Ivy loves books which require a little bit of audience participation and this is one of her current favourites!
At the start of the story we join Crab as he sets off on an adventure across the ocean floor. He needs some gentle coaxing and some assistance along the way though. Can your child help?
There is arm waving, finger tapping, book shaking, counting, tickling and lots, lots more. At one point crab even gets lost and you need to lift the flaps to find him!
This is such an entertaining book and Ivy returns to it again and again. The brightly coloured illustrations are wonderful and we spot new details every time we read it. It’s a great way of introducing kids to life on the sea bed and Crab encounters lots of different creatures which are fun to identify, including an octopus, sea turtles and clown fish. Ivy was also fascinated to discover that crabs shed their shells in the same way that snakes shed their skin!
In the middle of the forest stands a tiny little Mouse, daydreaming of her very first home. Her thoughts are disturbed by a Frog who explains that his pond has dried up so he has no place to go. Mouse takes this to be a sign and she suggests that they build a house together.
As construction begins, more animals appear and each has a sad tale to tell. There are rabbits who have been chased from their home by an eagle, birds who have had their tree chopped down and a big brown bear who feels isolated because his size scares people.
Mouse comforts each displaced creature in turn and invites them to be a part of her project. Soon they are all working together to build the perfect home, where they can all reside safely together.
Books about sleep are always great for calming over-excited kids before bedtime and this particular one is ridiculously cute and very soothing.
“Time for bed, my little one, another day is through. As we snuggle up together, you know owl always love you.”
Written in gentle rhyme, this chunky board book takes us on a tour of the forest as all the baby animals settle down to sleep. We see little owls, bunnies, dormice, hedgehogs, squirrels and songbirds be coaxed in to bed by their grown ups and snuggle down for the night.
With glossy pages, raised sections and clever cut outs, this is a warm and cozy story for curious toddlers to explore. The pages are brimming with love plus the gorgeous illustrations give you the opportunity to talk about different kinds of animal homes and habitats.
Ivy and I were very excited when this board book landed on our doorstep as it has a built-in emoji spinner! Amusingly, I wasn’t allowed to even touch it for the first 15 minutes because Ivy wanted to play with it by herself, twirling the faces and looking at the pictures inside. Definitely the sign of a good read!
The toddler-friendly introduction explains that the expressions on our faces will often change to reflect our mood. By observing these changes we can tell how someone else may be feeling.
The emoji spinner features six faces, each representing a different emotion – happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, calmness and confusion. As we move through the book your child is presented with lots of scenarios and then invited to choose the face which they think best represents how they would feel. How do they feel when it rains? How do they feel when they dance? How about when they eat a tomato?
If you’re looking for a gift for a new baby, or a sweet bedtime read for a toddler then i’d like to draw your attention to the ABC of Kindness because it is utterly adorable!
The gentle rhyme takes us on a soothing trip through the alphabet, highlighting all the ways we can be kind to each other. Whether it’s F for Forgiveness, P for Patience or U for Understanding, this sturdy little board book is the perfect way to introduce the concept of kindness from a very early age.
The book features a host of loveable animal characters and the illustrations exude warmth and comfort. Ivy’s favourite is the little elephant who pops up on multiple pages with a joyful smile on his face.
Maya’s house feels different without Mum. Her Dad is trying his best but he’s a little overwhelmed and the house, the garden and Maya herself are all a little untidy. She’s very grateful for her Dad and her dog Pip but sometimes she still feels lonely and anxious. Everything about her life has changed.
But then one day her Dad gathers Maya on to his lap and tells her a story. He explains that her Mum used to feel anxious too but she kept her worries at bay by planting and growing beautiful things in the garden. On the table in front of her Maya sees multiple packets of seeds and smiles.
Maya sets to work. She pulls up the weeds, she untangles the swing and she plants her first seeds in the ground. As she toils she thinks about her Mum but the green space makes her calm and she starts to feel like she has a purpose.
These days Ivy takes great care with her books, particularly the interactive ones, but when she was tiny she took great pleasure in pulling off the flaps and chewing on them. That’s why I think the new generation of chunky board books with felt flaps are a bit of a revelation! This one is particularly charming and features lots of super cute dinosaurs for your little ones to find.
The aim is to follow the clues, peep through the cut out sections and lift the textured felt flaps to locate the T-Rex. Along the way we meet a whole host of other dinosaur characters who share some of the T-Rex’s features. The sharp teeth poking out from behind the volcano actually belong to a Pterodactyl. The scaly head hidden behind a bush looks promising but turns out to be a Triceratops. And the swishy tail behind the trees? That’s just a Diplodocus. Where could that cheeky T-Rex be?
You’ve probably noticed that we’re partial to books which encourage emotional development and this is the most recent addition to that particular shelf in our house.
The gentle rhyme explores all of the emotions which your child may be experiencing and helps you to name them and understand how they feel inside. Anger is described as a fiery pit of bubbling magma, embarrassment is a burning red face under a bright spotlight, calm is a gently rocking boat on a smooth ocean and sadness is a river bursting its banks and covering everything in sight.
The book covers a wide range of feelings including courage, sadness, anger, happiness, jealousy, loneliness, embarrassment, excitement, fear and calmness.
Our choice for World Mental Health Day is this lovely book of mindfulness, which encourages children to slow down and connect with the world around them.
Each double page focuses on a sense or emotional state – listening, feeling, relaxing, tasting, touching, discovering, smelling, loving, appreciating and breathing. There is a simple rhyme for each one which encourages your child to stop and anchor themselves in their surroundings or the way they are feeling. Many of the pages also feature a question or instruction which will provoke additional conversation.
The illustrations are both calming and intensely detailed so there are lots of interesting things for your child to take in.
Ladies – I guarantee that when you read this book you will want to buy a copy for each of your childhood friends. It is stunning!
The book is about a group of four little girls who find friendship under an apple tree. Despite having very different personalities, they share stories, adventures and scraped knees, forming a bond that will last a lifetime.
The character traits that we see in the girls as children follow them in to adulthood as we watch them chase their dreams and find love (and heartbreak). Their situations change and they don’t see each other as often as they’d like but their apple tree is always there, getting stronger and growing roots that reach ever deeper.