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"axel scheffler"

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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Valentine’s Day: Our Favourite Books About Love

It’s Valentine’s Day so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on love.

We recommend:

Aalfred And AalbertAalfred and Aalbert by Morag Hood

A lovely tale about two (male) aardvarks who are potentially a perfect couple, and the little blue bird who plays matchmaker.

Read the full review

Guess How Much I Love YouGuess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram

A gorgeous book about trying to vocalise the extent of your love. This makes a perfect gift for a small child (or even a grown up!)

Read the full review

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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: Niki Chapman, Owner, Little Smarts

little smartsTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi everyone, my name is Niki and I am a mum of three to Archie 8, Baxter 5 and Luna 3. I am married to Chris and we all live in South London. We love going to the local parks, woods, museums and of course, reading!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Luna’s favourite book changes all the time, but this week it’s ‘Oi Dog’ by Kes and Claire Gray. It’s a funny book that we enjoy reading together and Luna likes to shout out the rhyming words and loves the illustrations by Jim Field. It was great to see that this year the World Book Day chose the ‘Oi Goat’ book from the same series. I can’t wait to see which animals they are going to use in the next instalment.

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Competition Time: Win A Set of 5 Picture Books With An Adventure Theme!

Ivy turned 3 earlier this week so to celebrate I thought we would run a little competition!

Our prize bundle contains 5 of our favourite picture books, all with an adventure theme. We have 2 bundles available – one for Facebook followers and one for Instagram followers.

Click here to enter on Facebook

Click here to enter on Instagram

Contest is open internationally and will run until the end of this month. The winner will be selected at random at 8.30pm GMT on Friday, November 30th 2018

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Dr. Pragya Agarwal, CEO, The Art Tiffin

The Art TiffinTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I am Pragya, CEO of The Art Tiffin and Organiser of TEDxFPWomen events. I live in the north-west near the sea with my two-year-old twin girls, my eldest daughter who has just graduated from Cambridge, my Scottish husband, and our cat, Belle and dog, Taylor.

I did my PhD from Nottingham and was a Senior Academic in the US and UK Universities, and now run a social enterprise and think-tank about gender diversity, creativity and mental health. I am a TEDx speaker and I write about parenting, feminism, art and mental health for Huffington Post and Forbes. I run an active facebook group for parents ‘Raising Creative Kids’ and an art subscription which is a comprehensive learning programme to introduce children (ages 4-10) to various artists.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Kirsty Moore, Owner, Roly Poly Pillow

Roly Poly PillowHi Kirsty! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Kirsty, mum, founder of Roly Poly Pillow and part time teacher. Myself, my fiancé, daughter and golden retriever live in beautiful West Sussex. We regularly take advantage of the woodland walks on offer as our 3-year-old is obsessed with squirrel spotting. I started my business, Roly Poly Pillow, when my daughter was 18 months. I worried about using a loose pillow in her cot-bed, so I designed a sheet with an inbuilt pillowcase for over 1 year olds. It takes away the danger of loose pillows and helps parents and toddlers get a great night’s sleep.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

My daughter loves Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It’s about a monkey looking for its mum. A butterfly tries to help but keeps taking the monkey to the wrong animal (they get back the monkey mum eventually though, phew). It’s a great book to start discussions about the way we describe something, it’s noises, features and colours, and also encourages children to think about phrasing questions. The illustrations are also really lovely. 

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Clare White, Owner, Calladoodles

CalladoodlesHi Clare! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Clare, I own an independent card and gift shop on Carshalton High Street called Calladoodles. When I set up the shop over eight years ago I wanted to bring a bit of the colour and the feel of Brighton to Carshalton. Although we have had to change and adapt over the years it’s stayed true to that dream in a lot of ways, but the children’s books and gifts have become more of a focus with the arrival of my children. I live in Carshalton, Surrey with my two children Chloe (5) and Zak (2). 

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Cat Bateman, Owner, Little Folk Nursery Rhymes

Little Folk Nursery RhymesHi Cat! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Cat Bateman, a mum of two very energetic & football-mad boys, 11 & 8. I met my husband 26 years ago (I know! I am that old!) and I have a business called Little Folk Nursery Rhymes. I hold weekly sessions singing nursery-rhymes to lovely little customers accompanied by my guitar. I completely love singing and sharing music and am passionate about spreading the word about Type 1 Diabetes as my eldest boy was diagnosed when he was 5 years old.

What were your sons’ favourite books when they were small?

I will answer all the questions from my memories of what they loved when they were your demographic of 0-5 years – I have totally enjoyed digging these books out and taking another look at them – haven’t been able to get rid of any of them in the constant battle to reclaim the house from the children’s stuff as they hold such gorgeous memories.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Julie Waite, Marketing Consultant

Julie Waite MarketingTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Julie and I’m mum to two gorgeous girls aged 6 and 4. We live in South Yorkshire in a village on the edge of the Pennines, from where I run my marketing and copywriting business.

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

A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a fantastic book to read to young children. It’s about a little old lady who grumbled that her house was too small, she then met a wise old man who tells her to take in an assortment of animals, culminating in total chaos, as you might imagine. At the end of the book he tells her to “Take them all out” and then she realises that her house was fine as it was.

I believe the story is based on an old folk tale or fable and it certainly carries a good message – be grateful for what you have, it is enough. However, it presents this message in a funny and subtle way, which my girls find very entertaining. They love to join in with key lines that are repeated throughout, often putting on a silly voice for the old lady “My house is a squash and a squeeze”.

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