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.
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.
Today is the big day! Ivy had her very first day at school. She went through the gate full of smiles ready for her big adventure so I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the transition is a smooth one.
One of the books we’ve been reading over the weekend to prepare her is this gorgeous hardback called ‘Wise Before Five’ which I spotted over on Instagram and simply had to buy. It has helped reassure her that she actually knows lots of things and is more than ready for school.
Featuring a diverse cast of children (including a child in a wheelchair and a child with a hearing aid), this essential guide to being almost five covers a wide range of topics whilst quietly celebrating the joy of being unique.
I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t label children based on their behaviour so the first time I read this book I practically punched the air with joy. Lauren Child totally gets it! A positive label can put pressure on a child to conform and a negative label can affect their self worth or give them something to hide behind when faced with a challenge. No one is ever completely good/bad, or quiet/loud or any other combination of opposites we regularly see used to categorise people.
Chirton is a good boy. He eats broccoli, goes to bed on time and cleans the rabbit’s cage without making a fuss. He’s so good that his parents have even given him a badge with ‘Goody’ written on it. Chirton tells us: “If people have decided you are good, do not disappoint them by being bad.”
Life is different for his sister Myrtle though as she is a bad child. She won’t eat broccoli, doesn’t go to bed on time and never cleans the rabbit’s cage. Their parents don’t even try to make her behave anymore as it’s just too difficult. Myrtle tells us: “If people have decided you are bad, do not disappoint them by being good.”
What’s your bedtime ritual with your child? Our routine is generally bathtime, pyjamas, milk, teeth, books and then bed although this sometimes gets shaken up a little if we’re away or one of us is ill. You may do something similar but equally your evenings may look very different to ours. ‘Goodnight World’ by Nicola Edwards and Hannah Tolson follows a group of children from around the world as they come to the end of their day.
The gentle rhyme guides us through the different things a child may do before going to sleep. We see a baby being rocked, a boy having a bath and a group of children jostling around a sink brushing their teeth. We see siblings tidying up toys and snuggling up for a story, a child saying goodnight to an absent loved one on the phone and even a group in a tent, settling down to watch the stars.
Scribble and Swoop are the best of friends and they love spending time together, having fun and pursuing their hobbies. Scribble enjoys writing and performing plays, whilst Swoop likes to build things with scraps of wood.
When the pair decide to set up home together they are very excited. They unpack their belongings and then sit in in the shade on their beautiful new veranda. As they sit quietly in the cool breeze, they each have a thought. Scribble thinks that the veranda would be the perfect setting for his plays, whilst Swoop is dreaming of turning it in to a workshop.
The next morning there’s a terrible squabble as the two friends argue over how they should use the space. Shouting ensues and they each stomp off in a huff.
We absolutely loved the previous collaboration between Judy Carey Nevin and Susie Hammer – All Kids are Good Kids – so we were really excited when this book arrived earlier this week, and it did not disappoint!
This stunning little board book looks at all the little ways we can show kindness to those around us. From saying please or sending a card, through to helping with chores or extending a hand to someone who is feeling lonely, no gesture is too small to make a difference.
The warm and friendly illustrations show a diverse group of children helping each other with a smile. In addition to different skin colours and hair styles we spotted a child in a wheelchair, a child with a walking stick, and two children in glasses (including glasses where one eye is covered completely). It’s also lovely to see that some of the children have an abundance of freckles, which is not something we’ve seen in a lot of picture books!
This gorgeous book from Iranian author Anahita Teymorian is a timely reminder of the difference which kindness and compassion can make to the world.
The story is narrated by an old man as he looks back over his life and shares the lessons he has learned. First he speaks of his childhood and observes that although his mother’s womb was small, there was enough space for him to grow. The house in which he grew up was also small, but there was enough room for his family and his toys and the love they shared.
As he moves through his life he sees that the sky is large enough to hold the moon and the stars, the library has room for all of his favourite books and the sea is vast enough to hold the largest whales. Nature has provided enough space for the world to thrive.
We recently interviewed the author about the inspiration behind this book. You can read what she had to say by clicking here.
Scout, Sparkle, Arthur and Tiny are four colourful little monsters who go to pre-school together. They are all friends but sometimes – like most children – they find the politics of playtime somewhat difficult to navigate.
When Arthur and Sparkle put on a pretend magic show Scout really wants to join in. The problem is that Sparkle doesn’t want him to get involved. It’s her show, she’s the star and she only wants Arthur in the audience. There is shouting and snatching and eventually there are tears. As Scout and Arthur retreat outside to find a new game Sparkle finds herself all alone. Even Tiny doesn’t want to play with her now.
This adorable little board book from Pat-a-Cake follows a family of aliens as they move through their bedtime routine. We see the three baby aliens playing with their toys, eating their dinner, having a bath, listening to a bedtime story and then snuggling up to sleep.
The rhyming text is short and repetitive which gives it a lovely sing-song feel. It’s a soothing read for babies, and toddlers will love memorising and repeating the lines back to you.
The colourful illustrations are super cute and there’s the added bonus of a pop up surprise on the very last page.