I spotted this one on Instagram a little while ago and was drawn in by the beautiful illustration of the little girl on the cover. Intrigued, I bought a copy and i’m so glad I did!
Little Freya is very excited about the fact she’s becoming a big girl, but she soon discovers that growing up means dealing with new emotions and feelings. Normally bouncy and confident, she starts to experience an odd wibble in her tummy which she doesn’t understand. She describes it as ‘tangly, twirly and topply’ and it makes her a little bit anxious. What on earth is it and how can she make it go away?
She stops eating twirly spaghetti in case that’s causing the problem. She tries spinning in circles and singing really loudly to try and chase the sensation away. Nothing works however so she decides to speak to her mum and dad. They explain that what she is experiencing is butterflies in tummy which flutter around when she is feeling nervous or worried. She is surprised to discover that her parents also get butterflies when they are faced with new things!
When the little girl in this story hears a knock at her front door, she is surprised to find Sadness standing on her doorstep with a large suitcase. She lets hims in and he follows her around, sits too close to her on the sofa and refuses to go away.
Sadness consumes her to the extent that all she can feel is sad, even when those around her are playing happily.
Trying to hide Sadness away doesn’t work so she tries a different approach. She gives him a name and she asks him why he’s here. She listens to what he needs and they learn to work together. They sit in comfortable silence, they draw, they cuddle, they go for walks and they accept each other.
This is a book about baby loss so if this topic is a trigger for you then please do not read any further———————————————-
I am breaking with tradition a little for this review. This is not a book which I have read with Ivy but it is one that I believe needs to be shared as it addresses an important topic – baby loss (during pregnancy and shortly after birth).
When a baby dies the focus is very much on the grieving parents, but often there are young siblings who will struggle to understand why the baby brother or sister they were expecting didn’t come home. This book seeks to address this, both gently and honestly, in language that is easy for a child to comprehend.
The soft rhyme acknowledges that often there is no reason for the loss and that no one is to blame. It helps children name and understand the emotions they might be experiencing and the beautiful illustrations show grief in its many forms.
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.
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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Cutesville is home to lots of cute and fluffy creatures, like puppies and bunnies and kittens. However it has one resident who is a tiny bit different – Monster. Monster isn’t cute or fluffy. He’s red and hairy with googly eyes and little pointy teeth.
Everyone loves cute things, but nobody seems to love him. He looks so different to everyone in Cutesville that sometimes people point and laugh. This makes Monster sad as all he wants is for someone to love him.
The sadness spurs him to take action. Instead of sitting at home moping he’s going to head out in to world and try to find a life partner. He looks everywhere but love continues to evade him! Disheartened, he decides to give up and head back to Cutesville – but when the bus finally arrives, something amazing happens…
February 4-11 2019 is Children’s Mental Health Week so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on understanding and managing emotions.
The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas
A clever book which equates emotions to colours and explains how you shouldn’t bottle them up.
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Feelings by Libby Walden & Richard Jones
The gentle rhyme explores all of the emotions which your child may be experiencing and helps you to name them and understand how they feel inside.
Read the full review
You’ve probably noticed that we’re partial to books which encourage emotional development and this is the most recent addition to that particular shelf in our house.
The gentle rhyme explores all of the emotions which your child may be experiencing and helps you to name them and understand how they feel inside. Anger is described as a fiery pit of bubbling magma, embarrassment is a burning red face under a bright spotlight, calm is a gently rocking boat on a smooth ocean and sadness is a river bursting its banks and covering everything in sight.
The book covers a wide range of feelings including courage, sadness, anger, happiness, jealousy, loneliness, embarrassment, excitement, fear and calmness.
Every now and again a book comes our way which both captures Ivy’s imagination and brings me to tears, and this is most definitely one of those books.
The simple, yet extremely moving, story is about the relationship between a little girl and her favourite dress. The girl and the dress are the best of friends and they go on many adventures together. They play and explore but they also stare out at the ocean and wish for something more.
One day the girl discovers that everything is about to change. The dress is bundled in to a trunk and the girl and her family take a long journey on a boat to start a new life in New York. But somehow the trunk is lost in the hustle and bustle of their arrival. The dress finds itself alone and the girl does not come back.
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.