As the rain beats down on a sandy beach, Little Turtle pushes her way up and out of her nest and gets her first view of the world. Instinctively she moves quickly towards the waves and soon she finds herself swimming in the ocean which will become her home.
As she grows and becomes more confident she marvels at the beauty she sees around her. The bright colours, glittering shoals of fish and reefs teeming with life all delight her senses and make her feel so happy to be alive. The ocean is her very best friend.
When Turtle matures she returns to the beach where she was born to release her own clutch of eggs on the sandy shore. She makes this journey many times and she loves the fact that each journey is different because her beautiful ocean is always changing, always offering something different for her to behold.
Seahorses are special because, unlike most animals, it is the male of the species which gets pregnant. When it’s time to mate he puffs out his tummy and the female lays her eggs in a little pouch where they are then fertilised. He carries the eggs until the baby seahorses are ready to be born.
This beautiful board book follows Mister Seahorse from conception to birth as he meets a whole host of other sea creatures who are preparing for the arrival of their own little ones. As we follow his journey we discover that he is not unique and that many other male fish go to great lengths to keep their young safe.
Mr. Stickleback builds a nest for Mrs. Sticklebacks eggs and then hovers over it, protecting them. Mr. Tilapia carefully carries eggs in his mouth so they are safe from predators. Mrs. Kurtus lays her eggs on Mr. Kurtus’ head and he carries them there until they are ready to hatch. Mr Pipe has a line of eggs running right along his belly and Mr. Bullhead is the primary carer of his brood once they are welcomed in to the world.
When Sophie the baby sea otter learns about the horizon she is determined to swim all the way there. Her Mum warns her it’s impossible but Sophie thinks it doesn’t look that far, so she sneaks off on an epic journey.
On her travels she finds a magnificent lighthouse, befriends a walrus, meets a whale and dives deep under the water to swim with colourful tropical fish – but no matter how far she travels that pesky horizon eludes her.
As night falls Sophie realises that perhaps her Mum was right. Tired and alone, she bristles with fear when she spots a mighty ship heading in her direction. She has swum so far, how will she ever make it home?
At the moment, if you ask Ivy to go and pick a book then this is the one she inevitably comes back with. We read it every day and she’s even made me construct a sparkly beard out of an old headband so she can pretend to be the main character!
The story is about a girl called Peg who is utterly fed up of living with her wicked Step-Great-Grand Auntie. Her only refuge from all the chores she has to do is her beloved collection of adventure books.
One day she takes the cat for a walk and discovers that the pirates have come to town and are looking for new recruits to help them find treasure. Seeing a way out of her miserable life, she asks if she can join them but they rudely refuse. They tell her that she’s too nice, too small and, most importantly, she doesn’t have a beard therefore she can’t ever be a pirate!
Brian is a piranha who loves nothing more than to tuck in to some fruit and veg – but his piranha friends think he’s bonkers because their favourite pastime is nibbling on tasty humans.
Brian’s attempts at converting them fall on deaf ears and soon they’re fed up with him waving bananas and plums in front of their faces. He agrees to stop but on one condition – they need to actually taste one of his fruit and veg platters. Will he be able to convince them to swap knees for peas or will they continue with their carnivorous ways?
Ivy finds this book hilarious, especially as it features the word ‘bum’. Always a winner with toddlers!
Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks is a lovely little book about sharing and friendship, which we have read over and over again.
The story is about a little hermit crab who is looking for a new home. He finds a lovely shiny shell and moves right in but then he meets an anemone who wants to move in too! He really doesn’t want to share his shell but the anemone explains that he can help ward off predators so will earn his keep. The crab reluctantly agrees and soon realises that having the anemone around is really helpful and they are very happy living together. Then up rocks a bristleworm who also wants to move in. Again, the crab isn’t keen but relents when he realises that the bristleworm will keep the shell nice and clean.
Our copy of The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks looks a little the worse for wear as it’s seen a LOT of love in the 18 months we’ve owned it!
The story is about a mermaid with a beautiful voice. One day she is discovered by a circus owner called Sam Sly who convinces her to leave her lovely beach to join his circus and sing to the crowds. He promises that if she goes with him she will become rich and famous. Excited, she agrees to go despite the protestations of her friends.
She makes lots of friends at the circus but surprise surprise, Sam Sly does not turn out to be a nice character. He keeps her in a tiny fish tank and the riches he promised never materialise. Instead she feels trapped and longs to return to the sea.
The Snail And The Whale is one of our favourite collaborations between Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a real sense of adventure but the rhyme is also very calming so it’s perfect for bedtime.
The story is about a little snail who longs to travel – but her family thinks she’s a little crazy and don’t understand at all! She’s determined to see the world so she hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. On their magnificent journey the snail sees icebergs and volcanoes, beautiful beaches and strange animals. She is amazed at how big the world is and this makes her feel small and insignificant.
I bought this book based solely on the beautiful cover and when it arrived I loved it – but if i’m honest I wasn’t sure if it would hold Ivy’s attention. I was very wrong!
The story is about a little girl, living in a city who likes to watch the river through her bedroom window. As she sits there she imagines the journey the river takes as it moves towards the ocean.
The illustrations are a joy and my initial assessment that it might be a bit old for Ivy was immediately proved wrong when we read the book together and she was completely memorised by the pictures. The river moves from the city to patchwork fields, then through rolling mountains, over a waterfall and in to a jungle rich with animal life. Finally we move through mangroves of crocodiles before reaching the ocean and gazing at the sea life beneath the little girl’s imaginary boat.
Luka lives by the seaside and is fascinated by the ocean but his family don’t share his interest at all. He really wants to learn to swim but he doesn’t have anyone to teach him so instead he watches the waves and wonders what it might be like.
One day he spots a girl having fun in the water and she moves so gracefully that he thinks it must be a mermaid. He watches her for a long time until she swims up to the pier and is pulled gently out of the water by her father. He is so mesmerised by her that he barely notices the fact she uses a wheelchair on land – all he can see is her smile.
She tells him that her name is Sylvia and she offers to teach him to swim. By the end of the next day Luka is able to float on the waves all by himself and his family are very proud of his achievement.