We hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. BookBairn enjoyed lots of cuddles from family, especially the extra days with daddy (she has s...

Easter Bunnies All Around

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 BookBairn 2 Comments

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. BookBairn enjoyed lots of cuddles from family, especially the extra days with daddy (she has spent much of today shouting "dada" despite the fact that he has returned to work), tasted lots of chocolate and read plenty of bunny stories.

If you follow the blog you will know that we are a fan of bunnies in our house with a BookBunny of her own to keep her company and a mountain of Miffy stories. Over the Easter weekend we've been extending our bunny fandom further, here are some of our favourites:

Funny Bunnies by David Melling
A while back, we posted about our favourite bears (We're Going on a Bear Hunt) and included David Melling's Hugless Douglas. Clearly, we are huge fans of David Melling in the BookBairn household as we also love his 'Funny Bunnies' series of books. The bunnies in these books are absolutely irresistible and they get up to some seriously strange antics (for rabbits) including bouncing on pogo-sticks throughout all types of weather in 'Funny Bunnies Rain or Shine'. Unlike other primer books (basic language books usually themed on a particular subject such as colours, numbers, weather, animals, etc) this book is a story filled with humour! Perfect for teaching basic weather vocabulary as well as making you giggle. The bunnies are adorable and you will be cheering them on their weather-y adventure. We also love 'Funny Bunnies Up and Down' which is full of opposites and I've now read it so many times I can recite it by heart! Many little bookbairns will certainly relate to the "bounce all day" and for lucky parents they will appreciate that they also "snore all night". A great bedtime read!
Alfie by Debi Gliori
Alfie is a cute and lovable bunny rabbit with an endless imagination! Beautifully illustrated the tales of Alfie brilliantly bring to life the strange imaginings of small children as they splash around the bath or explore the depths of the garden. These books feature pull out pages that show the world as Alfie imagines it, filled with adventure and imaginary friends such as blue elephants and pink crabs. In 'Alfie in the bath', he goes on an underwater exploration fighting off (a very cute) sea monster, discovering shipwrecks and creating quite a storm that results in Daddy-Bun having to mop the ocean up from the bathroom floor (most parents will sympathise). In 'Alfie in the garden', Alfie explores the jungle garden, escaping wild lions, sploshing water from the watering can to create puddles for the frogs and finally ending up cuddling beside his Mama-Bun to have a nap. These are wonderful books for encouraging children to explore their worlds and to play imaginatively!

Rabbit's Nap by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Having shared pictures of BookBairn enjoying this story on our social media sites, many little reading friends are loving 'Rabbit's Nap' at the moment! With lift-the-flaps on every page and characters from other Tales from Acorn Wood  books, it's no wonder they love this story. Rabbit is trying to have a nap (perhaps the little ones can sympathise) but is frequently interrupted by her neighbours. "Poor Rabbit" I hear all little bookbairns exclaim! BookBairn adores this book and loves revealing the noisy characters under the flaps (although she thinks the tortoise is a "turtle" but can't really blame her). This book, and the others in the series are excellent for little readers who prefer shorter stories before naptime: the flaps keep them engaged whist the short sentences mean they are not waiting too long for the next page. And like most Julia Donaldson books, it rhymes! Axel Scheffler creates another cast of wonderful characters in his signature style and I wonder if the animals from Acorn Wood know that there might be a Gruffalo hiding around the corner. BookBairn cannot recommend this book highly enough!

Where's Peter? (character created by Beatrix Potter)
This book is brilliant! I love Peter Rabbit and adore that this book features the illustrations true to Beatrix Potter's original characters. In this book Peter Rabbit is hiding and little readers have to lift flaps to find him discovering other characters along the way. But to add another sensory element this book is also a touch and feel book with parts of the 'feely' materials poking through the flaps allowing little ones to feel, lift, reveal and feel again. BookBairn loves this book! (And so does Mummy!)

One from the cutting room
floor. It's getting harder to
take her photo these days!

These are just a few of our favoruite rabbits. Do you have any favourite bunnies you'd like to share with us?

Love Mummy and BookBairn x


Last Easter BookBairn was too little to appreciate the joys of chocolate eggs, so instead her lovely Aunty gave her this book, 'Egg...

Easter Egg-stravaganza

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 BookBairn 8 Comments

Last Easter BookBairn was too little to appreciate the joys of chocolate eggs, so instead her lovely Aunty gave her this book, 'Egg' (My Little World) by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway. I had stashed this book away to bring back out in the weeks before Easter and, knowing how much she liked 'Boo' by the same team (read our review here) I knew this would be an eggs-celent read (and yes, there will be more egg references if you read on!).This is the perfect non-chocolatey gift for little ones and BookBairn adores it!

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 story features animals which little ones will be familiar with and BookBairn particularly enjoys the pages with the sheep ("baa"), horse ("clip clop") and rabbit (which she recognises as the same as our family pet, bookbunny). I'm sure this book will be helpful in helping her to recognise other animals too! 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!

Not to spoil the big reveal at the end but I can't avoid mentioning it because it was one of the best reactions from BookBairn that I've seen! As the farmyard friends gather round to share their eggs, they begin to crack and then hatch. As the little chicks shout "cheep" BookBairn giggled with joy and tried to join in making the sound. Now every time we read it, she skips as quickly as possible to the final pages and taps on the chicks saying "cheep cheep cheep" whilst grinning from ear to ear.

The cover of this book includes the tag-line "an eggs-citing Easter egg-scapade" and it truly is!

Hope you enjoy your Easter eggs this weekend! And if you're having a chocolate-free Easter, we highly recommend cracking open this eggs-ceptional Easter read instead!

Happy Easter, Mummy and BookBairn x


Last week BookBairn celebrated her first birthday, and I can't believe how quickly the year has flown in and how much she has changed. ...

A Baaaa Book

Sunday, March 20, 2016 BookBairn 7 Comments

Last week BookBairn celebrated her first birthday, and I can't believe how quickly the year has flown in and how much she has changed. It certainly makes our days more exciting now that they involve play, conversations, dancing, crawling, (almost) walking alongside the eat, sleep, repeat that those early days revolved around. She has become quite the little mimic and will repeat many of the words and sounds that she hears and has also started to learn lots of words. Alongside the usual mama and dada, she can now tell you about the menagerie of animals that we are collecting.

One of her favourite chatterbox activities is to talk about animal noises and she is particularly fond of "sssss" for snake, "baaa" for sheep and a clip clop noise of horses feet. Not surprisingly then "Baby's First Playbook: Farm" by Jo Lodge makes for great fun, play and noises! As you are probably aware our house is overflowing with books so BookBairn has renamed some of her favourites so that we can help her find the one she's after. This one has been renamed "booo-k baaaaa" (clearly because it has a sheep in it!).

This book is full of entertainment for little ones and Bookbairn enjoys playing with it by herself as well as reading with grown ups. It has taken her a little time to master the pull and slide tabs (and even now she prefers to move the pictures without using the tabs) but that never stopped her enjoying this book from the very first read.

This book consists of ten pages filled with interactive, brightly coloured illustrations of some farm animal favourites. On the publishers website Jo Lodge is not only described as an illustrator but a 'paper engineer' and I have no doubt that she is deserving of such a description. The thick and sturdy tabs reveals illustrations of farm animals in Jo Lodge's distinctive style that appeals to little readers that are set in frames of high contrast patterns and shapes. We now have several books by Jo Lodge and find that all her characters are incredibly appealing with their cute and funny expressions and clear lines complimented by bold colours, which are perfectly designed to engage little ones as their eyesight develops.

The engineering in this book will no doubt engage many little bookbairns. Several of the pages have pull and slide tabs which reveal animal pals but BookBairn particularly enjoys the page with the sunshine that when you move the tab up and down makes the rays of the sun move (the counter side makes cute little ducks bob up and down on the pond). She giggles everytime we 'read' this page!
The last pages reveal a shiny mirror that BookBairn loves to kiss and the final page which has pictures of all the animals from the book and she likes to point at the sheep (shouting "baaaa") and the horse ("clip clip clop") and the baby ("baby" - yes a proper word too!).

For anyone with little readers like BookBairn this book is a must have! We read/play with this 'Playbook' every day! We are looking forward to the next Playbook by Jo Lodge and Campbell Publishers (it's called Baby's First Playbook: Peepo and features lots of different babies and their parents).

Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

One from the cutting
 room floor for you! She 
didn't much like posing 
as a little flower!

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free by the author, however, all words and opinions are my own.



Since having BookBairn, I've discovered there are some things that are really handy to have around the house: baby wipes, muslin clothes...

Really Decent Handy Books

Saturday, March 05, 2016 BookBairn 11 Comments

Since having BookBairn, I've discovered there are some things that are really handy to have around the house: baby wipes, muslin clothes, fruit puree pouches galore, raisins (they seem to be everywhere!), that favourite toy (in our case, it's a lion called Louis) and 'Really Decent Handy Books'

I'm sure you can imagine by now that our house is full of books, shelves to the ceiling for me, and boxes and stacks galore for BookBairn! But some books are just really handy to have. When I saw 'Farm babies', 'Zoo babies', 'Safari babies' and 'Baby pets', illustrated by Stephen Barker, I just couldn't resist them (and they were super cheap from The Book People). These four chunky board books are in the current reading pile and BookBairn loves their easy to grab handles. I have found lots of board books are great as they are durable and babyproof(ish) but because they are made of such strong board and are relatively large they are cumbersome and heavy for little hands to handle. Not true for this collection! They are perfect for encouraging young children to play with books and read by themselves. The cut out handle is perfect for grabbing and the way the books open out flat make them easy to hold and see the full illustration across the pages.

The four books in this collection feature animal babies in bold bright colours set against plain and mostly white backgrounds making them stand out even further. The animals are bright and cheerful and incredibly appealing! The characters are simply drawn and look like child friendly crayon doodles (although I don't want to devalue the skill that the illustrator has put into creating such an effect).

'Farm babies', 'Zoo babies', 'Safari babies' and 'Baby pets' are a great introduction to first words and for teaching little ones about relationships and family. The sentences are simple and describe what the animals in the picture are doing, great for beginning readers. Once BookBairn gets a little older we could certainly have fun acting out the animals actions in the pictures, with sound effects obviously! Or perhaps attempt to draw our own crayon versions of the animals!

These little books are often the first books out to play with and they can usually be found scattered across the floor (between stacking cups, animal skittles, xylophone, and other musical instruments, and Louis the lion). But they were a great buy and BookBairn loves them!

What books to you keep handy?
Happy reading, Mummy and BookBairn xx



So BookBairn is on the move! For the last few months she has been wriggling about on her tummy and 'commando crawling' all over the...

Baby-led Reading!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016 BookBairn 10 Comments

So BookBairn is on the move! For the last few months she has been wriggling about on her tummy and 'commando crawling' all over the house. Put her in her baby walker and she can fly around the house at top speed. And give her your hand and she will toddle around from room to room. But when she heads for that pile of toys in the living room, it's the stack of books that she's after! Sometimes it's hard to tell which one she's after until they are all scattered about her. I guess you could call it 'baby-led reading'?!!

Top of her reading list at the moment are two lift-the-flap books by Gareth Lucas: 'Peekaboo 123' and 'Peekaboo A to Z'. Two large and sturdy books with flaps that small hands can flip with ease, illustrations that are utterly adorable and silliness that will appeal to grown-ups and little ones alike: what's not to like?

BookBairn particularly likes 'Peekaboo A to Z' and has mastered most of the flaps in the book with ease. This alphabet book has an animal for every letter of the alphabet and each is pictured on top of the flap embracing their letter whilst underneath they can be seen in the strangest of circumstances, such as a bear balancing on a bean or a rabbit racing on roller skates or a lion licking a lollipop. Throughout the book, several of the pages feature a rather attention-seeking zebra who proclaims that "they saved the best for last" but there is a little twist by the time you get to the letter z and zebra has moment in the spotlight! As you can see the text is alliterative which will extend the appeal of this book beyond little ones who have already mastered their initial sounds. The short sentences and corresponding illustrations mean that these books will also be great for early readers. BookBairn favours the pages with Hippo, Iguana and Jaguar and Quail, Rabbit and Snake! I'm not sure why she loves these so much but they are the pages I catch her reading most often!

'Peekaboo 123' is a hilarious counting tale of animals racing to the finish along the beach. You will encounter snakes and pandas and hamsters and turtles and gorillas and animals galore! Each flap has the numeral and number word written clearly without too much fuss, meaning that all the fun lies beneath the flap (also meaning that learning numerals and number words is easily accesible). Under each flap are animals on a mode of transport trying to race to the finish first. Similarily to Peekaboo A to Z, the short sentences on the underside of the flap are written in alliteration and feature crazy antics such as cows in a canoe, hippos in a hot air balloon and pandas on a pirate ship. For little ones you can count all the animals in the picture and guess who might come next and what they might be driving/sailing/flying. I love that the modes of transport get progressively speedier as you count up the numbers: another great point for discussion with older children. This book also features zebra on several of the pages who provides the race commentary throughout! This book also features a brilliant final page that will have you laughing out loud!

The illustrations in both books are absolutely charming and the animals created are adorable. There is often a lot going on in each scene which keep wee ones busy and engaged beyond simply flipping open the flap, closing it and turning the page. The attention to detail is brilliant and you will have great fun discussing the animals crazy antics!

These books are truly wonderful! I love that the flaps are layered on top of the pages, rather than cut outs, and are 'oversized' meaning that little BookBairn's hands can manipulate them easily! It is wonderful that these books will appeal to children of many ages from ones as little as BookBairn, who love to lift the flaps, to pre-school age children who are learning to count and recognise letters, to older children who are beginning to read and understand literary devices such as alliteration. Brilliant books for all the family to enjoy!

And worth learning to crawl for!
Love Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given 'Peekaboo 123' and 'Peekaboo A to Z' for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own. These books are set for release on 10th March 2016. (BookBairn's birthday!!)