Category

Animals

Beatrix and her Bunnies
by Rebecca Colby & Caroline Bonne-Müller

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!

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Love from Giraffes Can’t Dance
by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

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!’

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Can I Sit With You?
by Sarah Jacoby

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.

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Bunny Makes Breakfast
by Kathryn Smith & Seb Braun

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?

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The Most Wonderful Gift In The World
by Mark Sperring & Lucy Fleming

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.

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Together
by Charles Fuge

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.

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Bear & Mouse Start The Day
by Nicola Edwards & Maria Neradova

This adorable board book follows best friends Bear and Mouse as they start their day. We follow along as they wake up, make plans, cook breakfast, get dressed and head out for some fun at the park.

Every page features a slider or flaps for little hands to play with. Your child will be able to help Mouse do his morning stretch, make toast pop out of a toaster, do up Bear’s coat and help the friends go up and down on a little red see-saw.

There are also lots of questions to encourage children to think about the structure of their own morning. What do they like for breakfast? Can they dress themselves? What are their favourite activities?

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I Really, Really Need A Wee
by Karl Newson & Duncan Beedie

Bush Baby needs a wee. In fact, she really, really needs a wee. She definitely didn’t need to go before she left home (sound familar?!?) but now the situation is really quite desperate and there isn’t a toilet in sight. What on earth is she going to do?

First she tries to think about something else – but that doesn’t work. Then she sets off in search of a loo but ends up being chased by a bear! Now she needs to wee so badly that she’s jiggling up and down and it looks like everything is about to go badly wrong…

Suddenly, she spots a public toilet in the middle of the woods and she whoops with delight. But there’s one small problem – there are at least a hundred animals in front of her in the queue! Will she be able to make it to the bathroom on time?

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Under The Great Plum Tree by Sufiya Ahmed & Reza Dalvand

I am a tiny bit fascinated by the animal fables which have been passed down through many generations and cultures. I love trying to piece together the moral at the core of the story and the fact they’re often accompanied by traditional illustrations in bright and bold colours.

This particular book is a modern reworking of ‘the monkey and the crocodile’ which comes from the Panchatantra, an ancient indian collection of fables which dates back to 200-300 AD.

Miss Bandari is a monkey with a heart of gold who befriends an old crocodile called Mr Magarmach. He is hungry and tired so she lets him rest beneath her tree and she throws down juicy red plums for him to eat. The pair become best pals and they spend many hours together, sharing tales of adventure and enjoying each others company.

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This Is Crab
by Harriet Evans & Jacqui Lee

Ivy loves books which require a little bit of audience participation and this is one of her current favourites!

At the start of the story we join Crab as he sets off on an adventure across the ocean floor. He needs some gentle coaxing and some assistance along the way though. Can your child help?

There is arm waving, finger tapping, book shaking, counting, tickling and lots, lots more. At one point crab even gets lost and you need to lift the flaps to find him!

This is such an entertaining book and Ivy returns to it again and again. The brightly coloured illustrations are wonderful and we spot new details every time we read it. It’s a great way of introducing kids to life on the sea bed and Crab encounters lots of different creatures which are fun to identify, including an octopus, sea turtles and clown fish. Ivy was also fascinated to discover that crabs shed their shells in the same way that snakes shed their skin!

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