Category Archives: Children’s Hour

Children’s Hour: Dinosaur Kisses


Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
It was quite a long time ago that I read Dinosaur Kisses to the pre-schoolers, in fact I think I originally chose it from the library for the toddlers. However I do remember that they found it funny. In it Dinah, the dinosaur wants to give everybody a kiss but keeps getting it wrong, she just has too many teeth for kissing!

It’s a cute little book, and Dinah is a loving character. The kids loved laughing at her getting the kissing wrong, and they described what she was doing instead. Some of the reviewers on amazon seem to think that their kids would learn to bite instead of kiss because of it, which seems strange to me, but maybe for some kids if it’s not explained.

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Children’s Hour: Banana (revisited)


Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

When I first reviewed Banana I wasn’t the one reading it, and to be honest I don’t think my co-worker quite ‘got’ it. It wasn’t so popular with the toddlers. The pre-schoolers though wanted it again- straight away. (I am just going to say it was my reading 😉 ). The book only has two words, banana and please, really the story is in the tone of voice, and the pictures. Maybe that’s part of what made it better for the pre-schoolers, that they could recognise the emotions in the pictures more easily than the toddlers, and I, of course asked them how the monkey felt.

If you’re a bit theatrical it’s a great book to read, but if you’re more about reading what’s written I’d leave it.

 

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Children’s Hour: Stick Man


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Stick Man is a favourite for our pre-schoolers at the moment (we got this, Zog, A Squash and a Squeeze and Monkey Puzzle recently and Stick Man is the favourite). It’s about a stick man who keeps getting mistaken for a normal stick, with worse and worse consequences. It has Santa in it, so you could get away with using it as a Christmas book, but he’s barely in it, and Christmas is only in it a little too so it doesn’t have to be a Christmas book.

As with all Julia Donaldson books it has that tried and tested formula, rhyme and repetition, helped along by Axel Scheffler’s lovely illustrations.

It makes it easy to follow for the kids. They love joining i with “I’m Stick man, I’m Stick Man, I”M STICK MAN, that’s me”, and enjoying seeing the adults shouting and being silly too.

It’s on 3 for £10 on amazon at the moment too

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Paoerback (£3.85)

Boardbook (£4.79)

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Children’s Hour: Help! The Wolf is Coming


Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Our Pre-schoolers really enjoyed Help! The Wolf is Coming. It’s maybe a little simple for pre-schoolers but it is fun. There’s not really that much of a plot, just the wold chasing the reader through the pages. With each turn of the page you try to do something different to get rid of him, which includes turning and shaking the book, that’s what makes it so much fun!

It’s good for teaching position words too, and the pictures are great

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 Board Book (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: The Time it Took Tom


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The Time it Took Tom has been fairly popular with the toddlers, and more popular with the pre-schoolers.

In the story Tom finds a tin of paint, and decides to paint to living room…completely! The story talks about the time it took, and the time the events after took.

The toddlers like the simpler parts of the story as Tom is actually painting, but they tend to loose interest in the longer bits that describe how they fixed it. It’s a good book to talk about time, and there is a lot of extra story in the pictures as you see Tom’s Mum out of the window.

The pictures are by Nick Sharratt and of the style which tends to be popular with kids

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Paperback- new or used (from £3.40)

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Children’s Hour: Dinosaur Kisses


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
I’ve read Dinosaur Kisses to both toddlers and pre-school, but it went down better with the younger ones.

The story is about a dinosaur who sees a kiss and wants to copy, but keeps getting it wrong.

It’s very simple, probably too simple for a pre-schoolers, at least I think that’s why they appreciated it less. The toddlers though liked all the noises included in the narrative, and found it funny when the dinosaur got it wrong.

Personally I liked the pictures which were very cute. and I had imagined it as being more a book for the toddlers than the pre-schoolers.

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Children’s Hour: I’m Not Sleepy


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
I’m Not Sleepy is another story about our favourite Baby Owl. I borrowed it from the library because the toddlers love Baby Owl

In this one it’s Baby Owl’s bedtime, but he doesn’t want to go to sleep because

“I’m NOT sleepy”

even though he’s yawning, and stretching, and even closing his eyes.

It’s much more like ‘I’m Not Cute‘ than ‘I’m Not Reading‘, which I prefer as a it’s a bit simpler and easier to follow, plus there’s much more of Baby Owl shouting, which we all like.

There are different animals to the animals in ‘I’m Not Cute’ which is interesting for the kids, and as with ‘I’m Not Cute’ the kids love naming the animals, as well as joining in with the shouting.

It’s probably our second favourite library book, after ‘Shh! We Have a Plan

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Children’s Hour: Shh! We Have a Plan (revisited)


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I first wrote about Shh! We Have a Plan after I bought it for my nephew. When I saw it at the library a couple of weeks ago I decided I should share it at nursery too, especially considering how much they had loved Oh No, George! I think I made a pretty good choice because it’s almost certainly the toddler’s favourite book of the ones I got from the library (which is really saying something because one of them was a Baby Owl book).

Shh! We Have a Plan follows four men who are trying to catch a bird. Three of them are trying to use stealth and creeping up on the bird, the other is being very friendly, much to the annoyance of the other three

“Shh! SHH! We have a plan”

The kids like the simplicity of the words which make it very easy for them to join in, and they especially like saying

“Hello Birdy!”

along with the fourth man. They love looking out for the bird, and are becoming increasingly competent at describing what is happening in the pictures. Both make them feel a sense of achievement.

The pictures in the book tell as much of the story as the words do, which makes it almost like the children are making up the story for themselves. The pictures are simple but rather beautiful. I like how everything bar the birds are in blue which makes the bird stand out so you can see why the men want to capture it.

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Paperback (£5.24)

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Children’s Hour: Ruby Roars


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Last week I went to the library to pick some books for the kids (let’s not go any further into this library business here or I may start getting angry) Ruby Roars is one of the books I picked. I’ve been in pre-school a lot this week and they seem to have taken to Ruby Roars, which is strange because they didn’t seem that engaged when I read it first time, I suppose they must have been more interested that I thought though because they asked for it again.

Ruby Roars is about a Tasmanian devil who is learning how to roar. She tries out lots of different noises but can’t seem to scare anybody. Eventually she finds the perfect word and scares everybody.

The kids like the noises which increase in their volume (or at least they do when I read it!). They find it funny I think to see you being a bit silly (which is sort of strange because half my job is being silly, you’d think they would expect it by now). It was because of the noises that I picked the book out, so I’m glad I was right

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Children’s Hour: Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The kids really liked Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig There’s a bit of a story to it, about how the different building equipment are going to fix problems but it’s more about the repeated refrains of what they do, e.g. tip, tip. The kids can join in and learn about what the different equipment does at the same time (which is good because everything is apparently a digger!). The problems are asked about so the kids can guess what the answers are too e.g. “Look at all this mess! What can we do with it?”

The pictures are very appealing, being bright and fairly simple.

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Boardbook (£4.99)

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Children’s Hour: One Bear at Bedtime


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

One Bear at Bedtime is a simple story the boy only needs a bear to go to bed, but all these other animals show up. It’s a counting book, with a series of animals showing up, a different number of each.

The kids likes it because it was silly, with animals doing things they shouldn’t, like lions shampooing their manes. Really it’s the pictures which make the story- and the questions you ask.

 

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Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: Dinosaur Roar!


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
You know what I like about Dinosaur Roar!? That it’s a book about dinosaurs (which are generally popular) which doesn’t require me to try and pronounce the names of the dinosaurs.

It’s a very simple book actually. Two words to a page, “Dinosaur” and an attribute e.g. “Dinosaur fierce. Dinosaur meek”. With each of two attributes being the opposite of each other, and with a nice rhythm.

The kids like it being about dinosaurs, and especially like roaring with the roaring dinosaur. If it was our own book (we borrowed it from stay and play) I can imagine that it would become a quick favourite. Plus I can imagine it being one they could ‘read’ for themselves. Sort of in a similar way to how they feel about Brown Bear.

 

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Children’s Hour: Wow! Said the Owl


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Wow! Said the Owl is a story about an owl who decides to stay up during the day to see what the world is like, and is very impressed. I’s a simple story. The owl sees everyday things, the sunrise, leaves, flowers, clouds, but through new eyes everything makes the owl say “Wow”. It’s also a book about colours and says all the colours which the owl can see.

The kids love joining in saying “Wow” and feel proud when they can name the colours. The pictures are really beautiful and are what prompted the kids to pick it up.

 

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Children’s Hour: Banana


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Banana is not the easiest of stories to read, and my colleague who read it struggled. It doesn’t have hard words, in fact it only has two words in the whole book (one is “banana” believe it or not). However it does require a certain…theatrical element which my colleague didn’t really give it. I would have liked to read it myself, but we had borrowed it and had to give it back.

It’s the story of two monkeys and a banana. One monkey has a banana, and the other wants it, it’s a story of sharing in the end (that’s when the second word comes in- “please”).

There are two ways you can get things out of this book. One, which is what my colleague used, is to make up your own little story which explains the pictures, this is a good way to get the kids looking at the pictures and thinking about what is happening and different emotions. The other is to put lots of expression into your reading so that your tone of voice shows how the monkeys are feeling. Of course you can use just one, or both together.

The kids really did like looking at the pictures, but few of them answered the questions my colleague put to them, which left her a bit stuck.

Buy it:

Boardbook (£5.50)

Paperback (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: I’m Not Reading


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

 

I’m Not Reading is a story about Baby Owl from I’m Not Cute. Seeing as how much the toddlers have been loving I’m Not Cute recently I decided to seek out this book which I had seen in pre-school.

In I’m Not Reading Baby Owl is settling down o read a book in the peace and quite, but then along comes Tiny Chick who wants to listen, then tTiny Chicks Brother’s and Sisters, and then his cousins and all their friends, and they all want to sit on Baby Owl’s lap.

The kids didn’t take as much of an instant liking to this one. It’s a bit more complex, and you don’t get as much of Baby Owl raging which the toddlers enjoy. They did still like those elements when they did come up though, and the pictures tell more of a story than those in I’m Not Cute which makes those more interesting.

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Boardbook (£4.75)

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Children’s Hour: It’s Mine


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
This week we read It’s Mine! for the first time. It’s written by Rod Campbell who is probably better known for his book Dear Zoo. It’s a simple story, not even really a story. You see little bits of the animals (e.g. the elephant’s trunk, the giraffe’s neck) in the jungle and the reader is meant to guess what it is.

The kids really weren’t that great at guessing the animals, or were being shy and didn’t want to speak up. Some of the animals were a bit difficult for the animals to guess, I had to peak at the next page on the bear for example because even I couldn’t tell what it was going to be.

They did however like naming the animals when they saw the whole of them, and they really liked the lion at the end.

Technically it’s a pop-up book, but a bit of a lame one, only the last page pops up

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Boardbook (£3.59)

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Children’s Hour: Kipper’s Ball


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Every time that I go into pre-school lately at least one of them seems to want to read Kipper’s Beach Ball. It’s a Kipper story, you know, the dog, and it’s similar to other Kipper stories. Simple, everyday, cute. In this one Kipper finds a beach ball in a pack of cereal and goes to play with it, it’s so much fun!

I think the kids like that they can identify with Kipper (a bit like Spot). There is a bit of a puzzle before they know what the ball actually is, which is interesting, and they like seeing what happens to the ball too.

Personally I find it a little too normal, but I can see the appeal.

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Paperback (£6.29)

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Children’s Hour: Is it Bedtime Wibbly Pig?


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Is it Bedtime Wibbley Pig? Has to be one of the most patronising children’s books I have ever had to read. After we read and really enjoyed ‘Suddenly!’ I expected this one to be better, but it was just so boring.

The premise is that Wibbley Pig is getting ready for bed and the narrator is asking him what he is doing, but in some of the most stupid ways “Are you brushing your teeth Wibbley Pig?” “Have you finished your cocoa Wibbley Pig?”. I can see it being the way parents might ask their children but it was just so mundane.

The kids I read it to (just 4 pre-schoolers) did sort of like answering the questions for him, but to be honest it was too young for the pre-schoolers, it may be better for my toddlers, but I guess  that they enjoyed it well enough.

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Boardbook (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: I’m Not Cute (revisited)


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

 

Back when Children’s Hour was just a baby the kids really loved a book called I’m Not Cute. It was only the second Children’s Hour book featured on this blog, and I am the only remaining member of toddler room staff from that time. It was so loved that now it is just a distant memory, because the kids loved it to death.

But when I got back from jury service I saw that we had a new copy.

I’m Not Cute is the story of Baby Owl. All the other animals are calling Baby Owl cute, but he’s not cute, he is a hunting machine! He gets very frustrated with the other animals.

It was a pretty much instant hit with the kids. We read Puffin Peter first and I was concerned that they wouldn’t concentrate for a second story (the kids will often ask to read a second story but tend to loose interest if you read it to them) but they actually became more engaged not less.

They love watching Baby Owl’s tantrums, and staff ‘shouting’ like a toddler is always popular. They were quick to be able to join in, and showed lots of pride in being able to name the different animals.

The squirrel still doesn’t like a squirrel though!

Buy it:

Boardbook (£4.99)

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Children’s Hour: Puffin Peter


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


When I came back from jury duty there were two new books in toddler room, on of them was Puffin Peter (the other was a book which was loved so much a few years ago that it literally got read to death).

Puffin Peter is a story about two friends, Peter and Paul. One day Peter gets lost in a storm and can’t find his friend Paul, but he meets a whale who tries to help him. It is very loosely based on the rhyme Two Little Dicky Birds.

As a story it’s very similar to Monkey Puzzle, but more complex in a way. The whale listens to Peter’s instructions and finds things which meet all of his descriptions (rather than the latest one as in Monkey Puzzle). It makes the whale seem smarter, but it’s less funny.

There’s no rhyme either, which makes it less interesting for the kids. They still liked to see if the different animals were Paul, but they were less focused than they would have been if we were reading a favourite.

I really like the pictures. They are bright and quite atmospheric.

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: Fix It


Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I don’t quite get what the kids get out of Fix It. It is possibly one of the most boring books ever. It doesn’t even need words, the words just describe what you can see in the picture, that is the different things that the girl can fix.

I suppose in some sense that does make the book good though. It means the kids can easily ‘read’ the story (in as far as it’s a story) to themselves with little, or even no, adult input. It’s nice when the kids can read for themselves, it gives them a sense of independence.

I quite like that the protagonist is a girl too, it’s calculated, but that’s not a bad thing, it says girls can do these things too. We had a similar book as kids, Mum Can Fix It, although I remember it being more sophisticated than Fix It is.

The pictures are bright, and quite simple, and more instantly noticeable than more fancy pictures, just the sort that attract our toddlers.

Buy it:

Paoerback (£4.99)

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Children’s Hour: No Matter What


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
We had No Matter What on on our shelves for quite a long time before the kids really started to pay any attention to it. I still wouldn’t call it popular, but it gets picked up on a fairly regular basis.

No Matter What is the tale of a little fox and its mother. The little fox is asking its mother about the conditions of her love, “Would you still love me if I was a bug?” with the conditions getting stranger and stranger. Of course mother fox will always love little fox “no matter what”.

It reminds me a lot of Guess How Much I Love You, but in a sort of backwards way.

The rhyme to it helps keep the kids interested, but I can’t say they are especially into the story or pictures.

 

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Boardbook (£5.99)

Kindle (£4.70)

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Children’s Hour: Barry the Fish With Fingers and the Hairy Scary Monster


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Last week some of the kids went to the library, one of the books they borrowed was Barry the Fish With Fingers and The Hairy Scary Monster. In it Barry and his friends are playing hide and seek, and one of Barry’s friends finds something scary.

It’s a nice story about friendship. It’s maybe a little long for the younger toddlers but there is plenty of suspense to keep them interested most of the time.

The pictures mean that the kids are instantly interested. They’re lovely and bright, and have sparkly bits! I personally love Barry’s fingers too!

Buy it:

Paperback (£4.00)

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Children’s Hour: Incy-Wincy Spider


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

On World Book Day two of the kids brought Incy-Wincy Spider books. One brought a puppet book, the other brought a sound book. They were, as you would expect, the incy-wincy spider song with pictures.

We preferred the sound book. Pressing buttons is exciting! And it was easy to sing along too. We did have to read it several times so everybody could have a turn pressing the button though, which was rather frustrating after some time- especially as the batteries seemed to be running out.

There were a couple of issues with the puppet one. It was a small book, so not really designed to read in a group. Plus the child who brought it in really did not like sharing it, he cried through the whole thing. We liked the puppet crawling on us though!

 

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Children’s Hour: Mr Nosey and the Big Surprise


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Mr Nosey and the Big Surprise is one of the books which the children brought to share on World Book Day. It features Mr Nosey from the Mr Men series. In this book Mr Nosey sees a door, so of course he has to go through it! What will he find on the other side?

It’s a fairly simple story, it’s pretty much all about the build up, and our toddlers love build up, especially if you read a book so it builds tension. They did find a it a little on the long side however.

The pictures are of the classic Mr Men style, bright, simple. I’ve always rather liked them myself.

 

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £500.05)

Paperback-used (from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: Bruno’s Box


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Bruno’s Box is one of the books that the kids brought in on World Book Day. It was (at least in my opinion) the best of the selection, and the kids seemed to enjoy it too.

Bruno’s Box is (believe it or not) all about Bruno’s box, and why it’s brilliant. We see the different things that Bruno does with his box, things such as turning it into a rocket or a pirate ship, or even a dinosaur! The kids love to talk about what Bruno’s box has become, and we can try and think of other things that Bruno’s box could become.

Unfortunately the last couple of pages were missing 😦 but at least we could talk about what might have happened.

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Board Book (£3.99)

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Children’s Hour: World Book Day


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Happy World Book Day book fans! To celebrate the toddlers brought in some of their favourite books to share with their friends. Over the next few weeks we are going to look at some of them in more detail, but for today I wanted to share what they decided to bring in. Where available links lead to amazon.

Something Beginning with Blue

We’ve looked at this book before on Children’s Hour, although our copy has become ‘over-loved’ it was nice to read it in its entirety again. A book around colours.

 


Dumbo

We didn’t read this one, it seemed a bit long for the toddlers. It’s a basic version of the Disney Dumbo story


Bruno’s Box

A story about Bruno and his box, and why his box is so fantastic


Mr Nosey and the Big Surprise

Mr Nosey finds a door so, being Mr Nosey, he had to see what is behind it


Incy Wincy Spider

Two kids brought in Incy Wincy Spider books. One a puppet book, and the other a sound book. Exactly the sort of thing you would expect.

Fireman Sam Ready For Action

Simple Fireman Sam sound book.

 

 

Monster’s University Magnetic Drawing Book

We didn’t read this because it’s more of an activity book really. With the idea being that you do the activity on the board.

 

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Children’s Hour: Freddie Goes Swimming


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I really don’t get what the kids like about Freddie Goes Swimming. It is a very basic (and in my opinion rather dull) story about Freddie’s first time swimming.We see the pool, we see the difficulties, then we see Freddie swimming on his own (with armbands of course).

I try and stretch it out a bit by talking about the children swimming with their families, and about the things we do at the pool which are less implicitly mentioned in the book (e.g. “What do you wear?” “Why do you wear armbands?”), and the kids do like to talk about themselves and their families. They still seem to like it without this though, maybe it’s just that they can connect to it.

The pictures are nice, I’ll say that for it.

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £503.36)

Paperback-used (from £0.01)

Hardcover- used (from £1.85)

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Children’s Hour: Row Your Boat


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

 

Row Your Boat is a different version of the classic children’s nursery rhyme. It starts the same, but adds some new verses which create a sort of story where the two children have a mini adventure.

The kids enjoy the familiarity of the tune, but enjoy the differences, especially the parts with the lion and the elephant. They like laughing at the elephant and shrieking for the lion.

The new words fit well with the original song so it’s pretty easy to sing on the first reading (if you can read of course!). The pictures are quite nice, although the cover picture seems a little romanticised to me, I prefer the more ‘active’ pictures.

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £323.85)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Hardback- used (from £1.20)

Soundbook- used (from £3.48)

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Children’s Hour: When I Was A Baby


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

When I was a Baby is pretty much what you would expect from its title. It talks about what the narrator (a toddler) was like as a baby, and how he is different now. It’s a cute, simple story. Maybe a little too simple for most of my toddlers if I am perfectly honest.

It was fairly easy to extend however to engage the toddlers more. Asking them about how they were different when they were babies, or how they are different from babies who they know. You could even extend it and talk about how pre-schoolers are different to them.

It has a nice rhythm, and is written as if a child is speaking, so it would probably suit under-twos too. The pictures are simple and bright.

Buy it:

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: Suddenly!


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Suddenly! is a Preston Pig story. In this one Preston is going about his day as normal…or so he believes. He doesn’t realise there is a wolf after him, but keeps managing to thwart his plans all the same.

Suddenly! has been popular with all the toddlers, but I think it’s probably more suited to the older toddlers, or maybe pre-schoolers. The younger toddlers like to spot the wolf on all the pages (in fact one today was chanting “big bad wolf” all the way through). The older toddlers though are more likely to be able to describe what the wolf is trying to do, and what has happened to the wolf. I reckon that pre-schoolers would probably get the joke at the end too, although I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out on them.

In terms of learning that makes Suddenly! a good book, but it’s also exciting, and it works best if the kids work things out, so you don’t feel like you’re asking questions for the sake of asking questions.

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In a Ball


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

 

Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In a Ball is all about the actions Little Wombat likes to do, from curling up in a ball, to jumping up and down, to shouting really loud. It is told in Wombat’s voice, and we not only hear what he likes to do but also why.

Books with actions tend to be quite a hit with the toddlers, especially if they get to copy the actions, and for some reason talking really, really, fast to show running is hilarious! This is as true for I Like to Curl up in a Ball as for anything else.

This book also has the often popular rhythm and rhyme which helps the kids to stay focused and interested, and makes it easier for them to join in. We only have it as a library book, so we haven’t quite read it enough times yet to know it off by heart- and sometimes that makes us love books even more (case in point, Brown Bear).

 

Buy it:

Paperback Dual Language English and Welsh (£4.99)

Paperback- new (from £0.40)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Boardbook- new (from £90.51)

Boardbook- used (from £0.01)

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Children’s Hour: Silly Suzy Goose


Children’s Hour is a feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday, where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Silly Suzy Goose is about a goose who wants to be different, so she decides to copy other animals, not always with good effects.

The kids enjoy following Suzy’s actions and copying the sounds she makes. They also find it amusing, especially when she “ROARHONK”s at the lion.

It’s a really good story to be dramatic with, which makes it more entertaining for the kids too.

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Hardback- Pop-up (£6.99)

Kindle (£4.79)

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Children’s Hour: Shh! We Have A Plan


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I bought Shh! We Have a Plan for my two year old nephew for Christmas. It’s a simple enough story. There are three people trying to catch a bird, but things keep going wrong. It’s quite funny when you add the pictures.

My nephew appreciates that he can shout “go!” every couple of pages, and he likes to spot the bird, and to see what has happened to the people chasing him. My niece (who is five) likes that she can read it herself, partly from actual reading, partly from remembering.

Personally I do prefer Oh no, George! which is by the same author, but they are both quite entertaining.

My niece has just told me that Shh! We Have a Plan is funny because they say Shh! and they try to catch the bird, then they fall out of the tree, then they fall in the water.

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£8.99)

Paperback (£6.13)

Buy from an indie shop (via Hive)

Hardback (£9.23)

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Children’s Hour: Weather Books


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
The toddlers have been really interested in weather books recently. They’ve been asking to read Weather (Little Princess) and Weather (Learn With Thomas). In fact almost all the toddlers came and listened to one of my colleagues reading the Thomas weather book yesterday- completely independently.

Both books are pretty simple. The Little Princess book shows different weathers and shows how they feel (e.g. “the rain is wet”) and how the Little Princess copes with it (e.g. “but we are dry” showing the Princess with an umbrella, and rain clothes). You can ask questions about the pictures, and about what the weather is like, and sometimes the kids make comments on the pictures. It’s more storylike than the Thomas book.


The Thomas book shows different engines in different weathers and small pictures of things associated with that weather which they can find in the main picture. It’s more interactive than the Princess book, but it’s sort of forced interactiveness, and I find the kids are often more interested in the trains than the rest of the pictures.

Buy The Princess Book from amazon:

Hardback- new (from £104.96)

Hardback- used (from £0.01)

Buy The Thomas Book from amazon:

Hardback- new (from £2.99)

Hardback- used (from £0.01)

 

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Children’s Hour: The Jungle Run


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The Jungle Run is similar in a lot of ways to Giraffes Can’t Dance (it’s even illustrated by the same person). This time it’s a run instead of a dance and a lion cub rather than a giraffe, but you get the idea. The cub is jeered at because he’s too small to race, he could never win.  I had expected a sort of hare and tortoise story (i.e. the other animals get cocky so the cub wins). I wasn’t quite right, it was more that what the other animals had seen as barriers for cub to win the race ended up helping him.

It’s a good book. It has a nice rhythm, some load noises to make, and a nice message. However it doesn’t quite meet up to Giraffes Can’t Dance, and the kids didn’t stay quite as interested, although once the noises came their attention was drawn back.

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Hardback (£3.28)

 

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Children’s Hour: The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is very popular book, so you can forgive me for presuming that the toddlers would like it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they disliked it, just that they didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about it. They like it more as it becomes predictable, and now they know what the slightly unusual foods are. They still wouldn’t pick it though, and they find it hard to concentrate for the whole thing

 

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£3.85)

Boardbook (£3.49)

 

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Children’s Hour: I Don’t Want To Go To Bed


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


I Don’t Want to Go to Bed is all about Little Tiger. Little Tiger never wants to go to bed and one day his Mum has had enough, she decides to let him stay up. Little Tiger is thrilled and goes off to find his friends to play with, but of course they are all going to bed.

It was one of the books we got at the library, and it has had a bit of a mixed reception. The kids pick it a lot because, well, tiger, anything with a tiger on will get picked (or a lion for that matter), and these are particularly bright and engaging pictures.

The story is quite simple and easy for the kids to follow, and they liked seeing the different animals, however it was a little too long and I found that the kids would often lose concentration before the end. I’m not sure if it would be better for pre-schoolers either, because whilst they would be more likely to maintain concentration I don’t think that they would be interested enough in the story itself, I think it would be too simple and repetitive. I think it is suitable for toddlers, but maybe not when reading in a group. It’s easier to talk about things when you’re reading a book between one or two because you can focus the attention on that child without loosing others who might not be interested in the same aspects of the story, so you can go into more depth with questions, it’s easier to bring back the attention of one or two children as well, rather than twelve!

 

Buy from an indie store (via Hive):

Paperback with jigsaw (£7.25)
Paperback with CD (£6.75)

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£5.99)

Hardback with jigsaw (£6.39)

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Children’s Hour: Mr Cool


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Spotty and Spike and Growly Mike are best friends, they do everything together, but one day Spike finds a scooter and he isn’t Spike anymore he’s Mr Cool.  Mr Cool is too cool to do the things he used to do with his friends they’re “boring”. Poor Spotty and Growly Mike feel rather rejected, but when problems come Mr Cool realises that he does need his friends, and that things are more fun with his friends.

It is a lovely story about friendship, th kids aren’t especially engaged with it most of the time however. They like it when  Spike has his ‘problem’ because you can be quite dramatic, but the things which they get up to as friends aren’t as interesting for them as the differences that Panda Big and Panda Small have.

The pictures were probably the best bit of this book, eye catching and fun, and that meant the book was of an initial interest to the kids.

Buy from amazon:

Paperback (£4.99)

Hardback (£10.99)

 

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Children’s Hour: Panda Big and Panda Small


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


Panda Big and Panda Small are very different, but they love each other very much. This book (which is one we got on our visit to the library) talks about all the things which each of the pandas like to do. It talks a lot about concepts like size and distance, and talks about opposites so it’s good for developing language. Plus the kids love telling you which things they like to do (which is pretty much all the things). It’s simple language, but with good reading it can still be exciting.

The pictures are my personal favourite part. Beautiful, bold, bright.

Buy from amazon:

Hardback- used (from £0.05)

Paperback- new (from £127.76)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

 

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Children’s Hour: Bridget Fidget


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Bridget Fidget is one of the books we got from the library. It’s about a girl called Bridget who is convinced that a parcel which is delivered to her house will contain a pet for her.

It’s a book that does get requested a lot, but also gets a mixed reception. The older toddlers love guessing at what might be in the box and are eager to see what it contains, but the toddlers who have only recently become two loose interest fairly quickly. There’s a fair bit of waiting to see what it is where I think the younger kids would benefit more from a less delayed discovery.

It is a good book to get the kids thinking about what might happen next, which is something the older children can do.

The tone is easy to understand and has lots of mini climaxes which keep things fairly exciting.

Buy from amazon:

Hardback or paperback (from £0.01)

 

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Children’s Hour: You’re Not So Scary Sid


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

You’re Not So Scary Sid is one of the books we read on our visit to the library a couple of weeks ago, and it was the runaway favourite. It features Sid who loves to eat fingers, and thinks he’s scary, but is he so brave after all?

You’re Not So Scary Sid is one of those ‘puppet books’ so execution is really important. Luckily the librarian was very good at this. He got all the kids involved, and excited. It’s really great for child-adult interaction, and the kids find Sid really funny.

The story itself is pretty simple, and I can see that being a negative point, but even the simplest stories can be entertaining if read well. After all our kids still love Brown Bear, and that’s very simple.

 

Buy from an indie store (via Hive):

Hardback (£8.19)

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£7.99)

 

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Children’s Hour: Toddlers’ Trip to the Library


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

DSCN0837Last week we took the toddlers to a local library (I was going to say which one but have decided not to for reasons of child protection). We went on the bus, which was very exciting (about as exciting as the library itself actually). The plan had been to go to the main Library of Birmingham (pictured) but they weren’t very helpful when we were trying to arrange a visit and the one we went to actually organised a little even for us.

They read us a few stories, Little Red Riding Hood, I’m Not Cute, and You’re Not So Scary Sid. And we sung some songs. The male librarian in particular was very entertaining and enthusiastic. The way things were split up was good too, with two stories, then some songs, then some stories.

After that the kids had a little time to look at books, although maybe there was too much choice! They had some trouble sitting for a whole story without being distracted by another! However we picked some to take back to the nursery, and plan on reading them over the next few weeks. It will certainly be nice to have something new to read.

The library was a lovely library, with a seperate children’s room which was bright and full of chairs, tables and bean bags.

 

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Children’s Hour: Knick Knack Paddy Whack


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack s a bit of a cheat when it comes to a book the children enjoy because it’s actually the CD with the song which the kids enjoy the most- more than the book itself. They love dancing to the introduction music, as much as dancing to the song itself, and they don’t really pay a great deal of attention to the actual book. I think if we sung it ourselves it may actually be better for engaging them with the book, however they always ask for the CD to be put on.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack is a Barefoot Book, which are always popular (I’ve featured Walking Through the Jungle, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, and The Animal Boogie before), with their bright pictures, their interaction, and the fact that they are written in a way that captures the children’s attention.

Buy from and indie store (via Hive):

Paperback with CD (£6.23)

Buy from amazon:

Paperback with CD (£6.99)

 

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Children’s Hour: Fergus Goes Quackers


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
Fergus is a dog. In Fergus Goes Quackers Fergus gets followed by a brood of ducklings. He tries to get the ducklings to go away by barking at them, but it doesn’t quite work- the ducks start barking too! The other animals think it’s a great game, and start copying each others’ noises.

It’s a fairly simple book, simpler than the similar Cock-a-moo-moo (which apparently I haven’t featured…), and maybe not quite as good. The kids still found it funny however, and they like copying the noises.

There’s not a great deal to say about it really. It’s entertaining enough, I’m not too enamoured with the pictures…yeah, that’s it really.

 

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£4.83)

Paperback (£6.99)

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Children’s Hour: The Snails’ Tales


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.


I was sent Snails’ Tales for review (by the publishers). It’s a book with two tales, both about snails (believe it or not!). The first story talks about the snails in the narrator’s garden and what they spend the day doing. The second story is all about the snails going on holiday.

As an ‘educator’ I really liked the book. There is lots of prompts for the children to use their imagination and plenty of places where I could ask questions, I could see it being a really good book to do a whole project on- about snails mainly, but also about holidays, and travel, and about the environment around us. The style of writing was very conversational which almost makes it feel like you’re not so much reading as having a discussion. Plus the pictures are really nice and bright, just in themselves the pictures could lead to some great discussion, and the toddlers did show a lot of interest in the pictures.

In terms of the toddlers, it didn’t have the greatest reaction. The kids liked the pictures, and got quite engaged when I talked about them. The story itself however they did loose interest in, I think they were a bit too long for them. The first story- the one just about the snails being n the garden they were more engaged with. They did join in with some discussion, although in a fairly basic way. I think it was just easier for them to connect with than the holiday story. It contained the sorts of things they would see and do on a daily basis so it was easier for them to imagine, whereas some of them have never been on holiday, and those that have often remember little. Trying to prompt them to think where the snails was particularly problematic as 99% of the time their answers to where is he/she/it going? or where are you going? is “the shop” (really, that’s where they are going on the bikes, that’s where the helicopter or plane is going to), not really a holiday location!

I’ve given the book to pre-school now, who I think it will be better suited too, although I haven’t had the opportunity to see their reactions to it yet.

 

Buy from amazon:

Hardback (£6.29)

 

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Children’s Hour: Books on Screen


Children’s Hour is the weekly feature where I look at picture books I have encountered during my work at nursery. My reviews contain children’s opinions which are usually from the children in toddler room (so they are all 2). Sometimes I also have books which my niece and nephew are enjoying too.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The kids were acting crazy the other night so we decided to calm things down by watching a few stories on the big screen. We started off with the ever popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

One of the parents actually recommended this one to us because her son (who is 2) and her nieces (both under 2) really love it. It seems to be popular with the other kids too. They love joining in with the actions and the noises. Michael Rosen is a great storyteller, and even without doing anything fancy with the pictures it’s probably the most entertaining one we watched.

Next we moved onto Handa’s Surprise

The animals were the most popular bit of this one (as in the book actually), the kids loved shouting out what the animals were, and found it hilarious when the animals swept down to take the fruit. It’s one which works well as a video as a lot of the story from the book is from the pictures rather than the words, it’s almost like a storyboard in fact. I also like that Handa has an African accent.

After Handa we visited Mr Bear with Peace at Last

Peace at Last is still a favourite in toddler room, so I had expected it to be popular, but it didn’t go down so well. Maybe it was because it wasn’t read the way they are used to reading it (Mr Bear is usually more shouty when we read it, and the kids join in), or maybe it was because it was the last one we watched but they didn’t join in as much as they  (had in the past. In fact it took the alarm at the end to bring the kid’s attention back to the screen. I must admit I wasn’t that impressed with the reading or the video. There wasn’t really anything added which wouldn’t be possible to do when you were just reading it yourself. In fact if anything there was less because we couldn’t see the reader’s facial expressions. The only real advantage is when they zoom into whatever is being spoken of in the story at the time.

 

Buy the books from an indie store:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (from £5.31)

Handa’s Surprise (from £4.91)

Peace at Last (from £4.81)

Buy the books from amazon:

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (from £3.86)

Handa’s Surprise (from £4.11)

Peace at Last (from £4.79)

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Children’s Hour: Fred the Firefighter


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I was convinced I had already done a Children’s Hour on Fred the Firefighter, but apparently not. We used to have a kid who was obsessed with firefighters, and I was sure I had done it then (this must have been at least 3 years ago actually…so pre-children’s hour, the first one was  May 2012…really that long ago?!). It’s a book from the same series as Sam the Chef, and has a similar formula. We see Fred and his colleagues, we see the place where he works, and some of the things he has to do at the fire station, and of course he goes to fight a fire. There is some explanation of what caused the fire, and Fred has to save a dog who was caught in the fire. This always seems to be the way with fire books for kids, it’s an animal that needs saving rather than a person.

The kids are obsessed with firefighters at the moment. Everytime we go outside they have to fight a fire, they get out the firefighter dressing up, the ask for the role play fire engines, one of the kids sings the Fireman Sam theme tune everytime he’s on the toilet(!), and when they are looking independently at books they ask for this one.

They do like to look at it independently, which suggests that it’s actually the pictures that they like more than the words, although they will ask questions about things they don’t recognise- so they still get some of the learning which they would get from the words too.

As far as more factual books go I do like this series. It has a bit of a plot which makes it easier for the kids to be attentive, and the pictures are colourful and interesting.

Buy it:

Paperback- new (from £20.00)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Book and toy- new (from £51.50)

Book and toy- used (from £49.27)

 

 

 

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Children’s Hour: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (revisited)


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I couldn’t think what to write about for this week’s Children’s Hour. No new books, and there doesn’t seem to be a particular interest in old books which I haven’t already written about. I had been talking about how ‘my’ children continued to get on with Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Can You Hear? at home so Mum suggested that I revisit it. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. This almost feels like an early years blog. (You should read my Mum’s Blog by the way. It’s very good, and I don’t just say that because she’s my Mum).

First off here is my original Polar Bear post.

One of the more negative things I had said is that the kids don’t really know what the animals are. However they are learning this, some children better than others. They can name flamingo, walrus and leopard now (even as separate from lion, which is a frequent confusion when it comes to big cats). Whether they could do this out of context I’m not so sure. They do still call the boa constrictor a snake, which is right but is a similar thing to knowing the difference between a leopard and a lion. They have some problems with peacock too, but they are getting there. Initially they could get it from me saying “pea” but now they get it from the ‘p’ sound, and that’s good for other types of learning too. The zoo keeper only one child calls a zoo keeper rather than just a man, and Polar Bear is his favourite book, he always asks for it.

We’ve looked at the sounds of the animals too. We looked for them on youtube, and the kids liked trying to copy some of the sounds. They didn’t remember much, and it was something which required a little too much concentration to keep repeating. It has made it more popular for them to make the sounds of the animals, however.

The child who adores Brown Bear has been introduced to Polar Bear too now. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. He was so confused, bless him. He would look at the page I was reading, look a bit puzzled, then go and look at the cover, then the page again. He wasn’t very impressed. Maybe it just wasn’t as good as Brown Bear. Or maybe he feels about it the same way as I feel about the Harry Potter films.

Buy it:

I’m not doing buying links this week, you can look at the original post, or the picture links to amazon.

 

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Children’s Hour: Messy Baby


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

One of the new children in toddler room (she has just moved up from babies) loves books, and her favourite seems to be Messy Baby. There is nothing I can see that’s great about the book, it’s one of those books which names items, but it is trying to be a story too. It pretty much fails at that but I think that may be what the kids like about it, they can basically read it themselves, they just have to say what they can see most of the time.

For adults it’s a boring book to read, but at least it isn’t annoying (like some books I could mention)

Buy it:

 Boardbook- new (from £3.99)

Boardbook- used (from £0.01)

 

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Filed under Children's, Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books