Have you heard of The Little Black & White Book Project? Run by mum Ruth Bradford, it’s an award-winning small business which creates beautifully designed black and white board books for babies.
A newborn baby’s sight is a little blurry and their field of vision is only 6-8 inches. They cannot distinguish between shapes or colours but research has shown that the stark contrast in black and white images helps stimulate their vision. If you’ve ever worn a black and white Breton top around a baby you’ll know that they just can’t stop staring. Try it and see!
Ruth’s books are designed to help with early visual stimulation. Each one focuses on the animals from a different region and our favourite is this one – Spectacular Animals of Africa.
When Mouse, Rabbit and Shelly the Tortoise spot the sun going down they realise they need to get home quickly before it gets dark. Mouse suggests taking a shortcut through the creepy crooked creek but Rabbit isn’t sure. What if the tales of hungry crocodiles are true? Mouse is adamant that he has never seen a crocodile there so they all set off together.
It soon transpires that Shelly doesn’t even know what a crocodile is, so Mouse decides to educate him along the way. To reassure his friends, he repeats many times that he has definitely never ever seen a crocodile in the creepy crooked creek – but Rabbit and Shelly start to spot evidence to the contrary.
Here, the brilliant illustrations come in to their own as they start to diverge from the story which Mouse is telling. Just like Rabbit and Shelly, we can see that there are in fact crocodiles EVERYWHERE! The bridge they walk over is a crocodile’s back, the scratchy thorns are pointy claws and the vines they swing on are crocodiles tails – but Mouse just doesn’t seem to see it!
Since receiving this book earlier this summer I have recommended it countless times and purchased it as a gift twice so I figured I should probably write a review!
Grey Mouse has a beautiful little cottage which is filled with love. He doesn’t have a lot of space or material wealth but he is warm, safe and happy. That is until the day he spots a big, spacious house with a grand balcony, and a tiny little bit of jealousy sets in. He presumes that the mouse who lives in this lovely property must be happier than him because he has a bigger house.
However, when he chats to White Mouse – the owner – he learns of an even larger house which makes both of their homes seems tiny. Together they travel to this veritable mansion and a bejewelled Brown Mouse offers to give them a tour. There’s a games room, a parlour, a music room and even an observatory. All of these riches make Grey Mouse and White Mouse extremely sad so they are shocked to discover that Brown Mouse is in fact very lonely.
If you want to teach your children about the environmental and wildlife issues we face today then this is definitely one to add to your list.
When a little boy called Beau spots a frog wearing a blue plastic bottle top as a hat he has no idea that both of their lives are about to change. They strike up a conversation and Beau learns that the frog’s home has been destroyed by pollution. The pond water is littered with plastic bags and bottles, and all of the plants have died.
Beau decides to take his new friend home and together they plant a lovely frangipani in the garden. The frog is so happy with his new home that he invites all of his friends around and soon Beau is surrounded by frogs of all shapes and sizes.
I am quite excited that we seem to have reached a point with Ivy where she’s ready for slightly longer books. We’re definitely nowhere near chapter book territory yet, but she is starting to show an interest in stories with more complicated plots than standard picture books. However, if i’m honest, I’ve struggled to find books which bridge this gap.
We have recently been reading this series of tales about a worm-like creature called Reggie Wriggle and I’ve found them really useful for this stage of reading. They are quite wordy (in a good way!) but also toddler-friendly as you can colour them in.
In this first Reggie Wriggle adventure, Reggie finds himself a little under the weather. He wakes up one morning and can’t stretch his tail and then he starts to develop some uncomfortable lumps and bumps. His best friend Bert soon arrives with a diagnosis. Reggie isn’t getting enough vitamins so he needs to eat more fruit! Together they set off in search of an apple tree, but before long they find themselves slap bang in the middle of an adventure. Can they rescue local farmer Mr Glossop from sinking in to a giant muddy puddle, and will poor Reggie ever get his fruit?
Picking the right pet can be hard. There are so many different animals out there so how are you supposed to choose? The little boy in this story thinks he has the perfect solution. When his mum and dad finally agree to let him have one he places an advert in the local paper asking for possible pets to get in touch.
He receives some promising replies from a pampered pussy cat, a forgetful goldfish and an extremely nibbly goat, but none of them seem quite right. But then the next day he is inundated with post. Gorillas, wolves, horses, emus, bulls and even ants have all written to him in the hope of finding a new home. Now he has so many options that he doesn’t know where to begin!
Things go from bad to worse when animals start turning up at his house. A mob of meerkats set up a security post and won’t let the family leave the house for their own safety and then some beavers arrive and start building a water feature in the garden!
Morris is a magpie with a penchant for all things shiny. Whenever he spots something made of silver, brass or gold he can’t resist picking it up and taking it to his nest. The problem is that all these beautiful items belong to other people!
He steals jewels from the Queen’s crown, wind chimes from a garden, a bell from a cow and even a musical instrument from a small child. It doesn’t matter to him that he made the little girl cry, he believes that all the shiny things should belong to him and therefore he should be allowed to just take what he pleases.
However, when Morris steals a silver alarm clock he gets a lot more than he bargained for. Sleep is extremely important to him, so he’s horrified when this shiny new object starts to ring loudly at 4.30 in the morning. Then 5.30. Then 6.30. Then 7.30….
When I was a kid it really bugged me that I could never, ever find anything with my name on. For years I secretly coveted a tacky china mug or a fake leather key chain with ‘Shelley’ proudly emblazoned on it, but unfortunately it was never meant to be. The idea of an actual book featuring my name would have totally blown my mind, so I was delighted to discover this new series from Little Tiger. Each title comes with a set of alphabet stickers which allow you to personalise the story and become the star of your own story!
There are a number of books in this new series but this one is Ivy’s favourite. It places you front and centre at a busy building site where you are in charge of a shiny yellow digger. You need to gouge out the earth and dig a deep hole, but your progress is hampered when you hit a mysterious object with a loud clang! Can you recover it and find out exactly what it is?
A few weeks ago, Ivy and I were having a chilled morning in our pyjamas with no specific plans for the day – but then this book arrived in the post and everything changed. Suddenly our living room was an exercise studio and Ivy was in stitches trying to hold a Tree pose whilst I read to her about a yoga-loving llama!
Llamaste is a kind and calm creature who loves to practise yoga and look after her friends. The story follows her as she pays each of them a visit and helps them feel better using different yoga poses. A scared flamingo tries the Warrior pose and soon feels like a superhero. A cross tiger calms down using the Downward Dog. Each friend has a different worry for Llamaste to ease and each page encourages your child to consider their own emotions by asking them if they have ever felt this way.
This adorable board book is perfect for a snuggly read before bed. The chunky pages are designed for very small children but Ivy is three and a half and still loves it!
The gentle rhyme celebrates the special bond between parent and child, as we see ladybirds, bumblebees, caterpillars and butterflies cuddle up with their nearest and dearest. I love the choice of language used to describe how the baby bugs make the parent feel. We have even adopted the phrase ‘You tickly pickle’ because Ivy thought it was hilarious!
The pages feature cutouts and raised sections to keep little hands busy and the durable format should foil even the most determined book chewers!