Merry Christmas and festive wishes to all our readers! One of the things I love to do is curl up in bed with a book on Christmas Eve....

Mummy and BookBairn Book Group - The Nutcracker

Friday, December 29, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

Merry Christmas and festive wishes to all our readers!

One of the things I love to do is curl up in bed with a book on Christmas Eve. Something I can read cover to cover and absorb the full story. So I was thrilled to pick up a very small, but perfectly-formed, book with a festive theme this year. I so enjoyed reading this illustrated edition of 'The Nutcracker' by designer Sanna Annukka. I've never read the story before, originally by ETA Hoffmann though I am familiar with the Alexandre Dumas version that was adapted for the stage ballet. And I found the differences quite fascinating. I loved this story so much, and as it was short I'd recommend reading it even if you are already familiar with the more famous retelling. The illustrations in this version were bold, striking and full of the life of the story. They are very linear and geometric in style and make this book all the more beautiful and stylish.

This was the perfect choice for me to read this year as BookBairn has been enjoying 'The Story Orchestra' retelling of Tchaikovsky's ballet with illustrations by Jessica Courtney-Tickle.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story (the ballet version) is the magical adventure of a little girl called Clara who is given a beautiful selection of hand-made toys by her Uncle Drosselmeyer but her favourite is a wooden soldier nutcracker. She stays up late playing with her new toy when all of a sudden the Mouse King and his army declare war on the Nutcracker and Clara and her brother's toys. Just when it looks like the Mouse King will be victorious, little Clara throws her shoe across the room and clonks him straight on the head and knocks him out cold. (The original Hoffmann tale goes into great history of the Mouse King and Queen which I found to be fascinating.) And when the Mouse King is defeated the Nutcracker is revealed as the true Prince of the Land of Sweets. He whisks Clara off on the adventure of a lifetime to watch performances from the Sugar Plum Fairy and various delicious dancers. As the night ends, Clara awakes to find her nutcracker toy in her arms, as if the whole thing was a dream.

And this version really is a dream to read. The illustrations are utterly delightful and really capture the magic of this tale. The characters truly come alive.

But this book has a little more magic between it's pages. Each page has a unique button that when pressed plays a short excerpt of music from Tchaikovsky's original music from the ballet. BookBairn just loves this! And it really does sweep you away into the story. Such a brilliant way to introduce children to classical music too. Whilst this is a wonderful story and beautifully illustrated, BookBairn's favourite page is the very final endpaper which features all ten musical note buttons so she can play each part of the ballet over and over. And, ok, for the moment she chooses her favourite buttons based on their colour but I hope that it will help her appreciate the music too.

These two books are both incredibly beautiful and make great companion reads for the Mummy and BookBairn Book Group.

If you have any recommendations for Mummy and BookBairn Book Group, we would love to hear them! And if you want to read along, we'd love to hear your reviews. 

Happy Reading,
Mummy and BookBairn xx


So you've (hopefully) read my gift lists but you might be wondering what books we would like to add to our collection. You may find w...

Our Wish List

Saturday, December 23, 2017 BookBairn 2 Comments

So you've (hopefully) read my gift lists but you might be wondering what books we would like to add to our collection. You may find what I'm about to say a little odd, and I guess it is but I can't lie... we don't buy books for BookBairn or The Wee Page Turner at Christmas. Ka-boom! Why not? Well, we get books all year round, so for Christmas we just don't. Even I think it's weird. Does it make me a bad book blogger? I don't know. I digress.

[*Edit: I totally bought them books. And one of them is on this list but I started the draft before I hit the bookshop! So...]

Anyway... here are some great books I've discovered this year but just haven't had a chance or the never-ending funds to buy. But they are wonderful and I wanted to share them with you.

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

We really want to listen to the brilliant music accompanying this book! We have read the story when we borrowed it from a friend. It tells the story of a little bear who stumbles upon a piano in the forest and he teaches himself to play. The bear is then 'discovered' and sets of on an incredible journey to New York, where he becomes a huge star. He becomes rich and famous but still something is missing. His friends and family. And I want to hear bear play! If you want to know more about this one check out Book Monster Ally's review on her blog here.

Unplugged by Steve Antony

Having flicked through this one in the bookshop it just seems so sweet! We love Please, Mr Panda so whenever a new Steve Antony book appears we can't wait to see it. I love the idea of a story about a character as cute as BLIP who spends all day plugged into her computer, playing games and having fun. But when there is a power cut, Blip  discovers playing games and having fun outside. An important reminder to enjoy the unplugged things in life!

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

Du iz tak? What is that? Aren't books that make grown-ups say silly things just great fun?! Little children just love bugs and have imaginations that create whole worlds for them! And of course, bugs can speak their own language. This book has me fascinated? What is it about? Will I be able to translate the bug language and understand the story? So many fellow picture book fanatics love it! So we really want to check it out!

Pancakes! Cook in a Book by Lotta Nieminen

BookBairn has really enjoyed some of the books that allow her to act out the story so why wouldn't she want to make pancakes as she reads along!? You can cook pancakes from scratch inside this interactive recipe book - readers whisk the eggs, flip the pancakes, and more! Using pull-tabs, wheels, and a punch-out piece, BookBairn will be able to join in the cooking. Cooking pancakes has never been so satisfying nor so clean! Sounds brilliant! And if we like this one I'll definitely be getting the pizza one too!

Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars

I've heard a lot about Bob. Bob the bird is just like all his friends, apart from his skinny legs. When Bob is teased, he decides to try and change himself to fit in. But little does he know where all his efforts will lead him... Sounds like a great book for subtly building confidence of little ones. And I believe the artwork is brilliant and that readers will be inspired to make art as a form of self-expression too. I love books that encourage little ones to be themselves, if we can instill this while they are young then hopefully they will have the confidence to be themselves throughout their tween, teen and adult years too!

What a Wonderful World! by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tom Hopgood

The concept for this series of books has me absolutely enchanted. Take some of the most famous, beautiful and inspiring lyrics and turn them into an equally beautiful and inspiring picture book: yes please! And this one is top of my list because I love the song. It follows one little boy as he discovers just how wonderful this world of ours can be. And I love that the book comes with an accompanying CD which includes the much-loved recording of the song by Louis Armstrong and an exclusive reading by Sophie Aldred because we love audiobooks at the moment but I would quite like to listen to some new ones as we listen to the same three or four on repeat. And it's always good to have a reminder of all the wonderful things in our world!

Baby Loves Quantum Physics by Ruth Spiro and Irene Chan

Papa BookBairn is a retired physics teacher and he used to always give us a little science lesson with whatever new toys we got - whether it was gravity, the bernoulli effect, electricity. And I noticed him starting to show BookBairn about waves with her new slinky (as well as gravity) - "science in action" I overheard him tell her. So I thought he would get a kick out of reading this series, and in particular this book, with The Wee Page Turner. Described as "big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby" I knew he would love it. This one it all about Schrodinger's cat and is told through a hide-and-seek style game. And I think it wouldn't do me any harm to brush up on my science too!

Animals by Ingela P. Arrhenius 

This is one of the biggest books I have seen in the bookshop. And I have flicked through it's pages and can definitely say that the striking graphic style of the illustrations in this book are stunning! The retro style and bold typography absolutely has me desperate to add this to our bookshelf (although it's too big to fit on the shelf so it will need to have a special home!).

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

It feels like every single kidsbookstagrammer has this book already. And they all love it. And to be honest that's enough to sell it to me as I value their opinions so much. But if it's not enough to sell it to you here's a bit more detail. CJ begins his weekly bus journey around the city with disappointment and dissatisfaction, wondering why he and his family can't drive a car like his friends. Through energy and encouragement, CJ's nana helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine. Packed full of beautiful illustrations of people for different backgrounds and ethnicities I think this is a must have for a diverse bookshelf. Exploring themes of urban life with honesty, interest and gratitude I think this is a must have for an intentional bookshelf (a bookshelf full of books that share important values). Also, Last Stop on Market Street has won multiple awards and spent time at the number one spot in the New York Times Bestseller List.

The Secret Garden: A BabyLit Storybook by Mandy Archer and Jane Newland

I love the BabyLit books that we have but they are all primers of basic vocabulary and BookBairn is beginning to outgrow them as she wants a bit more from a book now than just words. And I really want to introduce her to the stories I loved growing up. BabyLit Storybooks give classics new life for the next generation of early readers. I have no doubt that we will end up with the whole collection of these books! But I want to start with this one as it's one of my favourites! And Pride and Prejudice too!

I hope that you enjoyed seeing some of our wish list. As you can imagine our house is pretty packed full with books but there's always a few more on our wish list. And, like you, we can't possibly justify buying them all. But maybe our budget could stretch to these beauties?

[*Edit - can you guess which book I had to buy in the time between starting this post and finishing writing it?]

Happy book wishes,
Mummy and the bairns xx


A couple of weeks ago the lovely Catherine from Story Snug asked us to join in her wonderful Online Book Advent Calendar where every...

Favourite Festive Read

Friday, December 15, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Catherine from Story Snug asked us to join in her wonderful Online Book Advent Calendar where every day until Christmas lots of bookish bloggers, authors and illustrators share there favourite festive reads. And of course I was delighted to join in... but... how was I going to choose one sing favourite festive read. So I decided to let BookBairn choose. And she chose well.

Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock and Helen Stephens was her choice and I can see why she picked it: it's a heartwarming story which BookBairn can no doubt relate to with a favourite toy who goes everywhere; it's incredibly beautifully illustrated with Christmas trees that fascinate little BookBairn and it comes with a brilliant (and free) audiobook so she can read it herself.

In the story, little Noah is going Christmas shopping with his mummy, sister Evie-May and, of course, his favourite soft toy elephant, Oliver. They go to the big store and find presents for everyone on their list and Noah and Oliver get up to little bits of mischief as they shop. When the shopping is finally all done they pop to the café for a slice of cake and, just as they get ready to leave, Noah discovers that Oliver is missing! I don’t want to spoil the ending – but there’s a little bit of Christmas magic to make it a happy one! 

It is written in rhyme so makes a brilliant story to read aloud. In fact, the first time we read it BookBairn wasn't that fussed so I sat on the floor and started to read and she was simply drawn in and onto my lap. As we read the final words she said "read it again mummy!" 

We love Helen Stephens’s illustrations – they are absolutely adorable. There are several beautiful spreads of Noah and his family inside the department store with a huge Christmas tree in the centre towering over all the shoppers. It is perfect! The perfect Christmas scene. Bringing to life the magic of this time of year. 

There are so many things that we can relate to in this book: trying to take two kids shopping at Christmas time seems a daunting prospect and I can imagine my BookBairn would get up to mischief just like Noah. She also has a very favourite cuddly toy – Louis the lion (tucked up beside BookBairn in these photos) – who goes everywhere with us! Fortunately, we’ve never had that moment of panic when it disappears (we also have two, just in case!). And the shop looks remarkably like a big department store in Edinburgh (so I message Helen Stephens and as local-ish artist she said she couldn't help letting a little bit of that store seep into the illustration).

And as I mentioned it has a free audiobook. Many of the books by the publisher Nosy Crow are part of their Stories Aloud smartphone audio book series and all you have to do is scan the QR code on the inside flap to hear the story read aloud. BookBairn really does love this. She is becoming more independent in her 'reading' and she wants to read by herself. This lets her do that. And there's even a wee bell sound to tell her when to turn the pages. She quite happily listens and reads away for ages all by herself.

Personally, I would choose this one simply because I love the normality of it, and whilst there is magic in how Oliver finds his way back to Noah – it’s real magic – no fairies, elves or pixie dust. This is a timely reminder that real life is just as magic as the mythical. 

Do you have a favourite festive read?

Happy festive reading,
Mummy, BookBairn and Louis xx

*Disclaimer: These books were sent to us by the publisher and we were truly delighted to receive them. Words and opinions are our own.


Don't we all love the excitement of a parcel hitting the doormat (or the sight of that little card saying your parcel has been left...

Picture Books About Post

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 BookBairn 7 Comments

Don't we all love the excitement of a parcel hitting the doormat (or the sight of that little card saying your parcel has been left with a neighbour but not the one say that the post office is holding it hostage!)? We are very fortunate because we get lots and lots of book post. So I thought we should share some of our favourite books about letters and post!

Dear Dinosaur by Chae Strathie and Nicola O'Byrne

Ok, before I review, I partly chose this one because we had a lot of Chae Strathie books in our school library and my classes always loved them. (Chae Strathie lives relatively locally!) And this one did not disappoint. After a trip to the museum, Max becomes a little fascinated by the T-Rex and decides to continue learning about it and making friends with it through writing letters to him. And the might T-Rex writes back! With lift-the-flaps post that allow little ones to open the letters and cards as you read along, this is a charming story of friendship. The illustrations are adorable and made me want a T-Rex for a pet. BookBairn really enjoyed reading this one and I plan on popping it on the Favourites Shelf as soon as the festive books magically disappear. And it made me want to take BookBairn to the National Museum to see the dinosaurs!

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

One of my favourite children's books of all time is The Day the Crayons Quit so when I saw the sequel in the Scholastic Christmas Book Shop I couldn't resist getting a copy! BookBairn is probably too young to appreciate it's humour yet, so I've kept this little treat for myself. And I laughed out loud whilst reading it, so I gave it to Daddy BookBairn and he sniggered his way through. What would crayons say if the could write letters to their artist child? Well, sometimes I bet they'd be very complimentary but other times... Who knew they had such a dry sense of humour? In this sequel, Duncan faces a whole new bunch of postcards from forgotten, misplaced and crayons in need of rescuing. The crayons will genuinely make you laugh out loud! And Oliver Jeffers illustrates them perfectly!

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

This is such a brilliant Christmas classic! For those of you unfamiliar with the story, readers follow along with the postman on his journey to deliver Christmas letters, cards and gifts to many of the characters from fairytaleland finally ending in the North Pole. With witty rhyming prose and including some fairytale characters long-forgotten from my childhood I loved reading this again with BookBairn. And of course, as with all Janet and Allan Ahlberg's books, the illustrations are whimsical and packed full of detail to spend many wintry nights enjoying and discussing. BookBairn loves collecting the post as we open each envelope to the fairytale characters adn discovering what's inside. This quite simply is a perfect festive post story!

These brilliant books are just some of the 600 books in the Scholastic Christmas Bookshop which has brilliant recommendations for books for all ages. When I was contacted by Scholastic I found it really hard to choose from their vast selection and couldn't believe some of the offers they had. All the books featured in their Christmas Bookshop are discounted and, when you shop with Scholastic, you can stretch the season of goodwill to make it go a little further as Scholastic donate 25% worth of free books back to the shopper’s nominated school or nursery for every order over £10, which means schools can add to their library or class book shelves for free! To browse the full Christmas Bookshop, (search by age and type of book) check out

And if you fancy winning some brilliant books check out the #GiveABook competition that Scholastic are running on their social media! Just tag Scholastic (@ScholasticUK) with your favourite book to give to a child, and why, using the hashtag #GiveABook by 15th December and they'll select five favourite posts and donate £50 worth of books to a school or nursery of the winners’ choice.

*UPDATE* This competition is now closed and the winner has been notified!
***We have a copy of The Jolly Christmas Postman to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy please comment below with the book that you would give a child for Christmas. (Additional entries will be available so keep an eye out by following us on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook.) UK residents only please. Competition closes Friday 15.12.17 (same day that the #giveabook competition closes). ***

Hope you enjoy some book post,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER: This is a collaborative post with Scholastic Books - we received a donation into BookBairn's nursery's Scholastic account, the books reviewed in this post as well as a copy of The Jolly Christmas Postman for the giveaway. As always opinions are completely our own!


It's that time of year when everyone starts to get excited, snow may start tumbling from the sky, trees are adorned with lights and y...


Monday, December 11, 2017 BookBairn 23 Comments

It's that time of year when everyone starts to get excited, snow may start tumbling from the sky, trees are adorned with lights and you can hear the bells and songs of Christmas chiming everywhere. And yet... some people say "bah-humbug". I don't think Daddy BookBairn will mind me saying that he's a bit of a Grinch for much of this time of year: he hates getting the decorations out of the loft, he hates the shops being so busy and the seasonal commuters, he hates the pressure of buying gifts, he hates Christmas cards and wrapping presents. But he does love watching BookBairn enjoy Christmas - because that's what Christmas is really about. It's about meeting up with friends and family, it's about being amongst our loved ones.

When your #bookpost matches your jumper choice.

And deep down, I think that's what the story of The Grinch is all about. It tells the story of the Grinch who lives on the outskirts of Who-ville who hates Christmas: hates the noise, the feasting, the singing. So one year he decides to stop Christmas from coming. He dresses as Father Christmas, and dresses his dog as a reindeer, and sneaks down all the chimneys in Who-ville removing all the presents, stockings, turkeys and even the trees, until not a trace of Christmas is left. He even took the log from the fire! And yet the next morning, when he listens for the crying he expects, he hears merry singing. How can that be?

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more."

The Grinch, full of regret, finds his heart grows three sizes that day he returns all the toys, turkey and trimmings and joins in the festivities. Maybe Christmas isn't so bad after all?

But, for me this story, isn't just a tale about finding merriness in our family and friends this festive season. It's also about noticing the outsider. It's about making sure no one is left out. Every year we donate to our local Toy Drive which gives Christmas gifts and food hampers to those considered most in need in our local community. Nobody should be without a stocking, food and family on Christmas day (or any other day for that matter).

So to all the Grinches out there: join in the singing. And to the rest of us: let's help them feel welcomed.

To celebrate the Grinch turning 60 this year we have a copy to give away!!

*UPDATE* This competition is now closed and the winner has been notified!
***We have a copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas to give away. If you would like to win a copy please comment below with your least favourite part of Christmas. (Additional entries will be available so keep an eye out by following us on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook.) UK residents only please. Competition closes Friday 15.12.17. ***

Happy Grinchmas!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own. 


Occasionally we get asked to review a book or be part of a blog tour and I'm always wary about doing so in case we don't love th...

Shark Dog Blog Tour

Friday, December 08, 2017 BookBairn 2 Comments

Occasionally we get asked to review a book or be part of a blog tour and I'm always wary about doing so in case we don't love the book. Because fundamentally that's our guarantee - we only review books we love. But in this case I needn't have worried because BookBairn loves this book!! I popped it up on the Favourites Shelf to grab her attention and now we read it every day (sometimes twice or more!) and she may have found the giveaway copy we have and insisted we read it too - sorry it's not quite pristine but it comes with the BookBairn stamp of approval!

'Shark Dog' by Ged Adamson is a hilarious tale about a little girl who on an expedition with her dad discovers a curious but loveable creature. Part-shark part-dog, Sharkdog firmly thumps his way into their hearts. Sometimes when he's being a dog he's more like a shark and other times when he's being a shark he's more like a dog. But still he fits in, except at the beach: a fin sticking up out of the water sends everyone running. This is a delightful tale about what family means, about finding your place in the world, about what home really means! BookBairn's favourite part is, without a doubt, the illustration of Sharkdog playing with a stick, but he's got a whole tree in his mouth. She roars with laughter every time!

And we are delighted to welcome Ged to answer a few questions from BookBairn and I:

(Don't miss out on the giveaway at the bottom.)

Mummy's Questions:

Q: The book begins "my dad is no ordinary dad" - was this inspired by someone?

A: Not anybody specific. I just imagined a dad who’s an old school explorer and very British! I wanted him to be kind and fun to be around. He takes his son with him on his adventures. How cool would that be for a kid!

Q: Would you like to own a Shark Dog? Why or why not?

A: I’d love to have a Shark Dog! He’s such a friendly and curious animal. He’d be the perfect guard dog and he wouldn’t really have to do anything. People would be wary of him at first but then they’d see how really he’s just a sweet, happy dog.

Q: If you could create the perfect animal hybrid, what would it be?

A: It would have to involve a dinosaur. I’d love to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex in real life. But my hybrid would be with a giraffe but you wouldn’t actually see the giraffe part (I know I’m cheating!). It would be the temperament and vegetarianism of a giraffe. So he’d be a harmless T-Rex that eats plants instead of people.

Q: In BookBairn’s room we have a ‘Favourites Shelf’ of her favourite stories, which picture books would you  have on your Favourites Shelf at the moment?

A: I’ve probably missed some out but...

Pandamonium At Peek Zoo by Kevin Waldron - brilliant, funny book. A family favourite.

Yeti And The Bird by Nadia Shireen - I love her humour so much.

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton - truly original illustrator and we all think George is so cute!

Goodnight Already! by Jory John and Benji Davies - just hilarious especially when the duck looks through the window.

This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne - a clever idea that uses the physical book as part of the story. I love the big, stupid, sweet dog.

Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña - a wonderful, moving story beautifully told and illustrated.

My Friend by Beatrice Alemagna - this is so lovely and encapsulates everything that makes her the genius that she is.

Q: I’m sure there illustrators who have inspired you, can you tell us a few that you like the most?

A: My big influences are people like Ronald Searle and Charles Schultz. Ronald Searle was just jaw droppingly talented. When I was a kid, I got to know his work through things like the St Trinians films and the Molesworth books. He’s so massively imitated.
I was obsessed with Snoopy and Charlie Brown as a child. The other kids in school used to get me to draw them. I still have loads of Peanuts books.
There are lots of contemporary illustrators whose work I love - like Beatrice Alemagna who I’ve already mentioned; Isabelle Arsenault; Kevin Waldron; Fabi Santiago; Laura Callaghan; Reza Ferazmand (Poorly Drawn Lines); Johnny Sampson; Lauren Humphrey. I could go on, there are so many!

Q: If you could choose any book to create new illustrations for, which would you choose?

A: Ooh that’s a good question! I’ve always loved Charles Dickens and to illustrate something by him would be like a dream job. A Christmas Carol for example.
Emil And The Detectives by Erich Kästner would also be a good one.
I’m fascinated by clothes so a story that was set in, say, the 1960s or the Edwardian era would be a real pleasure to illustrate. All those great styles!

BookBairn's Questions:

Q: "Our Aquarium has dogsharks - is this like a sharkdog?"

A: Wow you’re so lucky to have an aquarium with dog sharks! They are similar to shark dogs but shark dogs are sort of rounder and they’ve got legs. I’m not sure who would win in a swimming race.

Q: “Orange is my colour. What’s your best colour?”

A: Orange is a very nice colour but I think mine must be green because I’ve got so many clothes that are green. There are colours that, when they’re together, I really like the combination. Like pink and brown. Or pink and orange. Or green and grey.

Q: “I like a lion best. What’s your favourite animal?”

A: My favourite animal has to be a dog. They’re so friendly and lovable!

Q:“I like to draw faces just now. What are you drawing?”

A: I’ve just drawn lots of dinosaurs for a new story idea. I always draw a leg and a foot with a fancy shoe. I don’t know why. It’s just what I always doodle.

Thank you Ged for joining us and answering our questions! The wonderful news is that Ged sent us an additional signed copy for a giveaway!

*UPDATE* This competition is now closed and the winner has been notified!
***We have a been sent an additional signed copy of this brilliant book to giveaway. If you would like to win a signed copy of Shark Dog please comment below with an animal hybrid or combination that you would like to see in a story. (Additional entries will be available so keep an eye out by following us on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook.) UK residents only please. Competition closes Monday 11.12.17 and I will aim to have it posted asap.***

To read the other blog posts in the tour, check out the banner below to find out when and where to be (and I'll also be sharing on our Twitter). 

Happy reading!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own. 


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… We are fast-approaching the season of the countdown. Children are getting more and more excited counting ...

KidLit Picks November Round Up - Numbers and Counting

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 BookBairn 4 Comments

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… We are fast-approaching the season of the countdown. Children are getting more and more excited counting down the days, lighting candles, opening advent calendars of all shapes and sizes—my family will be having a book-a-day for our advent season. Parents are getting more and more frantic to get organised as the days disappear. It’s the time of year that everyone practices counting.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… A study several years ago by researchers from the Institute of Education in London found that children who receive bedtime stories from their parents as infants perform better in vocabulary and spelling but also in maths. Reading supports numeracy. Books are full of numbers and images for counting.

A special thanks to Kim from BookBairn for our November @kidlitpicks theme! (It was my turn!!)

Counting with Barefoot Critters, by Teagan White
“Each rhyming verse leads on to the next. 1 through to 12 and a sweet goodnight.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

I Know Numbers!, by Taro Gomi
“If you have a little learner that’s getting digit-curious, check this book out.” — Katie from @afriendlyaffair

365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet
“As with all the best learning opportunities, it's done in such a clever way that children will barely notice that they are learning.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

Eight Jolly Reindeer, by Ilanit Oliver and Jacqueline Rogers
"Young readers will love counting down from eight to one in this adorable board book featuring Santa's famous reindeer! ."  Leah from @astoryaday

10, 9, 8 ... Owls Up Late!: A Countdown to Bedtime, by Georgiana Deutsch and‎ Ekaterina Trukhan
“It is engaging for little ones –– with peep-through cut-outs and cheeky little owls to count as well as repetitive text that they will soon be able to join in with reading the story.” —  Kim from @bookbairn

Numerical Street, by Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell
“It's quintessentially Australian and nostalgic through the architecture and details in the story, such as the myna birds throughout and the lamingtons/caramel slice/jam rolls and custard tarts at the bakery.”  De from @books_and_babycinos

Roar, by Stuart Lynch
“I couldn't resist the cute little dinos in this board book that introduces little ones to counting from 1-5.”  Carissa from @bookskidslove_

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!, by John Micklos Jr. and Clive McFarland
“Fun fall counting book!”  Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

Joey Counts to Ten, by Sally Morgan“Not just a counting book, this picture book can be used to discuss concepts of time of day, weather, sounds and sights.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

One Minute, by Somin Ahn“Young children counting down seconds and minutes will come to understand how relative time can be.”  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story!, by JaNay Brown-Wood and Priscilla Burris
“This counting and rhyming book is by far the cutest thing I've seen all day!.” — Charnaie from @hereweeread

Cats Night Out, by Jon Klassen
"Dance through the night with some fabulous felines whose numbers increase two at a time." — Wendy from @homegrownreader

William's Winter Nap, by Linda Ashman and Chuck Groenink
“This bedtime tale and it's kind cast of characters is sure warm your winter chilled heart.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits

One Family, by George Shannon and Blanca Gomez
"This book works on so many levels: it’s a simple counting story, a little bit of seek and find, and (my favorite!) a lovely introduction to and celebration of diversity in families.” — Anna from @kidlitcrafts

Let’s Count Kisses, by Karen Hull“This is a gentle bedtime story incorporating a lift-the-flap design, Australian animals and counting from 1 to 10.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

One Big Turkey, by Anne Vittur Kennedy
“It's simple and sweet rhyming text gets children counting everything they have to be thankful for, including food, friends, and full bellies!” — Michelle from

How Many Legs?by Kes Gray and Jim Field
"The book introduces us to a myriad of crazy critters turning up to a party with a varying number of legs and asks us "How many legs?". Fiona from @fee_loves_

"The things that make me different are the things that make me me." —Piglet (A.A. Milne).

Books have a magical power to transport the reader into any world at any given point in time. We can sit at home and become completely immersed in somebody else's life. Best of all, books help to expand our understanding of different people and cultures as well as ourselves.

When we read a story as a child, it becomes a part of our own identity. Reading a diverse range of books exposes children to an array of characters with different perspectives. This helps give children a heart for everyone, thus assisting in developing empathy.

This month, the @kidlitpicks book club is featuring books about EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES. It is our hope to create a collection of books that celebrate the diversity of people around the world so that all children might see themselves reflected in stories as well as read about people they’ve never met.

What are some of your favourite books that celebrate diversity?

Join in by sharing books that embrace our differences by tagging #kidlitpicks_diversity

Happy Reading,
Mummy, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xx