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Kes Gray

Ivy’s Guest Book: Lucie Gray, Owner, Paper Aeroplane Creative

Paper Aeroplane CreativeTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hullo, I’m Lucie. I live with my partner Mark and two children, Eloise 4 (& the all important 3/4) and Oliver 2. We live in Keynsham, a town squeezed between Bristol and Bath. I’m a packaging and branding designer.

What are your children’s favourite books?

Oliver’s favourite book is ‘Ten Little Pirates‘ by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty. Each pirate peril is met with an “Oh NO!” and we are guaranteed an arm swooshing “Arrrrr” at the end followed by “again Mummy!”

It’s really hard to pin Eloise down to just one favourite book, she won’t go to bed without at least an armful to read, but at a push it would be something written by Julia Donaldson.  She knows them off by heart and can be regularly heard reading them to her favourite soft toy, Rosie.

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Think Big! by Kes Gray & Nathan Reed

Think Big!When you think of Humpty Dumpty you can’t help but immediately picture him falling off a wall – but what if he could be so much more than that?

This brightly coloured book starts with Humpty sitting on his famous wall, talking about the future with his friends. One of them asks what he wants to be when he grows up and his response shocks them. He wants to be a boiled egg! Aghast, they suggest that he thinks outside of the box.

Wee Willie Winkie thinks Humpty should be a footballer, Little Bo Peep suggests he becomes a detective, whilst Mary Mary Quite Contrary thinks he would make a great musician. Soon everyone is sharing their career aspirations. Little Miss Muffet dreams of becoming a scientist, Goosey Gander plans to become a builder, and This Little Piggy wants to be a traffic warden!

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Jaclyn Townshend, Owner, Lingotot Gravesend

Lingotot GravesendTell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hello! My name is Jaclyn and after having my son in April 2016 I left my Facilities Manager role in London and I now run Lingotot Gravesend. I live in Hoo in Kent with my husband and our son Finn who is 2.5, and we love to travel to see my parents who live in rural Spain. I’m part of a book club who meet monthly and I love to read, sadly I don’t have as much time as I used to when I used to commute to London and had hours to read, but I now enjoy reading with my son who loves to sit down with a new book and read it over and over (and over…) again!

What is your son’s favourite book?

Finn’s current favourite is Oi Frog! By Kes Gray & Jim Field – it’s a hilarious rhyming story about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit. Finn loves saying the relevant rhyming word to the animal (i.e. cats sit on mats, foxes sit on boxes) and he’s learnt lots of new words as a result. There are lots of different animals in the series and I can’t wait to get more books for us to read.

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Oi Dog! by Kes & Claire Gray and Jim Field

Oi Dog!Oi Dog! is the second title in the zany ‘Oi Frog and Friends’ series. There are currently four books and we love each and every one!

If you’ve read book one – Oi Frog! – you’ll know that these bonkers tales are about a peculiar set of rules which dictate where an animal can sit. In the first story we met Cat, Dog and Frog. Cat explained that animals are only allowed to park their bums on things which rhyme – so cats sit on mats, frogs sit on logs and (unfortunately for this particular frog) dogs sit on frogs. Squish!

As we move in to book two we see the feisty frog choosing to rebel. He disagrees wholeheartedly with the current rules so sets about making some of his own.

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Sakina Ballard, Founder, Tranquil Birth

Tranquil BirthTell 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.

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Oi Frog! By Kes Gray & Jim Field

Oi Frog!This series of books by Kes Gray & Jim Field definitely wins the award for most random but we love them!

The book centres around a set of ‘rules’ which determine what different animals are allowed to sit on. The two main characters are a cat and a frog and the former is explaining the rules to the latter. The cat tells frog that he has to sit on a log – but he doesn’t want to! Logs aren’t comfortable and they give you splinters in your bottom -but unfortunately those are the rules!

The cat then explains all the other seat-based rules and they get more and more crazy. We see moles sitting on poles, lizards sitting on wizards, gophers sitting on sofas, gibbons sitting on ribbons and even fleas sitting on peas (Ivy’s favourite!).

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Clare White, Owner, Calladoodles

CalladoodlesHi Clare! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Clare, I own an independent card and gift shop on Carshalton High Street called Calladoodles. When I set up the shop over eight years ago I wanted to bring a bit of the colour and the feel of Brighton to Carshalton. Although we have had to change and adapt over the years it’s stayed true to that dream in a lot of ways, but the children’s books and gifts have become more of a focus with the arrival of my children. I live in Carshalton, Surrey with my two children Chloe (5) and Zak (2). 

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“You’re Called What?!’ By Kes Gray & Nikki Dyson

You're Called What?!We love Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! so when we spotted this new one from Kes Gray we knew we had to get it right away. We’re glad we did because it’s hilarious!

The story takes place at the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where a little Cockapoo puppy is waiting to change his name because his friends make fun of him. However he soon realises that compared to some he’s actually quite lucky! Whilst waiting in the queue he meets a Blue-Footed Booby, a Tasselled Wobbegong, a Monkeyface Prickleback and lots more (real!) animals with crazy names.

The names get sillier and sillier until we meet a little wasp who has a name that literally can’t be said without laughing. Can you guess what kind of wasp he is?

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Quick Quack Quentin By Kes Gray & Jim Field

Quick Quack QuentinQuick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field always gives us the giggles!

Quentin is a duck with a very unusual problem. His quack has lost an A so he can only say quck. He goes to the doctor for help but the he can only offer him a D, O, C, T, O or R and those letters don’t help him at all.

Bemused, Quentin heads to a nearby farm to see he can borrow their A – but they’re not interested in becoming a frm and the farmer doesn’t want to be a frmer. He speaks to a dog, a hen, a pig and a bull who let him try out their vowels but a quock, a queck, a quick and a quuck just don’t sound right. What is poor Quentin going to do?

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Ivy’s Guest Book: Kelly Smith, Owner, Crafty Little Kel

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Crafty Little KelI’m Kelly and I’m mum to two little boys, Conor (7) and Iwan (5). I am a trained secondary teacher but gave up a stressful head of department job last year in favour of doing supply work around my pyrography and glass engraving business; something which had always been a hobby of mine and which I always dreamed of turning into a small business. I can honestly say I have never looked back as my children are growing up so fast and this is allowing me more precious time to spend with them whilst working around them from home.

What are your sons’ favourite books?

Conor is now 7 and so is reading confidently on his own. He is currently really in to the Goosebumps books. Until recently he lacked confidence in reading but discovering the Goosebumps series made a big difference to him – I think it’s a refreshing change to Biff, Chip and flipping Kipper! Iwan’s firm favourite at the moment is a book called “Nuddy Ned” by Kes Gray and Gary Parsons. It’s about a little boy who, after his bath, whilst his parents are sorting out his bed, decides that it would be far more fun to streak naked through the town. The book is written in rhyme and has lift the flaps on each page. Iwan shrieks with laughter throughout the whole story!

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