Ivy and I both love books that are a little bit crazy, so when NERP! landed in our laps we instantly fell in love. Every single word of the story is quite literally utter nonsense, but somehow the whole thing makes perfect sense!
The premise will be very familiar to any parents out there with picky eaters. We see an enthusiastic mum and dad present their child with a series of lovingly prepared dishes in the hope that they might actually eat something, but nothing is quite right.
The frizzle frazzle hotchy potch? NERP! Mushy gushy bloobarsh? NERP! Even the garble snarfy barflecrunch and the yuckaroni smackintosh are rejected with a massive NERP! Will anything make this pesky child say YERP or SLURP?
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what do you do when your Grandma gives you a lemon tree for your birthday and you’d secretly been hoping for a drone or a remote control car? You definitely shouldn’t pull a face and you certainly shouldn’t drop it off a bridge!
The little girl in this story is quite confused about her unusual gift but she has good manners so she knows how she should react (and also how she shouldn’t!). She manages an excited face and she maintains her smile until Grandma falls asleep, but she really doesn’t have a clue what to do with her lemon tree.
However as the pages progress we see her build a special bond with her new present. She keeps it in the sun, waters it and makes sure the neighbourhood slugs maintain a safe distance. She keeps it warm in winter, repots it and slowly watches it grow. And when she gets her first batch of lemons, Grandma is the first person she wants to share them with.
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.
It feels a little early to be mentioning Christmas, but this book is designed to be used as an advent calendar from the beginning of December so you’ll want to get your hands on one pretty soon!
This gorgeous, personalised gift book follows Santa’s journey as he travels around the world delivering presents. Written in rhyme, it’s designed to be read one page per day in the run up to Christmas and features lots of interesting facts about the festive traditions in different countries.
Did you know that in Tahiti the children leave out mangoes and peanut cookies for Santa and his reindeer? or that in Latvia children traditionally have to recite a poem to receive a present? Nope – me either and it’s fascinating stuff!
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.
GoGo RoRo is very excited about her upcoming birthday so when she overhears Abuela* Rosa and her brother Jean Bean discussing gifts, she presumes they are talking about her presents. Overwhelmed by curiosity, she asks for some clues but Abuela Rosa cryptically tells her that she will have to find her gifts herself.
GoGo RoRo and Jean Bean search everywhere for the birthday presents but they are nowhere to be found. Where on earth could their grandmother have hidden them?
When Abuela Rosa sees the mess they have made she is very disappointed and GoGo RoRo hangs her head in shame. She was just so excited about finding her gifts. But what if her gifts aren’t material goods at all? What if her grandmother simply wants her to find the gifts she was born with?
This gorgeous book celebrates the love, warmth and mayhem of a family home. The story follows a family of four as they take us on a tour of each of the rooms in their house.
First up is the kitchen where they bake, dance, sing and make a mess. Then we see the dining room where they eat, pretend to be pirates and tickle their parents feet under the table. The living room is for relaxing and getting things off your chest, whilst the bathroom is for washing and pulling funny faces in the mirror.
The richly worded rhyme and the warm illustrations show us love, laughter and tears against a familiar backdrop of toys, washing up and teetering piles of books.
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.
This evening we are extremely excited to be sharing our thoughts on a brand new book from Lantana Publishing as part of the official #oldmanofthesea bookstagram tour.
This beautifully illustrated story looks at the quiet relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather. Every Sunday they sit together and talk or share a comfortable silence, until one day the Grandfather decides the time has come to share tales of his life with the boy. And what a life!
Grandpa was a sailor who circumnavigated the world and fell in love with each continent he discovered. He picnicked in olive groves with Europe, climbed sand dunes with Africa, explored temples with Asia and went diving with Oceania. The love he felt for these lands was strong, but not as strong as the lure of the sea. Eventually he always found himself back in his boat in search of a new adventure.
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.