From my most recent Picture Book new release previews ,the titles below are my favourites.
- For under 5’s and early readers
I Am Bat by Morag Hood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the simplicity of I Am Bat. I can easily hear it being read in my own child’s voice and see her acting out and reciting the text as she does with Elephant and Piggie books. Bat is over dramatic in a similar way to Elephant and this really appealed to my kids. The illustrations evoke the bat’s emotions perfectly. A wonderful book for younger readers.
2. For parents and middle children
Middle Bear by Susanna Isern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a parent of 3 children, I love Middle Bear. It is heartwarming and uplifting without being overly sentimental and conveys perfectly the mediocrity of being a middle child. I love the shell-shocked/glazed expression of the bear and the use of child like illustrations, as they convey perfectly his perception of himself as unremarkable. As the story unfolds, middle bear find out that there are some things he is just perfect for. I loved the way this unfolded and it made me smile. A perfect book for middle children everywhere.
3. For Teachers
Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A book by Michael Rosen about stealing chocolate cake. What isn’t there to like? The sumptuous use of onomatopoeia and descriptive language makes it a perfect book to use in the classroom. Chocolate Cake would provide lots of inspiration for children developing their descriptive writing and would be a great opening to language and vocabulary lessons. I love the way the typeface changes to enhance the descriptive words as they work seamlessly with the pictures. The illustrations are atmospheric and the boy’s expressive eyes are skillfully drawn to show every emotion throughout the book. (currently only available in the UK).
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My 3 year old wears glasses. She has been getting on really well with them and feels quite special and unique. She wears them because she has a turn and is long sighted. The ophthalmologist thinks that her glasses will correct the turn, but there is a chance that she will have to have an eye patch.
When we were told she would have to wear glasses, I searched for picture books about children wearing glasses. I bought the Charlie and Lola book ‘I Really Absolutely Must Have Glasses’. This didn’t really fit the bill because although it is about going for an eye test and really wanting glasses, Lola doesn’t actually need glasses.
I gave up looking for a while until by a stroke of fate I came across The Pirate of Kindergarten in a list of top 10 books for Special Educational Needs. This hit the nail right on the head . The story is about a little girl who is clumsy and sees in double vision unless she closes one eye. After attending an eye test they tell her that most children don’t see in this way and give her glasses and a cool eye patch . She becomes the Pirate of Kindergarten.
My 3 year old is incredibly clumsy and often falls over and crashes into things. I asked her if she ever saw 2 of things like the girl and she replied ‘sometimes’. I don’t know whether she sees in this way, but the book gave me a valuable insight into what the world might be like through her eyes.
This is a lovely book for a child who wears glasses and for a nursery, pre-school or childminder who is looking to increase their inclusive books. The illustrations are beautiful, the subject matter is handled sensitively and is told in a simple and sympathetic manner that young children can understand.
This post is a personal recommendation, no payment or product was received for writing this review.
My children have a huge amount of books that are always spilling from their bookcases. With conventional bookcases it is difficult for the children to see the books in order to make an independent choice and even more difficult for them to put them away neatly.
When I came across Big Book Little Book boxes offering a storage solution for baby and toddler books I thought I would give them a try. The boxes are designed by Frances, a mum to a book obsessed child like my own. Dismayed by her son’s constant dismantling of the household bookcase and failing to find a solution for storing forward facing books she designed and manufactured her own.
The boxes arrive fully assembled, delivery is free and my box arrived within 48 hours of ordering.
The cardboard boxes are designed to fit both large and small books in the different sized compartments so that all books can be viewed. The books are displayed forward facing so that children can easily browse and select books independently.
Most of my children’s books are stored in their bedrooms but I like to keep a small selection downstairs so that they can choose books when they are playing there. The Big Book Little Book box has replaced a small plastic one with resounding success. The books are now far more accessible and my 3 year old can now put the books away easily by herself.
The box is made from recyclable cardboard and seems very durable. The boxes have proved very popular with childminders as a way of promoting independent choice. At £10 a box they are a low-cost alternative to many expensive book storage equipment available from Education Suppliers. I think that the boxes would be a great resource for pre-schools, toddler groups and nurseries looking for a stylish, practical and economical way of displaying picture books. They are particularly good for encouraging very young children to choose books over other activities as they are low to the ground so that even babies can see inside.
The company can offer 10% discount to not-for-profit organisations. Buy 2 or more boxes and get a free book worth £6 .