She really wasn't about to have a tantrum. *I may have bribed her with gingerbread biscuits. I hate the phrase 'the terrible two...

Tiny Tantrum

Sunday, July 30, 2017 BookBairn 14 Comments

She really wasn't about to have a tantrum. *I may have bribed her with gingerbread biscuits.
I hate the phrase 'the terrible twos'. Yes BookBairn sometimes shows signs of those 'terrible two' moments but I don't think it's because she's two that she's acting the way she is. If she's having a tantrum or a mini meltdown it's more than likely because:

1. She's tired. Or over-tired. And, do you know, when I'm tired I get frustrated more easily too. When I'm sleep-deprived thanks to a gorgeous but exhausting newborn baby I sometimes have meltdowns too. I cry. I stamp my feet. I crave comfort and cuddles.

2. She's hangry. One of my worst traits too. Just ask my husband.

3. She's poorly or teething. When I feel unwell I just want to curl up too. And when my wisdom teeth came in I cried in pain too.

4. She can't control her impulses. Now, I'm a bit better at this one. But she is only little and sometimes she will act before she thinks. I must confess sometimes I speak before I think and put my foot in it. So I can sympathise with this one.

5. The big one: she hasn't learned how to cope with those big feelings yet. Sadness, jealousy, loneliness, frustrations, inability to communicate something, even positive emotions like excitement can be overwhelming.

My lovely friend for 'Then there were three' wrote on her blog recently "I'm learning (and accepting) that tears and tantrums are a normal part of toddlerhood as our girl pushes boundaries, and learns to manage big or confusing emotions." And this really struck a chord with me. Little kid, big emotions. And so every time we experience a moment of 'terrible two-ness' I take a deep breath and remind myself: little kid, big emotions.
See she was happy about it!

But it's also part of parenting to help her understand and find coping strategies for these big emotions. And here, of course, I turn to books. There are lots of great books about emotions and you'll find a great list this month from the @kidlitpicks team on Instagram. We are all focussing on 'Little Kids, Big Emotions' this month so I'll hopefully have a round up post for you soon of other books at the start of next month. But here is my choice:

'Tiny Tantrum' by Caroline Crowe with illustrations by Ella Okstad is a brilliant story of a little girl called Tiny Tantrum. Tiny is a happy and smiley toddler when she's getting her way but if you try to tell her to wash her hair, or tidy up of go to bed, she, like many toddlers, goes into meltdown mode. But one day when Tiny is commencing a tantrum after her mum asks her to put on her coat a hairy, purple monster appears. And convinces her that it would be better to put on her coat otherwise she will get a chilly bottom and won't be able to play. (An argument that I'll bet her mum already made.) But a hairy, purple monster is, of course, more persuading and they all head off to the park.  When Tiny is presented with broccoli at dinner time she stamps her feet. Enter a turquoise monster in a chef's apron who does a wiggle and a dance saying that "vegetables taste better when you eat them with a giggle". When Tiny doesn't want to share the trike in the playground another monster appears and shows her that sharing is a good way to make friends. Toothbrushing time: another monster to ease the pain! But when the monsters don't want to go to bed it's Tiny's turn to tame the tantrums! 

This is a great story for toddlers who are learning to deal with temper tantrums or are struggling with sharing and making friends. Tiny is relatable and the monsters help soothe her little soul. I love the fact that the monsters are 'goodies' in this book too! Written in brilliant rhyme this story really rhythmically roles off the tongue, making it a brilliant read aloud story. It's hard not to get swept up in telling this story - even Papa BookBairn tried to put a tune to sing the songs (we haven't yet worked out the best nursery rhyme tune to borrow as we sing but I'll let you know if we do!). The illustrations are truly adorable - the monsters are so cute! And Tiny has a very expressive face which is so essential in a book about coping with emotions. I love the fun and quirky style of the story and the illustrations which match each other perfectly.

I'm not entirely sure this book really helps children understand their emotions but is will certainly help them realise that they are not alone in feeling that firey temper inside them and might help parents with a few more arguments to convince children to put on their coat, brush their teeth, eat their veggies and share. But I think mostly the monsters are a metaphor for distraction. When a tantrum is on the horizon - distract them. Turn them upside down. Make them giggle. Get the bubbles out. Because once they are in meltdown mode, in my experience, their is no reasoning with a toddler. 

Let's hope that the 'terrible twos' isn't a real thing! BookBairn certainly isn't terrible now she is two! She's just occasionally struggling to cope with those big emotions. And that's ok. Sometimes I struggle to. And that's ok too. I'll be there to hold her hand, wipe her tears, soothe the pain and support her in understanding her feelings. And sometimes I'll just stand back and let her get it all out. 

Look out for our 'Little Kids, Big Emotions' round up post in a couple of weeks for more books about helping little ones handle and understand their emotions. 

And wish me luck with the rest of the 'terrible twos'.
Mummy and BookBairn xx

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


  I have a terrible habit of buying BookBairn little gifts when she is poorly - I'd just do anything to make her feel better and it so...

There's a Monster in Your Book

Thursday, July 27, 2017 BookBairn 16 Comments

I have a terrible habit of buying BookBairn little gifts when she is poorly - I'd just do anything to make her feel better and it soothes my guilt that she somehow became poorly in the first place whilst 'under my watch'. I know it's irrational and expensive but I can't help myself. So when I had to trek to a pharmacy half an hours drive from home to pick up the second part of a prescription I couldn't resist a new release book that I just barely needed an excuse to buy.

'There's a Monster in Your Book' by Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott is my newest discovery in interactive books that really throw children inside the story. In a style similar to the little rabbit series, Bunny Slopes and Tap the Magic Tree, children are encouraged to touch and manipulate the pages of the book to make the story come to life.

There is a little blue monster trapped inside the book and it's your little reader's job to get him out of the book. You have to try shaking, twisting, blowing and shouting at him. But what happens? He runs away, of course. Out of the book, of course. But what does that mean? It means he's in your room, of course. Argh! Little ones don't want a monster in their room. Fortunately it doesn't end there or we'd have a whole generation of toddlers terrified to sleep at night. At first, BookBairn was quite worried about this but we kept reading on with her trusted lion toy cuddled close to her chest. You have to shout for him to come back, and quietly tuck him into bed inside the book. BookBairn then makes us place the book gently in her brother's cot (he's still sleeping in his crib in our room) and tuck a blanket over the book. She really likes this little monster.

And no wonder, he is adorably illustrated! He's blue and wears a black and white striped jumper (making me think of a cartoon criminal!) and he's kinda cute. For a monster. And he's the only thing  of the pages, except a read line to help indicate the movement. But he's a very expressive little monster. (I say he, because the book says 'he' in the text but I don't think it would lose any value if you read 'she' instead - a girl monster could be blue too!)

This really is a great book for bedtime! And nap time! And well any time really. Such a fun story, it even made our poorly girl smile!

Be careful, there's a monster in this book!
Love Mummy and BookBairn xx


Today I went for a walk with The Wee Page Turner in the pram to pick up BookBairn from nursery. And I cried as I walked along the street. ...

Reading to You

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 BookBairn 13 Comments

Today I went for a walk with The Wee Page Turner in the pram to pick up BookBairn from nursery. And I cried as I walked along the street. Actual real, pouring down my cheeks tears. And no it wasn't because I was stressed or felt like I was failing as a parent (though these tears have been shed). It's because I was moved by a beautiful piece of poetry.

I've been listening to 'Nobody Told Me' by Hollie McNish on audiobook, and as The Wee Page Turner had drifted off to sleep, I plugged my headphones in and listened to a little more as I wandered. And as she read 'Reading to You' I realised my life has profoundly changed since I had my children. And the best nights of my life have been reading to them.

She begins, "I've had some beautiful nights in my life..."

And I have. I watched the Aurora Borealis on my favourite beach in the world with the love of my life (though I knew this not then). I have danced until my feet hurt. I have wandered through fields in my pyjamas. I have walked home from a concert, in Paris, in the snow in six inch high heels. I have been to the top of the Empire State, the Eiffel Tower. I have listened to live opera on the Spanish Steps in Rome. I wore a white gown and looked up at the stars holding the hand of my new husband.

She continues,

"but sitting here
as the night falls
reading to you"

Bedtime is my favourite part of the day. There's something magical about the twilight. About the lavender smell. About the sound of the lullaby from their mobile. About cuddling in close.

She says,
"and I watch as you sink past that magical gate
turn-point between falling asleep from awake

of all my nights and the stars I've walked through
of all the nights and the parties I've been to
I've no greater night-times than reading to you

till you sleep
ear on my arm
heart to my heart
with a laugh
as you drift into dreams
and I finish the book
though I know
you're already asleep

I stare at your face
in the still silent room

the best nights of my life
have been reading to you"

The best nights of my life have been reading my children to sleep. Holding them in my arms in the dark as the world sleeps, feeling like the only people in the world awake, and gazing down as their eyes close. And breathing a sigh as their calmness washes over me. A sigh of relief, perhaps, that they are now asleep and I can finally rest. But also a sigh of love. So the best nights of my life are watching you drift off to sleep.

This is just an excerpt of my favourite parts of the poem. Thank you Hollie for such a beautiful poem. I highly recommend her poetry, it's accessible and about topics that I understand. Many of her poems have moved me emotionally. I often re read them over and over again.

And I find this one so inspiring. I have read it dozens and dozens of times. It strikes a chord with me.

Thanks for reading,



We have been busy busy busy! If you know me, you will know that I like to have something on every day. And since having The Wee Page Turn...

Baby's First Books - Bonnie - bonniebridgman

Thursday, July 20, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

We have been busy busy busy! If you know me, you will know that I like to have something on every day. And since having The Wee Page Turner we took time off from my crazy busy fill the days schedule and spent more time at home. And, honestly, I hated it. I hate being stuck in and around the house all day. Our garden is lovely but majorly lacking in play equipment and garden furniture which I will hopefully be able to rectify soon as we plan on getting some work done on the garden. So this week we have been to nursery twice, the library (of course), our local soft play, a day trip to Edinburgh, our friend's house (the one with the telephone box in the garden!), the garden centre and the hospital. Poor wee BookBairn has tonsilitis and an ear infection and she was truly miserable. Thank goodness we responded quickly and got her antibiotics because the next day she was far perkier again! But I think we might have a slower week this week and it will be back to crafting and sensory boxes at home.

Today I'm handing over to the lovely Bonnie, who I 'met' on Twitter as she's a major picture book fanatic, like myself, and she also writes picture books, which I'm beginning to think about trying myself. She's also a reliable and wonderful member of the #kidlitreaders book club that I started with my lovely friends 'Book Monster Ally' and 'Book Lover Jo'. So we have chatted online a lot. And I feel like I know her. So when she volunteered to write a blog post for us I was delighted! And here it is...

When Kim requested book recommendations for BookBairn or her little brother, I knew instantly the book I would choose; Oh the Places You’ll Go by the formidable Dr Seuss.

I read this book for the first time as an adult. Readers of my own blog 'bonniebridgman' will know that it's a favourite of mine and has helped me during a more challenging part of my life. That's what great books can do. They speak to your soul. Now, many of you may not think that a baby or a toddler will need a book that talks to their soul. All they want is a book that they can put in their mouth and gnaw on or simply just enjoy turning (or ripping in my daughter’s case) the pages. Do they really need an important life lesson so early on?

I think they do. It doesn't hurt to manage expectations and by that I don't mean to tell them everything is all doom and gloom but let them know early on that they won't be able to have every toy they want in the supermarket when you go shopping so please stop having the tantrum that's making all other shoppers stop and glare at you.

When I read the following to my daughter, she gasped, actually gasped.

“Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
But, sadly, it's true
That Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.”

I'm glad she's not encountered much disappointment in her life yet. I don't want her to ever feel sad or insecure or let down but I do know that one day it will happen. I like to think this book will prepare her for it in a small way.

If you've not read this book yet, don't think it's all depressing and hopeless. It's not. It's one of the most uplifting reads I've had the pleasure of sharing with my child. It touches on the different paths we might take in life. It indicates that we have to make things happen and it implies that life involves a lot of waiting. The waiting section is one I think will resonate with a lot of us and starts to educate kids about supermarket, post office and theme park queues!

The ending of this delightful tale is beautiful. It's encouraging and, dare I say it, truly inspirational. I think it gives a lesson that every child and adult should hear.

“you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

So go ahead, make your dreams come true and I hope BookBairn gets to read this one day to her little brother.

Thank you Bonnie! It's quite daunting thinking about the places these two might go in their future. But I'm sure I'll enjoy holding their hands and encouraging them along the way. I think this book really resonates with adults for explaining to children what we want for them and it's magical rhyme and rhythm, as well as illustrations, make it a great read for children. It really appeals to the reader and the listener. I wrote about this one recently too as I thought it summed up well what I wanted for BookBairn's future. If you'd like to read it I'll link the blog post here. I've also started a new collection of blog posts called 'Little Life Lessons' as sometimes books do more than simply entertain us (although good books must always entertain us) they go a little further and try to show us the way the world could be, should be or open our eyes to another's plight, or another's world. You can find the ones I've written blog posts about in the past here and I think The Places You'll Go fits in well with this collection.

That's all from our 'Baby's First Books' series for now as I've published all the contributor posts that I had been sent so far. If you'd like to join in by recommending a book you would recommend for The Wee Page Turner, or a book you think makes a great new baby gift please do send me an email. You can find all the other Baby's First Book posts here.

Hope you have a lovely week, we'll be having a quieter one I think!
Love Mummy, BookBairn and the Wee Page Turner xxx

How to Find Bonnie

Bonnie is a regular Twitter contributor under the username 'BonnieMrsbbh' and you can find her blog here. It's a fabulous record of life and books and also insights into what it's like to write as she keeps a 'writing diary' of sorts.


I was absolutely inspired by Rebecca's (from ' the.bookplate ') guest blog post for us when she wrote about her ' bookish...

A Bookish Mother's Wish

Monday, July 17, 2017 BookBairn 24 Comments

I was absolutely inspired by Rebecca's (from 'the.bookplate') guest blog post for us when she wrote about her 'bookish mother's wish'. Holding a tiny newborn for the very first time can feel like the most wonderful thing in the world, but it can also place a heavy weight on your shoulders. "How will I raise you? How will I help you reach your dreams? How will I teach you to be a good person? What is a good person?" Ok, hormones are a bit out of whack and things are all a bit cloudy right after the baby is born but it stands true, months later, that I feel responsible for raising two little souls into good, responsible, loving and loved human beings. And of course, like Rebecca, I turn to books to help me do that.

I've started a wee list of 'Little Life Lessons' featuring books that help to share with my children what I want them to be, to believe and to place importance on. But I've decided to also write two blog posts, one to each child, sharing some of the books that will share some of the things I want them to understand and to know and to believe. I've split my list as they share age-appropriate books but also I want to share with them the things I want them to know right now.

As The Wee Page Turner is only 3 months old, there are only a few things he really really needs to know right now. But I still think he can learn some things from the stories we read.

To my darling boy,

You are loved. So much. We love to hold you in our arms and to watch you sleep. We love your cuddles. We love it when you smile at us. We love to see you discover your little hands, your face, our faces, the world around you. In 'Baby, I love You' this is all summed up so wonderfully and as we sing this story to you I hope you can feel all of the above. I just love it when you see your little face in the mirror at the end. Your face lights up as you recognise yourself.

The world is big and you are small. The world is fast and you are small. You are small. But you are getting bigger and fast! You are growing each day in front of our eyes. We enjoy watching you change and grow. Your grandparents visit you regularly and every time the utter the infamous "you're getting so big" and it's true. You are getting so big. When we read 'Me', I hope you will realise that the world is big but you (and your sister) are the biggest thing(s) in our world. You are our whole world.

Our lives changed 'On the Night You Were Born' (well, you were born in the middle of the day but allow me a little poetic license). Our lives changed when you were born. They changed forever. And so the world was changed too. There was a new little life in it. A new little person whose arrival has affected and will affect the lives of everyone you meet. Who wouldn't be moved to smile when they see you smile? Or giggle when you do? Or listen when you squeak your little stories? And you might not change the world in a big way. But you have changed our worlds and we don't want them to change back (though Mummy is looking forward to when we can sleep all night again!).

There's no need to 'Guess How Much I Love You'. I love you as much as a mother loves their child. I love you to the end of the road and back. I love you to the ocean and back. I love you across the world and back. I love you to stars and back. You cannot quantify my love for you. You just can't. It's a lot. And it grows. It grows bigger and further each day. But of all the things in this list of 'bookish mother's wishes', I wish that you know you are loved. And I know you will never know how much until you hold your own bundle in your arms and feel that love grow and grow and grow. Love is magic. It is never ending and it grows.

And it lasts 'Forever'. My life is now intrinsically linked with yours. When you're having fun, I'm having fun too. When you giggle, I'll laugh along with you. When you play, I'll join in too. I will strive to make you happy. If you're scared I'll be right beside you. I will always find you. I will never leave you. Your dreams have become my dreams. And I'll do all I can to make them come true. "Know that deep within my heart I will love you forever." I am forever your mummy and you will forever be my boy.

You already see the wonder in the world where I have forgotten. You are amazed by the sunshine streaming through the leaves of the trees. You adore the water at bathtime dripping on your skin. You watch the shadows move. You stare at your sister as she plays. You already find the joy in the little things. And when you smile you "Pass It On" and I can't help but smile too. I hope you continue to be a postive little person, seeing wonder in the little things. And keep smiling at those things and making me notice them too. Remind me to see the wonder too. I need that.

I have no doubt that your first word will be "dada". Your sister's first word was. And it's no wonder. You have a wonderful dada who loves you so very much. He has huge depths of patience. He makes you laugh and smile. He holds you when you cry. He gently places you in bed when you are asleep. He looks after mama as I hold you in my arms. He held my hand as you were born. He gasped a huge sigh of love the moment he laid eyes on you. He tears himself away from us every day to go to work so we can have our lovely home, and do lovely things, and so I can spend my days with you. He is the best dada you could have. You should say his name first. I don't mind. Dada deserves it.

I love you little chap. I hope you will take these messages on board over the next months and years. And you will enjoy reading these stories. All my love, Mummy xx

I hope you enjoyed reading this post - it's a little different from my usual review posts. But these books share all these wonderful messages and they are all superb stories. With great illustrations. But mostly I wanted to share them with you because I share them with my family.

Thank you for reading, I'll share my 'Bookish Mother's Wish for BookBairn' soon but I need to take the time to select the books carefully.
Kim 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. 


If you read our post about ' Where We Read ' you will know that BookBairn's nursery got a revamp into a bedroom suitable for...

Feel the Jungle Rhythm

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 BookBairn 16 Comments

If you read our post about 'Where We Read' you will know that BookBairn's nursery got a revamp into a bedroom suitable for two - and of course we had to get rid of the baby pink walls and choose something a little more gender neutral. So we went with one of BookBairn's favourite passions - animals! And having found a beautiful fabric for curtains we now have two little monkeys in their own little jungle. So I thought it would be appropriate to share some of our favourite jungle reads with you!

Baby's First Very Noisy Book: Jungle by Stella Baggott, Josephine Thompson and Anthony Marks

This was given to The Wee Page Turner as a new baby gift but unfortunately he's lucky if he gets to have a look at it! BookBairn loves a noisy book and this is one of the best that we've had. The sounds are lovely and have a little bit of percussion and music behind the animal noises. This means that BookBairn not only enjoys pressing the buttons and saying what animals she can see, she also likes to dance along to the music and is beginning to act out the animal actions: slithering on her tummy like a snake and jumping around like a frog. The illustrations are typical of Usborne books: bright and colourful! The only thing about this book is that it doesn't have any text beyond the animal noises written out in words meaning that it won't necessarily stand the test of time the way that other books do. But for the moment it's great fun for BookBairn and hopefully her little brother enjoys hearing the sounds even if he doesn't get a look at the pages yet!

Safe and Sound by Jean Roussen and Loris Lora

This is a lovely book which mixes story and non-fiction with incredible artwork. Most baby animals need protecting from the world until they are big enough to look after themselves and this book explores the different ways their parents protect them. Little chipmunks stay safe in their underground burrows; bluebird chicks cosy down in their nest; wolves stay protected within their pack; kangaroo joeys travel safely in their mothers' pouch; crocodile hatchlings hide inside their mothers mouth; monkeys ride on their daddies' backs. And of course human children get tucked up in bed! This is a book of wonderful artwork of animals from the treetops of the jungle to the depths of the ocean but I adore it! I would love some of the illustrations as artwork on the wall. This makes a lovely bedtime story about all the animals being tucked in safe and sound!

The Only Lonely Panda by Jonny Lambert

We all know that pandas are an endangered species so it's not surprising that the panda in this book finds himself all alone with no friends to play with. He tries to fit in with the flamingos but his stilts make him topple over rather than gracefully dancing like the flamingos. His attempts to bounce like the sifakas (a type of lemur) end in a bumped bahookie. He gets on the wrong side of the peacock when he plucks their feathers in efforts to make himself a magnificent tail. So he plods off in search of some bamboo for dinner and who does he find? Another panda of course! Such a lovely story and the illustrations are adorable. Each page is a shimmery silver making the animals stand out and almost appear to move on the page. Love this one!

Where's the Elephant? by Barroux

This is a brilliant wordless picture book from the fabulous Barroux. If you read our 'Finding Nemo' post you will know that his books are a wonderful introduction to environmental issues for little ones. Elephant (and his friends parrot and snake) are hidden amongst the jungle foliage and as you turn the pages the forest is reduced and reduced as the loggers come and chop down the trees and developers build houses on the land. It becomes easier and easier to spot Elephant, for he has no place to hide. Eventually the only tree left standing is put inside the fencing of a zoo. What will happen to Elephant and his friends? This really is a great way to introduce children to the plight of the rainforest in an approachable way. The illustrations are so adorable and the colours are very vivid. And I like that this one has no words and you can discuss the issues facing Elephant and the rainforest at a level you feel is appropriate for your child. This one is suitable for children of all ages from the littlest toddlers to primary school aged children, who may enjoy telling their own version of the story. Great for reluctant readers too as it's a story they can enjoy without needing to read! Brilliant! And meaningful!

Tiger Tiger by Jonny Lambert

When Old Tiger gets asked to cub-sit for Cub, he's not too impressed. He just wants to have an afternoon snooze (I sympathise!). But little cub has other ideas and wants to explore the jungle and investigate all the world around him and all the animals in it and, of course, like all little ones he wants to play. Old Tiger follows along dutifully and soon his eyes are opened as he sees the wonder of the jungle through little Cub's eyes. The magical thing about this story is the way the colour changes subtly as you turn each page. The initial pages feature illustrations of the jungle that predominantly feature grey-greens and browns and duller colours, but as you read on the colours become more vibrant and vivid. It brings to life the vibrancy and dynamism of the jungle. The back cover describes the book as "a touching celebration of the light and colour little ones can bring to the world." Which sums the story up perfectly. I certainly know that since BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner entered my life it has been turned upside down, become chaotic and full of wonderful wonderful colour. And if I stop to see the world through their eyes I realise how magical it really is. This book has a thing or two to teach us grown ups and it's a great read for little ones too.

Deep in the Forest: A Seek-and-Find Adventure by Josef Anton and Lucie Brunelliere

This is truly one of the most beautiful books that I have ever seen. I adore the illustration! Each page is packed with jungle animals and the flora and fauna of the rainforest. The colours are vivid, striking, intense, brilliant, bright, strong, rich deep... I could go on! Each page takes a different perspective showing the forest from above, delving underground, floating down the rivers, above the tops of the trees, and even a night scene where the eyes of all the creatures are glowing luminously. Seriously they look like the glow in the darkness of the deep purples and blues of the night scene. It really is a work of art. To add to the brilliance of the artwork there are over 50 animals to find which are listed on the back and throughout the text with an animal truly hidden under a flap on each page too. Slightly over-sized and hardback it's definitely one to lay on the floor, stretch out and explore. It's a perfect non-fiction encyclopedia of jungle creatures. It's a brilliant brilliant book. I can only give it the highest of praises!

And I guess I will end it on that wonderful note!
Let's hope my two jungle monkeys like their new room! Happy jungle reading!
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner

*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. 


Being a parent of two little bairns finally feels like 'normal', and I'm getting back to my usual attitude of keeping the da...

Baby's First Books - Wendy - Homegrown Reader

Sunday, July 09, 2017 BookBairn 10 Comments

Being a parent of two little bairns finally feels like 'normal', and I'm getting back to my usual attitude of keeping the days busy and getting out and about as much as we can. Unfortunately all our usual classes are on break during the holidays so I'm filling up the diary with play dates with friends instead. This week I've seen BookBairn grow so much as she ventured into the 'jungle' soft play with her little friend and the slid down the slides hand in hand; she also climbed to the top of a tall slide at the park and came down all by herself. My cautious little girl is finding her adventurous side!

We also had her 27 month health check and she scored high in problem-solving and language skills which wasn't a huge surprise to us as her nursery had indicated she was good at both these things. She has measured up as petite though having started her life as a big(ish) baby it seems she is a petite little toddler! Big personality and big enough to boss us all around at home though. The Wee Page Turner has also been coming on leaps and bounds - he's building his strength for tummy time and likes to be held up so he can hold his weight on his feet. He's also started giving us lots of smiles and giggles and is beginning to develop a little personality of his own. His favourite thing to do, undoubtedly, is to watch his big sister in fascination. And she has started to read stories to him! So cute!

Today's guest post comes from Wendy, the Homegrown Reader, a fellow book enthusiast! Wendy and her family have lived in many places across the globe but currently find themselves in Germany and it's this travelling, I think, that make her book selections so interesting, varied and fascinating! Like, BookBairn, her little 'Bug' has a passion for books which, like me, she's enjoying nurturing! Over to Wendy for some new baby book selections.

Title: A You're Adorable
Author: Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise, & Sidney Lippman
Illustrator: Martha Alexander
Age Group: 0-3
Synopsis: A sweet alphabet sing along.

The Low Down:
My grandmother taught me the words to this song right after Bug was born. We were sitting outside and as she held him she sang this song in her soft, sweet voice that warbled with age. She had sung this song to her children and her countless grandchildren. My aunt gave us the book a short time after and it's been a favourite ever since. I've read and sung it to Bug as he lovingly cooed at the illustrations, as he's hummed along, as he's helped me with the letters and words, and as he's read/sung it to me himself. 

These are some of the most cherished moments I can think of, to share a song and story that not only showers my little one with praise and love, but with heritage that connects him to his family. It is a book that we can take with us even as we leave it at home and something that encourages his beloved interest in reading. It's also an alphabet book that doesn't take twenty minutes to read. Short, sweet, memorable, and worthy of song. Those are all points for a win in my book. 

Story Tips: 
  1. The YouTube clips of this song are not how my grandmother sings it. Her version is quieter, slower, softer. Something you use to calm a baby. But if you're looking for a guide this is a good place to start:

Title: The Runaway Bunny
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Clement Hurd
Age Group: 0-3
Synopsis: A mother bunny reminds her little bunny that her love will follow him anywhere. 

The Low Down:
I don't know why I've never been a huge Goodnight Moon fan. That being said, I love it's companion book The Runaway Bunny. It's sweet and tugs at my heart strings with just a dash of wit and charm. Plus, I have a healthy dose of respect for a mother that can so quickly and convincingly convince her creative child that no matter where he goes she will find him and always love him. 
Clement Hurd creates a unique effect by including colourful illustrations in a largely black and white story. The illustrations are very reminiscent of Goodnight Moon but stand out on their own by embracing a whimsical flights of fancy. Turning the page to these wordless beauties leaves me smiling every time. The little bird bunny is a favourite of mine flying into the arms of his mama bunny who's transformed into a tree where he makes his home. I gets me every time.
The final line of the story is delivered after all this the bunny decides to just stay home and the mother bunny responds by saying, “Have a carrot.” I've always thought this weird but I think after having children, I've cracked it. I'm convinced that the bunny was using running away as an excuse not to eat his dinner. Maybe that's not it and I'm reading far too much into this but every time we read this now I shake my head and sigh. Been there. This mama bunny deserves some serious bonus points for keeping cool and coming up with a fun and distracting way to derail his line of thought. Something I always aspire to.

Story Tips: 
  1. Letting little ones spot the little bunny adds an extra bit of fun to each coloured page.
  2. Come up with your own companion ideas. Although beware, you'll really need to think on your feet. 

How cute is that alphabet song?! BookBairn and I will have to learn it to sing to The Wee Page Turner. And I love that the book goes along side it. We have another book, 'Baby, I Love You' that can be sung to the tune of 'Twinkle Twinkle' and BookBairn loves singing it! Like Wendy, I'm not a big fan of Goodnight Moon either so I'll be looking out for Runaway Bunny as a good alternative. Thanks so much for your recommendations Wendy!

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

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

To Find Wendy: 
Homegrown Reader currently based in Germany. Most of my days are spent with Bug, my son, adventuring through life. He seems very interested in books so far. Of course, I'm using all of my book knowledge to encourage that blossoming relationship. I post as I sift through old favorites and discover new friends. I mostly review books but love throwing some crafty projects up on the site every once in a while. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for weekly book reviews.