I spotted this one on Instagram a little while ago and I admit that I bought it based solely on how pretty the cover is! It’s a beautiful book – but it has so much more to offer than the aesthetics.
The pages take you through a typical day for a child – albeit during a weekend or a holiday – and asks you to make lots of decisions. What will you wear today? What hairstyle will you choose? What will you eat for breakfast? Where would you like to go if the sun is shining? How do you plan to get there? How about if it’s raining? What game shall we play? Do you want bubbles in your bath? Which pyjamas will you wear?
Every option is beautifully illustrated and there is a great cast of diverse characters. The clothing, hair and food choices cater for different cultures, which opens up lots of discussion and opportunities for learning new things about the world. My super-picky daughter is fascinated by the fact that in some countries rice is eaten for breakfast and she definitely wants to move somewhere where you can travel around on a camel or where grass skirts are an option!
Our whole family is very excited about Christmas this year. Previously Ivy has been a little too young to grasp what was going on, but having just turned 3 she’s starting to understand the concept and is finding the whole thing really magical!
This lovely book is perfect for her right now as it introduces lots of different aspects of a modern Christmas and shows her what she can expect over the coming weeks.
In the story, little Suzie can’t wait for Christmas to arrive. We see her start opening the doors on her advent calendar and write a letter to Santa. She visits a garden centre with her parents to choose a tree and then they all decorate it together. On Christmas Eve she hangs up her stocking and leaves a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. The next morning she wakes up early and runs downstairs in excitement. Will Santa have been?
Bentley is a cute little rhino with an exuberant personality. He throws himself in to situations with gusto – but unfortunately this often gets him in to trouble as he has no concept of his own size or strength. Something that will be very familiar to parents/carers of toddlers!
At breakfast he accidentally smashes his boiled eggs. He cracks the ceiling getting ready to leave the house for school and causes mayhem playing tag at playtime. He doesn’t mean to be so rambunctious – he just is!
‘Gently Bentley!’ is repeated frequently throughout the book as his parents and teachers try to stop him from breaking everything in sight. But then one day he goes home and there is a tiny new baby, fast asleep in her crib. His mum and dad hold their breath as he approaches. Surely he’s going to wake her up – or is he?
Two of my closest female friends are primary school teachers so when I spotted this I knew we had to buy it!
The story is about a little boy called Bobby who doesn’t like school because he is always getting told off by his teacher, Miss Kirby. He doesn’t like her and thinks she’s a monster!
Then one weekend he bumps in to her when he’s walking in his favourite park, and neither of them are quite sure what to do. They both feel a little awkward seeing each other outside of school. Just as it’s becoming super uncomfortable a gust of wind catches Miss Kirby’s favourite hat and blows it away.
Bobby manages to save the hat and in the process learns a little bit more about Miss Kirby and she learns a little bit more about him. Bobby comes to realise that she’s not a monster at all. She’s just a regular person – who is actually rather nice! – and just needs to be strict at school because it’s her job (and because he’s actually quite naughty).
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.