Celebrating the Bard! And a gift for you!

As many of you will know we, the BookBairns, live in Scotland, and this week we celebrate one of the most beloved writers from our coun...

As many of you will know we, the BookBairns, live in Scotland, and this week we celebrate one of the most beloved writers from our country, the Bard, Robert Burns. We love books which celebrate the Scots language and ones that share images of our beautiful homeland and I love the books produced by Scottish publisher - Floris Books and the imprints Picture Kelpies and Wee Kelpies.

So of course, we are very excited to share some of their beautiful picture books to celebrate Burn's Night. And make sure you check our social media for a giveaway of one of these fabulous books!

Ally Bally Bee (traditional rhyme) with illustrations by Kathryn Selbert

Also rather tasty apparently.
For any Scottish BookBairn readers out there you will no doubt be familiar with this much-loved Scottish rhyme. Originally an advertising jingle for 'Coulter's Candy', an aniseed tasting sweetie, this little ditty has been sung to many generations of bairns all over Scotland. Included my little brother, Ally. So it's a song I have sung often. It's a simple one about getting a few pennies to buy some sweeties. This new edition also includes the verse about growing up and 'going to sea' to make pennies to buy sweeties too. It's a lovely edition, with lift the flaps on each page to further reveal the next scene of the story or to show you where the sweeties are hiding. The Wee Page Turner loves this - he's already very familiar with the song as I have been singing it to him since he was born - but he can now lift the flaps in the book too, making it a more engaging book for him to play with on his own. But mostly he enjoys reading (or singing) it on his "mammy's knee". A perfect baby book for bairns! 

Speed Bonnie Boat (traditional Scots folk song) with illustrations by Alfredo Belli

This is another book inspired by a traditional Scottish folk tune, and again it's one that we sing daily. (It wasn't until writing this post that I realised how many Scots folk songs I sing at home!) Speed Bonnie Boat is BookBairn's lullaby of choice. We used to sing Edelweiss from The Sound of Music but since hearing Speed Bonnie Boat at Bookbug rhyme time at the library she has insisted on this one every since. So I was very excited to get the picture book. It's essentially a song about Bonnie Prince Charlie and his efforts to evade capture by the Brits following the defeat at Culloden. Whilst this is a song we perhaps sing frequently to our bairns, I suspect many of us only know one or two verses and as you delve further into the lyrics you will realise that the song is quite dramatic. So it's only appropriate that this picture book is seeped in drama too. The illustrations show the power of the waves and storms, giving the whole journey the drama that it needs. It also includes a little Scottish history. This really is a lovely book but BookBairn is probably a little young to fully appreciate it so we'd recommend holding off until your bairn is school-age.

We're Gangin on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, translated by Susan Rennie

You will probably know this story. It's 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' but in Scots. Such a lovely translation of a brilliant adventure rhyme. This family of brave bear hunters trudge through muckle forests, and skirlin snawstroms, claggie mud and a deep cauld river in search of a glowerin bear. (My spellcheck just had a melt down.) If you're naw a Scots reader, a great way to start is by reading familiar stories in Scots (I had a good giggle at the expense of two very English students in a St Andrews bookshop trying to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stane - there attempts were rather amusing). This is such a brilliant story and jings your kids will love hearing you trip over the Scots words. BookBairn actually enjoys this version more than the original - I thinks Scots words are a bit more descriptive and onomatopoeic than the original - and we will definitely be enjoying this one over and over again!
Ahhhhhh! A bear!

My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns and illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane

This version of Robert Burn's famous poem has been given a new, and beautiful, twist as it depicts the special love between a parent and child. Each line has been given a new meaning through the soft and whimsical illustrations. The line "O my Luve's like the melodie that's sweetly play'd in tune" is accompanied by a mother and daughter at a children's music class; the line "And I will luve thee still, my dear, till a' the seas gang dry" is shown through the illustration of a family enjoying the day at the beach. And the bittersweet part of the poem that has been given a whole new meaning for me are in the lines "And fare thee weel, mu only Luve! And fare thee weel, a while!" as the mother drops her precious little girl off at school/nursery; followed by "And I will come again, my Luve, tho' it were ten thousand mile!" as she picks her daughter back up and gives her a huge cuddle. This book has given me a whole new perspective on a poem I have known my whole life, and that's the magic of this picture book. We have a copy of this lovely book to give away on our Twitter page so please pop over to enter so you can add this beautiful story to your bairn's bookshelves!

We will be celebrating Burn's Night on Thursday with a meal of haggis, neeps and tatties and of course enjoying these lovely stories! In my first year of writing the blog I reworked the Selkirk Grace for BookBairn's so I'm going to share it again:

BookBairn Grace
Some hae books and canna read
And some wad read that want it,
But I hae books that mammy reads,
Sae let the lord be thankit.


Mammy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Disclaimer: we were sent these bonnie books for review by the publisher, including a copy of 'My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose' for a giveaway. The words and opinions are, as always, my own.

White Out! Snow Day Reads!

We finally got some snow!!! After what feels like living in the only part of the UK that didn't get any snow this winter we got one hea...

We finally got some snow!!! After what feels like living in the only part of the UK that didn't get any snow this winter we got one heavy snow shower that let us have a morning's play in the snow before it started to melt (and freeze making the pavements like an ice skating rink). So as the snow fell we curled up and read some books that built the excitement (because there wasn't really enough to build a snowman - and that's really hard when you have to carry a baby around with you who was less than impressed with the world of white!). So here are our favourite snowy reads!

Snow by Sam Usher

This mini-hardback version of the book is perfect for BookBairn to turn the pages of herself making it her favourite of the bunch to read by herself. It's all about the anticipation of playing in the snow. The little boy wakes up to a world of white and is desperate to be the first to make footprints in the crisp layer of white. But Grandad is taking ages to get ready. So they wait and wait until it seems like everyone is at the park first. But once they get there they have a wonderful time playing together and Grandad wins the snowball fight. "Some things are definitely worth waiting for." And the illustrations are wonderful too - capturing the thrill of a world covered with snow.

Mice Skating by Annie Silverstro and Teagan White

For most little mice, winter means burrowing down and nesting. But Lucy loves the feeling of the snow crunching under her little paws and wearing her favourite woolly hat. But Lucy's favourite thing to do is to go ice skating. And she just can't understand why her mousey friends don't want to join her. So she knits them all little hats and makes them all ice skates of their own but will she be able to convince her friends to join her? The illustrations in this are a modern day take on the mice I knew and loved from Brambly Hedge. And you can't help but love little Lucy - she's so cute and her enthusiasm is contagious! Such a heart-warming story on a cold day!

A Letter for Bear by David Lucas

On a snowy day like yesterday I do feel sorry for the postmen (and women) who have to trudge out in all conditions to make sure we get our book post. You may have noticed on our Instagram that the postman parked opposite our house yesterday to ensure we got our letters delivered. Bear is equally as conscientious a post-bear making sure that all the letters get delivered around his neighbourhood. But he never gets any of his own! Until he decides to host a little party. The illustrations in this are absolutely captivating and I love all the winter creatures that star in this story. We reviewed this one when BookBairn was just a baby - you can read it here (and check and see if you think BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner look alike!). 

Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda

Want to try you hand at skiing? BookBairn certainly likes helping Bunny ski in this lovely interactive book where little ones have to do as the book tells them to make the snow fall, make bunny slide downhill and dodge the holes. BookBairn really enjoys seeing the reactions when she turns the page to see her actions have made something happen in the story. Bunny is a delightful character and by the end you will want to have a hot chocolate with him! 

Snow by Walter de la Mare and Carolina Rabei

This new take on a poem by Walter de la Mare really brings to life the wonder of snow! The poem is quite whimsical for children of BookBairn's age (and mine) but it's the illustrations that are truly wonderful. We treat this more like a wordless picture book - discussing what the children are doing in the snow and using lots of words to describe the scenes and the feelings that it evokes. Wordless picture books are something I'm not entirely comfortable with as I don't always feel like I know what to say, what to ask so I'm going to make it a goal this year to read more with BookBairn. I'll let you know how we get on!
I hope you have enjoyed a sprinkling of snow! And have a nice hot chocolate to warm up and curl up with a favourite read!

Happy snow day reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

Disclaimer: These books were sent by publishers for free for review purposes our words and opinions are, as always, our own.

Book Giving Day 2018 Plots and Plans!

You know that we are big supporters of Book Giving Day having given away stacks of books over the  last two years ! This year I have some...

You know that we are big supporters of Book Giving Day having given away stacks of books over the last two years! This year I have something special planned (and I hope it will work out as I plan but it's still early stages).

In the meantime, I am delighted to announce that we will exclusively be revealing some of the wonderful downloadable freebies to help support giving books on Book Giving Day next week! So keep an eye out for that.

But for those who don't know, what is Book Giving Day?

International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing childrens access to, and enthusiasm for, books.

Now in it’s 6th year International Book Giving Day continues to grow from strength to strength reaching places such as Nepal, India, Canada, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Nigeria, Fiji, Czech Republic, USA, Cambodia, Hungary, Philippines and Romania.

On the 14th February, #bookgivingday, participants are encouraged to give books to children,
This can takes many forms, the only limit is the imagination. Books have been sent to child refugees in Calais, France; a new library was created in Cape Town, South Africa; in Uganda the Mpambara-Cox Foundation gifted books to children, for many it was the first time they have been given a book of their own. In 2014 Scholastic Australia went to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital and gifted a book to every child. People continue to be creative in so many different ways, all keen to share the love of books.

How can you take part? 

International Book Giving Days focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th, #bookgivingday

We invite individuals to …

1) gift a book to a friend or family member,
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organisation that distributes used books to children in need internationally.

In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organisations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children.

This year's illustrator collaborator!

Elys Dolan’s poster features an array of fun, book loving characters. Eagle eyed readers will spot some familiar, much loved characters from her illustrated novel, Knighthood for Beginners, (Oxford University Press, 2017). With its fun design and brilliant attention to detail, Dolan’s poster is sure to catch lots of attention.

The poster is available to download, from the Book Giving Day website.

Libraries, schools & bookshops are encouraged to download, print and display Elys Dolan’s poster (and soon to be released bookmark and bookplate), to celebrate the love of reading & encourage others to give books to children on International Book Giving Day, 14th February 2018.

 “We can’t wait to see Elys Dolan’s poster in the wild, spreading the word about International Book Giving Day. She has done an amazing job, and we’re incredibly grateful for her involvement.”

Emma Perry, #BookGivingDay

And we can't wait to hear about and see lots of wonderful books being given away to children to celebrate! Keep an eye out on Monday for our exclusive reveal of the book giving day goodies!

Happy book giving,
Mummy and the bairns

Mummy and BookBairn Book Group - The Humans/Here We Are

BookBairn and I have been enjoying books along similar themes again recently so I thought I would share in another 'Mummy and BookBai...

BookBairn and I have been enjoying books along similar themes again recently so I thought I would share in another 'Mummy and BookBairn Book Group' post. Both books we have been reading share a perspective of what it is like to live on our planet. "Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here" (from the blurb in 'Here We Are')is a good summary of both the books we have been reading.

First, I've been reading "The Humans" by Matt Haig, which is not a book that I would have thought I would have picked up had it not been recommended to me by readers I trust on Instagram. (Bear with me in the description - the concept didn't sound like my cup of tea either but just wait...) The Humans is the story of an alien who is a doppleganger for a British mathematician that has discovered something that the aliens wish he hadn't so they eliminated him and sent an agent to discover who else knew about his discover and in turn eliminate all evidence. But as the alien integrates into our human society and life he learns lots about humanity. I loved this! The insights about humanity from an outsiders perspective (via Matt Haig's brain) are absolutely fascinating. And so on point. Some of the things we do are nonsensical but they are part of social customs that we just do. Because most things we do are in pursuit of joy, of love, of happiness.

“And I knew the point of love right then.The point of love was to help you survive.The point was also to forget meaning. To stop looking and start living. The meaning was to hold the hand of someone you cared about and to live inside the present.” 

But sometimes we don't really make much sense, right? If you can suspend your disbelief and get past the alien concept of this book you will just love it!

BookBairn has been loving 'Here We Are' by Oliver Jeffers which has the subheading "Notes for Living on Planet Earth". Jeffers wrote this wonderful book for his newborn son in the hopes of passing on some words of wisdom about life on our planet. 

"Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey."

This is one of the most beautifully illustrated Olive Jeffers books (which is an incredible feat as his artwork is sensational). He explores the land, sea and sky through beautiful artwork annotated with hilarious handwritten notes. Then pages filled with humans of every shape, size and colour and animals from all over the globe. These are BookBairn's favourite pages. She loves describing what she can see - pointing at everything! He explores the contrasts of life on Earth: day and night, moving slowly and moving quickly. And finally he shares the concept he most wants to pass on: "be kind".

My favourite part of the book is the last of several quotes at the end of the book. It's by Oliver's Dad (all-round good human):

"There are only three words you need to live by, son: respect, consideration and tolerance."

And this for me is pretty wonderful. He's so right. And the fact that this is the advice his father passed on to him and he included it in a book that he wrote for his own son is just so perfectly poetic. I love it.
This is a book that everyone should own. It's beautiful, and it's genius and it's going to be my go-to new baby gift.

These two books will make you question, wonder and gasp at their perfectly accurate depiction of life on Earth.

Happy reading, 
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*Disclaimer: The Humans was a library book that I sadly returned recently - I might buy a copy when the urge to re-read inevitably arrives. We own Here We Are. And no one will prise it out of our hands. Buy a copy. You won't regret it.

Non-Fiction for Tots: Animal Habitats

If you are a regular reader you will know that one of the things I love to share most are great non-fiction books for tots ! Long-gone...

If you are a regular reader you will know that one of the things I love to share most are great non-fiction books for tots! Long-gone are the days of stodgy and heavy non-fiction books that have facts and photos. Non-fiction for children in general, and specifically for toddlers, has developed into a stylish and engaging genre in children's book publishing.

And this brilliant series by Madeline Rodgers is the perfect example of how non-fiction for toddlers can be graphic and exciting to explore! Aimed specifically at toddlers, each book in the series features five animals from six different environments and all are explored through rhyme and pictures. Explore the polar regions in 'The Polar Pack' meeting penguins, polar bears, snowy owls, a walrus and reindeer. In 'The Safari Set' you can follow a hippo, giraffe, elephant, lion and zebra across the plains of Africa. 'The Jungle Crew' features a monkey, tiger, tree frog, parrot and toucan swinging, prowling, jumping and flying through the heights of the jungle rainforest. And three new releases - 'The Forest Folk', 'The Marine Team' and 'The Sky Guys' extend the series across a variety of environments from the depths of the ocean, the coral reef, the forests of America, the woodlands of the UK; and share birds as varied as flamingos, owls and pelicans. These books really have all the world covered!

Each animal stars across four pages with a short-playful rhyme that tells children a little about the creatures they are exploring! And the final page in the board book has each animal saying hello and telling a short fact about themselves.

The illustrations are vibrant and modern that will fascinate young readers and the colourful and bright depiction of the environments will more than likely have them wanting to explore the world! They are a brilliant design-led collection that will entertain as much as the educate.

And BookBairn can testify that these are well designed for tots: the board books are super-durable and can endure even the hardiest reading - from being used to make a tower to being stepping stones for BookBairn's play - she loves them to play with as much as she enjoys the illustrations and rhyme inside. She particularly enjoys looking at the back cover and seeing which animals will be inside and then trying to find them inside.

We were accidentally sent two sets of these books so I donated them to BookBairn's nursery when they were doing a project on animal habitats and they have been a huge hit! I love it when we can put the perfect books into little hands. That's what it's all about!

Happy reading, book-tower-building, stepping stone playing and animal spotting!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*Disclaimer: These books were sent to us by the publisher and we were truly delighted to receive them. Words and opinions are our own.

Party Animals

Are you about partied out? We certainly are! Christmas chaos, followed by New Year fun and a couple of birthday parties thrown into the m...

Are you about partied out? We certainly are! Christmas chaos, followed by New Year fun and a couple of birthday parties thrown into the mix and we have truly danced our socks off, and played enough games of pass the parcel than we could unwrap. But seriously, it has been lots of fun.

We have one party invitation left to join the 'Party Animals' by Clea Dieudonne and it looks like a party to remember! Part narrative story and part seek-and-find this book will provide hours and hours of fun! As you unfold each page of the book part of the story is revealed - it's the hoopoe's birthday and she's having a huge party - and you get a suggestion of which animals to spot. The animals are performing an amazing balancing act, piling one on top of the other to form a teetering tower of creatures: some in fancy dress, some putting up decorations, helping with gifts and organising the food.

BookBairn loves finding the creatures that she is familiar with like the penguin, puffin, lion, crocodile, lemur, etc. But what I find fascinating about this book (if you can call it a book in the traditional sense of the word) is that it is full of less commonly celebrated creatures - armadillo, opossum, komodo dragon, alpaca, skunk, porcupine, etc. Fortunately, each page of text is bordered with mini illustrations of the animals that can been seen on that page (or that fold-out) so that dumbfounded parents, like myself, will be able to identify all the creatures without having to guess or look them all up - there's nothing worse than having a child ask a question that you have no hope of answering, right?

The illustrations are bright and colourful, and the creatures are a fun interpretation of the real thing. The party scene is certainly fun and every time we read it I spot something new and fascinating. BookBairn still finds comfort in re-finding the same things but every time I draw her attention to something different she looks for it again the next time. Mostly I think she enjoys the size of this one and unfolding it across the whole floor - such a novelty! And such fun!

This would make a great party gift!

Happy reading! And enjoy the post-party clear up!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*Disclaimer: These books were sent to us by the publisher and we were truly delighted to receive them. Words and opinions are our own.

KidLit Picks December Round-Up - Diversity

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” — Piglet (A.A. Milne). Books have a magical power to transport ...

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” — Piglet (A.A. Milne).

Books have a magical power to transport the reader into any world at any given point in time. We can sit at home and become completely immersed in somebody else's life. Best of all, books help to expand our understanding of different people and cultures as well as ourselves.

When we read a story as a child, it becomes a part of our own identity. Reading a diverse range of books exposes children to an array of characters with different perspectives. This helps give children a heart for everyone, thus assisting in developing empathy.

This month, the @kidlitpicks book club is featuring books about embracing our differences, a theme chosen and introduced by @booksandbabycinos. It is our hope to create a collection of books that celebrate the diversity of people around the world so that all children might see themselves reflected in stories as well as read about people they’ve never met.

Perfectly Norman, by Tom Percival"Norman’s wings represent any difference our children may have. The yellow coat he hides them under embodies the many emotions that accompany a fear of being accepted. What we learn from Norman's story is that we’re not made from cookie cutters, we’re not meant to be exactly alike. Difference is beautiful and perfectly perfect.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

This Is NOT a Valentine, by ​​Carter Higgins and Lucy Ruth Cummins
“Maybe the sweetest, least saccharine, most touching book about love that ever existed." — Mel from @spiky_penelope

The Lion Inside, by Rachel Bright and‎ Jim Field
“This book has long been a favourite in our house –– beautiful and inspiring verses, illustrations that jump off the page and a great message to take away with you makes it picture book perfection for me.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

How to Say I Love You in Five Languages, by Kenard Pak
"This simple but meaningful book embraces love around the world! Leah from @astoryaday

Odd Dog Out, by Rob Biddulph
“This is a brilliant ‘coming of age’, learning to accept oneself story for the tiniest tots.” —  Kim from @bookbairn

Most People, by Michael Leannah and Jennifer Morris
“With a thoughtful author's note, we can't recommend this book enough.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

Lots, by Marc Martin
“It caught my eye and I haven't been able to take my eyes off it ever since.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

Under The Love Umbrella, by Davina Bell and Allison CosployFor children and parents to see their families represented and celebrated in stories is a vital.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

Home and Away, by John Marsden
“The global refugee crisis and the acceptance of a diverse population is highlighted in this powerful and incredibly moving story of a typical (wait for it!) Australian family forced to flee as refugees when war ravages our country.”  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal, by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis
"It was after reading Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis, that I realized how worldwide and culturally rich this tale actually is. " — Wendy from @homegrownreader

What a great selection of books from the @kidlitpicks team! If you want to find some more books about embracing your little ones uniqueness check out our blog post 'I am Unique'.

In January, the @kidlitpicks team are focussing on 'New Beginnings' theme and I'm excited to see what everyone chooses!

“This is the beginning of anything you want.” —Author Unknown.

Every New Year is synonymous with a new beginning, we set resolutions and goals for the year ahead which sometimes leads to challenging transitions in our children’s lives. Perhaps this will be the year your child starts a new school, welcomes a new sibling or relocates to a new home. No matter the new challenge in your child’s life, picture books are a great way to inspire, motivate and encourage children with the challenges of new beginnings.

This month, the #kidlitpicks theme is New Beginnings and we are excited to share some great picture books that explore the concepts of transitions or fresh starts. We hope that you will join us by tagging your recommendations with #kidlitpicks_newbeginnings

In our team email it was signed off with this lovely quote and I really wanted to share that with you too:

"The New Year lies ahead, with books to be read and adventures to be led. May you find fulfilment and joy, all year long!" 

Happy reading,
Mummy and the bairns xx

Most Anticipated Picture Books 2018

The beginning of a new year is always full of excitement, anticipation and planning for me. I love to think about all the adventures we m...

The beginning of a new year is always full of excitement, anticipation and planning for me. I love to think about all the adventures we might get up, the places we might explore and the goals we went to achieve. It's the time of looking forward and I love that! So, with that in mind, I thought I would try and come up with a list of some of the picture books that we are most looking forward to getting our hands on this year. This list is by no means exhaustive as when I was researching this blog post I wrote a list of over forty books that I'm looking forward to seeing but I thought, for the sake of my sanity and yours I'd limit it to a top ten. But if you are interested in learning more about which picture books are being released this year I am hosting a Twitter chat this evening at 8pm with some fellow picture book bloggers and fans and I'm sure there will be a rather exhaustive and exhausting list of greta reads to look forward to. You will be able to catch up on the whole chat by searching for the hashtag #2018picturebooks

But without further ado, here are the books we are looking forward to:

Goodnight Mr Panda - Steve Antony (11 January)

BookBairn loves 'Please, Mr Panda' (it even featured on our Best Reads of 2017 list) and we are really looking forward to collecting the rest in the series. But it's even more exciting that there will be a brand new book starring Mr Panda released this year. Always exciting to go on a new adventure with a familiar friend. 

My Colourful Chameleon - Leonie Roberts and Mike Byrne (Paperback Release 25th January)

I feel like I am cheating slightly by including this one because I have already seen inside it as the lovely author sent me a digital copy in preparation for our taking part in the blog tour the week of this book's release (we will be on 27th January). It tells the story of a troublesome chameleon who keeps changing colour and disappearing from sight. It is a beautifully rhythmic and rhyming text which I know BookBairn is going to enjoy hearing read aloud and the illustrations are simply colourful and delightful. I think BookBairn is going to enjoy learning about this little colour-changing chameleon!

Oi Goat - Kes Grey and Jim Field (22 February)

We just love the 'Oi' series of books and I am really exciting to get a little bit more as part of the World Book Day £1 book promotion. You can't really argue with another Kes and Jim creation starring hilarious characters with rhymes that you know will make you laugh out loud for the bargain price of £1 (or free with your child's £1 book token). What a perfect combination! Can't wait to read it! (Sorry non-UK readers but I don't think this will be released abroad!)

Almost Anything - Sophy Henn (1 March)

You know that we are big fans of Sophy Henn's books (and even bigger fans after I met her in person and she was just the loveliest) so we are very excited to meet a new character of hers. (As well as two new Ted books being released this year). Described as "an empowering book about the power of self-belief" and with Sophy's magic touch at creating characters that children relate to, this is bound to be wonderful! We've already framed her Christmas postcard starring George the rabbit for The Wee Page Turner's new bedroom so he's already a favourite!

What to do with a Box - Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban (Board Book Release 6 March)

I suppose I am cheating slightly by including this one as this one has already been released in hardback but I love the sound of the board book which will apparently literally take the shape of a box to bring the concept to life! All about the imaginations of child with a box this promises to be a magically adventure with wonderful rhythmic and poetic text. If you want a sneak peek you could have a look for the hardback version in the bookshop but I am waiting for the board book!

Crash! Boom! A Maths Tale - Robie H. Harris and Chris Chatterton (3 May)

BookBairn just loves building towers and The Wee Page Turner loves knocking them down. So this book about building a tower as tall as an elephant that introduces simple maths concepts of counting, estimating, questioning, measuring, and predicting will be a great companion to their game. I love it when books support learning at the level that children actually play. And I love Chris Chatterton illustrations so this one is bound to make a crash into our bookcase!

How to Be a Lion - Ed Vere (28 June)

If you are a regular reader you will know that BookBairn loves her Louis the lion toy - he goes everywhere with us and, in her own words "Louis is my best friend". So any books that have lions in them are bound to be popular on our bookshelves. And Ed Vere books are always enchanting with illustrations that make you laugh out loud. 

Pink is for Boys - Eda Kaban and Robb Pearlman (28 June)

One of the things I want to add to the blog this year is a new feature - the Little Feminist Book Club. There is a real rise in feminist literature for both big and little readers at the moment and I think it's a great message to spread to empower our girls but we also need to raise our boys as feminists too. I love the sound of this new picture book which "rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow." Sounds like the perfect book for our little book club!

Mixed A Colourful Story - Arree Chung (3 July)

We love books about colours, there are quite a few on our shelves that get read over and over again. And I think this one will fit in nicely. In the beginning, there were three colours - red, blue and yellow. But they didn't always get along and eventually they decide to separate until a never-before-seen colour comes along to save the day. Described as "inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences" I can't wait to read this one.

If Polar Bears Disappeared - Lily Williams (28 August)

BookBairn really enjoyed watching Frozen Planet this year and whilst penguins were her favourite she also enjoyed watching the polar bears play. Coupled with the fact she has begun to learn a bit about global warming through seeing the cracks in the ice in Happy Feet Two, I think she will enjoy this one. I want to raise BookBairn to be a thoughtful and responsible citizen and I think this book will be a great way to support he in becoming that!

So there you have it. Ten books we are excited about this year! As I mentioned pop along to the Twitter chat tonight if you are free, I'd love to meet you and find out what you are excited about reading this year!

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Happy New Year, 
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Release dates are for UK release provided by publisher but may be subject to changes.