Have you discovered Albie yet? He’s the star of a bestselling series by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves and his 11th adventure – How To Spot A Sabre-Toothed Tiger – has just been released.
Albie is an ordinary boy who finds himself in extraordinary situations. At the start of this new story we find him playing in his garden when he spots an unusual animal. It looks like a kitten but it’s striped like a tiger and has very sharp pointy teeth. When the kitten runs into a bush, Albie follows – and is magically transported back to the Stone Age!
The small boy soon makes friends with a girl called Thorn and the two work together to find the tiny sabre-toothed tiger. They follow a variety of tracks and meet a whole host of animals, including a deer, a woolly rhinoceros, a bear, a warthog and a mammoth – but their little pal is nowhere to be found. Can they find him before it’s too late, and what else will Albie discover before he returns to modern times?
My typical working routine has changed enormously over the past year. Part of this is down to all the recent restrictions, but also because my youngest child left home in September and we started house renovations in February.
In the normal world, my days would include a mixture of working from home, travelling to schools and libraries to run workshops, and the occasional trip to London for meetings and socials.
But these days there are no journeys or jollies and all my visits have gone virtual. So here’s a flavour of how life has been for this author during the last 14 months.
My day starts around 7.15 with a cup of tea in bed from my lovely husband.
The prospect of a new sibling is very exciting but most children struggle with the sudden shift in the family dynamic when a baby actually arrives. This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for reading in those final months of pregnancy, to help your little one process the changes that might lie ahead.
Dragons, much like toddlers, tend to have an air of mischief about them and this story plays on their ‘naughty’ reputation to great effect. How would you expect a little dragon to behave when they are no longer the centre of attention? Surely they will stomp their feet, huff and puff and breathe some fire, right? Well no. It turns out that little dragons now exactly how to behave around a new baby and they have lots of great advice to share. Children will want to align themselves with the dragon’s positive behaviour because she’s such a cute and kind character.
When Sonny finds a pink bunny in the sandpit he is beyond excited. A new toy just for him! He gives it a snuggle and names it Bun-Bun. Sonny likes the bunny so much he is completely consumed by it. He feeds it sand, reads it a story and swings it around with joy.
However in his excitement Sonny has forgotten all about the friends he came to the park to see. Mid-game he looks up and sees his pals Honey and Suki walking towards him. Suki is crying because she has lost her favourite pink bunny – the exact same bunny that Sonny has been playing with. Sonny panics that his new toy will be taken away and quickly hides it under a bucket. He even lies when Honey asks him directly is he has seen it.
Geography was never my favourite subject at school but if our textbooks had looked anything like this beauty from Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin then I suspect I may have paid more attention!
At the start of this gorgeous rhyming story we hop on board a submarine with a little girl and her dog. Together we embark on a journey to see the world’s oceans, but this is no ordinary tour as the guides are the waters themselves.
First we meet the Arctic Ocean, who smiles as she speaks of her pride at being the smallest. She shows us her narwhals, her beluga whales and the polar bears who inhabit her ice. Next is the choppy Atlantic who tells us about her underwater mountains and hidden caves. Our submarine glides past blue fin tuna in the Indian Ocean, sea snakes in the Coral Sea and millions of pieces of plastic in the Pacific.
Since Ivy started school last September we’ve had some struggles with perfectionism. If she’s not immediately the best at something then she gets disheartened and doesn’t want to try. It’s an uphill battle but, as always, we’ve found books really helpful to try and put things into perspective for her.
This new title in the Mini Monsters series has therefore come at just the right time for us. We both loved the first book – ‘Can I Play?’ – so Ivy was very excited to see a new story with familiar characters.
Scout, Sparkle, Arthur and Tiny are back once again and, having worked out how to play nicely together in book one, they have a brand new pres-school problem. They each want to be THE BEST.
Albie is an ordinary boy who has some extraordinary adventures! The first Albie book was released 10 years ago and we have amassed quite a few of them of late. Ivy really enjoys the way he is whipped away to different time or location whilst doing normal everyday things.
In this latest installment, Albie’s mum takes him to see some horses in a field. Whilst they’re there it starts to rain so the little boy shelters in a nearby barn – but inside he discovers a girl wearing a dress from Roman times.
Albie soon finds himself roaring through the backstreets of Ancient Rome as he and his new friend Julia try to stop a runaway chariot from crashing into the crowds of people at the market. The girl successfuly grabs the reins and takes control of the horses but they accidentally turn in to an arch at the side of a very large building.
If your little one is headed to ‘big school’ later this year then I would definitely recommend grabbing yourself a copy of this gorgeous book to read over the summer holidays!
Before Ivy and I read this together I asked her a question – how do you think a dragon would behave if they went to school? She immediately answered ‘NAUGHTY’, which was exactly what I was expecting her to say! This set the scene perfectly for the story as it turns out that dragons are better behaved than she realised…
The story follows an adorable dragon as she navigates her first day at school. We see her say goodbye to her mum and dad and greet her new friends. She eats her lunch, reads some stories and plays in the playground before preparing to head home. These are all scenarios which a child will encounter on their own first day and with Dragon’s help they will learn how to meet each new challenge with a smile.
Hi Caryl! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Mini Monsters: Can I Play?’
Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Mini Monsters is a brand new series that deals with some of the challenges and emotions that young children experience within a pre-school setting.
The first book, Can I Play? focuses on the tricky subject of playing with more than one friend. Sparkle is putting on a magic show with Arthur, but when Scout wants to join in, Sparkle isn’t happy. She just wants to play with Arthur. But her inability to be flexible upsets Scout and leaves Arthur feeling worried and confused. It is only when Sparkle herself experiences being left out, that she realises that playing together is more fun after all.
Since Ivy started nursery in January we have had lots of conversations about friendship, and this gorgeous book from Caryl Hart and Ali Pye has helped pull all of those strands together.
The gentle rhyme explains what friends are and what you can do for each other to make your days a little brighter. From helping each other in the classroom through to scratching an itch they can’t reach, we see a diverse group of children revel in the company of their friends.
Sometimes friends are very similar to you and sometimes they’re different. Sometimes they live close by and sometimes they live far away. Whatever the nature of your friendships, we see that they enrich our lives in many different ways.