Ivy is fascinated by this beautiful little board book which celebrates the fact that all children are different.
The gentle rhyme encourages the reader to think about their own personalities as they explore the detailed illustrations. Are they a big kid or a little kid? Are they calm or a little crazy? Do they like hugs? Are they outdoorsy? Do they like to make a mess?
There is a diverse host of characters, playing in lots of different ways and I like the fact that care has been taken not to genderise the activities. We see little girls climbing, making a mess and dressing as superheroes and little boys snuggling with teddy bears and showing emotion.
This gorgeous classic tells the true story of two very special male penguins at Central Park Zoo.
Choosing to ignore the female penguins, Roy and Silo are inseparable. They sing together, bow to each other and go on little strolls around the penguin enclosure. When they see the other penguins pair up and build a nest of stones they do the same and snuggle up to sleep. Soon however they see that the other penguins all have eggs in their nests. They watch as the eggs grow then hatch, and they want a baby penguin of their own.
Clever Roy spots a large round stone which looks just like an egg. He brings it home to Silo and they pop it in their nest. For days and days they take turns sitting on the egg, just as they have seen the other penguins do, but no baby penguin appears.
When little Albie goes to the museum with his mum he is expecting the visit to be dull, dull, dull. However the arctic exhibition holds a lot more than just boring old exhibits!
Albie tries on a wintry outfit and is just about to start building an igloo out of blocks when BAM a snowflake falls on his nose, followed by a whole flurry of real snow. As Albie turns in confusion he sees a polar bear running towards him and realises he has magically entered an arctic world!
He befriends a little girl called Yura who is desperately trying to make her way home in the snow. Together they head off on an icy adventure featuring polar bears, an avalanche and some howling wolves. But will Albie be able to help Yura find her way home or will they be lost forever?
Poor Gary the Gorilla. He absolutely loves bananas but one day he discovers that there are no more left. What on earth is he going to do? But Gary doesn’t panic. He puts on his hat and heads out to try and find some.
Fortunately he spots some of his favourite fruit right outside his house – what luck! But no. Poor Gary realises he is hallucinating when the ‘bananas’ start to woof. He walks all around the town seeing ‘bananas’ everywhere he goes – but there isn’t a single real banana in sight!
Eventually he bumps in to a giant banana which turns out to be a rocket and when he looks up he sees what looks like a banana in the night sky. He hops in the rocket and heads for the stars. Is it possible that he could find bananas in space?
The little boy in this story has a pet elephant which he loves very much. They go everywhere together and help each other when things get hard, because that’s what friends do. However sometimes having an unusual pet can be tough.
One day the little boy takes his elephant to Pet Club but when he arrives there is a big sign on the door saying ‘Strictly No Elephants’. He watches all of the other children head in to the club with their dogs and cats and he feels very sad. He hasn’t done anything wrong but he is being excluded.
The boy and his elephant walk the grey and rainy streets until they bump in to a girl with a pet skunk. She’s also sad because she was excluded from Pet Club too. They quickly form a bond over their unusual choice of animals and decide that the best course of action would be to set up their own club!
Little 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.
Ivy 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.
We LOVE Morag Hood (author of one of our favourite books ever), so when some friends gave this to Ivy as a gift we were really excited.
The story is about a little girl called Sophie, a self-proclaimed unicorn expert. She loves unicorns so much that she transforms all of her toys in to them using little horns attached to string, and then she teaches them all the things they need to know in order for them to reach their unicorn potential. Even her baby brother gets the unicorn treatment.
The humour arrives in the form of an actual unicorn with a real unicorn horn and a brightly-coloured rainbow mane, who somehow Sophie manages to miss completely. It’s a visual joke – the real unicorn isn’t mentioned in the text – so you’ll probably need to point it out to to your toddler, but now Ivy is aware she searches for him on every page and yells unicorn (or Oonicorm as she pronounces it!) when she spots him.
Little Izabelle loves to invent things. Her house is full of things she has made – from the Beardtastic grooming machine to the Swirly Spagsonic mealtime helper – but the problem is that they’re all in states of disrepair. Izzy loves to make things but when they break down she is too frustrated to try and fix them. She just gives up and moves on to the next project.
One day an injured crow falls in to her path. The local vet tells her that he has a broken wing which can’t be fixed so Izzy takes him home to look after him. She tries lots of ways to keep him entertained on the ground but the poor little crow just wants to be airborne again.
Spotting an opportunity to invent something new, Izzy sets about making a pair of wings but they’re too heavy and don’t work. Disillusioned, she immediately wants to give up but her grandpa and the crow won’t let her! They gently encourage her to have another go so she tries again. And again. And again.
Grandad’s Island is one of those books that I think every child should read. It covers the sensitive topic of bereavement but in a really smart and beautiful way which helps the child grasp the concept as best they can at a young age.
The story is about a little a little boy called Syd whose beloved Grandad lives in a house at the bottom of the garden. One day Syd pops around but he can’t find his Grandad anywhere. He searches the house and eventually finds him up in the attic where he has prepared an adventure.
They go through a magical door which takes them to a ship and then sail the oceans until they reach a tropical island. Look closely at the illustrations and you can see that the wonderful treasures on the island echo the pictures and keepsakes you see in Grandad’s house in the first few pages. On this island Grandad is surrounded by all of his favourite things – and he doesn’t need to use his walking stick to get around anymore! They build a shack, swim together in the waterfall and play with all of the exciting animals they find.