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In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
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.
October 2020 Debut of the Month | Full of a sense of tenderness but also possibilities, Songs for our Sons contains every wish you could have for a young boy growing up today, from ‘Never change, fib or follow, just to try to fit in./Be proud, free and happy in your own, unique skill’, to ‘Keep a still place inside, that you can call home/ and know how to find it, wherever your roam.’ The text is touching, heartfelt and always uplifting, while Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations depict children playing in a range of settings, from green fields to desert cities and magic trees, bold colours and shifting perspectives making every turn of the page an adventure. Giving this and receiving it, both will be a real joy.
From the inventive author-illustrator of the award-winning There’s a Bear on My Chair comes this smart sequel, and boy has Ross Collins delivered again. It’s a rollicking, rhyming, visually-pleasing treat in which it turns out that Bear isn’t terribly keen on getting a taste of his own medicine (to begin with, at least). The cause of Bear’s irritation is the presence of Mouse in his house (yes, the very same Mouse on whose chair Bear presumptuously sat in the first book). In Bear’s outraged words, “That rodent can’t live here, oh no! I’ll tell him that he has to go.” Of course, Mouse refuses to leave and proceeds to cause chaos in Bear’s house, before a mob of partying mice turn up. But then - the twist! – when Bear realises “Hey! These mice are nice!” With wonderful interplay between text, illustration and design, this is excellent for reading aloud - the kind of book that will have toddlers urging for it to be read again, and again (and again) while completing the rhymes before adults have chance to read them.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2017 | “Slowly, silently now the moon/ Walks the night/ in her silver shoon;” Walter de la mare’s much loved-poem is beautifully brought to life in gentle illustrations that portray the moon as a cat and playfully reveal the creatures and the children that get caught up in the amazing moonshine. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for April 2017 The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury Grandapa Green by Lane Smith I'm Going to Eat This Ant by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies Mrs Mole, I'm Home! by Jarvis Silver by Walter de la Mare
Five tales pefect for bedtime, handsomely packaged in a gift box to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Usborne Publishing. Each hardback book is colourfully illustrated and has a ribbon page marker. Excellent value but great quality too. These sturdy hardback books in a slipcase make a perfect gift at any time of the year.
A wonderful adventure for a bold little penguin is beautifully told in Tony Mitton’s elegant and witty rhyming text. Determined to explore the world around him, the little penguin sets off in to the icy and watery landscape. Meeting whales and sea lions is fun but soon the little penguin realises that what he most wants is to be back with his own family. Alison Brown’s illustrations make the frozen landscape of the Antarctic come alive.
There are lots of things Bear loves, and he tells us all about them in this charming picture book. From playing with friends, to reading with Daddy, to wearing his underpants on his head (surely to be a favourite image with readers!), all is described through a jolly rhyming text and accompanying lively illustrations. Even when he’s giving in to the naughty little voice in his ear and playing tricks, Bear still looks cute as a button, like any toddler. This will be a lovely book for grown-ups and children to share, with so many scenes and activities they’ll recognise.
It’s bedtime for Ted, but he’s just too busy yet – flip the flaps and you can see why: Ted is in the bath with some penguins, busy brushing his teeth with a crocodile and drinking his milk with a tiger. At last he’s ready to be tucked up in bed with his cuddly friends and fast asleep (still in his trademark bobble hat). Sophy Henn’s new board book series is simple enough for the very youngest to enjoy but still manages to tell a story and to celebrate the boundless scope and joy of a child’s imagination. These little books deserve to become classics. ~ Andrea Reece
Bear and Squirrel are best friends and do everything together. Bear describes it beautifully: ‘Like peas in a pod, you and I fit/ Like strawberries and cream, we are a hit’. The pictures however are telling a different story and we can all see that sometimes – quite often in fact – Squirrel is more than a little irritated by Bear, not to mention squashed, bashed and accidentally knocked about! When it all gets too much, Squirrel tells Bear he needs space and Bear, being a really good friend, understands. Check the illustrations again though, and we can see that life without Bear just isn’t the same. Steve Small’s illustrations are full of humour but poignant too and Smiriti Hall’s rhyming text a delight to read aloud; this is a virtuoso portrayal of what friendship means.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2017 | Four simple bedtime stories capture the precious yet everyday moments in pre-school and toddler’s lives. Under the heading Hiding, Chatting, Bouncing and Giving the four stories about Katie and her little brother Olly are perfect for bedtime sharing. As ever, Shirley Hughes captures the activities of the very young with warmth, humour and great understanding.
From the author of Seeing Stars which detailed all 88 known constellations for older children, this stylish and sturdy book introduces just six of the most familiar and recognisable constellations to the very young. Young children like nothing better than books which invite them to guess what is under the flap and here each constellation is introduced by the line-connected star cluster sparkling against the deep blue background of the night sky. As you read aloud the verbal clues, children are asked to guess the creature and the answer is revealed, with more lines filling in the details of the animal, under the flap, alongside more information about the constellation and its major stars. Flaps can be quite flimsy and often considered unsuitable for classroom use but, in this case, it is a solid full-page fold-out that will withstand multiple uses. Children will definitely be inspired to do their own star gazing and to investigate further. Personally, this has helped enormously to understand how constellations got their names and to see the animal properly revealed. I still wonder, however, at the imagination of the Ancients that first connected those dots!
Best-selling and glorious Guess How Much I Love You has delighted children – and adults - for a quarter of a century. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare want to tell each other just how much they love each other. But how do you measure love? Luckily, the two Hare’s know just how much they mean to each other. And Anita Jeram’s illustrations convey that brilliantly.
A boy and his cat have some exciting midnight adventures in this lively story, which will appeal to any young child who dreams of being a superhero. When the Ninja emergency bell rings, our hero leaps out of bed, into the secret Ninja Den conveniently located below his bedroom and full of cool gadgets. From there he teleports into Baddy World to confront a spider king responsible for stealing hundreds of pairs of socks. Can the socks be restored to their rightful owners and a way be found to keep the baby spiders’ toes warm? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Sam Lloyd’s illustrations are full of cinematic close-ups and cutaways, and the ninja moves – Bish! Bash! Boff! – are fabulous. Lots of fun.
February 2019 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | What better present can a princess receive than a pudding making machine! Soon puddings and cakes of all sorts are spilling out of the machine as the young Princess Hannah takes control of her fabulous birthday present. But the present has an unfortunate impact on the princess; it reveals that she has never had to share. Luckily, her friends take matters into their own hands and soon they too are pulling the levels and turning the wheels and together they all make the most fabulous puddingly treats – including a giant meringue. The moral is well mixed into this bubbly tale which is vibrantly told in verse by Sally Duran.
This collection contains a bundle of favourite nursery rhymes and lullabies, together with one or two classic nightime-themed poems and is a thoroughly lovely book to read with little children at bedtime; Rosalind Beardshaw’s illustrations make it absolutely irresistible. Her artwork style is full of warmth and charm, the animal families are as cute as can be while her little snub-nosed children are so appealing you want to pick them up and hug them. What’s more, in keeping with the night-time theme flowers, trees, clouds and cradles are picked out with silver foil, so that the pages twinkle as if in the moonlight. Gorgeous! ~ Andrea Reece
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.
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