It's nearly December!! And that means it's time for another book advent countdown! I thought I would pop a quick post on to share...

Advent Book Tree 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 BookBairn 7 Comments

It's nearly December!! And that means it's time for another book advent countdown! I thought I would pop a quick post on to share with you some inspiration and tips if you fancy the idea. I'll share the books I've wrapped up in a blog post on the 1st!

So I'm pretty proud of how gorgeous my 'book tree' looks this year! I saw that irresistible paper in Paperchase and picked it up exactly for this purpose. And I couldn't find last years lights so I picked these little stars up and I like them better anyway.

Ok, so you might think wrapping up 24 books would be time-consuming but it really didn't take that long - books are pretty easy to wrap. But if you don't fancy wrapping them up - you could make it easy by buying a nice gift bag or box and popping a new book inside each day to create the same surprise! Or Catherine at Story Snug has a great idea for an alternative to wrapping 24 books over on her blog (you can find the direct link here).

And I say 'new books' - that sounds pretty expensive, right? But first these books don't have to be new - you could do what I do and hide books when you take down your Christmas decorations and then take them back out again next year. But still that means 24 books. Or maybe not? Last year, I borrowed several from the library and wrapped them - simply renewing them before they were due back or making sure they got unwrapped early in month. But you can't really borrow 24 books so you might have to get some if you only want festive books (alternatively your kids will be just as excited by books they already have because it's all about the surprise!). You could get some cheap book packs from The Book People or The Works or pick them up in charity shops.

If you are look for more inspiration, tomorrow, Claire, from 'PlayHooray', will be sharing her some great #xmasadventbooks that her Instagram followers have been sharing. And we got a little fanmail of our own from the lovely Cassie at 'Mummy on a Budget'.

This really made my day! And if you read what we were up to today (in our previous post) you can see it was a brilliant bookish one!

If you do decide to create a book countdown, I would love to see it so please tag us in your photos!

Happy counting down!
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx


Sorry today's post is a little later than usual - I have been very busy this morning! We have been sharing our 'book-wealth'....

Sharing Our Book Wealth

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

Sorry today's post is a little later than usual - I have been very busy this morning! We have been sharing our 'book-wealth'. As you are probably aware wee often get sent books from publishers and I also buy lots and lots of books. And as you can imagine we don't have space to keep them all. So one of the things that I am determined to do is to share our 'book-wealth'.

Earlier this month I gave over 100 of our book excess to a local charity, the Toy Drive, who give Christmas bundles of gifts and food hampers to local children and families who have had a referral from schools, social work and health professionals ensuring that these families have a stocking full of gifts on Christmas morning. I am proud that we have been able to contribute in our small way.

But we were then left with several dozen books that I felt were too read to be called 'new' which is one of the criteria for the Toy Drive. So I thought back to International Book Giving Day when we created a book treasure hunt in our local play parks. Hoping for a dry and sunny day in November during Book Week Scotland I thought we could repeat the fun. And we have been very lucky as today was a bitterly cold, dry and sunny day! So we went to three local parks (and a very lovely bookish friend went to a fourth) to 'hide' some of our book wealth for local children to find. I just hope they all get picked up!

We didn't need to worry as we arrived at one of the parks, near a duck pond and woodland, just at the time Forest Kindergarten was finishing so those books were gone before we were finished feeding the ducks. I got a lovely message from a mum whose daughter had had a bump and said that finding the book cheered her right up! This is all I could ask for!

We then popped along to the 'big park' and BookBairn was really delighted to hide the books here! She ran from the buggy to all different parts of the park dropping off the books. A few people popped over to say hello and thank you which made it all worthwhile. As it got a bit cold we dashed up to the last park in the car and I nipped out to drop off the books myself!

We really had a wonderful morning and have been sent a few photos of people finding our books. I hope you enjoy your new stories! We will definitely be doing this again in the future!

Happy book hunting,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx


I have finished all my baby and toddler   Christmas shopping - whooo hoooo! Just a couple of orders still to arrive and then the elves c...

BookBairn's Christmas Gift Guide - Mums

Monday, November 27, 2017 BookBairn 12 Comments

I have finished all my baby and toddler Christmas shopping - whooo hoooo! Just a couple of orders still to arrive and then the elves can get wrapping! But I still have the grown-ups to buy for. And I always find this really difficult! Kids somehow are so much easier to please. So I've put together a list of the five best grown-up books I've read this year, but don't forget grown ups love picture books too. I've called this blog post 'for mums' but really these would be great for many grown-ups. Without further ado...

Here I Stand: Stories that Speak to Freedom - Various collated by Amnesty International

This is a brilliant brilliant book. The best book I've read all year. This is a collection of short stories and poetry that explore the top human rights issues facing young people today written by some of the best writers today!  It is challenging - some of the stories are quite hard-hitting and emotionally difficult to read but they are so thought-provoking. They will challenge your thinking. And for the right person this is a great gift! I cannot speak passionately enough about this book. I borrowed it from the library but fully intend on buying a copy as I want to re-read some of the stories again. And the profits from the book go to Amnesty International so it does a little good for the world too when you buy this book. It's my best book of the year. You should read it. Maybe even get a copy for yourself.

Nobody Told Me - Hollie McNish

I actually listened to this on audiobook as I like to hear poetry and biographies read aloud. But I already had a copy of the book and I have looked back over the poems several times. 'Reading to you' is a personal favourite. Hollie sums up early parenthood in a beautiful but simple way. She hits the nail on the head every time and says what I am thinking. It's witty, amusing and downright hilarious! But it doesn't shame children, it doesn't demean parenthood like some of the similar parenting books at the moment do. I highly recommend this book for new parents - and perhaps share a voucher so they can download the audiobook for themselves too - it's so much better to listen to Hollie reading it aloud! Brilliant!

The Worm and the Bird - Coralie Bickford-Smith

Now, this is a picture book. It tells the story of a worm toiling away to make it's way to the surface - it's life's dream/mission to see the sky. And waiting above is a crow. Waiting. Patiently. For a worm. The worm bursts through the surface and gets it's first glimpse of the sky. And then the bird strikes and takes to the air. This book doesn't have a happy ending but yet it reminds us to appreciate the beauty in the simple things. And the illustration is beautiful. If you liked 'The Fox and the Star' (Coralie's first picture book) you will love this. And if this sounds a little too sad for your liking - check out 'The Fox and the Star' instead as it is equally as magical!

The One Hundred Nights of Hero - Isabel Greenberg

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It's a graphic novel of incredible proportions. It follows Cherry and her maid Hero whose secret love is threatened when Cherry’s husband’s boorish friend wagers he can seduce Cherry over the course of 100 nights. Hero tells stories to distract him, taking in dark swamps, floating greenhouses, cursed daughters and a harp that sings of murder. Danger lurks within these tales and after each dangling cliffhanger, but Hero weaves a web that has soon snared the suitor, the sentries and most of the townsfolk. Filled with new fairytales that explore the power of words and women, this book is utterly enchanting. I was completely blown away by the uplifting and witty stories and the illustration style is whimsical and beautiful. Graphic novels are a new genre to me and this has made me want to read more. I also read 'The Encyclopedia of Early Earth' by the same author/illustrator and I love it too! 

The Invisible Child - Tove Jansson

I love the Moomins and find the characters and the world created by Tove Jansson to be magical and mystifying! This book makes a great Christmas gift because it tells the story of the Moomins's only Christmas (they normally hibernate through winter) and the story of an invisible child which is so poignant it will make you stop and think. Another book that gives a little back, the fundraising from this goes to the 'Invisible Children Campaign'. A must for Moomin fans. Magic!

I hope you have found a gift that will suit the mama in your life. Or just have introduced you to a new book for your to-read list! I have one more gift guide for you still to come - for children older than BookBairn.

And if you want any specific recommendations please feel free to get in touch! All our social media links are in the header at the top of the blog - or you can just search 'bookbairn' to find us!

Happy Christmas Shopping,
Mummy and the elves xx

Disclaimer: these are all my choices. Some were sent from publishers but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great.


Earlier this week I shared a gift guide for babies with some fabulous books for the littlest readers. Today I thought I would shar...

BookBairn's Christmas Gift Guide - Toddlers

Friday, November 24, 2017 BookBairn 8 Comments

Earlier this week I shared a gift guide for babies with some fabulous books for the littlest readers. Today I thought I would share some for children who are similar in age to BookBairn. Again I've tried to choose books that would appeal to a wide variety of readers and I've avoided festive reads (these will be part of our advent book tree post which is coming up next week). As I wrote this post I've realised how many are interactive books! The obviously appeal to me! But that's because they appeal to toddlers. All of the books I've chosen here are quite different in the interactivity so you shouldn't find them at all similar. Other than that they are all fabulous!

Tap the Magic Tree - Christie Matheson

This an enchanting story about a how a bare winter tree is transformed through the seasons. But with a difference. Little readers have to act out certain actions to make the tree change. Tap the pink blossom buds to make them open, wiggle you fingers to make the leaves change colour, shake the book to make the leaves fall off. It's just so clever how it teaches little ones about the seasons, tell a magical story and get them joining in. BookBairn loves these sorts of books where she feels like she is influencing the story. And this would make a great gift for little ones who love to change the story too!

Fly - Xavier Deneux

This is another brilliant little interactive book starring a family of little birdies. 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! This book is incredibly stylish and the illustrations just pop-out of the page, both figuratively and literally. This is one of the books that BookBairn pulls of the shelf again and again and again and, to be honest, it's a wonder we haven't lost any of the pieces yet as she does like to play hide-and-seek with them! This book will be a hit with any tots and toddlers that you are buying for this year. It really is brilliant. (We reviewed this one a while ago but you can find it here.)

Say Zoop! - Herve Tullet

If you know a toddler who likes to make some noise then this one is for them! This book is an invitation to make noise - to sing, shout, whisper! Readers follow along with the coloured dots on the pages and quite simply oh and ah according to size, order and instructions. This is the first book that BookBairn can actually read by herself. After several reads together she now puts her fingers on the dots and shouts "oh" for the large blue dots, or whispers if it is a small dot and similarly the corresponding red or yellow spots. She is beginning to translate symbols into sounds - pre-reading skills. But this book isn't just an awesome learning tool. It's great fun! Really great fun! Herve Tullet is an expert in participatory bookmaking and ensures that children really engage with reading and books. So any of his books would make a great gift - 'Mix it Up' is BookBairn's other favourite. But kids will go dotty for this one!

Night and Day - Julie Safirstein

Got a little one who has a good vocabulary that you are looking to extend? This book is great at introducing and bringing to life basic concepts. 
It is a hugely oversized book that is filled with opposite words: night and day, high and low, open and closed, as well as other basic vocabulary like numbers. But it goes beyond simple pictures to represent the concepts. It brings them to life. Truly. Colourful pop-ups, lift-the-flaps and cut-outs create an interactive book that is packed full of bold and modern graphics that will engage little ones with the concepts. This book gets read/played with over and over again. It's too big for the shelf to perhaps it has an advantage sitting beside all the other books but more likely it's because it's pretty awesome! This really is a book like no other. And would be a brilliant addition to any child's bookshelf (or floor in our case!). (You can read our full review here.)

One Day on our Blue Planet... in the Antarctic - Ella Bailey

This book has been re-read over and over again recently so I couldn't not include it here! It is a non-fiction adventure that is full of fascinating facts about a little Adelie penguin who is now old enough to venture out into the world on her own, exploring the Antarctic Ocean. This is the first book that I have read the expertly blends a story with facts in a genuinely convincing and natural way. The illustrations evoke the icy beauty of the Antarctic and the icy blue colour palette creates chilly pages that bring the story to life. The endpapers are an encyclopedia of Antarctic creatures found above and below the ice, and BookBairn is engrossed in these for hours and hours, spotting and naming animals! There are a few others in the series too - 'in the Savannah' and 'in the Rainforest' - so you might want to think about what kind of creatures your little one is fascinated by. For more details check out our review, and tiny BookBairn, by reading here.)

I hope you have found something that your toddlers would love! Please keep a look-out for my next list of recommendations for you (yes, you - grown ups!) which should be up early next week. 

And if you want any specific recommendations please feel free to get in touch! All our social media links are in the header at the top of the blog - or you can just search 'bookbairn' to find us!

Happy Christmas Shopping,
Mummy and the elves xx

Disclaimer: these are all my choices. Some were sent from publishers but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great.


Around this time of year lots of people start asking about books that make good Christmas presents. And of course, all the books that we ...

BookBairn's Christmas Gift Guide - Babies

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 BookBairn 11 Comments

Around this time of year lots of people start asking about books that make good Christmas presents. And of course, all the books that we share on the blog would make good Christmas gifts because we only share books we actual read and love (that's our quality-guarantee right there). But I thought I would try to give you a few starting ideas in a couple of posts (depending on age range). It was quite difficult to narrow it down so I've tried to choose five from each age-range that I think will appeal to a variety of different readers and I've tried to choose slightly lesser-known titles so that you don't risk giving a duplicate (this is probably the reason so few people risk buying BookBairn books!). I've also avoided any Christmas titles as I tend not to give these as gifts myself as they have a short shelf-life until the following year. I hope you see something you like!

Really Decent Handy Books - Philip Dauncey & Stephen Barker

We had a set of these really decent handy books for BookBairn and they were amongst the first books she ever really played with (you can read a very old review of them here). The original series we had for BookBairn went missing along with a whole bag of new baby toys and books during a manic nesting and clear out phase just before The Wee Page Turner was born. Fortunately I had this collection stashed away from last year's Christmas sales and I'll be wrapping it up for The Wee Page Turner. Whilst I've not opened these yet I'm sure they are brilliant as the previous books were some of the best we ever had. This series is perfect for encouraging young children to play with books and read by themselves. The cut-out handle is perfect for grabbing and the way the books open out flat make them easy to hold and see the full illustration across the pages. Bright and colourful they are perfect first books for babies to explore! 
(I don't normally show preference to any particular retailer but just to note these books were a lot cheaper on the Book People than they were on Amazon.)

Little Feminist Box Set - Emily Kleinman & Lydia Ortiz

This is a great little box set for those looking to raise mighty girls or brilliant boys who have respect for mighty girls! This little board book set features colourful illustrated portraits of real women who have made a historical impact on the world. They are a great way to introduce little ones to these important people in history with illustrations that are fun and bright but also representative of their real life counterparts. These are mini board books so are great for the littlest readers and The Wee Page Turner enjoys playing with these ones since he has been able to sit up! As the box states: "Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." A great gift for girls and boys!

Animals - Britta Teckentrup

When you're giving a gift you want might want it to be beautifully stylish as well as great fun for little ones, and this new series of books for babies by the incredibly talented artist, Britta Teckentrup, ticks all the boxes. Packed full of high contrast colours and different animals this will really appeal to the littlest reader in a home. Perfect for stimulating discussion, you can chat about the pictures, which is so valuable to little ears. Babies will love the pop of colour and uncluttered design as well as the smaller size that are perfect for little hands to grasp. The whole series would make a lovely Christmas gift. (Our full review of the series is on the blog here.)

Blocks - Irene Dickson

Telling the story of two children learning to share this book is great for siblings! Featuring primarily red and blue colours against a plain white background this book is great for engaging little readers with the key elements of the story. BookBairn loves this as much as her little brother so it's appeal goes further than just babies. It has a great little cliffhanger that BookBairn is just beginning to understand and she gives me a cheeky grin at the end every time. My only reservation about recommending this one is that it's a slightly oversized board book so it is very heavy which means that it isn't great for babies to read by themselves. However, that just means babies need their parents to cuddle up with them to share this adorable story! Or maybe even bigger siblings? This would be perfect for an older sibling to give to a younger one!

Baby's First Playbook: Peepo - Jo Lodge

One of our favourite author/illustrator/paper engineers is the incredible Jo Lodge and this book is such a brilliant example of her work! Not really a story book, more a first word and exploration book, the characters are incredibly appealing with their cute and funny expressions and clear lines complimented by bold colours, which are perfectly designed to engage little ones as their eyesight develops. The thick and sturdy tabs reveals illustrations of babies in Jo's distinctive style that appeals to little readers that are set in frames of high contrast patterns and shapes. And just to top it off, there's a mirror on the final page that babies can spend hours exploring and adoring their own little faces. It really is a magic book for babies and will keep them busy for hours. (BookBairn enjoyed the first in the series long beyond babyhood, you can read our review of it here!)

I hope you have found something appealing in this little bundle for babies. Please keep a look-out for my next list of recommendations for toddlers which should be up later this week. 

And if you want any specific recommendations please feel free to get in touch! All our social media links are in the header at the top of the blog - or you can just search 'bookbairn' to find us!

Happy Christmas Shopping,
Mummy and the elves xx

Disclaimer: these are all my choices. Some were sent from publishers but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great.



You all know that I love a picture book. I have a whole blog you can scroll through for evidence! But some picture books I have read recen...

Picture Books for Grown Ups

Monday, November 20, 2017 BookBairn 12 Comments

You all know that I love a picture book. I have a whole blog you can scroll through for evidence! But some picture books I have read recently really appeal to me as an adult. Not just a parent reading to a child. But there's a little something extra in them that makes them appeal to me. They are still a great read for children but there's added parent-appeal so I thought I'd collate a special blog post on picture books for grown ups. (I wrote a similar guest post in the past which you can find here.)

Franklin's Flying Bookshop - Jen Campbell & Katie Hartnett

What would you do if you came across a dragon in the street? I reckon I'd be a bit frightened and probably run off like many of the characters in the book. But not firey-haired Luna. She befriends Franklin, the dragon, only to learn that he is an avid-reader. Just like her. And together they set off on an adventure to create a 'flying bookshop' between Franklin's wings. And together they conquer the fears of the many and prove that you can't judge a book by it's cover, and neither a dragon by it's ability to breathe fire. This is a magical story that both grown ups and children will adore. With fairytale quality and lyrical text, you can't help but get swept up in this story. Luna and Franklin are characters that will enter your hearts! And the illustrations are equally beautiful. This, quite frankly, is the perfect book for me. It's enchanting story, magical illustrations and it's about friendship and books.
(Also if you hunt carefully in bookshops, primarily independent bookshops, and you find Franklin, you get a free goody bag. Check out the hashtag #findfranklin on Twitter to find out more. Needless to say I took BookBairn on a hunt and we were delighted with our goodies!)

Mary Poppins Up, Up and Away - Helene Druvert

This is a beautifully crafted homage to the much-loved character of Mary Poppins that will enchant and mystify as much as the lady herself. Each page is designed to capture on the significant moments from the series of books with delightful drawings accompanied by intricate and captivating lasercuts. Mary Poppins drops into Cherry Tree Lane of visit Jane and Michael Banks to share yet more adventures and explore London's great sites. It is as much an homage to the city as it is to the stories of Mary Poppins and the Banks children. Entirely in black, white and grey, with short snippets of rhyming couplets to enhance the storytelling, this book will delight fans of the series! 
Also, to Santa: Helene Druvert has a second book - 'Paris Up, Up and Away' if you would like to pop one in my stocking it would be wonderful!

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse - Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

When I first read this book I couldn't quite believe that this dark and macabre and hilarious tale was a picture book! I decided not to buy it for BookBairn because I felt she was too little to get the subtleties of the story of a mouse and a duck who are swallowed by a wolf. And how they make themselves a happy little home within the stomach of the wolf. And they host dinner parties and dancing. But then a hunter appears to threaten them all. And I won't spoil the ending but it's absolutely perfect. And not what you would expect from a children's book. This story made me laugh and laugh. So I went back to buy it for myself. The illustrations are typical of Jon Klassen - beautiful, detailed, dark and hilarious - and bring to life the text which is quite simply delicious reading. I adore this tale. Another book with fairy-tale qualities that made it irresistible to me. But I won't be reading it to BookBairn until she is a little older.

The Fir Tree (Hans Christian Andersen), The Nutcracker (ETE Hoffmann), The Snow Queen (Hans Christian Andersen) - Sanna Annukka

Now this series of books really do make great Christmas gifts. Last year, Daddy BookBairn gave me two and I kindly picked up the latest one (The Nutcracker) for him to give me this year. These really are designed with adults in mind, and are far more text-heavy than your typical picture book but they are also beautifully illustrated. They all retell the traditional stories that you may be familiar with and are accompanied by the spectacular graphic designs of Sanna Annukka. They really bring to life the magic of the original stories. 

Under the Love Umbrella - Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys

This book is quite simply a celebration of the joy and comfort that love can bring. And of course that's not simple feat to achieve in a short picture book. And yet this book does all that and more. It captures the everlasting, all-reaching, breadth and depth of love. For children knowing that they are loved no matter where they are, what they do helps them to grow and learn to be independent. And for parents that's one of the most important things that you want for your child: for them to know that you will always love them. Always and everywhere. Not only does this book help parents share this message and children believe it, it is a beautiful book. Each word chosen so carefully. And each brushstroke, colour choice has been given equal consideration. Of the books I've included here this is definitely one that I can share with BookBairn but I share it with her as much for myself. Because this is a picture book for grown ups too!

I hope you enjoyed reading about these books that might appeal to you more than your usual picture book bedtime stories. If you are looking for a book that you won't mind reading over and over again, that will appeal to you, as the reader, then I hope you have found something here to make repeat reading more interesting. And if you know a grown-up picture book fan I hope you might have found a book for their stocking.

Happy reading,
Mummy - self-confessed picture book fanatic and proud of it. 
After all picture books are for grown ups too! x

Disclaimer: I requested some of the books from the publisher for review and were kindly sent copies. The rest I bought myself because I couldn't resist them.


It's been a long time since I put together a Mummy and BookBairn Book Group post - mostly because I've not been reading rather th...

Mummy and BookBairn Book Group - Plumdog

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

It's been a long time since I put together a Mummy and BookBairn Book Group post - mostly because I've not been reading rather than BookBairn not reading. But I'm keen to get back to enjoying reading for myself now that I have enough energy to read past my bedtime.

I've long-admired Emma Chichester Clark's artwork (and really want 'Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz by Michael Morpurgo with her illustrations - please Santa?!) and decided to pick up 'Plumdog' to get myself back into stories without it being too much text-heavy (eye-close-inducing). And I was thrilled when I spotted 'Love is My Favourite Thing' in the children's section of the library. Plumdog as the star of a picture book! I was sold.

My 'Plumdog' graphic novel is a year in the life of Plumdog and it is packed full of cuteness and humour. Told from Plumdog's perspective it's clear that Emma knows her pooch well. The illustrations are completely irresistible and great fun to pour over whilst enjoying the snippets of text. I loved this! (Though probably best kept for dog-lovers!)

'Love is My Favourite Thing' is a sweet tale about all the things that Plumdog loves, even if her owner (Emma) isn't quite so fond of them. She loves treats, her bed, walks in the park. She loves her mummy and daddy. And overall she loves being loved, loving others and just love. But she also loves diving into the river and pinching ice cream which gets Plumdog into big trouble. She gets sent to her room in the dark. She asks her owners"do you still love me?" and of course they do!! Something that I'm sure lots of children worry that when they are in trouble their parents have stopped loving them. And of course this isn't true. So this is a lovely story for addressing naughtiness, forgiveness and the enduring nature of family love. The illustrations are equally as adorable as in the graphic novel!

We have fallen in love with Plumdog! And we agree love is definitely our favourite thing too! These books would make a great Christmas present as a pair or individually for anyone who has a fluffy friend that they adore. Plumdog will certainly capture your heart!

We have two other paired books to read at the moment so keep an eye out for those and if you have any good recommendations it would be great to hear from you!

Happy reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx


I'm just crazy about Britta Teckentrup's fabulous artwork (her book Bee featured in my last post on My Top Five Favourite Picture...

Spotting, Matching and Reading

Monday, November 06, 2017 BookBairn 8 Comments

I'm just crazy about Britta Teckentrup's fabulous artwork (her book Bee featured in my last post on My Top Five Favourite Picture Books). Her artwork takes picture book illustration to a whole other level into irresitible pieces of art that I just want to frame.

And I'm delighted that there's a new series of books that introduces these stylish illustrations to the littlest reader in our house. BookBairn has several of her spotting books and we enjoy looking over the illustrations to find the odd one out, or the matching pair. But for a long time she was too young to join in. But now there's a new series for little tots.

I'm not saying The Wee Page Turner can spot the odd one out in the 'Opposites' book or match the mother and baby in 'Animals' yet. Yet (in a blink of an eye he'll be all grown up and able to do this with ease). But he already really appreciates the high contrast colours and different images. We can sit and talk about the pictures, something so valuable to little ears, who pick up everything. And BookBairn can read these to him and help him find the matches.

These would make a very stylish new baby gift and as little hands learn to grasp the pages they will love the pop of colour and uncluttered design. Artistic, simple, clever. Love them.

*There are also four others in the series - 'Animal Spots and Stripes', 'Animal 123', 'Colours' and 'First Words' which are no doubt excellent too.

Happy spotting, matching and reading,
Mummy and The Wee Page Turner xx

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


A while ago I did a little introductions post on Instagram to say hello to any new followers we have (approaching 5000 - wouldn't it b...

My Top Five Picture Books

Friday, November 03, 2017 BookBairn 15 Comments

A while ago I did a little introductions post on Instagram to say hello to any new followers we have (approaching 5000 - wouldn't it be amazing to get to that huge number by the end of the year? So please follow! Ta!) and I asked if anyone had anything they wanted to know about me, us, books...

A post shared by BookBairn and Mummy (Kim) (@bookbairn) on

And the ever so lovely Cara from @raising.kinley  asked me to share my top five picture books of all time. And I clarified they were to be mine, not BookBairns. Well, lovely readers, you can imagine this has taken a lot of pondering (and I needed time to write the post) so it's been over a month but I have narrowed it down. When I thought about it, I realised that I had three instant choices (so it would probably be fairer to say I have three top books) and I thought long and hard about the additional two spots. So I've categorised them as my honourable mentions and my top three, from which I cannot choose a favourite. Here goes:

Honourable Mentions

Bee by Britta Teckentrup and Patricia Hegarty

I love the illustrations in this fabulous book, in fact I love almost everything illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. I could pour over these pages for hours. Literally hours. They are packed full of beauty. And the poetry of the story about the humble bee elevating it to such a high status is absolutely captivating. I have always had a fond spot for the humble bumblebee after my parents have been calling me "bumblebee" or just "bumble" for years and this book shows they are worth of poetry and art. And that makes it just a bit special for me.

Spot by Eric Hill

"Spot! Spot! Lovable Spot! He's soft and cuddly and he smiles a lot. If there ever was a pup to cheer you up it's Spot. Spot! Spot!" Perhaps an odd choice amongst some of the more artistic and complex picture books I have chosen for this list. But Spot was part of my childhood - my brother's favourite - and I remember him fondly. We had Spot books, Spot soft-toys and Spot card games. I remember playing 'Happy Families' with oversized cards. I remember that tattered and much-loved and dragged-along toy. I remember reading the stories. And now I love reading him with BookBairn. Simple, fun and easy (and not too long when I need bedtime to commence).

Top 3

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

I have loved this book long before BookBairn was born. And it was one of the first books that I ever bought for her when she was merely a bump in my tummy. It tells the story of a little boy so filled with wonder about the stars that he decides to try and catch one. And I can't quite say why I find this so enchanting, perhaps it's because I'm fascinated by the world beyond ours, by the stars and the universe so expansive and miraculous that I can relate to feeling small and simply wanted to hold a little bit of that magic in my hand. Oliver Jeffers is also one of my favourite artists. I love the simple style of his drawings that are on second glance far more complex than you may have initially realised. There's a little bit of magic in this story. And the ending is absolutely charming.

Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett

I chose this one partly because it is BookBairn's favourite and she just loves reading it and I just love reading it with her. This is an ingenious story about a little monster who can't help but nibble his way through books. With layers of illustrations I'm still finding new things hidden even after the many many reads. It really is a brilliant book. But I think I probably knew instantly I would choose this one because of the way it makes me feel. When I read this one with BookBairn and see her little face light up at the joy of the story, the magic of the illustration I can see these are the moments that are turning her into a reader. And that fills me with joy. And that joy makes me love this book.

Me by Emma Dodd

I mention this book on here all the time as one of the loveliest stories that I have ever read. I just adore it. The first hundred times we read it, it filled my eyes with tears. And the next hundred filled my with warmth. And for the next hundred I will hold my rapidly growing little ones even closer. And I will keep this book forever. The world is so big, and moments curled up together so small, it's just perfect poetry for parents to read with children. And I adore the little penguin illustration. He's irresistible. This is the book I wish I had written. And I will cherish it always.

So there you have them! My top five picture books. It was a real challenge and I really did think long and hard about it. But I did finally choose. I wonder if, when I look back, I would choose the same again? Or will future experiences, such as BookBairn reading for the first time, change my mind. Or will my taste in books change? Or will some as-yet-unwritten picture book blow these others out of the water? Perhaps a book of my own? Who knows?

Could you choose just five favourite picture books? I set all my blogging friends a challenge to write a post sharing only five! And if you're not a blogger I'd love to hear from you in the comments below (or on our social media) with your favourites.

Happy Reading,
Mummy x