Mrs Blackhat
by Chloë & Mick Inkpen

Mrs BlackhatOur favourite book this Halloween has been Mrs Blackhat by Chloe & Mick Inkpen. Ivy LOVES it and I’ve easily read it 2-3 times a day in the last week!

Mrs Blackhat is a witch whose life definitely has a colour scheme. Everything is black – her clothes, her broom, her cauldron, her house – except for one thing. She has a ginger cat!

She finds this splash of colour extremely irksome so she sets out to find a way to transform her cat so that he’s more in keeping with her witchy style. Being somewhat of an online shopping addict she hops on her laptop and orders some potions and spells from her favourite site. However when they arrive they don’t quite perform as they should.

Continue Reading…

Freddie And The Fairy By Julia Donaldson & Karen George

Freddie And The fairyThis 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!

Continue Reading…

Kaya’s Heart Song
by Diwa Tharan Sanders & Nerina Canzi

Kaya's Heart SongOne day little Kaya stumbles across her mother meditating. She is also humming an unfamiliar tune which Kaya finds fascinating. When she  asks what it is her mother explains that it is her heart song – the song which her heart sings when she is happy.

Kaya would very much like a heart song of her own but she doesn’t know how to find it so instead she goes out to play. She follows a butterfly in to the jungle and there she finds an old man guarding a broken-down elephant carousel.

Drawn to the elephants, Kaya climbs on top of one to try and free it from some vines. She imagines what it would be like to be a beautiful princess riding the elephant through the jungle and suddenly she hears the soft beat of music in her ear.

Continue Reading…

The Flying Bath By Julia Donaldson & David Roberts

The Flying BathThe Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson has an extremely random story but the rhyme and illustrations never fail to make Ivy giggle.

3 little bath toys (a duck, a frog and a turtle) operate their own little emergency service for animals in urgent need of water. When they receive a call they jump in their magic flying bath and set off to the rescue.

On their adventures they help a thirsty kangaroo, a bee with droopy flowers, a pig who needs a wash and many more. But will they make it home for bathtime?

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2mWKoQn

Perfectly Norman By Tom Percival

Perfectly NormanNorman is a normal little boy – but then one day he grows a pair of wings.

He tests them out and enjoys them enormously but as he’s never seen any other little boys with wings he is worried about what other people will think. He hides them under a big coat so that no one can see them – but constantly wearing the coat means he can’t enjoy all of the fun things he did before, like swimming and playing in the sunshine.

He grows to hate his wings but then realises that the wings aren’t the problem, the coat is. Having to pretend that he’s someone he’s not  is making him miserable. Is he brave enough to set his wings free and show his true self to his friends and family?

This is a fantastic book for any child who is worried about being a little bit different to their peers. It shows how having the courage to just be yourself can open up a whole new world .

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2m0Y4Iu

The Snowman By Raymond Briggs

The SnowmanOur book for today is The Snowman because this morning Ivy experienced her first snow!

This classic book tells the story of a young boy who wakes one day to discover it’s snowing and runs outside to make a snowman. Later that night he slips from his bed and goes outside to check on his snowy friend, only to discover that he has magically come alive. Together they set off on a beautiful adventure and soar through the night skies.

The story is told entirely through pictures – there is no text. This allows you to adjust the story, detail and speed to your own child, and also gives you control over how you handle the tear-jerking ending.

Ivy loves the illustrations – and I’m looking forward to when she’s a little older and can try to tell me the story herself, based on her own interpretation of the pictures.

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2yXrIq1

Otto The Book Bear By Katie Cleminson

Otto The Book BearOtto is a little bear who lives on the pages of a book – but he has a special secret. When no one is looking he can climb out of the book and roam free!

He loves the children he belongs to and he loves exploring their house – however one day a removals van comes and takes everything away, but leaves poor Otto behind.

Otto bravely packs a bag and sets out find a new home but the city is big and scary and not at all like his lovely warm book.

Will he be able to find a place for himself in the big, wide world?

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2ke3LSO

Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer By Nicola Killen

Ollie's Christmas ReindeerOur Christmas tree is going up tonight so it seems appropriate to review our first festive book!

I love Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer by Nicola Killen because, instead of focusing on Santa and presents, it is all about the magic of Christmas. Ivy loves the beautiful pictures and she especially likes the little cut out sections which allow you to peek from one page to the next.

The story is about a little girl called Ollie who is awakened one night by the sound of bells. Mesmerised by the snow she sees outside her window, she decides to follow the sounds to see where they lead. She finds herself in a wood and spies a collar dangling on a tree.

Is that a Reindeer she sees in the distance? Adventure awaits!

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2BE2wEb

The Something By Rebecca Cobb

The SomethingAnyone who has been following us for a while will know that Ivy and I are big fans of Rebecca Cobb and this beautiful book is no exception.

A little boy finds a hole underneath the cherry tree in his garden and begins to wonder what could be down there. He shows the hole to his parents, his sister, his friends and his grandparents and ask them what they think.

Could there be a family of frogs down there? Or bunnies? Or even a troll or a dragon? Only time will tell!

This is a delightful little book about the power of a child’s imagination and the illustrations are gorgeous. We particularly like the little blue troll.

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2i30Zmn

The Magic Paintbrush By Julia Donaldson & Joel Stewart

The Magic PaintbrushThis is the Julia Donaldson version of a classic story I remember from my own childhood – The Magic Paintbrush.

Shen lives in a poor community and every day she is sent out to catch fish for her family.

Whilst waiting for a bite she traces pictures in the sand with a stick, which draws the attention of an old man. The curious stranger gives her a magic paintbrush and tells her to use it to help the poor but never the rich.

Shen goes home and realises that anything she draws comes to life. She paints fish, oysters, baskets, shoes, coats and hats for the folk in her village and soon the community thrives.

But what will Shen do when the evil emperor summons her to his palace and threatens to keep her prisoner unless she draws him a tree of golden coins?

Beautifully illustrated by Joel Stewart, and Julia Donaldson’s magic touch really brings this folk tale to life.

Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2jlU8Ex