Last week was a great book reading week for us as a family. We got to enjoy lots of brilliant books together. We’ve just changed things around a little in our bedtime routine to make time for more books and stories and it’s suiting us really well. This way we get a good 20-30 minutes of book sharing time together and then conclude with CBeebies Bedtime Stories.
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I love CBeebies Bedtime Stories as it introduces us to books we may not know but also because the stories are read by such a diverse range of people. It’s lovely hearing different voices tell stories. After CBeebies Bedtime Stories it’s bedtime for Floss.
However, Floss finds it tricky to go to sleep until her eyes literally won’t open any longer. We don’t make a big deal out of this as I was very much like this as a child. She can sit and read books in bed but often her favourite thing is listening to audio books on her Tonie Box or Yoto Player Mini.
New Reading Related Blog Posts
The latest blog post for reading support can be found here – 7 Ways to Read a School Book Banded Book. One question I’ve been asked is about how to tell what book band your child is on. I’m going to write a blog post on this soon but in the meantime if you have any questions feel free to drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help. If you’re not sure what book bands are then check out this post – Book Bands – Learning to Read at Home and School.
More Children’s Book Updates
Don’t forget to give Anne’s weekly Reading Matters a read with lots of dates for your diary, reviews and children’s reading info.
New Releases and Reviews
Did you miss last week’s Bookworm Buzz Children’s Book News? You can find all previous editions here. There are now full reviews with activity ideas for Ava’s Triumph, The Spectacular Suit, We Use Science/ Maths and The Girl Who Lost a Leopard.
Here’s the releases catching my eye…
What Makes A Lemur Listen?
The latest Owlet Press release is always going to get my attention (thanks for my review copy). What Makes A Lemur Listen? is written by Owlet Press founder Sam Langley-Swain and brought to life by the clever artwork of Helen Panayi.
What Makes a Lemur Listen? is inspired by Sam’s youngest son who is neurodiverse (presenting as attachment-based demand avoidance). Children will love this story about Maki, a lemur who doesn’t listen. He decides to head into the Madagascan forest alone to make his own troupe with his own rules. It’s not long before he’s feeling frightened and very alone, but is he truly alone?
Luckily, the friendly Sofina is there to help in her own special way without putting any demands on Maki. Children will love trying to spot Sofina on each page! I’ll add a full review soon as well as some fun activities to enjoy.
Florence Nightingale (Little People, Big Dreams)
I really enjoy The Little People, Big Dreams series. They are so accessible for even quite young children but I also love that there is a timeline spread at the back of each book with more information about the particular person who is in focus.
The life of Florence Nightingale is one of latest editions by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley. I remember learning about Florence at school. It struck me back then what a remarkable woman she must have been. At the age of 9 or 10 I didn’t think much of it when the teacher explained that she had travelled to Germany on her own to learn about nursing.
Reading it now it makes me consider what a daunting and brave journey that must have been for a women back then and how long it must have taken her to get there. The books shows an admirable quality of determination when you have a calling for something.
The images are lovely and really help to bring the words to life and deepen the understanding for a young reader. I really hope to see a Mary Seacole edition written by Maria – it would be good to be able to compare and contrast the lives of the two women who had very similar, selfless goals. Thank you #NetGalley and Quarto Kids for our eARC.
The Spring Rabbit
The Spring Rabbit by Angela McAllister and Christopher Corr published by Frances Lincoln (thanks for sending for review) is a delight in perfect time for Easter. It would make a lovely Spring gift. Angela McAllister has written lots of books you’ll recognise. You can find other titles here.
Christopher Corr is an illustrator that I wasn’t very familiar with but after reading The Spring Rabbit I think I’ve fallen in love. Christopher has a very original style and his images have a very dream-like quality to them. You can find out lots more about this book with some lovely inside images from @picturebookplaydate here.
Pop and Peek Hatch
Another adorable book that would be a perfect gift is Pop and Peek Hatch by Mel Matthews and published by Happy Yak (sent for review). It’s a delightful pop up book. Also, published at the same time was the sister book Babies. For an inside peep head to my Instagram here.
❤️Ideal for little ones – publisher recommends 10 months+
🧡Gorgeously illustrated by Mel Matthews
💛Large flaps, great for little hands that open in a variety of ways rather than the same way each page. Good for hand eye co-ordination
💚The pop outs are very interactive and bouncing the flap back and forth is lots of fun. Particularly loved the kangaroo and joey as it makes the joey appear to be jumping the way the pop has been created.
💙Our favourite spread from Hatch was the platypus – I had no idea a baby one was called a puggle!
💜Some lovely word choices such as huddling for penguins, great for extending little ones’ vocabulary
A Little Bit Of Respect
Audio Players – Tonie Box and Yoto Player – Updates
Yoto have also had lots of new releases that you can find here.
If you’re interested in audio players you might like to check out my blog post on Tonie Boxes vs. Yoto Player here. Borrow Box this week we’ve just added A Holly Webb title that Floss is loving. With Borrow Box (through your library card) you can download audio books that you can then add to a Make Your Own card for Yoto Mini. I’ve just kept a note of when the loan is due back so that I remove it from the card from that date.
Books for the Diary
Check out last week’s Bookworm Buzz Book News if you need inspiration for this week’s events.
11th April Exploring Nature with Plant Life Cycle
Exploring Nature with Children is a nature based curriculum from Raising Little Shoots that is cyclical and repeats each year. You can deepen your understanding of an area or look at a different topic within that theme.
Plant Life Cycles always feels like one of those week’s that goes too quickly as there are so many things that you can focus on and do. I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast is a book we return to time and time again and it will release in paperback May 2022.
The Big Book of Blooms by the fabulous Yuval Zommer would also be a brilliant book to help you explore plant life cycles as well as going into lots more flower detail. Could be used for wild flower week that is coming up the following week.
It doesn’t matter what age your children are when it comes to this curriculum you can access it at a level right for your child. Jasper’s Beanstalk is a lovely one about the life cycle of a bean.
Fiddlesticks Education have a Life Cycle pack but you can also purchases smaller packs with individual life cycles individually. Becca’s Etsy shop can be found here.
17th April Easter Sunday
Lovely alternatives to gift at Easter instead of chocolate has always been books, handmade toys or plants for us. I love seasonal books that come out when it’s their time each year, but equally you can choose books that are perfect Spring gifts that could be used all year round.
We love the super cute Goodnight, Little Bunny from Magic Cat that has real images of bunnies interweaved with illustrations.
Books that I recommended above for plant life cycles would be ideal Spring gifts. We also love Hooray for Hoppy! that was an Easter gift for Floss when she was one and she still loves now at five!
Golden Oldies and Favourites
Omar, the Bees and Me
Omar, the Bees and Me by Helen Mortimer and Katie Cottle is one of our all time favourite reads. Oozing with incidental diversity, a wonderful story about friendship and bees. We paired it with a new release It Starts With a Bee by Aimee Gallagher and Jennie Webber for #BookMatchMonday.
Thought Provoking Reading
Do you read middle grade fiction? 2021 I started to dip my toe in the middle grade water a little more and it feels like 2022 has been my year to really dive in! It got me thinking, why haven’t I been reading more middle grade? Everything I’ve read has been brilliant. I really enjoyed reading this article from Writer’s Digest on the acceptance of adults reading YA fiction but middle grade being left in the wind.
Here’s my top 8 middle grade reads that you MUST read. They’ll enrich your life and have you thinking about them long after you’ve turned the last page.
Discover more about each book here:
- When Life Gives You Mangoes – https://amzn.to/3qRKr0z
- Moonchild Voyage of the Lost and Found – https://amzn.to/3DwYLRh
- The Girl Who Lost a Leopard – https://amzn.to/3iVQ5dz
- A Kind of Spark – https://amzn.to/3JTKUGZ
- Fledgling – https://amzn.to/3x6BVyX
- Skunk and Badger – https://amzn.to/35umjtC
- After the War – https://amzn.to/3uziwDy
- Hedgewitch – https://amzn.to/3qNAOzY
What I’m Reading
April is proving to be another brilliant month of books. The image above shows you the books that are in my working pile to be reviewed, ready to read or awaiting reviews. It also includes our VIP Reading subscription book too.
Wished by Lissa Evans
Excited to be starting this eARC from NetGalley publishing from David Fickling Books on 7th April 2022, Wished by Lissa Evans. The write up has me all nostalgic from when I was a child and would visit an elderly neighbour and we’d go through with her treasures from her past and have make believe adventures. Magical times.
Genie and Teeny Wishful Thinking by Steven Lenton
Floss and I have been reading Genie and Teeny LOTS! I think it’s something that you stop doing as you get older, reading the same book over and over. Floss gets such joy from reading the Genie and Teeny books frequently. She’s so excited for the third book to be released May 2022. I’ve just bought her a surprise of a limited edition Steven Lenton teapot pin – it’s so lovely.
Sisters of Moonlight by Katherine Livesey
Just finished reading Sisters of Moonlight by Katherine Livesey, published by One More Chapter (thank you NetGalley for the eARC). I read book one and book two was even better; I thoroughly enjoyed more of the world of shadows. The series is a historical fantasy, adventure series full of magic and mysteries.
I very much found the pace of book two perfect for me. There were stories within stories and I loved how Katherine had the start of book two like a tangled plait of hair. A plait that she unravelled as certain characters’ stories went off in different directions only to be weaved carefully back together towards the end of the book. Brilliant – come on book three!
Great Lives in Graphics – Shakespeare
Shakespeare is one of several in this brilliant Great Lives in Graphics series from Button Books. They’re recommended from around 8 years+. The format would really appeal to a vast array of readers and especially those who don’t enjoy lengthy texts. I’m about half way through and it’s fascinating.
I’ve got an exciting week of reading lined up. Look forward to filling you in next week.
Buying books and more importantly where to buy books is often a topic of contention. For me it’s about books being accessible to all. Growing up we didn’t have ‘online’ shopping. I would use any money that I was given on special occasions to shop in my local bookshop. Mainly, books that I had came from libraries both community and school.
Now I gather books from a range of sources. I still love libraries and before the pandemic used to frequent charity shops to find treasures. If I’m purchasing books new then I tend to purchase from a range of places including Indies and other High Street names – often when they have offers on. You can click on the links below to take you to that bookseller.
I rarely purchase books on Amazon, but when I was a student and cost was a very important factor for me then it was my go to. I also know that Amazon is a very important place for authors and illustrators when it comes to reviews of their books and I use Amazon to find out what others thought about a book and get an inside peep. You can leave reviews on Amazon even when you have purchased from elsewhere.
Garden Series Posts You’ll Love
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