If you’re looking for picture books which teach acceptance and encourage children to celebrate their differences then you NEED to have this story on your shelf. It’s such a simple story but it packs a very powerful punch.
In The Land of This and That there are two types of creatures – blue bunnies and yellow birds. Everyone is either one or the other, until the day an egg hatches and out pops Neither.
Neither isn’t a blue bunny or a yellow bird so everyone is a little confused. They see their green body, their bunny ears and their bird-like feet and they demand to know what they are. They cheerfully explains that they’re both but the creatures of the land declare this impossible. They can’t be both therefore they must be neither.
” I love to go to school. Well most days I do. There are some days when what I really want is to stay home with you.”
School has always been fun for our little protagonist. She enjoys playing and chatting with her friends, writing about her favourite things and climbing to the very top of the climbing frame in the playground – but lately school has felt like a sad place. Some days she just wants to stay at home with her tiger, because she knows he loves her and will always listen.
You see, there’s a kid at school who isn’t very nice to her. She stares at her and she laughs. She blocks her way and takes her lunch. This makes the little girl feel powerless and makes her want to run and hide.
This contemporary fairy tale about an unlikely friendship is breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully atmospheric. If your child is a fan of intrigue and suspense then I would highly recommend The Wolf’s Secret.
In a forest far away lives an enormous wolf with deep, dark fur and big, golden eyes. All of the other animals fear him, but the wolf harbours a secret. He is in love with a young woman who lives in a wooden cabin hidden deep within the trees. Every day he secretly listens to her sing as she collects water from the well and tends to her sick father.
But then one morning the young woman fails to appear so the Wolf edges closer to the cabin. He sees his love sobbing on her father’s empty bed and her sadness consumes him.
It’s World Space Week so I thought I would share this gorgeous little board book which is perfect for babies and toddlers.
Featuring bold illustrations and lots of eye-catching shiny sections, it introduces small children to some very big ideas. The pages are folded like a concertina and they are designed to be stretched out to create a frieze. You can use it to keep a baby entertained during tummy time by standing it up in front of them, and toddlers will enjoy sitting in the middle of it and interacting with the pages.
On one side of he frieze we see all of the planets laid out in order. Each of them has a very expressive face (which can be used to talk about emotions) and a descriptive name which tells us something about that specific planet – Little Mercury, Red Mars, Cold Neptune etc. As someone who was born in the seventies I love that there is also a little nod to Pluto as I refuse to accept that he’s been downgraded!
This gorgeous adaptation of Ian Fleming’s original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story has made me super nostalgic. I loved the movie as a kid so it has been wonderful watching Ivy absorb the story then wing her way around the house pretending to fly, yelling ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ as she goes!
Fortunately there is no evil childcatcher here to give her nightmares as the movie strayed considerably from the original story.
Jeremy and Jemima Pott live in a rundown house with their mum and dad. They don’t have much money until one day their dad invents ‘Toot Sweets’ which become an overnight sensation. Now considerably richer, they set off to buy a car and are all drawn to a sad-looking racing vehicle which is rusting in the corner of the garage.
If you’ve been following us a while you’ll know we are huge fans of the Oi Frog & Friends series from genius duo Kes Gray and Jim Field. We have all the books in the series and Ivy literally jumped for joy when the latest was delivered to our door.
A quick recap in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years and haven’t encountered these joyful stories before… Frog, Cat and Dog are 3 friends with a penchant for rhyme and a slightly unhealthy preoccupation with seating arrangements. Cat started the trend in book 1 (Oi Frog!) when she insisted that frogs can only sit on logs then Frog took up the baton in book 2 (Oi Dog!) and has been a tiny bit obsessed ever since.
I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t label children based on their behaviour so the first time I read this book I practically punched the air with joy. Lauren Child totally gets it! A positive label can put pressure on a child to conform and a negative label can affect their self worth or give them something to hide behind when faced with a challenge. No one is ever completely good/bad, or quiet/loud or any other combination of opposites we regularly see used to categorise people.
Chirton is a good boy. He eats broccoli, goes to bed on time and cleans the rabbit’s cage without making a fuss. He’s so good that his parents have even given him a badge with ‘Goody’ written on it. Chirton tells us: “If people have decided you are good, do not disappoint them by being bad.”
Life is different for his sister Myrtle though as she is a bad child. She won’t eat broccoli, doesn’t go to bed on time and never cleans the rabbit’s cage. Their parents don’t even try to make her behave anymore as it’s just too difficult. Myrtle tells us: “If people have decided you are bad, do not disappoint them by being good.”
Evie is a little apprehensive about starting school. Every time she thinks about it she gets a wobbly feeling in her tummy and feels a tiny bit sick. When her Dad takes her shopping for her new school uniform she drags her feet, but the expedition turns out to be a little bit more magical than she expected!
Madam Lexi’s Uniform Emporium is packed full of blazers, ties, sports kit and everything else a child might need for their first term, but if you look closely at the owner you’ll spot that she is a little bit special. A ittle cloud of twinkling stars seem to follow her wherever she goes…
Evie nervously tries on her uniform and her dad is pleased to see that everything fits, but when he’s not looking Madam Lexi leans forward and whispers in to her ear. Evie blinks with confusion. The lady mentioned her ‘School Unicorn’ but surely she meant ‘School Uniform’? But then the pocket of Evie’s cardigan starts to wiggle!
Ivy really enjoys traditional fairy tales so I love it when we discover alternate versions with interesting twists! This new take on ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ had her giggling from start to finish.
When Mr Troll moves in to a brand new pad he’s looking forward to some luxury living, but instead he finds himself under a bridge frequented by a very noisy family of goats – the eponymous Billy Goats Fluff. The trip-trapping of their hooves keeps him awake 24/7, leaving him sleep-deprived and very, very grumpy.
He puts up a carefully worded sign but this doesn’t work so he soon finds himself shouting at the goats and threatening to eat them unless they stop waking him up. The three little billy goats are scared so they head home to tell their mum all about the nasty old troll.
It’s never too early to get kids thinking about the little things we can all do which make a difference to our planet. This lift-the-flap board book from Pat-A-Cake is perfectly pitched to teach your little ones the basics of key environmental issues.
Each double page spread tackles one issue and then introduces you to small child who wants to help. We then learn three ways in which they can effect change and see which option they choose. As an example, Harry learns that vehicles pollute the air but he wants to help jeep the air clean. His Mum explains that instead of using the car for their trip to the park they can walk, cycle or scoot. Harry considers each of the options and then decides he would like to walk.