We were lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this lovely new story which is out today in the UK and we’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you. We’re big fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s previous collaborations (‘The Lion Inside’ is in our all-time top five!) and fortunately this new title is just as good!
The heartwarming tale is about a little wolf cub called Wilf who is extremely strong-willed and independent. He wants to do everything by himself and he wants to do it right now – which will sound very familiar to any parent with a toddler!
When his wolf pack is forced to leave their cave, Wilf wants to lead the expedition to find a new home. But the little wolf soon discovers that life in the wilderness is much tougher than it looks and he finds himself lost in a storm. Too proud to call for help he sits alone on the ice, which at that very moment begins to crack. It looks as though all hope is lost but then a friendly face appears from the depths.
We discovered this gem in our local library about 18 months ago and Ivy loved it so much that I bought us a copy that same week. The story is beautiful and I’m not ashamed to say that I bawled my eyes out the first time I read it!
This lovely book is about a little girl whose Mummy makes her a set of 5 paper dolls. She gives them names, plays with them constantly and invents a little song for the dolls to sing about their friendship.
In the girl’s vivid imagination the paper dolls do battle with dinosaurs, tigers and crocodiles. They explore magical islands (on the breakfast table) and dance through forests (in the garden).
Together they come through every adventure unscathed. Until one day they encounter a little boy with a pair of scissors and suddenly the dolls are no more.
The Snail And The Whale is one of our favourite collaborations between Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a real sense of adventure but the rhyme is also very calming so it’s perfect for bedtime.
The story is about a little snail who longs to travel – but her family thinks she’s a little crazy and don’t understand at all! She’s determined to see the world so she hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. On their magnificent journey the snail sees icebergs and volcanoes, beautiful beaches and strange animals. She is amazed at how big the world is and this makes her feel small and insignificant.
There’s something incredibly special about Oliver Jeffers. All of his books seem to work on two levels. Children love them because the stories are simple and the illustrations are beautiful – but there is something deep in each story which really resonates with adults too. When I pick up one of his books and read it for the first time, I know that it’s probably going to make me feel a bit weepy and this one affected me more than any of the others.
The story is about a little girl who loves life. She loves to explore, she loves to learn and she sees wonder everywhere she turns. Pictured beside her (but not mentioned in the text) is her grandfather. Then one day she discovers an empty chair in her house, and the grandfather is no longer there.
Morris the Mole has had a tough day at work and all he wants to do is get home to his family – the problem is he can’t find his glasses anywhere! He burrows in what he believes to be the direction of home but he keeps getting it wrong, again and again and again.
Each time he pops up into a house he shouts ‘Mrs. Mole, I’m Home!’ but it’s never the right house. He visits a burrow full of rabbits, a tree full of owls and a swamp full of crocodiles. He even ends up in Antarctica!
Finally he smells a familiar smell – worm noodles! Surely this must be his house, and where on earth are those glasses?
If you’re a fan of books with strong female characters then this new one from Suzanne Hemming (author of ‘She’s Not Good For A Girl, She’s Just Good‘) is definitely for you.
The story is about a young princess called Florence who has her heart set on becoming a great engineer. She has the brain and the ambition but she has one problem – her father, the King, says that instead of pursuing her dream career she has to marry a Prince and have babies.
Young Flo is devastated. She has no problem with Princes and babies but she also wants to be a great engineer and the King says she can’t do both. She flees the palace and bumps in to her old babysitter, who sits and listens to her woes. The lady tells her that you always have to be who you are, not who other people think you should be. She shows Flo a picture of her wedding day (where she married a Princess) and says that when you follow your heart, some people will accept who you are and some won’t but what matters most is that you are always true to yourself.
I’m breaking my own rules with this book as I confess it isn’t one which I have read with Ivy. It’s a tiny bit old for her just yet (the recommended age range is 3-8) but it’s an important book covering a difficult topic so I am sharing it in the hope it may be helpful to you, our followers.
The Magical Wood was written to help small children deal with the emotions they may feel around bereavement, particularly the death of a close family member.
The wood is a beautiful place which is home to a family of trees. It’s a happy place visited by lots of little animals who love to play and splash in the river. One night there is a terrible storm and when the tree family wake up they discover that the Strongest Tree (one of the oldest trees in the wood) has fallen in the night and is no longer alive. The trees know that their lives have now changed forever and many tears are shed. How can they continue without the Strongest Tree?
We have been reading Tabby McTat to Ivy since she was about 6 months old and it’s still one of her all time favourites. When she was tiny she was just drawn to the illustrations of the cats (one of them looks a little like ours) but now she’s older she loves the story and knows the little song off by heart!
Tabby McTat is a scruffy little street cat who belongs to a busker. He loves his life wandering the streets of London with his owner, and he enjoys singing along when the busker performs. An unlucky chain of events result in the two friends being accidentally separated and McTat ends up living with a girl cat called Sock.
Sock and McTat become the best of friends and soon they end up with a small litter kittens. McTat loves his cosy new life but he never forgets the wonderful busker. One day he decides that he simply has to find out what happened to him so he kisses his little family goodbye and sets off in search of his old pal.
We adore this gorgeous book about families and have spent many hours poring over the amazingly detailed illustrations.
The lovely rhyme explores the concept of family, showing how they are there for each other in good times and bad. You see daytime routines, hospital visits, holidays, little household disasters and most importantly, love.
The beauty of the book is that the illustrations show ten different families going through all of the above. Each family is different but the book helps children see that although their family may not look like the same as somebody else’s, the experiences they go through and the love that they feel are all essentially the same.
It’s easy to see why this beautiful book was a New York Times Bestseller. The warm and multi-layered story about a boy and his grandmother gets me every time we read it.
As they do every Sunday, CJ and his Nana go to church then take the bus to Market Street to help at a soup kitchen. On this particular day it is raining and young CJ is cold and uncomfortable. He questions why they have to catch the bus when all of his friends have cars, and even why they have to go to church at all.
Rather than reprimanding him, his Nana uses this as an opportunity to point out all of the things which make their journey together special and the sights and experiences they would miss out on if they didn’t go to church and didn’t get the bus. This includes a host of fascinating, culturally diverse characters including an old lady with a jar of butterflies, a heavily tattooed man and a man with a guitar.