Ivy’s dad and I will be getting married later this year so it seems appropriate to kick off 2019 with a book about a wedding – although hopefully ours will go a little more smoothly than the one in this story!
Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are two scarecrows who are very much in love. When Harry proposes, Betty is overjoyed and the pair start planning the best wedding the farm has ever seen. They make a list of all the things they will need – “a dress of white feathers, a necklace of shells, lots of pink flowers, two rings and some bells” – and then set off together to gather the beloved items together.
Soon they have everything except the pink flowers so Harry heads off on his own to find some whilst Betty has a little nap. However things don’t quite go to plan and Harry ends up being away for such a long time that the Farmer brings in a new scarecrow to replace him! Reginald Rake is the total opposite of Harry O’Hay. He’s selfish and showy and he isn’t nice to Betty at all. He boasts about all the things he can do but Betty isn’t impressed – she just wants her lovely Harry back.
But then things take a perilous turn. Reginald Rake tries to show Betty how good he is at blowing smoke rings, but he drops his cigar and sets the field alight. Will Harry make it back in time to save his bride?
This is one of our favourites from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There’s a lovely mix of romance and adventure and Ivy gets very excited as the story twists and turns at the end.
I guess you could choose to criticise the fact that we have a girl scarecrow being rescued by a boy scarecrow – but I think that does the story a disservice. I prefer to focus on the way the story shows the difference between someone who respects women and someone who doesn’t.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2GQEo7Z
I think representation is SO important in children’s books so when I spotted this LGBT-friendly book I knew we had to add it to our library.
Prince & Knight is a beautiful fairy tale set in a magical world of castles and dragons which has a wonderfully diverse twist. The prince of the realm has come of age so his parents set about trying to help him find a bride. He meets many, many ladies but none of them catch his eye. He’s looking for something different but he just doesn’t know what that is.
Whilst they are on their travels, the kingdom is attacked by a mighty dragon and it seems like all may be lost. The brave Prince rides off on his horse and soon come face to face with the fire-breathing monster – but it seems that he will not have to fight this battle alone. A magnificent Knight appears and they work together to bring the evil dragon down.
This little book about a parent’s love for their child is super cute and may have made me well up a little the first time Ivy and I read it together!
The gentle rhyme reassures your child that you will always be there for them in their life no matter what they are going through. Whether they are happy or sad, smiling or scared you will always walk besides them and help them in any way that you can.
The illustrations are delightful and really evoke the spirit of the book. Our version has shiny silver patches for the snow which Ivy really likes.
It’s not explicit within the book (but then i’m no polar bear expert!) but the back cover says that this is a daddy polar bear which is a lovely touch as so many of these types of books feature a mother instead.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2Hzc5La
This is a really cute book which captures the essence of the mother-child relationship really well. It takes you through a regular day from the point of view of the child and shows all the ways in which mummy makes their day special – whether it’s carrying them home from the shops because their legs are tired, fixing a favourite toy or splashing in the bath.
Each page features a different animal family and the beautiful illustrations really draw you in and help create a lovely warm setting for the story. Our favourites are the foxes in the park and the grumpy little elephant waiting for his dinner.
Lots of the activities are ones which many mums may not look forward to doing with their child in tow, for example doing the supermarket shop, but the child’s narrative is a nice way of reminding us of something important. No matter how badly we may sometimes think we’re doing at this difficult job called parenting, our children always think we’re the best!
This adorable little green thing is a Slodge and she is the very first creature on earth. She watches the first sunrise and the first sunset and as she surveys the world she thinks it all belongs to her.
However one day she awakens from a nap to discover that someone or something has taken a bite out of her fruit. She soon discovers there’s another Slodge who looks just like her.
Learning to share her world proves difficult but when the two Slodges are forced to work together to survive they realise that life just might be better as a twosome.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2o6GUuh
Leo is not like other lions. He doesn’t feel compelled to hunt other animals, he just wants to cuddle them and shower them with love. As he is a little unusual and isn’t bringing any food to the pride, he is forced to leave his family and go it alone.
Will his loving approach help or hinder him as the little lion tries to survive on the plains alone?
This is such a sweet book with a lovely message about the importance of kindness.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2CuWHtn
This evening we’ve got a super cute classic – Guess How Much I Love You.
Little Nutbrown Hare is about to go to bed but before he goes to sleep he wants to tell Big Nutbrown Hare just how much he loves him. He stretches his arms as far as they can go and he hops as high as he can but Big Nutbrown Hare can stretch and hop a little higher.
A gorgeous book about trying to vocalise the extent of your love (which I actually bought for Ivy’s Daddy long before she was born because I’m a soppy so and so)
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2hu4Rfy
This book is special to us as it’s the first one I ever read to Ivy when she was teeny tiny.
In the story a mother tells her little boy how much she loves him which triggers lots and lots of questions.
Would she still love him if he was a big scary ape?
Would she still love him if he were a super smelly skunk?
Would she still love him if he was a swamp monster?
The answer to each question is of course YES and the mother explains what she would do in each scenario to show him how much she loves him.
In those hyper-hormonal first few months this book regularly reduced me to tears and it can still occasionally cause a little wobble.
Beautiful – and the illustrations are gorgeous too.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2gwOyyf