My Beautiful Voice

Teachers that help children find their voice are magic! (BookBairn has been very lucky so far to have two superb teachers that made/make her...

Teachers that help children find their voice are magic! (BookBairn has been very lucky so far to have two superb teachers that made/make her feel confident and really that’s my dream teacher!)


My Beautiful Voice by Joseph Coelho & Allison Colpoys is a truly beautiful book. The artwork throughout is spectacular and I just adore the colour palette, the vibrancy of the colours really brings the children and their story to life. I love the larger-than-life Miss Flotsam, the teacher, who is full of adventure and joy. I love how she brings out the best in her pupils.

And one pupil in particular, the unnamed narrator of the story, needs more encouragement than others to find his voice. Miss Flotsam realises this gentle soul needs quiet heroes and secret worlds, to unlock his voice and find the words to whisper at first building to a crescendo of bravery and self-expression. It’s just magical. The words are uplifting, the message heartwarming and the illustrations provide whisks of magic that will utterly enchant.


It really is a must-have book!


Happy reading,

Kim

Disclaimer: My Beautiful Voice was sent by the publisher for review. Words and opinions are my own. 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.


Lore of the Wild

  I hardly know where to start with this beautiful and fascinating book which is packed full of wonderful tales of nature from folklore. It’...

 

I hardly know where to start with this beautiful and fascinating book which is packed full of wonderful tales of nature from folklore. It’s hard to do Lore of the Wild by Claire Cock-Starkey & Aitch justice!


Working through tales of animals, birds, insects, flowers plants and trees and then looking at weather lore - there are stories from all around the world. With lots of hidden messages and morals, as you’d expect from folklore, this really is a fascinating compendium to enjoy in bursts of story. Unsurprisingly, we have read the entire bird section, and BookBairn loves the story of the King of the Birds - although she does find it a bit unjust!


Also fascinating is the section on good and bad luck with lots of interesting traditional lore about omens and symbols.


It feels like a perfect autumn read (though it’s not actually a seasonal book) but something about curling up with this by the fire gives me all the autumn vibes. The artwork throughout is truly breath-taking and have a modern take on a traditional design making them wistful and totally appropriate for a compendium of folklore tales. Also those endpapers!!!



This will no doubt be a book we read over and over, dipping into the stories, all autumn!

Happy Reading,
Kim x

Disclaimer: Bird's Eye View was sent by the publisher for review. Words and opinions are my own. 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.



The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

I’m sticking with my description! The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld is StickMan meets Hilda! And who doesn’t want to...

I’m sticking with my description! The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld is StickMan meets Hilda! And who doesn’t want to read that? It’s a whimsical modern-yet-timeless fairy tale that is packed full of dry humour and wit.


For years, the king and queen have happily ruled their pleasant land whilst longing for a child. So one night the king when to see the royal inventor and the queen went to see a clever old witch. They both asked for the same thing: a child. (Side note - the king and queen could probably work on their communication skills here! ;) ). And at last their wishes are granted, in the form of a little wooden robot (created by the inventor) and an enchanted log princess (the witch’s creation). There’s just one catch: every night, the princess turns back into a log. And that is where the adventure begins!


When the log princess goes missing, her brother, the little wooden robot, sets out on an epic journey to find her. He encounters goblins, magic puddings, a mushroom queen and in the end a very intimidating woodpile - any of which could be his sister!


Ultimately this book is about sibling love! It’s exquisitely illustrated, moving, and funny tale! And there’s some very heroic woodlice! So what’s not to love?! I’m smiling just thinking about reading this too BookBairn!



And they all lived happily ever after!
Happy Reading,
Kim x



Disclaimer: The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess was sent by the publisher for review. Words and opinions are my own. 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.


Bird Picture Books

  You know we love birds so it's not surprising  that these two new picture books are firm favourites !  100 Birds by Michael Whaite Yes...

 


You know we love birds so it's not surprising that these two new picture books are firm favourites


100 Birds by Michael Whaite



Yes we have a lot of birds. This isn’t even the full collection! 

One of our favourite family books is 100 Dogs so when I saw there was a bird version (there’s also a cat one but we are not a feline loving family) I just knew I had to have it. For any of you who have followed for a while will know that two years ago BookBairn’s fascination with birds began and she’s been a twitcher ever since. 

So obviously this was going to be a huge hit! Not only does it feature lots of her favourite birds and she can enjoy identifying them as we read. It also is written in the most brilliant bouncing and rhythmic rhyme! It’s a real mastery in world play and a great story for developing kids phonic knowledge without them, or even adults, noticing. It’s a joy to read aloud! There’s also a bird’s colourful tail feather hidden on every page which keeps The Wee Page Turner happy and the illustrations are bold, colourful and packed full of humour. We could pore over the artwork for ages just talking about what the bird characters are getting up to. It’s one of those deceptively simple books that packs a whole lot into it’s pages and we adore it! Highly highly recommend this one!

I always find it telling when reviews ares super easy to write! It means the book is FAB!


100 Birds by Michael Whaite

I cannot say how much I adore this book! I mean I really really love it! A lyrical exploration of the many sides of humanity - good and bad - told from the viewpoint go a bird overheard.


One day Little Bird leaves the safety of her mother’s nest (I mean already I’m finding this tugs my heartstrings!) and goes to explore the world. Mama bird warns her to watch out for people - but without really knowing exactly what they are and why her forefathers (or mothers) warned her off them. So on her flight, Little Bird sees many people who are all very different: she sees cruelty and greed, but also love and kindness.

“They were many many things,
said Little Bird.
But the ones I will remember most
Are the ones that were kind.”

This is such a beautiful exploration of the many sides of humanity and our connection with nature and the natural world. The artwork throughout is gorgeous with layers and texture and depth that really brings to life the idea that you re flying with bird and seeing humans from a bird’s eye view. It’s an expertly executed book with a deep and poignant message but it’s alos one that my kids ask to read over and over again - they do love a bird book - because it’s a beautiful and gentle story too.



If you have a little twitcher at home then these books would be a great read for them! We adore them!

Happy bird watching and reading,
Kim and BookBairn x


Disclaimer: Bird's Eye View was sent by the publisher for review. Words and opinions are my own. 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.



Upcoming Festive & Christmas Kids Books - 2021

  Is it possible that many authors (and illustrators) spent the first lockdown writing festive and Christmas books? I think it must have bee...

 


Is it possible that many authors (and illustrators) spent the first lockdown writing festive and Christmas books? I think it must have been because there is a bumper load of new releases this year! As always it's likely I've missed something out, I had great difficulty getting this list down to 20! So you can imagine I've had to leave a few out! Without further ado:

Upcoming Picture Book Releases - Autumn 2021

  Warning: book lust may ensue! Here are some of the most exciting upcoming releases! This list is not exhaustive - it couldn't be as th...

 



Warning: book lust may ensue! Here are some of the most exciting upcoming releases!

This list is not exhaustive - it couldn't be as there are 1000s of new releases (I browsed about 800 before my eyes went loopy and I called it a day) - and I will no doubt have missed something out that I am really excited about but I've done my utmost to find books that I'm most excited to read before the end of the year. (I haven't included Christmas books as I will do a separate list of those). Here they are:


Learning to Read - Julia Donaldson's Songbirds

Well, home schooling is over for us (fingers crossed it remains that way) but we still have lots of work to do with BookBairn on learning to...

Well, home schooling is over for us (fingers crossed it remains that way) but we still have lots of work to do with BookBairn on learning to read. She is becoming more confident all the time and we have worked particularly hard on learning those 'tricky words' which can be a real stumbling block for children learning to read as they are very tricky to decode (sound-out).

Fortunately, the reading scheme that BookBairn's school have opted to use are very phonics focussed which means that she can use all her sounding out knowledge to make the story make sense! So when Books 2 Door, a fantastic book discount site which specialised in children's box sets, offered us a set of the same books for home, I thought they would be really handy for BookBairn, but also so I could share the set with you!

Julia Donaldson's Songbirds are lively and engaging phonics-based stories, which, as I say, is a bit of a rarity in the early readers book market. Written by the storytelling master that is Julia Donaldson, these books are guaranteed to be far more interesting than some of the dry and dull learning to read books on the market. With a wonderful mix of rhyme and rhythm, the books are fun to read aloud!

Level 1 Book

Each book also contains tips for reading together and supporting your child as they learn to read. And they follow a phonics progression that will support children's learning at school.

Level 4 Book


If your child is finding to tricky, or finding it laborious, to learn to read, then these books might just be the ticket to keeping them engaged even when it gets tough! And at less than £1 per book they are a bargain set through Books 2 Door. I also have a link for £5 off your first order over £30, which you can access by clicking here. (Note I also get £5 off my next order as it's an affiliate link)


Hope these help your little one with their learning to read!

Happy reading!

Kim and BookBairn


Disclaimer: I was sent this box set in exchange for review as part of a Books2Door collaboration and this post contains a link to the review which I included as part of said agreement. (Though I would have directed you to their site anyway!)


A Shelter for Sadness Blog Tour

I have been anticipating this book since I first heard about it (it featured in my Exciting Upcoming Picture Book Releases the minute I hea...


I have been anticipating this book since I first heard about it (it featured in my Exciting Upcoming Picture Book Releases the minute I heard about it's released date). Before I had even set eyes on it in real life I knew that this would be a powerful and evocative book that would support children with difficult emotions. So when I was asked to join the blog tour, I immediately said yes despite the fact that I told myself I was not doing any blog tours this year. What I'm trying to say by that is that it takes an exceptional book to make me change my mind. And this is an exceptional book!



I think, more so than ever, we need to find ways to support our children with their mental health and with dealing with the "big emotions" but we also have to accept that one of the ways we deal with our emotions is not by dismissing them or trying to conquer them but in a more quiet way by accepting that they are there and giving them space to breathe. Inspired by a quotation from Holocaust victim, Etty Hillesum (I'll insert that quotation at the end), Anne Booth has created a story that sensitively personifies sadness showing them that it is not a feeling to be feared, hidden or denied. Instead you need to give it a shelter of it's own.


 

A small boy creates a shelter for his sadness, a safe space where Sadness is welcome, where it can curl up small or be as big as it can be, where it can be noisy or quiet, or anything in between. (In fact, for me it reminds me of how I care for my children - giving them space to grow, or lie down or curl up small or the opportunity to be very very loud, or very very quiet - always following their lead; I don't, however, make them live in an outdoor shelter or build them bonfires and leave them unsupervised - just to be clear!) The boy can visit the shelter whenever he needs to, every day, every hour, or hardly at all. And Sadness and the boy sometimes will talk, or cry or just sit saying nothing. The boy knows that some days Sadness may come out the shelter, and together they will look out at the world and see how beautiful it is. Or that sometime he will be too busy to visit Sadness but that's ok too as he's built it a good shelter and it's safe inside there. And together they can navigate through the world holding each others' hands.


A Shelter for Sadness is a perfectly pitched picture book to help children explore the importance of making space and time for their own sadness, when they need to, and is especially poignant in the current climate of uncertainty and loss. 

With striking illustrations that are deeply evocative and rich as well as being laced with a playfulness and tenderness, David Litchfield has brought to life a Sadness that we can relate to, where we can see that Sadness is part of being human and that it can exist alongside the happiness and beauty in the world without taking up all the space and blotting out all the colour. Even if Sadness is the biggest thing in your life and requires all your focus and attention, the illustrations show that beauty and colour still exist in the world when we are ready and able to look for it outside the shelter. I also love the very subtle changing of seasons in the artwork as your turn through the pages of the book, which is a gentle reminder to children (and adults) that Sadness is with us through all seasons and does not disappear with changing weather and that that is ok.









I have long adored David's artwork and I was delighted that as part of the blog tour he agreed to let us seen inside his sketchbook for A Shelter for Sadness. It's fascinating seeing how a book comes to life and I love some of this artwork that otherwise would have been left inside a closed notebook. Thank you so much for sharing and if you want to see more of the blog tour check out the banner below.

As the importance of good mental health, empathy, and kindness  are being highlighted like never before, especially for children, this book will help them develop those skills and support them in becoming emotionally literate with the skills to cope with difficult feelings and approach others with gentleness and understanding. It's a very powerful book.


I said I would share the quotation by Ester 'Etty" Hillesum (15 Jan 1914 - 30 Nov 1943) and it feels poignant to close with it:


'Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge - from which new sorrows will be born for others - then sorrow will never cease in the world. And if you have given sorrow the space it demands, the you may truly say: life is beautiful and so rich.'

Hope that this book might bring you comfort and support if you need it, and start important conversations in your home,

Kim and the bairns xx


Disclaimer: This book was sent by the publisher for review. Words and opinions are my own. 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.