Lola the rabbit loves her art lessons at school. The splashing and sploshing of paint completely consumes her, until the bell rings for playtime and her happiness comes crashing down.
Lola is autistic and has a demand avoidant profile. This means she does not like loud noises or being told to stop an activity without any warning. As the children crash and bang around Lola becomes increasingly distressed.
Outside in the playground her discomfort continues. She doesn’t know how to join in with the other children and is scared of being rejected if she does something wrong.
As parents we naturally want to shield our children from sadness but it’s an important topic to touch on if we want to raise resilient future adults. There are now lots of titles on the market which feature loss or difficult goodbyes, but all too often we only seek them out in times of need. This beautiful book from Corrinne Averiss is an excellent addition to a child’s bookshelf as it gently weaves the subject in to a wonderful bedtime story.
A little girl finds a fallen star and gently nurses him back to health. She cleans him, feeds him and takes the time to learn all about her new friend. When he starts to get better she wants him to play but understands that he is a little different to her. He sleeps in the day and isn’t interested in toys but they soon find ways to just enjoy each others company.
A few weeks ago, Ivy and I were having a chilled morning in our pyjamas with no specific plans for the day – but then this book arrived in the post and everything changed. Suddenly our living room was an exercise studio and Ivy was in stitches trying to hold a Tree pose whilst I read to her about a yoga-loving llama!
Llamaste is a kind and calm creature who loves to practise yoga and look after her friends. The story follows her as she pays each of them a visit and helps them feel better using different yoga poses. A scared flamingo tries the Warrior pose and soon feels like a superhero. A cross tiger calms down using the Downward Dog. Each friend has a different worry for Llamaste to ease and each page encourages your child to consider their own emotions by asking them if they have ever felt this way.
The little boy in this book has lots of lovely people in his life and he wants to tell you all about his favourites! From Auntie Meg (who cuts his hair and has four cats) through to his teacher Mr. Martin (who wears cool clothes), we hear all about the diverse characters which make up the boys world.
Each of the people mentioned have a different job and play a different role in the boys life. Ivy and I talk about the equivalents in our own lives and then Ivy likes to list out all of her own favourite people (which naturally changes at least once a day!)
The story also encourages you to think about why you like people. What do they bring to your life that is special? Why are they your favourites? What would it be like to have all of your favourite people in one room?
Since Ivy started nursery in January we have had lots of conversations about friendship, and this gorgeous book from Caryl Hart and Ali Pye has helped pull all of those strands together.
The gentle rhyme explains what friends are and what you can do for each other to make your days a little brighter. From helping each other in the classroom through to scratching an itch they can’t reach, we see a diverse group of children revel in the company of their friends.
Sometimes friends are very similar to you and sometimes they’re different. Sometimes they live close by and sometimes they live far away. Whatever the nature of your friendships, we see that they enrich our lives in many different ways.
Whiffy Wilson is a little wolf who refuses to go to school. He doesn’t want to sit in a boring old classroom and learn his ABCs. He’d much rather stay at home and watch TV because that’s much more fun! This may sound a little naughty but Whiffy isn’t really a bad little wolf. Deep down he’s scared of going to school because he doesn’t know what to expect and he’s worried about getting things wrong.
This all changes when he pops next door one day and asks his friend to come and play. She’s in the middle of getting ready for school and insists that Whiffy comes along too. She drags him in to class and shows him the ropes – and soon Whiffy finds himself having fun. He paints pictures, makes biscuits, plays football and even gets a gold star from the teacher for making a flying car.
Usually I like to have a book in the house for at least 2 weeks before I sit down and review it. This ensures that we’ve read it multiple times and that I have had ample opportunity to observe how Ivy feels about a story. However I am breaking with tradition with this one as she is totally in love. We only received this book yesterday afternoon but we’re already well in to double figures on the number of times it’s been read!
Bear and Hamster are the best of friends. They are very happy living together in their little house, but every time they turn on the TV they are subjected to very loud adverts from an extremely persuasive salesbird called Sneaky Beak. They laugh at the ads together but in bed at night Bear finds himself wondering if perhaps he is missing out. As he feels a bed spring ping beneath him, he thinks that maybe he might need Sneaky Beak’s help.
We’ve recently discovered the joys of Claude and his trusty side kick Sir Bobblysock via the TV Series on Disney Junior so we were very excited to receive this book in the post. Based on one of the episodes, this sporty story follows the two friends as they hunt down their favourite fruit!
When Sir Bobblysock wakes up early one morning with a craving for strawberries, he and Claude head out to their local fruit and veg van to buy some. However when they get there they discover that the entire strawberry supply has been bought up by the Pawhaven Tennis Championship. Oh no!
When three little girls find a tattered hot air balloon hidden away in an old shed they realise they have found something special. The balloon used to belong to their grandmother, and they have heard many stories about the adventures she had in it as a girl.
With a flicker of excitement they realise that, if they can fix the balloon, they could have some adventures of their very own! Working together, they mend the holes in the fabric and soon find themselves soaring through the sky.
However it’s not long before they discover that flying a hot air balloon isn’t quite as easy as it looks, and after a minor collision with a tree they start to doubt their own abilities. Will they manage to fly the balloon safely to Grandma’s house, and what on earth might she say when they arrive?
Every parent hopes that their child will grow up to be kind, and for that reason I think this book should be on bookshelves everywhere. It teaches children the value of kindness and the difference it can make to the world.
The tiniest little things can turn someone’s whole day around and they cost you absolutely nothing – a smile, a hug, a hand to hold. The book asks children to think about what they can do to help those around them. This could be something as simple as carrying a bag, being a little bit patient or sharing your toys.
It also encourages kids to think about how others might be feeling. If there is a new person in their class then they might be nervous or scared, so how can they make it easier for them?