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In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award Perfect for the end of every day, award-winning Chris Haughton captures the soothing time as the sun goes down and all the animals begin to fall into a deep sleep….All except Little Bear who is wide awake despite the yawning and sighing of all those around him. When even Little Bear stretches a great big stretch and yawns a great big yawn it really is goodnight for everyone. ~ Julia Eccleshare
This is a much-loved classic, but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969. Now available in this sound-book format so you can actually listen to the Very Hungry Caterpillar as he walks and eats his way through the book that's based on Eric Carle's classic tale. Complete with vivid and colourful illustrations and some very simple text it provides a wonderful story that is immensely satisfying for parents and child alike.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2018 Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Award winning Lane Smith celebrates the simple delights of Cat who loves the warmth of the sun, and Dog who loves the cool of the water, and Bird who loves birdseed. All are set for a perfect day…But then Bear turns up! Suddenly the day looks very different. With almost no words, Lane Smith’s illustrations set the scene of the story brilliantly and then allow the reader to fill in exactly what happens in their own way.
A delightful board book with simple rhyming text and engaging interactive pictures. Children will be able to find characters that are mentioned in the text, such as Mother Hubbard and Cinderella. Wonderful detail in the illustrations provides endless entertainment in that with each view you find yet more in them – so clever and yet so simply done. Janet was an artist extraordinaire whose life was sadly cut short by illness some years ago. ~ Julia Eccleshare Kate Greenaway Medal winner in 1978.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2018 | A charming story of bedtime fears with a neat twist to it. Dora and all her toys wake up grouchy and grumpy after a night spent tossing and turning on account of the scary noises coming from the wardrobe. Penguin, Bear, Lion and Dora herself had all been terrified and not one of them is looking forward to the next night. But the next time the banging from the wardrobe starts up, Dora and her friends bravely open the cupboard door…Nicely scary as well as appropriately reassuring.
Children who like their stories filled with larger-than-life characters, crazy comedy and the reassuring sense that love and goodness will win out, will really enjoy A.L Kennedy’s Uncle Shawn books. In the first book in this series, little Badger Bill needed rescuing from a particularly nasty couple; now the tables are turned and everyone’s best friend Uncle Shawn has been locked up by the awful ‘Dr’ P’Klawz, whose ambition is to rid the country of all types of fun and – above all – Unusualness. The action is fast and very funny, and leaves readers in no doubt that unusualness in every form is to be encouraged. Filled with some wonderful images (P’Klawz grins ‘like a cruel iceberg’) it’s made for reading aloud, and Gemma Correll’s black and white illustrations are an added treat.
Children and adults will take very different things from this clever picture book but both will enjoy it enormously. Flynn is excited, he’s got a new bed – we guess that he’s moving into a big bed for the first time. But something’s already in it – an enormous walrus, and it doesn’t seem very comfortable. Flynn does his best ferrying up snacks and milk and extra pillows but it seems that neither of them will get any sleep, let alone Mum and Dad. Children will love the absurdity of the situation and adults will identify with the long-suffering parents trying unsuccessfully to settle Flynn down for the night. Lots of fun, and this provides lots to talk about too.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 | May 2017 Picture Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2017 | | In a story full of hope against adversity, King of the Sky tells how flying a homing pigeon helps a young boy comes to terms with his life in a strange country far, far from home. Now living under grey skies in a country where he feels an outsider, a young boy misses the blue sky, warm sun and of ice cream of his home in Rome. But when he his racing pigeon returns to him safely from Rome the boy realises that home is where he is and he finds a new sense of belonging.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 | May 2017 Picture Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2017 | | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 | In a story full of hope against adversity, King of the Sky tells how flying a homing pigeon helps a young boy comes to terms with his life in a strange country far, far from home. Now living under grey skies in a country where he feels an outsider, a young boy misses the blue sky, warm sun and of ice cream of his home in Rome. But when he his racing pigeon returns to him safely from Rome the boy realises that home is where he is and he finds a new sense of belonging. ~ Julia Eccleshare
The Elmer books are stunning to look at, with their jewel-like colours and fabulous jungle scenes, but they teach children about kindness, acceptance and generosity too. You don’t have to be different to be special, says Elmer at the end of this lovely story, an important message for all. He’s been busy looking for Baby Elephant’s teddy, lost in the jungle. Not only does Elmer happily give up his time but he lends Baby Elephant his own much-loved teddy until the lost bear can be found. The story is full of incident as the hunt takes Elmer far and wide, and there’s a funny surprise at the end as he finally discovers the lost bear, and it appears – temporarily at least - that it can speak. Elmer rules! ~ Andrea Reece
Best-selling duo Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb reunite in a lovely story that begins in a Year One classroom before taking us on an exciting, fantastical journey. Scenes in the classroom and at home with the children as they play with their shared Everywhere Bear are beautifully depicted in Donaldson’s nimble rhyming text and Cobb’s sketchy, lithe illustrations. Their imaginations take flight when the poor bear is lost, swept down a drain and into the sea in dramatic scenes before finally, almost miraculously, he’s reunited with Class One. In the hands of star author and illustrator, it all makes for an exceptionally satisfying adventure for young readers, with much they’ll recognise, much to make them wonder. ~ Andrea Reece Best-selling Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb create some wonderful adventures for the much-loved class bear in this warm-hearted and dramatic story with a strong classroom background. One thing is for sure - the Everywhere Bear knows that his life will never be dull! He goes home with a different child every weekend and no-one knows what surprises the weekend will bring! ~ Julia Eccleshare
One of our special picks for Mothering Sunday The ahhh-factor is at its highest setting in this sweet but sturdy little board book. On each page a different mummy and child enjoy having simple fun together, whether that’s zooming round the shops, playing in the park or splashing in the bath (mummy penguin and her little one are particularly adorable). These are scenes that will be very familiar to little children, and they’ll recognise too the very special mummy love that’s depicted in every scene. The rhyming text is fun to read aloud, and the pictures are full of things to spot and discuss. Perfect for Mother’s Day! ~ Andrea Reece Our special Mothering Sunday Picks Guess How Much I Love You Gift Set by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram Something for Mummy by Ted Dewan Mother's Day by Shirley Hughes With My Mummy by James Brown That's Not My Chick by Fiona Watt Superhero Mum by Timothy Knapman Me and My Grandma by Alison Ritchie
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.