Category

Friendship

Beatrix and her Bunnies
by Rebecca Colby & Caroline Bonne-Müller

I’ve read countless stories by Beatrix Potter but I have to admit that until I read this beautifully illustrated picture book I didn’t know anything about her life. Did you know that Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit were real live animals which she befriended? Nope. Me either!

At the start of Rebecca Colby’s story, young Beatrix is living in London and feeling very lonely indeed. She loves animals and has lots of pets but none of them can really play with her in the way that she’d like. But then, on a visit to the countryside, she meets Benjamin, a mischievous bunny who loves snuggles and games. Finally the little girl has a friend!

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Alone!
by Barry Falls

On the edge of a busy, bustling town is a hill with a little house on top. This is the home of Billy McGill, a solitary child who avoids people and noise. He enjoys his own company and spends his days alone with his books for company, until one day he hears the squeak of a mouse…

Billy definitely doesn’t want to share his house with the tiny furry creature so he heads into town to fetch a cat to scare away the mouse. This seems like a great idea, until the two animals unexpectedly become friends. Billy then finds a dog to scare the cat, but this doesn’t work either. The boy’s plan soon spirals out of control and he soon finds himself co-habiting with a mouse, a cat, a dog, a bear, a tiger, a vet, a sheep, a hairdresser, a baby and a big red balloon!

Overwhelmed by the noise and the chaos, Billy storms out of his house and finds a new hill, but as he stares into the sunset he finds himself thinking of everything he has left behind. Could he be ready to let some new friends into his life?

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Can I Sit With You?
by Sarah Jacoby

This heartwarming and stunningly illustrated book will tug on the heart strings of anyone who has ever had a beloved pet. Reading it brought back lots of happy memories of the cocker spaniel we had when I was a child. Pugsley (yes – I know! My brother and I were fans of The Addams Family at the time!) was incredibly naughty but gave the best snuggles.

At the start of this story we see a small stray dog brandishing a stick. He is looking for someone to play with him so he approaches a lonely little girl. What follows is a beautiful love story which lasts for many years.

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Dig! Dig! Dig!
by Wenda Shurety & Andrea Stegmeier

Jake is bored and more than a little gloomy. As he sits at home staring out of the window into the cold grey street he longs for colour and excitement – but where can he find it? He twirls his globe and finds himself wondering what life is like on the other side of the world.

Feeling inspired, Jake heads out into the garden and starts to dig a hole with his bare hands. If he digs deep enough then surely he can tunnel right through the earth and pop up in the southern hemisphere.

As Jake digs something wonderful starts to happen. First a little girl appears with a spoon and asks if she can help, then a boy arrives with a toy digger. Soon the garden is full of children all working together to help Jake on his quest – but how far will they get?

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Mini Monsters: Can I Be The Best
by Caryl Hart & Tony Neal

Since Ivy started school last September we’ve had some struggles with perfectionism. If she’s not immediately the best at something then she gets disheartened and doesn’t want to try. It’s an uphill battle but, as always, we’ve found books really helpful to try and put things into perspective for her.

This new title in the Mini Monsters series has therefore come at just the right time for us. We both loved the first book – ‘Can I Play?’ – so Ivy was very excited to see a new story with familiar characters.

Scout, Sparkle, Arthur and Tiny are back once again and, having worked out how to play nicely together in book one, they have a brand new pres-school problem. They each want to be THE BEST.

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While We Can’t Hug
by Eoin McLoughlin & Polly Dunbar

Well here we are again! It’s lockdown 3.0 and I am really feeling it this time around. Ivy hasn’t seen her grandparents since August so she’s really missing them, plus the dreary weather and general sense of uncertainty is adding an extra layer of gloom.

If your little ones are feeling the same then you might want to take a peek at this heartwarming story which talks about how it feels to be separated from your nearest and dearest.

Hedgehog and Tortoise are the best of friends. They love to spend time together but they’re sad because they’re not allowed to go near each other right now. How can they show each other they care if they can’t hug?

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ABCs of Kindness
by Samantha Berger & Ekaterina Trukhan

2020 will be remembered as the year we found ourselves separated from friends and family, but in many ways it brought people closer together. Our local community banded around to make sure everyone had food and shelter and there was a huge surge of support for our precious small businesses. Kindness was everywhere and I really hope that this continues into 2021 and beyond!

This gorgeous little ABC book is a great way to introduce the concept of kindness to small children. Each letter of the alphabet is illustrated with a tangible act which is easy for toddlers and pre-schoolers to understand. You can Brighten someone’s day with a smile. You can Stand up for someone else. You can Thank others and make them feel appreciated. You can Understand that everyone has their own way of doing things. Each suggestion is a small thing which costs you nothing but the positive impact it has is clear to see.

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The Robin and the Reindeer
by Rosa Bailey & Carmen Saldaña

Time for another chapter book review!

It’s Little Reindeer’s first winter and she’s astonished to see snow falling from the sky. Her whole world is soon covered in a thick white blanket, changing once familiar surroundings into something strange and new.

Her herd set off in search of shelter and the calf is given the great honour of walking alongside their Leader. As the flakes start to flurry and the snow gets deeper Little Reindeer pauses to look at the enormous moon – but when spots a shooting star and turns to tells her friends she realises that she has become separated from the group. All she can see are little white tails bobbing far off in the distance.

Cold, tired and alone she tries to get her bearings but it’s no use – Little Reindeer is lost. However a chance encounter with a kindly little Robin gives her hope. Together they navigate the wintry terrain with the help of a little bit of woodland magic.

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The Most Wonderful Gift In The World
by Mark Sperring & Lucy Fleming

When Esme and Bear finish opening their Christmas presents they are surprised to discover one last gift hidden away at the back of tree. It’s a small box wrapped in red paper with a beautiful golden bow. Who could it be for?

The tag reveals that the intended recipient is Little Bunny Boo-Boo – but they don’t now who that is! Saddened by the prospect of someone missing out on a gift, they pull on their hats and coats and head out in to the snow. Fortunately they spot a sign for Little Bunny Boo-Boo’s house straight away but it looks like the journey might be a tiny bit tricky….

First they have to slip and slide down a treacherous path and then they have to walk through a howling gale. When they come to a deep snow drift they consider giving up but they know in their hearts that they need to get the gift to its rightful owner.

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The Spots and the Dots
by Helen Baugh & Marion Deuchars

This is a very clever book which features two stories – the first one you read traditionally from the front cover, then you flip the book over to read the second story from the back cover. The two stories meet in the middle which makes for a very smart twist.

The Spots are little red dots who live at the bottom of a very steep hill. They live in little tent-like pods and they love to bounce around and have fun. However the Spots live in fear of the terrible Dots who are rumoured to live on the other side of the hill. From when they are babies, the Spots are taught by their parents that they must never go up to the top of the hill because the terrible Dots will take them away. The story is passed down through generations of Spots and the children play games of Spot vs Dot where they always come out on top.

Flip the book over and we see another little community, telling a story which is somewhat familiar…

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