Category

Friendship

Little Rabbit’s Big Surprise
by Swapna Haddow & Alison Friend

It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is utterly adorable!

Little Rabbit is a very bored bunny, so when the opportunity comes along for her to spend the day with her grandfather – Big Rabbit – she is very excited indeed. Big Rabbit tells her he has lots of work to do and she can be his assistant. Little Rabbit thinks this sounds like fun but she’s a little confused. As far as she’s aware her grandfather doesn’t have a job – he just spends all his time talking to his friends!

Over the course of the day the two rabbits encounter lots of different animals who need help. The entrance to Mole’s new burrow is much darker than he had realised and he’s worried that Little Mole and his friends might take a tumble. Granny Hedgehog has a nasty cold and she’s feeling very lonely in her little nest by herself. Dormouse has just moved in to a new house but it needs a lot of work and he has four little babies to  feed and look after. And poor Squirrel has sprained her paw which means she can’t forage for food for her young children.

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Kindness Makes Us Strong
by Sophie Beer

You’ve probably spotted that I’ve shared quite a few books about kindness of late. With Ivy starting school last week we have been spending a lot of time talking about friendship, specifically around being kind and sharing and I’ve been using books as a way to get those conversations started.

This brightly coloured board book teaches children that kindness doesn’t have to involve great sweeping gestures. Whether it’s waving hello to someone you know, sharing your favourite food, taking turns, or giving someone a cuddle, it’s the little things which count.

Featuring a diverse group of children in familiar, everyday situations, the simple text and heartwarming illustrations clearly show how a good deed can make someone’s day and help to make the community stronger.

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Jasper & Scruff
by Nicola Colton

It’s time for another chapter book review and this one had Ivy and I in fits of giggles!

Jasper likes to think of himself as cut above your average cat. He lives in a fancy apartment surrounded by books and fine art and his taste in bow ties is impeccable. Jasper has everything he needs except the ‘right’ kind of friends. He dreams of joining an elite group of felines called ‘The Sophisticats’ because members are invited to all the best parties and dine at the nicest restaurants in town.

He carefully crafts a letter inviting a select group of The Sophisticats to his home for dinner and is over the moon when they accept – but things don’t quite go to plan…

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Along Came A Fox
by Georgiana Deutsch & Call Johnson-Isaacs

It’s the perfect night for finding fireflies so Bramble the fox heads out on a little adventure to find some – but where are they hiding?

She joins forces with her friends, Hazel the hedgehog and Twig the owl, who suggest that she look near the lake. Bramble bounds off in to the darkness because foxes never get scared, but when she peers in to the deep pool she lets out an almighty ‘EEEEEK!’ and falls on her bottom. There is another fox in the water staring straight back out at her! Bramble is embarrassed. How dare this nasty fox catch her unawares and make her fall over! Soon she finds herself yelling at the water, telling the fox that he is very rude indeed – but the audacious creature keeps on echoing her replies.

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Elephant Me
by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ is one of our all-time favourite books so we were extremely excited to get our hands on this new one from the same team. I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint and we’ve been reading it on repeat for days!

It’s the day of the Elephant Games which means that all the baby elephants have to perform for the King. In line with tradition, if they manage to impress him with their special skill then he will award them with their Elephant Name.

Nina goes first and she chooses to display her strength by ripping a tree from the ground with her trunk. King Elephant Mighty is amazed and he names her Elephant Strong. Norcus bellows so loudly that he gains the name Elephant Noisy! As each elephant steps forward in to the limelight, the King spots that one little elephant is cowering at the back of the line. Poor Num-Num hasn’t found his special skill yet and when he tries to perform some tricks everyone laughs at him – even the King!

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The Three Billy Goats Fluff
by Rachael Mortimer & Liz Pichon

Ivy really enjoys traditional fairy tales so I love it when we discover alternate versions with interesting twists! This new take on ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ had her giggling from start to finish.

When Mr Troll moves in to a brand new pad he’s looking forward to some luxury living, but instead he finds himself under a bridge frequented by a very noisy family of goats – the eponymous Billy Goats Fluff. The trip-trapping of their hooves keeps him awake 24/7, leaving him sleep-deprived and very, very grumpy.

He puts up a carefully worded sign but this doesn’t work so he soon finds himself shouting at the goats and threatening to eat them unless they stop waking him up. The three little billy goats are scared so they head home to tell their mum all about the nasty old troll.

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I’m Sorry!
by Barry Timms & Sean Julian

Scribble and Swoop are the best of friends and they love spending time together, having fun and pursuing their hobbies. Scribble enjoys writing and performing plays, whilst Swoop likes to build things with scraps of wood.

When the pair decide to set up home together they are very excited. They unpack their belongings and then sit in in the shade on their beautiful new veranda. As they sit quietly in the cool breeze, they each have a thought. Scribble thinks that the veranda would be the perfect setting for his plays, whilst Swoop is dreaming of turning it in to a workshop.

The next morning there’s a terrible squabble as the two friends argue over how they should use the space. Shouting ensues and they each stomp off in a huff.

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Slow Down Monkey!
by Jess French & Eefje Kuijl

It’s Monkey’s birthday and she’s planning a lavish party which she desperately wants to be perfect. She has asked her friends to look after the music, the cake and the decorations so she zips and zooms around the forest in a panic checking on their progress.

Unfortunately nothing is quite right, which sends Monkey in to a tizz. The birds are trying (and failing) to learn the drum beats she wanted, Bear has accidentally baked mud in to the cake and Tapir has got herself tangled up in the decorations. Monkey is in such a flap that she doesn’t stop to help. She just continues to swing around the forest, getting more stressed by the second.

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All Kinds of Kindness
by Judy Carey Nevin & Susie Hammer

We absolutely loved the previous collaboration between Judy Carey Nevin and Susie Hammer – All Kids are Good Kids – so we were really excited when this book arrived earlier this week, and it did not disappoint!

This stunning little board book looks at all the little ways we can show kindness to those around us. From saying please or sending a card, through to helping with chores or extending a hand to someone who is feeling lonely, no gesture is too small to make a difference.

The warm and friendly illustrations show a diverse group of children helping each other with a smile. In addition to different skin colours and hair styles we spotted a child in a wheelchair, a child with a walking stick, and two children in glasses (including glasses where one eye is covered completely). It’s also lovely to see that some of the children have an abundance of freckles, which is not something we’ve seen in a lot of picture books!

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Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller & Jen Hill

When Tanisha spills purple grape juice all over her favourite dress everybody in the school cafeteria laughs at her.

As she runs from the room in tears one lone girl wants to help but she just doesn’t know how. Later Tanisha returns to class wearing her art smock and the girl thinks about what she should have done. Could she have shared a napkin so Tanisha could dry herself? Should she have let her borrow her jumper? Should she have poured juice over herself as well to deflect the laughter?

As she sits painting a picture she ponders what it means to be kind. Is it giving or helping? Is it listening or sharing? Being kind should be easy, so why is it sometimes so hard?

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