Inspired by the rainbow art which children have been displaying in their windows during the current situation, this story is all about connecting communities with kindness.
Hope is a Rainbow Fairy and it’s her job to spread colour and joy around Fairyland. She loves to wave her magic wand and make her fellow fairies smile with bright yellow sunshine and vivid green trees, but then everything changes when Fairy Flu hits and everyone has to stay indoors.
Hope starts to worry that, without her, the land will be colourless and everyone will be sad. In a bid to cheer people up, she tries sending rainbow lollies to her friends in the mail but they melt en route and when she sets up a colourful quiz online the ‘Wi-Fly’ cuts out. She even tries to magic the Fairy Flu away but her powers just aren’t strong enough.
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.
We live in a society which tells boys that they need to be strong, that they need to be leaders, play sports and show no fear. However, these behaviours don’t come naturally to most, so what does it mean for kids when they don’t think they measure up and then aren’t able to share how they feel? Boys need to be reassured from a young age that it’s ok to show their emotions and that they can be whoever they want to be.
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the uniqueness of every individual and encourages you to stop thinking about strength as something purely physical.
The pages follow a young boy as he learns about himself and his own strengths. He is encouraged to try a wide variety of activities and to always be curious about the world around him. We see him baking cakes, planting vegetables, reading books and playing instruments.
The sun is shining, the picnic has been laid out and a family of four are enjoying the perfect afternoon in the woods near their home. When Mum and Dad reach for their books, the two sisters decide to build a den. They gather sticks and leaves and they sing joyfully as they work. But as the younger girl adds the final touches, she realises there is something wrong with her sister. She looks pale and she doesn’t have the energy to finish their game.
The little girl learns that her sister is sick and soon visits to the woods are replaced with hospital visits and waiting. The perfect shelter which they had built just a short while ago falls in to disrepair as the seasons change.
When the snow comes her sister seems a little brighter, even though she must stay in her bed and wear a scarf on her head. Together they cuddle and whisper, making secret plans in the way only sisters can. They might not be able to build the perfect shelter outdoors right now, but if they work together they might just be able to create something even better…
This chunky board book from Pat-A-Cake is an ideal introduction to feelings for little ones. It teaches small children what it means to be happy, sad, brave, angry, scared or jealous.
Each double page spread is dedicated to a specific emotion. The illustrations and text show us multiple different scenarios which might make you feel this way, so for example you might feel angry when you are tired, when someone is mean to you or when you want something which you can’t have. It then offers practical suggestions to help you overcome the emotion (where relevant) and reassurances that your feelings are perfectly normal. Each page asks the child to recall a time they felt this way and to talk about it with an adult when the emotion feels too big to handle.
May 18-24th 2020 is Mental Health Awareness Week so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on understanding and managing emotions.
Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul – A fantastic book for helping children learn to manage their anger. The visual representation of the layers of emotion works really well and the story offers up lots of useful tools to help children learn how to calm themselves down. Read the review
The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas – A clever book which equates emotions to colours and explains how you shouldn’t bottle them up. Read the review
Does your child have a favourite blanket or soft toy which they can’t live without? If so they’ll definitely identify with the little girl in this beautiful story.
Katie has a yellow blanket called Harry. When she’s cuddling Harry the world seems less scary so she takes him everywhere with her. He accompanies her on trips to the doctor, snuggles her during loud thunderstorms and nestles in her bag during difficult school tests. She’s ready to take on the world with Harry at her side because he comforts her and makes her feel safe and strong.
However not everybody understands Katie’s relationship with Harry. An old lady at the supermarket tells her that blankets are for babies, a boy at school points at her and laughs, and eventually even Katie’s mum thinks that perhaps it’s time for Harry to be packed away.
But brave Katie stands her ground and eloquently explains why she thinks Harry should be able to stay. In fact, Harry stays with her for many years, until one day she passes him on to someone very special indeed…
If you’re looking for a gift for a new baby, or a sweet bedtime read for a toddler then i’d like to draw your attention to the ABC of Kindness because it is utterly adorable!
The gentle rhyme takes us on a soothing trip through the alphabet, highlighting all the ways we can be kind to each other. Whether it’s F for Forgiveness, P for Patience or U for Understanding, this sturdy little board book is the perfect way to introduce the concept of kindness from a very early age.
The book features a host of loveable animal characters and the illustrations exude warmth and comfort. Ivy’s favourite is the little elephant who pops up on multiple pages with a joyful smile on his face.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions experienced by children but it can be a difficult topic to discuss with someone who is too young to put their feelings in to words. This book uses the metaphor of a monster, albeit a friendly yellow one, to help kids understand.
At the start of the story a young boy introduces his monster and explains that it has been around for as long as he can remember. It’s large, loud and bossy, and it often gets in his way when he’s trying to enjoy himself. When his parents are around the monster hides so he doesn’t feel like he can talk to them about it, but he really wishes it would go away.
One day it all becomes too much and he opens his heart to his grandmother. In tears, he tells her all about the intolerable monster and how it just won’t leave him alone – but as he talks, something special happens. The monster starts to shrink! As the words tumble from his mouth the monster gets smaller and smaller until eventually he can pick it up and pop it in his pocket. Although he knows the monster will always be there, the little boy now knows that he is in control rather than the other way around.
If you’ve been following Ivy’s Library for a while you’ll know I’m really passionate about books which help small children to understand and verbalise their feelings. I’m also a huge fan of author Rachel Bright, so when The Worrysaurus landed on our doorstep I was really excited. Ivy was instantly entranced by the title character – an adorable little red dinosaur with a tiny green backpack – and demanded we read it right away!
The Worrysaurus is a planner and a worrier (to be honest, he’s a lot like me!). When he decides to go on a picnic he organises it all in his advance. He plans out a route, he packs all of the things he might need in to his trusty bag and then he heads out in to the sunshine.
However it’s not long before his brain starts to itch. What if he didn’t pack enough to drink? What if he gets lost on the way? Slowly his happy mood starts to slip away and anxiety creeps in. When a little lizard warns him that there might be a storm poor Worrysaurus starts to panic. He’s not prepared for rain!