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Exciting News: We’re Launching A Newsletter!

We are officially launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter to celebrate our love of children’s literature. All subscribers will receive a free 15 page PDF featuring some of our top picks. Squee!

Why are we launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter?

We share daily children’s book reviews and features on our blog www.ivyslibrary.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – but because of the nature of social media you probably aren’t seeing all our posts. Subscribing to our newsletter means you won’t ever miss out on the good stuff!

What does it entail?

Once a month we will hit up your inbox with a curated selection of children’s book reviews, interviews, opinion pieces, special offers and other treats. Some of it will be content we’ve shared on our social media channels but there will also be extras which are exclusive to newsletter subscribers. The first newsletter will be sent in February and of course you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Interview: Lucy Rowland & Paula Bowles, Wanda’s Words Got Stuck

Hello Lucy and Paula! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Wanda’s Words Got Stuck’.

Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

Lucy Rowland: Wanda the Witch is so shy she can’t talk and no matter how hard she tries, the words just won’t come out.  But when another nervous little witch called Flo joins her class, Wanda realises that perhaps talking isn’t the only way to make friends.  Then disaster strikes at the school magic contest…will Wanda have the courage to shout out the magic words and save Flo from the fire-breathing dragon?

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Q & A: Elizabeth Dale,
Author of ‘Billy and the Balloons’

Hi Elizabeth! Can you tell us about yourself in 25 words or less?

I adore writing for children – the best job in the world! I’ve had 84 books accepted/published and my three daughters are chlldren’s authors too.

Your latest book, Billy and The Balloons, is hitting the shelves. Can you tell us how it came to be?

I wanted to write a picture book that would reassure children about something that might bother them, and I think being little is one of those things!  So I hoped to create a book that was fun to read about it being good to be small, and as Christmas is such a magical time, I thought it would be great to set it then, as there would be scope for wonderful pictures, too. However Patrick Corrigan’s quite beautiful illustrations have far exceeded what I had imagined .  I also have to thank the animals that tried to help Billy who somehow wrote themselves into the story!

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Happy 10th Birthday Albie!

Can you believe that the very first Albie book was published 10 years ago? In that time, the much-loved character has starred in 10 different stories and has been a very busy little boy. He’s been to Alien School, ridden a polar bear, caught a dragon, found egyptian treasure and even swum with pirates!

His latest adventure – How to Drive a Roman Chariot – sees him whisked back in time to ancient Rome where he finds himself at the helm of a runaway chariot. Can he get the situation under control before it’s too late?

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Meet the Author: Inshra Sakhawat Russell

Hi Inshra! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your very first picture book ‘Tiny Jumps In’.

Hello! It’s a pleasure, thank you for offering the opportunity.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a multi-platform content creator, a working mum and illustrator for hire. I grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh and have been living in London over 10 years with my husband, 3.5-year-old son and a little dumpling growing in my belly.

In my case the platforms are illustration, design, photography and filmmaking, and content is children’s books, flashcards and posters, music videos, stop motion animations and short films.

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Meet the Publisher: Parakeet Books

We’re the Parakeet Books team: Sheju and Judy. Fed up with the same old books on offer to our own children we started to make our own. We’ve been making inclusive and diverse books for the last two years. Our vibrant, warm and entertaining stories are told through underrepresented groups – central characters who are BAME, people of colour, female or LGBT+.

Having read in cafes and schools we always find that children either don’t notice difference or they love it. The two mums in our book, Eve’s New Brother, never get questioned by our audiences, they just accept that family for what it is. But the relationship between Eve and her brother has them enthralled. In Buddy’s Pancakes they kids afterwards all want to talk about pancakes, in the Mysterious Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace they all want to talk about guess what… dinosaurs. The idea that kids books with main characters who are Black or have a disability or have same-sex parents are niche is totally bogus. It’s an adult assumption and cannot be dressed up as anything other than prejudice. The mainstream publishing world is too slow to change and now is the time for them to pick their feet up and catch up with what readers want.

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Early Chapter Book Reviews Are Here!

The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that I have recently made a change to my logo. It used to say ‘Bite-Sized Book Reviews for Babies and Toddlers’ but now it says ‘Bite-Sized Book Reviews for Kids’.

Why?

Well, I opened this account back in September 2017 and started my blog in February 2018. Back then Ivy was just 2 so board books and picture books were our sole focus. Now she’s 4.5 and our reading landscape has shifted a little. We still read just as many board books and picture books, but a few months ago we started devouring chapter books at bedtime.

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Interview: Ruth Redford,
Author of ‘That’s My Daddy!’

Hi Ruth! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your latest book ‘That’s My Daddy!’’

Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

It’s all about daddies and is a celebration of them everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and forms. We wanted to encourage children to identify their daddies in a fun and interactive way. It covers everything from favourite foods, what they’re like in the morning, to jobs and hobbies and what they do around the house. Hopefully it’s silly and fun but also a really nice book to share and talk about what your daddy is like.

What inspired you to write this story?

I came up with the idea for That’s My Daddy when I was out running one day, one of the lines popped into my head and it developed from there, it was initially called The Daddy Catalogue! I did a first draft of the text and left it in my collection of unpublished stories for about six months. Then I happened to glance at it and thought there is something here so I sent it out on submission to a couple of publishers.

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Interview: Clare Helen Welsh,
Author of ‘The Perfect Shelter’

Hi Clare! Thank you so much for speaking to me about your gorgeous new book ‘The Perfect Shelter’.

Could you give us a quick overview of what the story is about?

Hello! Thank you for hosting me on your blog and for helping us to celebrate our new story. The Perfect Shelter sets out to unravel the difficult emotions we face when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer. It is not a book about loss, but rather living with life’s uncertainty. I hope that it brings love and support to others going through difficult times.

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Interview: Caryl Hart, Author of ‘Mini Monsters: Can I Play?’

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.

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