Wow! It's been a busy spell for us! We've had another four weddings since the last 'Favourites Shelf', and another tummy ...

Favourite's Shelf - September 2017

Monday, October 09, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

Wow! It's been a busy spell for us! We've had another four weddings since the last 'Favourites Shelf', and another tummy bug. The Wee Page Turner has started his baby clubs - baby massage, yoga and baby sensory, and has started gumming away on pureed food (he's getting it early because he is soooo huge!) as well as learning to roll over and BookBairn can recognise her numerals up to 10 and can now swim using just a 'woggle' (I always called it a noodle - what a noodlebrain!). We also had a very bookish few weeks when the Edinburgh book festival was happening and got lots of new signed books! We had a brilliant holiday and spent much of our time in the swimming pool, or wandering through the woodland trails spotting red squirrels, rabbits, stoats and other wildlife. And we've organised to have our garden gutted and tidied up as well as a little landscaping starting next week. Phew! I'm tired just thinking about it. But we have still managed to fit in lots of picture books (though I haven't managed to read more than a few chapters of mine!). So here are some of our favourites both on and off the shelf:

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

We were very lucky to win a copy of Owl Babies (and a packet of stickers which is always a treat for BookBairn) recently. You might see this one in a few giveaways at the moment because this classic is celebrating it's 25th anniversary. It tells the story of Sarah, Percy and Bill whose mother has disappeared from the tree. As the evening draws on the little owlets get more and more worried but of course it has a happy ending! BookBairn loves this, especially as I read it with different voices and she likes to join in with Bill's squeaky "I want my mummy" which is repeated throughout the story. With beautiful night time illustrations it's a fantastic story! It's also a great read for any little ones who might be struggling with separation anxiety. Whenever we read this one I always end it by say "Mummy always comes back because I love you soooooo much!" A true classic. And I love reading it over and over again.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

It seems BookBairn loves another classic at the moment too! This one comes from the fact that her little brother is now joining in some story times as part of his bedtime routine (sometimes he gets them on his own, and if he's overtired we sometimes skip it) and he has a little toy of Nutbrown Hare. BookBairn chooses this one to read with him. It's a story I think most of you would be familiar with - the "I love you to the moon and back" phrase is now iconic and it's a story to warm your heart - little or big! The illustrations are soft and sweet and it really is no wonder that it's  become so popular over the years. A brilliant new baby gift as it's a perfect bedtime story. We reviewed this one right at the beginning of our blogging journey and you can read it here (with photos of teeny BookBairn to tempt you!).

There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie by Rebecca Colby and Kate McLelland

This one is less of a classic, in fact, we only added it to our library recently when I couldn't resist a signed copy at the Edinburgh Book Festival. I'm sorry that we never got to meet Kate McLelland in person but it wasn't coordinateable that day! BookBairn just loves this story, she loves that I sing every word and she is truly captivated. I'm sure she would adore the original too and I've requested it from the library so we can read it too but this Scottish version is great fun. The illustrations are great fun with adorable Scottish creatures all inside the mechanical workings of the wee lassie's body as they make their way down to catch the previous beastie! It's so clever, BookBairn loves pointing to the animals as I sing them. In short this one is great fun!

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

The Storm Whale is a beautifully illustrated about a little boy, Noi, who is lonely. He lives by the seaside with just his father, who works on the boats all day, and six cats for company. Until one day a storm washes a little whale ashore. Knowing that the whale needs to get back to water, Noi takes the whale home and installs him in the bathtub. But Noi is understandably worried about what his father will say when he returns home. And I don't want to give it away but this has a bittersweet and poignant ending that varies from the usual happy ending we often get in children's books. The illustrations in this are fabulous and I particularly like the way the yellow macs that the father and son wear stand out against the stormy seas (I'm fond of a yellow mac). We get asked to read this one again and again!

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (read by Julian Clary)

This one is lurking at the back of the bookshelf because to be honest we rarely read it. So why, you wonder is it one our Favourites list? Because we listen to the audiobook every single time we go in the car. She loves it! It's the first thing she says when I sit in the drivers seat "I want Sharing a Shell, please!" Before I've even got my seatbelt on! It tells the story, in Julia Donaldson's wonderful rhyme, of three friends who share a shell for their home, until one day they fall out and then a storm hits. It's a great story and a hilarious introduction to symbiotic relationships. She can now recite quite a lot of the story when she does look at the book and enjoys watching others read the story on her ipad too. So perhaps an odd choice, but it's the story we 'read' most often. Have you tried audiobooks with your little one? If you have any recommendations we would love to hear them!

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

This oversized book is too big to fit on the Favourites Shelves but we keep it in the bookcase just beside the 'beautiful chair'. You can read our previous review of this one here. It's one of the most beautifully illustrated non-fiction books I've ever seen. The animals leap from the page and in partricular their eyes glow on the final nighttime spread. It really is sensational and I'm not surprised that BookBairn wants to read it over and over again. 

So those are the books that Daddy and I are constantly reading and re-reading! I'm feeling recharged and ready to resume blogging with all the passion I had before. I've missed my hobby and can't wait to share all the books that are piling up in my newly reorganised library-come-office (I still need more bookshelves - who'd have guessed that we have too many books?). Is there anything in particular you would like to see? I've got a Spook-Bairn post coming soon with some Halloween recommendations and I will, of course, be sharing our new festive reads in the run-up to our advent book-treeI'm also working on a follow-up to 'A Bookish Mother's Wish' which will be for BookBairn and a picture books for grown-ups post. But I just wondered if anyone wanted to see anything in particular - more non-fiction, or great bedtime reads, or a particular theme like autumn/winter stories? Also we'd love to hear what your favourite reads are at the moment!

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

*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.


  1. What a great set of books to add to the favourites shelf. I look forward to sitting on the beautiful chair and reading them to BookBairn and The (not so) Wee Page Turner.

    1. Thanks Papa C! You are welcome to come and read stories anytime!

  2. I remember when Owl Babies was published first time round - bought it it the pre-five centre I worked at in Glasgow at the time. I enoyed reading quite a few of these with BookBairn including 'I know a wee lassie', 'Guess how much I love you' and 'The Storm Whale'. Look forward to catching up on the rest soon.

    1. See - we only share real favourites! You will no doubt have read most of the books from the Favourites Shelf posts! Thanks for reading them! You will notice most of these came on holiday with us!