When three little girls find a tattered hot air balloon hidden away in an old shed they realise they have found something special. The balloon used to belong to their grandmother, and they have heard many stories about the adventures she had in it as a girl.
With a flicker of excitement they realise that, if they can fix the balloon, they could have some adventures of their very own! Working together, they mend the holes in the fabric and soon find themselves soaring through the sky.
However it’s not long before they discover that flying a hot air balloon isn’t quite as easy as it looks, and after a minor collision with a tree they start to doubt their own abilities. Will they manage to fly the balloon safely to Grandma’s house, and what on earth might she say when they arrive?
In the big city, the dogs move in highly visible tribes. The business dogs all wear suits and scurry busily along. The football dogs all wear matching kits. The scout dogs all wear khaki. Everywhere you look there are groups of dogs, all uniformly dressed.
But in the middle of the hustle and bustle is an odd dog out. Wearing a woolly hat and scarf and listening to music on his snazzy headphones, it’s apparent that this little guy does not fit in. No matter how hard he tries, he realises he’s just not like the other dogs in the city.
Saddened, he decides to leave his home town to try and find a place where the dogs are more like him. He travels far and wide until he stumbles upon Doggywood – a place where all the dogs wear woolly hats and scarves and listen to music on their headphones. He is so excited because he thinks he has found his place in the world!
Benny the robot is a little bit different. All of his robot friends have lots of shiny buttons which do fun things, like flash lights, blow bubbles and play music. But poor Benny only has one button. It’s bright red and says ‘Only Press In An Emergency’.
The other robots make fun of him and call him ‘One Button Benny’ and this makes him sad. He doesn’t really know what an emergency is but he secretly hopes one will happen so that he gets to press his button and find out what it does.
One morning Benny wakes up, eats his breakfast and brushes his teeth, unaware that outside his house an actual emergency is unfolding. The evil Collectors have landed on his planet and they are planning to gather up all of the robots, crunch them up and turn them in to teapots! The Collectors are small hairy aliens with green bums and they mean business!
This gorgeous book takes a close look at what it means to be smart. Does it mean being good with letters and numbers and getting top marks at school – or could it be so much more than that?
With a gentle, lilting rhyme the author shows you that there are many, many different ways to be smart and that children do clever things all day long without even realising it. Some kids know lots about dinosaurs and some are excellent at making witches hats. Others show their smarts by being kind and compassionate when they see they someone else is feeling sad or shy. Your skill might be mixing coloured potions or being a mermaid or blowing bubbles. Whatever your talent is, it’s important and it’s special to you.
The story reassures that all kids are talented and that being ‘school smart’ isn’t the be all and end all. We all have our own special skills which we use to make the world a better place every day – whether we realise it or not.
We’re big fans of the Little People Big Dreams series and this one about Amelia Earhart is currently getting a lot of attention from Ivy.
The story begins with Amelia as a small child who is fascinated by the thought of flying. She dreams of flapping her wings and taking to the skies. As she gets older she visits air shows and her passion for flight grows and grows. As soon as she is able to sit in a plane she knows that this is where her destiny lies and she sets out to make it happen.
After a lot of hard work she becomes the first woman to fly up to 14,000 feet and later becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. As the story ends we see her take on the ultimate challenge – to fly right the way around the world.
When little Albie goes to the museum with his mum he is expecting the visit to be dull, dull, dull. However the arctic exhibition holds a lot more than just boring old exhibits!
Albie tries on a wintry outfit and is just about to start building an igloo out of blocks when BAM a snowflake falls on his nose, followed by a whole flurry of real snow. As Albie turns in confusion he sees a polar bear running towards him and realises he has magically entered an arctic world!
He befriends a little girl called Yura who is desperately trying to make her way home in the snow. Together they head off on an icy adventure featuring polar bears, an avalanche and some howling wolves. But will Albie be able to help Yura find her way home or will they be lost forever?
Penguin Small has a lot of fears. He is scared of the nasty polar bears bears who have been playing tricks on him and his friends, he’s scared of water and he’s not a big fan of being on his own. So when all of the other penguins decide enough is enough and head out to sea to make a new life in the South Pole, he is left in an unhappy position. He can’t follow them because he won’t go in the water, but he can’t stay because of the polar bears and the loneliness. What is a little penguin to do?
At exactly the right moment a Snowman appears and a series of events result in them floating off to sea on a small piece of ice and discovering a beautiful tropical island. The new friends meets lots of exciting new animals in this weird and wonderful place and the Snowman vows that he will stay there forever.
Ezra is a zebra who doesn’t want to be a zebra anymore. He is sore and tired and he doesn’t know any other zebras so he feels lonely too. Instead he wants to be a racehorse because they are big and strong.
One day Ezra comes up with a plan. He paints himself so that his stripes disappear and he looks just like a regular horse. He walks around town and nobody recognises him or notices him. This is just what he has always wanted – not to stand out – but he soon realises that being just like everyone else doesn’t make him happy either.
He sits down with his friend Lindsay the llama and he tells her exactly how he feels. Wise Lindsay explains that the things that make him different are the things which make him special. People love him just the way he is and although it might be tough sometime he should wear his zebra stripes with pride.
Everyone knows what lions are like. They’re big and fierce and they love to chomp on any animals which come their way. Right? Well what if that that’s not the case? What if that’s just a stereotype and all lions are individuals, just like people?
Meet Leonard. Leonard is a lion and he’s not fierce at all (except when he’s protecting his friends). He likes poetry, thinking important thoughts and having long intelligent conversations with his pal, Marianne the duck.
When Leonard and Marianne chance upon a pack of other lions they are mocked and ridiculed. These lions thinks that Leonard is no lion at all. Real lions would have eaten the duck and they certainly wouldn’t sit around watching shooting stars and talking about the universe.
We have a number of books from this fantastic Little People Big Dreams series. I bought them with the intention of putting them away until Ivy was a little bit older but she’s really drawn to the pictures and often asks for them to be read to her.
I recently visited the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A museum as I am hugely fascinated by her story and her art. In the gift shop I bought Ivy a flowered headband in a similar style to the one you can see on the front cover. She loved it and squealed with delight when I showed her that she looked like the lady on the book. As a result we’ve read this one lots of times over the last few weeks!
This beautifully illustrated title gives a brief overview of Frida Kahlo’s short and troubled life but deals with it in an age-appropriate way. We see that she suffers a childhood illness which affects her leg and is later involved in an accident which means she must spend much of her time in bed.