Where Happiness Lives What Matters Most Safe & Sound Joy Happy Tidy Unplugged Five Minutes Peace In January, we s...

Book Poetry - New Year Resolutions

Saturday, January 19, 2019 BookBairn 2 Comments


Where Happiness Lives
What Matters Most
Safe & Sound
Joy
Happy
Tidy
Unplugged
Five Minutes Peace

In January, we so often make resolutions and I thought I would peruse our shelves for some ideas of things I would like to achieve this year.

2 comments:

December has been in some ways a wonderful month and in others it was... hard. All four of us had stomach bugs at one time or anot...

Little Loves - December

Monday, January 14, 2019 BookBairn 2 Comments



December has been in some ways a wonderful month and in others it was... hard. All four of us had stomach bugs at one time or another this month, and our beloved pet bunny passed away so by the end of the month I was glad it was 2019 and we could start afresh. But Christmas eve, day and boxing day were absolutely magical. The build of excitement for BookBairn was a delight to watch and when she woke up on Christmas morning and enjoyed her presents it filled me with a kind of happiness I never expected. And The Wee Page Turner loved all the presents but when shy around everyone when they came for a marvellous Christmas meal that my husband cooked. It really was the best day of the year.




Last month I shared that BookBairn was loving the Story Orchestra book about The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and this month the book that we have read most often is another from this series! The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle. She loves it so much that despite the fact that it's a festive book I haven't packed it away with the other Christmas reads because we just can't stop reading it! It's beautifully illustrated and a lovely version of the Nutcracker story but it's the transporting music that makes it such a delight to read. One for any time of year! She likes the series so much that I bought the Sleeping Beauty one for her too.


The Wee Page Turner is a big fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which I have mentioned in our Little Loves posts before. So when we went on a trip to the bookshop recently I picked up a lift-the-flap book starring his favourite little caterpillar friend - Where is The Very Hungry Caterpillar features the illustrations of little critters by Eric Carle hidden under large flaps and the little caterpillar is asleep under a leaf on the final page. It's not going to win any literary prizes, but he loves it!

I wrote a blog post sharing the children's Best Picture Books of 2018 if you want to see more of our favourites.


I was thoroughly fascinated by the story of Tara Westover in her biography Educated. She describes a life so different from my own, and in some places so bizarre that I sometimes had to remind myself that it wasn't fiction. Coming from a family with a father who is fixated on preparing for the end of days, Tara endured a traumatic childhood with no formal education or medical intervention (even though it sometimes seemed glaringly necessary). A real story of survival.






For Christmas we gave both the bairns a new kids kindle so that instead of lugging around two very old ipads (very very old!) that they had inherited they now have two lightweight kindles. With a holiday to Florida planned, and a very long flight to entertain them on, we thought this was a gift that they would love.  And they are both getting used to the new interface and exploring the videos on them!



 

A thousand princess dresses! BookBairn got four new princess dresses on Christmas day and has been wearing them, and others in rotation every day since. Sometimes even with a multiple outfit changes throughout the day! She had asked Santa for a Princess Wardrobe and he provided a lovely dressing up rail for her room so she can now see them and choose from them easily so I suspect we will have Princess BookBairn on a daily basis for a long while yet.



We have played with all the toys this month - obviously! BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner were very spoiled at Christmas and got lots of new things to play with and they have certainly been enjoying them. I have put some of the toys away for the moment, partly so we can have a wee surprise in January when it's a rainy day and we are stuck at home, but mostly because there isn't space for everything in our living room! Particular favourites include a John Deere tractor that comes with a battery-powered drill so you can take it apart and fix it again for The Wee Page Turner and lots of Princess related toys, especially Disney Doorables for BookBairn.


For Christmas, Daddy BookBairn gave me a Lego Hogwarts which we had great fun building on Christmas day after our families had left and the children had gone to bed. We put on the score to the Harry Potter movies and worked together to build it and it was really lovely and it looks seriously awesome on my windowsill!



A lot of singing of The Greatest Showman track - A Million Dreams - by BookBairn. She loves it and honestly I well up just about every time she sings along.



I hope you are very excited for the New Year, as I mentioned at the beginning we are very much looking forward to it - and particularly our trip to Disneyworld in March. If you want to see what books we are looking forward to check out our Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2019 blog post

I hope you had a lovely festive season!
And are enjoying 2019.
Mummy and the bairns xx



Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat


Disclaimer: If you click on the image of the book or toy below you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog post please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our For Readers Section.

2 comments:

I was recently talking to a friend about some issues she had encountered around gender stereotypes. Surely it doesn't matter if a ...

Picture Books Starring Mighty Girls - Little Feminist Book Club

Thursday, January 10, 2019 BookBairn 14 Comments

Little Feminist Book Club


I was recently talking to a friend about some issues she had encountered around gender stereotypes. Surely it doesn't matter if a girl likes superheroes and a boy likes princess dressing up. Let children be children. And let books be books. So I thought that I would share some of our favourite books with main characters that happen to be girls, not stories about historical women who have done fantastic things, or books that push a female/feminist agenda or mighty girl persona. Not that there's anything wrong with those sort of books but I just thought it would be nice to share some stories where it's incidental to the story that the main character is a girl. Stories where traditionally it would have been assumed that the main character was male. Even today male characters are twice as likely to take leading roles in children’s picture books according to recent research by the Observer newspaper. Not only that male characters were given more speaking parts, were portrayed in more masculine roles and, shockingly, in a fifth of books (of the top 100 sellers in 2017) there were no female characters at all.  And since I let the Little Feminist Book Club series of blog posts fall by the wayside - I had great intentions for the first six months of 2018 but I found I couldn't keep up with the monthly requirement! Anyway, I'm here today to share six wonderful books that have a female character at the centre of the story but where that character would have perhaps been more traditionally written as a male. And they are great role models for girls and boys alike!


Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph


Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph tells the story of one small dog who doesn't fit in, she dances to a difference beat. She looks different, plays differently, she doesn't fit in. So she leaves her city behind in search of new adventures and discovers a new city full of dogs just like her! Great, right? She finally fits in! Except... she meets another odd dog out who tells her to stand tall, be proud: "that dog is right. It's plain to see there's nothing wrong with being me." And on returning home she finds that all her city slicker doggy friends have missed her terribly and maybe they have learned something from her! This lovely book is written in rhyme which makes it a delight to read! And Rob Biddulph is fast-becoming one of my all-time favourite illustrators. His pictures are bold, crisp, sharp and packed full of humour that grown ups will love! His sausage dogs are fabulous! With a flick of his pen he changes their expressions. The attention to detail is truly wonderful. Like in Blown Away (which we reviewed here) his characters are truly irresistible, the settings are vibrant with life. He really is an author-illustrator extraordinaire. 


Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen


Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen is a book we have been raving about since we first read it. When a terrible beast starts roaming the forest in search of tiny creatures to make a big bowl of monster soup, Billy and her Fatcat cannot let him get away with it. He's got boil in a bag bunnies, spicy mice and grated hedgehog all on his list but can Billy outwit this ferocious beast and save the inhabitants of the forest? Packed full of humour, fun illustrations and a heroine who stashes doughnuts in her hair for emergencies this is a brilliant new fable that will empower as well as make you giggle. And BookBairn loves it!


Ruby's Worry by Tom Percival


Ruby is worried. She has a worry that follows her around everywhere. She tries to ignore it but everyday it gets bigger. No one else can see Ruby's worry so Ruby tried pretend that she can't see it either. But the Worry is always there - stopping her from doing the things that she loves. Ruby worries about the Worry. which only makes it worse. Until one day Ruby notices a boy sitting alone who looks exactly like she feels - sad. And then she notices something hovering next to him. Could it be that he has a Worry too? And maybe they can find a way to shrink their worries together. Ruby's Worry by Tom Percival is a reassuring and sensitive book to open a conversation with children about worries. But it's also a lovely story about about friendship. Beautifully illustrated and with very clever use of colours, this is a great read to enjoy together.

Unplugged by Steve Antony


Unplugged by Steve Antony is the story of Blip, a little robot who spends all her days plugged into a computer learning new things, exploring new places... online. When one day there is a power cut and her world is thrown upside down, down the stairs and out the front door. Into the great outdoors. Where she makes new friends, explores new places, learns new things and plays. Outside. Unplugged. Such a wonderful story about finding joy in the little things, about putting technology aside and looking at the world around you. And the illustrations are wonderful too. It's hard to imagine how a computer could be cute but she is! So yay for Blip fighting the norm of male robots and technology being for boys!


Spyder by Matt Carr


BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner and I all love Spyder by Matt Carr for different reasons! BookBairn loves it because it is a hilarious spy thriller for little readers starring 008 the Spyder whose mission is to keep the evil bluebottle fly from landing on the birthday cake. The Wee Page Turner loves spotting Spyder and the family dog and obviously enjoys the high contrast bright colour palette. And I adore the puns that are scattered throughout which are their to give adults a wry smile as they read. So clever of the author to create a book which appeals on so many levels. And not only that but it stars a female spider who takes the mission at hand and despite several potential mishaps along the way, still succeeds to "mission complete".


Molly's Moon Mission by Duncan Beedie



Ok so perhaps a bit cheeky of me to include this one as it's not actually released until 7th February (2019) but it's so good I didn't want to miss it off the list. (Also we will be taking part in the blog tour just after the release so watch out for that!). In Molly's Moon Mission by Duncan Beedie, Molly the moth (have you ever heard of a book with a moth as the main character - just one of the many reasons to love it!) has always been told that someone as small as her can never make it to the moon. Yearning for adventure, she helps her mother look after her siblings (larvae) during the day and trains hard for her space mission by night. And soon she is ready to blast off. But perhaps the moon is further than even Molly believed. First she gets as far as a lightbulb, but that's not the moon.  Then she makes it as high as a street lamp, but that's not the moon. Then she gets confused but a lighthouse, that's not the moon either. Along the way she is belittled and made to feel too small for such a feat. Will she ever make it? And show everyone that size doesn't matter when you have a big dream? I think you can probably guess! With adorable illustrations and the underlying message of reaching for your dreams, this is a wonderfully heart-warming and gently encouraging story.


So there you have it! Six great books that star girls doing wonderful things and learning (and teaching) valuable lessons where perhaps traditionally it might have been a male character - astronauts, spies and robots in particular! But it really doesn't matter that they are girls because the story works just as well and it's evident through these stories that girls can do anything that boys can do!

And boys can do anything that girls can do. So now I'm looking for some great books for sensitive boys to balance out all the mighty girl books that we have shared recently.

There's also now a dedicated category in my Amazon Shop for Little Feminist/Mighty Girl picture books so you can find them all here:


Happy Reading!
Kim and the bairns xx

Disclaimer: these are all our choices. Some were sent from publishers (others are books that I have bought myself) but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great. Please read our Review Policy  if you want to know more. If you click on the image of the book below you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog post please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our For Readers Section.




Little Feminist Book Club



Laura's Lovely Blog

Read With Me

14 comments:

So I managed to achieve my revised target of reading 100 books this year! And I'm planning to a round-up of my favourite books later...

What is Mummy Reading? October - December

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 BookBairn 2 Comments


So I managed to achieve my revised target of reading 100 books this year! And I'm planning to a round-up of my favourite books later this month, sharing my reading stats (I love stats) and favourite reads but I wanted to complete the last of my quarterly round-ups first! So here are my reads for October, November and December.

October


Amongst this stack of books that I read this month is my favourite book of the year! 

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates - 3 Stars

What a fascinating and yet troubling read. As I learn more about feminism I realise, that whilst I have perhaps suffered by living in a patriarchy, I have been very fortunate to not have been subject to even minor incidences of sexism. What some people suffer on a daily and regular basis is infuriating (and worse!) and wanting to create a fairer society for our little girls (and boys) has made me want to educate and empower myself (and the bairns) further.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - 4 Stars

Thanks everyone who recommended this to me. I really enjoyed it. And found the characters interesting and well-rounded. And I'm glad that the plot didn't (well.... no spoilers). But I don't think I will be reading the further books in the series as I felt the story was complete by the end of this novel.

A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell - 4 Stars

I basically wanted to read this because of the recent film. It was fine. Predictable (thanks to well-placed breadcrumbs) and a bit unfriendly to bloggers which I didn't like so much for obvious reasons.

The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone - 3 Stars


The final book in the trilogy. This was better than the previous book and I was happy to see the characters through to the end of their stories.



Pages & Co by Anna James - 5 Stars



This is the best book I’ve read this year. I adored every page. There were so many beautiful passages about the wonder of books, book lovers and libraries/bookshops. As well as scenes from a bookworm’s dream. Anna James has truly created a world of wonder. Tilly Pages is just discovering there’s more to books than between the covers. Her favourite characters greet her in her family’s bookshop. She book wanders inside her favourite stories. And travels to the underlibrary - the organisation that manages it all. And of course there’s a mystery to solve and a suspicious character who takes an instant dislike to Tilly. What an adventure! It might be a children's book but it's a wonderful read for a book-loving grown-up too!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman - 3 Stars

October is the perfect month for creepy Halloween reading. I really enjoyed this. It was creepy but loved the other world building and the clever storytelling. The underlying message of family is always one I can support too!


November


In November I planned to read a lot of my unread (or books I'd saved to read) for #NonFictionNovember but I couldn't read solely non-fiction as I need the light-relief of a good story too! Here's what I thought of the pile.

The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie - 4 Stars

Read this cover to cover on the train and loved it! And now I want an Agatha Christie box set or two for Christmas, which I didn't get but I will save my money for!

Death in the Spotlight by Robin Stevens - 4 Stars

I love Daisy and Hazel and these fun and intriguing mysteries. And this was exactly as I expected it to be! 

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls - 3 Stars

This was really good but I found the characters a bit too “neat” if that makes sense? Just they all seemed to be a bit convenient for the story that the author was trying to tell. But it was interesting reading about their lives during the Suffrage movement and I'd like to read more fiction set in this time period on the topic.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay - 4 Stars

I found this really funny and a great read - but maybe not for anyone who is expecting! The birth stories might scare! And a fascinating insight into the lives of junior doctors and behind the scenes of the NHS.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell - 4 Stars

This was such a fascinating insight into the world of book selling! I wish he didn’t seem to loath his customers so much though, I found that a bit off-putting.

Plum by Hollie McNish - 4 Stars

What a wonderful poetry collection! I love her brutal honesty and clever way with words. Read so many aloud to my friend too as they had me laughing out loud.

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan - 4 Stars

This was so fun to be reminded of many childhood books! But lots I hadn’t heard of too, and I listened to the audiobook read by the author which gave an added element.

Women in Battle by Marta Breen & Jenny Jordahl - 5 Stars


I loved this!! Such a great graphic novel and loved seeing history of women laid out in such a fun digestible way!

The Boy by Oliver Jeffers - 4 Stars


As a long time lover of this series of books I loved seeing the sketchbooks, I hadn’t realised it also contained the actual books too meaning it didn’t contain quite as much new content as I thought. But I still loved it!

December




And here are the last few books I read in December! So my total for the whole year came to 103 books! If you want to know how I fit in reading as a busy mum I’ll link an old blog post about that very subject here. Here are my thoughts on my final books of 2018:

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle - 4 Stars
I read this little bundle for Christmas #CosyReadingNight

A fun quick festive read and quite silly really! Think I might read some more Holmes this year.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown - 5 Stars


This is one of the most unique and interesting MG books that I have read. Who knew you could become emotionally attached to a fictional robot?

The Wild Robot Returns by Peter Brown - 4 Stars

This was not quite as good as the first because I think some of the uniqueness had gone what with it being a sequel but I enjoyed following the next stage of the character’s journey.

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman - 4 Stars

I enjoyed this re-read and still cried at the death of a character I love! But I did find it to be a bit more of a filler book than I remembered.

My Name is Book by John Agard - 4 Stars

This was not quite what I expected but I loved this book written about the history of books from the point of view a book. 

Educated by Tara Westover - 5 Stars


This is a truly fascinating biography that I sometimes had to remind myself wasn’t fiction as her life seemed so detached from what I know. A wonder.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald - 2 Stars

Honestly, this was boring. If it hadn’t been so short I wouldn’t have finished it. (Sorry if you love it but it wasn’t for me.)

Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine - 4 Stars

A follower recommended this to me and as they predicted I loved it and flew through the story. Fast paced and fun, I picked up the next one in the series at the library this week.


Based on this do you have any recommendations for me? Or have you read any of these?

I'm looking forward to starting another new book! But I'm not setting myself as high a target for next year. I want to read because I want to read. Not because of a target!






Happy Reading,
Kim

Disclaimer: If you click on the image of the book below you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog post please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our For Readers Section.

2 comments:

I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with BOOK. How many words can you come up with? LOOK, COOK, HOOK, TOOK... During Dece...

#KidLitPicks December Round-Up - Rhyming Reads

Tuesday, January 08, 2019 BookBairn 2 Comments


I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with BOOK. How many words can you come up with? LOOK, COOK, HOOK, TOOK...

During December the @kidlitpicks book club was on the hunt for the best rhyming reads to share with our kiddos! We all know that reading WITH our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them, as it opens up their world to so many different ideas and perspective, BUT did you know reading rhyming books is one of the best ways to help your child develop phonological awareness and rhythmic language?

The more rhyming books we read with our children the better they become at recognizing, identifying, matching and eventually substituting, manipulating and producing rhymes themselves. This assists them greatly with language development and on the road of learning to read. Plus rhyming reads are just so much fun and an excellent way to get the whole family engaged in read aloud moments that everyone will enjoy!

Thanks to Teri from Petit Book Corner for rounding out a year of wonderful kidlitpicks themes!




As We Grow, by Libby Walden and Richard Jones
“Walden has a way with words, taking simple sentences and transforming them into lyrical poems that flow effortlessly. And, Jones has a talent for creating beautiful scenes that will charm every reader..” — Summer from @readingisourthing


Hickory Dickory Dog by Alison Murray
“It’s a delight to sing along to the rhyme and watch the lovely characters frolic and play bringing the story to life.” —  Kim from @bookbairn


All Through the Year, by Janie Godwin and Anna Walker
“If you’ve been searching for a book of months and seasons that reflects our lives here, you really can’t go past this one”  De from @books_and_babycinos


Macca's Christmas Crackers, by Matt Cosgrove
“It’s written in a cheery rhyme with a bouncy rhythm that’s sure to get you into the Christmas spirit”  Carissa from @bookskidslove_


Monster Party, by Alison Lester & Jane Godwin 
"Told in rhyme, young kids will love reading about the crazy things monsters like to do when we are not looking."  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople


Arty Farty Marty – the Paint Smashin’ Kraken, by Dale Baker
"Filled with vibrant and cheerful illustrations, this rhyming book is a great introduction to fine artists."  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople



Rock What Ya Got, by Samantha Berger and Kerascoet
"We ADORE this book for helping children embrace their own amazing and unique characteristics through a catchy rhyming mantra. Lauren from @happily.ever.elephants




Itsy Bitsy Babies, by Margaret Wild and Jan Ormerod
“The pictures in this book are simple and sweet, just like the text!” — Angelique from @heads.shoulders.knees



The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight, by Elli Woollard and Benji Davies
“Wonderful rhymes that roll off the tongue and fun, detailed illustrations for this entertaining story of kindness.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits


Rhyme Cordial, by Antonia Pesenti
“A wonderfully sturdy board book with super cool bright colourful graphics that instantly grab the readers attention and excite them on each page as they open the fold to read the matching rhyme and image.” — Teri from @petitbookcorner





OUR JANUARY THEME IS:


The human spirit thrives in nature. When we connect to our natural world it can create feelings of happiness and connectedness with others. Breathing in that fresh air sends a rush of good vibes to our brains and exploring all of nature’s creatures and beauty is just another avenue to learning. So this month, why don’t we celebrate the wonder of nature in picture books?! The singing birds, buzzing bees, crashing waves or swaying trees? Find and share any books that illustrate the wondrous environment around us and pay homage to our sweet Mother Nature.


To get amongst the fun, share your nature-themed books and hashtag #kidlitpicks_nature. And for inspiration, here are the accounts to follow…

Happy Reading,
The #KidLitPicks Team and Kim x

2 comments: