Turn and Learn: Our World by Isabel Otter & Hannah Tolson

Technically this book is a little old for Ivy – the publisher recommendation is 6 to 8 years  – but she’s had so much fun with it this week that it really doesn’t matter!

Our World by Isabel Otter and Hannah Tolson is a fantastic book of facts with an interesting interactive twist. It takes five different habitats – desert, rainforest, polar, savannah and sea – and teaches you about the flora, fauna, animal life and indigenous people.

Despite the slightly older age bracket, Ivy has shown lots of interest in what the book has to say. Her favourite section is about the arctic and antarctic and she has learned that penguins and polar bears actually live on opposite sides of the world (something i’m ashamed to say I didn’t realise until I was in my twenties!)

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Lily Rice, Founder, The Sportswear Designer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m Lily. We live in Bristol and I split my time between being a freelance sportswear designer and being a mama to my daughter aged 4 and my son who is now 19 months.

What are your children’s favourite books? 

Cillian, my youngest, is obsessed with the ‘That’s Not My’ series from Usborne books. When I say obsessed, his 2nd word was book! He has numerous versions and carts them around the house demanding that we read them to him. I didn’t use them with my daughter but they’re really brilliant, firstly with just getting him to recognise books at a super young age, but then as he progressed he could turn the chunky pages and now we use them to help him identify body parts as many of the pages are on noses, eyes etc. They’ve set him up for a fall though as he’s now super disappointed in any book that doesn’t feature a textured page!

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Nope. Never. Not For Me! by Samantha Cotterill

Ivy is an extremely picky eater so I like to keep an eye out for books which might encourage her to expand her tastes a little. Results are generally a bit hit and miss but we have had some success with this one so I wanted to share it with you.

The child in the story loves dinosaurs but absolutely does not like broccoli! She refuses to try it or even touch it because she thinks it looks yucky. But mum steps in with a thought which makes her think twice. She cleverly points out that broccoli looks like tiny trees and dinosaurs like to eat trees…

The girl (who is dressed in a dinosaur costume) asks if her toy dinosaur can try it first – and together they take baby steps towards a first mouthful of broccoli.

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Oi Puppies! by Kes Gray & Jim Field

We are massive fans of this zany series so when the newest book – Oi Puppies! – arrived, Ivy was bouncing off the ceiling.

Frog, Dog and Cat are back to discuss the important issue of where everyone should sit, but this time they have a slight problem. Dog is babysitting a zillion puppies and they just won’t behave. They clamber all over Dog, hang from Cat’s whiskers and even start chewing on poor Frog’s swimming trunks.

Something needs to be done, so Frog gets on the phone to the wonderfully named ‘Oi Animal Seating Supply Co.’ to try and arrange some suitable ‘chairs’.

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Meet Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry…

Hi Chitra and Poonam! We have loved your earlier collaborations –  ‘You’re Safe With Me’ and ‘You’re Snug With Me’ – so we were really excited to discover your new title ‘You’re Strong With Me’. They are such heart-warming stories and the illustrations are unlike anything I’ve seen in a children’s book before.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves, in case we have any readers who are unfamiliar with your stories?  

CHITRA SOUNDAR: I was born in India, and moved to the UK about a decade and half ago. I’ve written over 30 books for children, published across Asia, Europe and North America. I’ve been a teacher, programmer and a manager before I became a full-time writer.

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On NO, BEAR! by Joanne Partis

Everyone needs a go-to funny book on their shelf and this bright yellow beauty is brilliant!

When Bear wakes up one chilly morning he knows he has something important to do but he can’t quite remember what it is. Distracted by his rumbling tummy, he pops on his winter coat and follows a delicious smell through the forest.

He soon stumbles upon his friend Rabbit who is busy digging up lots of yummy carrots. He helps himself to a tiny nibble but accidentally eats every carrot in Rabbit’s pile! The same happens with Squirrel’s big basket of acorns and then again with Beaver’s fish.

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You’re Strong With Me by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry

We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Chitra Soundar at an event at Moon Lane Ink last year so I was very happy when Lantana Publishing invited us to be part of the book tour for her newest title – You’re Strong With Me.

This is the third book in a trilogy, all of which feature beautiful illustrations from Poonam Mistry. The previous books in the series are You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Me and each one focuses on the wonderful bond between parent and child.

In this story we follow a mother giraffe and her calf through a day in the wild. The little giraffe encounters many things which make her scared or uncomfortable, like a hissing fire and a bird which pecks at her fur, but her mother is always there to reassure and comfort her.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Katie Beardsworth, Founder, Polyphony Arts

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I am a freelance artist manager and classical music project manager, and I live in Hull with my nearly 3-year old son, my husband, and our cat. My son and I love reading together; he asks for stories first thing in the morning, often throughout the day, and always has several at bed time. He has just started to want to read them himself and can recite lots back to me, with a very funny way of skipping over the bits he can’t remember!

What is your son’s favourite book?

My son loves all the books by Julia Donaldson; I think The Gruffalo is his favourite but he is also extremely fond of Room on the Broom and Stick Man. I think the poetry really appeals to him, and he is fascinated by the details. In The Gruffalo he likes to look ahead a few pages to where the Gruffalo appears, and says “Look, a Gruffalo!” and I say “No, it can’t be, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo”… and then he squeals with joy when the Gruffalo finally appears (and I am proved wrong)!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Alison Cupples, Founder, Innovate Collaborate

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Alison Cupples and I live in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands with my partner Andy and my daughter Mila who is 4 years old and just starting school.  I run a business called Innovate Collaborate, which helps businesses make their admin processes more efficient, not just financially but with time and energy too.  I am passionate about getting business owners to go home on time to be with their loved ones.

What is your daughter’s favourite book?

My daughter is learning to read so at the moment she is reading lots of different stories.  However, the one book she will always come back to is “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson.  It’s a very popular one but she has memorised it, which I think is helping her to read longer, more difficult words.  She loves that it rhymes and that a mouse can convince all this big animals not to eat him.  She pretends to be a teacher quite often and she will always read this book to her class of dolls and teddies.

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The King Who Looked For An Island by Chrissie White & Liz Poulain

Being a King can be a lonely job, especially if you live in a castle on a plain surrounded by mountains. The monarch in this story dreams of moving to a beautiful island, but the mountains around him are so high that he can’t even tell which way the sea is!

His Adviser is too busy to help him so instead he asks the people of his kingdom to build a tower that is tall enough to see the ocean. The farmers build a tower of bricks, the soldiers build a tower of steel, the cheese makers build a tower of cheese and the ice-cream sellers make a tower which looks like a giant cone. Even the shoemakers get involved, building a giant boot that reaches up to the sky!

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