I totally meant to post about this book on Valentine’s Day but, despite searching the whole house, I couldn’t find it anywhere. This morning I found it lodged down the side of Ivy’s bed which means she must have snuck it upstairs to read by herself! I’m not surprised though, as we have so many happy memories attached to lovely Gerald the Giraffe.
The original ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ story was one of the first picture books I read with Ivy when she was a baby and it is still a firm favourite. We were both so happy to receive this gorgeous new board book featuring all over our favourite characters.
The beautiful rhyme, written in Giles Andreae’s signature style, celebrates all of the ways which love can make us feel. Our favourite line is:
‘You make me want to somersault and leap up in the air.
You make me want to sing and skip and boogie everywhere!’
It’s early December and Santa is feeling tired. Lifting heavy sacks of toys every year has taken its toll on his back and his knees so he thinks it may be time to retire. He carefully writes out a job ad for someone special to take over his role and throws it on to his magical fire.
At the exact moment the parchment hits the flames, someone else is making a big decision on the other side of the world. A little Monster from Monster Land is telling his parents that it’s time for him to see the world and try to do some good. As he talks, Santa’s letter drifts in to view and the Monster realises that this is the perfect opportunity for him to spread his wings.
In the North Pole Santa puts the monster through some rigorous training and soon he is ready to go out and spread some Christmas joy. Monster Christmas is about to be unleashed on the world! He’s very excited but his first appearance at a Grotto doesn’t quite go as planned. The children and parents take one look at his green fur and run away screaming.
‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ is one of our all-time favourite books so we were extremely excited to get our hands on this new one from the same team. I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint and we’ve been reading it on repeat for days!
It’s the day of the Elephant Games which means that all the baby elephants have to perform for the King. In line with tradition, if they manage to impress him with their special skill then he will award them with their Elephant Name.
Nina goes first and she chooses to display her strength by ripping a tree from the ground with her trunk. King Elephant Mighty is amazed and he names her Elephant Strong. Norcus bellows so loudly that he gains the name Elephant Noisy! As each elephant steps forward in to the limelight, the King spots that one little elephant is cowering at the back of the line. Poor Num-Num hasn’t found his special skill yet and when he tries to perform some tricks everyone laughs at him – even the King!
If your little one is starting school or nursery in September then you will no doubt be on the look out for books which will help ease the transition. This lovely story from Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd is perfect for calming any first day nerves which they may have.
The main character loves his teacher and is very excited to lead you through all of the things you can expect from your first day at school. We see him arrive, greet his teacher and cheerily say goodbye to his Mummy. He hangs up his coat on a peg with his name on it, finds his friends and then shows you all the cool things you get to do in the classroom, like learning letters and numbers, doing show and tell, painting singing and story time. His beloved teacher features throughout – guiding, helping and praising the children in her care.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Sakina. Mum of 2 boys, 7 and 4 living in South London. I’m a Hypnobirthing teacher and Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner which I became passionate about after becoming a mother. I have always loved reading in my life and sharing books with my kids has brought so much joy and connection to my days as a mother. In those early years at home sometimes at a loss of what to do, a good book and a cuddle on the sofa would transform our day and reconnect us.
Hi Cat! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Cat Bateman, a mum of two very energetic & football-mad boys, 11 & 8. I met my husband 26 years ago (I know! I am that old!) and I have a business called Little Folk Nursery Rhymes. I hold weekly sessions singing nursery-rhymes to lovely little customers accompanied by my guitar. I completely love singing and sharing music and am passionate about spreading the word about Type 1 Diabetes as my eldest boy was diagnosed when he was 5 years old.
What were your sons’ favourite books when they were small?
I will answer all the questions from my memories of what they loved when they were your demographic of 0-5 years – I have totally enjoyed digging these books out and taking another look at them – haven’t been able to get rid of any of them in the constant battle to reclaim the house from the children’s stuff as they hold such gorgeous memories.
I have been reading this wonderful book to Ivy since she was just a few months old and this is our second copy as the first was so well-thumbed that it had started to fall apart! It’s written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.
Gerald is a giraffe whose skills include standing still and eating leaves from tall trees. They don’t include running and they most definitely don’t include dancing, which is a shame as every year all of the animals get together for the Jungle Dance and everyone has to take part.
On the night of the big Dance, Gerald watches the warthogs, rhinos, lions, chimps and baboons take to the floor to roaring applause, but when his turn comes the reaction is very different. As soon as everyone sees him they start to laugh and call him names because they know he is so clumsy. Devastated, Gerald takes off in to the jungle where he meets a wise old Cricket who teaches him that everyone can dance – they just have to find their own song.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am Emma Fulton and I am a career coach living in South East London. I support women with children to make sense of their careers after they’ve become parents so that they can find work they love or love what they do again. I have 3 boys who are 9, 2 and 1.
What are your children’s favourite books?
I have read a bedtime story to my eldest since he was tiny, including reading all 4,224 pages of the 7 Harry Potter books to him. I feel really lucky that he still lets me read to him now. It’s been such a bonding experience for us.
The standout favourite by a mile from his toddler years was “Aliens Love Underpants” by Claire Freedman. I would read it to him every night. It’s a rip-roaring adventure where the naughty aliens land on earth and make mischief with all manner of different pants until they manage to create something that will sling them back into space. Daft but fun.
We love a good dinosaur in this house so it’s no surprise that this book is a popular choice.
The bouncy rhythms and brightly coloured illustrations are perfect for toddlers who like to yell ROAR!
Every page features a mini rhyme about a different dinosaur. All of the well-known ones are in there so your child’s favourite will hopefully be featured.
Personally we like the big purple stegosaurus and the chicken-sized microraptors!
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2FqudSf
This sparkly book is very popular in our house at the moment.
The story is about Pip Pip, a tiny penguin who is scared of the sea. All of his penguin peers laugh at his fears and soon he becomes lonely and sad.He plays by himself on land so that he doesn’t have to go near the water.
One day, following some gentle encouragement from his mum, he tip toes to the edge and leans forward. Can he overcome his fears and jump?
An inspiring little story about courage, with lovely illustrations and some extra sparkle.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2n2Oczz