Category

Family

When A Dragon Meets A Baby
by Caryl Hart & Rosalind Beardshaw

The prospect of a new sibling is very exciting but most children struggle with the sudden shift in the family dynamic when a baby actually arrives. This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for reading in those final months of pregnancy, to help your little one process the changes that might lie ahead.

Dragons, much like toddlers, tend to have an air of mischief about them and this story plays on their ‘naughty’ reputation to great effect. How would you expect a little dragon to behave when they are no longer the centre of attention? Surely they will stomp their feet, huff and puff and breathe some fire, right? Well no. It turns out that little dragons now exactly how to behave around a new baby and they have lots of great advice to share. Children will want to align themselves with the dragon’s positive behaviour because she’s such a cute and kind character.

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Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot
by Kate Dalgleish & Isobel Lundie

“Elephants never forget, but Edmund did forget… a lot.”

Poor Edmund. Everyone knows that elephants have fantastic memories so he’s very self-conscious about the fact he is a little forgetful. Fortunately his mum is on hand to help, teaching him songs and writing him lists to help him remember important things.

However today Edmund is a little stressed as he’s been tasked with collecting some essentials for his brother’s birthday party. As usual, Mum has written him a list but Edmund has accidentally left it behind! Edmund panics but then he hears the voice of his friend Colin the Caterpillar. Colin knows what was on the list so as they approach the Party Shop he shouts out each item to Edmund.

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The Greatest Showpenguin
by Lucy Freegard

Poppy’s family run a circus and performing is all she has ever known. She has taken part in shows since she was a tiny little penguin, mastering all the skills needed to wow the crowds and make her parents proud. She can unicycle, juggle and trapeze like a pro. She’s a master at magic and regularly finds herself being shot out of a cannon or leaping through a ring of fire – but Poppy has a secret.

To the outside world it looks like Poppy is living the perfect life, but deep down she really doesn’t like performing. She dislikes the lights, the crowds, the noise and the attention but everyday she pretends she is happy because she is scared of letting her parents down.

One day it all becomes too much and the little penguin realises that something needs to change. She wants to be part of the circus but she doesn’t want to be in the spotlight anymore.

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Outside, Inside
by LeUyen Pham

One Whole Year.

I honestly cannot believe that it’s been one whole year since we entered lockdown for the first time. I had no idea how long it would last but I genuinely didn’t expect to still be under so many restrictions twelve months later. Sometimes it feels like the time has flown, but other times it seems like we have been living this way for decades!

But here we are, and I am marking this strange ‘anniversary’ with this beautiful book from LeUyen Pham which begins with the lines: ‘Something strange happened on an unremarkable day just before the season changed.
Everybody who was outside…went inside.
Everyone. Everywhere. All over the world”

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Bunny Makes Breakfast
by Kathryn Smith & Seb Braun

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Did you make pancakes with your little bunny today?

This gorgeous board book follows a family of rabbits as they source ingredients and cook themselves a delicious breakfast – but they need your help!

They start off in the kitchen, where your child is encouraged to lift the flaps to find flour, maple syrup and butter. Next up they head outside for berries, fresh eggs and creamy milk from the cows.

Little Bunny is very excited but really isn’t sure what they’re making. Can your child help them guess what will be served up?

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The Lovely Haze of Baby Days
by Lindsay Kellar-Madsen & Mie Frey Damgaard

Those early days of motherhood are tough. The lack of sleep, the fear of getting it wrong and the utter shock that you are now responsible for the life of a tiny human is a potent cocktail which can you leave you feeling like you’re losing your mind.

When Ivy was tiny I used books as a way of bonding and calming my thoughts. We’d snuggle on the sofa, surrounded by a whirlwind of mess, and let the words wash over us both. It didn’t matter what I read – sometimes it was a picture book and sometimes it was a magazine or the novel I was reading – but the result was always the same. Ivy would listen to my voice (and inevitably fall asleep) and I would feel like I had been reset, ready to face whatever the next challenge of the day might be.

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Big Boys Cry
by Jonty Howley

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 the majority when they don’t think they measure up and then aren’t able to share how they feel?

Toxic masculinity is a very real phenomenon and boys need to be reassured that they can show their emotions – especially right now.

Big Boys Cry is about a little boy who is nervous about starting school, unaware that his father is much more worried than he is. It’s a moving look at how our words can affect our children, and why we need to choose them carefully.

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The Day Mom Joined The Circus
by Sue Downing

Does your home feel like a circus right now? I dedicate this review to everyone out there trying to parent through the pandemic!

In this colourful story, the children wake up to discover a note from their Mum pinned to the fridge. It says that she needs some alone time so she’s decided to join the circus. She invites them to take on her share of the chores whilst she’s away.

The beautiful spreads which follow perfectly illustrate the ‘Mum juggle’ with which we are all so familiar. On the left hand page we see the children doing a household chore and on the right hand page we see how that chore has helped make Mum a fantastic circus performer.

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The Year We Muddled Through
by Lauren Fennemore & Zoe Damoulakis

Right now everything feels very unsettled. We are locked down in our homes, juggling the education of our children with our day jobs, dealing with sorrow and and being faced with a constant barrage of negative news. We’re all just muddling through and taking it one day at a time.

But what will we remember about this strange time in years to come? And perhaps more importantly, what do we want our children to remember?

A love letter from parent to child, this gorgeous picture book adds a sprinkle of magic to what has been a very difficult year. It alludes to the bad but focuses on the good, and in doing so the story of 2020 takes on a wonderful fairytale quality.

We see giant sunflowers and animals running wild on empty streets. We see rainbows shooting from rooftops as families take their daily walks. We see smiling faces as communities come together to celebrate everyday heroes.

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Love Makes A Family
by Sophie Beer

Families come in all shapes and sizes and this gorgeous board book celebrates the ones which we often don’t see in mainstream books.

The brightly coloured pages show happy families enjoying life together whilst the words explore the different ways in which people can show their love.

We see two children waking up their dads in the morning by shaking maracas and banging a drum. We see a family with grandparent carers baking and sharing cakes. We see single mums finding lost objects and single dads jumping in puddles in the park. We see a group of children reading stories by the light of a torch with their two mums. I particularly like the inclusion of a dad wearing a baby carrier as i’m not sure i’ve seen this in any of our other picture books!

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