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.
If your child is wary of leaving you behind on their first day of school or nursery then this funny story might help calm their nerves.
There is one big rule when it comes to school – Do Not Take Your Bear. Why? Because bears just aren’t designed for the classroom! They cause panic in the playground, they’re far too big for the chairs and they gobble up all the food at lunchtime.
And you really wouldn’t want that level of mayhem on your first day of school because then you’d miss out on all the fun. A bear would distract you from making new friends, painting colourful pictures, doing your sums and listening to your teacher tell you a beautiful story.
This fabulous counting book will take your child from their baby days right through to pre-school.
Made from heavy duty board, it first highlights the all important numbers 1 through 10 before moving to multiples of 10 in the later pages. Each number is illustrated with a familiar theme and there is A LOT of detail to explore.
If your child likes dinosaurs then they can see what 30 dinos look like all on one page. And how many of those dinosaurs have stripes? How many are red?
If vehicles are their thing then how about 70 of them on one double page spread? How many cars are there? What colour is the rocket? Which animal is riding a surfboard? You get the idea!
Families come in all shapes and sizes and this little board book from Pat-A-Cake is a great way to introduce this concept to small children.
Each double page spread looks at a different aspect of family life and then introduces you to a child and their individual set up. There is then a question which encourages kids to think about their own family and how it may differ from others.
The book explores family size, different types of homes and environments, leisure activities, special holidays, job roles, celebrations, and family trees. It is very inclusive, with different races and religions represented along with single parents, step-parents, same-sex parents, foster parents and families with grandparents as primary carers. We see children in wheelchairs and children wearing glasses. It also features a parent who is unable to work due to illness, which is not something I have seen in a children’s book before.
This sparkly board book from Pat-a-Cake is perfect for helping toddlers develop fine motor skills, especially those who love dinosaurs!
Panda and Penguin are off on an adventure. They need to get to Dinosaur Town in time for a party but they have a long way to go. They huff and puff their way up a steep hill and over a spiky track – but when they get to the top they discover a great big grinning dinosaur face. It turns out they haven’t been climbing a hill at all, instead they have scaled the back of a giant dinosaur! Fortunately he’s very friendly – perhaps he will offer them a lift to the party on his back?
I studied French at university so I am really keen for Ivy to learn some basic words and phrases whilst she is small. This brand new book from Jim Field – his first as both author and illustrator – is absolutely perfect for that!
Monsieur Roscoe is a friendly little dog with a pet goldfish called Fry. The pair are about to set off on the holiday of a lifetime to visit some friends, but first they have to pack. As they throw all of the things they need in to a suitcase we see that each one is labelled on the page in both French and English. This continues throughout the book, giving your child the opportunity to learn lots of new French words.
Once packed they say goodbye to their friends and set off on their adventure. They get stuck in traffic on the way to the train station, which gives us the opportunity to learn the words for different kinds of vehicles and the names of the many shops they pass.
If your child is nervous about starting school then this reassuring story might be just the thing you’re looking for – especially if they are fans of the Charlie and Lola cartoon.
Little Lola is about to start school but she really, really, really doesn’t want to go. Although she is a big girl she’s definitely too small for such a big change, plus she has so many important things to do at home that she doesn’t think she’ll have time. Lucklily, big brother Charlie is on hand to try and change her mind.
If she can only count to to ten, what will she do if eleven elephants want her to give them each a biscuit? If she doesn’t learn her alphabet then how will she write a letter to Father Christmas? And if she doesn’t learn to read, then how will she be able to understand the secret messages written on the fridge?