With the evenings growing colder Freya dug out the Hugless Douglas slippers & I got out a couple of the books, “Don’t Worry, Hugless Douglas” & “We Love You, Hugless Douglas”. These two books have now become regular bedtime stories, cosy & toasty warm just like the slippers.
Douglas is a lovable character with gentle heartwarming stories & beautiful illustrations, they are perfect for bedtime.
Freya is able to follow both stories easily. In “Don’t Worry, Hugless Douglas” when Douglas has to confess to his dad about a mishap with the hat it’s a good opportunity to chat about what dad’s reaction will be.
In “We Love You, Hugless Douglas” Freya is ready to spot when the Douglas is feeling sad & then when happy again when with his friends.
In both books the endpapers are great fun as we spot the different types hats & things we love. It also provides me with the perfect excuse to steal a hug
Books on the list
My Zoo by Ellen Giggenbach
Awesome Robots by Viviane Schwarz
Walk This World by Lotta Nieminen
The Octonauts Explore the Great Big Ocean by Meomi
Me and You by Anthony Browne
Goldilocks By Allan Ahlberg and Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
Goldilocks and Just the One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson
Illusionology Emily Hawkins, illustrated by various artists
The Ha Ha Bonk Book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
The Storm Whale by Benji Davies
Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner with Illustrations by David Roberts
Oliver and the Seawigs, by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
The Grunts. Author by Philip Ardagh; Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
The Tale of Jack Frost by David Melling
Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray
Ernest and Celestine by Vincent Gabrielle Vincent
Bubble and Squeak written by Janes Mayhew and illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
This is a review Bryn & I wrote for the Family Guardian Reviews
This is an enchanting story about a little boy called Noi. Noi is very lonely until he discovers a small beached whale to care for. Hiding a whale (even a small one) however, proves to be tricky and when the whale is discovered he has a difficult decision to make.
Bryn enjoyed reading this book to himself and then encouraging me to read it because he thought it was ‘lovely’. He found it easy to read as it’s a short story with little text, but the illustrations provided lots of detail to study. We both loved the illustrations which conveyed the warmth and tenderness of the story beautifully.
We really enjoyed this story, leaving us with a warm glow, it’s a true beauty
Here are some of our favourite counting books. We started introducing numbers to both kids from a very early age with this Elmer board book.
The size, shape & colours of the book were appealing when they were babies & as they got older imitating laughing crocodiles & dreaming lions as we counted up to 10 was all part of the fun.
When Bryn was around 2 we borrowed ‘Engines, Engines’ from the library & it was a constant bedtime read for months. A rhyming tale of 2 children exploring India with an increasing number of colourful engines.
It was such a hit we had to get our own copy. We would happily sit counting all 10 engines at the back of the book with both children. My favourite spread is ‘engine engine number 10′ which has a train full of different animals, all of which we has to name.
Another counting book we all enjoyed was Winnie the Pooh & 10 Busy Bees which was our first introduction to the “bear with very little brain”.
The little relief bees fascinated the children & the rhyming story made it fun to read aloud. Unlike the first two this counts backwards, which at first I thought would be confusing once they started learning numbers. I now understand how it’s useful to be familiar with a sequence of numbers, both forwards & backward as well as recognising patterns.
As well as books we also enjoy counting rhymes especially “1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive” which I sang to both children from the day they were born.
Dot is about a young girl who loves technology and comes to learn about the importance of having a balance between technology & ‘other forms of play’
I was interested in this book as someone addicted to checking their smart phone, it’s the first thing I do when I wake, and as I spend most of my time at work in front of a screen I thought it might teach me a thing or two.
Bryn immediately picked up on the humour in this book which uses the same words for when Dot is using technology as when Dot is outside. His use of technology however is limited so concepts such as tagging & surfing had to be explained.
The highlight of the book for me was the illustrations, which uses colour to help create the mood between the two halves of the story as well as adding a sense of fun & a spark to the book. My favourite spread is the last page showing the children having fun outside but also using some technology.
This book gets across a message about the importance of balance in a light sunny tone. It’s a message we do try and teach the kids (it’s harder to do ourselves) , the idea of moderation in most things whether it be screen time, cake consumption etc. The main exception is books, you can never have too many of those can you?
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I given any money for doing so, and the review represents my own honest opinion.
One of the many things I like about twitter is making new discoveries, so was delighted when I was offered a chance to review this picture book & in turn discover such a treasure.
The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat is a mother & daughter collaboration, telling the story of two young children at play armed with a cardboard box & a healthy dose of imagination. As they set sail they see a host of well dressed sealife, pirates, a puffin & a naughty seagull all gloriously illustrated.
I was captured by the first spread in this book of both the children in their homemade boat reminding me of the fun my kids have. While a short read its one both children have asked for again & again. With so much detail & humour in the illustration there’s plenty for us to pour over, to spot & chuckle at.
A sweet little read perfect for sharing at bedtime.
Libraries & librarians in picture book
The Book of Beasts by E. Nesbit illustrated by Inga Moore
So many books just the kind of library I would love & in this particular library the books are magic.
The story is about a particular book, the book of beasts, which releases the beasts from the pages . After letting a dragon loose it’s up the King to her it back into the book with the help of his wits & another beautiful beast.
This is I review Bryn & I wrote for the Guardian Family reviews
Whenever I ask Bryn about this book his eyes get bigger and become shiny with excitement as he races to tell me all about Hilda, the little people and his favourites – the giants.
Hilda and the Midnight Giant is a stunning graphic novel, featuring a feisty blue haired heroine and a variety of strange wondrous creatures. Tiny elves are trying to evict Hilda and her mum from their home; it’s up to Hilda to try and make peace with them. In the meantime Hilda also befriends a giant who is all alone looking for his mate. The humour of the extreme worlds of miniature and gigantic is cleverly woven into an thrilling adventure.
Both Bryn and I both really enjoyed this book which works on lots of different levels. While he found it tricky at times to know which section of the page I was reading he loved there were so many amazing pictures to look at. He was also very taken with end pages which show a range of different giants, inspiring him to draw his own.
This is a review Bryn & I wrote for the Guardian Family Reviews
Each time we read this book it is accompanied with deafening shouts of “peck, peck” with brief pauses for giggles.
Daddy woodpecker teaches little woodpecker the important art of pecking a hole and armed with this new skill the little woodpecker sets out to practise. The woodpecker finds himself in a house with a huge variety of items to bore holes through. I had thought it was for a younger audience owing to its simple story and very familiar illustrative style, but both Bryn & Freya have enjoyed this. They loved the die cut holes, which provide the opportunity to join in with the enthusiastic pecking.
The joy & enthusiasm of the little woodpecker is delightful, reminding me of those magical moments when one of the children learns something new and, like the woodpecker, is keen to continually test the new skill. A truly fabulous family read.
Rosie Revere, Engineer is a lovely book for so many reasons it’s difficult to know where to start.
Told in rhyming couplets this is a story about a shy girl with a head full of amazing ideas. After a knock to her confidence it’s her Great-Great-Aunt Rose who teaches her an important lesson & helps rebuild her confidence.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book & since it landed in our house it has become a new favourite for myself & the children. I love the strong messages in this book about determination, perseverance, self belief. The message about celebrating failure however is the one that hit home, Bryn often sets himself high standards which he doesn’t reach and finds frustrating, but having read Rosie Revere we now know we just need laughs & hugs from a Great-Great-Aunt Rose to help put things back into perspective and not quit.
The celebration of women in the book is another joy with its clear homage to Rosie the Riveter & the acknowledgement of great women who have contributed to aircraft engineering. Coincidentally Bryn currently has a book from the library about the worlds greatest inventions & discovery however very few women are listed so it was nice to have this book to help balance things out.
The illustrations are also magnificent adding a real sense of style, quirkiness & humour. I was also pleased to see a more multicultural mix to the children in Rosie’s class and the last spread of the book is the picture I hope is happening across all school classrooms, the opportunity to have fun, learn, explore and create.