Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Baby Touch and Feel I Love You

Baby Touch and Feel
I Love You

Published by DK Press
I Love You is the latest addition to the Baby Touch and Feel series by DK Press. A cute little board book, ideal for little fingers. There are a variety of touchy-feely areas to explore; soft felt teddy paws, shimmery hearts, furry puppies and rabbits among other textured surfaces. This little book explores love and friendship, perfect for Valentine's Day. 

This book has a nice feel to it, with a padded cover and a small format, it is a great size for little people to explore. It has bright and clear photography, and features a heart shaped mirror at the end for your little sweetheart! Not just for Valentine's, this would make a lovely gift to help little ones explore love, feelings and textures.

For more information, click here.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Skills for Starting school: Sharing is Caring + Please and Thank You

Skills for Starting school:
Sharing is Caring +
Please and Thank You

Published by DK Press

DK Press have a new fun and educational series: Get Ready for School, which offers a range of picture, board and activity books for your pre-school aged child. You can also find a free downloadable activity pack which introduces skills from numbers to colours here. They feature three friendly and educational characters: Bip, Bop and Boo, which you can find in Please and Thank You and Sharing is Caring, two board books within the series.

Please and Thank You features Bip, Bop and Boo at the park where they are having a picnic. Bip offers his friends a cookie each but they forget to say the all important magic words. A nice little book that offers discussion questions which will encourage children to take an active role in the story.  It can also open up a discussion with your child about manners and how the characters may be feeling. 

Sharing is Caring features Boo building a castle out of bricks when Bip asks to play with him, Boo says no but when his castle falls down he is ready to ask Boo and Bop for help, which results in them all agreeing that it's much more fun to share and play together. 
These are great little books for teaching social and personal skills and will be a great help in getting children ready for starting school.
 I read these with Aoife, who will be starting nursery school in June, so these were a great way to start talking about feelings and manners. Aoife did ask for a biscuit while reading Please and Thank You but remembered to say please so how could I say no.. Available late February.    

Monday, 6 February 2017

Also An Octopus

Also An Octopus

By Maggie Tokuda-Hall & Benji Davies
Published by Walker Books

An imaginative debut from Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrations from Benji Davies, the illustrator of The Storm Whale and Grandad's Island, comes a metafictive story about ... how to build a story!

First, a story needs a character. So why not a ukulele-playing octopus? And since this is a story, the octopus has to want something – maybe it dreams of travelling to faraway galaxies in a purple spaceship. But every character needs an obstacle to overcome, and when the octopus sets out to build its own spaceship out of glue, umbrellas, glitter and waffles ... well, he doesn't have much luck. Could there be another character that could help? Debut author Maggie Tokuda-Hall sets up a funny, smart and warm-hearted story all about storytelling, then hands the baton to imaginative readers, who will be more than prepared to take it away.

Also An Octopus is a very original and imaginative picture book. The illustrations are what you'd expect from Benji Davies, full of character and quirkiness. I especially loved the octopus - not an animal you'd usually see pop up in a picture book and here he is portrayed as a lovable and fun character.

Maggie's text is full of humour and gives readers an insight into how stories come about and how they develop. I enjoyed the metaphor of building a story from anything that could enter your mind - the more bonkers the better! A great bedtime read and one to get slightly older readers thinking about how to tell stories of their own!

Also An Octopus is available to buy now from all good bookshops and online from the Walker books website.

Follow the Trail... Minibeasts & Baby Dinosaurs

Follow the Trail...
Minibeasts & Baby Dinosaurs

Published by DK Press
DK will be releasing a lovely collection of board books aimed at ages 1 plus, later this month. The Follow the Trail range includes Trucks, Farm, Wild Animals, Baby Animals, Minibeasts and Baby Dinosaurs; a series that aims to make early learning fun and exciting for curious pre-schoolers.

These tactile books offer peepholes for little fingers, colourful and textured finger trails, big and colourful illustrations which are paired with simple facts. There are also trails that teach children about shapes, matching and sorting.

Follow the Trail Minibeasts focuses on four insects that can be found in your garden or in the park. I showed these two books to my daughter Aoife, who at 2 and a half, got stuck right in exploring the trails and pointing out what she could find. Aoife keeps returning to these books as there are lots of areas to talk about and explore.
Follow the Trail Baby Dinosaurs has a similar layout to Minibeasts and focusses on four different dinosaurs, it also offers the breakdown of the name which will help children and adults pronounce their names correctly. Children are asked to follow the trails to help the baby dinosaurs find their mummy or daddy.

Aoife was a big fan of the baby dinosaurs, so this book is definitely not just for boys. She enjoyed pointing out the shapes which had objects inside them such as an egg and a volcano which led to questions being asked. These were definitely a hit with her.

These are books that can be brought out again and again as your toddler grows more curious; from just looking at the bright pictures and feeling the textured surfaces to learning the shapes and instructions, and finding out more about the interesting subjects. These books can be explored over and over again.

For more info, click here.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

By Shelly Becker
Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Published by Stirling Children's Books

When Superheroes don't get their way, when they've had a bad day, they could super-rampage, or have a tantrum, they could, but they don't, because real superheroes just wouldn't - a fun and enjoyable read with an important message.

Everyone has bad days, even superheroes. When superheroes are sad, mad or having a bad day, they could use their super powers to kick, punch, shriek, throw trucks and crush buildings. But upset superheroes make a choice, they burn angry steam with speed-of-light hiking, rescue people in need, hatch super-plans to help banish world sadness, and battle the urge to do serious harm. It's okay if they frown, sigh, slump down and cry but they then get up and get on with their day and saving the world in their own unique way!

This delightful and fun rhyming book is a great way to start conversations about emotions and would help to talk about depression and sadness. By featuring the popular subject of superheroes, it offers humour and fun on an important subject. The illustrations also work well especially showing amusing scenes where the superheroes are causing trouble. I especially like the end papers which features the superheroes and their names. 

I think it's a great idea in using superheroes to get across an important message - this would be a great book for little ones starting school or where there may be a lot of changes happening in their life - or for any superhero fan, big or small! 

Leaping Lemmings!

Leaping Lemmings!

By John Briggs
Illustrated by Nicola Slater
Published by Stirling Children's Books

Leaping Lemmings! a fun filled Lemmings book that will remind children (and adults), that it's okay to be different.

Do you think lemmings look alike, sound alike and act alike?  Well, usually that's true but not for one, Larry! Larry likes to do things a little differently; when all the lemmings were deep in their tunnels, Larry went sledding. Larry likes to order pizza, bang on his bongos. He's a lemming that likes to be different but he knows he doesn't fit in so tries to live with other animals. This doesn't go to plan so rushes back to the other lemmings and just in time! He saves them from jumping of a cliff. 

"If all you friends jumped off a cliff, would you?"

After the near death experience, Larry is pleased to see all his friends thinking for themselves - This is a great book that's funny and sweet but one that also reminds children that its okay to be different and to think for yourself!

The illustrations are just as fun, with bold, colourful illustrations and adorable lemmings. They are very cute, it would be hard not to follow them around.

This is a charming book that you and your children will very much enjoy reading together and  also for encouraging discussions about thinking for yourself. 

Safe & Sound

Safe & Sound

By Jean Roussen
Illustrated by Loris Lora
Published by Flying Eye Books

This sweet bedtime story introduces young children to animals and their homes. To be released early February, it's a lovely new addition to the Flying Eye Books collection.

This picture book is definitely one for the little ones; it offers simple statements covering a range of animals and how their young stay safe and need help until they've grown. It features a good mix of animals from big to small; from chipmunks, to rhinos, little bluebird chicks, wolf pups, kangaroos and snappy crocodiles. 

It's a lovely way to introduce how animals care for their young in their own unique and special way. With graphically striking illustrations and a beautiful colour palette - they work wonderfully together.

Safe & Sound has a lovely and sweet ending, with parents putting their child to bed making this a great last bedtime book to read. Available soon, a great gift for any little animal lover - for more information, please click here.