What a wonderful April we have had: family to visit, Easter eggs and most importantly celebrating The Wee Page Turner turning one! I ...

Little Loves - April

Monday, April 30, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

What a wonderful April we have had: family to visit, Easter eggs and most importantly celebrating The Wee Page Turner turning one! I can't believe he is one. A whole year since he was born and it has passed so quickly, I'm now savouring the baby moments as he turns from baby to toddler! And we still have my birthday tomorrow! So more cake. It has been a month of cakes and chocolate.

So that's been our month and here are some of the little loves we have been enjoying.

The book I have read the most this month with BookBairn is "Mrs Mole, I'm Home" by Jarvis. We picked it up in the library and have pretty much read it every day since. She loves Morris and his escapade to find his way home without his glasses to help him see where he is digging. She finds it so funny that his glasses are balanced on his head throughout the story (perhaps this reminds her of her Papa who is constantly laying his glasses down and asking her to remember where they are?). The illustrations are packed full of fun details and BookBairn particularly enjoys spotting all the books in the owl residence (one of them has her name on it) and tracing the maps of where Morris has been digging. It's a lovely story packed full of humour and I have enjoyed reading it every day for a month so it's got to be pretty good to keep our attention that long.

Today we traveled to Edinburgh to see the stage show of What the Ladybird Heard. I was incredibly nervous about taking both kids to the theatre as I had no idea whether they would sit still and enjoy it. But they loved it! They were both absolutely enthralled. The show was wonderful. Clearly aimed at preschoolers the staging was really clever with the actors creating the animals out of discarded farm equipment and wheeling them around the stage as well as using a couple of puppets to bring to life the story. The songs and music had The Wee Page Turner absolutely entranced and he clearly really enjoyed it. Encouraging the children to interact and join in parts of the story, but without becoming a pantomime, the actors did a great job of engaging with the audience. The star of the show for BookBairn was the little ladybird who fluttered across the stage with a clever use of lights. I was also really impressed that the production took a five minute story book and turned it into a whole hour of quality entertainment. A wonderful family day out.  BookBairn had a look of joy on her face throughout and that's what it's all about.

BookBairn has been wearing the cutest dinosaur dress this month that her Grandma bought for her. I love the bold colours and that dinosaurs are cool for girls too!

Outside! Thank you for the sunshine. We have been playing on our swing and slide set in the garden and The Wee Page Turner has loved playing in the ball pool in the sunshine. We have also played a lot at our local parks. I just love it when the weather is warm enough and dry enough to play outside.

We got our first ever subscription box from the team at KidArtLit, which I will be reviewing at a later date but one of the best things about it was that it had packed a ready set go art activity which was exactly as it said on the tin. We opened the box and BookBairn didn't even look at the book as she was straight into the rainbow ribbon activity. All the bits were ready and organised and we were set to make. Very simply we tied the ribbons on to a hoop and off she sped around the garden with a trail of rainbow ribbons behind her. She loved them. And even better, the box comes with activities enough for two children (or for one child to make twice!) so we could make one for The Wee Page Turner too. We then danced around the living room until bedtime with them! As I say, I'll be reviewing the box shortly so keep an eye out for more about what was inside! But if you're already convinced to buy a box, you can find it using this affiliate link (I receive a small commission but it costs you no more than normal).

You probably know from reading the blog before that  we really enjoy listening to audiobooks in the car, and having recently got an Audible membership, I have discovered they have some really good deals on children's audiobooks. And we got a whole lot of books by Oliver Jeffers for just £1.74 each! When you think that a children's magazine costs £3.99 and up that seems like great value to me for a couple of audiobooks. Obviously, they are short as they are his picture books read aloud but they are the ones that BookBairn knows so they make the most sense to listen to. And you know that BookBairn's favourite book is 'The Penguin and the Boy' (Lost and Found) so it's been wonderful to listen to more of his stories!

I thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday off being Mummy for an early birthday day out with my mum. We went to the cinema see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I recently re-read this month and I loved! The book is truly wonderful and had me laughing out loud and weeping in equal measure. As did the film. There were some variations from the book, which is understandable due to the time constraints, but I thought it was a particularly good adaption especially when you consider that the whole book is written in letter format. The acting was brilliant, the scenery breath-taking and the whole experience left me feeling uplifted. We then had a lovely lunch and did a bit of birthday shopping which made me feel good as I haven't quite shrunk back to my pre-baby size and it's nice to have some lovely new clothes that will be more flattering because they fit better. And the kids had a brilliant day with their daddy which is nice as he doesn't often have both of them all to himself! 

I hope you enjoyed reading a bit more about the things we loved this month, I've enjoyed reflecting back on such a wonderful month of fabulous fun and family celebrations. 

Hope you had a lovely April
Mummy and the bairns xx

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat


Did you see that I recently collaborated with Bookbug to write a review of The Toddler Bookbug Bag   for their blog? Why not pop over...

Bookbug Blog

Monday, April 23, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

Did you see that I recently collaborated with Bookbug to write a review of The Toddler Bookbug Bag  for their blog? Why not pop over and read why we think it is totally amazing! And get a sneak peek at what's inside their year's bag for children aged 2-3 in Scotland. It's all free! Don't forget to ask your Health Visitor for your bag.

Thanks for reading!
Kim x


I really love it when we find a book that matches BookBairn's current interests. But I love it even more when a book inspires a new i...

BookBairn Discovers the Planets

Sunday, April 22, 2018 BookBairn 6 Comments

I really love it when we find a book that matches BookBairn's current interests. But I love it even more when a book inspires a new interest!

And that's just what happened when BookBairn opened 'Ollie Discovers the Planets!' by Anya Acres for the very first time. It fell open at the middle-page spread, which is a striking illustration of the Sun, the eight planets and Pluto. Immediately, she was asking questions about which planet was which, and discussing their colours and sizes and now she likes to say "our planet is the blue and green one" and "we live on the blue and green ball, Mummy". Just in time for Earth Day today!

This book is a wonderful blend of fact and fiction and, quite simply, we've had lots of fun with it. Ollie, the orange alien, goes on an adventure to the brightest star in the sky, the Sun. He leaves his home on Pluto behind and sets off on an adventure across the galaxy to discover the planets. With facts about each planet he passes along the way, Ollie experiences the shivering colds of Nepture and Uranus; admires the rings and moons of Saturn; flies a little too close to the red spot, raging storm on Jupiter' warily passes the volcanoes on Mars; until finally lands on Earth, where he discovers a beautiful world of green and blue! The story blends the facts about the planets with the story about Ollie seamlessly and your little readers will learn all about the planets without even noticing!

The illustrations (by Mary Elizabeth) of Ollie and his little red rocket are adorable and the artwork of the planets very accurate: again, blending the fact with the fiction seamlessly. It's no wonder that the centrefold illustration captured BookBairn's imagination - it is incredibly striking! It truly captures the wonder of our universe.

This is a lovely book to introduce the planets through a story to young readers. Though BookBairn has really taken to it, I would recommend this book for slightly older readers, as the text is a little longer than some of the picture books we usually read. And the content is probably more appealing to children aged 4-8, which is the age group it it intended for. There are also five 'planet puzzles' at the end to extend young readers learning, which you could research together with school aged kids. I know that the author regularly does school workshops too!

This is a great read for Earth Day and I'm so thrilled that it has inspired BookBairn to get into Space!

**Giveaway closed*** Winner was selected by random number generator from all our entries and came from Twitter entries. I’ve messaged the winner. Thanks all for entering.
***We have a copy of this brilliant book to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy of Ollie Discovers the Planets, please comment below. (Additional entries will be available so keep an eye out by following us on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.) UK residents only please. Competition closes 29.4.18.***

Happy Earth Day everyone, our green and blue planet really is a wonder!

Mummy and BookBairn xx

You can find out more about Ollie's adventures here:
https://www.olliediscovers.co.uk/ and keep an eye our for Ollie's next adventures in the Arctic and with the dinosaurs.

Ollie is also available on social media here:

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author for review and this blog post was sponsored by the author.

Check out this cute little Ollie doll too!


BookBairn adores stickers! What kid doesn't?! We have used a mountain of sticker books over the last couple of year and most of them...


Sunday, April 15, 2018 BookBairn 4 Comments

BookBairn adores stickers! What kid doesn't?! We have used a mountain of sticker books over the last couple of year and most of them have provided hours of entertainment (though beware of the 'activity sticker' book which has more activities than stickers and are too tricky for toddlers!). But we have recently been having lots of fun with 'Stickerscapes' by Caroline Selmes.

We have the tropical edition which is a double sided-large panoramic scene. One side represents the dense tropic jungle and the other features the bottom of the deep blue sea. With 100 stickers (they are described as reusable but we found them very tricky to peel off and they curled up and were fiddly to restick but it's in the same price range as other non-resuable sticker books so this shouldn't necessarily put you off but I wanted to share our experience so that you are aware) it has kept BookBairn busy for ages.

The panoramic page tears out of the book so that out can spread it out across the floor and flick through the sticker pages choosing easily. On the reverse of each sticker page there is also an encyclopaedia and short description about each of the animals stickers so you can learn whilst you stick and play. This makes it a great one to do with your children so that you can boost their experience by sharing that synchronised gaze that I mentioned in our recent post about seek-and-find books.

The illustrations are cute and fun and the ability to create your own scene full of your favourite animals will delight little ones! BookBairn loved doing this one together and delighted in the size and scape of the sticker page!

Have you come across any particularly good or unusual sticker books? We'd love any recommendations.

Happy stickering,
Mummy and BookBairn xx

Disclaimer: I was sent this sticker book for review from the publisher. Words and opinions are our own.


So I thought it was about time we did a little update of our ' Favourites Shelf ' and I had intended it to be a Spring Edition  ...

Favourites Shelf - Spring 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

So I thought it was about time we did a little update of our 'Favourites Shelf' and I had intended it to be a Spring Edition but the weather doesn't seem to have got the message as Spring hasn't really arrived yet has it? But our Favourites Shelf isn't really a seasonal thing anyway so I'll just share the books we have read most over the last few months because lack of Spring sunshine means more cosy reading days doesn't it?!

Here are our most recent favourites and repeat-reads:

That's Not My... Lion - Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells
Where's Mr Lion? - Ingela Arrhenius
Can You Say it Too? Roar! Roar! - Sebastien Braun

The Wee Page Turner has really been enjoying books about lions recently! The first book he ever really engaged with was the 'That's Not My Lion' touch and feel book. When we started reading this he started to giggle on the final page (I believe at first it was the silly voice I did when we finally identified the correct lion). And then he started to anticipate the fun of that final page and would try to turn through the pages quickly to get to the last one! I love this series of books, though I sometimes find the touch-and-feel elements a bit hit and miss as they are better in some of the books than in others. I recommend borrowing a few from the library to see what they are like, or checking them out in a bookshop rather than buying online as we have found a few disappointing (That's Not My Fairy for example). Having said all that, the lion one is an excellent one!

'Where's Mr Lion?' is part of a fabulous series of books where the flaps are made of felt fabric so that little ones can pull at them even before they have the fine motor skills to manipulate card or paper pages. The illustrations are bright, colourful and high-contrast so little ones will really enjoy them. And the final page has a mirror hidden underneath the flap that The Wee Page Turner giggles at in delight of the handsome baby looking back at him. He usually kisses it! We have a few in the series and The Wee Page Turner loves them all. We have read the lion one most as I think he rather likes lions at the moment! 

'Can You Say it Too? Roar! Roar!' is a great story to read aloud making silly animal noises along the way! With paper-flaps (that The Wee Page Turner can lift) this is one of a brilliant series that encourages little ones to engage with finding the creatures under and behind each flap. The illustrations are bright and colourful and instantly appealing for little ones. The animals are easy to recognise and all look adorable and friendly. The scenes also provide discussion with other animals in the illustrations and changing weather patterns and details. Deceptively simple, they are simply very clever! This is our favourite one because we love the roar roar of the lion and the snort snort of the hippo noises best. But there are so many in this series you can choose any habitat you like and find almost any animal you desire!

Adorabull - Alison Donald & Alex Willmore

We reviewed this one quite recently, after a trip to our friend's farm to see the cows and, having brought the book to life, we have since read it over and over again. 'Adorabull' is a tale of Tom and his pet bull, Alfred. But after starting school and leaving Alfred on a daily basis Tom wants to bring home a new adorable pet. Alfred doesn’t want to be replaced in Tom’s heart so he ups his game to be adorable too with hilarious, and not so adorable results. He has a quick search of the word adorable on the farmer's phone and tries to imitate the images resulting in some mishaps, a makeover and many many giggles for us readers. I can’t spoil the ending for you but don't worry Tom doesn't replace Alfred in his heart. And the final illustration is adorable! BookBairn even said "awwwww!" the first time we read it.  A lovely story about accepting who you are. It’s an adorable book. (I’ve said adorable a lot in this post.)

How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow - Monica Sweeney & Feronia Parker Thomas

This one is a book that we had kind of forgotten about as I had lent it to a friend to read with her class at school but as soon as BookBairn saw it again it was requested for bedtime story again. And again. And again. 'How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow' is about the Sun and Clouds who were best friends, working together to make those rainbows that make us all smile at their colours! But one day the Sun and the Clouds have a big fight and they stopped being friends and wouldn't be in the sky together any longer. And that meant no more rainbows and without the rainbows the world started to lose it's colour until the Earth was only black and white. Except, that is, for one little forgotten box of crayons. These beautiful and brave little crayons set out to restore colour to the Earth by save the rainbows. The illustrations in this book are also wonderful! The whole thing looks like it has been drawn in crayon which, artistically appeals to me and to BookBairn it looks sort of like her drawings. Clearly, the use of colour in this book in incredibly important and the pages that are simple black and white are not without their charm but it's the rainbows that really are the star of the show. As it should be!

Unplugged - Steve Antony

This book recently featured on my wish list of books and I was delighted when my friend sent me a copy for BookBairn.  The day it arrived in the post, BookBairn took it to bed that night. Certainly a seal of her approval. And, as you know, she has very exacting tastes! 'Unplugged' is the story of Blip, a little robot who spends all her days plugged into a computer learning new things, exploring new places... online. When one day there is a power cut and her world is thrown upside down, down the stairs and out the front door. Into the great outdoors. Where she makes new friends, explores new places, learns new things and plays. Outside. Unplugged. Such a wonderful story about finding joy in the little things, about putting technology aside and looking at the world around you. And the illustrations are wonderful too. It's hard to imagine how a computer could be cute but she is! And, although not the point of the story, it's great that Blip is a girl as I think traditionally it would have been assumed that she was a male character. Even today male characters are twice as likely to take leading roles in children’s picture books according to recent research by the Observer newspaper. Not only that male characters were given more speaking parts, were portrayed in more masculine roles and, shockingly, in a fifth of books (of the top 100 sellers in 2017) there were no female characters at all. So yay for Blip fighting the norm!

Hickory Dickory Dog - Alison Murray

This book was one of our February Little Loves and for a while we were reading it four to six times a day! So obviously I had to include it here in our Favourites too! 'Hickory Dickory Dog' by Alison Murray is a brilliant take on the nursery rhyme we are so familiar with. It's about a boy, Zac, and his dog, Rufus and what they get up to in a day. The illustrations are charming and capture the fun and mess that these two adorable characters get up to. But the genius of this book is that it's all told in the style of the traditional rhyme without sacrificing the story to fit the rhyme scheme. One of my favourites to read (sing) aloud!

The Lion Inside - Rachel Bright & Jim Field

'The Lion Inside' became one of our favourites when I recorded an episode of Cbeebies Bedtime Stories (so that I could use the bedtime song at my leisure to announce bedtime whether it be 7pm or not!) and it happened to be the story on the beginning. And BookBairn quite enjoyed it as it was about a lion. And then on a library visit with a friend, I noticed that she and her daughter were returning this book and I snapped it up, making it bedtime story every night that week! It's about a mouse who wants to be noticed rather than stomped and sat on and so he decides to learn to roar like a lion. But when the lion is confronted with the mouse he has a rather unexpected reaction. When the two team up to conquer their fears they realise that friendship is what makes them roar! It's a wonderful book about accepting the strong and weak parts of yourself and creating friendships that are supportive. With Jim Field's (read BookBairn's interview with Jim Field here) illustrations this is such a wonderful book (and TV story!) and it will be a while before we return it to the library!

Almost Anything - Sophy Henn

This is a magic picture book that I chose for my pick in the Bookstagram Choice Awards this quarter and so I simply had to include it in our favourites too! In 'Almost Anything', George feels like he can't do anything at all. George thinks he can’t paint, bowl, dance or skate like his friends and he’s too afraid to try. Bear makes him a magic hat to give him the courage to try and when he does it turns out he can skate, and dance and read and a whole host of other things! But then George loses his hat, and his confidence with it. How will he be able to join in with his friends? If he can't do all the new things he has learned how will he have fun? So Bear tells him the truth: the magic didn’t come from the hat, it came from inside. See I told you it was a magic story! And you will know that we just love Sophy Henn's illustrations as I have raved about them many times before!

So that's our favourite read over the spring (I haven't included our Springtime and Easter reads because we shared those with you already). What have you enjoyed reading recently? And do you have any recommendations for us to read next? I'd love to know your favourites!

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

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*Disclaimer: Some of these books were sent to us by publishers for review and others are ones that we have borrowed from the library or purchased ourselves. These are our genuine re-reads so all opinions are our own.


One of the lovely ways to spend time together with BookBairn is poring over a good book. And whilst we read lots of lots of stories, we a...

Fabulous Seek-and-Find Books for Toddlers

Thursday, April 12, 2018 BookBairn 8 Comments

One of the lovely ways to spend time together with BookBairn is poring over a good book. And whilst we read lots of lots of stories, we also love to look at illustrations and have recently started getting excited about seek-and-find books. There's lots of evidence that having a coordinated gaze with your child helps to develop empathy, compassion and lays the groundwork for learning. Basically, looking together and talking together about what you see helps your child to learn and grow. And seek-and-find books are perfect for that! So many of these sorts of books (Where's Wally/Waldo) are aimed at older readers than BookBairn. Fortunately we've discovered a great list of simple seek-and-find books that are a little easier for younger readers. So you can seek-and-find together with you little one.

Look and Find Jungle  - Gareth Lucas

This is BookBairn's current favourite of the seek-and-find books that we have discovered. She loves the frog page: so much so that she has memorised it. (Which sort of spoils the point of the book but nevermind!) The illustrations in this one are so bright and cheerful - I love Gareth Lucas's bold designs. On each page there are half a dozen or so speech bubbles setting a little seek-and-find challenge for children which is great for younger ones as it's not too overwhelming in terms of things to find. It's also a wonderful jungle theme which will appeal to many kids! The other to mention about this book is that this is a library copy which I have discovered is a great way to read these sorts of books because after a few reads little ones can master these simpler ones so you can return them and swap for another. If you've never seen seek-and-finds in your library, I hadn't before, ask your librarian if they have any or if they can get some in!

Look and Say What You See in the Countryside - Sebastien Braun

Another library borrow, I just adore this one! It's full of British countryside flora and fauna. Along the bottom of each page is a glossary/seek-and-find list and there additional, more challenging questions in the illustration. This is great as there's room for growth in this book meaning that your little one won't get bored of it too quickly! But the reason that this one makes the list is that the illustrations are enchanting. Sebastien Braun illustrates the Can You Say It Too? series for the same publisher and we love those books too. I find his style so engaging which is exactly what you want from these sorts of books. The focus on British wildlife is also wonder (it was made in collaboration with the National Trust) as BookBairn can relate to the creatures she sees from blackbirds to pheasants to woodlice to nettles and bracken. So not only can we look together at this book we can take what we have spotted (and learned the words for) and seek-and-find them when out for countryside and woodland walks!

Town and Country - Craig Shuttlewood

The key selling point of this book is that it is a 'turnaround book'. Basically it's a book of two halves! You hold the book horizontally and flip the pages upwards the lower page features a countryside scene and the upper page, when you turn it around, shows the town page. You can see in our photographs that it means two children can play in tandem in our full review of this book linked here. But it's great for siblings or playmates to play together. You could even do speed challenges to see who can find all their things the fastest. The illustrations are brilliant and it's no wonder it's been recognised for it's artwork as well as the conceptual design of the 'turnaround'. All the animals have quirky expressions and would make great characters in stories of their own rights and everything is easily recognisable but also appealing to children. The final pages feature a book-long glossary as well as a few extra things to find!

Deep in the Forest: A Seek-and-Find Adventure - Josef Anton & Lucie Brunelliere

This is truly one of the most beautiful books that I have ever seen. I adore the illustration! Each page is packed with jungle animals and the flora and fauna of the rainforest. The colours are vivid, striking, intense, brilliant, bright, strong, rich deep... I could go on! Each page takes a different perspective showing the forest from above, delving underground, floating down the rivers, above the tops of the trees, and even a night scene where the eyes of all the creatures are glowing luminously. It really is a work of art. The seek-and-find element of this book is less blatant with the 50 animals to find are listed on the back and throughout the text with an animal truly hidden under a flap on each page too. But it's definitely one to lay on the floor, stretch out and explore together. 

One Hundred Things to Spot - Naomi Wilkinson

This is a brilliant book for creating discussion with your little one. In this book there are one hundred things to spot and each double-page spread gives your little one a list of things to find and then they turn the page to look for them! The instruction page says "shout as you find each one". And on each finding page these are a cat and mouse so you can play cat-and-mouse in every scene. But it's also a first concepts book - the things you have to find are certain numbers of objects, shapes, colours, patterns, feelings and opposites. The illustrations are more sparse than some of the other seek-and-find books making this a perfect starting point to look at together. They also have a retro feel which is so appealing. This is a chunkier book than some of the others meaning that it's packed full of entertainment!

Party Animals - Clea Dieudonne

Part narrative story and part seek-and-find this book has provided hours and hours of fun! As you unfold each page of the book part of the story is revealed and you get a suggestion of which animals to spot. The animals are performing an amazing balancing act, piling one on top of the other to form a teetering tower of creatures: some in fancy dress, some putting up decorations, helping with gifts and organising the food. The illustrations are bright and colourful, and the creatures are a fun interpretation of the real thing. The party scene is certainly fun and every time we read it I spot something new and fascinating. BookBairn still finds comfort in re-finding the same things but every time I draw her attention to something different she looks for it again the next time. Mostly I think she enjoys the size of this one and unfolding it across the whole floor - such a novelty! Seriously, it requires lots of space to play: check out our photos in our full review linked here. But if you find a space to stretch it out you'll find it such fun!

Look for Ladybird in Plant City - Katherina Manolessou

This one is one that we are just growing into as the illustrations are far more cluttered (in a good-way for a seek-and-find) and she finds spotting things a bit more challenging. Ladybird has gone missing and is hidden in every scene as well as other things to spot. We tend to just focus on the ladybird at the moment to make it simpler and then talk about the things we can see rather than the things we need to find. Also in this one there isn't a picture glossary of the things you need to find - it's written in the text so definitely need an adult if your child isn't reading yet. But that's part of the fun is doing the seeking and finding together. This is such a quirky style of illustration it's great fun to spend so much time appreciating the artwork with your child.

Hope we've helped you to seek-and-find a good book to look at and explore together!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

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DISCLAIMER: We borrowed the first two books listed from our local library and the others were sent from the publishers for review. Words and opinions are, as always, our own.