Umar is a little boy with a big obsession. He absolutely loves keys! He likes to look at all the keys his family own and observe how they work. He watches his dad as he locks the door when they go for a walk. He watches his grandmother when she unlocks her front door for him to visit. He notes that his teacher has a different kind of key which he swipes to open the doors at nursery. How do they all work?
Umar is fascinated, and he dreams that one day he will be able to use keys all by himself. His grown ups let him practise all the time but he can’t quite master the skill. Will his hard work and determination pay off?
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.
When little Allie breaks her crayon she flies into a rage. Depicted as an angry red monster, her frustration is very much apparent as she tears up paper, throws her other crayons on the floor, stomps on the box and rolls around on the floor screaming.
Her older brother steps forward and thoughtfully offers up a pillow for her to punch so that she can release her anger without hurting herself or breaking anything further. This helps so much that the monster sheds her red furry skin and we see an amber-coloured monster emerge.
This version of Allie is still very angry and she’s still not able to articulate what’s wrong so her brother encourages her to hold her favourite toy and squeeze it as hard as she can. Another layer is shed and the fur is now green. Allie is now at that stage where she’s still pretty mad but she’s not really sure why so she’s irritable. This is solved with some breathing exercises which turn the monster blue.
At the moment, if you ask Ivy to go and pick a book then this is the one she inevitably comes back with. We read it every day and she’s even made me construct a sparkly beard out of an old headband so she can pretend to be the main character!
The story is about a girl called Peg who is utterly fed up of living with her wicked Step-Great-Grand Auntie. Her only refuge from all the chores she has to do is her beloved collection of adventure books.
One day she takes the cat for a walk and discovers that the pirates have come to town and are looking for new recruits to help them find treasure. Seeing a way out of her miserable life, she asks if she can join them but they rudely refuse. They tell her that she’s too nice, too small and, most importantly, she doesn’t have a beard therefore she can’t ever be a pirate!
We’ve teamed up with the fantastic Little Box of Books on a very exciting competition! We’re offering you the chance to win a 6 month subscription to one of their diverse & Inclusive children’s book boxes, worth £129.99.
Each month, for the next 6 months, the winner will receive a box containing 3 books which are theirs to keep (that’s 18 books in total!). Each box is carefully curated to include multicultural & diverse characters, gender equality, different kinds of family life and more visibility for under-represented children.
Boxes are available for ages 0-3 and 4-7 so you can pick the one most suited to your child.
The prospect of having a new baby brother or sister can be both exciting and daunting for a toddler. A new playmate sounds fantastic but where will the baby come from and how will life change when it arrives?
When I found out I was having Ivy I bought a big book which told me what to expect from my pregnancy and beyond, and this gorgeous book is like a mini version of that for kids!
The early pages talk about what having a new baby means and how it might affect you. It addresses the fact you might be a little worried and emphasises that although life won’t be the same, it will be better because there will be even more love and cuddles.
Spring is just around the corner and this lovely book from Nosy Crow and the National Trust is packed full of interesting little activities you can do with the kids to encourage a love of the great outdoors.
From building dens and spotting bugs to growing radishes and making compost, the simple instructions help you make the most of the garden. And if you don’t have any outside space, there are just as many projects to do indoors, like growing beans in a glass jar, making a tiny magic garden and creating a little window box.
Alongside the myriad activities there are garden-related words to learn, flowers, trees and vegetables to identify, and a handy section on how to stay safe whilst digging and planting.
Sally is the smallest girl in the school, which means that most of time people don’t notice her. She passes unseen in the school corridors but she is very special because she notices absolutely everything.
She sees the tiny details all around her, but most importantly she sees the people and how they behave with one another. She watches as the children are unkind to each other in the playground, and she notices how this makes the bullied and excluded kids feel. She watches as mean words are exchanged and tears fall.
And then one day Sally decides she’s had enough.
The tiny little girl steps out of the lunch line in the cafeteria, raises her hand in the air to quieten the room and then she opens her mouth and tells everyone what she has observed and how it should change. She expects to be laughed at but one by one she sees hands slowly rise in to the air in solidarity.
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!)
Read the full review