I Can Sing A Rainbow!

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side? BookBairn loves rainbows - she loves to spot them as they swo...

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side? BookBairn loves rainbows - she loves to spot them as they swoop across the sky; she loves that our front door creates little prisms that spread rainbows across the walls and floor if the sun shines through at just the right angle; she likes to sing the rainbow song; she likes to play with her rainbow colour wheel; anything rainbows and she's sold!

So it's no surprise that she thoroughly enjoys the story 'How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow' by Monica Sweeney with illustrations by Feronia Parker Thomas. This is the story about the Sun and Clouds who were best friends, working together to make those rainbows that make us all smile at their colours! But one day the Sun and the Clouds have a big fight and they stopped being friends and wouldn't be in the sky together any longer. And that meant no more rainbows and without the rainbows the world started to lose it's colour until the Earth was only black and white. Except, that is, for one little forgotten box of crayons. These beautiful and brave little crayons set out to restore colour to the Earth by save the rainbows. So they draw rainbows everywhere, they draw them bigger and bigger and bigger until they made the biggest, brightest, most colourful rainbow the world had ever seen. Soon the Clouds and the Sun notice the marvellous rainbow and they apologise to each other, becoming friends again, creating lots of rainbows and restoring colour to the world.

BookBairn's synopsis of this book is much shorter but very sweet. It goes something like this: "Sun and Clouds in sky. Sun and Clouds make rainbows. Sun and Clouds not friends, make big noise. No rainbows. Rainbows gone. Crayzons. Red crayon. Green crayon. Lellow crayon... Draw rainbows. Very big rainbow. Sun and Clouds friends. Very really big rainbow. The end."

As you can see she has grasped the storyline even at two years old. And what a great way to talk about working together and friendship with her at a level she can understand!

The illustrations in this book are also wonderful! The whole thing looks like it has been drawn in crayon which, artistically appeals to me and to BookBairn it looks sort of like her drawings. The Sun, Clouds and crayons are very expressive and incredibly sweet you certainly believe in their characters beyond simple objects. Clearly, the use of colour in this book in incredibly important and the pages that are simple black and white are not without their charm but it's the rainbows that really are the star of the show. As it should be!

As we see more Spring sunshine and April showers over the coming months BookBairn and I will be out spotting rainbows and hopefully doing some lovely rainbow artwork together to brighten up the house with beautiful pictures!

Happy Rainbow Spotting,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

 Click on the image above to find this book on amazon.co.uk   

*DISCLAIMER* We were sent this copy of 'How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow' by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, the words and opinions are our own.

*This post contains Affliate links.

TES Book Review - My Name is Victoria

So for the first time in our experience of reading books and writing reviews for the TES class review, the children and I got a book that...

So for the first time in our experience of reading books and writing reviews for the TES class review, the children and I got a book that we were not as keen on. Ever the professionals, we read on and wrote a balanced review, which you can read here:


  Click on the image above to find this book on amazon.co.uk   *This post contains Affiliate links.

A Little Bookworm's Bedtime

When Claire from ' A Little Book Habit ' asked me to write about our bedtime routine for a series she is featuring on her blog I ...

When Claire from 'A Little Book Habit' asked me to write about our bedtime routine for a series she is featuring on her blog I couldn't say no! Firstly, I love her Instagram feed and am a regular reader of her blog and of course we share a passion for children's books. But also I found it fascinating to write about our bedtime routine and how it has emerged and changed over time (and will no doubt change again when baby number two arrives!).

If you would like to know our nightly bedtime routine, and the important role that books and storytime play as part of the routine pop over to A Little Book Habit's post here:

Mummy and BookBairn Book Group - Jack Frost

At the beginning of the year, Mummy and BookBairn Book Group , sharing stories with a similar theme, plot or character and enjoying the id...

At the beginning of the year, Mummy and BookBairn Book Group, sharing stories with a similar theme, plot or character and enjoying the idea that we were both reading books along similar lines. For all the reading is often a solitary past time, it can be incredibly social too and for children it mostly is. They enjoy reading with others and discussing the pictures and the characters. I like to discuss the books I've read too, hence why I share our reviews on this blog!
I started a little

This month we have both been reading books starring the character of Jack Frost! As part of my online #kidlitreaders book group, we have been reading 'A Girl Called Owl' by Amy Wilson. This is a fantasy novel aimed at 7-12 (so-called Middle Grade readers) about a girl called Owl who finds out that the missing father-figure in her life is actually the seasonal imp Jack Frost. She then sets out on an adventure to find him and spend time with her father to understand some of the magical things that are happening to her. Of course, she comes across a few other interesting characters along the way and realises that the elements of nature might not be as well-balanced as she thought. I enjoyed parts of the story but ultimately I found it a bit to fantastical for me. I'm still looking forward to discussing this one with the other kidlitreaders as they often persuade me to change my opinions through our discussions. If you would like to join in the chat click here for details. Perhaps a better book group link with your little one would by 'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey: I adored this book and it has the same magical elements of the story (though no Jack Frost).

BookBairn has been reading a book by one of our favourite illustrators, Kazuno Kohara. We have read several of her books, including 'The Haunted House' which we reviewed here. But 'Here Comes Jack Frost' is even better! Featuring primarily blue and white illustrations this book is a beautiful image of a frosty day. It tells the story of a lonely boy who fed up without his friends who are hibernating becomes fascinated by the strange patterns on the window. Racing outside, he meets the white figure who is busy covering his house with frost and ice. The figure introduces himself as Jack Frost and then runs off into the woods, the boy chasing behind him. Jack and the boy skate, and sledge and play throughout the wintery world that Jack is magically creating. Until the boy spots the first sign of Spring - a snowdrop - and the spell is broken. This is a magical tale, bringing to life an impish yet friendly Jack Frost that will have children fascinated by the patterns on their windows and on the world outside. As we move to Spring I'm disappointed that we didn't have this book all winter to enjoy! I'm already looking forward to sharing it again when Jack Frost returns to spread his magic on the world!

We would love to hear of any books you recommend for us to share! Mummy is currently finding herself earlier and earlier to bed and falling asleep in the pages of her book now that Baby BookBump is only five weeks away from joining us. You can follow what I read on GoodReads and BookBairn is always sharing her favourites on our social media feeds (linked at the top of the page).

Happy Reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

Click on the images above to find these books on amazon.co.uk 

*This post contains Affiliate links.

I am Unique!

So BookBairn has turned two! My little girl is growing up way too fast. But I'm so proud of her! She has become a little independent ...

So BookBairn has turned two! My little girl is growing up way too fast. But I'm so proud of her! She has become a little independent person with a strong-will and a mind of her own. Yes, it annoys me sometimes when she digs her heels in and refuses to follow my lead but part of me also knows that she is testing the boundaries, learning to make her own decisions. And that's good (most of the time).

BookBairn: You are completely unique. And I wouldn't change you for the world. I want you to dance to the beat of your own drum, keep singing your own song, be yourself!

We've been reading some books recently that stand out from the crowd and boldly declare "I am what I am! I am my own special creation!" and we want to give them a round of applause to go with the ovation!

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

So before I tell you about this book I have to first explain that I love sausage dogs. Love them! Would love to have one as a pet. So I was always going to be charmed by this adorable book. There was no way I could resist it when I saw it for sale a few days early at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (for reference if I see a book pre-release for sale I find it hard to resist - it's my equivalent of winning a race!). And it hasn't disappointed! It tells the story of one small dog who doesn't fit in, she dances to a difference beat. She looks different, plays differently, she doesn't fit in. So she leaves her city behind in search of new adventures and discovers a new city full of dogs just like her! Great, right? She finally fits in! Except... she meets another odd dog out who tells her to stand tall, be proud: "that dog is right. It's plain to see there's nothing wrong with being me." And on returning home she finds that all her city slicker doggy friends have missed her terribly and maybe they have learned something from her!
This lovely book is written in rhyme which makes it a delight to read! And Rob Biddulph is fast-becoming one of my all-time favourite illustrators. His pictures are bold, crisp, sharp and packed full of humour that grown ups will love! His sausage dogs are fabulous! With a flick of his pen he changes their expressions. The attention to detail is truly wonderful. Like in Blown Away (which we reviewed here) his characters are truly irresistible, the settings are vibrant with life. He really is an author-illustrator extraordinaire. (Plus I love his post-it notes for his daughter's lunch box which he shares over on Instagram - they make me smile every day!) 

Odd Bods by Steven Butler with pictures by Jarvis

Odd bods is a poem about 26 very strange characters who have some very strange habits and hobbies. There's Hermione who sneaks out at night to howl at the moon; Kitty who gets in trouble for flashing her knickers; Quentin who moves things with his mind; Ramona who doesn't blink. An alphabetic list of odd bods, weirdos, bonkers bairns. And it's laugh out loud funny! And the illustrations that make this book even more magical! I'm not sure I can do them justice by describing them but I'll try... they are bright, bold and colourful! Looking like they have been drawn in crayon, there's something wholly childlike about them but they are sophisticated too. You could spend ages pouring over each character and discussing their unique quirks.  I realise I can't do it justice - just get your hands on a copy! The characters are diverse, bizarre and celebrate every weird and wild child. Hilarious, cheerful and fabulous!

Leaping Lemmings! by John Briggs and Nicola Slater

We all know that tale of the lemmings: "if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?" and generally it doesn't end well for the lemmings. What if there was one lemming, just one lemming, we'll call him Larry, who doesn't go along with the crowd? He doesn't want to dig tunnels underground when he can be sledging with the puffins; he doesn't want to eat moss from the underside of a rock when he can have pepperoni pizza; he doesn't want to look and dress the same as all the other lemmings. He's his own lemming! So he sets off to see if he could find somewhere to fit in and tries living with the seals, puffins, even the polar bears. But he doesn't fit in there either (well, the polar bear was happy yo make a space for him but Larry didn't fancy being lunch!). On his return to Lemming-land he finds a disaster waiting to happen: the lemmings are heading straight for the cliffedge. Will Larry manage to get there in time to save his lemming pals? And will he be able to show them that it's better to think for yourself than following the crowd? *spoiler alert* Of course he will! It's a children's book after all!

I love this book! It's exactly what I want to teach BookBairn: to think for herself! And the message is spot on for little ones. The lemmings are adorably illustrated and Larry is easily recognisable amongst his lemming friends with his crazy outfits.The puffins, seals and polar bears are equally cute. One of the things that I like in picture books for younger readers is when the action takes place against a plain or simply background as it really allows little ones to focus on the main events of the story and this book is great for that. Another interesting element is that much of the story is told through speech bubbles, which you don't see that often in picture books for younger readers. This sees particularly appropriate in a book that's message is about thinking and speaking out for yourself! All in all this is a well-thought out picture book with adorable characters and a message that resonates with readers of all ages. It's quirky, cute and totally brilliant!

Elmer by David McKee

A picture book classic, most people will already know the story of Elmer: the brightly coloured patchwork elephant! You'll have seen him - he doesn't exactly blend in. He's not elephant colour. He's all the colours of the rainbow. And he's an absolute joy! He makes all the other elephants happy, he makes them laugh, he makes them smile. But the strain of being different was difficult for Elmer - he began to wonder if the other elephants only laughed at him because of his patchwork skin. He sneaks off into the jungle and finds a bush covered in elephant-coloured berries and proceeds to cover himself in elephant-coloured make up. On his return Elmer blends in with the other elephants, unnoticed. But something is wrong. The other elephants are standing so still, being so silent, and serious. Elmer wants them to smile and laugh and so he shouts in his loudest voice "Boo!". And they laughed and laughed. When Elmer's concealer is all washed off by the rainstorm, the other elephants realise his trick and decide to celebrate by painting themselves in bright rainbow colours and having a parade!

Being bright and cheerful is something to be celebrated! Changing the way you look won't change who you are! A wonderful message for small children. And of course the iconic illustrations are as colourful as can be. If you haven't met Elmer yet, you're in for a treat when you do: he's bound to make you smile!

We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

One of the most anticipated picture books of the year amongst book bloggers is without a doubt 'We're All Wonders' by R.J. Palacio. For anyone who has read the worldwide bestseller 'Wonder' by the same author, you will know that the author has created a magical character in Auggie, a little boy who is disfigured and simply wants to fit in and be accepted for who he is. This picture book version brings the story to younger readers, showing children what it is like to live in Auggie's world - a world in which Auggie feels like an "ordinary kid" but because he doesn't look ordinary he is often treated unfairly by others. This book is a perfect introduction to empathy for little ones and taps into every child's wish to belong and to be accepted for who they are. We only received this book recently so BookBairn hasn't read it many times, and to be honest it's probably one for her to grow into, but I had to mention it here as a wonderful book for encouraging children to embrace their uniqueness and be who they are but also to accept others for who they are! *Published 28th March

BookBairn: I hope this list of books makes you smile, makes you feel proud to be unique, to stand out from the crowd! Be who you are my lovely little two-year-old because you are fabulous! Blaze a trail, be a star but most of all be true to who you are.

Love Mummy! xx

Click on the images above to find these books on amazon.co.uk 

*This post contains Affiliate links.

*DISCLAIMER* We were sent copies of We're All Wonders and Leaping Lemmings from their respective publishers for review. I won Odd Bods in an online competition from the publisher. Elmer was borrowed from our local library (though I should really get a copy!) and Odd Dog Out I bought with my own pennies. All opinions and reviews here are my own.

Snuggle the Baby

If you are a regular reader you will know that I am expecting our second little BookBairn next month and BookBairn is going to be a big si...

If you are a regular reader you will know that I am expecting our second little BookBairn next month and BookBairn is going to be a big sister! She is obviously quite little herself, she will only be two on her birthday on Friday, and doesn't really understand what it means to have a new baby in the house. Having said that I think Daddy and I will still find it a huge shock to the system to have a newborn to love and look after again! So I have been trying to read stories with new babies in them to prepare all of us for the exciting and exhausting times ahead. I have a huge bundle although I haven't been pushing her to read them yet. But for the first time one has really appealed to BookBairn and we've read it several times since we got it at the weekend.

'Snuggle the Baby' by Sara Gillingham is truly a perfect book for little ones to introduce the idea of looking after a newborn. Completely interactive, the readers have to help play with and look after the baby in the story. Firstly, it says "babies love to play" and you have to tickle the baby's tummy, which BookBairn just loves doing. She even makes a little giggle noise for the baby when she tickles his tummy (I say his but the baby in the story is gender neutral so would be perfect for parents expecting a girl, or if you have chosen not to find out the gender - but since we know we are having a boy, we say he).

The next page shows babies playing and you have to move the baby's arms up to make him stretch. One of BookBairn's favourite parts of the book is to take the board bottle out of the page and feed the baby it's milk. For mothers planning to breastfeed, this is mentioned in the text but obviously would be hard to make interactive so a pretend bottle is the interactive part here. Then you have to help change the baby's nappy and swaddle a page-size cut-out baby. You can lift the baby out and tuck it under a blanket on the final page and sing a lullaby to help them fall asleep (if only it was that easy!).

The predominant colours in the book area bright peachy-orange and a pastel turquoise making the illustrations quite striking on the eye! Though the main and interactive baby in the book is white with dark hair (as BookBairn's brother is likely to be) the other babies in the illustrations are of a variety of ethnicites and colourings which make it appealing to all families.

As I mentioned, I have tried to read some of the other 'new baby' books with BookBairn but this one is the very first that has really appealed to her. She brings it over to Daddy and I to read with her and we are going to put it on her Favourites Shelf for her to enjoy at bed and nap times too. Hopefully, it will also help the other new baby books that we have become more appealing to her too!

I would love to hear any recommendations that you have for the big sister to-be and hopefully we will feature some other books that we have found useful as we read them (you can find them here once we add a few more)! Also please look out for a new series of guest posts that we will be sharing starting in April that will have guest bloggers and bookish friends sharing their favourite books for our new baby (if you would be interested in taking part, feel free to email me using the contact page).

Happy snuggling!
Mummy, BookBairn and the ever-growing BookBump! xx

Click on the image above to find this book on amazon.co.uk 

*This post contains Affiliate links.

KidLit Picks February Round Up

It couldn't be a more perfect time for us to take a moment and celebrate love and kindness through books! We can ALWAYS use a little ...

It couldn't be a more perfect time for us to take a moment and celebrate love and kindness through books! We can ALWAYS use a little more love and kindness and a reminder through books, for kids and adults, never fails.

The world is a crazy place and we have an opportunity to teach our kids to love and be kind. To look for opportunities to reach beyond themselves and show someone else they care. February was the perfect month for all of us at @kidlitpicks to be reminded of these beautiful ideas, and so we shared books on Love and Kindness all month long. We're proud to present our round-up for the month! Thanks to Michelle from The Book Report for such a wonderful theme!

Wonder, by RJ Palacio
“'Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness' -- R.J Palacio” -- Summer from @readingisourthing
My Beautiful Birds, by ​​Suzanne Del Rizzo
“I would love to talk about each and every spread, but this is a book worth seeing for yourself. Trust me, it will stick with you for a very long time." -- Mel from @spiky_penelope

I Love You Night and Day, by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Alison Brown; I Love You Through and Through, by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church; God Loves You, and I Do, Too!, by Bonnie Rickner Jensen
You are loved. Sometimes, that is just all the message a book needs.” -- Katie from @afriendlyaffair

Shhh! We Have a Plan, by Chris Haughton
To me this book perfectly illustrates the beautiful, gentle way a child sees the world. It shows that gentleness and kindness are the best way to get things done.” -- Claire from @alittlebookhabit

Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H Reynolds
"We need to teach our children to do just that; spread love and kindness to those that we encounter." -- Leah from @astoryaday

That's Me Loving You, by Amy Krause Rosenthal and Teagan White
One of the darling new release books about love.” -- Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy

Pass It On, by Sophy Henn
A beautiful message with bright and colourful illustrations, this book is a perfect read to cheer you up and make you smile. Just remember to #passiton” --  Kim from @bookbairn

Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell
This nearly wordless picture book carries a subtle message of connection and love. With gentle tenderness, the story feels fresh and a bit introspective.” -- Miranda from @bookbloom

The Wonderful Things You Will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin
This book is a celebration of the love of a parent for their child from tiny baby to watching them grow into the person they were meant to be.” -- De from @books_and_babycinos

Love Matters Most, by Mij Kelly and Gerry Turley
A mama polar bear searches for her cub! -- Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

You Are My Heart, Marianne Richmond
For all the love, words, hopes and dreams I have for my little one that I’m too much of a blubbering mess to say, this book is just perfect.” -- Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

One, by Kathryn Otoshi
"If you need to address bullying with any age group and begin some thoughtful discussions on the topic, look no further than One." -- Lauren from @happily.ever.elephants

One brings up key life lessons about boundaries, kindness, common courtesy, and standing up for yourself.” -- Charnaie from @hereweeread

The Crow's Tale, by Naomi Howarth
"We can easily look around and see the love and sacrifices that those around us make. From the small moments such as holding open a door for another, to the simple act of going to work every morning." -- Wendy from @homegrownreader

Under the Love Umbrella, by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
“Let's just give a [fist bump] for the diversity of characters and family situations depicted in the awesome-sauce illustrations.” -- Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Plenty of Love to Go Around, by Emma Chichester Clark
A great book for dealing with jealously, sharing, and realizing there is enough love in someone's heart for more than one.” -- Michelle from @the.book.report

Lily Loves, by Kai L├╝ftner and Judith Drews
Wild and cautious, loud and gentle, Lily is totally and truly herself.” -- Liam from @words.and.illustrations

March is time for a change of seasons and a change of theme so we are celebrating for POETRY AND HAIKU BOOKS. 
Parents have the capability to open the door to an incredible world for their child(ren). They have the sole pleasure of sharing the beauty and wonder of poetry with them.  Poetry books contain soothing rhythms and rhymes, short, simple sentences and clever repetition of key words and phrases. There is nothing like the rhythm of words flowing together to form a story in such rich language. Poetry is such a happy thing! It's magical to watch children's eyes, minds, and hearts dancing along the rhythmical lines of poetry and into a lifelong love of lyrical language. The variety of language and structure in poetry is great for children's growing brains and imaginations.  It's also refreshing for the grownups who read with them!  Join the @kidlitpicks book club as we share your poetry and haiku books all month long. Tag #kidlitpicks and #poetryandhaikubooks

Happy rhyme time!
Mummy and BookBairn xx