At the Moment #3

It's been a while since I did a little update like this as recently I've just not been up to blogging and been focussing on putting ...

It's been a while since I did a little update like this as recently I've just not been up to blogging and been focussing on putting one foot in front of the other. But things seem to be a bit more balanced again and the bairns have spent these last few months perfectly playing nicely with each other and I now get chunks of time to sit and type whilst the play peacefully. (Well for now they do!)

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

Kids Love to Read #54 & Giveaway

Sorry I missed last month's Kids Love to Read link-up if you follow me on social media you will know that we recently lost both my g...

Sorry I missed last month's Kids Love to Read link-up if you follow me on social media you will know that we recently lost both my grandparents to covid19 and I just wasn't up to blogging or doing very much that either wasn't necessary or to do with the bairns. But I am back to feeling a bit more normal and enjoying chatting about books. And I'm excited for all the upcoming picture book releases planned over the next few months so I've linked up my Exciting Upcoming Picture Book Releases post.

But back to this month's link-up, if you share or review children's books or are raising a reader whilst writing a blog then our co-hosted monthly linky with  Laura's Lovely BlogKids Love to Read is a link-up to share blog posts written by other bloggers that star wonderful children's books. It's a great way to find new blogs to read and new book recommendations too, as well as invite people to come and read your own blog.

So if you write about your favourite children's books I would love it if you link-up your post! And I'm looking forward to reading them all!

Laura has also set up a Pinterest Board for Kids Love to Read, where she pins everyone’s posts featured, as well as lots of lovely bookish posts. If you would like to join as a co-contributor please message me. The more the merrier!

Last Month's Favourites

My favourite post last month came from fellow host Laura's Lovely Blog who has done that wonderful thing of writing a list of favourite reads for toddlers that includes many of our favourites but she has also managed to sneak in two that I've never seen or heard of. So I can't wait to get back to our library once it reopens and hunt them down. How many did you recognise?

Laura's favourite came from Raisie Bay who wrote a fantastic review of a Build your own Museum book which looks incredible and just the thing for homeschooling. You should check it out!

Linky Rules:
– Write about reading with children, share your love and your children’s love of books, what do you love to read together, how do you encouraging reading and books with your little or not so little ones? Books you love or book reviews.
– This Linky is open every 3rd Monday of the month for one week.
– Grab the Kids Love to Read badge and pop it in your post. It's linked at the end of the post for you.
– Use the #KLTR hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
– Share the love – try and read & comment the host’s posts and on 2 other blogs listed on the Linky.
We look forward to reading your posts! And don't forget to enter the competition below!
Kim and Laura x

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


We have a fabulous giveaway this month oSuper, Epic, Mega Joke Book - Wonders of the World  - looks like a great one for getting the kiddos laughing!

*Terms and conditions: Entries are open to UK residents. The competition closes on the the 15th July 2020. Winners will be announced on social media and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond to the email in two weeks, a new winner will be randomly chosen. Please allow extra time for prize delivery due to current pandemic restrictions. Host reserves the right to substitute the prize for a suitable alternative in case of problems with supply. No cash alternative available.
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Exciting Upcoming Picture Book Releases

Every year at the start of the year I write a list of the new releases which I am most excited to read that year but this year I only re...

Every year at the start of the year I write a list of the new releases which I am most excited to read that year but this year I only really looked at books for the first half of the year (2020s list can be found here). So I've had a look over the releases for the next few months that I could find information about and picked some of the books that I am looking forward to reading. This list is far from exhaustive as writing them all (and for you reading them) would be exhausting so I've just stuck with the top bundle (and I'll no doubt kick myself later for having missed something off the list). Without further ado, here are the books that I'm excited about... 

Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival (9 June)

I love the previous books by Tom Percival - in particular Perfectly Norman and Ruby's Worry and how he handles tricky subjects with ease in a way that children will understand. This new book is about a little girl, Meesha who has a talent for making things, however she struggles with making new friends. With BookBairn starting school in August (or whenever things return to normal after then) I think this will be a great one and will be comforting to her as she embarks on that new journey and with the prospect of making new friends. A warm and affectionate look at the joys and difficulties of making and keeping friends, relating to others, and finding your place in the world

Mary Blair's Unique Flair by Amy Novesky & Brittany Lee  (24 June)

This has been on my wish list since I first heard about it months ago! The story of Mary Blair and her work at Disney is truly inspiring and I feel like this is one for my bookshelf. She collected that color and used it in her concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan, and even the It's a Small World attraction at Disneyland. This beautifully illustrated picture book shares Mary's story, in all its inspiring flair. This is one that I really want to enjoy poring over the illustrations and I feel like a collection of 'Mary Blair' books might be on order (I mean "in order" - slip of the tongue there!)

Mini Rabbit Must Help by John Bond (25 June)

BookBairn and I really love Mini Rabbit: Not Lost the first adventure of that adorable wide eyed bunny with it's truly hilarious ending. We laugh and laugh still when reading it. So we can't wait to see what Mini Rabbit gets up to next. Mini Rabbit has a letter to post and he MUST deliver it! If this is half as funny as they first one, and it sounds like it is going to be, we will love it!

Green on Green by Diane White & Felicita Sala (25 June)

Sometimes I find myself just drawn to a book! And the world in this just draws me in through the beautiful illustration. I actually haven't read the previous book Blue on Blue but I can seem me being tempted by both in the coming month. A child is on a colorful journey through the seasons, filled with yellow flowers and blue coral in spring and summer and orange pumpkins and green pine forests in fall and winter. All the while, there is another colorful change on the horizon—the birth of a new sibling. I love the sound of this - that it has a deeper message too as well as being beautiful!

Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bentley & Steven Lenton (2 July)

Anyone who has followed me for a while will know that I just adore Steven Lenton's illustrations - they are so bright and cheerful and often packed with a little something extra. And we really loved his pairing with Peter Bentley to retell 101 Dalmatians so a new book by them is a real treat! When a giant octopus arrives, the children LOVE their new friend; he makes the perfect slide and is fantastic at football! But some of the grown-ups aren't so pleased. Will they drive him away . . . or will they realise just how helpful an octopus can be? Doesn't that sound like a fun friendship story? And helpful for children starting or restarting school too!

I Can Catch a Monster by Bethan Woollvin (9 July)

I don't often agree to do blog tours anymore as I find being time committed can be a bit of a stretch especially with full time childcare requirements. However, I jumped at the chance to join this one as I adore Bethan Woollvin's fairytale retellings and am also lusting after her Meet the Planets book. Her books are packed full of girl power, wit and humour so I know this is going to be good. How do I know? Because I already have a copy! When her brothers tell her she's too little to be out searching and fighting monsters Bo sets out on her own. Can she defeat the furious griffin, conquer the hideous kraken and triumph over the monstrous dragon? In fact, she befriends them! There's a lot more fun and frolic to it than that and a lesson for her 'stinky brothers' but in short this one is brilliant fun! 

Spaghetti Hunters by Morag Hood (23 July)

Another book which I have agreed to join the blog tour for is for Morag Hood's new release. We adore all her books! Last year we got the chance to meet her at the Edinburgh Book Festival and she was so lovely and I loved her advocacy for children's literature as well as the support and advice she gave for aspiring writers and illustrators. It was also fascinating to hear her talk about her own books critically. Anyway... there was no way I would turn down a chance to take part in the tour! Duck has lost his spaghetti, and Tiny Horse has a plan to save the day. But what exactly do you bring to a Spaghetti Hunt? A spade, a fishing rod, a jar of peanut butter, cutlery and some binoculars, obviously. Searching far and wide, Tiny Horse catches worms, a ball of string, even a snake – but no spaghetti. Also the premise for the story sounds hilarious!

Some paperbacks:

I also noticed that there are some fabulous paperbacks being released which I missed in their original hardback. I love hardback books and find them so beautiful but as they are more expensive I love that in the UK we also have a strong paperback market for picture books making them more affordable so I will be looking out for these to add to my shelf.

The Tree Keepers: Flock by Gemma Koomen (2 June)

I admired the hardback of this in our local bookshop and to be honest I'm still quite tempted by the hardback edition which has a different title Flock and cover art (which I do think is more beautiful). However, this does the same job and tells the same wonderful story! Sylvia prefers to be alone rather than play noisy games with the other Tree Keepers. But one day, she finds a baby bird in her favourite hiding place. As Sylvia and the bird become friends, can she learn that sometimes, things are better when you have someone to share them with? This beautiful debut is a tribute to community and friendship. And with the bairns fascination for birds and our current home school bird project I think it would be a good fit for our shelves!

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (4 June)

I have seen the US bloggers raving about this one and for some reason I never got my hands on the hardback when it was released. When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn't feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that's not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes. Sounds like a timely book for the moment and one that I will enjoy reading for myself as much as with the bairns.

Blue by Britta Teckentrup (9 July)

I can't believe I missed the release of a Britta Teckentrup book! I love all the artwork but we don't actually own many of her story books and tend to have more of her poetic and narrative non-fiction titles. So I would love to add this to our list. Blue lives in the darkest depths of the forest. He has long forgotten how to fly, sing and play. The other birds swoop and soar in the sky above him, the sun warming their feathers. But Blue never joins in. Until, one day, Yellow arrives. Step by step, Yellow reaches out to Blue. With patience and kindness. And little by little, everything changes... Sounds fabulous! And that cover art just draws me right in!

My Butterfly Bouquet by Nicola Davies (6 August)

Nicola Davies is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. I just adore the variety in her writing. And to top it off this one is about butterflies! A few years ago we went to our local butterfly house at the botanic gardens (actually we go every year expect this year) and I noticed there were few really good books about butterflies. So this looks brilliant to fill that gap! See how a little girl recovering from poor health finds wonder in nature and delights in planting a garden with her father to attract a fascinating array of butterflies. Exploring the life stages of butterflies, their importance to our ecosystems and the revitalising power of nature, this book is a heart-warming information story for children who love the outdoors and all its incredible creatures.

Most People by ... & Jennifer E. Morris (7 August)

The world is quite tumultuous at the moment with all the anti-racism marches and protests I think it can be quite worrying for children. And to top it off we are teaching our children to be socially distanced from others which could affect their viewpoint on the world. So we need to find a way to teach our children about people, about humanity, about acceptance and generosity and kindness. And though things can be scary, most people are caring and kind. Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris's emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah's words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. Most People is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media. A book we really really need!

When doing my research, there really were so many great books being released in the next couple of months but I had to narrow it down somehow! I hope you agree I picked some good ones. (I have no doubt missed some off my list in error too!)

Happy Reading!
Kim, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Release dates are for UK release provided by publisher but may be subject to changes.

Sections in italics from Amazon description.

Talking about Loss: Grandad's Island

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...

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.


At the Moment #2

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...

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

Disclaimer: Some books 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. 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 using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on, 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.

Everybody Counts

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...

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.

Quick reviews: Five New(ish) Favourites

So often I spend my time reviewing new books. And new is great! We all know that shiny and new often receive the most attention and i...

So often I spend my time reviewing new books. And new is great! We all know that shiny and new often receive the most attention and it's quite probably the main reason that my TBR (to be read) pile doesn't seem to be getting any smaller! Because I want to read all the new books.

However, my kids are less attracted to shiny and new (ok not entirely true but the shine seems to wear off very quickly, sometimes as soon as the book parcel is open and what's inside is revealed they are like "ok, it's another book") but prefer to return to the same favourites over and over again. Unfortunately it means that I've read the My Little Pony books approximately "too many" times and I can read our Spot box set back to front (don't get me wrong I actually love spot but he's been to the library and the supermarket and nursery every day twice a day for the last two weeks - maybe more as lockdown is messing with my time frame!). So I'll spare you those! But here are five books which are new-ish but not brand new that we have been enjoying (me too!) recently.

Encyclopaedias & Anthologies

One of the recommendations that I have been asked to make recently is for good encyclopaedias. I'm assuming that lots of parents ...

One of the recommendations that I have been asked to make recently is for good encyclopaedias. I'm assuming that lots of parents are looking for them in response to the lockdown and people needing to home school and home educate their children and encyclopaedias are a great way to get lots of information on multiple topics all in one place. I know as a child I loved the two encyclopaedias that we had and I can vividly remember their covers as well as revisiting the same favourite pages over and over. We don't have a huge number of encyclopaedias as yet because the bairns are only 5 and (almost - this week!) 3 so there aren't many that are age appropriate. However, BookBairn has recently become fascinated by the anthologies we have, which are both big hefty books like encyclopaedias but are all on one theme - nature or animals in these cases. She loves flicking through them and identifying the images as well as letting us read aloud some of the facts for her to absorb. I have been keeping some for BookBairn to 'grow into' in my book archive (storage boxes in our shed!) as couldn't justify the shelf space until she got a little older so think I dug those out and collated a list as well as restocked our bookshelves.

As I've mentioned my kids are only little so I don't have many encyclopaedias for older children, however I have done as extensive research as is possible without having access to a bookshop browse or library collection and created a list on my amazon shop which is tagged at the bottom of this post.

I've also done something I rarely do and pop an age recommendation on the end of each review but do remember that many books aimed at older readers are accessible to younger children in different ways - either with parents reading aloud or through exploring the illustrations which can be just as (and more) valuable as reading the text.