Thank you!

Wow! It's been a year since I started writing this blog, creating my own little nook on the...

Wow! It's been a year since I started writing this blog, creating my own little nook on the internet, sharing the stories we've loved, the books we've read and a little bit of ourselves and our life too! BookBairn, the baby, has changed from a teeny bundle of joy who happily poured over the pictures in her books into a teeny whirlwind of fun who no longer poses easily for photos but adores books more than anything else and will independently turn the pages of her books for hours a day.

It is perhaps a poignant moment to say that this morning she read to us from a book for the first time. She turned each page of her library book and told Daddy and I who was in the picture, a word or two about what happened and then moved on to the next page and repeated the process. She's officially a reader. Not just a book-lover but a reader. I'm so proud of her.

And perhaps it might sound crass but I'm pretty proud of myself too. I've raised a reader. I know, she's still little, she's only 18 months old but she's already a reader. We spend more time sharing stories and reading, colouring or stickering books in our house than playing with any other toys. And it's her choice. I'm proud that she has a passion for books. Her favourite days out are trips to the library or the bookshop. The most exciting moment of the day is when I tell her 'post's been' and she rushes to the door to collect her latest book parcel from the postman. And bedtime story is the simplest and most magical time in out house where Daddy, Mummy and BookBairn curl up in her room and choose a story or two from her 'Favourite's Shelf' to read together in those last sleepy moments of the day.

Would books have become so central to our lives without this blog? Honestly, probably not. We'd still go to the library, we'd still get the occasional book in the post, we'd still have bedtime story. But knowing that I'm going to share these moments with you readers makes me think about them more meaningfully. Realise their importance. Not just letting them pass us by as part of our daily routines. So firstly I want to say 'Thank you' to you. Loyal readers. New readers. Book fans. BookBairn fans. You make every 'bookish' moment in our life more significant, relevant and valuable. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you! To those of you who also follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: thank you! And especially to those friends who have come across BookBairn and I in the library, soft play, park, etc and recommended a book, or said you liked a post, or bought a book based on our recommendations: thank you!

There are a few special thank yous I want to share, so here goes:

To Papa BookBairn who has commented on every post I've ever written, your love and support is invaluable. Thank you!

To Gma BookBairn who instilled a love of books in me that I have now proudly passed on to our little BookBairn. Of all the family traits we could have shared, I'm glad she's inherited this one! Thank you!

To Daddy BookBairn whose coding expertise has rescued me from a jam on more than one occasion. And for coining the phrase 'BookBairn'. And for everything else. Thank you!

To Booklover Jo and Book Monster Ally without whom I would have never managed to navigate the world of Twitter and who have provided me with mountains of love and support over the past year. I have discovered so many fabulous books because of you both, explored the world of kidlit in our twitter book group and have found two fabulous friends. Thank you!

To Mama Mummy Mum whose Read With Me linky has helped me connect with bloggers and readers who love to read and write about the same things as me. Thank you! And to those bloggers who share, comment and like: Thank you!

To a large group of kidsbookstagrammers who make me smile on a daily basis: edenbooksknits, afriendlyaffair, spiky_penelope, happily.ever.elephants, kate.eccles, windingbooktrail, clairehanke, readingisourthing, book.nerd.mommy, ohcreativeday,, hereweeeread, chaoscastleuk, sobookinggood, kidlitreaders, mummybexm, usbornestagram, thebooksniffer, picturebooksblogger, kidlitpicks, kidsbookstagram amongst many others. Thank you!

To our postie who carries a pile of heavy books to us on a weekly basis. Thank you!

To our lovely library staff who happily greet us and stack up all our requests, who love it when BookBairn gives them a smile and don't bat an eyelid at her loud squeals of joy as she discovers new books. Thank you!

To all the fabulous publishers and authors and book subscription boxes who have sent us books. We love working with you and getting book post so a huge thank you! But particularly to the incredible Antonia Wilkinson who has sent us dozens and dozens of books from a library of publishers. Our bookshelves are bowing under the weight of all those books. Thank you!

To a collection of authors and illustrators who have made me feel valued and appreciated: Jo Lodge, Emma Dodd, Sophy Henn, Gillian Gamble, Sarah Massini. Thank you!

But most of all...
To BookBairn who I love with all my heart. I'm so proud of the little lady you are becoming. You inspire me. You teach me. You make it all worthwhile. Thank you.

I hope I haven't missed someone from this long list of thank yous. But just in case: thank you!

Thank you for reading, I'm off to eat some 'bloggerversary' chocolates!
Thanks, Mummy and BookBairn xx

Tickle My Ears

Sometimes I randomly pick up a book and almost instantly fall in love with it. And occasionally th...

Sometimes I randomly pick up a book and almost instantly fall in love with it. And occasionally that book happens to engage BookBairn's little imagination more than most. Our current favourites can be found here. It's odd how often we agree but then sometimes I think I've found something fabulous and she just doesn't take to it - we don't share these on the blog as, after all, our reviews reflect what we actually enjoy reading.

I recently picked up 'Tickle My Ears' by Jorge Muhle at the Edinburgh Book Festival (which was awesome, I'll probably write a full blog post at the end of the festival) and I couldn't resist it. I was absolutely delighted to read this with BookBairn as she really 'got it' right from the first read.

This is a story about a little rabbit who is getting ready for bed. A book you think you've read many times before, right? Wrong! This is so clever. It's interactive. Not with flaps, or touch and feel, or loop-the-loops. It simply asks your child to join in with the routine. And even at 17 months, BookBairn can follow the simple instructions. Have a look at the video below to see what I mean.

When we first see Little Rabbit he is faced away from us, clutching his blanket (and possibly rubbing his eyes) - tell tale signs for anyone that it's bedtime. The text says 'tap him on the shoulder - will he turn around?' and as you turn the page you see his buck-tooth smile, holding his toothbrush getting ready for bed. For little ones like BookBairn they've had that first reward! Follow the instructions and the bunny does something new. Clap you hands to get him to put his pajamas on. Say 'Hoppity-hop' and he hops into bed. Tickle his ears. Rub his back. Give him a kiss. And finally turn out the light. What a lovely bedtime routine. Though for us, it's a shame that story time is missed out. But I'm not quite sure how you could make that work so it's forgiven.

Little Bunny is truly adorable and his expression remains relatively simple throughout the book, except when he is having a huge yawn! There are no backgrounds and the details remain quite simple, usually revolving around the object you are interacting with like his pajamas or blanket. There is a simple colour palette and no textured elements (which I have seen other reviewers have said they would prefer so that children have something to 'feel' when they interact with the book). I think this is to the book's advantage. It means little ones can focus purely on the task at hand and that's getting Little Rabbit to bed. BookBairn certainly didn't miss them and is quite happy to stroke Little Bunny's back without feeling his fluffy fur or smooth pajamas. There is nothing to take away from the interaction. And, for me, that's what makes this book so clever.

So clever, in fact, that I immediately googled the author/illustrator to find out if there was more and there is another title in German. So I contacted the publisher and they said the English version would be available in January. And I can't wait to share with BookBairn in helping Little Bunny with his bath time routine.

This a such a lovely book and would be great for reinforcing bedtime routine with little ones who, let's put it politely, resisting! It's also one of those board books that's a lovely size for little readers to 'play' with by themselves and I see BookBairn doing this already. It's cute, it's quirky, it's interactive. What's not to love?!

Hope you have as smooth a bedtime routine as Little Rabbit - though I'd also hope you have a story or two in there!

Sweet dreams,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

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


Ready Steady Go! It's the Olympics.

So Olympic season has begun and it's probably the only time I really get into watching sport o...

So Olympic season has begun and it's probably the only time I really get into watching sport on TV (except Wimbledon - who doesn't get swept up in that?) and I've already enjoyed watching a lot of the swimming, gymnastics and athletics so far. It's a shame that time zone wise it doesn't work out all the well for watching it live but I hope it won't damper by enthusiasm.

I love how inspiring Olympic athletes are (unless they are doping - obviously). But the true athletes are incredible to watch. The amount of discipline and determination - I feel bad eating cookies as I type this. (Not really - I never feel bad eating cookies!) I read recently about the story of Yusra Mardini who won her butterfly heat representing the refugee team; an incredible young woman who to prevent her boat (full of twenty people) capsizing jumped in and swam for three and half hours towing the boat before finally reaching land. Words cannot describe my admiration for this incredible young woman.

Another athlete set to inspire little ones is Mo Farrrah who literally picked himself up after a fall and went on, pushing himself to his limits, to win another gold medal! Mo is also looking to inspire young readers to achieve their dreams in his new picture book 'Ready Steady Mo!'. Written with the support of Kes Grey (who co-wrote My Most Anticipated Book of the Year, Oi Dog!) and illustrated by Marta Kissi, Mo wants all little ones to don their trainers and run!

This is a fabulous rhyming tale that will sweep you away with it's energy and rhythm! This is such a fun book to read: they rhymes roll of the tongue and will have you racing through the pages. The book has a very simple premise and is more of a poem than a true story but that doesn't take away from the fun reading it. On the first spread we are introduced to 'little Mo' who engages the reader in a few questions about what they like to do and how they get there. Suggesting that you "run!!!!" "Run in your slippers, run in your vest, run in your onesie, run and get dressed." Run everywhere. Except in school, of course. Mo reminds little ones not to run in class. My favourite page shows a path and the words travel round: "run in a straight line, run round some bends, run with your family, run with your friends." The words loop the loop as you run around the bends - so cute! Mo encounters a menagerie of animals on his run and you run alongside cheetahs, whales, dogs penguins, even a snail! And in the end, as you run out of energy and cool down on the spot, he says if you run out of puff you can do the Mobot! Fabulous. And full of energy.
The illustrations in the book are bold and vibrant, set on bright coloured pages with simplistic backgrounds the attention is on little Mo and his running buddies. The feeling of movement is captured in the images with props and 'speed lines' and a building group of runners as we turn the pages. My particular favourite is the page where the children are running along with kites following int he sky behind them. It gives it a real sense of speed and movement. I also love that the book features characters from all different backgrounds, obviously Mo himself is originally from Somali and the children who run alongside him are all different colours and ethnicities. (You will know I like seeing books that are representative of society with characters from all different backgrounds if you read my post We Need Diverse Books.) And the final page of all the children (and alien and some animal) who joined Mo on his run all doing the Mobot is a lovely uplifting image that children can copy as they read.

Generally, I avoid 'celebrity' published books - I'm a bit of a book snob about it more than anything else, not having read many either for children or adults (there's an interesting discussion here if you are interested). I think I worry that a 'celebrity' written book may simply be a great name on a cover to sell books but lacks much of a story inside. And there are so many good books to read I don't want to take the risk. But I digress slightly from topic...

Whilst endorsed and starring a celebrity in Mo Farah this book is anything but lacking! It is funny, charming and encourages little ones to exercise and families to read together. Brimming with energy this is a fun book for little readers and runners! On the opening page, Mo writes a letter to the reader saying that he loves to see his kids reading and enjoying a good book and that he can't wait to find our what you think of his. Well, Mo, we loved it! Great job. Congratulations on your race win Mo! And on the book - it's a gold medal from us!

Ready Steady Go on read this book with Mo!
Mummy and BookBairn

*DISCLAIMER* I bought this book myself. I even pre-ordered it!
Click on the image (right) to find this book on   *This post contains Affiliate links.

An Adventure in Languages

Most people who know me will know that I have a fascination with foreign languages and collecting...

Most people who know me will know that I have a fascination with foreign languages and collecting foreign words. I have, in fact, just treated myself to a little book 'Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words' by Ella Frances Sanders, which is full of brilliant words that just can't be translated directly into English. A favourite word I have just collected is:

Tsundoku (Japanese).
Illustration by Anjana Iyer
You'll understand that this sums me up quite nicely! My 'to be read' pile is becoming quite precarious on my bedside table.

Growing up I dabbled in learning many languages: Spanish, Italian, German but mostly French. I studied French at university and, as part of that, spent a year abroad, living and teaching (as an English Language Assistant in a High School) just outside Paris. It was pretty magical. I would love for BookBairn to grow up with foreign language skills and when better to start than right now? She is absorbing language at an alarming rate! 

I discovered a lovely series of books by Abigail Samoun with illustrations from Sarah Watts called 'An Adventure in Eight Languages'. There are six books in the series, each starring a different animal learning to say a key word or phrase in different languages: thank you, goodbye, please, hello, I love you and my name is. BookBairn has grasped a few of these words in English so I thought it would be fun to get a couple of the books and look at the words in different languages (maybe I will learn something too?!).

In 'How Penguin Says Please!' we take off for a trip around the world with Penguin and learn to say please in French, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish (along with English). We see Penguin politely requesting ice cream from her sun loungers, buying fish in the Chinese market and drinking tea in India. Penguin is sweetly dressed in a blue dress and matching beret and flutters her eyelashes all around the globe. She is also accompanied by a little green frog (I hope he doesn't get spotted in France!) who peeks over her shoulder along the journey. BookBairn is pretty good at saying "peeees!" when she wants something, especially if that something is chocolate. 

In 'How Tiger Says Thank You!' Tiger learns good manners in the same eight languages. She says 'merci' for her balloon outside Notre Dame in Paris, buys Russian matryoshka (nesting) dolls in the market and thanks her driver of the rickshaw in China. Tiger has a lovely smile and dressed in her purple spotty dress she enjoys the local culture and getting her photos snapped with her iguana buddy. Again, BookBairn says "ta!" when she has been given something, though often it's with a snatching action as she grabs whatever she is after.

In 'How Gator Says Good-Bye!' we travel with Alligator across the globe as he meets friends and departs for new destinations saying 'good-bye' in the same eight languages from the series. He waves to friends at the pyramids, and on the river Seine, and as he boards the bullet train in Japan. Alligator is adorable illustrated wearing a blue bow-tie and braces with cute buck-teeth. It's no wonder he has so many friends to wave good-bye to, he's so sweet! He has a little mouse buddy along with him for his adventures too! BookBairn has just started saying "bye bye" (having previously always favoured "ta ta") which always makes me feel so much better leaving her when she waves goodbye with a smile.

Each of the books is sweetly illustrated and very child-friendly with animals galore to spot. Sarah Watts has paid great attention to detail in her background illustrations by featuring landmarks and monuments from around the world, and grown-ups (or slightly older readers) will have great fun discussing these/figuring out where they are travelling. Each book starts in the airport or on the plane with the animals beginning their adventures and in a round trip ends back at the airport. All the books have an additional final page spread of a 'travel map' of the world with each of the animal's destinations starred and an adorable image of the main character wearing sunglasses flying their own plane! The structure of the books is appropriately repetitive for little ones and places the new words in the centre of the page. It also has in square brackets underneath the phonetic pronunciation of the phrases (which greatly helped me!).

These are a lovely introduction for very little ones to the idea that in different places around the world they use different languages and words to mean the same thing. Each picture is packed with detail that you could discuss why the main character is saying "thank you" or "please". They really are beautifully produced and well-thought-out books. And are great for little linguists!

I would love to read full-length picture books to BookBairn in foreign languages, particularly in French, and am looking for recommendations for good ones. I'd prefer not to just get translations of popular English books that have been translated and would rather find ones by native authors and illustrators so would love it if you could comment below or send us a message on Twitter or Facebook with your recommendations. Or snap a photo of a children's bookshop whilst abroad and tag us in it on Instagram. We aren't going abroad on out holidays this year (having take a career break to spend more time with BookBairn means some sacrifices) so would love to see your holiday finds!.

Merci, Spasibo, Shukran, Dhanyavaad, Xie Xie, Arigato and Gracias for reading!
Mummy and BookBairn x

*DISCLAIMER* We requested a selection from this series of books from the publisher and received these three books in response. All words and opinions are, as always, my own.
Click on the images below to find these books on 

*This post contains Affiliate links.


Amazing Machines

When I was first pregnant with BookBairn I was pretty much convinced I was having a boy. I was dr...

When I was first pregnant with BookBairn I was pretty much convinced I was having a boy. I was drawn to all the cute little boy clothes in the shops. And when I found out she was a girl, I was surprised and it took me a while to get used to pink. I'm not really a pink girl myself. And that newborn collection is always the most sugary pink. In the end I needn't have bothered embracing all things girly and pink. Now that BookBairn is becoming old enough (and willful enough) to express her own interests it turns out she's not that into pink either (unless it's her new Peppa Pig pyjamas which she is obsessed with!). She loves "ga-reeeen" (green) and favours orange toys (she always puts the orange coins in her piggy bank last).

And she loves vehicles. She loves her toy cars and her train set and let's not even mention buses! She's full on obsessed with spotting buses. It makes our walks out and about a bit more interesting that those I previously mentioned in our 'All Kinds of Cars' post. We are lucky because we live in farming country and are near the farmer's fields so we often see tractors and combine harvesters on our walk. And we walk past both the fire and police stations and beside the railway line on our walks to the park or duck pond. We have lots of interesting transport on our door step! Perfect for my little transport fan!

I recently picked up another couple of brand new shiny books in our library (you know how much I love those - read here). The 'Amazing Machines' series by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker are a great collection of early word primers that all focus on different vehicles. Each book focuses on a different theme: numbers, colours, sounds and opposites. Packed full of fascinating vehicles these books have really engaged BookBairn.

Her favourite is definitely the 'Sounds' book and she loves doing impressions of the train and the fire engine (I don't particularly like, however, that the plane goes "bump bump" - I hate turbulence!). But she loves seeing all the different vehicles and flicks through the pages often and names what she can see. We also enjoy the 'Colours' book as it has a submarine on the cover which she now easily recognises thanks to her play submarine.

BookBairn has just started becoming interested in numbers and I think the 'Numbers' book would be great for her when she is a bit older (at the moment she just randomly says two, six and ten). And the 'Opposites' book is great but the concepts are a little bit beyond her understanding when presented in illustrations rather than in a real world context, but again, she would love this one when she gets a bit older.

All of the books are wonderfully illustrated using bold and bright colours against plain white backgrounds making the vehicles the stars of the show! They also feature an array of animals operating the vehicles which makes them seem cute: it feels odd to describe a digger as "cute" but these illustration really are. Each book also features a 'review' style page at the end with miniature images of all the illustrations from the book and repeats the vocabulary. These are hidden under a large flap, encouraging little ones to reveal the page showing all the vehicles.

They are a lovely little collection if you have a vehicle-lover like me! I'm sure we will be out and about spotting cars, buses, tractors, etc on out walks again soon and I hope these books will help to expand BookBairn's vocabulary encouraging her to describe them with colours or repeat the sounds they make.

Happy Tractor-Spotting!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* We borrowed these from our library!


Happy Book Lovers Day

We are most certainly Book Lovers in this house. And BookBairn is a huge fan of baby-led reading, ...

We are most certainly Book Lovers in this house. And BookBairn is a huge fan of baby-led reading, which is just another way of saying she loves scattering her books across the whole floor as she explores her favourite stories!

Hope you all have a lovey bookish day!
Mummy and BookBairn x

Stalking the Postman

BookBairn is becoming obsessed with the postman. She loves 'playing postman' by deliveri...

BookBairn is becoming obsessed with the postman. She loves 'playing postman' by delivering letters to her daddy; she loves posting letters in the postbox; she loves walking past the post depot/delivery office on her way to nursery. She genuinely stalked our new postman along the street on Tuesday, and thanks to him popping up to doors to post letters, she did well to keep pace with him. But mostly I think she loves when the postman brings her new books.

(A note to our postie - thanks for carrying all the heavy and frequent book parcels to our door, and thanks for smiling at BookBairn's delight, and waving from your van, and for thinking it was funny when she shouted "man again" when you appeared from someone's path during that stalking incident).

From the minute this book came through the letterbox and landed on the doormat, BookBairn simply couldn't wait to get her hands on it! And loves playing with it ever since! 'Boris Babysits!' (affectionately called "Borrrus!" in our house) by Sam Lloyd is the newest release in his series of Monster puppet books. In this latest installment, Monster Mummy is going shopping (good for her - she probably needs a break and I hope she picked up some nice new shoes and not just groceries) and, rather unwisely, leaves boisterous Boris holding the baby.

Here Baby Monster is going down the chute!
Fortunately, help is at hand for Boris, as little readers are asked to help out too. Purple Monster Baby is a lovely little puppet attached by a ribbon and can be stuck onto the pages with velcro tabs allowing little readers to easily manipulate the puppet. Boris inattentively bounces on the trampoline whilst Monster Baby climbs to the top of the slide - it's too high! And little readers need to come to the rescue and help her down. On the next pages Boris plonks Monster Baby in a stinky dog basket whilst he makes him sausages and the little readers have to help out with putting her in her high chair and feeding her. Then Monster Baby manages to poo on the floor so she needs help onto her potty and then into her bath. Finally, Boris falls asleep giving Baby her milk (I can't really criticism him here, I'm exhausted by milk-time too!) and you have to move her over into her cot and tuck her in before Mummy gets home. "Rat-a-tat-tat..." Monster Mummy quickly susses out the scenario and thanks little readers for their help asking them to be in charge babysitting next time.

Lift-the-flap: Mummy Monster's home!
The illustrations in the book are fabulously chaotic: each scene has so much going on and it's a wonder to behold. Lots of things that you can use the puppet to play with. BookBairn's favourite is putting the baby up and down the "chute" (slide) and putting the baby in bed and saying "sshhh shhh sleepies". This book is really helping encourage her early imaginative play! It's genius! Boris is the least scary monster you will ever see and reminds me of a cross between Mr Tickle (from Roger Hargreve's Mr Men series) and a fluffy pom-pom. His bright orange colour and goofy grin makes him incredibly endearing despite his irresponsible behaviour! He seems like the kind of character that no matter what the circumstances mishaps and mayhem just seem to follow him around. To see a great example of the trouble that Boris can get up to you should check out 's fab photos over at Acorn Books (here). Her pictures made me laugh out loud!

'Boris Babysits' is a great fun interactive book that will create laughter and play for little ones. Far from gimmick-y the puppet in this book allows little readers to truly engage with the story and encourages imaginative play. Love it!

But that doesn't mean I'd ever let Boris babysit! 
Mummy and BookBairn x

*DISCLAIMER* We were sent 'Boris Babysits' from the publisher. All words and opinions are, as always, my own.


Little People, Big Dreams

Recently I was struck by the tweet by Nicola Sturgeon (politics aside) that encouraged all little...

Recently I was struck by the tweet by Nicola Sturgeon (politics aside) that encouraged all little girls to believe that "nothing should be off limits for them". I want BookBairn to grow up believing this wholeheartedly. I want her to have positive role models that girls can grow up and be whatever the want to be. I want her to have equal pay. I want her to have choices. I want her to be confident. I want her to be courageous. I want her to be a mighty girl.

I have started collecting books for her that will encourage her to be a mighty girl. Books filled with role models, both real world and fictional, that show her that nothing is off limits. I hope to write several posts about books with smart, confident and courageous little girls and you will be able to find them here using our mighty girls label. (At the current time of writing this is the first post in the series so there will only be one linked but I will add to it as I write more posts; there are lots of good ideas on the A Mighty Girl website if you are looking for suggestions for more books, films and toys.)

I am starting this series of posts with a fabulous selection of books from Frances Lincoln Children's Books (an imprint of Quarto Books) called 'Little People, Big Dreams'. Several in the series are by Isabel Sanchez Vergara with various illustrators and one of the soon-to-be released titles is by Lisbeth Salaberria. These books tell the biographies of outstanding people (so far all the titles are about women), from designers to artists to scientists, in a format that is easy for little readers to understand. I recently wrote about the trend for narrative non-fiction that makes learning accessible in the guise of a story.

We were kindly sent two from this series: 'Frida Kahlo' by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Gee Fan Eng and 'Amelia Earhart' by the same author with illustrations from Mariadiamantes. (The series also includes: 'Coco Chanel'; 'Maya Angelou' which is to be released on 9th August; and 'Agatha Christie' and 'Marie Curie' to be released on 2nd March next year - BookBairn's birthday!!) All the books in the series aim to show that these icons began life as a child with a dream and tells the story of how they went on to achieve incredible things.

I didn't know much about Frida Kahlo beyond the iconic mono-browed self-portraits featured often in popular culture and this book was a delight for me, as well as BookBairn. The book tells the story of her life: from her contracting polio at a young age, to the bus crash which changed her life forever, to how she became a painter and how she came to be recognised as an artist. The story is concise with only a few sentences on each page but retells much of the main elements of Kahlo's life with passion and true to her insuppressible strength and instinct for survival. I'd never have known the inspiration behind her art or her courage to overcome polio and then being again bedridden following an accident with a bus, no wonder her artwork is strong and powerful: they are self-portraits after all. Written in short sentences, this book would also make a great early-reader for children are they begin to tackle reading some challenging vocabulary. There is also an opportunity to discuss the idea of timelines at the back of the book with a more detailed biography, which I can only assume is aimed at the adult reading the book to a child. The final page even includes suggestions for further reading - what a great way to encourage little readers to learn more!

The illustrations in this book are absolutely wonderful: using bold and bright colours, a similar palette to Kahlo's paintings, the scenes are vibrant and packed full of details. (I should point out that there is one scene of Frida's bus accident that some parents might find too graphic for younger readers, for me, it was true to her life so I am happy for BookBairn to see it.) The characters are cute and cartoon-like, though perhaps sometimes lacking in expression, and are sweetly endearing.

Most importantly, this is a wonderful story about being unique, conquering challenges, and the importance of practice. I love that it introduces children to the idea that art can be a means to express emotions. It is certainly perfect for mighty girls to learn that you don't have to colour within the lines! Frida didn't!

I am more familiar with the story of the women at the centre of the second biography, 'Amelia
Earhart'. Written in a similar format, with concise sentences, this book tells the incredible story of a little girl who dreamed she could fly! It shares her experiences as she breaks world records: becoming the first woman to fly above 14,000 feet, and later the first woman to fly over the Atlantic (with a pilot and mechanic), and later by herself. It shows how she supported other young women in their dreams to fly, becoming the first president and founding member of the Ninety-Nines, an organisation supporting female pilots. It delicately addresses her mysterious disappearance during her attempt to fly all the way around the world. What a brave woman! An inspiration to all little girls!

'Amelia Earhart' is illustrated by Mariadiamantes and in many ways is quite different from the illustrations in the 'Frida Kahlo' book. With similar bold colours, this book seems softer without the strong lines used by Gee Fan Eng in the Kahlo biography. These illustrations are also simpler, and less detailed. But absoultely, no less beautiful. I adore the repeating images of aeroplanes zooming across the sky, and on another page the repeating, though individual images of houses below Earhart's plane, and the page featuring members of the Ninety-Nine organisation in matching, and repeating, aviator goggles and hats. But amongst one of the most beautiful illustrations I have seen is the scene where Amelia's little red plane flies over the Atlantic Ocean with the shadow of a blue whale travelling far beneath her. I love this!

Again, this book is perfect for mighty girls who imagine that they can stretch their wings and fly!

I cannot wait to see more from this series, and I hope that it will also feature mighty boys alongside those mighty girls as inspiration to little readers everywhere. BookBairn is certainly little and I hope we can help her to have big dreams. And I hope, using inspiration from these incredible women, she will achieve her dreams.

Mummy and Mighty Girl BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* We  requested a books from the Little People, Big Dreams series for review and were sent 'Frida Kahlo' and 'Amelia Earhart' by the publisher . All words and opinions are, as always, my own.

Apparently these books also make great
stepping stones.

Most Anticipated Book of the Year

For most people, this weekend sees the release of their most anticipated book of the year. The pub...

For most people, this weekend sees the release of their most anticipated book of the year. The publishing and bookseller industry has been completely focused on it. And yes, it's pretty awesome! And yes, I'll be getting a copy (Daddy BookBairn has consented to additional book expenditure for that purpose). And yes, I'm talking about 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. But no, it's not my most anticipated book of the year.

One Word at a Time

BookBairn's vocabulary is growing so quickly, she has so many words now I've lost count. A...

BookBairn's vocabulary is growing so quickly, she has so many words now I've lost count. And she's started stringing pairs of words together to make her first little sentences like "help Mummy" and "open door" and "read-y book" (of course!). But for the most part she expresses herself pretty well with just one word. I previously mentioned the hated "wait!" in our post BookBairn gets the Grumps but she's particularly fond of "more". Throw in "shoes" or "pram" when she wants to go out, "milk" when she wants it, "sleepy" when she's tired and "Louieeeeeee" which is her bedtime buddy and she's got most of her needs met.