At the start of this lovely book the King is sat at his royal table eating takeaway pizza from a box. He needs a new cook and he needs one now. There’s a problem though – he’s really, really fussy! He auditions lots of impressive chefs but none of the meals they create for him is quite right. Then in walks Wobbly Bob – a self-confessed wimp who really wants the job!
The King agrees to give Bob a trial and sets him to work making fish and chips, but Bob is scared of every single step of the process. He’s scared of catching fish. He’s scared of digging for potatoes. He’s scared of slicing up chips. And he’s very scared of using the frying pan on the cooker. Fortunately the brave King is there to help and every time Bob is nervous about a task he steps in and shows him it’s okay.
This lovely book about hearing loss was recommended to us by one of our recent interviewees – Nell Nash of Tatty Rose. I really liked the look of it so bought us a copy and it’s currently one of Ivy’s favourite bedtime reads.
The story is about a little boy called Freddie who finds a fairy called Bessie-Belle tangled in a tree. He helps her down and she says she will grant him some wishes to say thank you. She tells him that she can’t hear very well and if you look carefully at the illustrations you can see that she’s wearing a little blue hearing aid.
Freddie doesn’t really understand this though so he mumbles when he asks for his wishes. He really wants a pet but because she can’t hear him the fairy doesn’t quite get it right. Freddie’s requests for a cat, a dog or a parrot result in a bat, a frog and a carrot – none of which make great pets!
The Everywhere Bear belongs to Class One. During the week he sits on a shelf in Mrs MacAllister’s classroom and observes all of his friends as they learn their lessons and listen to stories. At the weekends he goes home with one of the children for an adventure and on Monday they come back and tell the rest of the class what they have done. He lives an exciting life!
One rainy Monday morning he is travelling back to school after a lovely weekend with a new boy called Matt when suddenly he falls out of Matt’s backpack and is washed down a drain. The Everywhere Bear is about to have his biggest adventure yet!
He ends up in the sea, gets caught in a fisherman’s net, is delivered to a fish shop, thrown in the bin and then stolen by a seagull – but will he ever end up back with his friends in Class One?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hi, I’m Maxine. I live in Kent with my husband Patrick, our daughter Ava who’s 4, two kittens called Polly & Tigger and a snake called Kaa. I’m a digital marketing consultant for family focused brands and businesses.
What is your son/daughter’s favourite book?
For Ava it’s The Gruffalo and Stick Man by Julia Donaldson – we have read these to her ever since she was super little and The Gruffalo was one of the first books she started to recite by herself at 22 months, she knew all the words – we couldn’t believe it. She loves the stories. Plus going on the hunt for a Gruffalo or following a Stick Man trail if we’re out for a walk. She will always pick up a “Stick Man” to take home.
You may have noticed that we haven’t posted any reviews for the last few days and this is because Ivy and I have both been under the weather. We’ve had nasty colds which has meant we’ve spent a lot of time together, cuddled under the sofa blanket, watching Disney movies and reading books.
This lovely collaboration between Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury (who illustrated ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’) has been Ivy’s first choice all week!
The story starts with Rabbit, who is heading home for the day. When he gets to his burrow he is met with a loud voice which shouts ‘I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’m scary as can be!’. Rabbit doesn’t know what this loud Jumperee creature is so he runs away. Cat offers to step in and help but when he approaches the burrow he is also shouted at by the terrifying Jumperee. Bear steps forward to help, followed by Elephant but each time they are scared away.
We discovered this gem in our local library about 18 months ago and Ivy loved it so much that I bought us a copy that same week. The story is beautiful and I’m not ashamed to say that I bawled my eyes out the first time I read it!
This lovely book is about a little girl whose Mummy makes her a set of 5 paper dolls. She gives them names, plays with them constantly and invents a little song for the dolls to sing about their friendship.
In the girl’s vivid imagination the paper dolls do battle with dinosaurs, tigers and crocodiles. They explore magical islands (on the breakfast table) and dance through forests (in the garden).
Together they come through every adventure unscathed. Until one day they encounter a little boy with a pair of scissors and suddenly the dolls are no more.
Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks is a lovely little book about sharing and friendship, which we have read over and over again.
The story is about a little hermit crab who is looking for a new home. He finds a lovely shiny shell and moves right in but then he meets an anemone who wants to move in too! He really doesn’t want to share his shell but the anemone explains that he can help ward off predators so will earn his keep. The crab reluctantly agrees and soon realises that having the anemone around is really helpful and they are very happy living together. Then up rocks a bristleworm who also wants to move in. Again, the crab isn’t keen but relents when he realises that the bristleworm will keep the shell nice and clean.
Our copy of The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks looks a little the worse for wear as it’s seen a LOT of love in the 18 months we’ve owned it!
The story is about a mermaid with a beautiful voice. One day she is discovered by a circus owner called Sam Sly who convinces her to leave her lovely beach to join his circus and sing to the crowds. He promises that if she goes with him she will become rich and famous. Excited, she agrees to go despite the protestations of her friends.
She makes lots of friends at the circus but surprise surprise, Sam Sly does not turn out to be a nice character. He keeps her in a tiny fish tank and the riches he promised never materialise. Instead she feels trapped and longs to return to the sea.
The Snail And The Whale is one of our favourite collaborations between Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a real sense of adventure but the rhyme is also very calming so it’s perfect for bedtime.
The story is about a little snail who longs to travel – but her family thinks she’s a little crazy and don’t understand at all! She’s determined to see the world so she hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. On their magnificent journey the snail sees icebergs and volcanoes, beautiful beaches and strange animals. She is amazed at how big the world is and this makes her feel small and insignificant.
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.