Over the last week or two BookBairn did something unthinkable. She stopped reading. No interest in book post. No bedtime stories. No pulli...

TV Characters in Books

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

Over the last week or two BookBairn did something unthinkable. She stopped reading. No interest in book post. No bedtime stories. No pulling books off the shelves. No finding her sprawled out reading books. No babyled reading. No book mess. I was distraught.

But fortunately reading has resumed! I can only assume it was a phase. Now she wakes up and the first thing she wants to do is read a book. She drags them across the house to find me to read them to her. She makes a huge book mess! Phew!

And who do we have to thank for this return to reading? That blasted Peppa Pig. I'm generally not one for TV character books but I've got to give this one it's dues because it reignited her interest in reading. I've never bought any TV character books because quite honestly I do not like them. I find them boring. The illustrations are straight out of the TV show and the storylines are too. When you've watched them over and over the last thing you want to do is read them over and over. But we have acquired some as part of the Puffin Summer Reading #ByBook project last year and as gifts. BookBairn often chooses them from the library too because she recognises the characters and likes them.

So I don't like them. But I do see their value. And how valuable they have been to me this week. My lovely best friend and mama-extraordinaire from '3's a crowd' put it better than I could:

"I like TV character books in general as they allow them to tell a story on characters they're so familiar with, rather than when they're on tv; allowing them to be mini storytellers and develop pre reading skills. However, I don't enjoy them as much as non tv character books as they don't allow you to learn about a character from scratch through the words and pictures of a talented author/illustrator - one of the most magical things that books can do."

So yes, all books have their place. Personally if I'm going to read a book over and over again I'd prefer it was one that I enjoyed. But at the end of the day BookBairn chooses what we read and after my recent experience I'm just glad that we are reading. No matter what it is we are reading. Character books have their place on our shelves too.

Our favourites are undoubtedly Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee and Bing. I also like that BookBairn an extend her enjoyment of these stories using apps. The Peppa Pig book we have here has a great app 'Peppa Goes Around the World' is brilliant as the story is read aloud to her and she can make the characters do things before they move on to the next page. Hey Duggee's 'Sandcastle Badge' app is also well used in our house.

Do you have any favourite character books? And how do you feel about them?

Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER We were sent both the Hey Duggee and the Peppa Pig book from the publisher and won the Bing book in an online competition. We have read several others from the library. I purchased the apps myself.


Every Friday, The Happy Book Club hosts a twitter chat using the hashtag #top5friday where a group of picture book bloggers and enthusia...

Top 5 Baby Books

Friday, June 23, 2017 BookBairn 17 Comments

Every Friday, The Happy Book Club hosts a twitter chat using the hashtag #top5friday where a group of picture book bloggers and enthusiasts share our favourite books on a particular theme or topic. Last week, I was asked to choose a theme and I thought since I have been sharing some great baby's first books as part of our guest blogger feature, it would be nice to share some of my own favourites. Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list given I am only allowed to choose five. And I have sort of cheated by choosing some series rather than individual books but I hope you won't mind.

Me by Emma Dodd

For anyone who has followed the blog you will know that we love Emma Dodd's animal series and regularly read them at bedtime. Our board book 'Me' is now looking rather worn (but secretly I'm quite happy about that because the board version doesn't have the foil pages that the paperback does so I will happily replace it). This is a beautiful story about the love between a parent and a child. And quite honestly it's the book I wish I had written. With adorable illustrations and rhyming couplets that I can recite from memory (as can BookBairn) it's now my go-to gift for new babies. Read our review of the series here.

Baby's First Playbook: Farm by Jo Lodge

This is a book that BookBairn returns to over and over. Made of super sturdy card with large pull tabs and a mirror at the end it's a brilliant book for little ones to explore and discover. From a young age I could leave BookBairn to play with this one by herself and enjoy a hot cup of tea. Introducing some farm animals and using a simple and bold colour palette it's great for introducing initial concepts for little ones. But quite honestly it's just a great and fun book! Read more about this one here.

Small Talk Series by Tracey Blake, Nicola Lathey and Ailie Busby

This is a lovely series of books with the sweetest illustrations. All based on real experiences that babies and young toddlers would be able to relate to they introduce lots and lots of key vocabulary that are likely to be amongst the first cluster of conversation that babies have. They also have lots of repetition and encourage little ones to join in too. But mostly I love the illustrations - the babies are adorable!

BabyLit series by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver

I reviewed this series of books a long time ago, just at the start of the blog. And since then our collection has grown. I just can't resist them. I love the idea of sharing classic stories in an approachable way for little readers. They are great first word primers, they have elements of stories that I know and love and the illustrations are brilliant. Just brilliant. They are colourful, cute and classic! To read the original post, and see a very cute six month old BookBairn reading them click here. The Wizard of Oz, The Jungle Book and The Secret Garden are my favourites if you are looking for ones to start with. But I'm really hoping I will manage to complete the collection!

DK Really Feely Baby Animals and Really Feely Farm

We all know that very famous series of touch and feel books that are a great way to get little ones to explore and read books. But we sometimes want something a little more substantial. And these are great because they are a good non-fiction introduction for little ones. They have simple facts and are laid out in a typical non-fiction style book using photographs rather than illustrations. But they are at an accessible level for toddlers and babies. And they have touch and feel elements thrown in to keep those little hands busy. 

These are certainly some of our favourites but as I say they are by no means an exhaustive list. do you have any recommendations for new baby gifts? Also if anyone is interested in writing a guest post for our feature please get in touch using the contact details at the top of the page.

To read all the guest posts in our Baby's First Books series click here.
Happy reading,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx

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What a wonderful weekend we have had. For the first time since The Wee Page Turner was born we had a weekend with no visitors. Not that we...

Baby's First Books - Filza - MammaFilz

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

What a wonderful weekend we have had. For the first time since The Wee Page Turner was born we had a weekend with no visitors. Not that we don't like having visitors, we do, but it was so lovely to spend some time together just the four of us that didn't revolve around bedtime routines (during the week the only time we are all together is when Daddy gets home from work at 6.45pm). We had a lovely birthday party, the local Summer Fayre (which BookBairn thoroughly enjoyed) and a trip to the Scottish Deer Centre to have a Father's Day breakfast and enjoy seeing the animals. It helped that the sun was shining the whole weekend!

Today we are handing over the blog to Filza from 'Mamma Filz', a fellow mummy of two little readers. Filza shares some great books over on her blog (and Instagram) often photographed with little hands clasping the pages. She also shares her favourite toddler crafts and recipes for sweet chocolate-y treats. Over to Filza...

Do you have memories of picture books read to you when you were younger? Do you remember any books that you read yourself when you were at primary school? I have vivid memories of reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar when I was in nursery. I recall the reading area with little seats and the well read copy of Eric Carle’s book. It was a paperback copy and felt flimsy in my little hands. I was fascinated by the holes in the book representing the caterpillar’s bites. I fell in love with the illustrations and especially loved the food drawings.

Those amongst a whole host of memories I hope my little ladies (a 2 year old and a 6 month old) will remember, having snuggly reading time and enjoying the books read to them.
My two girls really do enjoy books. I am always looking to see what books I can get them and adore the reading community on Instagram (where I met Kim) and the super duper book bloggers where I get lots of great suggestions. I try to also cater to my daughters interests. I also use books as an opportunity to teach my daughters all sorts of things.

Books have been a great tool in developing my toddler’s language, they say an apple a day but a book (two, three, four..) a day can also do amazing things. As Studies have also shown that children who were read to as newborns have a larger vocabulary, as well as more advanced mathematical skills, than other kids their age. There's also a direct link between how many words a baby hears each day and her language skills. One study found that babies whose parents spoke to them a lot scored higher on standard tests when they reached age 3 than children whose parents weren't as verbal.CCCCimportant as it is to read to your child, it is also lovely to ask questions and engage in conversations about what has been read as well as what can be seen in the pictures.

There are some books that proved very popular with my toddler when she was a lot younger. It is also lovely to see that her baby sister is also enjoying these books now.

Baby’s Day by Little Tiger Press. With its rhyming text and beautiful photos of real babies, this is a very fun read. The book shares a baby’s day from waking, “Wake up Baby…” and ends with bedtime “Night Night ..” Little One still enjoys reading this, recalling the text from each page by memory. Baby squeals at this book and she loves to touch the photos of the different babies in the story. It is a book inclusive of babies from around the world. Brilliant.
We received this book from our health visitor at baby’s 3 month old check-up. The book came in a pack made by the Bookstart Bookstart began in 1992 and is the world’s first national bookgifting programme. It is ran by the reading charity BookTrust. You may have also received a pack. This is a charity that gifts book packs to little ones under one years old, in England and Wales. They intend to “Inspire a love of reading” and also give another pack to children just before they start school. I believe Scotland’s equivalent charity is Bookbug. Bookstart also have a Bear Club. Their websites, Booktrust.org.uk and http://www.bookstart.org.uk are filled with great information, games and suggestions of good reads for your children.

They encourage you to become a member of your local library and to encourage children to borrow books they have Bookstart Bear Club. My eldest daughter loves this! She receives a stamp in her special Bookstart book each time she visits the library and this then leads to certificates. A great incentive. Do ask your health visitor if you have not received one. Packs can vary but my youngest daughters looked like this.

Being read to is such a gorgeous share and too often underestimated. It opens up a different world to little ones and with the use of an expressive voice, what is not to love. Just like reading, singing is another lovely way of having fun with your babies and toddlers. Babies will appreciate the varied intonation and expressive faces used and toddlers will enjoy completing actions to the songs and bouncing around lots, at least my toddler does. : ) One book that has proved very popular and one that I bought even before I met my babies is Baby’s First Rhymes.
This book includes ten rhymes and it also came with a CD, perfect. Five Little Ducks, Incy Wincy Spider and I Hear Thunder are some of the rhymes written in the book, complete with delicate illustrations. I appreciate that this book may be a tad tricky to purchase now so here are a list of similar books:

Nursery Rhymes by Veronique Petit
First Rhymes by Rod Campbell
Treasury of Nursery Rhymes Book and CD by Lucy Cousins
The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes by Raymond Briggs
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes by Axel Scheffler
The Wheels on the Bus: Favourite Nursery Rhymes By BBC

There are just so many lovely books out there. Sometimes by Emma Dodds is a book I bought when Little One was a few weeks old and it is just gorgeous. Emma Dodds is very talented and her books are super.

“Sometimes you are good, sometimes you are bad. Sometimes you are happy, Sometimes you are sad.” Dodd’s identifies the many emotions and behaviours of children but no matter what we, their parents, carers, grandparents, grown-ups, love them dearly and unconditionally. It is so important for children to know this and to be reminded of this daily. Perhaps some of the adjectives used in this book could have been better chosen however, I believe that the words can be explored further with your little ones. 

My eldest daughter and I had a discussion about what her favourite picture book is. We discussed which book would also be a nice book to read to children who have recently become older siblings. She chose I Love You as big as the world by David Van Buren. When I then mentioned to Little One that I would be writing about the book in this post she described it as the “I Love you Book.” How cute!

The book is just a delight, following two adorable bears on a very busy day, sharing their immense love for each other. The illustrations are completed beautifully by Tim Warnes and done in a style that I really do like. The bears share playful, loving, relaxing moments and often hand in hand. The repetition of “I Love you…” on each page makes the text memorable for little ones and a joy to read. It is hopefully three words that the child reading this book hears on a daily basis. A gorgeous book with a lovely message all about love.
Have I tempted you to have a search for these books? I do hope so.
Finally, Kim, thank you for letting me share my thoughts on reading and favourites.

Baby Harvey or shall I say Wee Page Turner, welcome to the world. We are sure BookBairn will have many fantastic reads ready for you to enjoy and we look forward to finding out which books your interests will lead you to. 

What great recommendations Filza! Thank you! As you may have noticed in our previous blog post, The Wee Page Turner is already a fan of 'Sometimes' by Emma Dodd (though I actually prefer her book, 'Me'). And in Scotland we are lucky enough to have the Bookbug scheme which Katherine mentioned in our previous Baby's Love Books feature which is a similar scheme. I will need to look up 'I Love You as Big as the World' because it just sounds to irresistible.

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.
Happy reading,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx

How to find Filza:
You can fins Filza's blog 'Mamma Filz' here and I highly recommend that you follow her beautiful bookish photographs over on Instagram.


Book storage is an issue in our house. We have a lot of books are not many places to put them. And I shouldn't be complaining because ...

Where We Read

Monday, June 19, 2017 BookBairn 6 Comments

Book storage is an issue in our house. We have a lot of books are not many places to put them. And I shouldn't be complaining because we are very lucky to be sent lots of lovely books from publishers, authors and illustrators but I also have a bookbuying habit of my own. "My name is Kim and I'm a book hoarder." Though I prefer to be called a book collector.

And I don't keep them all. That would be completely impractical. In the past we have swapped books with friends both in person and using social media and in February we even did a book treasure hunt around our local town to re-home some of excess books. We cannot keep them all. (On a side note we have another big bag of books waiting to be re-homed so if you have any ideas I would love to hear them!)

But still, we have so many that I can't bear to part with. I have a box in the office marked 'for BookBairn to grow into'. Like clothes which are too big for her, some stories are 'too big' and she needs a little time to grow into them. I have a bag to 'rehome'. We have a shelf of 'review' books. We have our 'Favourites Shelf'. But BookBairn's book cupboard was overflowing.

So when we decided to redecorate her bedroom so that she could share with her brother (it was pink and now it has a lovely jungle theme), I took advantage of the opportunity to sort our books. And buy new furniture. Obviously the Favourites Shelf is central to our bedtime routine and its such a nice way to display our books that I wasn't going to part with it. So the rest of the room had to fit around it. We got a new sofa for telling our stories on and BookBairn was excited to help Daddy 'build' it by screwing in the legs. It's now dubbed the 'beautiful chair' and she likes to show it off to people when they come to play. I also already had a really good storage box in their room which has all the books front-facing so that little readers can choose easily.

So the real question was what to do about the reading cupboard in the living room? I had already decided that we needed to move the dollshouse as BookBairn plays with it a lot and under the stairs she couldn't really reach inside easily and I couldn't watch her playing which I love to do. She had also been pushing her luck by climbing on to the fireplace so the dollshouse now sits there (we have stopped using our woodburner since she could crawl). So that left a big space under the stairs to create a reading neuk. I have called it a 'neuk' as it's the Scots word for nook/corner which seems appropriate (friends of ours will also know that it's totally appropriate to call it a neuk given the name of our house). And then I couldn't resist this staggered bookshelf to display our books. I currently have the organised as a 'rainbow' with similar shades together. But I'll be honest it means I've had to separate series of books which I don't like and I think BookBairn likes it when she can find the books which are the same series together (she often takes one for herself and then delegates one for me to read). So I don't think that will last. But it looks pretty for these photos.

A few bookish friends have recently shared their own book nooks so if you are looking for inspiration check out:

Addison Reads - Sam has written a great blog post about all the elements of reading spaces that she loves and wants to create for her little reader, Addison. She also has great inspiration about creating an 'Intentional Bookshelf' for your children and I'm reading her book at the moment. Click here to find her post.

Book Nerd Mommy - Clarissa's book nook is just fabulous! What a gorgeous set of Favourites Shelves and a great teepee to cuddle inside to read. She also has another post with the most beautiful canopy and cushion reading zone. Click here to find her post.

How do you store your books? And where do you like to read? We can usually be found reading all over our house. The books don't stay on the shelves very long! We would love to hear from you about your book nooks, so please share your comments below. Or find us on our social media (links at the top of the page) and tag us in your pictures.

Anyway, I'm off to sit on the 'beautiful chair' to read a bedtime story!
Happy reading!
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx


Today is the launch of Empathy Day from Empathy Lab, a project which aims  to emphasize the importance of empathy in our divided world, a...

Empathy - Everybody's Welcome

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 BookBairn 10 Comments

Today is the launch of Empathy Day from Empathy Lab, a project which aims to emphasize the importance of empathy in our divided world, and raise awareness of the power of stories to develop it. Thanks to the lovely Book Lover Jo for introducing me to this special and important day in her recent blog post 'Picture Books for Empathy Day'.

Picture books are a great way to discuss and gently introduce the concept of empathy for the actively encourage us to step into another person's world and into their shoes. They teach us to see the world from different perspectives, to appreciate the experiences of others and to really look at other people and their lives without judgement and with respect.

With all that is happening in our world, many parents are looking for ways to explain to their young children that they can be a force for good through difficult times. 'Everybody's Welcome' by Patricia Hegart and Greg Abbott promotes the ideals of refuge, inclusivity and friendship at a level even the littlest readers will understand. Mouse is building a house in the middle of the wood. When Frog's pond dries up and he has no where to live, Mouse suggests that they build a home together:

"Everybody's welcome,
no matter who they are, 
Wherever they may come from,
whether near or far."

And so becomes the mission of these woodland friends. Rabbits scared off by an eagle: welcome. Lonely Bear who scares off any friends: welcome. Foxes, badgers, squirrels, hedgehogs, moles, owl, birds: all welcome. If everyone lends a hand they can all build a home that will house everyone.

It's not hard to see the parallels to our society. If we all chip in and contribute we can make a society that helps and suits us all. A simple message but one that I really want BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner to hold in their hearts. There is enough room for everyone and if we all help each other we can live a happy life side by side.

"Our home will be so happy -
we'll fill it up with song,
And everybody in it
will feel that they belong."

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations that BookBairn loves to pour over, spotting all her favourite creatures, this magical book really teaches little ones about acceptance, generosity and to empathise with others.

Wouldn't it be nice if our society had a leader like mouse? That empathises with others and opens its doors to everyone? That's a world I want my children to grow up in. 

In our house, everybody's welcome! Feel free to pop over for a story any time!

Love Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

You can find out more about Empathy Day and Empathy Lab you can by visit the website for more information including a special selection of book recommendations. If you have any books that you would like to recommend head over to Twitter and share them using the hashtag #ReadForEmpathy

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.
After saying to Daddy she wanted to be a book
blogger, BookBairn took this photo of me with
the book. I feel she has it easier because her model
sat still!


What a hectic couple of weeks we have had! The Wee Page Turner now has the all clear from the hospital which is quite the relief and life ...

Baby's First Books - Katherine - Eden Books Knits

Monday, June 12, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

What a hectic couple of weeks we have had! The Wee Page Turner now has the all clear from the hospital which is quite the relief and life has returned to it's newly chaotic form of normal. We celebrated a beautiful family wedding last weekend and the bairns charmed in their flower girl dress and little kilt. It truly was a magical day and I feel closer to my in-laws than ever. We have also been reorganising the children's' bedroom and got a new sofa for bedtime stories and I have been sorting all the books! Daddy BookBairn build a brilliant bookshelf for our new book-neuk and I have been happily colour co-ordinating the shelves. I plan to write a blog post and share some pictures of our new book neuk and story couch but in the meantime you can see them on our social media (links at the top of the page). I also now have a big bag of books to get rid of - we cannot feasibly keep them all, our house would overflow! In the past we have created a treasure hunt for local bookbairns, done a virtual book swap and had a real life meet-up to swap books and this time around we have even more to share and swap. Any ideas for how to pass them on would be great!

Today we are handing over our blog to Katherine, a lovely friend who has taken part in our previous book swaps because she lives just down the hill! We often bump into her and her son at yoga, bookbug sessions at the library and in the park. She is as big a fan of children's books as we are and we often swap recommendations both online and face to face. The only problem with having someone who loves books as much as we do in our town is that there is competition for the new acquisitions at the library! Over to Katherine...

My choice of book is one for BookBairn and BookBump to share, Laurence and Catherine Anholt's delightful Babies Love Books. I owned this before my husband and I had even decided to have children (one of the things we bonded over when we met was that we liked to buy ourselves beautiful children's picture books).

Our now five year old son did not like books for the first few months of his life. As a bookworm and former librarian I had lots of firm ideas about reading bedtime stories from the word go and whiling away the day sharing gorgeous picture books. But he got upset when we tried to read to him, it seemed like he didn't like having a book in front of him blocking his view and he preferred being carried around the house than sitting down. The turning point was a Belgian friend sending us a cloth book, and then books became a tactile object he could handle and have control of (either that or he only understood French, as the only other book success we'd had in those first months was a French version of a Moomin book she had also sent us). Once he realised that books were fun (hooray!) there was no stopping him, and Babies Love Books quickly became a favourite.

Babies Love Books is simply a celebration of reading with babies and toddlers, taking you through all the different places you can share a book starting with 'Hey! There's a book on our bed!'. It's fun to spot where you like to share a book with your little ones, and there is plenty to talk about in the illustrations. It's an inclusive book, with lots of different babies and toddlers and families depicted. I particularly like the the mum who looks like she's just been decorating reading to her child in a supermarket trolley, and the mum reading to a baby on her knee as she tries to grab something to eat in a cafe (done that so many times myself!).

There are plenty of vehicles, animals, parks and potties to satisfy the interests of most little ones. We always liked the library page (and the silvery sands page, because we used to live near the Silver Sands!) as going to rhymetime sessions at the library was always my little boy's favourite activity when he was a baby. We are lucky in Scotland that library services offer these for free through the Scottish Book Trust's Bookbug programme, indeed we have often met BookBairn and her mummy at our local ones!

Catherine Anholt's illustrations remind me a little of Janet Ahlberg's style. The Baby's Catalogue by the Ahlbergs has always been my go-to new baby gift (babies love looking at pictures of babies) but our son never really got into it. He did, however, adore Peepo! and Each Peach Pear Plum, possibly because they are written in rhyme and he loved rhyming books.

Sadly Babies Love Books appears to be out of print but you can still get copies second hand and through your library, and we would happily lend BookBairn and BookBump our much-loved, slightly tatty around the edges copy. We think that they would both love the rhyming text and that BookBairn could show her new little brother all the lovely places you can share books and how important books are to us all. As the book says, 'A book is your own special friend, who will stay with you right to the end.'

Doesn't that look like a brilliant book for little ones?! We will definitely be looking for that library copy! And I'm delighted that Katherine shared the link to the Scottish Bookbug Programme - we are so lucky in Scotland to have such a great scheme for getting books to all our little ones. The Wee Page Turner is yet to receive his first Bookbug bag but he should get it soon and it has reminded me that I'll need to ask our Health Visitor when she pops in this week. I promise to share the contents when we get it, I'm desperate to see what new books are in the new baby book since BookBairn got hers two years ago.

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.
Happy reading,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx

How to find Katherine:
Katherine is a very occasional blogger at from the big chair, but is more often found as @edenbooksknits on both Instagram and Twitter. A former librarian now working in social media, she lives with her husband, son and two cats.


Over the past couple of months we have amassed a large collection of new books sent from publishers or bought ourselves (not to mention th...

First Word Books

Sunday, June 11, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

Over the past couple of months we have amassed a large collection of new books sent from publishers or bought ourselves (not to mention the library visits and the new baby gifts - though not too many people are brace enough to risk sending us a book in case we already have it). And of course I've been a little too tired (when pregnant) and preoccupied (during labour) and exhausted (since the sleep-thief arrived) to review them here on the blog. I have however featured them all on our social media, mostly through Instagram (I like it best - so many pretty pictures!). But I wanted to share as many as I can on here so I'm going to doing a few posts that share a few books at a time that have similar themes. (I should point out that my review policy isn't to review every book I receive but only to give you a realistic representation of what BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner and myself actually read and enjoy.)

BookBairn has been sharing her lovely stories and words with us from an early age - she was 9 months when she first said "dada" followed by "booo-k" and "mama" and then a whole flood of words appeared. I think this is probably down to all the exposure to words from our stories but she is still very advanced in her speech and language for her age (not bragging it's just the way she is at the moment!). So we moved on quite quickly from single word books but we have recently been sent some really wonderful ones that I'm keeping for The Wee Page Turner when he gets a bit older (and can turn the pages himself). Here are my favourites that we received recently:

Learning Garden My First Books

These bright and colourful books teach toddlers their first concepts using the stylish artwork of Aino-Maija Metsola. Perfect for inquistive little readers, each book is organised by category to help learners build their vocabulary and classify words according to subject. Each spread has lots of illustrations to name and split into blocked pictures it is simple and clear to identify each object, animal or colour. These are amongst the brightest books we have in our collection and they are pulled out again and again. I like the extra addition of a question on each page which extends older readers meaning they will no doubt continue to appeal to BookBairn even when her little brother is just beginning to understand the words. Part of a wider series the three we have, 'My First Words', 'My First Colours and Shapes' and 'My First Animals', are a great foundation to any book collection!

Touch! My Big Touch-And-Feel Word Book

This book takes learning new words to a whole new level! Child development specialist have shown that children learn best when they learn using all of their senses - not just sight and sound but touch as well! And that's what makes this book so wonderful. Children can not only point to the pictures as they learn new words but they can actually touch and feel them. It really is multisensory! With touch and feel elements built into the illustrations, children can feel the soft blanket, stroke the soft skin of the dolphin and feel the scratchy burlap of a sack. The illustrations are the typical bold and simple style of Xavier Deneux whose first-word book series, Touch Think Learn, we have reviewed previously. This book is a much larger format than that previous series meaning that children will need help to maneuver it, but of course, they will need help to explore the words anyway. Quite simply this is just a little bit more exciting than a standard first-word primer.

Dotty's First Book

In this first word book from Becky Baur, we follow Dotty the Dalmatian as she explores the world around her and learning words along them way. An interesting mix of story and first word primer, children will love spotting Dotty on each page as she goes on her adventures. She rides her bike through the city spotting shapes along the way, she notices opposites in the art gallery and animals at the zoo. Featuring only illustrations only adds to the element of story making the learning more implicit than most first word primers. However, in order for children to really learn using this book they would need an adult to help make the connections between the words and the illustrations as they are not as well connected as with more traditional primers. The flip side to that is that children might be more inclined to 'read' this one by themselves given that it is more of a story book with a fun little character keeping them interested. Not as packed full as other first word primers but certainly lots of fun!

100 First Words

This can only be described as the ultimate compendium of key words of little ones! This book is a large format (too big for little hands to read on their own unless the stretch out across the floor, which BookBairn loves to do) and consists of twelve different themed pages. It covers all the familiar things that little ones are interested in from colours and animals to things around the home and things seen out and about. It expertly mixes photographs and illustrations allowing children to see objects in a real-life context encouraging their learning of the world around them whilst also creating little scenes that can become stories to discuss, for example a waddle of penguins playing in the snow (and yes, 'waddle' is an acceptable collective noun for penguins - I checked!). Each photo and illustration is labelled encouraging little ones to point and name the objects, and of course develop their vocabulary. This book uses an interesting colour scheme too which is soft and gentle to look at with only a limited colour-palette on each page, which allows the image to really stand out on the page. This is a great book to start off your little ones learning adventure - it really shows them that the world around them is amazing, fascinating and fun!

The Wee Page Turner is beginning to engage with the world around him which means it's time to start introducing books to him as a regular play thing! And these ones are great - worth doing tummy time for! Whilst taking our photos for this post BookBairn was being rather cheeky and she kept stealing the books away from her little brother - apparently sharing books is not yet on her agenda! Amusingly, she kept taking them and hiding them behind the sofa all the while shouting "I want to be a book blogger!!" She is certainly quite the little book-monkey!

BookBairn's first three words were "dada", "book" and "mama", I wonder what The Wee Page Turner's will be? What were your little ones first words?

Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*DISCLAIMER* We were sent our copies of all of these books by their various publishers in exchange for an honest review, the words and opinions are our own. 


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 ...

KidLit Picks May Round Up

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

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.

Thanks to Miranda from My Bookbloom for the timely theme!

Norton and Alpha, by Kristyna Litten.
“The story of Norton and Alpha reminds us that nature is needed in the modern mechanical world. Flower gardens, living walls, and parks. They’re to be treasured and nourished and allowed to flourish.” -- Summer from @readingisourthing

Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud, by ​​Katie Harnett
It's sweet to see the two come together and fill a gap in each other's lives, proving that there's someone for everyone and sometimes what we think is a setback is actually an asset for someone else." -- Mel from @spiky_penelope

Botanicum, by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis
"Can you imagine what has not been discovered yet?-- Leah from @astoryaday

Bloom, by Deborah Diesen and Mary Lundquist
I'm sharing a brand new book that is perfect for Mother's Day along with these #beyondthebook paper flowers with free printable centers that say 'Thanks for helping me bloom.'" -- Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy

Bee, by Britta Teckentrup
“The message about saving the beloved bumblebee is tackled through gentle and lyrical poetry.” --  Kim from @bookbairn

The Reason for a Flower, by Ruth Heller
“This is hands-down one of my favorite books about flowers. Although published in 1983, it remains relevant decades later.” -- Miranda from @bookbloom

Florette, by Anna Walker
“This book shares it's beauty in such a delicate way, touching on one of my favorite themes, the magic of nature.” -- De from @books_and_babycinos

Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert
Learn how to plant a rainbow!” -- Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

The Legend of the Indian Paint Brush, by Tomie dePaola
"Tomie dePaola stays true to his style by creating these beautiful moments that seem to be frozen from legends." -- Wendy from @homegrownreader

Mummy's Little Sunflowers, by Angela McAllister and Alison Edgson
“This book [is] such a lovely one.” -- Mel from @kids.books.we.love

Footpath Flowers, by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith
It reminds us to stop and appreciate the little moments in every day. To notice the flowers growing in the cracks of the pavement. I also love that the Canadian government pledged to give a copy of this book to every arriving Syrian child refugee. A book that promotes kindness for all..” -- Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson
“On each page the reader is told to touch, tap, clap etc, to help make the seed grow. So, we tap the clouds to make the rain come and we pat the seeds into the grown to plant them. It's a cute simple story.” -- Michelle from @the.book.report

Little Honey Bee, by Katie Haworth and Jane Ormes
Yes, it is a counting book but it also teaches another equally important lesson: the appreciation beauty. To stop and smell the roses.” -- Liam from @words.and.illustrations

What a beautiful bunch of floral and fauna books!

Get ready to explore the past...the prehistoric past. This month we will be digging into prehistoric life, dinosaurs, fossils, and those who speak for creatures long since past.

An American Paleontologist named Robert T. Bakker once said, "It's very simple why kids are crazy about dinosaurs -- dinosaurs are nature's Special Effects. They are the only real dragons. Kids love dragons. It's not just being weirdly shaped and being able to eat Buicks. It's that they are real." He is completely correct, children and adults alike are fascinated by the mammoth sized creatures that tower over us in museums. We are always in awe of the creatures that once roamed the Earth 230 MILLION years ago!

Celebrate with @kidlitpicks, by gathering your most beloved books about dinosaurs and prehistoric life and tagging them #kidlitpicks_prehistoric throughout June. (Note the change in hashtag as the original #kidlitpicks onw was getting a lot of spam.)

Happy reading!
Mummy and BookBairn xx