Like many families, our family has now been touched by the Covid-19 pandemic and last week we lost my grandfather (Papa) to this horrib...

Talking about Loss: Grandad's Island

Saturday, May 09, 2020 BookBairn 2 Comments

Like many families, our family has now been touched by the Covid-19 pandemic and last week we lost my grandfather (Papa) to this horrible disease. It has been a tremendously difficult time not only due to the grief that comes when you lose a beloved family member but also through all the lockdown measures that make the grieving process more difficult - more than anything I just want to be with my mum and give her a hug. But, as with all things, we find a new way in this unprecedented and tumultuous time. 

One of the things that has been comforting has been finding a way to talk to the bairns about what has happened and why mummy is sad by reading the book Grandad's Island by Benji Davis. It tells the story of Syd who regularly visits his grandad and spends lots of time with him. One day he finds his grandad in the attic, where Syd has never been before, and underneath a sheet, Grandad reveals a big metal door. Suddenly Syd finds himself on board a very tall ship above the ocean of rooftops all around and they set off on a voyage together. On the horizon they discover an island which the explore high and low, convert an old shack and see new wonders at every turn. It is so wonderful that Syd wishes that they could stay forever. And that is when Grandad tells Syd that he does, in fact, intend on staying. And Syd sails the ship home alone. When Syd goes to Grandad's house the next day, he discovers the house is the same as it has always been but that Grandad is no longer there. But he has left a message for Syd.

The illustrations are bright and colourful and packed full of clues and connections that eager eyes will spot as you read. Grandad's Island is so magically brought to life that you can see why Syd, and Grandad, want to stay there forever. 

This is a truly tender and comforting book that shows how those who are special to us never really go away. That those who are dear to us remain near to us. And that it's ok to be sad, to feel lost, to find the journey difficult but to remember that our love for each other will never change no matter how far away our loved ones may seem. This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book and it's message is a gift to give to children, giving them comfort through loss.

Take care and stay safe.



I am a positive person so when things are difficult, like now, I try to appreciate the little things and see the light in the darkest pl...

At the Moment #2

Monday, May 04, 2020 BookBairn 2 Comments

I am a positive person so when things are difficult, like now, I try to appreciate the little things and see the light in the darkest places. So I find writing this really cathartic and uplifting and to be able to share the things that make us happy, brings me joy.

Here are the things that we have been loving at the moment.


What a difference it makes to have sunshine! (It's currently grey and cloudy now that I write this - typical!) Being confined to home is hard, but a sunny day makes it seem more bearable. I wake up in a better mood, the kids play together much better outside and all those rays make me feel more relaxed and energised in equal measure. We also got a new paddling pool - last year's one got a puncture - and it's actually been warm enough to use it. In April!! So I've enjoyed putting my feet up and reading a few pages of my book as the bairns play and it's been bliss. Bring back the sun!


The last week in April sees mine and the Wee Page Turner's birthdays so we tried to make those days special! First and foremost I got it in my head that it wasn't going to be a real birthday unless we got an M&S Colin the Caterpillar cake so I set off on a mission to drive the 20mins to our neighbouring town to get one - and it was fine! They had plenty and the shop was relatively normal! Then the mission for presents, particularly for The Wee Page Turner, and I just want to take minute to say thank you to all our friends and family who went that extra mile to send a parcel in the post or ordered something to be delivered here, or gave us money to order something. It really made his day special. And I got a lovely little haul too - mostly thanks to my mum who sent some money and a Bookishly box so I've been treated to a new coat, sandals (below) and a new embroidery kit. Special mention also goes to my two favourite Jos - BookLoverJo and TheLittleLiteracySociety Jo - who both sent me some more reading material (in case I run out you understand) and they are both on the top of my to read pile! Thanks everyone too for all the lovely messages! Despite being in lockdown and not seeing anyone (except my bestie who dropped by with bubbly - thank you my favourite human and he four legged friend!) we had a great time!

Matching Sandals

Before I was a book girl I was a shoe girl. So a lovely pair of shoes will always hold a special place in my heart. And for the longest time one of my best friends has been telling me about Saltwater sandals and I decided for my birthday I would treat myself to a pair. And I couldn't resist buying BookBairn a matching pair. It makes me ludicrously happy!

Squishy McFluff

BookBairn has a new book obsession! Recently she has been wanting to read more and more chapter books and just before the library closed I managed to snag 3 from the Squishy McFluff series (we had actually read two previously and I then bought her a second-hand copy of the first book online since lockdown began). And she loves them! Told completely in rhyme these are a perfect length for her and whilst they are divided into three chapters we always read them cover to cover because BookBairn would not let me away with anything else! She loves the main character Ava and her invisible cat - Squishy McFluff (another character name that BookBairn's Papa will love - he is collecting the best names in kid lit) and the mischief they get up to. The illustrations on each page bring to life the story and are lots of fun too! These are a perfect transition to chapter books and are so much fun that BookBairn carries them about everywhere with her at the moment. 

Daisy Jones and the Six

This is by far one of the most interesting books that I have read! I actually read it back in March but, as it was the pick for my book group, listened to it again on audiobook which brought a whole new perspective to the book. The whole thing felt so real - the characters, their stories, the music. I wanted to listen to the band, see their album cover, watch them perform. It was so immersive and... real. Set in the 1970s it's the story of a band (in their own words) and their tumultuous relationships with each other and with sex, drugs and rock and roll. With a few little twists and clever storytelling, it's a real wonder of a book. The back of the book even features lyrics from their songs! I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Those are the things that have brought us a little happiness over the last few weeks and we would love to hear of any little favourites below which have brought you a twinkling of joy!

Hope you're all staying safe and well,

Kim x

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You might remember that at the start of the year I wrote a blog post about my Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2020 . And I've had...

Everybody Counts

Friday, May 01, 2020 BookBairn 1 Comments

You might remember that at the start of the year I wrote a blog post about my Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2020. And I've had the opportunity to read three of the original ten on the list. What I find interesting is that occasionally when I do those lists I am super excited to read the books and then I don't ever actually get a copy or when I do they disappoint. So I thought it would be interesting to look back on the ones that I got and see if they lived up to my expectations.