Most parents will be familiar with the sense of trepidation you feel when starting a busy day with a small child in tow. You know it’s *possible* that everything could go to plan, but realistically you’re going to be late for everything (if you even manage to get out of the door at all).
Such is the plight of Mama Bear who has a very long list of things she needs to achieve before the end of the day, starting with dance class and a trip to the supermarket.
Little Bella Bear has other ideas though. She wants to bounce on her bed. She wants to wear the red outfit and not the blue outfit. She wants to count the stairs slowly on her way down. She wants an elaborate breakfast (which she inevitably wouldn’t eat!). She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She might want to use the potty though – but not until it’s time to leave, and not without reading at least 3 books whilst she ‘tries’. Sound familiar?
Cutesville is home to lots of cute and fluffy creatures, like puppies and bunnies and kittens. However it has one resident who is a tiny bit different – Monster. Monster isn’t cute or fluffy. He’s red and hairy with googly eyes and little pointy teeth.
Everyone loves cute things, but nobody seems to love him. He looks so different to everyone in Cutesville that sometimes people point and laugh. This makes Monster sad as all he wants is for someone to love him.
The sadness spurs him to take action. Instead of sitting at home moping he’s going to head out in to world and try to find a life partner. He looks everywhere but love continues to evade him! Disheartened, he decides to give up and head back to Cutesville – but when the bus finally arrives, something amazing happens…
We were lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this lovely new story which is out today in the UK and we’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you. We’re big fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s previous collaborations (‘The Lion Inside’ is in our all-time top five!) and fortunately this new title is just as good!
The heartwarming tale is about a little wolf cub called Wilf who is extremely strong-willed and independent. He wants to do everything by himself and he wants to do it right now – which will sound very familiar to any parent with a toddler!
When his wolf pack is forced to leave their cave, Wilf wants to lead the expedition to find a new home. But the little wolf soon discovers that life in the wilderness is much tougher than it looks and he finds himself lost in a storm. Too proud to call for help he sits alone on the ice, which at that very moment begins to crack. It looks as though all hope is lost but then a friendly face appears from the depths.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
My name is Ceci, short for Cecilia and I am half of Toy Box Tots, renting out boxes of super fun toys to preschoolers across the UK. I have boy girl twins who will turn 3 in the summer and a wild and crazy kitten called Harry. We live in East Dulwich with my husband Marco, having relocated from the UAE 18 months ago.
What are your children’s favourite books?
This changes on a monthly basis! At the moment it’s ‘Lottie Potter wants an Otter’ by Jeanne Willis and Leonie Lord . Every couple of weeks we go up to the local library and chose about 10 books to take home and there is always 1 that gets singled out and has to be read at least 10 times a day until we all know it from memory! They always love books where someone or something is naughty or there is some drama or scandal that we can talk about. It’s brilliant for me as I’m always looking for new books to base our toy boxes around so constantly having new books on the scene is great research.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Becky, one half of Small & Wild – a recently launched range of yummy herbal teas blended especially with little people in mind. I’m also mum to Amelie, 4, and Monty, 2 and wife to Phil. We live in lovely Nunhead in South East London.
What is your son/daughter’s favourite book?
Oo, this is always changing. We’ve had many favourites along the way.
A current hit is Quentin Blake’s Three Little Monkeys, which is beautifully illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. It tells the story of Hilda Snibbs and her three little monkeys.
‘Now, some people have dogs, and some people have cats, but Hilda Snibbs – Hilda Snibbs had three little monkeys. Their names were Tim and Sam and Lulu…’
Both of my two enjoy hearing tales of the mischief the three little monkeys cause whilst Hilda is out running errands. Poor Hilda always returns home and despairs at her house having been turned upside down. (My 2-year-old likes stomping around the bedroom at story time re-enacting some of the chaos they cause!) But one day Hilda comes back, the house is spotless, and her little monkeys are nowhere to be seen and she quickly realises that despite all their trouble-making she can’t bear to be without them. I imagine the story reminds my two a little of life at home and how they can wind me up no end but at the end of the day I will always love them to pieces!
We are big fans of Rachel Bright and Jim Field so we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new collaboration and we’re happy to say that it’s fab!
Cyril and Bruce are Squirrels who both have their eye on the last pine cone of the season – but for very different reasons. Cyril has partied his way through the year and hasn’t collected any food for the winter. Bruce, on the other hand, has amassed large stocks of food but is worried it won’t be enough.
An epic squabble ensues which puts both of their lives in danger. Can these two squirrels put their differences and work together to survive?
This is a gorgeous tale about friendship and sharing, with a big splash of adventure thrown in for good measure.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2otV4Xt
Side by Side is a really sweet book about finding your best friend.
Little Mouseling is the smallest mouse in a large family of mice. She desperately wants a friend of her own but all of her brothers and sisters are so busy running and playing that they forget all about her.
She sets out to find a friend but although she has plenty of offers of friendship she just can’t find someone who is the right match. Toad is lovely but she can’t swim so can’t join in with his games. Squirrel is great fun but Little Mouseling is too scared to climb his big tree.
But just as she thinks she won’t ever find a friend a shy little vole appears. Could this be the little buddy she’s been searching for?
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2B8y6Z7
Kevin the koala lives in a tree surrounded by a beautiful landscape and scores of fun-loving animals. However instead of exploring with his friends he stays up in his tree because he is scared of change. Up there he is safe and nothing bad can happen to him. Why would he risk doing something which might scare him?
Then one day a woodpecker arrives and changes Kevin’s world forever. What will happen when he is forced out of his comfort zone?
I love this book because we’ve all been Kevin – and I think it’s so important for kids to see that stretching yourself and facing your fears can truly enrich your life and bring you closer to your dreams.
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2BuEJt5
As a shy person with more than a pinch of anxiety, this is the book I wish I had read as a child and I hope it inspires Ivy in the future.
The story is about a tiny little mouse who is often overlooked because of his quiet little voice. He looks up to the mighty lion who lives nearby and wishes he could be big and brave like him.
One day he realises that in order to be who he wants to be he needs to find his courage, so he sets off to find the lion so he can ask him to teach him to roar.
But the meeting doesn’t quite go to plan. Could it be possible that the mighty lion is scared of mice?
We adore this one, and I’m not ashamed to say that the first time I read it to Ivy I cried at the end. Beautiful!
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2zwAZUk