July/August Kids Reads

Before lockdown I was struggling to get Edith to stop reading at night. Miss Independent just wanted to get straight into bed and read to herself for a couple of hours. Now she is in a bit of a slump. She is more than happy to read to her sisters but very uninspired to read to herself. I wonder whether the whole lockdown situation has scared her off the whole idea of doing anything independently and this includes reading. The silver lining to this situation is that she now wants me to read to her again which I am loving.

  • Rapunzel by Bethan Woolvin.

Rapunzel is smart. She has great hair. And she does NOT need a prince.οΏΌ

I HAVE HIT A WALL. In the quest to raise daughters who could never be described as princesses, I have created MONSTERS. My daughters are independent, feisty and opinionated and maybe just for an hour I would like them to be quiet, introverted stamp collectors. (no disrespect to stamp collectors). πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘ΆπŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§πŸ‘§I have quite a few mum friends who don’t like their daughters to read fairy tales. They don’t want their girls to be exposed to princesses who want to fall in love and be rescued by a man. I on the other hand, pity the poor man who falls in love with my harridans. Today’s major melt down was as a result of me saying that they couldn’t watch their iPads at 4:30 in the morning. I AM DONE!!!!

Bethan Woolvin is a hit in our house. She says of her books β€˜I’m inspired to create strong female characters in my fairytales, because I want to create female characters both boys and girls will want to read about. It shows children that females are worthy of being written about.’ Her female characters are never rescued by princes, they aren’t victims and they always emerge victorious. These are utterly empowering books (I just sometimes wish my girls weren’t so empowered). Incidentally, every time I write the hashtag raising girls, I mistype and write raising gits. Hmmmmmm.

With this book, I wanted to deliver to readers are braver, more resource full Rapunzel, who doesn’t need to be saved by a prince.οΏΌ

  • See Inside London. Usborne. Rob Lloyd Jones and Barry Ablett.

See inside London. Over the past 2000 years, London has survived fires, plagues and terrible areas to become one of the largest cities in the world. With amazing illustrations and revealing flaps to lift, this book tells the cities incredible story.

The legendary Usborne books. My kids have TONS and my sister and I had loads when we were kids. I remember giggling with my school friends about the erection pictures in Understanding The Facts of Life and the Usborne Book of Ballet was the bible for many a school project.

We love a lift the flap book in our house. I think they appeal to our nosy nature. The Usborne See Inside series means that we can be educated and nosy at the same time. See Inside London is Edie’s favourite and was very useful when she had to do her Year 2 Fire of London project. There is something really comforting that Usborne books will always be the go-to for a school project.

  • Busy Zoo by Ruth Redford.

There are so many animals to meet at the zoo. Penguins, elephants and giraffes too! Push, pull, turn and slide to bring the busy zoo to life!οΏΌ

And then she turned 1!!! I am proud and joyful to report that her favourite pressie was a book!! Busy Zoo published by @campbell_books. This is a great book for little fingers. Really sturdy with loads of push, pull and slides. Maisie loved the πŸ¦’ page. Happy Birthday Mrs!

  • The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Birthdays, the Land of Toys, or even the Land of Ice and Snow with its magic snowman?

When Edie requested that we read The Faraway Tree books together I was pretty chuffed. I had an image of myself sat on the sofa with beautiful hair, perfect dress and glowy skin, Edie and Ceci either side of me, freshly scrubbed from the bath. All three of us laughing at the Saucepan Man and imagining the taste of Toffee Shocks. I am sad to say that the reality has been different. Revisiting my childhood favourite has been…a disappointment. Appealing to adults was never part of Blyton’s MO. She famously said ‘My work in books, films and talks lies almost wholly with children and I have very little time to give to grown ups’ as a result I doubt very much if she would care about my adult opinions of her books seeing as my childhood self and my current children love the books

What would Ms Blyton say about the fact the books have been snowflaked?? No more Dame Slap…she is now Dame Snap. Fanny is now Frannie….my 7 year old was baffled by this one….how many 7 year olds call it a fanny????!!! Of course the premise of the book is great and incredibly exciting however I am sorry to say that we found each chapter a little repetitive. I would say that the lesson of this situation is that you shouldn’t return to childhood favourites but that theory is utterly disproved by Edie’s love for Roald Dahl.

Thanks for reading and stay well.

Els

April/May Kids Reads

Hello all. Apologies for the lack of post last month…..I feel like I have gone Lockdown Loopy. Currently, doing anything more than homeschooling, looking after the kids, cooking endless meals, washing the clothes and cleaning the house feels like it’s too much. I feel like an overstretched piece of chewing gum right now. When lockdown started, I began an Italian course on Duolingo and even that is stressing me out – I have an impressive 65 day streak on the go but the control freak in me won’t let me have a day off!!! Also, as full on as it is being at home, I now feel ever so slightly agoraphobic. Every time I have left my house I have been desperate to get back to it. I feel vulnerable and edgy when I’m not at home. Does anyone else feel like this???

  • Can I Join Your Club by John Kelly. Illustrated by Steph Laberis.

Duck wants to join a club. But he can’t ROAR like Lion or TRUMPET like Elephant. What’s a duck to do?

Do YOU want to join a club where everyone’s welcome? Then this book’s for you!

What good things have come out of being in lockdown due to corona virus. Ummmmm…..I am saving on shampoo because I no longer wash my hair, I am saving on makeup because, well, why bother and I am saving on washing powder because I am wearing the same pair of joggers everyday. I have basically turned into the slob that I was always destined to be. So what have my kids gained???? I think the most important thing they will get out of this experience is they are now in eachother’s club. Maybe not out of choice but Ceci is now in Edith’s club and vice versa. Edie is having to play with Ceci because there is no one else. Ceci is joyous about this. She has always idolised her big sister and she now proudly announces that they are best friends. This experience must be so hard for only children and their parents.

Can I Join Your Club has been a favourite for a while. Duck wants to make some new friends so he asks Lion, Snake and Elephant if he can join their clubs. He tries to roar, hiss and trumpet but unfortunately he fails and his application is DENIED. Duck decides to make his own club. Unlike Lion, Snake and Elephant, Duck lets everyone into his club because you can’t have too many friends.

We love this story. The girls love shouting APPLICATION DENIED and finally APPLICATION APPROVED. It is a great story about acceptance and kindness.

Here’s hoping that at the end of all this, Ceci is still a member of Edith’s club.

  • The 13 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

Andy and Terry live in the WORLD’S BEST treehouse! It’s got a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory, a tank of man-eating sharks and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry! Just watch out for the sea monkeys, and the monkeys pretending to be sea monkeys, and the giant mutant mermaid sea monster . . . Oh, and, whatever you do, don’t get trapped in a burp-gas-filled bubble . . . !

Andy Griffith and Terry Denton’s fantastically funny 13-Storey Treehouse is told through a combination of text and cartoon-style illustrations.

At 6, Edie is a pretty confident reader. Like me she would love to read all night. Unlike me, she is generally awake enough to do so. Tonight is a perfect example….it’s 9pm. I’m heading to bed and Edes is still reading. I feel a little bit like we have lost control thanks to lockdown. I can’t seem to get them to go to sleep and I can’t get them to wake up!!!

When it comes to choosing books for 6 year olds I have got it wrong in the past. Milly Molly Mandy went down like a lead balloon. The Tales of Brambly Hedge were declared ‘babyish.’ No, what gave Edie the reading bug is the slightly vomit enducing Rainbow Magic series. There are parents who loathe these books. In my opinion, anything that captures a child’s imagination is all good. I’m happy for her to read them as long as the pink cocktail of glitter is diluted a bit with David Walliams and Roald Dahl etc.

As much as I am well versed in the escapades of Mildred Hubble and Milly Molly Mandy, I am a beginner when it comes to current kids books. I read reviews and listen to podcasts to get ideas. Every Wednesday when I take the girls to tap, their is an 8 year old boy who waits for his sister. Each week he has a new Treehouse book. When I asked him about them he told me that he is now a reader thanks to these books. He adored them. I decided to buy one for Edes to balance out her Rainbow Fairy obsession. Edie has lapped these books up. They are like kid catnip. She has now read the first three so I thought I should embark on them to see what all the fuss is about.

It must be said that the things that capture a 6 year old and a 38 year old imagination are probably very different. When asked, Edie told me that she loved how quick they were to read. I initially laughed at this but actually I think she has a point. I like a book that I can whip through. I love the sense of achievement that comes with being over halfway with a book. Why should a child be any different? With the Treehouse books it is certainly easy to zip through….there are pages with just one picture on, or just a couple of words. For a reluctant child reader it must make them feel great that they can read a book at such speed.

My adult feeling when reading this was that I felt Roald Dahl would have done it better. I’m very biased as I was brought up on Roald Dahl but I just felt that the brilliant detail that pours out of Dahl’s books and captures children’s imaginations was, well, lacking. I wanted to know more about the treehouse and the inventions. The book was so jam packed with ideas and so fast paced but I wanted to know more. It has to be said that the books improve as the series goes on. The later books managed to coax a wry smile from me. I particularly liked Andy Griffiths’s thinly veiled digs at reviewers criticisms were brilliant.

If you have a reluctant reader, they are definitely worth a shot.

Sometimes it’s hard being in the middle… You’re not the biggest, you’re not the smallest, you’re not the cuddliest, you’re not the tallest. And you just don’t know where you fit in.

This is Ceci. She is my middle. She is not as outgoing as her older sister. She is shy. She hates being looked at. She has the most amazing hair which people always comment on. She hates it….”mummy I don’t like people saying things about my hair.” When getting dressed in the morning, she always requests to wear a dress and then asks me worriedly “do you think people will look at me?” She is the complete opposite to her big sister who dresses for the sole purpose of being looked at. When Edie wakes up in the morning she reaches for her lipgloss and clip on earrings….I like to think she is a young Bet Gilroy. Edie often says to me “mummy, I wish people would like my hair like they like Ceci’s.” I guess that’s siblings for you. πŸ’„ πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

I was worried that Ceci would struggle when Maisie came along but I am happy to say she has impressed me beyond belief. She is very proud of being the only one in our family who has a big sister and a little sister. She tells me frequently that being the middle is very important….”because mummy, a sandwich without a middle isn’t a sandwich at all.” πŸ₯ͺ πŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺπŸ’“πŸ₯ͺ

Lil is a pirate, a good sort of pirate,
and when there is someone to save, she’ll do what is right (if it takes her all night).
Yes, she’ll always be bold and be brave.οΏΌ
Oh the joys of homeschool. When I look back on this crazy year I know I will forever more have a humongous appreciation for teachers. When Edie had her class zoom call last Monday, her teacher said it had been 60 days since she had last seen them. Edie was off for a week before that. Homeschooling has made me a shell of the woman I used to be!! A shell I tell you! Whilst reading the Swashbuckle Lil books with the girls the other night, I started to empathise with the clearly exasperated Miss Lubber. Edie and Ceci hate her. They think she is horrible. I, on the other hand feel her pain – Lil must be a pain in the arse to teach. Since I have started teaching my children I think I need to speak up for the Miss Truchbulls and the Demon Headmasters of children’s literature. Teaching primary kids is an epic feat. It requires the patience of a saint and I now understand why Miss Trunchbull threw her students in The Chokey….I am planning on building one myself. Anyway, back to the book. Lil is a great character for kids. She is tough, brave and canny. My girls love her. The book is told in rhyme so it whips along at a nice speed. It’s a nice book to read aloud to the kids but Edie also reads it herself and the rhyming helps with her fluency. There are two stories in each book. Ceci in particular likes the story Croc Ahoy because Miss Lubber gets covered in poo. POOR BLOODY TEACHERS – she made me read that particular bit again and again. It’s funny, has short chapters, is perfect for KS1 readers and it has brilliant illustrations by Laura Ellen Anderson of Amelia Fang fame.

  • Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott.

Sometimes you are lucky enough to be introduced to a set of books that turn into a HUGE hit. Last month, lovely Aunty Laura sent us this series about Eva Wingdale and her adventures in Treetopolis. Both Edie (7) and Ceci (4) love them. OK they are a little bit sugary but not in a vomit inducing way and for those of you who like your children’s books to have a nice wholesome message you will not be disappointed.

Writing these books as a diary is a brilliant idea. I would have loved this as a child. The layout is perfect for my girls – plenty of lists, pictures and Edie is now a committed diary writer….”mummy, me, Samuel Pepys and Eva Wingdale are the same.” πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Although there is no Great Fire or Black Death to document in Treetopolis, Eva writes about things that are of utmost importance to my children – friendships, new children in school, horrible people in school, ghosts and weddings!!πŸ˜‚ Rebecca Elliott has covered ALL bases. They would be perfect reading fodder for YR 2 or late YR1 children but they are also lovely books to read aloud.

Hope you all have a lovely month and thank you for reading.

March Beauty.

Today is Sunday 29th March and I am struggling. Lockdown is hard in the week but it seems so much harder at the weekend. The whole family still have that ‘weekend mindset’ and right now that just leads to disappointment. Every day is the same. It’s like being in Crimbo Limbo but without the turkey and with a terrifying pandemic. In fact, if at Christmas lunch someone had a crystal ball and said that this would be the state of the world come March I would have thought it was the synopsis of a bad channel 5 film.

Three kids under seven including an right month old who is still up three times a night. A month ago I thought I was bossing it. Tired but coping. Three kids under seven and a pandemic is a completely different scenario. Hats off to those who are managing it. I am struggling.

  • La Roche- Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream. Β£24.00.

This was my first frolic down Retinol Boulevard and I am now a convert as my skin is definitely brighter and smoother since using.

So Retinol/retinoids/vitamin A. There is not much that this bad boy doesn’t do. Acne, aging, pigmentation, scarring, rosacea…. retinol is the skincare golden ticket. I have to admit that I was always a bit wary. Gone are the days of a simple Oil of Olay skincare regime. Retinoids, acids, BHAs, AHAs, they all sound a little terrifying and make me feel like I am back at school struggling with chemistry. So even though this isn’t a doctor prescribed retinol, I was pretty careful. I applied it every other day, I avoided the creases round my nose and just applied to cheeks, forehead and chin. I had no irritation so after a couple of weeks I progressed to every night. You only need a pea sized amount so it will last you. This tube has kept me going for 6 months now. For me, this product has definitely made my skin smoother…no bumpy bits, my skin looks more even- fewer red bits, although my chin still needs work. I can’t say for definite that it has done a Benjamin Button on me and made me look 10 again but right now my skin is in pretty good shape so it’s defo a product that I will continue to use!

  • Yo Glow Wishful. Β£34.00 *

Yellow!!!! I LOVE yellow. I think if I was in advertising, I would put everything in yellow. It conjures up feelings of happiness, sunshine, warmth, lemons, freshness….basically all good things. The sun is shining permantly at the moment and it’s like Covid19 is giving us all the finger and doing a particularly evil laugh. My way of compensating this is to have daffodils in every room. My little bit of sunshine indoors. β˜€οΈ 🌼 πŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸ‹β˜€οΈπŸŒΌ. I was kindly gifted this product so I was already excited about using it and then Caroline Hirons said it was proper good….hopes were high. You apply it to dry skin (this is not a makeup remover) and massage in for about a minute. Scrubs often contain gritty bits but this uses cellulose which combined with fruit acids and the friction of massaging your skin makes little cellulosy balls. This is NOT I repeat NOT bits of your skin. It smells really nice and citrusy. When you rinse it off your skin feels so lovely and smooth. Mine skin felt smoother than a baby’s buttocks and not tight at all. My makeup went on like a dream.

*Kindly gifted.

  • L’Oreal Pro Glow Foundation. Β£8.35 Amazon Pantry.

Are you guys still wearing makeup?? One of the only good things about being in lockdown is that I am saving tons of money by not wearing any makeup. The other day I taught a singing lesson on Zoom so I decided to put a bit of slap on. Whambam my mood lifted. I felt like I was putting my game face on. Faking it in this instance really did make it.

Anyway, THIS FOUNDATION!!!!!! I love this foundation. Pre-Corona mornings in my house were totally nuts. Edie is always desperate for an intricate hairstyle with ‘no bumps.’ Ceci is usually livid that her Weetabix is too wet (honestly the weetabix saturation point is a big deal for Cill) and Maisie invariably is still wearing last night’s nappy. I have just about managed a shower long enough to wash off the ridiculous night sweats that I am coping with. I smear some makeup on my face, grab my trusty jogging bottoms and manoeuvre the massive buggy, grumpy cilla + scooter and Edie with her bump free hair to school. I am ALWAYS sweaty and stressed.

When I get home I get 5 mins to take my first look at my face. When wearing this foundation I am always pleasantly surprised. I actually look ok. In fact my skin looks…..(dare I say it without sounding like an arrogant tit)……good. Really good. It looks clear, glowy and not like I have been up all night feeding my ridiculous 8 month old who is still incapable of sleeping any longer than 2 hrs. As well as being a cleanser junkie I am a foundation junkie. I have tons of the stuff but hands down THIS IS THE BEST. Only available on Amazon at the mo. If you are haggard and knackered give this a whirl. Doesn’t feel too heavy, really glowy and lasts through a really sweaty and stressed school run.

Thank you for reading. Stay safe!!! Wash hands!

March Kids Reads

Well. I almost miss the halcyon days of Brexit dominating the news. Day 1 of the UK being in lockdown and I have just finished day 6 of homeschooling. My kids were off last week as Ceci had a cough. I honestly feel a little broken and completely overwhelmed by the task ahead. I look through this post and see that my last entry was all about going back to work and now I have no idea when that will be. It seems like the world has gone mad. Teachers, you have my unflinching respect. You are all amazing.

  • The Spy Who Loved School Dinners by Pamala Butchart. Illustrated by Thomas Flintham.
  • Reading age 6-8.

Izzy is really pleased to have been put in charge of the new girl at school. Mathilde is French, and Izzy and her friends can’t wait to show her the den and it’s moth, and to help her avoid school dinners (also known as poison). But Mathilde loves school dinners and even has seconds! And that’s when they know. Matilda is a spy and she has come to find out their secrets. They must stop her before it’s too late!!!

Like her mother, Edie is a sucker for packaging and this bright pink cover was a hit. This book won Best Story in the 2015 Blue Peter Book Awards. Edie lapped it up. She was overjoyed to discover that Izzy’s teacher was called Miss Jones which is the name of her current Year 2 teacher and she also has a friend called Maisie which is the name of Edie’s little sister. To be honest I think the colour of the cover and the coincidence of the names was enough to make Edie love the book….it seems that my daughter is easily pleased. As she got further into the story she kept telling me that is was so exciting and every chapter ended on a mountain. After probing this somewhat I discovered she means ‘cliff hanger.’ Edie also loved the fact that Mathilde is French so she loved impressing us with her knowledge of French vocab.

When I was finally allowed to read it myself, I was really impressed with how well Butchart captured the children’s voices:

Mrs Kidd always makes us eat stuff we don’t want to. And she’s always moaning at us. Things like “Take your coat off! Or you won’t get the benefit when you go outside!” (Which doesn’t make sense). Or: “Izzy were you born in a barn?” And to begin with I just said “I don’t know,” because I wasn’t sure. But then I checked with mum and I wasn’t.

This is a great option for KS1 who are confident readers. I have read reviews who say it is a little girly. I disagree. Although the cover is bright pink, there is nothing ‘girly’ in the storyline and Izzy’s friend Zach is great fun. We will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

  • Anisha Accidental Detective by Serena Patel. Illustrated by Emma McCann.
  • Reading age 6-8.

οΏΌ
Help! My super dramatic Aunty Bindi is getting married tomorrow and she’s having a mega meltdown. But ssssh! I’ve just found a ransom note, push through the letterbox, saying Uncle Tony, Bindi’s husband to be, has been kidnapped, and will only be freed if the wedding is cancelled! I have to keep this a secret otherwise it’ll be panic central… I guess it’s up to me Anisha- Accidental Detective, to save the day.οΏΌ

This is the second book with a bright pink cover that Edie has read this month. She has decided that all bright pink books are brilliant….I fear she is going to be setting herself up for disappointment somewhere down the line but not this time!!!

In 2017, Reflecting Realities Survey concluded that only 1% of children’s books have BAME main characters, and that only one children’s book published that year was a comedy. Thanks to this book, children from Hindu families will find a character they can relate to. Anisha is brilliant. She is clever, witty, funny and great role model to girls. Edith is a 6 year old who just loves love and the fact that this book was about a wedding really appealed to her romantic mind!!!! She loved Aunty Bindi and all her face masks, makeup and beautiful clothes. Serena Patel adds footnotes to a lot of the pages to explain elements of Indian language, food and customs. We learnt the meaning of Bhagavan, Didi, Saath saath and also wedding customs like Mehndi. We also learned a lot about lobsters….do you know they wee out of their faces?!?!?!?!

The story zipped along and was a really good mystery. Patel created some brilliant secondary characters….Granny Jas is my fave! Emma McCann’s illustrations are really funny. We look forward to reading more in the series.

Thanks to a Usborne for the copy.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

β€˜But the next baby born was truly divine, a sweet little child who was mine, all mine.’ I’m not a particularly sentimental person but reading this to Maisie this morning made me a bit tearful. 😒😒😒😒 I am starting to think about going back to work so looking into childcare. I have been off the longest with Maisie and I’m due to go back in August which is obviously the WORST month with summer holidays. I know every parent feels torn about working and leaving their kids. πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”. I adore my job. I love the people and feel utterly privileged to get paid to stand on the most beautiful stage and sing for a living. It has to be said that it is a tough job when you have little ones. Endless school pick ups missed, endless bedtimes missed. At the moment I feel utterly torn about what is the right thing for my kids, husband and myself. I have missed singing so much the last few months but I know my children have massively benefitted from having a parent at home. Argh!!!!! 😒😒😒

I hope you are all staying safe.

Thanks for reading.

February Kids Reads

Hello all. Being a bit of a lazy bones this morning and writing this while sat in bed. Maisie in the next room asleep. I am listening to the wind giving our roof a battering. We are in the middle of roof angst as we seem to have rain pouring in!!!! 😳😳😳 We only got our loft extension done a couple of years ago and it’s clearly not fit for purpose!!!

So this month all three books are faves of my eldest daughter Edie, who is 6. Next month I will make sure I include some of Ceci’s faves.

  • The Nothing to see Here Hotel by Steven Butler. Illustrated by Steven Lenton.

Welcome to The Nothing to see Here Hotel for magical creatures, where weird is normal for Frankie Banister and his parents who run the hotel. When a messenger arrives announcing the imminent arrival of the goblin prince Grogbah, Frankie and his family rush into action to get ready for their important guest. But it soon becomes obvious that the Banister family are going to have their work cut out with the demanding prince and his never ending entourage, especially and it turns out the rude little prince is hiding a secret.οΏΌ…

The only downside of Edie having caught the reading bug is that she no longer wants me to read to her at night. She gets into bed with her torch and reads aloud to herself (and her poor sister) for a good hour every evening. I have to holler up the stairs every 15 mins to tell her to go to sleep….it’s true, we all turn into our parents. As a result, in order to write reviews for Edie-age books I have to read them myself. In all honesty this is quite good as it quickly ups my Goodreads total and it means Edes and I have a mini book club ourselves.

After finishing this book a couple of days ago, I went on Goodreads to update. I decided not to give it a star rating because it is written for kids and a middle aged woman is definitely not the target audience. Sadly, I saw a few low star ratings and negative reviews written by adults who felt the book was offensive because of the racial connotations. Indeed it’s true that Prince Grogbah wears a turban and has three goblin wives but do people really think that Steven Butler is trying to make a negative statement about people from the Middle East????I am loathe to succumb to this snowflake attitude where literally anything and everything offends someone somewhere. The bottom line is that this is a book written for children and it has to be reviewed as such. My 6 year old (and this 38 year old) loved it. The story is fast paced and hilarious with some brilliant characters. The Molar Sisters and Berol Dunch who is an old wrinkly mermaid who insists on wearing a tiny bikini top were our faves. If your kids love the film Hotel Transylvania, they will ADORE this book. Steven Lenton who we love thanks to his illustrations for Shifty Mcgifty has done a brilliant job. Nearly every page has a fabulous picture with tons of things to spot. Edith (and myself) will definitely be reading the rest of the series!

  • A Book of Bears by Katie Viggers.

Meet the bears! Learn all about the eight different their families, their likes, their homes and more. Who is the biggest and who is the smallest? Which one is the honey monster and which one has anti-slip feet? Fun facts combined with Katie Viggers’ charming illustrations make this the perfect introduction to bears around the world.

Hands down the nicest book I have bought in a really long time. Thanks @luggylibrary for the recommendation. Because of this book, what Edie doesn’t know about Spectacled πŸ‘“ bears ain’t worth knowing. πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“This beautiful hard back book takes you through 8 bear families – Sloth🐻, Brown 🐻, Giant 🐼, American Black 🐻,

Spectacled 🐻, Polar 🐻, Asiatic Black 🐻 and the Sun 🐻. We learn about each family – how well they swim, climb and run and also if they hibernate. Katie Viggers’ illustrations are absolutely brilliant – beautiful but also funny. Edie particular enjoyed the Sloth Bear hair salon….apparently sloth bears have a lot of thick, black, shaggy hair around their faces…who knew?!? I love that there is enough humour to keep a 7 year old entertained but also enough factual content to engage older children. Anyway this is an absolutely beautiful book to buy as a pressie or add to your collection.

  • Meet the Twitches by Hayley Scott. Illustrated by Pippa Curnick.

Meet the Twitches, four tiny toy rabbits who live inside a Teacup House. 

They belong to a girl called Stevie and she loves playing with them. But guess what? These toy rabbits have a secret. They come alive when Stevie isn’t looking! 

Open up the Teacup House – and meet four little rabbit heroes with big ideas!

I had one of those soft-focus mum moments the other night when I found Edie (6) reading this book. I remember reading it to her a couple of years ago and now she is picking it up and reading it herself. I had a quick skim through to remind myself of what happened but the gist is that when Stevie moves house she is gifted a teacup-shaped dolls house with 4 little rabbit dolls. They come to life, get lost, need rescuing….you know the drill. Edie loves the illustrations. I think this book satisfies her need to read ‘big girls books’ but also appeals to her little girl head because it is full of colour illustrations. Hilariously when asked what she likes best she replied “the quality of the paper.” It’s nice paper to be fair….kinda glossy if you know what I mean. Edie loves the descriptions of Stevie’s outfits, and the detail of the teacup house. I remember loving the fact that Stevie’s mum is a single parent. Refreshing to read a book that isn’t about a mummy, daddy, son and daughter.

Anyway, if your 6 year old is in the market for a book with lovely paper, about little rabbits, cute outfits and fried egg jelly sweets, you should pick this up!!

Thanks for reading. X

January Kids Reads

  • Happy New Year. Apologies for the lack of post in December. December was completely nuts. We decided to have our first Christmas at home. Until now, Christmas involved packing the car to the rafters and driving either to the midlands (to see my parents) or to the Wirral ( to see Ozzie’s parents) and then repacking the car on the 26th December to visit the other set of grandparents before heading back to London in the New Year. 2019 was the year we said “enough” and requested EVERYONE come to us. We had 13 for Christmas dinner and had to fashion an extra long table with the addition of a couple of desks. Anyway it was bonkers, mad and exactly the way Christmas ought to be.

    • Witches in Stitches by Kaye Umansky.
    • Kaye Umansky born 6th December 1946.

    Kaye Umansky is probably best known for the Pongwiffy series. My little sister loved them. I however was a big fan of Witches in Stitches. Published in 1987, this was in the format of a magazine for witches and ghouls complete with recipes, lonely hearts and a classified section. It was great!

    I managed to find this book on eBay and snapped it up for a mere 99p. This is one of those books which conjures up really funny memories. Each year in my secondary school we would all have to write something to put into the school magazine. Always keen to find a shortcut I decided to brazenly plagiarise a poem from Witches in Stitches. The poem in question was I’m Sick of That Hansel and Gretel….I also traced the illustration. I remember being asked to see the teacher, she was obviously deeply suspicious but hadn’t had the pleasure of reading Witches in Stitches so I managed to get away with it and my’ poem and illustration made it into the school magazine. How completely arrogant and utterly stupid was I???? Actually not as stupid as my best friend who plagiarised the oh so famous Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith. Unfortunately for Holly, our English teacher had obviously come across Stevie Smith so not only did she not make it into the school mag but she also got a Saturday detention. Ah the arrogance of youth.

    • Lifesize Dinosaurs by Sophy Henn.

    Discover how you measure up against some incredible life-size dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. Try on a Utahraptor claw and a Pteranodon beak, compare your nostrils with a Diplodocus, wear a Stegosaurus plate, and watch out for the giant Tyrannosaurus rex mouth when you open up the foldout pages.οΏΌ

    My kids are crazy wonderful little weirdos. I think when my husband realised we were only capable of creating the fairer sex I think he was terrified his life would revolve around pink and bunnies. Dainty flowers my daughters are not. A lot of the time we both find our girls a little baffling. How do you explain Edie’s obsession at 2 years of age with the Lion King?? Ok ok a lot of kids are into The Lion King. Edith however only really liked one bit which we had to keep rewinding for her….not Hakuna Matata, not Can You Feel The Love Tonight. No, no, Edie’s most favourite part of The Lion King was the bit when Mufasa gets trampled by a stampede of wildebeest. Thankfully now 6 she has grown out of this blood lust and is now much more obsessed with her hair and her hamster. Ceci’s interesting little quirk is her love of Jurassic Park…particularly the bit with the T-Rex and the ‘fitter’ she means Spitter. She loves nothing more than watching the film with us or her grandparents and explaining what is happening while we pretend to be afraid. As I’ve said before, kids (or my kids) love nothing more than thinking they know more about a subject than you do. As a result, both my girls love this brilliant book by Sophy Henn. I have bought it for tons of the girls friends and everyone thinks it’s great. Ceci is obsessed with the pull out T-Rex mouth and I am feeling fully confident if not a little smug about Edith’s up and coming a Dinosaur school project. #bossingit.

    • Dinosaur Juniors by Rob Biddulph.

    High fives, fist bumps, big hugs, applause…..for disco-dancing dinosaurs!

  • Nine dino eggs but little Greg hatches later than everyone else. The story follows Gregosaurus trying to make some prehistoric friends when everyone has already found their best bud. It all ends well with the dinosaurs throwing him a Happy Hatch Day Party. πŸ¦• πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•
  • This is a proper value for money book. By this I mean that as your children get older, this book that keeps on giving. For really little ones the pictures are colourful and not so crazy busy that your children will suffer from sensory overload. Ceci at 4 is a massive fan….mainly because it is about dinosaurs but also for children of Ceci’s age there are things to count and plenty of things to spot. Older children can take advantage of the detail in the pictures – types of dinos, musical instruments. The story is told in rhyme which keeps me happy….I love a rhyme!!❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️
  • This would be a great book to give to a child who is starting a new school/nursery halfway through a year, when they are the only newbie and everyone else has settled into a routine.πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–πŸ¦•πŸ¦–
  • Also, slightly terrifying picture of Ceci. She is looking a little sinister. Edie is holding Daisy her new hamster. This is the new addition to the Andrews clan. All going well so far….making Edie clean her out every week is proving challenging but we are persevering. 🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹🐹
  • Thank you all for reading!

    November kids reads

    It is December!! Woohoo. I love Christmas. In London, people have started earlier than ever this year. I actually saw some trees up last week.

    I went to a reading workshop at a Edie’s school this month. The teacher read this wonderful quote (see below) from Lola Okolosie:

    • Poo in the Zoo by Steve Smallman. Illustrated by Ada Grey.

    There’s too much poo in the zoo! Zookeeper Bob just can’t keep up. Then one day a mysterious glowing poo appears! Could it be an alien poo from out of space?οΏΌ

    Little Bob McGrew was a keeper at the zoo. Looking after animals was what he loved to do. But it wasn’t always fun, because Bob was the one, who had to push the cart around and shovel up the… Poo!οΏΌ

    You could substitute Bob’s name for mine at the moment. Right now there is a plague on our house. All are ill but the worst illness is definitely my husband who ate the hummus and got salmonella. Just awful. πŸ€’πŸ’©. Hideous. I can cope with ill kids, ill baby, ill me but ill husband is THE WORST. Anyway Edith hasn’t been ill and has kept me semi-sane. The highlight was being woken up by the dulcet tones of Ozzie’s morning ablutions to find Edie sitting outside the toilet door reading this tremendous book to her father who was sat on the loo. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘Anyway, since having kids, poo gets discussed in our house almost as much as brexit. There is no escaping the πŸ’©. My kids think all things bums, willies, boobs and poo are hilarious so this is a favourite book. I love it too. Brill, pacy rhymes, opportunities for good voices and ENDLESS chats about the size and shape of πŸ’©. Buy this book and don’t buy Sainsbury’s hummus.

    • Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy by Daisy Meadows.

    Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy’s special magic gives people the confidence to believe in themselves. But when Jackfrost kidnaps her magical mermicorn, everyone starts to doubt their inner strength! Can Kirsty and Rachel stop him and save the day?οΏΌ

    A few weeks ago I took Edie to the book shop. She said she was desperate to buy a book that her friend had recommended. She headed straight over to the Rainbow Magic section and eventually settled on this. She proudly took her book home and read it cover to cover in 4 days.

    I decided to do some research to find out more about Daisy Meadows who seems so popular with six year olds. SHOCK HORROR….she doesn’t exist!!!! Daisy Meadows is a pseudonym and books are written by several authors. There are over 170 titles and over 20 million books have been sold!!

    According to The Telegraph, these books are pretty unpopular with parents. They are unashamedly gender specific. Pink, glittery and vomit enducing. Skimming through the first few pages of the book Edie describes as “THE BEST BOOK EVER” I was amused to see the two central characters (who are probably around Edie’s age) enjoying a quiet spot of embroidery before bed. Is this anything like bedtime in your house???? No screaming mum, no screaming kids….nope, just quiet sewing. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    So what do I think???? I am just happy she is reading and enjoying reading. I don’t want to force books that I want her to like down her throat. Right now I am just happy she has caught the reading bug and long may it last. I remember loving Sweet Valley High and Point Horror as a kid. They weren’t Charles Dickens but I enjoyed them and I think at this age, enjoying a book is the most important thing.

    • Whizz Pop Granny Stop by Tracey Corderoy. Illustrated by Joe Berger.

    My granny is quite… different, of that there is no doubt. In a world jam-packed with grannies, you’d always pick her out! Granny just loves to help and a little bit of magic always speed things along. Sometimes, though, all her granddaughter wants to do is spend some normal(ish) time with her beloved granny. But will her birthday party go with a pop without any magic?οΏΌ

    We are the kind of family who accumulate books. I have books literally pouring out of cupboards. You know that scene in Friends when Chandler opens the cupboard in Monica’s house. Well yes. That. That is my house. We had a new sofa delivered last week and when we had to move the old one, there were even Sainsbury’s bags crammed with books, rammed under the sofa. I had forgotten about those. πŸ™„.

    Anyway, this is a book that we got from…..somewhere. We have had it now for about 5 years and both of my girls love it. Particularly Ceci. So why?? Well, kids love a witch story don’t they? There is a mention of poo so that box is ticked. It rhymes and the pictures are brilliant and it also reminds children to accept people’s differences.

    Anyway see you next month.

    Thanks for reading.

    October Beauty

    I had my first proper night out since Maisie was born last night. Ozzie came back from work at 6 to look after the kids and I went out on the razzle. My trip out was heading into work to watch the first night of a show. The getting ready process was LONG. Trying to get yourself presentable when you have to keep interrupting your beautifying time to breastfeed, restart The Greatest Showman for the oldest one and cook bolognese for the middle one meant the whole ‘getting ready’ process took about 4hrs. Anyway, come 6pm I sprinted for the front door with my newly straightened hair shiny and my lips a glossy red. I was even wearing a normal bra. BOOM.

    After the show I decided to go to the first night party for a glass of Prosecco. All going swimmingly until this was pointed out to me……

    Yes, my left breast had been leaking milk all night. MORTIFIED!!!!

    • Little Aurelia Sleep Time Pillow Mist. Β£22.

    I am stealing my 12 week old’s posh products….I mean anything that arrives in a bag from Liberty’s is too good for a baby. So, it is now in my sleep time arsenal. 😊😊😊😊 To be honest I don’t need help sleeping but this does mean I fall asleep in a delicious haze of Rose Quartz Crystal Water(!πŸ˜‚) which is a lot better than my usual Febreze. Really lovely gift for anyone you know who has just had a baby!!

    • KΓ©rastase Elixir Ultime Radiance Beautifying Oil. Β£29.99.

    I bloody love an oil. Face, body, hair, I don’t care, I just slap it on. I invested in this stuff after moaning to my hairdresser that my hair colour was fading. When asked which products I used I guiltily admitted to using anything that was handy (I’m embarrassed to admit, I have even used my daughter’s cradle cap shampoo if it’s the only bottle in the shower 😱😱). So after being made to feel suitably guilty, I invested! This oil came in a pack with a shampoo and conditioner and I have been using it since Easter…that is a long time people…..so yes, the price may be a little punchy but it lasts. In conclusion, listen to the advice of your hairdresser: IF YOU HAVE COLOUR TREATED HAIR YOU NEED TO USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS!!! My hair laps up this oil. I use it to smooth and protect when I straighten and it smells lush!!

    • Avene Hydrance Aqua-Gel. Β£13.33. *
    • Avene Hydrance Hydrating Emulsion. Β£14.50. *

    For a more ‘budget friendly’ brand, these two products are wicked! I have been using the Aqua-Gel for a few weeks now as a night cream. It is completely non irritating and I smear it all over my face, eyes and neck. It takes a while to sink in (which is why it’s best for night) but once absorbed my skin looks plump and feels brilliantly hydrated….so much so that I haven’t been using an oil afterwards. I also love the smell of it. I can imagine it would be completely lush out of the fridge on a hot summers day.

    I must admit, that I usually avoid creams that are labelled ‘light.’ I wrongly assume they won’t be moisturising enough. This Hydrating Emulsion left my skin moisturised all day but non greasy. I have also worn it under makeup and my slap has stayed on all day.

    As a fan of acids and retinol I like to use a moisturiser which doesn’t do anything fancy but is just gentle and moisturising. These fit the bill but the Aqua-Gel is my fave.

    *Kindly gifted.

    Thanks for reading people….and remember:

    BREASTPADS ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

    Spooky October Kids Reads

    I’m writing this sat in the car heading back to London from my parent’s house in the midlands. It was lovely to spend the last week in the countryside. This is without a doubt my favourite time of year. The leaves are changing colour and there is definitely the winter chill in the air. Family chat has shifted from beaches and suntan lotion, to Halloween, bonfires and CHRISTMAS!!! Love it. Clocks go back tomorrow and the days get shorter. Woohooo!

    • Mrs Blackhat by Chloe and Mick Inkpen.

    Mrs Blackhat’s cat is obstinately ginger. She needs a special spell to turn him black. So she logs onto her Shopalot account…

    I wanted to put on some spooky kids reads for October. πŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈMrs Blackhat is by father and daughter team Chloe and Mick Inkpen. Mrs Blackhat loves the colour black. EVERYTHING is black except for the 🐈….which is ginger. As an internet savvy witch she decides to shop online for a potion to turn the moggy black!πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘» I love reading this book. It’s really fast paced with great rhymes. Have you seen that vid where the dad raps the Gruffalo???? Well I sound just like that in a very uncool south west London kind of way. Anyway the girls think it’s hilarious!

      Usborne touchy-feely books.

    Now I know Maisie is my last child, I feel the expiration date of these brilliant Usborne books is looming on the horizon. I’m generally not a particularly sentimental person but these books have been staples in my house throughout all three of my daughters baby years – trying to uncurl their little chubby fists so they can stroke the different textures and saying in my upbeat-mum-voice ‘can you find the mouse?’ Maisie is a little too young to do anything apart from dribble on them but what has been particularly special this time around is now Edie can read them to her sister whilst doing a very good impression of my upbeat-mum-voice. 😍😍. Right I have to stop now as I’m welling up…..get a bloody grip woman. Anyway thank you to Usborne and your touchy-feely books, you have been epic!

      Steve Backshall’s Deadly 60.

    Ok, so this might be a bit of an unexpected entry for my month of spooky kids reads but I had to include it because Edie LOVES this book and she loves it because she loves the terrifying spiders, bats and snakes. The other day I asked my friend for some book recommendations for 6 year old boys. She suggested non-fiction in particular. Without a doubt she is right. What 6 year old doesn’t love showing off their random fact knowledge?? Edie has been learning about the Fire of London in school and you can’t shut her up with her Samuel Pepys banter. The bottom line is that kids love a good showing off session so give them a non fiction book and they will devour it.

    I had my proudest mum/book worm moment at Parents Evening last week when Edie’s teacher commented on Edie’s love of reading. I told Edie what was said and since then there has been no stopping her….reading all the time….if there is an audience. I think Edie is competent enough to read pretty much anything now. Anything she can’t read she tries to sound out. Suddenly reading has clicked and she is enjoying trying out lots of different books. The Steve Backshall book is perhaps a little old, with quite a few tricky words but Edes loves a challenge. It did take us 45 mins to read the section on sloth bears but we are now world experts so its all good!

    Thanks for reading. Happy Halloween!

    September Kids Reads

    Well it is now the end of September and I feel like I have finally got some time to spend with Maisie. Edie went back to school on the 2nd and Ceci started nursery on the 19th. Today was my first empty day to spend time with my baby. Due to the fact that Maisie was born just 2 weeks before the summer holidays, I really haven’t spent any time with just her. Today was the first day that I just sat in bed and let her fall asleep on me without having to divide my time between my other children. It was so precious and for a good hour I just looked at her!!!! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈI feel very lucky.

    • Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aiken. Illustrated by Quentin Blake.
    • Joan Aiken born 4th September 1924.

    Rescued from a late night hit-and-run by kind-hearted Mr Jones, Mortimer the raven quickly becomes a rather unusual family pet, with a VERY large appetite. Though Mrs Jones has misgivings, particularly after Mortimer’s night-time activities in the fridge, daughter Arabel falls in love at first sight. But when Mortimer vanished along with a priceless diamond brooch and a criminal squirrel, poor Arabel fears he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

    My husband doesn’t understand the concept of blogging or Instagram. He has become a bit social media phobic and is of the view that people become a bit mad and obsessed. The fact that I left my copy of Arabel’s Raven in the fridge after taking the above picture didn’t do much to convince him I wasn’t a little bonkers. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

    I remember reading The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and A Necklace of Raindrops as a child but Arabel’s Raven must have passed me by. Written in 1972 with brilliant illustrations by Quentin Blake. I started reading this to Edie last week but she got bored a bit too quickly. She enjoyed fridge-loving, staircase-eating Mortimer and the evil squirrel but wanted to see more of Arabel who is a little passive in this book. 🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿

    • Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.
    • Roald Dahl born on 13th September 1916.

    Boggis is an enormously fat chicken farmer who only eats boiled chicken smothered in fat.

    Bunce is a duck and goose farmer whose dinner gives him a beastly temper.

    Bean is a turkey and apple farmer who only drink gallons of strong cider.

    Mr Fox is so clever that every evening he creeps down into the valley and help himself to food from the farms.

    Now the farmers have hatched a plan to bang bang bang shoot Mr Fox dead but just when they think Mr Fox can’t possibly escape, he makes a fantastic plan of his own…

    I couldn’t let September pass without a mention for the great Roald Dahl. It seems particularly pertinent today as Ozzie won Matilda tickets in the lottery and he is taking Edie tonight….yes on a school night. Bad mum alert. I fear I will be reaping the rewards for this late night for a while!!!!πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜±πŸ˜± Incidentally if you are London based and it’s relatively easy to get to the theatre it is totally worth putting your name down for the lottery. We also won front row seats to Hamilton a few months ago!!!

    As a total book geek it has been completely wonderful re-reading some of my childhood favourites with Edie and Ceci. I am definitely guilty of being a little over enthusiastic and making a few book related mistakes. The Naughtiest Girl in the School was one such error. I am sorry to say I gave up after chapter 1….I had to stop every few seconds to explain words like ‘beastly’ and ‘governess.’ Roald Dahl is an author I was desperate to introduce Edie to. George’s Marvellous Medicine and The Magic Finger have been hits but nothing has come close to Edie’s love of Fantastic Mr Fox. Although the story is obviously brill I think it’s a hit with little ones because it’s fast paced, has short chapters and the pictures in the colour edition are brilliant. Edie basically needs a picture every page to keep her interested!!! For my kids, a short chapter is pretty much vital….each chapter in this book ends on a bit of an Eastenders-esque cliff hanger and they are short enough that if storytime isn’t going particularly well, it is easy to abort!!

    • The Usborne Book of Drawing, Doodling and Colouring Fashion.
  • Okay so this isn’t a story book but it is definitely worth a shout out as it kept my kids occupied during many a rainy day on our glamping holiday. This was recommended by a dad on Instagram. I love Instagram for book recommendations….particularly kids books. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this colouring book and what I particularly like is there is the opportunity for kids to develop their own creativity by creating their own designs. Edie was totally immersed as was Ceci who created some very Hannibal Lecteresque looking designs.
  • A story about a lion and a duck- and having the courage to be yourself.

    Where do you get your book suggestions? For children’s books I rely on the library. We go once a week and take out the maximum amount of books. Anything we really love, I tend to buy for the kids…..books are definitely what I spend my money on. I have cupboards and drawers full of them.

    How to be a Lion has been a huge hit. My husband did storytime last night while I went for a run. When I got back, he wouldn’t shut up about the ‘incredibly empowering’ book he had just discovered. . As a non reader, the only books he picks up are the kids ones at story time so it’s important to get him some top material.πŸ˜ŠπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈA fab message to little ones just starting school…be true to yourself, be kind and stand by your friends. Ed Vere handles the subject of bullying in a really empowering way and it’s defo one of the best kids books we have read in a while. A big high five to all the Leonards who feel a little bit different but have the courage to stick to their guns. πŸ’ͺ 🦁 πŸ¦†