So last week was well... a tough one! All was going well, I was getting the hang of solo parenting, taking both kids out to soft play, fee...

Baby's First Books - Rebecca - The.Bookplate

Monday, May 29, 2017 BookBairn 10 Comments

So last week was well... a tough one! All was going well, I was getting the hang of solo parenting, taking both kids out to soft play, feeling ok about managing them both when things took a very downward turn. The Wee Page Turner was overly sleepy and not feeding well and just off-colour, so we took him to the doctor who, because he is so little, sent us to hospital who tested him for everything and put him on antibiotics as a precaution until the results came back and, because he is so little, they put him in the High Dependency Unit. It all escalated really fast. He had a very common virus that most children now get vaccinated for at their 8 week check-up but of course he's only four weeks old so hasn't had it yet. We are home now and he is back to his usual self. But gosh the emotions I've been through this week. And thank goodness for grandparents! BookBairn wouldn't have had any fun if it hadn't been for them! Thank you all four of you! The week ended on a high though as we went to see the local duck race and hundreds of yellow plastic ducks floated down the river. What great fun!

I'm handing over this weeks recommendation to Rebecca from the.bookplate. Rebecca serves up some fantasy recommendations on her table and her photos are a feast to behold! And I love her post so much I plan to write my own 'A (Bookish) Mother’s Wish' when I get a little more time to think about it!

A (Bookish) Mother’s Wish

The first time I held my oldest baby in my arms, the enormity of the situation hit me. I was being tasked with the responsibility to not only teach this little person everything there is to know about life, but also to mold how they think and behave, largely craft who they are, through my own example. To think that I was accountable for that kind of responsibility had me feeling out of my depth and seriously lacking.

Unwilling to throw in the towel (and unable – there’s no putting that baby back in!), I realized that I could use books to help me instill values and important lessons to my children with little to no effort on my part. We could use this wonderful combination of snuggles, laughter, and board books to say what I sometimes cannot verbalize and offer questions that we can use to explore ideas that are unfamiliar or daunting.

But even more than preparing them for the world, it’s my belief that sharing this reading time is really about just one thing: love.  Showing your kids their importance by setting aside your phone, chores, or other worthy pursuits in order to share a simple act of kindness; this means the world to them, which is ironic because they are your world.

In keeping with that thought, here is a list of books with themes that say some of my greatest wishes for my children:
Be yourself– Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andrea
Have funWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen
Imagine - Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson
Find good friendsA Color of My Own, by Leo Lionni
You are specialOn the Night you were Born, by Nancy Tillman
You are mine - Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox
Keep tryingKitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
Don’t be scaredWhat was I Scared of?, by Dr. Seuss
Spread kindnessThe Pout Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen
I’m always here – Llama Llama, Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
Be honestThis is not my Hat, by Jon Klassen
Be sillyMoo, Baa, La La La, by Sandra Boynton
Forgive and forgetLittle Blue Truck, by Alice Schertle
CreateIf I Built a Car, by Chris Van Deusen
ShareThe Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood
I love you – I Love you Through and Through, by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak
My love is unconditionalNo, David, by David Shannon
You have great potentialLittle Acorn Grows Up, by Edward Gibbs
You can change the world The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown

Obviously not every book that we’ve loved has had a moral or a purpose. Here are some of our “just-because” favorites:
Hello, Ninja, by N.D. Wilson
I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom
Freight Train, by Donald Crews
The Fire Engine Book, by Tibor Gergely
Wow, it’s a Cow!, by Trudy and Jay Harris
What Does Cow Say?, by Joan Holub
ABC is for Circus, by Patrick Hruby
Each Peach, Pear, Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
1 is One, by Tasha Tudor
Oh, What a Busy Day, by Gyo Fujikawa
The Rooster Struts, by Richard Scarry

Happy Reading!
Rebecca, from the The.Bookplate

Thank you so much Rebecca! What a great list of books to start a child's library! Many of these I've heard of but, I'm almost ashamed to admit, we actually only have one of these books - and we only have it because of the recommendation from one of the previous contributors to our Baby's First Books Series - On the Night You Were Born. We will need to get collecting some of these ones too. And, as I said at the start I feel inspired to write my own 'Bookish Mother's Wish' list!

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.

Love Mummy and the Wee Page Turner xx

How to find Rebecca:
Rebecca has a wonderful Instagram feed and you can find her by clicking here


BookBairn got a new pair of shoes this week - they are gold and have butterflies on them (they are for a couple of weddings we are going ...

What Can Your Feet Do?

Thursday, May 25, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

BookBairn got a new pair of shoes this week - they are gold and have butterflies on them (they are for a couple of weddings we are going to this year) and she genuinely loves them so much she wanted to wear them in bed. There was almost a toddler tantrum when I made he take them off. She has been practising her dance moves whilst wearing them. She is going to be a shoe-girl just like her mummy!
Not only does she adore her new shoes, she fascinated by a new book from the Favourites Shelf: 'So Many Feet' by Nichole Mara and Alexander Vidal. When this book first arrived from the publisher I will admit I said to Daddy BookBairn, "a whole book about feet? Sounds a bit boring" but I will also admit I was completely wrong! 

This is a great non-fiction book about all sorts of animals and their different feet. From the slow feet of the giant tortoise to the fast feet of the ostrich, from the dancing feet of the shovel-shouted lizard to the hanging feet of the sloth, from the thumping feet of the elephants to the soft feet of the tigers: who knew there were so many variations of feet in the animal kingdom? Starring sixteen animal species, each page introduces you to an new adjective to describe their feet followed by a sentence explaining the special properties of them. And the final page asks the question: "what can your feet do?" and BookBairn just loves this part! She tells me her feet can dance and then shows off her signature dance moves.

The illustrations are incredibly appealing too. Each page takes a different colour to be the centre of the colour palette and keeping simple shapes and shadows for the background, the animals and their feet really stand out. The style of illustration is also really interesting with lots of straight lines and simple details: they almost look like stencils. They certainly appeal to BookBairn as we've read this one over and over and it's even snuck its way into the living room several times for daytime reading too.

This is a great non-fiction book for little readers, a genre which I'm glad to see is developing beyond the traditional first word primers, which are important too, but for bright sparks, like BookBairn they don't have much longevity. Wee learners are never too young to find out about the world around them if it's done at their level and 'So Many Feet' is pitched perfectly for toddlers who want to know a little more about animals and their features. A great addition to our library!

What can your feet do? For now I'm taking a moment to put mine up and enjoy a little rest whilst BookBairn dances her cares away!

Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.


Wow! Time is flying in so fast. I can't believe our Wee Page Turner is going to be a month old this week. We've had some great ...

Baby's First Books - Erin - Raising Mom

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 BookBairn 1 Comments

Wow! Time is flying in so fast. I can't believe our Wee Page Turner is going to be a month old this week. We've had some great successes over the last week as well as some challenging days. Daddy went away overnight to a wedding (and had a brilliant time) and I was left with two bairns to look after. Fortunately I wasn't single handed as Grandparents BookBairn came to help out (thank you both). And The Wee Page Turner, after all it was a night alone with him that I was worried about, was amazing and slept for 7 and a half hours in a single stretch, couldn't believe it! So I felt a huge mummy achievement to end the week. Other highlights of the week include Papa BookBairn reading Papasaurus to BookBairn for bedtime, enjoying a meal out at a restaurant and blowing bubbles with BookBairn in the garden and watching her 'blow' bubbles by waving the wand around. I'll not mention the 'low points', let's be realistic there were low points, but they are now forgotten in a sleep-deprivation haze. Thanks for all the lovely messages this week! They keep me smiling during those low moments!

You may remember that some time ago I wrote a blog collaboration with Erin from 'Raising Mom' about one of my favourite books, Feelings and ever since then I've been an avid reader of her blog. She shares so many great sounding books that I've never heard of before which is fascinating. I always thought I had my finger on the pulse of children's literature but it seems not! And I was delighted when Erin agreed to write a blog post for us for our 'baby's first books' series, I just knew she would share something that I hadn't heard of but would need to buy immediately after reading her review. Over to Erin...

REVIEW OF THE BOOK: Have You Seen Birds?
Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrator: Barbara Reid


Through Joanne Oppenheim’s engaging poetic verse and Barbara Reid’s intricate Plasticine sculpture illustrations, this title lyrically portrays the widely varying birds seen throughout the four seasons in different habitats (i.e., sea birds, fishing birds, marsh birds, etc.). The Plasticine illustrations bring an interesting 3-D look to the pages. Many of the scenes are depicted from the perspective of a bird.  The text is placed in various locations on each page in order to best fit the changing size and location of the illustrations.  It is uniquely set up to be a cross-over between non-fiction, poetry, and a picture book. This beautiful title is a re-release of the original 1986 book and includes a new title page and a list (on the last page) of the breeds of birds depicted in the various illustrations.

This picture book has received numerous awards, including:
•    Winner, Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award
•    Winner, Canada Council Children's Literature Prize (Re-named the Governor General's Literacy Award)
•    Winner, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

My Experience:

My 3-year-old LOVES this book!  We have read it upwards of twenty times.  The 2-year-old twins grab this from the shelf and pour over the illustrations.  It has been fun to watch them reach out and try to touch the realistic-looking 3-D-reminiscent Plasticine sculpture-type illustrations.  The text employs a wide variety of descriptive language that has helped increase my toddlers' vocabulary - we stopped to further discuss several of the words!  I highly recommend this title as a must-have for preschool and beginning independent reader collections.


 I am so grateful that this new edition now includes a list of all the birds illustrated on each page (list is located on the last page)
•    3-D-like illustrations that leap off the page
•    A wonderful introduction to poetry - the text is gentle and engaging
•    A wide variety of descriptive language gives a lot of opportunity for introducing new vocabulary



Why/How Use it with kids:
•    Play a guessing game trying to identify the birds on each page (use the legend at the end to verify your guesses)
•    Research more about any birds that interest your child
•    Identify those birds that may live in your area (research may be required) and try to spot them (introduction to bird-watching)
•    Create and illustrate a poem describing another type(s) of animal (modelled on this book's format) - do it in poster or book or e-book format, etc.

Thank you so much for sharing this one Erin! I think BookBairn would really enjoy it too as she just loves birds! 
Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.
Happy Reading, 
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx

Bio For Erin

Wife. Adoptive mom to toddler twins and a 3 year old. Career as a Teacher-Librarian temporarily on pause. Reads tons of books to the kids. Longs for two minutes alone in the bathroom. Lives for sloppy kisses. Figuring out life on the fly with laughs, friends, and grace!
I am a “mature” mom – jumped into this in my very late 30s and am now starting to explore my 40s ;-). My hubby is 7 years older, and we joke that our poor kids will have to keep explaining the two old grey-haired fogies at their graduations to all their classmates. Ah well, just think how wise we’ll be by then!

Book Reviews: As a Teacher-Librarian and AVID reader, one of my main filters for understanding the world is through books (in all formats).  At this stage, I use a lot of books to help my kids explore and understand the world, too.  I want to share what I’ve learned with you. As a former Senior Education Specialist, I have led resource review and selection for a major urban school board, was seconded to a provincial Department of Education as a Manager for Literacy, Numeracy & School Libraries, and have my Master’s degree in Information Literacy and Adult Education.  I’ve been a teacher for 18 years, a Teacher-Librarian for 14 years and am passionate about sharing my knowledge. I am a Director on the board of and do professional reviews for a children’s book review journal: Resource Links.
Join me on the journey as I explore being a “mature” mom to multiples, toddlers, and adopted children through the lens of children’s books.  I’m learning a lot – the tables are turned on this teacher!

Follow Erin at or on
Instagram at
Twitter at @RaisingMom3
Facebook at
Pinterest at


Wow! Spring has finally (!!) sprung. My garden has plenty colourful flowers in it (thanks Papa and Gma BookBairn), the butterflies and b...

Fly! Little birdy.

Saturday, May 20, 2017 BookBairn 11 Comments

Wow! Spring has finally (!!) sprung. My garden has plenty colourful flowers in it (thanks Papa and Gma BookBairn), the butterflies and bumblebees have appeared, little bunny rabbits bounce around the garden (and eat my flowers - wee rascal!), and the sun is shining! Now that the weather is better and The Wee Page Turner will sleep in his pram we can get out and about and also into the garden to explore.

BookBairn is obsessed with nature at the moment. She's fascinated by all things beastie, flower and birdy! She loves spotting the birds in the trees and listening for their bird song. So it's no wonder that when 'Fly' by Xavier Deneux arrived in the post it fascinated her from her very first read.

'Fly' is the newest release in the 'Touch Think Learn' series that we previously reviewed here. But this one is a little different. Similar to the previous books in the series, the illustrations are simple and colourful with plain white backgrounds and they feature the cut-outs and raised elements that encourage little hands to interact with the book. But unlike the previous simple word-primers 'Fly' tells a story. And you need to interact and move the cut-outs around to make the story come to life.

On the first page, we meet a little yellow bird who has found a tree to make her home in. And you have to lift the yellow birdy out and move the character into the tree! Then a little red birdy pops along and he moves in too (and again you can literally move him in). Next you can help them build their nest by moving the twigs around, and help their babies hatch from the eggs by removing the shell pieces. And finally, of course, you can lift out on the of babies and make it fly off into the sky!

I've mentioned some great books for getting toddlers to interact with a story (you can find them here) but this has to be one of my favourites. It's innovative, well-thought out and, frankly, just great fun!

BookBairn enjoys playing with the little birdies both as part of the story but also as separate play-pieces. I just hope we don't lose them when she's playing with them away from the book. She has a tendency to hide things at the moment (she just loves hide and seek) and then she can't remember where they are and Daddy and I have no idea! Fingers crossed these little birdies continue to nest in their book.

This is such a great series - we can't wait for more!
Happy reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.


It's been a while since I posted about our top five reads from our Favourites Shelf. It's partly because the shelves were out of a...

Favourites Shelf - May 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

It's been a while since I posted about our top five reads from our Favourites Shelf. It's partly because the shelves were out of action for a while whilst Daddy BookBairn re-painted the room from pink to a boy and girl friendly 'soothing white' (and yes the name did tempt us to choose it in the hope it will help soothe BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner to sleep). But we have still been reading bedtime and naptime stories galore so here are some current favourite reads.

Please, Mr Panda by Steve Antony 

Every Sunday morning BookBairn and her Daddy go off for a walk to the park and they pop to the shops to get a doughnut for Daddy and a cookie for BookBairn. It's their special time together. And BookBairn was delighted to read this book where doughnuts play such an important role! Mr Panda has a box of doughnuts that he wants to share but many of the other animals don't seem to have very good manners and are rather bossy and demanding. "I want..." "Give me..." they are all forgetting the magic word (which BookBairn is surprisingly good at using herself thank goodness!). Until the final creature that is and his reward for using that little magic word is great... turns out Mr Panda doesn't even like doughnuts so he shares the whole box! A simple story with a simple message! The illustrations are also lovely with the colourful doughnuts the star of each page with a black and white (the illustrator is colourblind so perhaps this is the reason for his monochrome choices) animal requesting the doughnuts. BookBairn really loves this one and we've read it dozens of times since we borrowed it from the library. We might need to get a copy of this one to add to our collection!

Papasaurus by Stephan Lomp

For anyone who read our Papa Penguin review a few weeks ago, you will know that BookBairn has a great fondness for her Papa! And we were delighted when 'Papasaurus' arrived in the post. Not only that but the Babysaurus and the Papasaurus are playing one of BookBairn's favourite games: hide and seek! Babysaurus is counting and Papasaurus is hiding and when Babysaurus can't find him she asks all the other dinosaurs in the wild jungle if they have seen him. We won't give away the ending other than to say Babysaurus finds his Papa in the most surprising place! We love the illustrations of all the different dinosaurs in this one and the black background, though unusual for children's books, makes them really stand out. Each dino is cute but true to the characteristics you would expect of their species so provides a little early learning too. I just learned this is a sequel too so we will be on the lookout for 'Mamasaurus' by the same author/illustrator.

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

I can't believe we haven't featured this one before!! It was one of BookBairn's first ever favourites and we listen to the audiobook (and song) on a daily basis in the car. So much so she can pretty much recite the whole story by heart! This is a great story about a little ladybird who overhears two thieves plan to steal the fine prize cow from the farm and how the animals hatch a plot of their own to thwart them. Packed full of animal noises and brilliant rhyming prose this is a must read for all toddlers! The illustrations are perfect and the glittery ladybird on every page creates an extra little bit of fun for tiny fingers. If you haven't picked this one up yet you absolutely must find a copy! And we also recommend the audiobook!

Playtime with Ted by Sophy Henn
We recently reviewed 'Bedtime with Ted', the other book in this duology, and as we loved it so much I ordered a copy of 'Playtime' for BookBairn too! As brilliant as the 'Bedtime', starring the terrifically imaginative little toddler Ted, 'Playtime' is a great companion story. Ted finds a box to play in and under each flap you reveal what he imagines the box is: a submarine, a racecar, a rocket. But BookBairn's favourite is the big yellow digger! She loves diggers at the moment! Sophy Henn does a wonderful job (again!) capturing the world of a toddler and bringing it to life in the pages of her books. And her illustrations are great for little ones with enough details to discuss but without overfilling the page with superfluous extras. Sophy Henn's books feature on our Favourites Shelf on a regular basis so well worth keeping an eye out for her books in the library or bookshops.

Dino Tails by Anne Wilkinson (for Jellycat)
This is The Wee Page Turner's first contribution to the Favourites Shelf (though it doesn't technically sit on the shelf as it's a cloth book!). As you can imagine when it comes to new baby gifts people are wary of sending us books: we have so many already! But one brave soul (Book Lover Jo) sent us this brilliant cloth book and both BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner love it! BookBairn likes to describe the touch and freely tails to her little brother and he likes to feel the different textures. It's the beginning of them reading stories together! And for that reason it makes the list of favourites even if it's not actually on the shelf - it's on the playmat so we have it at hand to grab easily!

Hope you've enjoyed reading about our favourite books of the moment. Despite all the newborn chaos I have kept changing the books on the shelf but haven't always had time to review them on here. You can always see our latest 'favourites shelf' on our social media feeds (linked in the header at the top of the pages). 

What are your favourite reads at the moment? 

Happy reading, Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner x

*Some of these books were sent to us by publishers for review and others are ones that we have borrowed from the library or purchased ourselves. These are our geniune re-reads so all opinions are our own.


So I survived my first week where Daddy went back to work! I feel a bit like I cheated as I only had one day where I was actually fully ...

Baby's First Books - Acorn Books

Monday, May 15, 2017 BookBairn 6 Comments

So I survived my first week where Daddy went back to work! I feel a bit like I cheated as I only had one day where I was actually fully on my own with two children as I was supported by Papa BookBairn and Daddy (who worked from home so BookBairn could still go swimming). But still I did most of the childcare for most of the week. And of course the day I was fully on my own I set up the double buggy and took both bairns to the library - where else could we go for our first outing as three? The librarians were amazing - they cooed over the Wee Page Turner and let BookBairn run off some steam and play with they toys, colour in and choose lots of stories. It really felt like a safe place for us to go for our first trip out. And no one cried! I did it! And the rest of the day went well. Currently crossing my fingers that next week will go as well! Thank you everyone who sent me a good luck message or a message to check in and see I was ok. It means a lot to be supported and that people understand it's scary looking after two when it's all so new. So sincerely, thank you!
Today I'm handing over to 'Acorn Books' to share one of her favourite books for babies. Acorn Books is a brilliant blog where she reviews books with her two boys and I love reading her posts as she has quite similar taste to us (though a slightly older reader means she also has some great recommendations for us to look forward to!) and her reviews are spot on! She also has a great selection of diverse books and books celebrating Jewish faith and festivals which I just love to see! I'll hand over  now...
IMG_20170417_204027_289Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published by Walker Books is definitely one that we would recommend to share with a new baby.
In this beautiful book we're introduced to lots of different babies being born all over the world in lots of different places. A wonderful rhyming text flows through the book with repetitive lines that create a wonderful rhythm:
"There was one little baby who was born far away and another who was born on the very next day. And both of these babies, as everyone knows, has ten little fingers and ten little toes."
This book is one I hold a special place for as it's one that I bought for my youngest when he was a tiny baby. It became part of our routine at bedtime and one that we still read regularly. Here's why we think it is so perfect:

  • It's short enough for a quick bedtime read so even little babies with short attention spans can sit to listen to it.
  • The sing-song repetition creates a lovely rhythm throughout the story, perfect for babies to hear.
  • There are opportunities to interact with your baby on every page: each time the line "ten little fingers and ten little toes." is repeated you can pair it with tickles and kisses on your babies fingers and toes. It's such a joy watching them react and learning to anticipate as they get older.
  • Helen Oxenbury's charming illustrations are a real joy. The babies all have their own personalities, playful, curious and full of fun. From their chubby wrists and knees to the way they hold themselves, every detail is drawn with perfection. 

IMG_20170417_202816_856And here's my little one, comparing his ten little fingers and toes to those in the book.
Beautifully sentimental, this would be a perfect gift for a new baby and an excellent start to their library. 

Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations Anna! We don't have this one, though we have a few others by the same author, so we will need to pick up a copy! I just adore little baby fingers and toes so I love the idea of a book celebrating them!

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.

Happy Reading, 

Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx


Things have changed a lot for BookBairn over the last few weeks and the arrival of The Wee Page Turner is just one of them. She has had a ...

Big Little Girl

Thursday, May 11, 2017 BookBairn 20 Comments

Things have changed a lot for BookBairn over the last few weeks and the arrival of The Wee Page Turner is just one of them. She has had a growth spurt and her little legs now fit into her age size of leggings and trouser. Her speech has changed making her sound much more grown up: her sentence structure is far more complex as well as her increasing vocabulary including multi-syllable words like diplodocus, supermarket and screwdriver amongst many other new additions. She had started to play more imaginatively as well as more independently with her Peppa characters and Sylvanian families. And for the first time I watched her play with her best friend not just playing alongside her: they held hands as BookBairn showed the rainbows refracting on our kitchen wall, they jumped around like frogs following each other, they both fed their dollies milk together and of course BookBairn wanted every toy her friend had first!
It seems that my baby girl has grown up in more ways than simply becoming a big sister. But becoming a big sister has extra responsibilities too!

We recently took part in the Let's Talk Picture Books Exchange on Instagram and were delighted to get some books about becoming a big sister. Whilst I read these at the time, they honestly didn't mean an awful lot to BookBairn and I popped them aside until after her brother was born. And when I got one of them back out, there was a little bit of magic inside that book.

'Little Big Girl' by Claire Keane tells the story of a little girl, Matisse, who is very little in such a big world: she brushes her little teeth, puts on her little shoes and climbs into her little car seat going on big adventures across her big city! Sometimes she even needs a big nap after all her adventures (lucky for Matisse's Mummy, huh?). And then her little brother comes along and the little girl is suddenly not so little anymore. She is the big girl. He has the little fingers and the little toes and he yawns little yawns.

Reading this one for the first time after The Wee Page Turner was born I cried. It moved me. The girl in the story was my little girl who now seemed so big. It captured moments I want for my two children: playing together, reading together, going on adventures together.

The illustrations in this book differ greatly from the sorts of illustrations I usually appreciate in picture books. Instead of the bright and bold colours I normally praise, this book has a soft pastel coloured watercolour finish. With a colour palette limited to pale yellows pinks, turquoises and orange, Claire has created gentle illustrations which perfectly match the feel of her story. The children are playful and sweet and look a lot like my two (though both my little ones have brown hair rather than blonde) and some of the images match our life beautifully.

BookBairn enjoyed curling up on my lap whilst her brother slept on Daddy's shoulder (thank goodness for Daddy's shoulders - I don't know where I'd be without them) and we read this one over and over together. She liked spotting the things from her life in the illustrations: the "aquarium" (yeah, she added that to her vocabulary too), the little white mini just like her "grandma's car", 

It's hard to explain in a review how much a book can touch your heart. This one came along at the exact right moment to touch mine. For any little girls who have become big girls this book really is a must have. Beautiful, moving and inspiring. My little big girl is learning to be a big sister and with role models like Matisse as well as her friend that I mentioned at the start of the post I know she will be fine.   

Happy reading big little girls,
Mummy and BookBairn xx


Today is Daddy's last day of paternity leave and I'm beginning to feel the nerves for what things will be like tomorrow - eeekkk! ...

Baby's First Books - Chantelle - Mama Mummy Mum

Monday, May 08, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

Today is Daddy's last day of paternity leave and I'm beginning to feel the nerves for what things will be like tomorrow - eeekkk! Will I cope with two kids all day on my own? How will I get BookBairn to nursery clothed, with her packed lunch and on time? Will I manage nap time when she gets home with teeny tiny when BookBairn is so used to her story and cuddles? What if the Wee Page Turner cries every time I put him down? How will I manage to feed them and myself? And will I be in a collapsed heap by the time Daddy returns? So many doubts and questions. Being a mum of two is still so new to me.

But an experienced mum of four is Chantelle from 'Mama Mummy Mum', she has been most supportive of book bloggers, like us, through her weekly #readwithme link-up. You will often see her link-up button at the bottom of my posts and one of my favourite weekly routines is clicking through the fellow linker-uppers and reading their book reviews - both of children's books and grown up ones too! Chantelle herself reads a wide and varied range of books and I'm always fascinated to hear what she has been reading. On a personal note, her approach to raising her four beautiful girls has been really inspiring as I find my feet raising a mighty little girl of my own! Thank you Chantelle. Here are her recommendations for books that little ones must lay their hands on...

Now the lovely Kim from BookBairn very kindly asked if I'd write a short post for her while she has a little break, time to enjoy her newborn and growing family. Her original request was to recommend a book for the baby or his lovely big sister. Just to be awkward I thought I'd add a little twist to this. Not only recommending some of my favourite books but I also thought I'd share a few authors that the children should have the pleasure of checking out, some now and some when they are perhaps a bit older.

Firstly let me tell you about five of the children's stories that I love and that I've shared with all of my own kids. 

* The Hungry Caterpillar, an absolute classic, this I think should be a staple on anyones book shelf. Our copy is now almost twelve years old.

* Each Peach Pear Plum, this is a personal favourite of mine, I remember having this read to me when I started primary school and it just stuck with me. 

* Winnie the Pooh, well this loveable character should be introduced to every child shouldn't he. I was introduced to him when I was a baby and I done the same for all of my girls too.

* Peace at Last, ok this is one for the parents when you think about it, we all look forward to those peaceful moments when the kids are tucked up in bed don't we.

* Guess How Much I Love You, this book is just a really sweet tale, perfect for reading to a newborn.

So there's just a few books to think about, although if I'm honest I could recommend so many more but now onto the authors. Each one offering something slightly different, this time I'm going to try and stick with ten...

* Eric Carle
From top left: Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and Judith Kerr

* Julia Donaldson

* Oliver Jeffers

* J K Rowling

* Roald Dahl

* Jacqueline Wilson

* Dr Seuss

* Allan Ahlberg

* Enid Blyton

* Judith Kerr

I'd love to know what books and authors you'd recommend, what do you remember reading as a child, what gave you that love of books?

Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations Chantelle - we really must get a copy of 'each Peach Pear Plum' as we don't have it in our collection! And how you narrowed the list down to ten favourite authors/illustrators... well done! Some real favourites in there for readers of all ages!

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.

Happy Reading, 

Mummy, BookBairn and the Wee Page Turner!

How to find Chantelle:
Chantelle is the writer of MamaMummyMum, she is also a wife to Mr H an mum to four daughters. You can see more book posts over on her blog as well as a mix of lifestyle and parenting posts including fitness, kids and food. You can also find her over on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the messages we present to our children through literature. Unfortunately,...

KidLit Picks April Round Up

Saturday, May 06, 2017 BookBairn 2 Comments

As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the messages we present to our children through literature. Unfortunately, female characters have been historically underrepresented in children’s books and are often an easy target for gender stereotyping. Gender stereotypes are flawed because they are incomplete and marginalize those who don’t “fit” with the label. If we truly want books to be “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors” for children (as described by Rudine Sims Bishop), then we must look for books that shatter gender stereotypes and reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

That’s why we are shared books during April that feature mighty female characters—girls who are smart, strong, brave, adventurous, scientific, athletic, and messy. By choosing kids books that go against gender stereotypes, we can redefine what it means to act “like a girl."

Thanks to Jamie from @smallysbookshelf for choosing our mighty theme!

Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 
“There’s still going to be barriers, but if kids have Ada’s persistence, nothing will stop them. Ada positivity, her passion and self-belief is what gets her through, keeps her going. She’s a role model for every kid, so are her namesakes, Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie.” -- Summer from @readingisourthing

Over the Ocean, by ​​Taro Gomi
“This is a mighty girl not for her physical strength or outright bravery, but because of the power of her imagination. This girl chooses to think outside of herself for the entirety of the book, wondering about life on the other side of the ocean." -- Mel from @spiky_penelope

How to Hide a Lion, by Helen Stephens
Just the type of role model I would choose for my own mighty girl..” -- Claire from @alittlebookhabit

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu
"Boys and girls need to know that women are equally as important and integral to the growth of our nation and the world around us.-- Leah from @astoryaday

Little Big Girl, by Claire Keane
Matisse is small but can do many things and doesn't let the fact she is little stop her.” --  Kim from @bookbairn

Meet Georgia, by Marina Muun
This workbook is an invitation to beginning artists to create using O'Keeffe inspired techniques.” -- Miranda from @bookbloom

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science by Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland
Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer.” -- Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle 
"Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.” -- Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Lucia the Luchadora, by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez
I adore this story of bravery, courage, cultural legacy and crushing gender stereotypes. Lucia is the perfect example of a mighty girl with lots of moxie and spunk.” -- Charnaie from @hereweeread

Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
"There are mighty actions that are loud and visual. But there are also small actions that people can take to help those around them. These actions are just as important and just as mighty. If you're ever in doubt, all you need to look to is Annabelle." -- Wendy from @homegrownreader

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World, by Kate Pankhurst
“It's about women who have achieved amazing things by following their hearts and dreams.” -- Mel from

The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie
Picture books are such an important part in the battle against reimagining what is "not for girls." -- Shannon from @ohcreativeday

The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
In The Paper Bag Princess, the prince is the one who needs saving and the princess doesn't need the fancy dress and accessories to know she's a rock star.” -- Jamie from @smallysbookshelf

I Am series, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos
How inspiring to know these normal everyday people changed people's opinions on things that we never knew were possible. How lucky to share these lives with our children and let them know they can be anything and do anything!” -- Michelle from

Georgina and Dad the Dragon by Kathleen Pickles and Lauren Merrick
It's a gentle story made even more powerful by how subtle it is. A girl pretending to be a sword-wielding knight and having rough-and-tumble play with her dad.” -- Liam from @words.and.illustrations

What a wonderful selection of Mighty Girls!
April showers bring May flowers. Or so the saying goes. And so we ease into the season of life and renewal, casting aside the heavy coat of winter. May means more time outdoors, savoring a heightened awareness of Mother Earth's beauty. Children, from their earliest days, bring us flowers. Plucking colorful stems (be they weeds or not) from ground level—extending their clutched fist to us in a generous offering, the tiniest representation of affection.

Georgia O'Keeffe said "Nobody sees a flower, really. It is so small it takes time. We haven't time." Maybe that's why children gather flowers, bestowing them at every turn, because they aren't in a rush. The flower waits for them and they are eager to be present in the face of beauty. Still, we give flowers for births. For deaths. For celebrations. And sorrow. We weave flowers into crowns and wear them in our hair. We send them in the mail and plant them in our gardens. We make them out of paper to preserve them a bit longer. And even in our rush, we find beauty in blossoms. Not because they ask anything of us, but simply because they exist. We find glints of happiness in flowers of all variety and learn about life through the process of planting, pruning, cutting, giving, and enjoying them.

Celebrate with @kidlitpicks, by gathering your most beloved books about flowers and tagging them #kidlitpicks and #flowerbooks throughout May.

Happy reading!
Mummy and BookBairn xx