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Reviews

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

If you’ve been following Ivy’s Library for a while you’ll know I’m really passionate about books which help small children to understand and verbalise their feelings. I’m also a huge fan of author Rachel Bright, so when The Worrysaurus landed on our doorstep I was really excited. Ivy was instantly entranced by the title character – an adorable little red dinosaur with a tiny green backpack – and demanded we read it right away!

The Worrysaurus is a planner and a worrier (to be honest, he’s a lot like me!). When he decides to go on a picnic he organises it all in his advance. He plans out a route, he packs all of the things he might need in to his trusty bag and then he heads out in to the sunshine.

However it’s not long before his brain starts to itch. What if he didn’t pack enough to drink? What if he gets lost on the way? Slowly his happy mood starts to slip away and anxiety creeps in. When a little lizard warns him that there might be a storm poor Worrysaurus starts to panic. He’s not prepared for rain!

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We’re Off To Find A Unicorn by Eloise White & Cory Reid

When a multicultural family set off on an adventure to find a unicorn they don’t expect it to be too hard. After all – a unicorn has a shiny horn, a colourful, swishy tail and it sparkles and glistens all over. Surely they’ll spot one straight away!

As they search a variety of different habitats they spot things which *might* be a unicorn but each one turns out to be a magnificent endangered animal. The creatures they meet include a chameleon, a pangolin, a rhino, a polar bear and a bush baby. But will they ever find a unicorn?

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In The Stars by Sam Kitson & Katie Faithfull

This is a book about baby loss so if this topic is a trigger for you then please do not read any further———————————————-

When someone dies, children will naturally have a lot of questions and reading books together is a great way of helping them understand. I’ve come across quite a few whilst writing my blog and it seems that most focus on the death of an older relative. But what happens when the lost loved one was just a child themselves?

This beautiful book, published by SANDS – the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity, is designed to help small children work through their grief. Written to help author Sam Kitson’s own children understand the death of their sibling, the book follows a conversation between Minnie and Moss as they contemplate where in the universe their sister might be.

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Beast Feast by Emma Yarlett

When a bright pink Beast catches a little boy he is very excited about the prospect of eating him all up. He names the boy ‘Dinner’ and sets about inviting all of his friends to a very special feast.

Naturally Dinner is a little worried, but when the RSVPs start to arrive he proves himself to be very smart indeed.

The Beasts friends turn out to be very picky and they have lots of dietary requirements which they want Beast to consider. Sir Gutguzzler can’t eat anything scrawny so he suggests that Beast fatten Dinner up a little bit. Madam Gargoyle requests that Dinner is served extra salty and Giant Grumbo needs Dinner to be slimy!

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The Golden Acorn by Katy Hudson

Squirrel loves to win and she’s definitely on a winning streak. For the last 8 years she has taken home the trophy for the annual Golden Acorn Hunt and once again she has her eye on the prize. She’s the fastest animal in the forest so she’s bound to win. Isn’t she?

The day before the race the organisers throw a spanner in the works by announcing a change to the rules. This year everyone must compete in teams! Squirrel eyes her friends in horror. How can she be expected to win when Beaver, Tortoise and Rabbit will just slow her down?

Race day arrives and Squirrel races off in to the distance but soon her friends call her back because they need her help. Tortoise gets lost, they all get tangled up in some hanging branches and then Beaver gets his bottom stuck in a tree! Annoyed at the fact they’re wasting time, Squirrel reluctantly assists but then speeds off on her own in search of the Golden Acorn.

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Taco Tuesday by Brick Puffinton & Amy Blay

This is easily the smallest book on our shelves but it has had a huge impact on Ivy since it arrived last week. She is obsessed with it!

Taco Tuesday is a tiny, chunky board book which is perfect for little hands. There’s a Taco finger puppet built in to the middle and you use him to read the rhyming story.

As you move through the pages the Taco does everything within his power to convince you not to eat him. He says he’s not delicious. He claims his cheese is suspicious. He tries to point out that pizzas and hamburgers are far tastier than he. Why on earth would you want to eat a spicy little Taco when there are so many other options out there? But then he realises it’s Taco Tuesday – will you choose to eat him or set him free?

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The Space Train by Maudie Powell-Tuck & Karl James Mountford

Jakob lives on a space station at the very edge of the galaxy with his granny and a robot chicken called Derek. Life is good, but deep down Derek really wishes he had some friends to play with.

One day, whilst exploring one of the empty decks, he finds an enormous abandoned space rocket. He shows it to Granny and her whole face lights up. This is the space train which she used to ride when she was a young girl! Once upon a time it streaked across the universe carrying star explorers and comet chasers to the 2,747 stations in the star network.

Jakob’s mind starts to whirr. If he can get the train running again then he can travel to other planets and meet other children! Granny rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. Can they work together to fix the train and head off on an intergalactic adventure?

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Stephen, the Sprout of Kindness by Richard Dungworth & Samantha Meredith

“Time to help!” thinks Stephen Sprout. ” I know a way to sort this out…”

Love them or hate them, sprouts are an essential part of Christmas, and the sprout in this book is extra special. Stephen is a sprout of kindness!

Whenever he sees a child in distress, Stephen knows just what to do. He helps a lost girl find her friend. He makes sure everyone gets a turn on the swings. He helps people understand how to share. He even gently helps someone overcome their fear of the water. Stephen spreads kindness wherever he goes and his friendly enthusiasm is infectious.

We love this gorgeous little board book and it’s been requested repeatedly since it arrived. The rhyming text is super tight which makes it really fun to read aloud and the brightly-coloured illustrations have lots of lovely detail.

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Danny’s Dream by Victor Margiotta & Ian Parker

Danny’s Dream tells the story of a little boy with big ambitions and how he learns to overcome obstacles in order to achieve them. It’s aimed at a slightly older age group than the books I would normally recommend on this blog (probably best for those aged 5+) – but I’m sharing it because Ivy was fascinated by the illustrations and the story behind them.

As soon as we opened the book, Ivy had questions! The inside cover shows a photograph of the artist, Ian Parker, painting using his mouth. She was utterly intrigued by the fact this was possible and amazed that each of the 34 illustrations had been painted in this way. Before reading the story we looked through all of the artwork and talked about how long it must take to be able to paint such intricate pictures without the use of your hands – 2 whole years in fact! It sparked a great conversation about disability, a theme which would continue when we started to read…

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Hello, Friend! by Rebecca Cobb

If your child has recently started nursery, pre-school or reception then they’re inevitably in the process of navigating new friendships. This beautifully-illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb follows a child’s journey to securing a new friend.

The main character in this story is an extremely enthusiastic little girl who very much wants to be buddies with a boy in her class. She loves spending time with him and she tells us about all the things they do together. They play, build towers, share lunch, draw pictures, play music and dance. We see her smiling and practically bouncing with excitement about the special time they share.

Look closely though and we see that the little boy doesn’t seem quite so sure. He appears reluctant to join in the games and his facial expressions and demeanour suggest that he is shy and perhaps new to the class. The girl’s optimism wins him over though and we see them become firm friends.

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