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Penguin Random House

Big Words For Little Geniuses
by Susan and James Patterson & Hsinping Pan

If you are in need of a little pick-me-up then i’d highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of this wonderful word book. There is officially nothing cuter (or more hilarious) than listening to Ivy attempting to say words like catawampus, dulcifluous, onomatopoeia and rapscallion!

The colourful pages take us on a journey from A-Z as we learn some exciting new words which have lots of syllables. Each word comes with a short explanation and a phonetic breakdown so that grown ups can be sure that they’re passing on the correct information when they read. Some of the words were new to me and really quite tough so I definitely appreciated this. I take my hat off to you if arachibutyrophobia rolls easily off your tongue or if you can tell me what idioglossia means without googling it!

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Wise Before Five
by Libby Walden & Ekaterina Trukhan

Today is the big day! Ivy had her very first day at school. She went through the gate full of smiles ready for her big adventure so I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the transition is a smooth one.

One of the books we’ve been reading over the weekend to prepare her is this gorgeous hardback called ‘Wise Before Five’ which I spotted over on Instagram and simply had to buy. It has helped reassure her that she actually knows lots of things and is more than ready for school.

Featuring a diverse cast of children (including a child in a wheelchair and a child with a hearing aid), this essential guide to being almost five covers a wide range of topics whilst quietly celebrating the joy of being unique.

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First Day Critter Jitters
by Jory John & Liz Climo

It’s the night before the first day of school and all of the animals are feeling a bit nervous.

Sloth is worried that he’s going to be late. Snake can’t get his backpack to stay on. Mouse is scared that he’s too little for big school. Kangaroo is feeling anxious about being away from his mum. Parrot is feeling skittish because he talks too much. Mole thinks his sight might let him down. Bear thinks he should probably just sleep instead and Rabbit has too much energy and is concerned she won’t be able to sit still.

Each of their worries is different but each one is valid – after all, they are about to start a whole new chapter in their lives.

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Nope. Never. Not For Me! by Samantha Cotterill

Ivy is an extremely picky eater so I like to keep an eye out for books which might encourage her to expand her tastes a little. Results are generally a bit hit and miss but we have had some success with this one so I wanted to share it with you.

The child in the story loves dinosaurs but absolutely does not like broccoli! She refuses to try it or even touch it because she thinks it looks yucky. But mum steps in with a thought which makes her think twice. She cleverly points out that broccoli looks like tiny trees and dinosaurs like to eat trees…

The girl (who is dressed in a dinosaur costume) asks if her toy dinosaur can try it first – and together they take baby steps towards a first mouthful of broccoli.

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Petra By Marianna Coppo

PetraWe love a book which encourages imagination and individuality and Petra is definitely one of those books.

When you first look at Petra you see a rock surrounded by fronds of grass. She is an adorable little rock with curious eyes and a quirky little smile. Or is she?

Perhaps she is a magnificent mountain, the solid foundation of a village above the clouds. Or is she a tiny pebble? A shiny egg? An island? Is it possible she is even an elephant?

Petra has lots of important lessons to teach children. You don’t have to be defined by where you start out in life or by who other people think you are. If you believe in yourself you can be the person (or rock!) you dream of becoming. You also don’t have to be the same person every day or even the same person to everybody. Some days you might want to be a mountain and some days you might want to be an island, and that’s ok.

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