Steve Antony has only been on our radar for a few months but in that time we’ve bought (and loved) 3 of his books and have many more on the (frankly huge!) list of titles that we absolutely have to add to our collection at some point.
This is our first foray in to the world of Mr. Panda (there are 4 in the series) and Ivy is a big fan! This one follows Mr. Panda and his friends as they get themselves ready for bed.
Mr. Panda seems to know what he’s doing – he has a bath with his rubber duck, dries his fur, gets in to his pyjamas and brushes his teeth with minimal fuss but his friends are a bit more difficult. Hippo refuses to brush his teeth, Skunk won’t have a bath. The sheep don’t want to wear pyjamas. And the sloth? Too tired to move let alone get ready for bed! Finally everyone is ready but Mr. Panda has forgotten to do something very important. What could it be?
As we move through the Terrible Twos and get ever closer to Ivy becoming a Threenager I am definitely finding myself drawn to books which encourage good behaviour. This bright and colourful book is the best one I have come across so far.
The simple format makes this a really easy book to read with kids and you can either work from start to finish or just dip in and out. Each double page spread presents you with a ‘rule’ for good behaviour and an accompanying picture. The illustrations are ace – they make Ivy laugh and they hammer home the points made using a variety of cute and quirky characters. The tortoise is our personal favourite!
Ivy loves Princess Polly so we have most of this series either on our shelf or stashed ready for her to read when the time is appropriate. This title is about starting nursery (which she will be doing early next year) so we’ve recently introduced it to our rotation.
The book starts with an apprehensive Princess Polly. She’s not sure about starting nursery because she doesn’t know what it will be like and she’s worried she’ll miss her parents. She visits with her Mummy and sees lots of children having fun which sets her mind at ease.
After some settling in sessions she has her first full day and the book shows all the things your child can expect to experience at nursery – from the activities they’ll do, like painting, playing and singing to the format of the day, like snacks, naps and story time.
This beautifully illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb is perfect for all of you parents out there who (like us!) struggle to get your child interested in sitting down and eating their meals.
The little girl in the story is very busy painting and playing with her toys, so when her mums calls her to tell her that lunch is ready she really doesn’t want to go and eat. She’s having far too much fun to stop for boring old food! Reluctantly she leaves what she’s doing and sits and stares at her lunch, looking grumpy, without eating a bite.
But then she spots a crocodile under the table. Then a bear. Then a wolf. The three fierce animals are VERY interested in her lunch, explaining that her soup, apple and sandwich are much more tasty than little children (who actually taste pretty disgusting). They gobble up her lunch and then thank her heartily for the lovely meal.
Operation potty training is due to start shortly so we are currently reading lots of books on the topic to help her understand what’s coming. This one, from the Big Steps series, has quickly become her favourite and we’re currently reading it 3-4 times a day at her request.
The book shows two toddlers, Millie and Mo, as they start their potty training journey. At the beginning of the books they are both wearing nappies. You can lift up Millie’s skirt to see her nappy and you can also use a slider to pull Mo’s nappy down and reveal his bottom which Ivy thinks is hilarious.
They don’t want to wear nappies any more, so we see them visit the shop with their Daddy to buy potties and grown up pants. They learn how to use them and the book reinforces the point that everyone has little accidents and they are nothing to worry about. By the end of the book Millie is using her potty like a pro and Mo has even advanced to the loo.
We adore this gorgeous book about families and have spent many hours poring over the amazingly detailed illustrations.
The lovely rhyme explores the concept of family, showing how they are there for each other in good times and bad. You see daytime routines, hospital visits, holidays, little household disasters and most importantly, love.
The beauty of the book is that the illustrations show ten different families going through all of the above. Each family is different but the book helps children see that although their family may not look like the same as somebody else’s, the experiences they go through and the love that they feel are all essentially the same.
We were recently recommended this book by one of our followers and i’m really happy we bought it as it’s fantastic. Ivy has recently turned two and a half so tantrums are (unfortunately!) now a part of everyday life. This means I am always on the lookout for books which may alleviate the stress a little!
The story is about a little girl called Tiny who has lots of tantrums. Every time her mummy asks her to do something she yells and screams and stamps her feet, refusing to oblige. However one day she is joined by an array of fluffy monsters who help her understand that there are better ways of dealing with her anger. From wiggling your bottom to flushing your tantrums down the loo, these monsters have lots of creative ideas on how to get rid of the grumps.
This one gets a big thumbs up from us as it makes Ivy laugh out loud. Additionally, there are lots of opportunities to put on silly monster voices and there’s a funky song at the end. The illustrations are lovely and definitely capture the drama of being a toddler!
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2MvWZoH
Praxx is a little alien who lives on a planet called Ekkadora with his mum and his best friend Zobott the robot. Praxx has lots of chores to do but he’s not a big fan of doing them himself so he sometimes enlists Zobott’s help.
One morning Praxx is rudely awoken by Zobott who is making lots of strange, really loud noises – RING! BLEEP! CROAK! It transpires that Praxx had asked him to help out with tidying up – but he has put everything in the wrong place. The alarm clock, phone and the family pet are all inside Zobott’s tummy storage box, there’s a worm in mum’s handbag and their rocket has been parked in the house!
Praxx learns an important lesson – always do your chores yourself else they might end up taking three times as long to fix!
This funny book by Gareth Edwards and Guy Parker-Rees always makes Ivy laugh. It follows a little boy as he goes through elements of his day – but he has chosen some rather crazy animal friends to help him with each task!
He eats his dinner with a dinosaur who gobbles everything up before he gets a chance to eat a single bite. He uses a tiger as a towel when he gets out of the bath – and unsurprisingly the tiger is a little cross! He even tries to use a giant bison as a blanket which proves a little uncomfortable.
Follow him as he discovers why dinosaurs, sharks, beavers, tigers, bison and owls don’t always make the best companions.
The rhyme scheme is really bouncy which makes it a lot of fun to read and it’s also a good book for discussion. A barn owl might not be the best thing to cuddle up to at night because of his sharp claws and nocturnal habits – so what might make a better bed fellow?
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2G8vahE
I have been a big fan of the Toddler Tools books by Elizabeth Verdick ever since Calm-Down Time helped us with controlling tantrums. This other title from the series – Sharing Time – is the one we’re currently reading a lot and i’m hoping we’ll have similar success!
It shows how it’s fun to share some things (like hugs and see-saws for example) but more difficult to share others. Children worry about sharing their toys because they aren’t sure if they will get them back or if they will be broken.
Using calming language the books teaches children the words they need in order to be able to share things with their friends. It helps them identify the feelings they experience when they don’t want to share and offers a little breathing exercise they can do in order to regulate their emotions and move forward without a major incident. Ultimately it shows that we all have more fun when we play together nicely and share – something which is true for both toddlers and grown-ups alike!