Ivy and I were very excited when this board book landed on our doorstep as it has a built-in emoji spinner! Amusingly, I wasn’t allowed to even touch it for the first 15 minutes because Ivy wanted to play with it by herself, twirling the faces and looking at the pictures inside. Definitely the sign of a good read!
The toddler-friendly introduction explains that the expressions on our faces will often change to reflect our mood. By observing these changes we can tell how someone else may be feeling.
The emoji spinner features six faces, each representing a different emotion – happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, calmness and confusion. As we move through the book your child is presented with lots of scenarios and then invited to choose the face which they think best represents how they would feel. How do they feel when it rains? How do they feel when they dance? How about when they eat a tomato?
Hands up if you hate the word ‘bossy’? Yup, me too.
All too often it’s used to negatively describe strong-minded girls, whereas boys are simply seen as assertive – so when I picked up this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turns out that I didn’t need to worry. There’s no gender bias here, just lots of interactive fun.
From the very first page, this book is in charge and you have to do everything it says. If the book wants you to sit up straight then you have to sit up straight. If the book tells you to sniff it then you have to sniff it (and tell it what it smells like). And if it asks you to be quiet then you had better listen – but the book has very good hearing and can even hear your toenails growing so keeping it happy is quite tough!
These days Ivy takes great care with her books, particularly the interactive ones, but when she was tiny she took great pleasure in pulling off the flaps and chewing on them. That’s why I think the new generation of chunky board books with felt flaps are a bit of a revelation! This one is particularly charming and features lots of super cute dinosaurs for your little ones to find.
The aim is to follow the clues, peep through the cut out sections and lift the textured felt flaps to locate the T-Rex. Along the way we meet a whole host of other dinosaur characters who share some of the T-Rex’s features. The sharp teeth poking out from behind the volcano actually belong to a Pterodactyl. The scaly head hidden behind a bush looks promising but turns out to be a Triceratops. And the swishy tail behind the trees? That’s just a Diplodocus. Where could that cheeky T-Rex be?
When a bright pink Beast catches a little boy he is very excited about the prospect of eating him all up. He names the boy ‘Dinner’ and sets about inviting all of his friends to a very special feast.
Naturally Dinner is a little worried, but when the RSVPs start to arrive he proves himself to be very smart indeed.
The Beasts friends turn out to be very picky and they have lots of dietary requirements which they want Beast to consider. Sir Gutguzzler can’t eat anything scrawny so he suggests that Beast fatten Dinner up a little bit. Madam Gargoyle requests that Dinner is served extra salty and Giant Grumbo needs Dinner to be slimy!
Ivy and I are big fans of ‘There’s A Monster In Your Book‘ so I pre-ordered this new one from Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott as soon as I heard about it. We were both super excited when it arrived and it has definitely not disappointed.
The story is about a little alien who has crash landed in your book. It’s up to you to try and get him back home where he belongs – but how? By wriggling and jiggling the book around, blowing on the pages, making loud noises and conjuring up some scary faces!
This is a raucous read which has Ivy hooting with laughter every single time. She has declared the alien ‘adorable’ and adopted his little catchphrase – ‘Zaa – Zee – Zoo!’ – which she has decided means ‘I Love You’ in ‘alien language’.
Earlier this week we visited London Zoo as a half term treat for Ivy. The highlight of her day was undoubtedly seeing the giraffes up close, but for me it was our visit to the gift shop as they had a phenomenal selection of books. From baby books right through to detailed encyclopedias, there was definitely something for every child to enjoy.
Ivy was allowed to select one title from their shelves and she headed straight for this beautiful board book from Ingela P. Arrhenius and Nosy Crow.
She’s three and a half now, but we’ve seen renewed interest in board books of late because she likes to try and read them herself by guessing what is going on in the pictures. This book is perfect for this type of game and as a result I honestly think we’ve read it 50+ times in the last few days!
What would you do if you found a dragon living in your basement?
When little Alex finds himself in this situation he is beside himself with excitement but he knows that he’s going to have to get some expert advice so that the dragon doesn’t burn down his house.
First he writes to the Fire Brigade, who send him back some excellent advice on keeping the dragon cool and moist. Next he contacts a local butcher to find out what the dragon might like to eat. The reply is a little concerning (the butcher is quite keen to find out what dragon meat tastes like!) but offers up some useful suggestions re dragon diets. Soon Alex and his dragon are having lots of fun!
Ivy always gets excited when we receive parcels of books in the post but when we opened this one she was bouncing with joy as it combines two of her favourite things – the song ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ and lots and lots of little flaps to lift and explore.
Adapted from the popular nursery rhyme, this beautiful book starts with a group of very sleepy bunnies lazing on picnic blankets. You are invited to wake them up by lifting the flaps and then turn the page to see them all ‘hop hop hop’.
The group of bunnies then take a little walk through the countryside and find lots of other animals having a snooze, including lambs, chicks, kittens and ducklings. Your little one can wake them all up by lifting the flaps (or by yelling ‘WAAAAAAKE UUUUUUP’ as Ivy chose to do!) and watch them play together.
When you have a baby you seem to spend most of your time talking about or dealing with poop, then just when you think you’re done, your toddler suddenly develops a fascination with what it is and where it comes from. Sigh!
If you’re getting lots of questions about poop or having problems potty training then this fab little book from Usborne might be what you’re looking for. It’s full of fun facts and lift-the-flap sections to entertain and educate curious little minds.
What is poo made of? Does everyone poo? How much poo does an elephant do? Where does it go when you flush the loo? What kind of animal has spotty poo and whose poo looks like toffee?
I spotted this one on Instagram a little while ago and I admit that I bought it based solely on how pretty the cover is! It’s a beautiful book – but it has so much more to offer than the aesthetics.
The pages take you through a typical day for a child – albeit during a weekend or a holiday – and asks you to make lots of decisions. What will you wear today? What hairstyle will you choose? What will you eat for breakfast? Where would you like to go if the sun is shining? How do you plan to get there? How about if it’s raining? What game shall we play? Do you want bubbles in your bath? Which pyjamas will you wear?
Every option is beautifully illustrated and there is a great cast of diverse characters. The clothing, hair and food choices cater for different cultures, which opens up lots of discussion and opportunities for learning new things about the world. My super-picky daughter is fascinated by the fact that in some countries rice is eaten for breakfast and she definitely wants to move somewhere where you can travel around on a camel or where grass skirts are an option!