop now as I have found it! This beautiful story feels like an enormous hug.
In a vast landscape of ice and snow a polar bear and cub find warmth and comfort in each others company. We watch as they explore their surroundings, battle snowstorms and find joy in small things. They dream of faraway lands, gaze at the stars in the night sky and master new skills. Life in the snow may be tough at times but they know they will never be lonely as they have each other.
Written in gentle, reassuring rhyme this story celebrates love and kindness. The icy tones of the illustrations are really calming and the bears are depictied beautifully. I find myself drawn to the depth of love you can see in their eyes as they live their lives peacefully side by side.