March has been a very exciting month for us as BookBairn turned three ! If you've been following our blog since we started when she...

Little Loves - March

Friday, March 30, 2018 BookBairn 8 Comments

March has been a very exciting month for us as BookBairn turned three! If you've been following our blog since we started when she was six months old you will, no doubt, like me not believe that she is three already! The Wee Page Turner has mastered crawling and now is a speedster and into everything including pulling himself up on to the sofa and grabbing whatever is in reach - often his sisters toes! He also definitely said his first word... "mama" which is such a thrill as BookBairn's first word was "dada". He has been making a "mamamama" sound for a while but he was definitely shouting out for me when confronted with a scary dinosaur puppet! And now we have a lovely Easter weekend ahead of us!

So that's been our month and here are some of the little loves we have been enjoying.

The book I have read the most this month with BookBairn is probably not the most exciting book but she has really enjoyed it and it's been a great help, we hope, in preparing her for the transition to her big girl bed. In "Princess Polly and The Big Girl Bed", Princess Polly is going through all the stages of getting her new bed. And we have been going over and over them too. It also has a delightful (not delightful) button that shouts "hooray" every time you push it. Princess Polly was a real help for us when potty training and I hope this will help BookBairn too as we tried the big girl bed before and it was not a success. Fingers crossed for better luck this time!

We have really enjoyed watching the movie 'Sing' recently. BookBairn loves to dance along with songs and music on the TV and she has really enjoyed the end of the film where the animals put on a concert. We particularly enjoy the pigs singing Shake it Off  and the gorilla singing I'm Still Standing. We often have a dance party in the evening just before Daddy comes home from work and these are our new favourites to dance along to. We have also watched a lot of Cbeebies this month (as always).

The Wee Page Turner tried on some of he costumes at the Dundee Science Centre, where we went for BookBairn's birthday, and he looked adorable in the Very Hungry Caterpillar dress-up. Especially when he crawled across the floor. They have much in common: they can both eat through one slice of chocolate cake, one ice cream, one pickle, one slice of swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of watermelon!

We got lots of new games and toys for BookBairn's birthday and one of the most popular was the Make Your Own Farm that we shared last week. We also love our Grimm's rainbow and finding lots of different ways to play. Not only is it a beautiful toy (unlike so much of the plastic tat that overflow the toy boxes) it has so many opportunities for open-ended play. BookBairn enjoys making rockets by stacking the arches on top of each other but my favourite is to line them all up upside down and roll a ball along them making a delightful (actually delightful) little plinky-plonk sound as it does. Though an expensive toy I feel like this is one that will be handed down from generation to generation and be enjoyed and played with by them all along the way!

I recently was persuaded by so many crafty-mum accounts on Instagram to buy a set of Little Brian paint sticks as BookBairn loves to paint but I often find it difficult to set up, manage the mess, and clean up with The Wee Page Turner (literally) under our feet so I thought these would provide a quick solution. And they are great! We covered the table in drawing paper and BookBairn created away to her hearts content. We then took to the windows, and as I type I can see the beautiful flowers that she created on the windows. They wash off so easily and you can just start again! Even Daddy had fun doing this. You can also apparently (we haven't tried it yet) use them on fabric and then iron the reverse side to set them! I sense a little BookBairn designed bookbag creation in future!

We have heard a lot of numbers and counting from BookBairn! She is fascinated by the numbers on the local buses as we drive and walk around our town and can now begin to identify lots of them (but the 64 is her favourite apparently). She also counted up to 35 at nursery, according to her learning journal, by counting the triangles in the pattern on her skirt. And we have been playing lots of games that require simple counting - from the Incy Wincy Spider game I shared last month (numbers on the dice and the track) to Hungry Hippos (who got the most balls, and more importantly who got the yellow one?) and to our Tumbling Bee game, which is a bit like Kerplunk (who got the least bees). She also traced some numbers by herself on some number cards that we have. We seem to be counting all the time!

We have enjoyed playing in the garden. I couldn't think what to type here and I heard BookBairn chatting over the baby monitor (she has quiet time just now) about playing in the garden with her mummy, daddy and baby brother. And we have been enjoying it. We had our garden landscaped in the late autumn to make it more child-friendly and had a swing and slide set installed but didn't get much chance to play with it as it got too cold, wet and wintery. But this past week we have been out and playing and it has been lovely! I even had a blissful twenty minutes of outdoor reading sitting on our new deck area whilst they napped (it wasn't warm but it was blissful). I can't wait to get more and more use out of the garden as the weather improves! Roll on Spring sunshine!

I hope you enjoyed reading a bit more about the things we loved this month, I've enjoyed reflecting back on some of our favourite things!

Hope you had a lovely March and look forward to some Spring weather!
Mummy and the bairns xx

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat


I have been thinking a lot about creating calm and mindfulness in BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner and of course we have come across lot...

Meditation and Mindfulness for Kids

Thursday, March 29, 2018 BookBairn 3 Comments

I have been thinking a lot about creating calm and mindfulness in BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner and of course we have come across lots of books to support developing this mindset.

The Wee Page Turner mastering a handstand.
Before I share those books with you I just wanted to give a special thanks to Sarah from Warm Hearts Yoga who has helped to nurture and support both my bairns since they were babies. BookBairn started baby yoga at Warm Hearts Yoga (our local baby yoga class) when she was around three months old and we went once a week until The Wee Page Turner was born when we switched to a monthly class which she still loves. The Wee Page Turner started at a similar age and has now progressed on to yoga tots. Both my children and myself love this yoga group, Sarah tailors and adapts the class as she picks up on the needs of babies and mums and they both come home and practise their yoga moves (downward dog has always been a favourite). They both giggled with delight at the parachute rainbow at the end and have learned to lie calmly for the meditation part at the end. But the classes have also shown me some lovely ways to play and sing with my babies at home, which is hard as a new mum when you don't really know what to do. And some of the songs are still favourites and we sing them daily. If you live locally you should check out Warm Hearts Yoga for babies to school aged children, and if you don't you should look and see if there's a baby or kids yoga class near you.

Baby BookBairn was super bendy!

Pure joy.

Mastering Downward Dog.

Now on to some books...

I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter H Reynolds

This is a lovely calming story, well more of a meditation in the form of a book than a story to be honest. It begins "When I feel small in a world so big ... I close my eyes and make room in my mind, in my heart, to create and imagine." It reminds your child to calm their body, quiet their mind, slow their breath. And it beautifully lists a series of positive affirmations for you little one: they sparkle like the stars, feel love, are playful, light up the night. All accompanied by a soothing illustration of a child in a yoga pose. This is a lovely book to read together at the end of a busy day. Or perhaps as the day begins to remind little ones of all those lovely affirmations. A beautiful empowering and calming book to help your little ones be more mindful of their own strengths and create calmness.

Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton and Sheena Dempsey

Firstly, the charm of this book is in the illustrations! They are truly adorable. There are all sorts of different babies, toddlers and children in the scenes - from all shapes, sizes and colours, it's hard to think that your child wouldn't see themselves somewhere in this book and that makes it pretty magical. The colour palette used is soft but bright, soothing and enriching and the illustrations are full of delightful little details. The story is a lovely rhyme sharing the benefits and fun that you can have doing yoga and reads aloud very nicely. BookBairn enjoys reading this one as she recognises that the children are doing yoga "like me mummy!". This is a great little book that will encourage an enjoyment of yoga and makes a great bedtime story!
I think this is the family most like us (except for the fact that the baby
looks like he is happily asleep on his mother's back - this would never happen.
He only ever sleeps in his cot. And occasionally the car.)

Mind Hug by Emily Arber and Vanessa Lovegrove

This is a wonderful story that will start your child on an adventure into mindfulness, exploring self-soothing, emotional regulation and empathy for others. It tells the story of Jack, a little boy whose body and mind are constantly on the go. His mind is sometimes a loud buzzing mess of questions, worries, adventures and he finds it all a bit crowded and overwhelming. He's about to meltdown, temper tantrum, whatever phrase you prefer - he isn't coping. His dad shows him how to take deep breaths and, as you read, your child can join in too.The book shows Jack returning to a state of calm, and enjoying his world a little more. He then passes on the skill of this mind hug to his friends. This is a lovely story that will help children see the benefits of mindfulness as well as begin to practise some of the skills. The illustrations use colour to perfection - changing as Jack's mood changes. This one is a little longer and aimed at BookBairn's age and above, I'd say she is just at the right stage to start this book but your child will need to be practised at sitting for a slightly longer story to really benefit from this one. It has a great guide for parents on the first page helping you to understand mindfulness and how to effectively use the story. This is a great book to start with to help your child explore mindfulness and support the development of positive mental health tools at an early age.

The Children's Meditations In My Heart by Gitte Winter Graugaard

"All children - no matter what age - delight in hearing about their parents' love for them." This book is designed to share this love through short stories for sharing together in a series of meditations. I’ll be honest I thought this book would be a bit too whimsical to actually put into practice but with a few attempts BookBairn has mastered the staying still, being quiet and becoming calm. She is used to doing this at the end of her yoga sessions so that has probably helped and as much as she is a busy child she has quite a good attention span and focus for her age. This book has four stories - we have only done the first couple on repeat at the moment as I think that’s probably the easiest way to begin and they are lovely! Filling your child’s heart with love is surely the most important role of a parent and this is a wonderful way to do that together. (The book also claims to help at bedtime “working miracles” but we don’t have any issues with bedtime so I haven’t used it then. But the way it calms her wee busy body and mind I wouldn’t be surprised!) The first story guides your child into filling their heart with love and the latter stories will help them learn to send and receive love and the second is about sending and sharing love. BookBairn certainly loves to hear how much she is loved and often tells us how much she loves us too which is so heartwarming and fulfilling. The final two stories, which we are yet to explore, share the idea with you child that you love them and constantly hold them in your thoughts and heart even when you are not together and the final story is about creating empathy for people around the world that we do not know but can share your hearts with too. This style of reading is new to BookBairn as she usually read picture books but she has also loves audiobooks so is getting better at hearing stories read aloud without a visual to follow along. This book is a great guide into meditation with your child, but a word of caution would be to remember that it is a skill that your child won't learn overnight, it will take practise. But it's worth it as it creates a magical journey to take together. Check out the bottom of the blog for how to win a copy of your own.

Kaya's Heart Song by Diwa Tharan Sanders and Nerina Canzi

This is such a vibrant and joyful story about a little girl, Kaya, who is searching for her heart song. When she sees her mother meditating and hears her happy humming song, Kaya asks her mother if she is singing. Her mother tells her that it's her heart song and if you can find your heart song then anything is possible, setting Kaya off on a journey of self-discovery and self-belief. Deep in the jungle Kaya calms her mind and quietens her body and she soon hears the rhythm of her heart and discovers along with it a magical elephant carousel on which she and her friends can play. She then shows her friends how to find heart songs of their very own. A whimsical tale that is breathtakingly illustrated this is a lovely story that will create a lovely sense of calm as you read.

ABC Mindful Me by Christiane Engel

We had been looking for a lovely ABC book and this one is just wonderful! It pairs each letter of the alphabet with a word that teaches children about mindfulness principles like compassion, empathy, gratitude and kindness. The illustrations are bright and playful and the rhyming phrases on each page make it lovely to read aloud too! I particularly like the illustrations that match each word - they have been very carefully considered. For example, joy is depicted as a child running with a kite trailing behind and the accompanying text says to find joy in the little things all around you. This is something children are so much better at doing than us grown ups and I loved this timely reminder to stop and enjoy. With lots of connections to nature in the illustrations you will want to take this book outdoors (when Spring finally arrives) and appreciate the natural world around you - something that is strongly connected to mindfulness and positive health and wellbeing for children. There are so many things you can talk about with this book but I love that it has taken an ABC format and turned it into something so much more meaningful, powerful and enjoyable.

Giveaway - Children's Meditations in My Heart

***We have two copies of this brilliant book to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy of Children's Meditations in my Heart please check out our social media where a winner will be chosen from our Twitter and Instagram entries. UK residents only please. Competition closes 31.3.18.***

I hope you have found in this collection of books something that will help you create a calm and mindful story for you and your little readers.

Happy and mindful reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

DISCLAIMER: Most of these books were sent to us from the publishers for review (Yoga Babies we borrowed from the library). Our words and opinions are, as always, our own. 


This morning we had a lovely treat when my friend, and fellow Fife blogger, Kat invited us to her farm to meet the new calves and Jock, t...

Down on the Farm

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 BookBairn 1 Comments

This morning we had a lovely treat when my friend, and fellow Fife blogger, Kat invited us to her farm to meet the new calves and Jock, the bull. Kat blogs about life down on the farm over at sharing her family's journey as they develop their land from empty field to a fully operational farm (she also shares great recipes often using ingredients I would never have thought to use!).

We recently received a lovely book about an adorable bull and the day it arrived Kat also shared a photo of her daughter and their bull Jock! A perfect coincidence. It was an absolutely freezing cold morning today but we got our wellies on and BookBairn bravely approached these huge cows and the bull to say hello! She said "the cows are cool, mummy!" but was less impressed about getting her wellies muddy.

Jock the bull.
Before we visited we spent breakfast time reading 'Adorabull' by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore which is a truly adorable story! It is a tale of Tom and his pet bull, Alfred. But after starting school and leaving Alfred on a daily basis Tom wants to bring home a new adorable pet. Alfred doesn’t want to be replaced in Tom’s heart so he ups his game to be adorable too with hilarious, and not so adorable results. He has a quick search of the word adorable on the farmer's phone and tries to imitate the images resulting in some mishaps, a makeover and many many giggles for us readers. I can’t spoil the ending for you but don't worry Tom doesn't replace Alfred in his heart. And the final illustration is adorable! BookBairn even said "awwwww!" the first time we read it.  A lovely story about accepting who you are. It’s an adorable book. (I’ve said adorable a lot in this post.)

On the way home in the car I handed BookBairn 'Who's Hiding on the Farm?' by Katharine McEwen which was a great book for BookBairn to explore by herself and will be even better to read together. She lifted the flaps (over twenty in the five double-page spreads) and told me all the creatures she could spot underneath as well as the ones in the fields as we drove home. After the animals (bairns) were fed, The Wee Page Turner picked it up too and started exploring it's flaps too. We will read it together too as there are lots of farm facts that we can learn under each flap. The illustrations are soft and beautifully designed so that there an appearance of texture too. There are so many details to look at too - a lot of time and love has obviously gone in to creating them! 

I love it when we can bring to life the stories from our books and use books to enhance what we have seen in our real life. That's what it's all about. And today was a wonderful adventure doing both! Thank you so much for having us Jock, farmer Dan and Kat!
Happy bringing books to life,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx

DISCLAIMER: We were sent both these book for review from the publishers but as you can see I loved them so much that I wanted to bring them to life for BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner so you are guaranteed that we love them. And words and opinions are our own!


I am loving all the enthusiasm for the Little Feminist Book Club posts and Twitter chats - it's great interacting with all of you wh...

Little Feminist Book Club: Edie

Sunday, March 25, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

I am loving all the enthusiasm for the Little Feminist Book Club posts and Twitter chats - it's great interacting with all of you who are raising little feminists, boys and girls. I recently read (last night) 'We should all be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and it really solidified for me what I think modern feminism is and the sort of feminist I think I am. I didn't agree with everything that she said, but fundamentally it's the sort of feminism I can support. I believe, in the past, men were predominantly in positions of power because we lived in a world where physical strength was the most important attribute for survival, making that person, usually a man, most likely to be the leader. But now, the most qualified leader is not necessarily the physically stronger person, instead it is the most intelligent, knowledgeable, innovative and creative person with integrity and humility. And therefore has equal potential to be a male or a female.

There is no doubting that Sophy Henn's title character, 'Edie' is highly intelligent, innovative and creative, making her a fine candidate as a future leader. And she certainly wants to help everyone. She creatively helps her parents wake in the morning by making as much noise as possible, she intelligently puts on her shoes on the wrong feet all by herself, she knowledgably tells her dad what to buy when at the shops, and she innovatively redecorates the wall with her paint set. She has the integrity to want to do the right thing and the humility to re-think her helpfulness when it goes a but too far. That girl has all the attributes of a future leader. Her helpfulness, though sometimes (often!) misguided is well-meant and when reminded to keep all her skills in balance she is a wonderful little girl who brightens up her families day. Edie might not be perfect, but she's delightful!

The illustrations in this book are truly wonderful and will make you smile! Edie is perfectly depicted in her red pom-pom beret and quirky sense of style as she dresses herself one morning (fairy wings and feather boa included) and her self-righteous expression is spot-on, as well as being adorable. One of my favourite illustrations is the dad's face as he sees the artwork that Edie has helpfully painted all over the wall. It's the perfect depiction of what it can be like to parent a toddler sometimes.

The story is written in rhyme making it a lovely bedtime story to read aloud and it's such a joyful story that will have you laughing out loud and wanting to invite this little feminist round for a chat about how to set the world right (though hide your paints!). A must have for your little feminist book shelf.

Next month we will be sharing 'She's Not Good for a Girl, She's Just Good!' by Suzanne Hemming and Jacquie Hughes, a story about a girl who sets out to prove she's as worthy as the boys in her class at sports. Not just good, for a girl, but just plain good.

Happy reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

DISCLAIMER: This book was sent to us for review by the publishers, but you know that we really love Sophy Henn's work so I'm sure you won't be surprised that we love this one too! (There will be another Sophy Henn post this week too if I get time to type it!)


I can't believe I am writing a post sharing our favourite Easter reads whilst their is still snow on the ground. But if, like me, you...

8 Brilliant Easter Books

Saturday, March 24, 2018 BookBairn 3 Comments

I can't believe I am writing a post sharing our favourite Easter reads whilst their is still snow on the ground. But if, like me, you want to help your little ones build up to the excitement of an Easter egg hunt or if you want to give an alternative to a chocolate egg at Easter, here are eight of our favourite Easter and Spring books!

Everybunny Dance! & Everybunny Count! by Ellie Sandall

These two delightful books are great for little bunny fans who adore bouncing along and acting out and interacting with a story. In Everybunny Dance little ones will want to dance and play along with the bunnies and the friendly fox twisting and twirling, shaking their tails and playing along with musical instruments. And in Everybunny Count, your little bunny will want to count along and join in the game of hide-and-seek helping bunnies find the fox. The illustrations are sweet and soft and the bunnies come in all shapes and sizes which BookBairn loves as she tries to spot the ones that look like our bunny Jenson.

Egg (My Little World) by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway

Two years ago, tiny BookBairn and I shared a review of this lovely book and now we have it back out for The Wee Page Turner. Each page is a delight filled with bright pastel colours, adorable farm animals and a patterned egg. The egg has a patterned edge with the centre part being an egg-shaped cut-out that allows little fingers to turn the pages and explore the book by themselves. For bookbairns that have mastered turning the pages they can peek through the die-cut hole to reveal the next egg pattern. The illustrations are adorably cute and perfect for little readers to engage with the story. I love the smiles on their faces which, along with the text, spread the joy of finding eggs along the easter hunt. The illustrations are accompanied by a cheerful rhyming story that tells the story of the farmyard friends as they hunt for eggs hidden around the farm in flowerbeds, up apple trees, hidden underground and even in the proverbial haystack! Perfect for babies first Easter!

Are You There Little Bunny? by Sam Taplin and Emily Dave

This is a sweet little book where young readers will go on the hunt for a little bunny. With peep-through-holes and die-cut elements this book will engage little ones fingers as the read. BookBairn particularly enjoys the finger trails that she can feel her way along and always tries to peek though the holes before we turn the page. The Wee Page Turner likes to grab the holes as a way to turn the page too! On each page you get a sneak peek through to the next showing something that looks remarkably bunny-like but when you turn the page it is cleverly part of another creature: a butterfly's wing, mouse's ear. The illustrations are lovely and it is packed full of woodland and garden creatures which BookBairn is just loving talking about as we enter Spring and the garden becomes a buzz with creatures.

We're Going on an Egg Hunt by Laura Hughes

I'm sure you are familiar with the children's classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt and this seasonal update is just as fun to enjoy together. BookBairn really enjoyed her egg hunt last Easter (even though it was indoors due to poor weather) and we will definitely be doing one again this year and to get her eggscited we have been reading this delightful book. In a similar style to the original you 'can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, got to go through it' except this time a team of bunnies are in charge and they are making their way through fields of lambs, farmyards of chickens, hives of bees and rivers of ducks and, of course, they are hunting for an egg. Little readers can join in by lifting the flaps to discover eggs hidden on each page which adds a lovely interactive element that fits nicely with the story. The illustrations are soft and sweet and use a lovely pastel colour palette. This is a great gift for Easter and lots of fun to read together. We will be reciting it as we do our egg hunt for real!

That's Not My Bunny... by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

We love the touch-and-feel books in this series and The Wee Page Turner reads them everyday! He loves exploring new textures, and likes the bright contrast images but mostly I think he enjoys the repetition of the phrases and the expectation of finding the bunny/lion/hedgehog at the end. In fact, he tries to turn the pages as quickly as possible to get to the final page. We have found some of these books are better than others in terms of the variety of textures that they provide - the ones that have more visual elements like shiny and sparkly just don't appeal as much as ones that you can really get your fingers into like rough and fluffy. This bunny book is a great example with most pages being very textured. And of course it's perfect for Easter!

Springtime by Jane Foster

I love Jane Foster's designs and when I saw that she had released a new board book I couldn't wait to see it. This is such a wonderful first word primer with lots of wonderful springtime flora and fauna. It's nice to have a book in our collection that celebrates more than just Easter time as Spring is a wonderful season full of discovery and new beginnings, not just chocolate eggs. Sharing vocabulary such as blossom, tulips, lamb, chicks, rainbow and bumblebees you can talk to your little one about how the world is changing in this new season. It would be a great one to pop in the buggy or a changing bag so you can spot these things whilst out and about. As I say the real charm of these books is in the fantastic artwork. The lines are bold and thick and the colours bright and cheerful making them great first books for babies developing their eyesight as well as slightly older toddlers who will love making connections to the real world. A lovely book (and not just for Easter!).

Five Little Ducks by Yu-hsuan Huang 

We love the Five Little Ducks rhyme and BookBairn has been singing it since she was little so she is loving this pull-the-tab interactive version! The illustrations are adorable and it makes for a perfect springtime read/sing-along! And if you get tired of singing, Nosy Crow have the song on their podcast so littles can follow along whilst you enjoy a cup of tea! Win win!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter and your kiddos enjoy Easter egg hunts and lovely Springtime stories!

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

*DISCLAIMER Some of these books are ones we bought for ourselves and some of the books are ones that we were sent for review from publishers. Words and opinions are, as always, our own.