Tag Archives: childrens books

Children’s Books: Five Terrific Books about Turtles

Today (23rd May) is World Turtle Day, and a day of celebration of the turtle. For World Turtle Day we are asked to think about what we can do to help turtles and tortoises survive and thrive. What can we do to keep their habitat healthy? Of course, one of the biggest answers is reduce the amount of throw away plastics we use. I’ve picked out five books about turtles where you can find out more about these remarkable and quirky creatures.

Children's Books: Five Terrific Books about Turtles

Five Terrific Books about Turtles

National Geographic Kids – Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue: All About Sea Turtles and How to Save Them by Karen Romano Young is a brilliant book to start exploring the world of sea turtles. This introduction to sea turtles is packed full of in-depth information about their habitats, challenges, and conservation successes. Plus ideas for what kids can do to help save these amazing endangered creatures. 

Turtles and Tortoises – What’s the Difference? by Lisa M Herrington explores the difference between turtles and tortoises. They’re both reptiles. They both have shells and move fairly slowly. So how do you tell the difference between turtles and tortoises? This is a lovely book for pre-schoolers and is filled with handy  identification clues to help you learn the difference between turtles and tortoises.

The Coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and Jenny Webber celebrates the beauty, diversity and fragile ecosystem of the coral reef. This visually stunning picture book has a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious environment. Follow and explore the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem; learn about the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. Each beautifully illustrated page is packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy. A beautiful book with a powerful message.

The Sandman and the Turtles by Michael Morpurgo. The Sandman and the Turtles is a fantastic summer read for children from acclaimed children’s author, Michael Morpurgo. The story tells the tale of Dadci and his tall stories about the Sandman, the old Russian sea captain and blood-red dragon in his lair. His little cousin Polly believes every word of the magical tales and she’s determined to make it all come true. It’s a lovely story for children ages 7-11 and a real page turner!

Aesop’s Fables the Hare and the Tortoise by Miles Kelly. No round up of books about turtles and tortoises is complete without a mention of this classic story. The Hare and the Tortoise is the tale of a too speedy hare who takes on the slow but steady tortoise in a race, a story which showcases the benefits of persistence, resilience and just getting on with the job. More haste, less speed!

If you enjoyed this book selection, you might also like these five books about the environment.

Children's Books: Five Terrific Books about Turtles

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Five Books about the Environment for Earth Day

Taking care of our environment and doing our bit to look after our planet is something we’ve always talked about with our son. We’ve always been keen recyclers and I’m known for being a bit frugal with the gas and electricity. Over the last few months the boy has been learning more about the environment both at school and at Beavers. It doesn’t hurt to reinforce the message at home too, so we’ve been doing some reading about the subject. We’ve got lots of great books about he environment and with Earth Day just around the corner, here are our five favourites.

Five Books about the Environment for Earth Day

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers. Like all of Oliver Jeffers’ books Here We Are is a beautiful, heartfelt story, it’s about the wonder of our planet and about how we should love it and care for it. It’s a simple story with a big message and one which children will enjoy reading and sharing with you. It’s a book about kindness and respect and care.

Five Books about the Environment for Earth Day

Compost Stew: An A-Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals. Composting is one of the first environmentally friendly things I learned to do as a child. It’s a really easy introduction to learning more about the environment and climate change. How do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? This book is perfect for Earth Day reading and provides answers for children and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet.

The Coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and Jenny Webber celebrates the beauty, diversity and fragile ecosystem of the coral reef. This visually stunning picture book has a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious environment. Follow and explore the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem; learn about the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. Each beautifully illustrated page is packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy. A beautiful book with a powerful message.

Look out for Litter by Lisa Bullard is part of the “Planet Protector” series. This Look out for Litter book shows how little pieces of litter and rubbish can become a big problem. Find out how to deal with litter responsibly and learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle.

This is Our World by Emily Sollinge. This lovely board book for smaller children is printed on recycled board and uses vegetable ink! Take little ones on a fun interactive journey learning to clean the air, reduce pollution, recycle, and much more. It’s never too early to learn to care for the environment!

Do you have any favourite books about the environment you like to read with your children? 

If you enjoyed this, you might also like my Five Superb Books About Science.

Five Books about the Environment for Earth Day

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Children’s Books: Five Brilliant Books About Spring

Believe it or not, it’s spring (as I type this there is snow on the ground and the heating is on full blast). Spring is one of our favourite seasons; with the first garden flowers of the year popping up; some blue skies, and the birth of new life. We always like to visit a local farm in spring, helping to feed the orphan lambs is a particular joy. As ever, we like to keep our reading seasonal too, so here are five sensational books about spring we love…

Five Sensational Books About Spring

Spring by Gerda Muller is one of a series of four books without words, which lead the young child through the seasons of the year. Full of fun and active illustrations, this chunky board book shows the joys of playing with lambs, sowing seeds, painting Easter eggs and watching baby birds. It’s the most wonderful book to share with little ones this spring!

Children's Books: Five Sensational Books About Spring

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Join the tiny seed on an adventure as it becomes a giant flower! In autumn, a strong wind blows flower seeds high in the air and carries them far across the land. One by one, many of the seeds are lost. They are burned by the sun, fall into the ocean, or eaten by birds. But some seeds survive the long winter and, come spring, sprout into plants. The delicate plants face new dangers; being trampled by playing children or picked as a gift for a friend. Soon only the tiniest seed remains, growing into a giant flower and, when autumn returns, sending its own seeds into the wind to start the process over again.

Little Baa by Kim Lewis. For me, spring isn’t spring until I’ve seen and preferably snuggled a lamb. This book is perfect for lamb-lovers like me! One spring day, Little Baa jumps, skips and runs in the field. Soon he leaves his friends far behind – and his Ma too; but Little Baa’s Ma misses him and searches for him. Will she ever find her Little Baa?

Animal Seasons: Rabbit’s Spring Adventure by Anita Loughrey. Animal Seasons are a beautifully illustrated series of picture books for young children and emerging readers and they are great for learning a little more about the natural world. In this spring adventure, Rabbit leaves his warren and discovers that the woods are full of new life. There’s so much to discover that poor Rabbit loses his way, but who will help him find his way back home?

A Year in Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklam. When I was a child, I was completely enchanted by the Brambly Hedge stories. I still have my little collection of books today. The mice of Brambly Hedge have many beautifully illustrated adventures throughout the year. They mark the seasons with feasts and festivities and, of course, the mice never miss an opportunity to have a little party. This wonderful collection would make a great gift for any child and it really is a collection to treasure.

If you enjoyed these books about spring, you might also enjoy my five classic books about bears.

Children's Books: Five Sensational Books About Spring

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Children’s Books: Five Lovely Books About Love

When my son was just 3 months old he had his first Valentine’s Day. To mark this occasion I bought him a copy of the much-loved classic, Guess How Much I Love You. I’ve read it to him regularly ever since (and he’s 7 years old now).  Guess How Much I Love You and the phrase “I love you to the moon and back” has stuck with us and grown over time; he now loves me to the moon and the stars and the planets and back; and I love him all of that and a little bit more. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here is my selection of five lovely books about love…

Five Lovely Books About Love

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is an absolutely gorgeous book which perfectly sums up how much a parent loves a child. Featuring Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare; they take it in turns to try to measure how much love they have for each other. It’s lovely, it’s heartwarming and it’s about the most famous book about love you could think of, for good reason too!

Children's Books: Five Lovely Books About Love

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. Eric Carle’s books continue to be adored by children, their illustrations are so beautiful and unique and the stories are appealing. The Very Quiet Cricket is one of his lesser known books, but one we all enjoy reading. It’s a wonderful little story of a tiny cricket who can’t make a sound. As he grows, he meets lots of different insects and can’t chirp hello; until he meets a lovely lady cricket and in the moonlight they chirp hello, hello, hello to each other. It’s a lovely, heartwarming story with a chirping surprise at the end!

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury is gorgeous little picture book about babies from all around the world. One thing they all have in common is they have ten little fingers and ten little toes. My son loved me to read this to him, probably because he liked to look at all the children, but I liked reading it because it was really about how much I love my baby.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams’ timeless picture book classic has been read and cherished by many generations of children and their parents. The Velveteen Rabbit is the sometimes sad story of a stuffed rabbit’s wish to become a real rabbit; something he can only achieve this through the love of his owner, a sickly little boy. The book was first published in 1922 and remains loved by generations of children.

I Love You Just The Way You Are by Tammi Salzano is a story which will make mums of boys go all gooey inside. The story follows a day in the life of a mother and son. Their day is packed with activities such as dressing-up, reading, painting, having a bath and saying goodnight. The story has a lovely rhyming rhythm which is great to read aloud. It’s the perfect story to read with your preschooler before bed.

If you’re looking for a lovely book about love for Valentine’s Day; or if you just want to share the most wonderful feeling in the world with your child; then this selection of books about love is a pretty good place to start. What’s your favourite book about love?

Children's Books: Five Lovely Books About Love

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy my other children’s book round ups!

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Children’s Books: Five Classic Books About Bears

In real life, bears are such ferocious creatures that we are warned to steer well clear of them. But in the world of children’s fiction books, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better friend than a bear. I’ve picked out five classic books about bears, I’ve probably missed some really important ones, but these are my bear necessities of children’s books about bears.

Five Classic Books About Bears

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a classic picture book by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. It is wonderfully rhythmic and is packed full of Eric Carle’s beautiful and iconic illustrations. It’s a great way to get pre-schoolers talking about animals and colours. Plus you’re guaranteed to get “brown bear, brown bear” stuck in your head.

Children’s Books: Five Classic Books About Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – there are many versions of this 19th century fairy tale, but it’s the classic tale of Goldilocks, a girl who finds a cabin in the woods belonging to the three bears. She can’t help but creep in and explore – she sits in their chairs, eats some of their porridge, and sleeps in one of their beds. When the bears return and discover her, she jumps up, runs out and is never seen again. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a classic which will never go out of fashion!

Paddington by Michael Bond has recently been made into a hit film, but the book is always worth returning to. This friendly bear from deepest, darkest Peru, dressed in a blue duffle coat and wearing a hat stuffed with marmalade sandwiches. Paddington has become a classic character in English children’s literature. These beautifully illustrated, easy reading books make the perfect bedtime story to share with your children.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury is undoubtedly a modern classic. The story follows a family on an adventure, through swishy-swashy swathes of grass and across muddy fields. They get a bit wet and a bit cold, and when they finally find a bear, they’re a little bit scared. I always feel a bit sorry for the bear at the end, I think all he wants is a friend. It’s a beautiful story, fantastic to read and the textures of the grass, the mud and the wind are so evocative and great talking points for you and your child.

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne is such a classic, no books about bears collection should be without him. This adorable and quietly wise bear is loved by adults and children alike. There are a million different Winnie the Pooh books available; from pop-up books to philosophy books for adults; but you can’t get any better than the original.

These classic books about bears are to my mind, essential reading for children and adults alike. There’s something friendly and cuddly about these bears, some of them are a bit edgy, but on the whole they just want to be your friend. Have I left any classic bears behind?

Children’s Books: Five Classic Books About Bears

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Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

Dinosaurs are showing no signs of falling out of fashion for my six year old son. On the contrary, he seems more obsessed than ever at the moment and why would I discourage that? He’s starting to read independently now and whilst he still needs some help with tricky words he’s never seen before, he does like to take himself off to bed each night with a dinosaur book. We were sent the new Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex to see what our junior paleontologist thought about it.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex is a 32 page hardback book. It’s a large sized book packed with dinosaur facts and includes genetically engineered, terror-inspiring dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park trilogy and Jurassic World, including new profiles for Tyrannosaurus rex, Indominus rex and Velociraptor, as well as other favourites from the original films.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

Download the free Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex app (available from the App Store and Google Play). Then using the advanced Augmented Reality app, you can bring the book to life. Just scan the code on the pages of the book and you can walk a lifesize Jurassic Park dinosaur across your floor, photograph your friends with favourite dinosaurs or connect with another device in dual user mode to roam and explore. 

There’s lots of reading in small chunks which are the right length for our six year old. The book features the fictional island where Jurassic Park is set, with information about some of the main characters in the films. It’s an engaging combination of fact and fiction and ideal if you’re a fan of the films too. 

The book and app combination is an obvious winner. Bringing the dinosaurs to life and having them walk across your table is really good fun. Swatting off a plague of flying Pteranodon is also pretty funny; it helps if you’ve got a silly mum who will pretend to run away from them too.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex! costs £9.99 and the app is free to download. Together they are a lot of fun to play with and it is both interesting and educational. The book would make an excellent present for any junior dinosaur enthusiasts in your life.

Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex! is available in bookshops and on Amazon from 10th August 2017.

 
Note: We were sent the Jurassic World Special Edition book to review. All images and opinions are our own. This post contains an affiliate link.

Book Review: Transformers Robots in Disguise

It’s hard to believe, but I really am old enough to remember Transformers when they first came out in the 1980’s. My brother was a huge fan and probably managed to collect all of the figures (my nephew is lucky that my brother has saved them to pass onto the next generation). My five year old and his slightly older cousin are both Transformers mad and they’ve both got small collections of the new versions of the Transformers figures. To complement this, we got our hands on a copy of the new Transformers Robots in Disguise book from Carlton Books.

Transformers Robots in Disguise

The Transformers Robots in Disguise book is like no book I’ve ever encountered before. This hardback book helps Transformer fans to find out who’s who in the all-action world of Crown City and, and this is the very exciting bit, you can download an app which when used with the book brings the exciting world of these robots in disguise to life!

Transformers Robots in Disguise

You can bring your favourite Autobots and Decepticons to life with 3D augmented reality animations and interact with the robots on both smartphones and tablets. Although we found that the iPad was a bit big for the small boy to use effectively, but the iPhone was just right for his little hands.

You can interact with and customize your favourite Transformers including Bumblebee, Grimlock, Steeljaw and Optimus Prime. Plus there’s the facility to connect your device to a friend’s, and go head-to-head in a battle to see who is the ultimate winner, though we didn’t do this.

Transformers Robots in Disguise

The small boy loved the book and finding out more about the Transformers, though the real hit was being able to bring the Transformers to life in our living room. 

The app was free to download and alongside the book they have provided hours and hours of entertainment for the boy. I would say that this book and the app are a fantastic gift for Transformers fans. I think my five year old is probably at the lower end of the age range, as we’ve had to read the book and use the app together – but that just makes it more fun for us both I think.

The Transformers Robots in Disguise Book is just £9.99 and is published on 6th October 2016. For more information, or to order a copy visit the Carlton Books website.

Note: We were sent the Transformers: Robots in Disguise Book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Book Review: Pirate Ship Sticker Book, Carlton Books

Being the mum of a five year old boy, I know there are several things in life which make him incredibly happy. Superheroes, Star Wars and Pirates are top of his list. Throw in some stickers and you know you’re onto a very good thing. When the new Pirate Ship Sticker Book from Carlton Books landed on our doormat, I suspected I’d have a very happy boy on my hands. 

The Pirate Ship Sticker Book is more than just a basic sticker book. It has 23 pages of pirate facts, information and scenes to sticker, as well as over 150 reusable stickers and 16 pages of pirate activities including colouring in. Plus a treasure map, spot the misfits and a design your own galleon activity. Within the pages of this book you can explore the Scurvy Dog pirate ship, which is home to Captain Skull and his rascally crew of salty sea-dogs!

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

There’s quite a lot of reading in this Pirate Ship Sticker Book, considering it’s a sticker book. We enjoyed reading it together at bedtime, sticking the stickers in the right places and talking about pirate life and what it must have been like to live on a pirate ship. 

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

The book is really colourfully illustrated by Maria Taylor, with lots of attention to detail. You really get the sense that pirate ships were fairly unpleasant and smelly places to be. We especially liked that you could really enhance the pirate scene with stickers and the small boy loved to see which sticker went where.

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

Written by Claire Sipi and Jim Pipe, the Pirate Ship Sticker Book is packed full of information about pirate life. Mostly these are in short paragraphs alongside accompanying illustrations. These made for really useful talking points, we’d read the text and then discuss what we’d read and what was going on in the picture.

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

We buy these kind of books a lot for the small boy, he enjoys sticker books and they’re good to take out when we go out for a meal or something. I think it’s a very well designed book, there’s lots to read, do and discuss. I know he has enjoyed reading it with me and doing the activities because he keeps bringing it to me at bedtime – always a good sign.

I feel like it’s given the boy a more in-depth understanding of pirates than previously. He still arrrrrrs and tries to get me to walk the plank, but now he’s talking more about day to day pirate life on the Scurvy Dog, which to me is the beginnings of an interest and understanding of history. 

There was nothing we didn’t like about the book. The small boy is nearly six and I would say that 5 is about the minimum age for this book, the reading is a little hard for him so we are reading it together. 

Other sticker books in the series include Doll’s House, Castle and Princess Palace. I’d like to see more, the Pirate Ship Sticker Book was fab.

The Pirate Ship Sticker Book is just £5.99 and is published on 6th October 2016. For more information, or to order a copy visit the Carlton Books website.

Note: We were sent the Pirate Ship Sticker Book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Books: The Hedgehog and her Hoglet

Today the small boy and I attended the launch of a new children’s book at The Lowry in Salford. The Hedgehog and her Hoglet is a beautiful book born from a community arts project; written by Carla Henry and delightfully illustrated by Matt Hunt.

The Hedgehog and her Hoglet was inspired by a mum attending an arts event with her child. She said that when her baby came along she lost her confidence and felt grey. She said she needed to get her colour back. It’s a sentiment echoed by so many mums, it really rang true with me too. I may have shed a tear or two during the reading.

The event itself was a lovely, warm, community event. It’s clear that The Lowry are incredibly proud of the work done by their engagement team, alongside Salford City Council and Sure Start centres in Salford. It was great to see the families involved in the project, playing along with the story as Carla Henry read it out, we left clutching a copy of the book ready for bedtime and a balloon.

The Hedgehog and her Hoglet

We’ve just read the story at bedtime twice. The small boy is three and I can confirm it’s a hit. It’s beautifully and simply written. Every word counts and the tale of how the hedgehog got her colour back is quite lovely. The illustrations really make this, there is so much in them. Lots of little talking points which is always one of the real joys of reading a children’s book.

You can buy The Hedgehog and her Hoglet from The Lowry and costs just £4.99. The proceeds from sales of the book will be used to deliver creative projects for families in Salford.

Update: Two years on this lovely book is still part of our bedtime reading. Hedgehogs are still a favourite and we still enjoy reading this book together.

Personalised Peppa Pig Book – Review

Toddlers, like most humans, develop obsessions. We’ve had Curious George, Chuggington, In The Night Garden and more recently, Peppa Pig. It’s not that we don’t embrace his obsessions, we do with some gusto; it’s just that his repeated and rather adorable requests to watch “the piggins” do become a little wearing. I’d much rather snuggle up with him and read a book than plonk him in front of the telly. But sometimes the telly wins.

I was asked by Penwizard if I wanted to create a personalised Peppa Pig book for him, my first thought was that if he was frolicking around on the pages of a Peppa Pig book he might let me turn the telly off. I was right.

Creating the book was easy. I went to the Penwizard website, selected which story we’d like, in this case “Peppa Pig and Benjamin Go Swimming”. You then choose from a selection of facial features to create a likeness of your child, throw in a few words of personalised text and away you go.

Peppa & Benjamin Go Swimming

Peppa & Benjamin Go Swimming

The book arrived quickly and was well packaged. It comes with a little letter to your child which has a picture of them and Peppa on the reverse for them to colour in. We thought that was a nice touch.

The book itself was soft back and A4 sized (though hard backs are available). It’s a colourful, beautiful book. The illustrations are simple and engaging, much like the cartoon series. The little cartoon Benjamin (my boy) was pretty accurate and he recognised himself immediately.

photo 3I loved that there was real attention to detail with the book, such as the personalised message from Mummy and Daddy. The story itself – Peppa and Benjamin Go Swimming was fun-packed and engaging, as I read it to him he listened carefully and pointed things out on the page. He enjoyed it so much he demanded I read it several times before he went to bed. It’s a real winner.

It’s a lovely book and a great way to encourage reading with your little one. It is a Ladybird book, a brand who I remember with great fondness from my childhood. The soft back book is just £14.99, I think it’d be a lovely present for any little one. They have a few characters to choose from too, like Noddy, Ben & Holly and Roary the Racing Car.

I can see this being a bedtime favourite and I’m sure that we’ll be ordering others from the series. He loved his bedtime adventure with Peppa and I did get to turn the telly off for a change.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Penwizard Peppa Pig book free of charge for review purposes. It’s worth £14.99 and it’s just lovely.