The Ultimate Summer Picture Books

I’ve collected together my very favourite summer reads into this blog. Some have been recommended by my Instagram followers (thank you Instafam)

Supertato Veggies in the Valley of Doom by Sue Hendra, Paul Linnet

1. Supertato Veggies in the Valley of Doom by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Supertato adventures are hilarious, they have definitely become a firm favourite for me and my children! The veggies are bored, so Broccoli suggests a game of hide-and-seek. It’s a great game but then Carrot happens to finds treasure map in a cereal packet and the adventure unravels!
The Girls by Lauren Ace

2. The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jennie Lovelie

This is an uplifting representation of female friendship. It is about four girls and their friendship as they grow from little children into adults. We get to learn so much about our four main characters: Lottie, Sasha, Leela and Alice. We follow the ups and downs of their lives. The book has such a positive message about the support friends provide.

Full Size Cover

3. What the Ladybird heard on holiday by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh are planning another crime. This time they are after the Queen’s crown! The Ladybird, who happens to be on holiday in the same place, can she stop them in time?

Happy Hatchday by Rob Biddulph

4. Happy Hatchday by Rob Biddulph

Nine dinosaur eggs are ready to hatch. Each named Otto, Winnie, Hector, Sue, Nancy, Martin, Wilf and Boo. And Greg, he hatches a week late, and by then the other little dinosaurs are already have friends and Greg feels left out. However, there is a little surprise…

Gary's Banana Drama by Jane Massey

5.Gary’s banana drama by Jane Massey

Gary loves bananas, he loves them so much that on the day that something bad happens, and there are no bananas to be found, he starts seeing them everywhere! You could even say he was going bananas for a banana! Will Gary find bananas? How will this story end? With lots of twists and turns!

 

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Great books for strong girls!

Don’t get me wrong, but too often I’ve gone to a book shop or library with my daughter and struggled to find amazing books with strong female lead characters.

I’ve always enjoyed reading books with great female characters but since having a daughter and since attending my daughters EYFS graduation where she declared “When I grow up I want to be a mummy who works.” Made me step up my game.

My daughter knows and understands that women don’t need to stay at home after having a family, she has hopes and dreams of achieving something. She understands she can have it both ways like her mummy.

So, I wanted her to be able to read stories to learn positive messages about being a strong female.

My next few posts will focus around books, in particular picture books which show great female characters.

The first book I’ve chosen to write about is ‘The paper bag princess’ by Robert Munsch.

The beautiful Princess Elizabeth lives in a castle and is engaged to marry Prince Ronald. One day, a fire-breathing dragon destroys her castle, incinerates her belongings, then flies away with Ronald. Since all her clothes are ruined, Princess Elizabeth dons a paper bag and sets off to save her prince.

An absolute must read for every girl from birth through forever…I am a huge believer in a girl knowing that she can rescue herself and anyone else who needs it – if they want her help. This book reinforces how to be resourceful, have confidence, and know when to walk away.

It’s so important for children to be exposed to feminism through their reads. The paper bag princess you did a good job showing the princess isn’t always the one who needs saving, so we should stop assuming that.

I rate this book 4 lillies out of a possible 5

4 out of 5 lily

What do I do everyday?

I try to spend as much time as I can with my children each and everyday. I’ve got a 6 year old, 2 year old and a baby. My day is usually spent doing the typical mum thing. Breakfast, school run, cleaning, odd jobs, playing with the 2 little ones, cooking, homework, bedtime routine to name a few.

However, I always try and find time to write. Whether its a simple hand drawn comic, ideas for stories, writing my stories to writing a shopping list, texting and emailing. I think we all write each and every day even though we may not realise it.

When I’m at work (currently I’m on Maternity leave) I’m sure I find myself writing even more (planning, assessments, marking, interventions etc)

Oh…other than writing and being a mummy I think its a good time to mention I love eating. I do have quite a sweet tooth so I enjoy my desserts very much. But, I still do enjoy my savoury foods…chips…pizza…chicken…crisps. I do throw in some salad and veg for good measure too.

The Best Picture Books of 2017

Happy New Year!

Clearly I love reading but when I’m in a book shop the first place I have to go is the children’s section. The colourful front covers and the catchy titles always have me hooked. That’s why I’ve decided to share my personal list of the 5 best picture books of 2017.

5.‘Bee and Me’ by Alison Jay

Bee and me is a picture book with no words. This book is not only entertaining; it also teaches readers/listeners about the importance of bees in our world. When a lonely girl in the city befriends a bee, the magical, fantastical journey begins. As the story evolves and the bee leaves for the winter, the girl makes friends with a boy in her building and the fun continues in a city changed by the bee. Alison Jay’s lush oil painted illustrations enhance the magical quality of the story, but in a note at the end, she clearly explains the need to invite bees to our gardens and cautions children not to touch them. I highly recommend this book.

 

4. ‘Do Not Open This Book’ by Michaela Muntean

I saw “do not open this book”, so of course I had to open it. This book is fun but a little mean. However, makes up for it in the end by thanking the reader for their help with the story. It’s a challenge to kids (ok, me) who you know are so curious that if told not to do something, they will do it. It is about how to write a story and shows how powerful words are.

3.‘Douglas, You Need Glasses’ by Ged Adamson

Nancy and her dog Douglas enjoy playing in the woods, but as it becomes clear that his nearsightedness is causing problems, she takes him to the eye doctor. Readers will be amused by the dog’s inability to identify anything on the eye chart and the many choices he has in trying to find the right frame. As anyone who has worn a pair of glasses for the very first time will attest, everything looks completely different once you have a way to improve your vision. The funny text and the illustrations, created with pencil and watercolor, provide a reassuring message to anyone facing his/her first visit to the optometrist.

 

2. ‘I Don’t Want Curly Hair!’ by Laura Ellen Anderson

A book about curls, swirls, and hair. It was such a fun, hilarious, and cute book.
It is about a little girl with a giant head of curls (really, a mega giant head of curls). She doesn’t want the curls, she wants straight, pretty, easy flowing  hair. So she tries out all sorts of, mostly hilarious, ways to get her hair to be straight. From piling big books on her head, to having friends help her out, to hoping that gravity will help her. Will any of her trick work out?
The art was just fabulous, colourful, and fun. I just love how much detail there was in the curls. I can’t imagine how much work that must have been to draw each curl, and then also in different colours of red/orange.
All in all, a sweet book, perfect for children, but also adults. I would highly recommend it to everyone.


1.‘Oi Cat!’ by Kes Gray

Poor Cat has been instructed that cats sit on gnats – it’s the rules! But Cat doesn’t enjoy the gnats biting his bottom – perhaps HE can change the rules like Frog and Dog have done? What else can a cat sit on?
This brightly coloured and wonderfully illustrated book is full of animal rhymes that you wouldn’t expect: Racoons and macaroons, armadillos and pillows, alpacas and cream crackers. So many animals, so many rhymes. You would think by the third book of essentially the same premise, that there would be no rhymes left but nope they keep on coming. It helps introduce new animals to children and adds the odd bit of classic potty humour.

When I first fell in love with writing

I have always been surrounded by books. Growing up we didn’t have much money but that didn’t stop me. I would ask mum to take me to the library. I would always choose the most books possible – 12. My mum would always say “But you’ve read this one before” or “We’ll be back again in a few days do you really need so many?” And each time I’d still get my selection of books.  For me a library was like a sweet shop. There were old classics that I’d have to get time and time again, there would be new ones I’d just have to get, there would be ones I’d heard about, and even ones that I’d never noticed before but somehow they had always been there.

Reading was my way to escape my every day life and my way to learn about new things and explore ideas I’d never heard of. As a lover of books I naturally started writing myself. I would write in my diary, newspaper articles, lists, poems, stories , songs , comics. The list could go on. The list can go on. So many things have happened in my life but one thing that has remained a constant is my love of reading and my passion of writing.

I think its now my time to share with you my life, things I love and of course some snippets of my writing and my simple cartoons.