Violet is usually a cheerful, bubbly little girl but right now she feels a little lost. She’s recently discovered that she will be playing one of the lead roles in her school play and she’s plagued with worry. Learning the lines isn’t a problem for her but she’s really nervous about public speaking. What if she messes up? What if she freezes? What if everyone laughs at her?
As Violet’s emotions swirl, her family and friends surround her with love and support. Her grandmother provides cuddles and patiently sews her a costume, her uncles suggest ways she could feel more confident on stage, and her teacher calmly and quietly reassures her at every rehearsal. Everyone knows she is capable of doing a fantastic job but all Violet feels is doubt. Why did they choose her? Why didn’t they select someone ‘better’?
How does your child treat their books? Do they handle them with reverence or do you routinely find yourself erasing scribbles and patching up ripped spines with sellotape? When Ivy was tiny she used to like to suck on the corners of board books but fortunately these days she likes to keep her little library in pristine condition.
‘Book Hospital’, a brand new story from Leigh Hodgkinson, teaches children to look after their books and gives us an adorable look at what happens to them when they need some TLC.
Our protagonist is a super cute picture book who loves his life. He takes great joy in telling stories to children and is proud that he’s a little bit tatty around the edges because it shows he is well-loved. Recently though he’s been hearing about some books who haven’t quite been so lucky. Several of his pals have ended up in Book Hospital after encounters with over-enthusiastic kids. Nibbles, scribbles and a nasty encounter with some strawberry yoghurt have resulted in them spending a few days being tended to by special doctors and nurses.
Hands up if you have a child with a dark sense of humour!
In most respects Ivy is a sensitive little soul but she loves stories which feature a shady character or an unexpected plot twist. As soon as I picked up this book – Bad Apple by Huw Lewis Jones and Ben Sanders – I knew it was going to be a hit with her.
Apple is not a very nice character. He steals Pear’s chair. He drinks Pea’s tea. He steals Cat’s hat. He even pushes Spud in the mud. He seems to enjoy making life miserable for those around him and he shows absolutely no remorse. As we move from page to page Apple’s behaviour gets worse and worse, but eventually he makes a mistake by underestimating Snake. Will he get the comeuppance he deserves?
Humphrey the whale is never quite satisfied. He glides through the ocean with his many possessions strapped to his back, always on the look out for the next new thing to capture his attention. However, no matter how many treasures he amasses, he always wants more.
Driven by his desire to consume, Humphrey lives a lonely and dissatisfied life until one day he spots a reef which is bursting with colour and life. There are so many shiny, fun things – surely this is what he has been looking for? He circles above, constructing a plan.
Unbeknownst to him, the creatures who live below are also unhappy. Instead of seeing the beauty of their magical surroundings they bicker and shout at each other, jostling for space amongst the coral. They’re too busy being grumpy to notice the covetous whale start to swim down towards them…
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?
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?
2020 will be remembered as the year we found ourselves separated from friends and family, but in many ways it brought people closer together. Our local community banded around to make sure everyone had food and shelter and there was a huge surge of support for our precious small businesses. Kindness was everywhere and I really hope that this continues into 2021 and beyond!
This gorgeous little ABC book is a great way to introduce the concept of kindness to small children. Each letter of the alphabet is illustrated with a tangible act which is easy for toddlers and pre-schoolers to understand. You can Brighten someone’s day with a smile. You can Stand up for someone else. You can Thank others and make them feel appreciated. You can Understand that everyone has their own way of doing things. Each suggestion is a small thing which costs you nothing but the positive impact it has is clear to see.
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?
You know how sometimes yawning is contagious? Well, when a little boy does a massive yawn at the start of this story he kicks off a chain reaction beyond his wildest dreams.
Once his yawn is out there in the world, everyone else starts yawning too. The boy passes his yawn on to a dog, who passes it on to a cat, who passies it on to a tiny mouse… Soon the whole town is yawning and it spreads through the countryside too.
Next the yawn goes international, passing through the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal and even the North Pole. Peope start yawning on buses and trains and on ships and planes. The yawn even spreads on to a rocket and heads in to space!
You’ve probably spotted that I’ve shared quite a few books about kindness of late. With Ivy starting school last week we have been spending a lot of time talking about friendship, specifically around being kind and sharing and I’ve been using books as a way to get those conversations started.
This brightly coloured board book teaches children that kindness doesn’t have to involve great sweeping gestures. Whether it’s waving hello to someone you know, sharing your favourite food, taking turns, or giving someone a cuddle, it’s the little things which count.
Featuring a diverse group of children in familiar, everyday situations, the simple text and heartwarming illustrations clearly show how a good deed can make someone’s day and help to make the community stronger.