Tag: children’s books

Need More Book Suggestions for Christmas? Here’s Three!

When choosing Christmas presents for children, it doesn’t matter what age they are, you’ll never go wrong with books, whether they are picture books, stories, or any kind that they are interested in like sports or trains.

We’ve managed to tick off some of little T’s Christmas presents, but hey, a little girl can never have enough books right?  As part of the Brit Mums and Penguin Random House Children’s Book Christmas Challenge, we were sent the following books to share with you guys:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down – Jeff Kinney

T enjoyed the first book and found it really funny, so this one is definitely going on her collection.

diary_of_a_wimpykid

The pressure’s really pilling up on Greg Heffley.  His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his ‘creative side’.  As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle.

When Greg discovers a bag of gumy worms, it sparks an idea.  Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie … and will he become rich and famous in the process?  Or will doubling down on his plan just double Greg’s troubles?

T loves animals and wants to learn how to ride a horse, although I have no idea how she’ll manage to squeeze that in.  She’s doing too much already, what with ballet, gymnastics and swimming.  For now, she’ll have to content herself with reading about horses.

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop – Clare Balding
the_racehorse

Charlie Bass is a horse-mad ten-year-old who dreams of owning her own pony.  So when she accidentally manages to buy a racehorse, Charlie is thrilled.  The horse she buys, Noble Warrior, looks the part: strong, fit and healthy.  There’s just one problem – he won’t gallop.  In fact, he won’t even leave his stable without his best friend, a naughty palomino pony called Percy.

Charlie is convinved that Noble Warrior has what it takes to be a champion.  But can she prove it?  Derby Day is fast approaching and only a win can save the family farm from being possessed.  The stakes couldn’t be higher for the Basses.  Can Charlie turn her chaotic family into a top training team?  Can Noble Warrior overcome his nerves?  Will Percy the pony ever stop farting?

The last book is a bit too old for T, so she wants to give it to an older girl who used to be in her Primary school.  She misses her a lot.  This girl was so sweet and kind to her especially when she was in reception.  Last year, T played little Alice and the other girl played big Alice.  I think S will definitely enjoy the next book.

girl_online

Girl Online: Going Solo – Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella

Penny’s life is back to normal.  As Penny starts the school year she’s ready to face the world – alone.  Noah has gone off the radar after ending his world tour early and no one including Penny, knows where he is.  So when she accepts Megan’s invitation to visit her performing arts school, it seems like an opportunity to make some new friends.  Helping someone else seems to be the right remedy.  Elliot needs her friendship more than ever, and she meets Posey – struggling with stage fright and in need of support.  But is charming Scottish Boy Callum the right kind of distraction?  And can Penny truly move on when Noah’s shadow seems to haunt her round every corner?

What about you?

Have you ticked off your Christmas shopping list already?

*PR Samples

Christmas Gift Suggestions for your Little Book Worms (ages 6+)

If you’ve been reading our little space for some time now you may have come across most of the titles on this list, all books are from little T’s collection and are her personal favourites.  Some of the books, her Dad or I have read them to T, or do a combined reading, taking turns to read a paragraph.  But a couple of them she reads on her own.  We have a very long bedtime routine you see, it starts off with her Dad reading her a story, then I read to her too.  Then she reads on her own, or if there’s a book from school, she reads that book to me.

Hope you enjoy our list!

1. Goth Girl Books by Chris Riddell

Again, we’ve mentioned Chris Riddel so many times in our little blog, since he is obviously T’s favourite.  Last October, we drove all the way to Bath in a day just to meet the Children’s Laureate at the Bath Literary Festival and have him sign her book.  He was absolutely lovely.  Ever since meeting him, I’m a big fan now too.

If your child is anything like T who let’s just say likes a bit of goth, then they’ll enjoy Goth Girl.  The books are about the adventures of Ada Goth, who is roughly around nine years old and lives with her father, Lord Goth who is known to be “bad and dangerous to gnomes”.  Sadly, he lost his wife when Ada was really young.  The author based Lord Goth on the poet Lord Byron, whose daughter also happened to be called Ada.

As of writing, there are four Goth Girl books written and illustrated by Chris Riddell: Goth Girl and the Ghost of the Mouse, Goth Girl and a Fete Worse than Death, Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright, and Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen.  As you can tell, all books are caricatures of well-loved classics.  Chris also happens to be a political cartoonist of the Observer.

T loves them all.  My husband read all of the Goth Girl books to T.  Many times I would hear both giggling away, at times, I’d hear my husband laugh-out-loud followed by an explanation to his daughter why the belly laugh moment.

2.  Ottoline Books by Chris Riddell

And then there’s Ottoline Brown who lives with Mr. Munroe (her sort-of guardian), a creature (looks a lot like cousin It from the Adams Family) whom her parents found living in a bog in Norway.  Like Goth Girl, the Ottoline Books are about her adventures with Mr. Munroe.  As of writing, there are three Ottoline books:  Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, Ottoline goes to School and Ottoline at Sea.  These books are very much of T’s age range, so yes, she can read this on her own, although my husband enjoyed this too.

3.  Clarice Bean Books by Lauren Child

The well-loved creator-author of the very popular Charlie and Lola series, it won’t come as a surprise to some that Clarice Bean also reads a lot like an older version of Lola.  Like Lola, Clarice is very inquisitive and a very individual kind of little girl.  There are seven books in this series: Clarice Bean, That’s me. My Uncle is a Hunkie, says Clarice Bean. Clarice Bean, Guess Who’s Babysitting, What Planet are you from, Clarice bean? Utterly me, Clarice Bean, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now.

4.  Harper Books by Cerrie Brunell

Harper lives in the city of clouds with her Aunt.  She can play lots of instruments like the cello and the harp to name a few.  And her life is as fun and adventurous as Goth Girl and Ottoline.  Thse charming books are penned by Cbeebies host Cerrie Brunell and has written three books in this series:  Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella, Harper, The Circus of Dreams, Harper and the Sea of Secrets

5.  Isadora Moon by Harriet Muncaster

Isadora Moon is little T’s latest find.  The heroine is half-vampire half fairy, for my six-year-old, what’s not to like?  Of all the books, this is probably the one that’s best suited for her age.  When I say that, it means, she can read this on her own without any help from us.  She likes to sit up in bed and read her Isadora Moon books on her own.

There’s an Isadora Moon Goes to Ballet, Isadora Moon Has a Birthday, Isadora Moon Goes to School and Isadora Moon Goes Camping.

These books can be bought in any bookstores whether in the highstreet or online.

Have you seen anything on our list your little one would be interested in?  Or perhaps would make a lovely Christmas present?

Do share.

A Family Love Affair with Books

I love beautiful books.  I have no vice.  While like most women, I do like shoes and bags, they’re not something I’d covet the way I do with books, especially beautifully illustrated ones, I just can’t resist them, so when we went to the Bath Children’s Literary festival as mentioned in my previous post, when I saw this one particular book on a stand, it just called to me.

I mentioned this a lot in previous posts – how lucky I am to be married to a man who has the same passion as I do, that helps a lot you know.  You won’t hear any “Are you paying that much for a book?!”  Instead ours is usually “What did you get?  Here’s mine”.  

I picked up my book, and went off to pay.  When I turned my back, my husband was queueing behind me with his own choice of book, and T was also clutching her own .  Luckily, she had her own money to spend since she brought her savings with her and since this was after all a Children’s Literary festival all our books “were for kids”.

My husband’s pick was real-life astronaut’s first children’s book – The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield.

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It is a sweet book for children younger than T who is six.  It talks about how it is okay to have fears, especially of the dark and how dreams do come true.

inside_the_darkest_dark T’s choice on the other hand was this one:  Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman.

odd

It’s not surprising that she chose another book illustrated by Chris Riddell her favourite, especially since she already has all of his books.  She knows Neil Gaiman as the man who wrote her other favourite “Coraline” and even has the book signed by him and again, illustrated by yes, Chris Riddell again. She loves the man and I don’t blame her.  I think she also chose this book because it had a little boy on the cover for a change and that it had giants in it.

And this folks is my choice:  Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle.

img_3583When I saw the sleeve, I was hooked.  The gold ink was calling to me, since it was wrapped, I didn’t even know how beautiful it was inside till we got home. It was my precious and it was mine.  Of course, I told T that I bought it for her, but it’s actually mine, all mine.

I took off the plastic that was wrapped around the sleeve ever so gently, and as I slipped the case off and the book fell out, I actually gave a little gasp and ran my fingers on it like braille. The front was just beautiful and inside?  See for yourself.

inside

I gently opened each page and marvelled at the artwork.  You’ve probably noticed by now that yes, it was illustrated by no other than the Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.  I am now a fan too.  Even though I haven’t read the story yet (I can’t wait to read what Neil Gaiman’s version of Sleeping Beauty is like), it’s my current favourite book.  My precious.

Do you have a favourite children’s book?

We’re Going to the Children’s Bath Literature Festival

My husband and I have always been readers long before we met each other.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why we ended up together?  And now that we have a little girl, it’s lovely that she shares the same passion for books even without having to prompt her.

Even when she was a baby little T had her own growing collection.  Now that she’s six, she’s managed to accumulate enough books to have her own little library even though we’ve gotten rid of some of her baby ones already.

She went through phases from the usual Julia Donaldson books of the Gruffalo fame, to the Kipper series of books and the adventures of Slinky Malinki the cat by Lynley Dodd and a whole load of others.  At the moment,  her current favourite author is Chris Riddell (who also happens to be a cartoonist for the Observer), he has written a series of books for children about a little girl called Ada Goth (Goth Girl) and another one Ottoline who is being taken care of Mr. Munroe, who looks a lot like cousin It from the Adams Family movie, while her parents are away.

chris_riddell_books

T loves his characters.  Ada and Ottoline are both very independent and individual type of girls, who are a bit different from the usual characters you find in children’s books.

When we found out that Chris Riddell was going to be at the Children’s Bath Literary Festival, we quickly signed up for her to see him in person.  I’m hoping that she’ll have a chance to really meet him and maybe even ask to sign one of her many books, although to be fair she does have his signature already, since the Coraline book (by Neil Gaiman) was illustrated by Chris Riddel, turned out to be a signed copy by both the author and the artist.

We also wanted to take her to meet Cbeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell who also wrote the Harper books series which she also likes, but it falls on a Friday and we don’t really want T to miss school.  Hopefully she’ll have a chance to meet her maybe Ms. Burnell will be around again next year?

The Festival will run from the 1st till the 9th of October.  Click here for more details.

Have you been to Children’s Bath Literary Festival?

Do share.

“The Artist” and “The Reader”

I’ve mentioned in a post before how little T likes watching YouTube videos on the iPad of children (mostly American kids) play with their dolls (Elsia and Anya).  She has also recently discovered “How to draw” tutorials on YouTube and now she’s hooked.

You’ll see her hunched over with her coloured pens, pencils and drawing-pad with her headphones on and in sheer concentration as she glances at the video and back on her work as seen below:

drawing_littlesteps

And if you dare disturb her she’ll say “I’m busy mum!”.

drawing1_littlesteps

She mostly likes to draw Coraline, her favourite character from the movie/book written by Neil Gaiman.  Her dad recently bought her the special hard-cover edition complete with slipcase, illustrated by Chris Riddell (cartoonist for the Observer) who also happens to be one of her favourite authors who wrote the Goth Girl books, and Ottoline and the Yellow cat among others. Going back to little T’s new book, imagine our surprise when we opened it and found Neil Gaiman’s signature and also that of Chris Riddell.  Definitely one to keep, although I doubt if it will be of good value in the future, since T likes to read it in bed again and again.  In a few years time, it will be dogeared.  I’m surprised this story doesn’t give her nightmares.

coraline_littlesteps

Her reading has also improved so much and she now prefers books way ahead of her age (she’s five). They are mostly books with chapters and with little illustrations.  Of course there are words she can’t read and would often ask our help, but she’s getting on really well.  I’m just hoping this love for books isn’t just a phase and that she won’t outgrow it.

books_littlesteps

We can now leave her reading in bed, although if it’s a school night we have to constantly give her the ten minute warning before we give her the stern “Go to sleep.  No more reading please”.

Do you have little ones?

What kind of books do they like to read?

Or what’s your favourite children’s book?

Do share.

3ChildrenandIt

 

Book Review: Momma Don’t You Worry

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a paranoid mother.  I have unfounded fears about something not nice happening to my daughter when she’s not with me.  When she’s out on a school-trip, I actually count the hours till she’s back safe in our home.  When we’re out walking the dog in our little village, I hold her hand.  I know when she’s with her dad, he lets her run ahead without him, but she’s a good girl. She knows when to stop and wait for her dad.  Somehow she knows that when she’s with me, she’s not allowed to do that.  She holds my hand even without me telling her to do so.

Momma Don’t you Worry by Louie Lawent, is a sweet-very easy book to read to your little ones.  It explains the importance for children to listen to their parents and hold their hands when out in big crowds, without scaremongering.  The words have a nice rhythm to it, which of course will appeal to children, as it did with little T, although I think she was just a little bit too young for the book.

Momma_Cover(1)

However, little T still appreciated the story and understood what it meant.  When I asked her what the story was all about, she said “It’s about a little boy who got lost because he didn’t want to hold his mummy’s hand”.  Then she added, “I always hold your hand mummy”.  She certainly does 🙂

The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for only $1.29.  So if you’re looking for a book to add to your collection, or if you have a stubborn little one who refuses to hold your hand, this might just be the perfect book to give to them.

What about you? Are you a paranoid mother too?

Disclaimer:  Was sent a PDF copy by the author of the book for the purpose of this review, however opinions are by mine alone and of course, little T’s as well.

Family Fever