Morris the Mole has had a tough day at work and all he wants to do is get home to his family – the problem is he can’t find his glasses anywhere! He burrows in what he believes to be the direction of home but he keeps getting it wrong, again and again and again.
Each time he pops up into a house he shouts ‘Mrs. Mole, I’m Home!’ but it’s never the right house. He visits a burrow full of rabbits, a tree full of owls and a swamp full of crocodiles. He even ends up in Antarctica!
Finally he smells a familiar smell – worm noodles! Surely this must be his house, and where on earth are those glasses?
If you’re a fan of books with strong female characters then this new one from Suzanne Hemming (author of ‘She’s Not Good For A Girl, She’s Just Good‘) is definitely for you.
The story is about a young princess called Florence who has her heart set on becoming a great engineer. She has the brain and the ambition but she has one problem – her father, the King, says that instead of pursuing her dream career she has to marry a Prince and have babies.
Young Flo is devastated. She has no problem with Princes and babies but she also wants to be a great engineer and the King says she can’t do both. She flees the palace and bumps in to her old babysitter, who sits and listens to her woes. The lady tells her that you always have to be who you are, not who other people think you should be. She shows Flo a picture of her wedding day (where she married a Princess) and says that when you follow your heart, some people will accept who you are and some won’t but what matters most is that you are always true to yourself.
I’m breaking my own rules with this book as I confess it isn’t one which I have read with Ivy. It’s a tiny bit old for her just yet (the recommended age range is 3-8) but it’s an important book covering a difficult topic so I am sharing it in the hope it may be helpful to you, our followers.
The Magical Wood was written to help small children deal with the emotions they may feel around bereavement, particularly the death of a close family member.
The wood is a beautiful place which is home to a family of trees. It’s a happy place visited by lots of little animals who love to play and splash in the river. One night there is a terrible storm and when the tree family wake up they discover that the Strongest Tree (one of the oldest trees in the wood) has fallen in the night and is no longer alive. The trees know that their lives have now changed forever and many tears are shed. How can they continue without the Strongest Tree?
We have been reading Tabby McTat to Ivy since she was about 6 months old and it’s still one of her all time favourites. When she was tiny she was just drawn to the illustrations of the cats (one of them looks a little like ours) but now she’s older she loves the story and knows the little song off by heart!
Tabby McTat is a scruffy little street cat who belongs to a busker. He loves his life wandering the streets of London with his owner, and he enjoys singing along when the busker performs. An unlucky chain of events result in the two friends being accidentally separated and McTat ends up living with a girl cat called Sock.
Sock and McTat become the best of friends and soon they end up with a small litter kittens. McTat loves his cosy new life but he never forgets the wonderful busker. One day he decides that he simply has to find out what happened to him so he kisses his little family goodbye and sets off in search of his old pal.
We adore this gorgeous book about families and have spent many hours poring over the amazingly detailed illustrations.
The lovely rhyme explores the concept of family, showing how they are there for each other in good times and bad. You see daytime routines, hospital visits, holidays, little household disasters and most importantly, love.
The beauty of the book is that the illustrations show ten different families going through all of the above. Each family is different but the book helps children see that although their family may not look like the same as somebody else’s, the experiences they go through and the love that they feel are all essentially the same.
This quirky book from Stephanie Blake is a guaranteed crowd please because all toddlers think the words Poo and Bum are hilarious!
The story is about a little bunny called Simon who can only say two words – “Poo Bum”. Every time he is asked a question he only has one response – “Poo Bum”. One day he meets a wolf, who asks if he can eat him. When Simon responds “Poo Bum” the wolf takes this as a yes and gobbles him right up!
The little bunny causes a tummy ache though so a doctor is called, who happens to be Simon’s Daddy. When the Wolf starts saying “Poo Bum” during the examination the doctor begins to suspect the wolf has eaten his son. Can he rescue him, and what effect might the incident have on the little bunny’s vocabulary?
It’s easy to see why this beautiful book was a New York Times Bestseller. The warm and multi-layered story about a boy and his grandmother gets me every time we read it.
As they do every Sunday, CJ and his Nana go to church then take the bus to Market Street to help at a soup kitchen. On this particular day it is raining and young CJ is cold and uncomfortable. He questions why they have to catch the bus when all of his friends have cars, and even why they have to go to church at all.
Rather than reprimanding him, his Nana uses this as an opportunity to point out all of the things which make their journey together special and the sights and experiences they would miss out on if they didn’t go to church and didn’t get the bus. This includes a host of fascinating, culturally diverse characters including an old lady with a jar of butterflies, a heavily tattooed man and a man with a guitar.
When night falls in the Indian forest it is time for the baby animals to go to sleep. However on this particular evening a storm is brewing and the noises make the little ones afraid. Suddenly the forest is full of unfamiliar noises and their imaginations run wild. The trees are swooshing, the wind is howling, lightening is flashing and thunder rolls in the sky.
Fortunately Mama Elephant is there to calm their fears. Each time they are woken by a noise she gives a lovely description of what is happening and why. For example the wind huffs and puffs because it is tired from all the hard work it has been doing gathering seeds from faraway lands and bringing them to the forest. She finishes each little story with a soft whisper of “You’re safe with me”.
Ivy will be going on her very first beach holiday this year so we’ve started to read some books about it to get her excited and so that she understands a little about what to expect.
This one, by Rae Rankin, follows a little girl called Penny as she enjoys a much anticipated day at the seaside. We watch as she does cartwheels on the shore, builds sand castles with her dog, collects shells, plays with a Frisbee, explores rock pools, and even flies her kite. I particularly like the fact it shows your child all the wonders of the beach but also takes the time to point out that you HAVE to put your sun cream on before you can run and enjoy it!
I was fortunate enough to grow up near the beach and this book conveys the excitement of a beach day perfectly. The bouncy rhyme carries you along and the adorable wide-eyed illustrations highlight the wonder and innocence of each fascinating new discovery.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2rolB9b
Grandad’s Island is one of those books that I think every child should read. It covers the sensitive topic of bereavement but in a really smart and beautiful way which helps the child grasp the concept as best they can at a young age.
The story is about a little a little boy called Syd whose beloved Grandad lives in a house at the bottom of the garden. One day Syd pops around but he can’t find his Grandad anywhere. He searches the house and eventually finds him up in the attic where he has prepared an adventure.
They go through a magical door which takes them to a ship and then sail the oceans until they reach a tropical island. Look closely at the illustrations and you can see that the wonderful treasures on the island echo the pictures and keepsakes you see in Grandad’s house in the first few pages. On this island Grandad is surrounded by all of his favourite things – and he doesn’t need to use his walking stick to get around anymore! They build a shack, swim together in the waterfall and play with all of the exciting animals they find.