Ivy’s Guest Book: Sarah Botting, Head Sparkle for Brockley, Forest Hill & Crystal Palace, Lucy Sparkles & Friends

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m based in Honor Oak Park in South East London, along with my husband and children – Edward (aged 5) and Alice (who is 2). Last year I decided to take the plunge and start doing something I’ve always wanted to do – teaching preschool music, drama and dance! It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but I’ve absolutely loved meeting so many local children and parents – and I’ve had a lot of support from my two most demanding fans at home!!

What are your children’s favourite books?

Reading together is often our most special part of the day, and we love sinking into our imaginations in different books. My son has a book called ‘Magic Beach’ by Alison Lester that he loves reading to me – the story intersperses between what an adult might see happening on a beach and the kingdom of imagination that children possess! We’re also big fans of Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandall, for which we’ve invented actions and songs!!

Which book do you most like reading to them?

I love reading ‘There’s a Tiger in the Garden’ by Lizzy Stewart. It’s bursting with imagination and ideas, and has a strong female lead which can be hard to find!

What do you look for when shopping for a new book for your children?

I find it frustrating that so many children’s books still feature boys as their main or most adventurous character (even if they’re animals). I think it’s so important for both boys and girls to read books where the characters are as diverse as the wonderful city we live in, so that’s something I’m always looking for.

I’m a sucker for a story with a good moral as well! We have a great one called ‘Fergal is Fuming’, which is about a dragon who finds it hard to stay calm – there are some good life tips in there for small children with lots of emotions bubbling around…(and maybe grown ups too!)

Do you have a favourite children’s bookshop? 

I buy almost all my children’s books from Smallprint Books in Forest Hill. The selection of books is so wide-ranging and there’s always something new on the shelves. Jenny is brilliant at recommendations for when I’m buying for different ages as well. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful community resource here in South East London (and doubly lucky to run classes in the beautiful shop too – although it does mean I spend most of my earnings on books!)

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

I loved Dodos Are Forever by Dick King Smith as a child – for years I nurtured a hope that somewhere on Earth the dodos really were still living it up on a desert island! Maybe we just haven’t found them yet….

About Lucy Sparkles & Friends

Lucy Sparkles & Friends offer outstanding music, drama and dance classes in London and Surrey. Sarah looks after the area of Brockley, Forest Hill and Crystal Palace and runs a range of classes for children aged 0-4, as well as offering unique and creative childrens’ party entertainment. To find out more and try out a class visit www.lucysparkles.com or contact Sarah – [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.