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In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
Martha Mumford’s charming little bunnies are becoming familiar figures in children’s books and this is the third book in which they star. Here they skip out together on the hunt for Easter eggs – yum, yum! Young readers can help the bunnies find the eggs which are hidden under flaps, but the book is full of treats. The nursery-rhyme-style text will have everyone joining in and counting along as the eggs are discovered, but every page is a lively delight. The bunnies cross streams and fields, visit the fun fair and make Easter garlands. There is so much to spot in the illustrations, look closely and you’ll find a little frog hiding on every spread. As delicious as an Easter egg, and it will last a lot longer.
Everyone with young children will recognise the two little Huffalots at the centre of this story, and the transformation that happens to them during their day. First thing in the morning, they are very grumpy, slow to get dressed and squabbling over breakfast. As the day goes on though, and they have fun in the park and more fun at home, they change into Huffalittles, and then into something different again. Just as well too, because it’s around the end of the day that Mum shows signs of becoming a Huffalot… Eve Coy’s gorgeous illustrations of Mum and her two children are full of movement, the ordinary moments of their day beautifully observed, and the story itself will have everyone smiling.
‘Dream big, little one’ is the message in this beautiful picture book, and it offers so many dreams to follow. They are wild, liberating and oh, so inspiring, invitations to be a star-gazer, trail-blazer; a fierce freedom-leader, a bold self-believer; a keeper of kindness and champion of change. The illustrations – vibrant and lively in a rich, warm palette – show young girls exploring the world and vividly express the hopes and joy contained in the text. Striking to look at and exhilarating to read aloud, this is very special and a lovely book to give to any little girl.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2021 | Who likes bath time? Certainly not Little Owl. He thinks bath time is boring. How can Mummy Owl persuade him that having a bath does not ever have to be dull? What about if she makes bath time include a trip to Bubble Mountain? And throws in some dangerous towelly-gators for good measure? Mummy Owl’s ideas may be helpful for all those trying to make bath time more exciting – they certainly do the trick for Little Owl! A welcome addition to an excellent and reassuring series about everyday toddler experiences.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2021 | A celebration of the wonder of reading! Mabel HATES books. She gets given loads of them but has no interest at all in reading them. But, one night, the books piled up in her room come alive. The stories jump out of their covers and off the pages so that they can show Mabel their story worlds. She is intrigued by a detective adventure, excited by the chance to board a spaceship and take a trip to the moon, delighted by the thought of accompanying a knight on his quest to seek castles and to duel with dragons. But, there is no way she can find out what happens next in these stories unless she begins the read the books! An entertaining celebration of why reading is such fun. We were lucky enough to ask Emma a few questions about her debut picture book..find out more!
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | There’s huge fun to be had in this gloriously interactive book which is a spur to imaginative play as well as a great introduction to familiar colours and shapes. A singing button, a tickle button and many more. All young readers will be delighted by the invitation to press each one. Once they have done so many possibilities open up as they head off into whatever invention they choose to imagine. Sally Nicholls uses her word carefully and with pleasing simplicity and Beth Woollvin’s illustrations add special details of their own.
The Little Red Kite is not only a beautiful little story but one so wonderfully illustrated. With a simple premise at its centre, the heart of this book is immense. A basic premise, the tone is happy and the rhyming flows off the tongue and so naturally throughout. This is a joy to read out loud but is also manageable enough for emerging readers to grasp and read alone. A tale of friendship and the mere pleasure of just being happy with life, I had initially felt a little apprehensive about reading about a kite as the main character! I did wonder how you could actually build enthusiasm and indeed empathy with such a choice – but I was proved wrong. This is a lovely book that I’m sure readers will want to return to time and time again. Perfect as a pick me up, and a book for the shelf, it’s also a great comforting bedtime read. Clair Chaytors, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
‘Outcast Goes to the White House’ by Monty C. Floyd is a short children's book that would be a nice festive read for fans of Toy Story. In the first section ‘Timmy Discovers Outcast Otter’ we see how Outcast Otter gets his name as well as a loving home with Timmy before moving on to the second part and the adventures at the White House. This is a nice and short story, with rhythm in places and easy to understand writing for young readers. The story of Toys that have adventures while their owners aren’t looking will always evoke Toy Story for me, although I don’t think this book is trying to copy that storyline. I would have liked more illustrations throughout this book, to really capture the attention of younger readers. I like the lesson in ‘Outcast Goes to the White House’ that your differences are what make each of us special and, although not ideal for mass manufacture, won’t stop you from having adventures and a loving family and friends. I think that this would be a nice story for readers between 5 and 7 to enjoy. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The setting is a wintery wood, beautifully depicted in Marc Boutavant’s detailed illustrations; our companions, a little girl and her dog, plus the host of animals she encounters. These are all welcomed with an invitation to ‘come home’, the bushy tail (squirrel), strong beak (woodpecker), long ears (hare). Elegant four-line verses describe them and their night-time houses, until at last the little girl (‘brave trailblazer, bright stargazer’) comes home and snuggles into her own cosy bed. Her journey through the wood works perfectly as a story, each page bringing a new animal friend, and the verse is a delight to read aloud. A book that will leave readers reassured, happy and ready for bed, but looking forward to new adventures in the morning.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is as much a part of the festive season as sleigh bells jingling and Lara Hawthorne brings the song alive in this gorgeous picture book, filling beautiful scenes with the cavalcade of gifts and giving it all a sense of movement, joy and celebration. The trappings of Christmas are present in each spread – spot the holly, the paper hats, and the Christmas baubles on each page amongst the birds and leaping musicians – but the background outdoor scenes are green fields, particularly suited to her folk-art style illustrations. There’s so much to look at and each turn of the page presents a completely different scene – I particularly liked the ten lords, who go a-leaping right across the roof of a house, so that they’re almost flying across the page. The full lyrics are repeated in the final pages along with a special author’s note about the poem too. A Christmas book to be enjoyed all year round. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!
October 2020 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2020 | Award-winning Oliver Jeffers will capture the hearts and minds of children and adults alike with this story of a father and daughter making plans to build a world that will keep them safe in the future. Brimming with hope but not ignoring the possibilities that the world and what happens next in it will present challenges, What We’ll Build is founded in the mundane (almost!) as the father and his daughter assemble building tools including a hammer, saw and drill – and a pig! What they go on to build including a place to store love, a hole to hide in, a wall to keep enemies out and a gate to let them, a tunnel to anywhere, a road to the stars and much more and the reasons why they may need them it is summed up in the briefest of texts and Jeffers magical, vividly coloured story- telling illustrations. Inspired by becoming a father, What We’ll Build is a childhood classic that will be shared over and over again.
Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!
All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.