Ivy’s Guest Book: Claire Winter, Owner, Making Words Come Alive

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Claire and I live in Maidenhead in Berkshire with my husband and three girls, 11-year-old twins and a 16 year old. We love being outdoors, walking, running and of course reading.

I help businesses make their word come alive in print, online and on social media. I teach businesses how to write and create content so they can reach more customers. I’ve worked as a journalist and copywriter for twenty years. I love the written word and I hope my passion for reading has been passed on to my girls.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Stephanie Sadler, Owner, Little Observationist

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Steph. I live in southwest London with my husband Jorge, our 2-year-old daughter Emilia and a lazy cat called Oakley.

I’m a freelance social media strategist and content creator with a focus on small businesses in travel and the visual arts, plus a wonderful charity that advocates for disability inclusion. I’m from New York, but have lived in London for 12 years. Jorge is from Spain. He’s a garden designer, manages a local garden centre and teaches garden design to university students.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

Emilia’s favourite book is one that I dug out of a box in my parent’s attic last year. It’s called I’m Not Sleepy by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins. It was written in 1988 and was one of my favourite books when I was a child.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Becky Gilbert, Founder, Rumpuspuss

RumpuspussTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello. I’m Becky, and I am the creator of Rumpuspuss. I make beautifully illustrated personalised jigsaws for children where their name features in both the illustration and the pieces, so it is integral to solving the puzzle. I live in Bristol with my husband, 2 children (aged 6 and 3) and 3 cats.

What are your children’s favourite books?

The runaway winner with both children is Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake. Both kids find it hilarious, and I must admit that we adults quite enjoy it too. If you haven’t discovered Simon the little rabbit then look him up. The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak is another favourite, and anything by Mo Willems. All three encourage a bit of participation, and make the adult reading it look a bit silly, so the kids love them. My son is also really into Asterix at the moment, though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get the puns.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Daisy Seale-Barnes, Founder, Raise And Shine

Raise and ShineTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, my name is Daisy. I am a South-East London girl and I live in Peckham Rye with my husband and three children (Flint aged 9, Jackson 7 and Honey 18 months).

I run Raise and Shine,which helps parents better manage the everyday challenges of parenthood through evidence-based parenting and mindfulness skills. As a previously self-confessed ‘parenting education’ sceptic (I thought parenting courses were just for the totally reckless!), I discovered the techniques I teach by chance, but they transformed our family life so much for the better that I went on to train as a parenting coach. Given that everyday parenting is such a hard job, I now believe all parents should be taught this stuff!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Lynsey Pollard, Director, Little Box of Books

Little Box of BooksTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Lynsey, I live with my partner Neil and our two sons Arlo, 5 and Kit, who was born in November. We live in London and run Little Box of Books which we set up in March 2018.

Before I started Little Box of Books I worked in humanitarian and charity communications, travelling to areas of war and disaster to raise awareness and funds for people who really need it.

We manage the business out of our flat, which we’re currently doing during baby nap times and on about 4 hours sleep a day.

What is your son’s favourite book?

I wanted it to be something really woke and in line with our ethos but it’s not. Arlo’s absolutely favourite book is ‘Not Now Bernard’, by David McKee. It’s the simplest, most ridiculous, brilliant children’s story.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Miranda Gregory, Founder, GPS Return

GPS ReturnTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Miranda Gregory, Mum to 2: Holly (6) and William (3) and wife to 1. Together with my husband Simon, we run GPS Return and we help people who have taken career breaks return to work. Simon works on the recruitment side of the business and I am the Career Mentor – working 1:1 with people to help them work out what it is they want to do and how they can get there. We live in beautiful Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Holly is a superstar reader and is enthusiastic about everything she reads. We have recently finished the Faraway Tree books. I think these were great for her imagination – Enid Blyton is so vivid that it was so easy for Holly to picture the fantasy world and it did influence her activities for a while, such as drawing and role play.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Marisa Levenson, Founder, Young Folkies

Young FolkiesTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Marisa and I’m a musician. I graduated university with BA degrees in Sociology and Spanish and an MSc in Development Studies. I’ve worked at various charities over the years, but switched gears career-wise after becoming a mum so I could work more flexibly. I am American (and now also British) and have been living in London for the last 11 years, now with my husband and our 3-year-old daughter. During this time, I have been in a London-based folk rock band called “The Common Earth” as singer/songwriter/guitarist and then singer in an acoustic duo called “Acoustically Tuned,” which played cover songs at events.

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Competition Time: Win A 6 Month Subscription to Little Box of Books

We’ve teamed up with the fantastic Little Box of Books on a very exciting competition! We’re offering you the chance to win a 6 month subscription to one of their diverse & Inclusive children’s book boxes, worth £129.99.

Each month, for the next 6 months, the winner will receive a box containing 3 books which are theirs to keep (that’s 18 books in total!). Each box is carefully curated to include multicultural & diverse characters, gender equality, different kinds of family life and more visibility for under-represented children.

Boxes are available for ages 0-3 and 4-7 so you can pick the one most suited to your child.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Jo Skundric, Co-Founder, Mini Motto Clothing

Mini Motto ClothingTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Jo and I have three boys, Ollie 12, Sam 9 and Matthew 6. I am married to Nick, who I met at University and after lots of years living in South London we decided to make the move to Surrey 3 years ago.  In November 2018 with my good friend Lynsey, I launched an online children’s clothing company called Mini Motto Clothing.

What are your sons’ favourite books?

For years Matthew has loved You Choose by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Nick Sharratt.  The book is full of amazing illustrations with only a few words.  It is very interactive as it introduces the concept of choices to children.  It has been amazing to see the change in Matthew’s responses over time.  At the beginning he would just make a choice but over time, he began to explain the reasons for his choices and then started making stories around the choices.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Jon Richards, Brand Identity Designer, Obladee

ObladeeTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Jon Richards. I am a Brand Identity Designer and along with my business partner Dan, we are Obladee. I live in Swindon with my wife and two young children, Emily aged 3 and Alice aged 1.

When our eldest daughter Emily was born, a friend gifted us a Hairy Maclary book along with the advice of reading a book everyday before bed from the day they are born and we have done so ever since.

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