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Tag: picture books

Win 5x Jill Murphy Picture Books in the October Giveaway

Jill Murphy giveaway

Win 5x Jill Murphy picture books in the October Giveaway.

My October Giveaway is for 5x picture books about “The Large Family”¬† by Jill Murphy.

These stories are a firm favourite in our house with both the children and the adults. Which parent doesn’t relate to the long-suffering Mrs Large longing for Five Minutes Peace?

The five books in the prize are:

  • Five Minutes Peace
  • Mr Large in Charge.
  • A Piece of Cake.
  • A Quiet Night In.
  • All in one Piece.

The competition runs until the end of October and I’ll be announcing the winner on the 1st of November.

Entering is easy-peasey – just answer one simple question. Good luck everyone ūüôā

Suzie xx



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Usborne’s Peep Inside the Zoo – book review

Peep inside the Zoo

Peep inside the zoo

One of the new books we acquired over the summer was Peep inside the Zoo by Simona Dimitri.  My two and a half year old grand-daughter claimed it right away.

reading Peep Inside the Zoo

I’m a big fan of Usborne books, and the quality of this book is no exception. It’s a chunky book with a lovely silky feel to the cover and the size is just right for grand-daughter. The illustrations are colourful and attractive, and there are lots of different shaped flaps to lift and interesting holes to peep through.

Peep inside the ZooWhilst there isn’t a fictional story as such, there are lots of interesting facts about zoo animals and their families.

Penguins shuffle when they walk.

They’re birds that cannot fly.

But when they dive into the water…

and flap their wings like flippers…

they’re super speedy swimmers!

It would be a great book to read to prepare for an actual zoo visit.

One of grand-daughters favourite pages features a gorilla cradling a (sneakily concealed) baby in its arms. All say Aww ūüôā

peep inside the zoo

There isn’t really enough text to keep my 4 year old grandson interested for more than a few read-throughs but it’s a great book for the 2-3 year old age group – especially as it’s on offer on Amazon at ¬£3.85 at the moment.

Peep Inside the Zoo is part of a fun series of books and are a must for all lift-the-flap fans.

Happy reading

Suzie xx

PS. Don’t forget this months Julia Donaldson giveaway. It ends on Sunday.



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Book review: Where’s the Dragon

Book review: Where’s the Dragon by Richard and Jason Hook

Where's the DragonWe have a new favourite story in our house. Where’s the Dragon?, written and illustrated by father and son duo Richard and Jason Hook, is a book with gorgeous pictures full of hidden dragons.

Where's the Dragon

With over 70 dragons hiding in trees, mountains and lakes, this is the Where’s Wally of the dragon world. It has fantastic embossed pages and shiny spot laminations which makes the dragons really pop. My grand-daughter loves the ‘bumpy’ feel of this book. At ¬£9.99 it was quite expensive but it is a hardback and doesn’t show any signs of wear after our many, many readings. I think it was well worth the money.

Where's the Dragon

The story tells of George and his grandfather who go on a ‘dragon hunt.’ George can see dragons everywhere but grandfather doesn’t see any… even after they eat his boat. (Grand-daughter loves that part).

Where’s the Dragon has a quaint old-fashioned feel and the dragon is super cute.

Where's the Dragon¬†The suggested age range for the book is 4 – 7 years but grand-daughter loves it and she’s only two.

Where’s the Dragon would make a great birthday or Christmas present.

Happy reading

Suzie xx




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Book review: Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane

Book review: Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane

I was really happy¬†to win a copy of Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane recently in a giveaway on GetKidsIntoBooks. I thought it looked like a great story to share with the grandchildren. Here’s how we got on.

pilot jane and the runaway plane

My grandson is into planes at the moment. His favourite toy is “Dusty Crophopper” ūüôā So he was excited to see a new book about a plane. He wasn’t bothered that the plane was pink and flowery in the slightest but I was a little surprised by it’s colour given the books clear attempt to challenge gender stereotypes.

The illustrations are bright and colourful with enough detail for us to talk about, and I loved the characterization of Pilot Jane. Grandson is also a big fan of rhyming text, so that was another point in the books favour.

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane

The Pilot Plot

The story tells how Pilot Jane and her plane, Rose, go on¬†lots of exciting journey’s. They earn such a great reputation that the Queen asks them to fly her to a party. ¬†Unfortunately, Rose eats ‘cake fuel’ the night before and wakes up with ‘plane flu.’ which means that Jane has to take the Queen in ‘Mighty Mitch’.

Naughty Mighty Mitch is cross that his new pilot is a girl.

Mitch groaned: “A girl pilot! Bother and drat!

I’ll bet she’s slow – or a big scardey cat!”

He starts to behave badly to scare her and to show off. (Grandson liked that he was naughty lol) But there’s a storm coming and that’s where things start to go wrong. Happily, Pilot Jane has the necessary skills to bring the situation under control and the pair ends up working together and becoming friends.

Pilot Jane and the Runaway PlaneThe story kept grandson’s attention the whole time. He insisted on a second and third reading straight away and asked, “Where’s the new book about the plane?” on his next visit. That makes Pilot Jane a definite hit.

Despite the message – girl’s can be pilot’s too – the last line was particularly good.

Whatever the weather, we work together,

Hurray for Girl – and Boy – Power Forever.

Final verdict

After the ‘girl bashing’ in the¬†book I reviewed last, it was nice that the story fostered some much needed gender co-operation. In fact, I grew to like the pink plane. This was a book that showed girls can be girly, as well as strong and able.

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane

British Books Challenge 2017

British Books Challenge

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane is written by Oxford-based writer, Caroline Baxter so it was a perfect choice for my British Books Challenge.  You can read my previous reviews here.

Suzie xx




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Win 5 Classic Picture Books in the May #Giveaway
Win 5 Classic Picture Books in the May #Giveaway

Wanna Win 5 Classic Picture Books?

During the month of May, readers of my blog will be able to Win 5 Classic Picture Books by answering one simple question below.

Titles I’m giving away include:

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  • Kipper by Mick Inkpen
  • Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Guess How Much I love You by Sam McBratney
  • The Scarecrow‚Äôs Wedding by Julia Donaldson

They are all firm favourites in my house and are perfect for reading with your little one.

The winner will be drawn on 1st June.

Good luck

Suzie xx

PS The more you share, the more chances of winning you’ll have. ūüôā

 


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Ever mistaken a bear for a dog? Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower. Book Review.

Ever mistaken a bear for a dog?

silly doggy

Come on, it’s an easy mistake to make.

Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower is a very funny book that always makes my grandchildren laugh.

The story goes:

Lily, sees something in her garden.

It was big, brown and hairy. It had four legs, a tail and a big, wet nose, and Lily had ALWAYS wanted one…

Silly Doggy

Oops! My grandchildren love pointing out she’s got it wrong.

Lily does all the usual ‘doggy’ things with her new pet. She takes it for a walk, tries to teach it tricks and gives it a bath. But Lily’s parents put notices up around the neighbourhood and find the bear/dog’s owner. (Yes, really)

Silly Doggy

Lily is upset but the great twist at the end of the story is when she looks out in the garden and see’s…

Silly Doggy

Yep, she’s got it wrong again. Cue hilarious laughter from grandchildren.

British Books Challenge 2017Adam Stower is an award winning UK Author/Illustrator who has published books with such awesome titles as The Diary Of A Monster Catcher, Slam!: A Tale of Consequences and Grumbug!

Silly Doggy! was my March book for the British Books Challenge 2017. It’s a fun book about mistaken identity and I will be looking out for more by Adam Stower.

Suzie xx



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Things Evie Eats book video
Things Evie Eats book video

Things Evie Eats book video

Remember the trouble I had making the video for Better Buckle Up? I’m happy to report the Things Evie Eats book video¬†went far more smoothly. (Probably only a pain point 4/10)

A video is a great way to get a feel for a book before you buy from a new author and is good for entertaining your child when you’re busy.

… I still cringe when I hear my¬†accent though lol.

Hope you and your little ones enjoy the story.

Suzie xx

PS You can get a copy of Things Evie Eats for Kindle or in paperback … for the times when reading it yourself with snuggles are in order.



 

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Picture books about Pancakes

Picture books about Pancakes

picture books about pancakesPancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, ¬†is almost upon us. 28th February is the day people all over the UK try tossing those eggy, milky mixtures. It’s a strange ritual. My kids found it hilarious because I’m pretty hopeless at throwing and catching. And yes, some of my culinary wonders have ended up splattered on my cooker and worktops. So to get you in the mood for throwing your cooking around your kitchen, here are some picture books about pancakes.

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle

pancakes pancakesJack wakes up and wants a pancake but his mother doesn’t have the ingredients. So starts an incredibly detailed description of Jack as he cuts the wheat and grinds it into flour (I told you this was detailed), collects eggs from the hen, milks the cow and churns some butter. He then makes jam, lights a fire and finally gets round to cooking the pancakes.

This is the same style as our favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar but not quite as catchy. However, it is a great way to explain (in glorious technicolour) how to make a pancake. Although I’d recommend you buy the ingredients from the supermarket and use your cooker.

Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley

Mr Wolf's pancakesAnother story about someone¬†waking up wanting to eat pancakes. Unsure how to do it, an uncharacteristically pleasant Mr Wolfe asks lots of his neighbours to help him but they refuse –¬†very rudely. Even more rudely, once Mr Wolf has made the pancakes, they come round to ask him to share them. The twist in this tale is that Mr Wolf decides to share. But is Mr Wolfe as pleasant and polite as it seems? Nope. Once they’re in his kitchen, he eats the neighbours!

This is a tale with lots of opportunity to talk about good/bad behaviour and sharing Рas well as making pancakes.

Pancakes! An Interactive Recipe Book by Lotta Nieminen

pancakes, an interactive cookbook

This is such an unusual book you really need to watch the video to appreciate it. By a series of flaps and wheels, readers mix and cook their pancakes. I ordered a copy of this book to share with the grandchildren but it hasn’t arrived as I write this. I’ll update you all when we’ve road-tested this book.

Hey Pancakes by Tamson Weston

Hey, PancakesI’ve included this last book because I love the illustrations. They are so colourful and bright and full of movement – true homage to the humble pancake. ¬†It also has the recipe for Grandma’s Pancakes at the end for good measure.hey pancakes

Have a great pancake day.

Suzie xx



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Something About a Bear – #PictureBookMonth – Nov 1

picture book month“Something About a Bear” by Jackie Morris…

…#PictureBookMonth – Nov 1

Happy November ūüôā

November is Picture Book Month Рa celebration of great picture books with a daily theme.

Today’s theme is Bears.

There are so many picture books about bears it was hard to choose just one. Inspired by children’s cuddly animals everywhere, bears in books play games, try to delay bedtime, have fun at school and just about any other thing a regular child can do.something about a bear

There’s Old Bear, and Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh and Sam Bear from my grandson’s favourite, “Kiss Goodnight, Sam” to name just a few.¬†However, I decided to feature a book a picked up the other day from the library. “Something About a Bear” by Jackie Morris has become a quite a hit at our house and I can see I’ll have to buy a copy of our own.

Unlike most of the other bear stories in children’s literature which project human qualities onto animals, “Something About a Bear” focuses on eight types of real bear.

So let me tell you something, something about a bear.

There is the Black Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacle Bear, Sun Bear, Panda, Moon Bear and the Brown Bear. (Yes, me and the grandchildren are now something of bear experts)

something about a bearReaders follow the bears doing normal ‘bear’ things such as hunting, caring for their cubs and swimming. The illustrations are gorgeous watercolour paintings of them in their natural habitat; the forest, jungle or icy waters.

Swimming through the water where the ice-flow meets the ocean, lives the great, white Polar bear.

picture book month calendarWe particularly like the picture of bear-sized paws to compare with your own hands on the last page. (They are as big as my grandson’s head!)

There is a fascinating story of how “Something About a Bear” was written over on Jackie’s website. It’s well worth a read.

We’ve really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a change to cuddly, humanized bears often found in children’s books.

Suzie xx



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I am Otter: Book Review

Book review of “I am Otter” by Sam Garton.

I am OtterOne of my grandson’s favourite books at the moment is “I am Otter” by Sam Garton.¬†I first encountered this book on Facebook in the days before it was picked up and published by Harper Collins. Sam Garton is a fantastic illustrator. His work has a retro look to it that I love. Buying the book when it came out was a no-brainer for me.

I am Otter

The funny logic of Otter and his sidekick Teddy makes for a great children’s book. Who can fault Otter for opening a toast restaurant because he’s bored while otter-keeper is at work? However, it’s not all plain sailing at Otter’s restaurant.

I am Otter

Otter decides the problems are Teddy’s fault and promptly fires him but things don’t improve … and then the Otter Keeper comes home. Otter tries to blame Teddy for the mess. But where is Teddy?

Otter and the Otter Keeper search high and low for Teddy but he can’t be found. Otter is very sad. The trouble is, he can’t sleep without Teddy so more searching ensues. Eventually Teddy is found and Otter is happy again. “And now, when things go wrong, I understand they are not actually Teddy’s fault at all.”

There are some good talking points in this book which are particularly relevant at the moment to my grandson and his little sister. Was Teddy to blame for the problems at the restaurant? Why did Otter tell the Otter Keeper it was Teddy’s fault? What should he have done?

Other Otter adventures include Otter in Space, Otter goes to School, and Otter loves Easter but if you join Sam Garton’s mailing list, he regularly sends fun newsletters with the latest exploits of Otter, Teddy and the long-suffering otter-keeper which always make me smile.

This is a lovely book with detailed illustrations that give you lots to talk about with your child. A modern classic.

Suzie x

P.S. Ninetyfive percent Human, a YA sci-fi romance written by my alter-ego, Suzanna Williams, is on Free promotion from 23 – 27th September.

Ninety-five percent Human



 

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