Today is the big day! Ivy had her very first day at school. She went through the gate full of smiles ready for her big adventure so I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the transition is a smooth one.
One of the books we’ve been reading over the weekend to prepare her is this gorgeous hardback called ‘Wise Before Five’ which I spotted over on Instagram and simply had to buy. It has helped reassure her that she actually knows lots of things and is more than ready for school.
Featuring a diverse cast of children (including a child in a wheelchair and a child with a hearing aid), this essential guide to being almost five covers a wide range of topics whilst quietly celebrating the joy of being unique.
This fabulous counting book will take your child from their baby days right through to pre-school.
Made from heavy duty board, it first highlights the all important numbers 1 through 10 before moving to multiples of 10 in the later pages. Each number is illustrated with a familiar theme and there is A LOT of detail to explore.
If your child likes dinosaurs then they can see what 30 dinos look like all on one page. And how many of those dinosaurs have stripes? How many are red?
If vehicles are their thing then how about 70 of them on one double page spread? How many cars are there? What colour is the rocket? Which animal is riding a surfboard? You get the idea!
It’s rare that I sit down to write a review and don’t really know what to say. This book has no clear story and the only illustrations are crudely drawn worms – yet somehow it’s completely brilliant and we just can’t stop reading it!
So what exactly is it about I hear you ask?
Well, it’s about worms.
And counting worms.
Because the author can only draw worms.
And that is about all I can tell you! One of the worms has glasses and one of the worms gets accidentally cut in half. One of the worms even has a flying unicorn and travels to outer space – except the author can only draw worms so we have to imagine the rest…
Ivy and I both love the ‘Ten Little…’ books by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty so we were super excited to discover this brand new addition. I believe there are now 7 titles in the series and this one is definitely in our top 3 (our absolute favourites are Ten Little Dinosaurs and Ten Little Superheroes!).
The story starts with ten shiny new robots who have just been switched on at the robot factory. They are very excited by their surroundings so they decide to explore – with catastrophic results! We slowly count the robots down from ten to one as they encounter lasers, crushers, cogs, drones and explosions.
Can the last remaining robot restore order to the factory and bring all of his robot friends safely back together? Of course he can!
We are big fans of the ‘Ten Little …” series by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty and this one is our second favourite (Nothing beats Ten Little Dinosaurs!).
The story sees our ten tiny heroes take on the League of Bad Guys who have an evil plan to take over the city. They do their best to battle the hilarious baddies (which include Hippo Man, Glue Girl, Crab Man and Hypno Girl) but on each page we see one superhero disappear. The book counts backwards from ten until eventually there’s only one hero left. The bad guys think they’ve won and start to celebrate but the Super Kids have one last trick up their sleeve. Can all ten of them reassemble and save the day?
Ivy gets really excited when we read this as the rhyme is really bouncy, the illustrations are a riot of colour and there are lots of big superhero words to shout as you read – POW! ZAP! SPLAT!
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2Jybh5x
1 to 20 Animals a Plenty is officially our favourite counting book. It’s quirky, cool and makes Ivy laugh out loud!
As it moves through the numbers it introduces you to a host of animals doing ridiculous things, making it really memorable for toddlers. You won’t find five little ducks here. Instead we see llamas in pyjamas, gorillas gazing in mirrors and naughty raccoons who have stolen balloons from baboons.
The illustrations are both elegant and amusing and there are lots of different animals to explore. I love that it stays away from the traditional farmyard animals (although there are a few mixed in) and gives your child the opportunity to learn about some more exotic creatures. Ivy definitely didn’t know what a capybara was before we read this but she now recognises them and can (just about) pronounce it!
We love ‘Augustus and His Smile‘ by Catherine Rayner so we were really excited to see this lovely counting book which features the same character.
The book starts with lovely Augustus sitting on his own feeling lonely, but as we slowly count from 1 to 10 he meets some new friends, including bugs, birds, butterflies and bees.
This feels like it has a little more depth than your average counting book because the themes of friendship and nature are central to the simple narrative. As always, Catherine Rayner‘s illustrations are breathtaking and the animals seem to jump off the page.
If you’re looking for a baby or toddler gift that is educational, sturdy and beautiful to look at then this would be perfect.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2t0dcug
Most of you will be familiar with the old children’s counting song about ten sausages in a pan. The sausages in this book have obviously heard it too as they absolutely refuse to go POP or BANG!
Just like the song, the story starts with ten fat sausages sizzling in a pan and there is lots of counting – but that’s where the similarity ends. These sausages have minds of their own and they are on a mission to fight back! Some do unfortunately still go POP but the others manage to escape the pan and make a run for freedom. The problem is that the kitchen turns out to be way more dangerous than they anticipated!
Can they escape their fate or will they still end up as lunch?
Little Flora has found a nest of eggs and they’re starting to hatch. When the mother hen wanders off Flora tries to scoop up the little chicks and transfer them to a large bowl but their wriggling and flapping make it a challenging task. Can your little one help her count them in?
This wordless lift-the-flap book has gorgeous illustrations and the cheeky rabble of wandering chicks never fail to amuse Ivy as they refuse to stay put. Flora is a determined little girl though and, unflustered, she tries her best to round all ten of them up.
How does she manage to do this so gracefully? Look closely at the illustrations and you’ll spot that she’s actually performing a number of dance moves as she gathers up the chicks – a lovely detail if your toddler happens to go to a dance class and can recognise the positions!
Abigail is a beautiful giraffe who loves to count – however the things she wants to count won’t keep still!
A ladybird scuttles away when she tries to count his spots. Then she tries leaves but the zebra gobbles them up faster than she can count them. As each attempt at counting is scuppered she starts to get frustrated and when night falls she is ready to give up.
However when they look up, Abigail and her friends discover that nature has given them a whole sky full of twinkling stars which they can count together.
The illustrations in this one are breathtaking and there’s a fantastic fold out page where you can stretch Abigail’s long neck up to the sky. Ivy was super excited when she discovered that page and now she squirms in anticipation as we get to the end of the story.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2oOzTyt