“Time to help!” thinks Stephen Sprout. ” I know a way to sort this out…”
Love them or hate them, sprouts are an essential part of Christmas, and the sprout in this book is extra special. Stephen is a sprout of kindness!
Whenever he sees a child in distress, Stephen knows just what to do. He helps a lost girl find her friend. He makes sure everyone gets a turn on the swings. He helps people understand how to share. He even gently helps someone overcome their fear of the water. Stephen spreads kindness wherever he goes and his friendly enthusiasm is infectious.
We love this gorgeous little board book and it’s been requested repeatedly since it arrived. The rhyming text is super tight which makes it really fun to read aloud and the brightly-coloured illustrations have lots of lovely detail.
When a child is going through a difficult transition or is about to experience something new, the first thing we do is look for a book which can help guide them through it. That’s easy enough if you want to talk about starting school or moving house, but there are some topics which just aren’t covered in mainstream books – like adoption.
Written by an adoptive Dad, ‘The Blanket Bears’ follows two little cubs as they go through every step of the adoption process.
When we first meet the bears they are cold, alone and losing their fur. They are found by Tilly, a social worker bear, and taken to a foster home to be looked after until a Forever Home can be found for them. Their foster carers look after them very well and make them adorable little onesies out of blankets to keep them warm until their fur grows back. Eventually a Forever Family is found for the bears and they slowly make the transition to their new home.
Ivy is an extremely picky eater so I like to keep an eye out for books which might encourage her to expand her tastes a little. Results are generally a bit hit and miss but we have had some success with this one so I wanted to share it with you.
The child in the story loves dinosaurs but absolutely does not like broccoli! She refuses to try it or even touch it because she thinks it looks yucky. But mum steps in with a thought which makes her think twice. She cleverly points out that broccoli looks like tiny trees and dinosaurs like to eat trees…
The girl (who is dressed in a dinosaur costume) asks if her toy dinosaur can try it first – and together they take baby steps towards a first mouthful of broccoli.
We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Chitra Soundar at an event at Moon Lane Ink last year so I was very happy when Lantana Publishing invited us to be part of the book tour for her newest title – You’re Strong With Me.
This is the third book in a trilogy, all of which feature beautiful illustrations from Poonam Mistry. The previous books in the series are You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Me and each one focuses on the wonderful bond between parent and child.
In this story we follow a mother giraffe and her calf through a day in the wild. The little giraffe encounters many things which make her scared or uncomfortable, like a hissing fire and a bird which pecks at her fur, but her mother is always there to reassure and comfort her.
The Good Egg is the kind of person everyone likes to have around. He rescues cats from danger, he offers to carry your groceries, change a tire for you, water your plants when you’re on holiday and even help you paint your house. He’s the kind of friend who you know will always be there in your time of need.
The problem is, being so good all the time can really take it’s toll. The other eleven eggs in his carton aren’t very well behaved so it always falls to the Good Egg to keep the peace and be, well, good.
The poor little guy ends up exhausted and small cracks begin to appear in his shell. He realises that putting all of this pressure on himself to be good is literally causing him to crack up.
Remi the rambutan is feeling sad. All the other fruit at the market is being quickly snapped up by customers, but when people see his spiky exterior they just stare and point. He begins to wonder if there is something wrong with him. Maybe he just tastes really bad and that’s why no one wants to choose him!
The little fruit feels utterly dejected, but a chance encounter with a cactus sets him on a different path. The wise succulent explains to Remi that what other people say or do isn’t important. He just needs to stop comparing himself to others, focus on his own special magic and learn to love himself.
Since receiving this book earlier this summer I have recommended it countless times and purchased it as a gift twice so I figured I should probably write a review!
Grey Mouse has a beautiful little cottage which is filled with love. He doesn’t have a lot of space or material wealth but he is warm, safe and happy. That is until the day he spots a big, spacious house with a grand balcony, and a tiny little bit of jealousy sets in. He presumes that the mouse who lives in this lovely property must be happier than him because he has a bigger house.
However, when he chats to White Mouse – the owner – he learns of an even larger house which makes both of their homes seems tiny. Together they travel to this veritable mansion and a bejewelled Brown Mouse offers to give them a tour. There’s a games room, a parlour, a music room and even an observatory. All of these riches make Grey Mouse and White Mouse extremely sad so they are shocked to discover that Brown Mouse is in fact very lonely.
Lola the rabbit loves her art lessons at school. The splashing and sploshing of paint completely consumes her, until the bell rings for playtime and her happiness comes crashing down.
Lola is autistic and has a demand avoidant profile. This means she does not like loud noises or being told to stop an activity without any warning. As the children crash and bang around Lola becomes increasingly distressed.
Outside in the playground her discomfort continues. She doesn’t know how to join in with the other children and is scared of being rejected if she does something wrong.
A few weeks ago, Ivy and I were having a chilled morning in our pyjamas with no specific plans for the day – but then this book arrived in the post and everything changed. Suddenly our living room was an exercise studio and Ivy was in stitches trying to hold a Tree pose whilst I read to her about a yoga-loving llama!
Llamaste is a kind and calm creature who loves to practise yoga and look after her friends. The story follows her as she pays each of them a visit and helps them feel better using different yoga poses. A scared flamingo tries the Warrior pose and soon feels like a superhero. A cross tiger calms down using the Downward Dog. Each friend has a different worry for Llamaste to ease and each page encourages your child to consider their own emotions by asking them if they have ever felt this way.
Eve is very close to her two mummies, so when baby Stanley joins the family she isn’t quite sure what to expect. She hopes that he’ll play with her and share her love of trains, but she knows that babies cry a lot and she’s not looking forward to the dirty nappies!
The path they tread will be a familiar one for many parents of more than one child. Eve is initially excited about the new baby but this quickly turns to resentment as Stanley gets lots of attention for things she doesn’t deem that interesting. He can’t talk, he can’t play and he messes with her train set all the time. Eve decides that there’s only one thing for it – Stanley will have to go back to wherever he came from so that she can have her mummies back!
Then one day, Eve throws a ball and everything changes. Stanley wobbles towards it on uncertain legs, picks it up and returns it. A game! As Stanley’s ability to interact with the world grows, Eve realises that maybe there’s room in this family (and her heart) for a little brother after all.