Ivy is fascinated by this beautiful little board book which celebrates the fact that all children are different.
The gentle rhyme encourages the reader to think about their own personalities as they explore the detailed illustrations. Are they a big kid or a little kid? Are they calm or a little crazy? Do they like hugs? Are they outdoorsy? Do they like to make a mess?
There is a diverse host of characters, playing in lots of different ways and I like the fact that care has been taken not to genderise the activities. We see little girls climbing, making a mess and dressing as superheroes and little boys snuggling with teddy bears and showing emotion.
In the big city, the dogs move in highly visible tribes. The business dogs all wear suits and scurry busily along. The football dogs all wear matching kits. The scout dogs all wear khaki. Everywhere you look there are groups of dogs, all uniformly dressed.
But in the middle of the hustle and bustle is an odd dog out. Wearing a woolly hat and scarf and listening to music on his snazzy headphones, it’s apparent that this little guy does not fit in. No matter how hard he tries, he realises he’s just not like the other dogs in the city.
Saddened, he decides to leave his home town to try and find a place where the dogs are more like him. He travels far and wide until he stumbles upon Doggywood – a place where all the dogs wear woolly hats and scarves and listen to music on their headphones. He is so excited because he thinks he has found his place in the world!
Benny the robot is a little bit different. All of his robot friends have lots of shiny buttons which do fun things, like flash lights, blow bubbles and play music. But poor Benny only has one button. It’s bright red and says ‘Only Press In An Emergency’.
The other robots make fun of him and call him ‘One Button Benny’ and this makes him sad. He doesn’t really know what an emergency is but he secretly hopes one will happen so that he gets to press his button and find out what it does.
One morning Benny wakes up, eats his breakfast and brushes his teeth, unaware that outside his house an actual emergency is unfolding. The evil Collectors have landed on his planet and they are planning to gather up all of the robots, crunch them up and turn them in to teapots! The Collectors are small hairy aliens with green bums and they mean business!
This gorgeous classic tells the true story of two very special male penguins at Central Park Zoo.
Choosing to ignore the female penguins, Roy and Silo are inseparable. They sing together, bow to each other and go on little strolls around the penguin enclosure. When they see the other penguins pair up and build a nest of stones they do the same and snuggle up to sleep. Soon however they see that the other penguins all have eggs in their nests. They watch as the eggs grow then hatch, and they want a baby penguin of their own.
Clever Roy spots a large round stone which looks just like an egg. He brings it home to Silo and they pop it in their nest. For days and days they take turns sitting on the egg, just as they have seen the other penguins do, but no baby penguin appears.
It’s Valentine’s Day so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on love.
Aalfred and Aalbert by Morag Hood
A lovely tale about two (male) aardvarks who are potentially a perfect couple, and the little blue bird who plays matchmaker.
Read the full review
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram
A gorgeous book about trying to vocalise the extent of your love. This makes a perfect gift for a small child (or even a grown up!)
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When you think of Humpty Dumpty you can’t help but immediately picture him falling off a wall – but what if he could be so much more than that?
This brightly coloured book starts with Humpty sitting on his famous wall, talking about the future with his friends. One of them asks what he wants to be when he grows up and his response shocks them. He wants to be a boiled egg! Aghast, they suggest that he thinks outside of the box.
Wee Willie Winkie thinks Humpty should be a footballer, Little Bo Peep suggests he becomes a detective, whilst Mary Mary Quite Contrary thinks he would make a great musician. Soon everyone is sharing their career aspirations. Little Miss Muffet dreams of becoming a scientist, Goosey Gander plans to become a builder, and This Little Piggy wants to be a traffic warden!
You may remember that last year we got very excited about a book called The Steves which featured two puffins arguing over the fact they share a name. Ivy loved it (and still does!) so I was over the moon to spot that the Author, Morag Hood, has just released something new.
Aalfred and Aalbert are two aardvarks who are absolutely perfect for each other but, despite being neighbours, they have never actually met. This is because Aalbert sleeps at night and Aalfred sleeps all day. Both long for companionship but don’t realise that what they are looking for is right under their nose.
Unbeknown to them, a tiny blue bird has been observing their coming and goings and decides to play matchmaker. He hatches a number of elaborate plans involving alarm clocks, broccoli and balls of red string but nothing seems to work.
This gorgeous book takes a close look at what it means to be smart. Does it mean being good with letters and numbers and getting top marks at school – or could it be so much more than that?
With a gentle, lilting rhyme the author shows you that there are many, many different ways to be smart and that children do clever things all day long without even realising it. Some kids know lots about dinosaurs and some are excellent at making witches hats. Others show their smarts by being kind and compassionate when they see they someone else is feeling sad or shy. Your skill might be mixing coloured potions or being a mermaid or blowing bubbles. Whatever your talent is, it’s important and it’s special to you.
The story reassures that all kids are talented and that being ‘school smart’ isn’t the be all and end all. We all have our own special skills which we use to make the world a better place every day – whether we realise it or not.
The adorable little snowman in this story is lonely. He sits atop a snowy hill, forever hoping that the little girl who made him will return and play. Little woodland animals come and go. Some nestle awhile in his scarf and hat, others sniff around his feet for nuts and berries, but none of them stay very long. The poor snowman begins to think that he must be very dull indeed if no one wants to stay and be his friend.
Then one day he sneezes and accidentally swallows a firefly – and everything changes. The firefly causes his tummy to glow and soon this spectacle draws creatures from far and wide. They all want to see the wonder of the glowing snowman!
Ezra is a zebra who doesn’t want to be a zebra anymore. He is sore and tired and he doesn’t know any other zebras so he feels lonely too. Instead he wants to be a racehorse because they are big and strong.
One day Ezra comes up with a plan. He paints himself so that his stripes disappear and he looks just like a regular horse. He walks around town and nobody recognises him or notices him. This is just what he has always wanted – not to stand out – but he soon realises that being just like everyone else doesn’t make him happy either.
He sits down with his friend Lindsay the llama and he tells her exactly how he feels. Wise Lindsay explains that the things that make him different are the things which make him special. People love him just the way he is and although it might be tough sometime he should wear his zebra stripes with pride.