Piper Crow is a little bird with a very special brother called Otto. Otto is on the autism spectrum which means that he sees the world a little differently, and sometimes other people don’t understand him.
This beautifully illustrated story follows a day in the life of the two siblings as they face new challenges together.
We learn that Otto loves the colour yellow. In fact, he loves yellow so much that he needs everything to be yellow – from his clothes and his toys right through to his drinks and his food. When things aren’t yellow, Otto is very unhappy. Otto likes to spin in circles, go extra high on the swings and hold his hands over his ears when things get too loud. Piper also tells us that Otto is non-verbal, so he uses a tablet to communicate.
Have you ever had a bad day and wished that you were someone else?
This magical book takes a look at what it might be like to fly away from your troubles like a bird, bark out your anger like a dog in the park or just curl up and sleep like a cat. These are all very attractive options when you’re feeling a little down, but do you know what’s best? Being YOU, because YOU are INCREDIBLE.
The lyrical and exuberant rhyme whisks us off on a tour of all the wonderful things you can do – like sing songs, build things, dance, draw and touch your nose with your toe! It celebrates individuality and is fantastic for building self esteem in small children.
Every parent hopes that their child will grow up to be kind, and for that reason I think this book should be on bookshelves everywhere. It teaches children the value of kindness and the difference it can make to the world.
The tiniest little things can turn someone’s whole day around and they cost you absolutely nothing – a smile, a hug, a hand to hold. The book asks children to think about what they can do to help those around them. This could be something as simple as carrying a bag, being a little bit patient or sharing your toys.
It also encourages kids to think about how others might be feeling. If there is a new person in their class then they might be nervous or scared, so how can they make it easier for them?
Meet Lucy Pear, a little girl with truly amazing hair. Her long flowing locks have a special ability – they change colour according to her mood!
Most of the time her hair is a bright shiny blonde to reflect her sunny nature but occasionally the shade is a little more exotic. When she gets mad her hair turns red, when she’s jealous it’s green and excitement turns it purple!
However, one day Lucy wakes up with a head of blue hair and a heavy feeling in her heart which she just can’t shake. The feeling is new to her and she doesn’t have the words to tell the people around her how she feels. She’s not even sure why she’s sad. She just…is.
Her friends think her hair looks cool and they just don’t understand why she isn’t her happy self. But then she spots a little boy in the cafeteria sporting blue hair and a smile. How could this be?
When little Allie breaks her crayon she flies into a rage. Depicted as an angry red monster, her frustration is very much apparent as she tears up paper, throws her other crayons on the floor, stomps on the box and rolls around on the floor screaming.
Her older brother steps forward and thoughtfully offers up a pillow for her to punch so that she can release her anger without hurting herself or breaking anything further. This helps so much that the monster sheds her red furry skin and we see an amber-coloured monster emerge.
This version of Allie is still very angry and she’s still not able to articulate what’s wrong so her brother encourages her to hold her favourite toy and squeeze it as hard as she can. Another layer is shed and the fur is now green. Allie is now at that stage where she’s still pretty mad but she’s not really sure why so she’s irritable. This is solved with some breathing exercises which turn the monster blue.
This beautifully illustrated story is a lovely addition to our growing collection of books about emotions.
We follow a small boy as he experiences a range of emotions during a short walk with his dog. He starts off calm and then quickly becomes happy when he spots a dandelion stalk which would make a lovely present for his mum.
With a hop, skip and a jump he plucks it from the ground but then experiences sadness as the wind pulls it from his hand and it floats away. Anger ensues, followed by envy when he spots a little girl holding a stalk which he covets. His interaction with the girl teaches him about the importance of sharing before hope, pride and love carry him home with his gift.
Small children seem to live at 100 miles an hour. These days Ivy talks non-stop and is always on the move. She bounces from game to game, dances, spins and generally makes me feel exhausted just looking at her! This is one of the many reasons that I love to sit and read books with her. For those precious moments, the world stops and it’s just me, her and the story.
If you’re looking for more of those calm moments then this book is a lovely place to start. Mindful Millie is an elephant who is very in touch with the world around her. When she goes for a walk she notices the colour and texture of the leaves on the trees. When she eats she thinks about each of the flavours she can taste. Millie wants to help her friends (and you) to do the same.
I spotted this one on Instagram a little while ago and was drawn in by the beautiful illustration of the little girl on the cover. Intrigued, I bought a copy and i’m so glad I did!
Little Freya is very excited about the fact she’s becoming a big girl, but she soon discovers that growing up means dealing with new emotions and feelings. Normally bouncy and confident, she starts to experience an odd wibble in her tummy which she doesn’t understand. She describes it as ‘tangly, twirly and topply’ and it makes her a little bit anxious. What on earth is it and how can she make it go away?
She stops eating twirly spaghetti in case that’s causing the problem. She tries spinning in circles and singing really loudly to try and chase the sensation away. Nothing works however so she decides to speak to her mum and dad. They explain that what she is experiencing is butterflies in tummy which flutter around when she is feeling nervous or worried. She is surprised to discover that her parents also get butterflies when they are faced with new things!
When the little girl in this story hears a knock at her front door, she is surprised to find Sadness standing on her doorstep with a large suitcase. She lets hims in and he follows her around, sits too close to her on the sofa and refuses to go away.
Sadness consumes her to the extent that all she can feel is sad, even when those around her are playing happily.
Trying to hide Sadness away doesn’t work so she tries a different approach. She gives him a name and she asks him why he’s here. She listens to what he needs and they learn to work together. They sit in comfortable silence, they draw, they cuddle, they go for walks and they accept each other.
This is a book about baby loss so if this topic is a trigger for you then please do not read any further———————————————-
I am breaking with tradition a little for this review. This is not a book which I have read with Ivy but it is one that I believe needs to be shared as it addresses an important topic – baby loss (during pregnancy and shortly after birth).
When a baby dies the focus is very much on the grieving parents, but often there are young siblings who will struggle to understand why the baby brother or sister they were expecting didn’t come home. This book seeks to address this, both gently and honestly, in language that is easy for a child to comprehend.
The soft rhyme acknowledges that often there is no reason for the loss and that no one is to blame. It helps children name and understand the emotions they might be experiencing and the beautiful illustrations show grief in its many forms.