Ivy and I have spent all afternoon in the garden so this feels like a very appropriate choice for today! This beautiful non-fiction book celebrates plants from around the world and it has taught us lots of fascinating facts.
Split in to four chunky chapters, this illustrated compendium looks at all aspects of plant life. In the early sections we learn everything a child could possibly need to know about what plants are, how they grow and why they matter. But it was the second half of the book which completely captured Ivy’s imagination, as here we discover how plants sustain our everyday lives. She was amazed to discover there were plants in her toothpaste, in her clothes and even in her medicine!
As an added bonus there are 12 DIY projects included. We’re planning to try them all over the coming months but I think we’ll start by making a plant maze and and a wild weed bottle garden. The invisible ink project looks fun too!
In a quirky little world called Jumble Wood there lives a multitude of cute little creatures. Each of them has a thing they carry around with them which makes them happy. There are creatures with flowers, creatures with balloons, creatures with sunglasses or hats and even creatures with scooters and skateboards!
But there is one little creature called Pod who doesn’t have a happy thing, and this makes her very sad. She decides that the thing that will make her happy must be hiding out there somewhere so she sets off on a journey to find it. Along the way Pod meets Peach and Worm who help her in her quest
Together they venture in to the deepest and darkest part of the wood in search of the hard-to-find thing which will finally make Pod happy. Will they find it? Or will Pod realise that a happy thing doesn’t have to be a thing at all?
If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know that we are big fans of picture books which take on big emotions and break them down in a way which makes it easy for children to digest. Me And My Fear by Francesca Sanna is one of the best we’ve seen.
The book is about a little girl who has moved to a new country and is starting a new school. She has always lived with fear, who is depicted as a little ghost-like creature who goes everywhere with her – but the prospect of this new school causes her fear to grow so large that it takes up more space than she does. It fills her whole house and stops her from leaving her home. This super-sized fear doesn’t want her to go to school and doesn’t want her to make new friends. As a result the girl is lonely and her experience at her new school is a miserable one.
Down in the valley life is happy and peaceful – bears, foxes and birds roam the beautiful countryside. The different species live harmoniously alongside each other.
Then one day a big dog appears. The dog has a terrible hunger and eats everything in his sight. To try and calm him, a fox steps forward and plays a tune on his fiddle, but the dog just gobbles him up. The fox continues to play his tune from within the dog’s tummy and it’s heard by some brave bunnies who try to rescue him – but they also find themselves in the belly of the beast.
The dog refuses to listen to reason and continues to feed his hunger by consuming everything in his path – but deep in his tummy a community of animals is coming together. They light a fire and sit down to talk of the future. Together, they work together to rebuild their world on the inside.
I definitely didn’t buy this one just because the little girl in it is called Ivy. Ok – maybe I did! But it turned out to be a good gamble as it’s a really lovely book with gorgeous illustrations.
The story starts with a little raincloud who is feeling lonely. The sun has come out so all his friends have gone away and he has no one to talk to. He sets off in search of a friend but no one seems to want him (and his raindrops) around.
He keeps searching until he spots a little girl who looks just as unhappy about the sunshine as he is. She’s grumpy in the market, grumpy on the tube and even grumpy when she gets home and tends to her garden. He starts to think that maybe the little girl is not really grumpy, just sad. He watches her in fascination as she looks after her plants, which seem to be struggling in the sun, and then he has an idea. If he rains on the plants and makes them grow, is it possible the little girl might smile again?
Poor Little Felipe. All he wants is a little hug but his family are far too prickly and aloof. They are very concerned with appearances and don’t seem to notice that he needs some affection. It’s a tough life being a little cactus with a big heart!
He tries to make friends with a balloon and at first this looks promising but when Felipe tries to get close the relationship ends with a POP. Ashamed, he decides to leave home and start life anew.
He settles in to life as a solitary cactus but then one day he hears someone sobbing. Can he make them feel better with a hug and if so is it possible they could be friends?
This book is fantastic for alleviating boredom when you’re stuck indoors with a toddler and it’s lots of fun for parent and child alike.
The two main characters – a little girl and a fluffy green monster wearing a rather fetching hat – invite their animal friends (and you) to copy them in a game called ‘Just Like Me’.
Clear some space on the floor and get your toddler to repeat all of the actions which the characters make. From rubbing your tummy and licking your lips to jumping up and down picking your nose, each page invites you and your child to do something silly that will make you laugh.
I find that the more exaggerated I make the actions then the more Ivy laughs and she loves getting involved. It also references lots of parts of the body so it’s a great way of learning some new words whilst having fun.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2uI3yzB
‘Big Hid’ is a beautifully illustrated tale of the friendship between Big (a tortoise) and Little (a squirrel). Together they have many adventures but one day Big just doesn’t feel like doing anything anymore. He pulls in his head and his arms and his legs and he disappears in to his shell.
Little tries everything he can think of to make Big come out but nothing works. He misses his friend a lot so decides to just sit on top of him and give him a big cuddle. Could this be what Big needs to bring him back out of his shell?
This is a really simple but poignant tale about friendship.
Everyone gets sad and needs a little time alone sometimes – and when you think you might be ready to face the world again a big hug from your best friend can make all the difference.
This is currently Ivy’s favourite book. Every time I ask her to pick a book she yells ‘TORTOISE’ and grabs this off the shelf.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2oczINg