Ivy’s Guest Book: Amanda Overend, Founder, Books & Pieces

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Amanda and I live in Leicestershire with my husband and three boys, ages 4, 6 and 8. I run independent online bookstore Books & Pieces which specialises in brilliant value books and gifts for 0-6 year olds.

I’ve always been a big fan of books, and I love to read in my spare time, so I’m really delighted to be sharing my love of books and helping other families find books and activities to enjoy together through my online store and community.

And I love that my boys share my passion for books and reading – it’s something nursery workers and teachers have always commented on right from being babies, and I hope they continue to love books just as much into adulthood.

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Poor Little Rabbit! by Jörg Mühle

Ivy fell over at nursery today and came home with two badly grazed knees. She was feeling very sorry for herself but we popped this gorgeous little board book off the shelf and her sniffles soon turned to giggles.

Poor Little Rabbit has taken a tumble and he has a big ouchy on his elbow. It’s up to your little one to help him out and make him feel better!

First the book suggests blowing on the elbow. This helps a tiny bit but Little Rabbit doesn’t like the fact he can see blood. Perhaps a plaster might help? Your child is then invited to try singing a song, stroking his ears and then wiping away his tears.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Sara Tateno, Founder, Happity

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! I’m Sara – I have 2 kids – aged 4 and 7, and I’m the founder of Happity.co.uk. We live in Forest Hill, SE London.

Happity is a startup helping parents to find and book local baby & toddler classes. I originally built the site myself after being made redundant and retraining as a web developer. I raised angel funding to grow the team and these days I run the business working flexibly from home, serving around 1,000 class providers and some 150,000 parents.

Reading has a big role in our family life. Bedtime stories happen every night without fail, for about half an hour with each child. The worst punishment for naughty behaviour in our house, would be to lose a bedtime story!

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Aqua Dog by Lisa Van Der Wielen & Alison Mutton

Aqua is a dog who works hard on an Australian farm, herding sheep and helping the farmer. However whenever he gets the chance, he runs off to the water hole for a quick paddle. He likes nothing better than to swim, splash and dive beneath the surface – but the farmer just doesn’t understand. Aqua often gets in to trouble for indulging his passion for swimming!

One day, the farm is hit by a terrible storm and the rain soon causes a flood. The farmer doesn’t know what to do but Aqua Dog springs in to action. He dives through the water, and like a hero, he rescues every sheep. Once his rescue mission is complete he looks around for the farmer but he’s nowhere to be found. Aqua soon realises he must be underwater and he can’t swim! Can he rescue him before it’s too late?

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Will you join us for #selfpubsaturday?

My mission for Ivy’s Library has always been to share with you the books which Ivy and I love. These are the books which we are excited to read and that we hope you will be too!

But this doesn’t always mean the bestsellers and the books which line the shelves at your favourite bookshops.

Sometimes our favourite books are ones with little marketing budgets, which means if we don’t shout about them then you might not ever know they exist!

We review a lot of books which are self-published or which come from small indie publishers – like Sojo & MouseThea Chops BooksOwlet PressFreya’s Funny FeelingGlitter The Unicorn and Lucy’s Blue Day – and there are some truly fantastic ones out there.

So from today I am formalising this and introducing #selfpubsaturday! Every Saturday I commit to reviewing a book which is not from a large scale publisher and i’d love you to get involved.

How?
* Know an author with great books who you think deserves some recognition? Tag them below
* Share your favourite self-published books with us by mentioning them below or tagging us on instagram using #selfpubsaturday

And if you’re a self-published or aspiring author then make sure you say hi!

Let’s give these books the recognition they deserve <3

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My Brother Otto by Meg Raby & Elisa Pallmer

Piper Crow is a little bird with a very special brother called Otto. Otto is on the autism spectrum which means that he sees the world a little differently, and sometimes other people don’t understand him.

This beautifully illustrated story follows a day in the life of the two siblings as they face new challenges together.

We learn that Otto loves the colour yellow. In fact, he loves yellow so much that he needs everything to be yellow – from his clothes and his toys right through to his drinks and his food. When things aren’t yellow, Otto is very unhappy. Otto likes to spin in circles, go extra high on the swings and hold his hands over his ears when things get too loud. Piper also tells us that Otto is non-verbal, so he uses a tablet to communicate.

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Incredible You by Rhys Brisenden and Nathan Reed

Have you ever had a bad day and wished that you were someone else?

This magical book takes a look at what it might be like to fly away from your troubles like a bird, bark out your anger like a dog in the park or just curl up and sleep like a cat. These are all very attractive options when you’re feeling a little down, but do you know what’s best? Being YOU, because YOU are INCREDIBLE.

The lyrical and exuberant rhyme whisks us off on a tour of all the wonderful things you can do – like sing songs, build things, dance, draw and touch your nose with your toe! It celebrates individuality and is fantastic for building self esteem in small children.

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Why Do I Poo? by Kirsty Holmes

If your child finds bodily functions hilarious (and to be honest what toddler doesn’t?) then this little primer on the science of poo should definitely be on your bookshelf!

Filled with facts about the digestive system, it follows our food from the first bite, down through the body and right out the other end. We learn what poo is made of and why it can look different when we have an upset tummy. There’s even a ‘Rate Your Poo’ page with a child-friendly version of the Bristol Stool Chart!

The book contains a lot of detail but the illustrations make it toddler-friendly so you can adapt your reading/language to the right level for your child. For example, at 3.5, Ivy doesn’t really understand the concept of different types of nutrients so I skim over this part and will revisit when she’s a little bit older – but she absolutely loves the section which explains how a pizza turns in to poo!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Dr. Rebecca Moore, Co-Founder, Make Birth Better

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family 

My name is Rebecca Moore, I am a psychiatrist working with women in London to support their mental health through pregnancy and early motherhood, infertility or PMS and I am also the co -founder of Make Birth Better a national collaborative working to reduce the life changing impact of birth trauma.

I have two wonderful kids, Dorothea who is 12 and Arthur who is nearly 10 years old. I live in South East London which I love!

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Claude: Anyone For Strawberries? by Alex T. Smith

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!

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