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Reviews

Oliver & Patch By Claire Freedman & Kate Hindley

Oliver & PatchLittle Oliver is feeling sad. His family have moved from the countryside to the big city and everything feels strange. He misses the wide open spaces but most of all he misses his friends, and he hasn’t made any new ones since he arrived.

One day Oliver heads outside on his own to explore and in amongst the crowds he spots a dog called Patch who seems to be lost. Oliver befriends him and together they have lots of fun in Oliver’s new neighbourhood. For the first time he doesn’t feel lonely and the city doesn’t seem as scary after all.

But Oliver is old enough to understand that Patch is not his dog and that somebody out there must love and miss him very much. He sets about making some posters to help Patch find his way home, even though in his heart he wants him to stay.

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Jumble Wood By Helena Covell

Jumble WoodIn a quirky little world called Jumble Wood there lives a multitude of cute little creatures. Each of them has a thing they carry around with them which makes them happy. There are creatures with flowers, creatures with balloons, creatures with sunglasses or hats and even creatures with scooters and skateboards!

But there is one little creature called Pod who doesn’t have a happy thing, and this makes her very sad. She decides that the thing that will make her happy must be hiding out there somewhere so she sets off on a journey to find it. Along the way Pod meets Peach and Worm who help her in her quest

Together they venture in to the deepest and darkest part of the wood in search of the hard-to-find thing which will finally make Pod happy. Will they find it? Or will Pod realise that a happy thing doesn’t have to be a thing at all?

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The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight By Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty

The Knight Who Wouldn't FightA few weeks ago a lovely lady called Helen dropped me a message to recommend us a book which her son had picked out at the library – The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight. It wasn’t one that i’d heard of so I want to give a big shout out to her to say thank you as we LOVE it! (It should be noted here that this is definitely a different Helen to the one who wrote the book!)

The story is about a little mouse called Leo who likes nothing more than to curl up with a good book. However Leo is a knight so, despite his protestations, his parents insist that he has to go out in to the world and fight dragons.

Leo packs a bag with some sandwiches (and lots of books of course!) and heads off on his horse to fight a dragon who has been terrorising a town a few hours ride away. En route he faces a fearsome griffin and an angry troll, but defeats them quickly and easily using not his sword but his collection of books. It turns out that nasty creatures can be quite vain and love to hear stories about themselves!

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Who’s Hiding? By Satoru Onishi

Who's Hiding?Ivy spotted this on the shelf of our local bookshop last week and was instantly fascinated. She sat on the floor looking at it for so long that I definitely had to buy it!

The simple format shows 18 animals per double page spread. Their size, shape and position on the page doesn’t change so Ivy quickly learned to identify what each one was and its rough location.

Each page then asks you a question and you have to find the correct animals in order to answer it. The questions are things like ‘Who’s hiding?’, ‘Who’s backwards?’ and ‘Who’s sleeping?’.

I particularly like the questions around emotions (Crying, Angry etc) as your child has to identify the emotion by looking at the expressions on the animal’s faces. Ivy likes to mimic the faces – particularly the angry bear!

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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.

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Sweep By Louise Greig & Júlia Sardà

SweepI’m a big fan of books which helps children recognise and understand their feelings and this one does a fantastic job of showing how moods can affect you and the people around you.

The main character in this story is called Ed and he is in a bad mood. He’s been in bad moods before but not like this one. It starts off as something tiny, but instead of addressing the way that he feels he just ignores it, stares at the ground and pushes on through until his mood becomes worse. His feelings take hold and little Ed is no longer in control of his emotions. The bad mood takes over and starts to affect the people around him. Eventually the bad mood is so big that it affects the whole town.

Can Ed regain control of his emotions, and if so will he learn how to stop this from happening again?

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My Teacher Is A Monster! By Peter Brown

My Teacher Is A MonsterTwo of my closest female friends are primary school teachers so when I spotted this I knew we had to buy it!

The story is about a little boy called Bobby who doesn’t like school because he is always getting told off by his teacher, Miss Kirby. He doesn’t like her and thinks she’s a monster!

Then one weekend he bumps in to her when he’s walking in his favourite park, and neither of them are quite sure what to do. They both feel a little awkward seeing each other outside of school. Just as it’s becoming super uncomfortable a gust of wind catches Miss Kirby’s favourite hat and blows it away.

Bobby manages to save the hat and in the process learns a little bit more about Miss Kirby and she learns a little bit more about him. Bobby comes to realise that she’s not a monster at all. She’s just a regular person – who is actually rather nice! – and just needs to be strict at school because it’s her job (and because he’s actually quite naughty).

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Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas By Aaron Blabey

Piranhas Don't Eat BananasBrian is a piranha who loves nothing more than to tuck in to some fruit and veg – but his piranha friends think he’s bonkers because their favourite pastime is nibbling on tasty humans.

Brian’s attempts at converting them fall on deaf ears and soon they’re fed up with him waving bananas and plums in front of their faces. He agrees to stop but on one condition – they need to actually taste one of his fruit and veg platters. Will he be able to convince them to swap knees for peas or will they continue with their carnivorous ways?

Ivy finds this book hilarious, especially as it features the word ‘bum’. Always a winner with toddlers!

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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!

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Hiding Heidi By Fiona Woodcock

Hiding HeidiIvy loves to play Hide & Seek so when I spotted this book I knew I had to get it for our little library.

The story is about a girl called Heidi who is extremely skilled at Hide & Seek. She plays it all the time with her friends and she always wins which makes her feel great. It never occurs to her that her friends might want to do something else.

On Heidi’s birthday she has a party at her house and they all play her favourite game. However she hides so well that they don’t find her until the very end of the party, which means she has missed out on all the balloons and ice cream with her friends. They all had fun together whilst she was on her own.

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