Category

Animals

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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Everybody’s Welcome
by Patricia Hegarty & Greg Abbott

In the middle of the forest stands a tiny little Mouse, daydreaming of her very first home. Her thoughts are disturbed by a Frog who explains that his pond has dried up so he has no place to go. Mouse takes this to be a sign and she suggests that they build a house together.

As construction begins, more animals appear and each has a sad tale to tell. There are rabbits who have been chased from their home by an eagle, birds who have had their tree chopped down and a big brown bear who feels isolated because his size scares people.

Mouse comforts each displaced creature in turn and invites them to be a part of her project. Soon they are all working together to build the perfect home, where they can all reside safely together.

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There’s A Mouse In My House
by Ross Collins

Have you read ‘There’s A Bear On My Chair‘ by Ross Collins? It’s been a firm favourite in our house for years and was one of the books I reviewed way back in the early days of Ivy’s Library.

Now the cheeky duo are back and the tables have been turned. In the first book, Mouse was extremely annoyed at Bear for sitting in his chair and refusing to move. This time it’s Bear’s turn to feel the frustration because Mouse has taken up residence in his house and is driving him crazy!

Poor Bear. All he wants to do is relax in his own home but Mouse just won’t go away and his hobbies are a little extreme. From practising Taekwondo and pretending to be a pirate through to blasting out soft rock and eating the contents of the fridge, Mouse is not a good house guest at all.

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Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise
by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend

It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is utterly adorable!

Little Rabbit is a very bored bunny, so when the opportunity comes along for her to spend the day with her grandfather – Big Rabbit – she is very excited indeed. Big Rabbit tells her he has lots of work to do and she can be his assistant. Little Rabbit thinks this sounds like fun but she’s a little confused. As far as she’s aware her grandfather doesn’t have a job – he just spends all his time talking to his friends!

Over the course of the day the two rabbits encounter lots of different animals who need help. The entrance to Mole’s new burrow is much darker than he had realised and he’s worried that Little Mole and his friends might take a tumble. Granny Hedgehog has a nasty cold and she’s feeling very lonely in her little nest by herself. Dormouse has just moved in to a new house but it needs a lot of work and he has four little babies to  feed and look after. And poor Squirrel has sprained her paw which means she can’t forage for food for her young children.

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Oi Aardvark!
by Kes Gray & Jim Field

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.

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Owl Always Love You: A Bedtime Book of Love! by Patricia Hegarty & Bryony Clarkson

Books about sleep are always great for calming over-excited kids before bedtime and this particular one is ridiculously cute and very soothing.

“Time for bed, my little one, another day is through. As we snuggle up together, you know owl always love you.”

Written in gentle rhyme, this chunky board book takes us on a tour of the forest as all the baby animals settle down to sleep. We see little owls, bunnies, dormice, hedgehogs, squirrels and songbirds be coaxed in to bed by their grown ups and snuggle down for the night.

With glossy pages, raised sections and clever cut outs, this is a warm and cozy story for curious toddlers to explore. The pages are brimming with love plus the gorgeous illustrations give you the opportunity to talk about different kinds of animal homes and habitats.

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