Ivy’s Guest Book: Marie Farmer, Founder, Mini Mealtimes

Marie FarmerTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Marie Farmer and I’m the founder of the family nutrition app, Mini Mealtimes. Coming to an app store near you soon. I live in London with my wonderful husband and 2 year old son, who is on the spectrum.

What is your son’s favourite book?

My sons favourite book seems to vary from week to week but Not Now Bernard by David McKee is a staple in our house.

Which book do you most like reading to him and why?

I love to read him any book by Julia Donaldson. Her engaging plots, memorable characters and the unique illustrations always keep my son glued to the spot. Plus they are entertaining for me so reading them over and over isn’t a chore. At least until the 5th reading in a row anyway 🙂

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Competition Time: Win A 30th Anniversary Edition of The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen

Can you believe that it’s been 30 years since the world first met Kipper the dog? To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the lovely folks over at Hachette Children’s UK to give you the chance to win a gorgeous 30th anniversary edition of the very first Kipper book – The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen.

We have two copies available – one for Facebook followers and one for Instagram followers.

Click here to enter on Facebook

Click here to enter on Instagram

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Ruth Bradford, Owner, The Little Black & White Book Project

Ruth BradfordTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi! I’m Ruth and I am the owner/creator of The Little Black & White Book Project, monochrome animal illustrations for babies and toddlers in the form of books, flash cards, prints and accessories. After 6 years overseas in Singapore, we moved to Bristol in 2017 and I live with my husband and my little boy who is 2.

What is your son’s favourite book?

My son is a real little book worm! We’ve read to him since birth and it’s now his go-to activity every morning and of course at bedtime. His favourites change weekly but he usually comes back to the same few time and time again. So I’d probably say Paddington by Michael Bond would have to be right up there for him, but like most toddlers he’s also really into Room On The Broom and Zog at the moment too, I think he likes the lyricalness (if that’s a word?) of the stories.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Eloise Rickman, Writer and Parent Educator

Eloise RickmanTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Eloise, a mother, writer, and parent educator. I live in a house full of books in South London with my husband Sam, our daughter Frida who will be four in April, and our mischievous ginger cat Albie. We will be home educating Frida, and I’m inspired by a range of approaches including Montessori, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, the Scandinavian model of education, the Forest School movement, and unschooling.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

Oh that is so hard – it varies from day to day. Like me, she’s a real bookworm and will happily sit for hours whilst we read to her. Can I cheat and name a few? For non-fiction, she loves the brilliant Nature Storybooks series, Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures (this probably wins the award for the book I’ve been asked to read the most!), and Tiny by Nicola Davies has been a firm favourite for years now. In terms of fiction, it’s just too hard to say. We’ve just read Mister Cleghorn’s Seal by Judith Kerr which was brilliant.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Alexandra Appleton, Freelance Writer & Researcher

Alexandra AppletonTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Alex and I’m a freelance writer, editor and proofreader. I have a PhD in English Literature/Theatre History and I’m currently re-writing my thesis into a book for publication! I live in Harlow, Essex with my husband (Leo), youngest stepdaughter (18), and two children (aged 6 and 4). Oh and we have another baby on the way this summer!

What are your children’s favourite books?

When my son, Jackson, was a toddler, he was OBSESSED by The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and boy do I mean obsessed. As well as reading them throughout the day, we had to read them every night, speaking increasingly softly as he dropped off to sleep! He loved the rhyming pattern and the sounds of the words. After a few weeks, my husband and I knew all the words and could recite them in a doze as we read on the end of his bed.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Kemi Omijeh, Owner, Relax Kids

Relax KidsHi Kemi! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

We are a family of 4, my husband and I and a 4 year old darling girl and a 6 months old ravenous boy – he loves his milk! The adjustment from 1 child to 2 children was certainly a shock to my system! I am Kemi, a children’s therapist and an emotional well-being coach. We live in Barnet and absolutely love it here.

What are your children’s favourite books?

The first book that sprung to mind when I saw this question was ‘So Much‘ by Trish Cooke. ‘So Much‘ is a lovely story about mum and baby waiting for dad’s arrival and whilst they wait different members of their family arrive and engage with the baby in various funny and loving ways. Then there is a surprise at the end. This book was a firm favourite with my daughter from about 7 months until 2.5 years old, I can recite the story off by heart. 

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Lucie Gray, Owner, Paper Aeroplane Creative

Paper Aeroplane CreativeTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hullo, I’m Lucie. I live with my partner Mark and two children, Eloise 4 (& the all important 3/4) and Oliver 2. We live in Keynsham, a town squeezed between Bristol and Bath. I’m a packaging and branding designer.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Oliver’s favourite book is ‘Ten Little Pirates‘ by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty. Each pirate peril is met with an “Oh NO!” and we are guaranteed an arm swooshing “Arrrrr” at the end followed by “again Mummy!”

It’s really hard to pin Eloise down to just one favourite book, she won’t go to bed without at least an armful to read, but at a push it would be something written by Julia Donaldson.  She knows them off by heart and can be regularly heard reading them to her favourite soft toy, Rosie.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Jaclyn Townshend, Owner, Lingotot Gravesend

Lingotot GravesendTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! My name is Jaclyn and after having my son in April 2016 I left my Facilities Manager role in London and I now run Lingotot Gravesend. I live in Hoo in Kent with my husband and our son Finn who is 2.5, and we love to travel to see my parents who live in rural Spain. I’m part of a book club who meet monthly and I love to read, sadly I don’t have as much time as I used to when I used to commute to London and had hours to read, but I now enjoy reading with my son who loves to sit down with a new book and read it over and over (and over…) again!

What is your son’s favourite book?

Finn’s current favourite is Oi Frog! By Kes Gray & Jim Field – it’s a hilarious rhyming story about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit. Finn loves saying the relevant rhyming word to the animal (i.e. cats sit on mats, foxes sit on boxes) and he’s learnt lots of new words as a result. There are lots of different animals in the series and I can’t wait to get more books for us to read.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Natasha Kaplinsky, Co-Founder, Mum & You

Natasha KaplinskyTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Natasha Kaplinsky. For many years I have anchored news for the BBC, Sky and ITV. I am also a very active Ambassador for Save the Children. Through my travels with Save the Children I was inspired to work more with mothers and babies and so two years ago I co-founded a company called Mum & You.   We live on a farm in Sussex with our two children and our 47 pets!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Our kids love reading so it’s hard to name a particular author or a book. Now that they are 8 and 10, when they get into a particular author, I bulk buy all the books in that series – just to keep them reading. I have always said to the kids that they can beg all they like for random bits and pieces, but I will never say no if they ask for a new book.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Ruth Stevenson, Research Consultant, Ruthless Research

Ruthless ResearchTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello I’m Ruth, and I live in Edinburgh with my husband and my four year old son Arran.  I’ve been self employed now for eight years providing research services for charities, and these days I run my business flexibly around Arran’s pre-school needs. Edinburgh is an arts and cultural hub and we do our best to take advantage of the various festivals and events that run here throughout the year.

What is your son’s favourite book?

There’s a lovely series of books based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats with illustrations by Arthur Robins, and we have the five that have come out so far.  We have read them all many times and our favourites are Skimbleshanks (the railway cat) and Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer (the cat burglars).  We enjoy the interesting rhymes and beautiful pictures, and also the opportunity to listen to the songs in the car based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.  I can’t wait to take Arran to see Cats at the theatre some day!

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