The Button Collection by Helen Hamil & Christina Ryan

button collec

‘The Button Collection’ by Helen Hamil and Christina Ryan is a series of six timeless stories for children. The presentation box alone reminds me of opening something special, almost like I was about to open a sewing kit. Each individual book is about a different button, each with their own special story to share.

The following titles are included in this collection, all names starting with B:

Bertie The Soldier Button
Brooke The Wild West Button
Bethany The Explorer Button
Billy The Circus Button
Beatrix The Wedding button
Bob The railway Button

Each story tells us about where the button came from, who it belonged to and what it’s job was. It’s a great way to teach children about the past, history and where things may come from.
In this series each button has its own special job whether it belonged on a wedding dress, or a soldier to a cowgirl. We learn how life was like for each button, what they looked like in their glory days before sadly getting old, forgotten and hidden away. The stories always have happy endings, which tell us about the buttons new lives and roles.

As a teacher, I like that each story has a similar pattern which is very good for children. I would even share these texts with an early years class as it has the repetition and familiarity which children need to explore. As a teacher there are so many things you can do with this series. Learn about describing, as each book gives us a description of the button. We can even learn about the past and present, old and new, recycling, textiles and creative arts to name a few. See below for some ideas I really liked.

The water-colour illustrations in each book are beautiful and there is so much to look at and explore on each page. I particularly liked the pictures in Bethany The Explorer Button, especially the illustrations of the map as there is much to talk about.


I also like how the illustrator uses colour to reflect the mood in the stories, as each button becomes unused and unwanted the colours become sombre. This is a great talking point for teachers and parents to ask why? It becomes a focal point for thought and discussion.

I enjoyed each and every story. My train obsessed three year old’s favourite is Bob The Railway Button and my six year old daughters favourite is Beatrix The Wedding Button because it’s about family and tradition. It just goes to show there is something for everyone.


I don’t know whether it’s the teacher in me but my personal favourite has to be Bertie The Soldier Button. I feel its always so challenging to talk about soldiers and remembrance day with young children. However, this book does it so beautifully. In a simple way through the story and illustrations we can learn about this sensitive topic.

A great reason to even make art work focusing on buttons and remembrance day.

poppy button

So, should you read this little collection?  A simple answer Yes.
This precious collection of books will be treasured and read over and over by little ones.
As a parent there so much to talk about in these books, as a teacher there are so many talking points, activities and topics that these books can be linked into.

I give these books a 5/5 lily rating! So its got to be good.

5 out of 5 lily

These books can be purchased here: