Tag Archives: Julia Donaldson

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

Buy it:

Paoerback (£3.85)

Boardbook (£4.79)

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Children’s Hour: Superworm


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.


This week I read my Children’s Hour choice, Superworm, to the pre-schoolers. Superworm is a hero who loves helping the other insects

“Superworm is super long

Superworm is super strong

See him wiggle

Watch him squirm

Hip-hip-horray for SUPERWORM”

but one day Superworm gets into trouble, and it’s time for the other insects to be the heroes.

The kids obviously love this book. They pretty much know it off by heart, to the point where they could tell me what was on the next page before I’d read it.

It’s quite good to read as an adult too, has a fairly interesting plot where picture books are concerned.

And the usual Julia Donaldson rhythm and rhyme is always popular!

Buy Superworm:

Hardback (£5.00)

Paperback (£6.04)

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Children’s Hour: The Gruffalo


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 mentioned a few weeks ago that we had introduced the toddlers to The Gruffalo (well I say introduced but a lot of the kids already know The Gruffalo, one even has the cutest Gruffalo hoodie which I mentioned in one of my Christmas gift posts). The Gruffalo is actually a pretty clever story. Mouse is smart. All the animal think he looks good to eat but mouse manages to trick them by making up a scary monster- The Gruffalo, who loves to eat other animals. But did mouse really make-up The Gruffalo, or is he real? And what will happen if mouse meets him?

The Gruffalo has the traditional rhyme and rhythm of a Julia Donaldson book but in some ways is a little more sophisticated. Partly because mouse is clever, and partly because of all the differences, the strange food which excite the imagination. It’s an enjoyable book to read to the kids, and they enjoy it too.

There is a sequel to The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, but I wasn’t very impressed by it. There is also a film.

Buy The Gruffalo:

Paperback (£4.00)

Board Book (£4.99)

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Children’s Hour: Monkey Puzzle


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.

We have recently introduced Monkey Puzzle and The Gruffalo to our toddlers, and both have been rather popular. Monkey Puzzle follow a monkey and a butterfly as they look for the monkey’s mum. Butterfly tries her hardest but just keeps getting it wrong. The kids love pointing out what the different animals are and laugh when monkey dispares of butterfly, especially when it’s the elephant again.

No! No! No! That’s the elephant again!

As with all of Julia Donaldson’s books Monkey Puzzle has a rhyme and rhythm to it which makes it easy and interesting to follow, and of course it’s accompanied by those beautiful pictures by Axel Scheffler.

It’s probably a bit more simple in storyline terms than most of Donaldson’s other books but I think that makes it a good introduction to her work, it’s easier for younger children to follow.

Buy Monkey Puzzle:

Paperback (£4.00)

Board Book (£4.79)

Big Book (£10.87)

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Top 10 Children’s Books


Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s a rewind where we pick any previous top 10 we missed. I’ve chosen:

Top Ten Children’s Books

1) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl Who doesn’t love a good Roald Dahl book? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite, I only wish Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory really existed, it would be tons better than Cadbury World. I just found out there’s a pop-up version of this too, how awesome.

2) Not Now Bernard- David McKee I found this book very funny as a child, the idea that a parent might not notice that their son has become a monster! As an adult I can appreciate things about it which I didn’t as a child.

3) A Squash and a Squeeze- Julia Donaldson This is one I discovered working in the nursery. I love how dramatic the old lady is.

4) Special Powers- Mary Hoffman This was my favourite book for years and years. I used to borrow it from the library again, and again, and again. I probably should have saved up my pocket money and bought it. I would quite like to own it now but I have a feeling it wouldn’t meet up to my memories.

5) His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman It’s been a few years since I last read about Lyra and her adventures, but I have re-read Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass if you live across the pond) more times than I can count. It was my favourite book for years. Even though it didn’t have such a big significance in my life I do actually prefer it to Harry Potter (Shock! Horror!).

6) Harry Potter 1-7- J.K. Rowling I’m sure it won’t take much browsing of my blog to realise how much I love Harry, and what an impact J.K’s books have had on my life. This blog probably wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t read Harry Potter.

7) Tom and Pippo- Helen Oxenbury another one I borrowed from the library again and again, this time when I was a pre-schooler. The tales of Tom and his toy monkey are cute and funny, and possibly where my obsession with monkeys came from.

8) The Alfie Stories- Shirley Hughes I loved the Alfie stories when I was little. I tried to share them with the toddlers at work recently, but I think maybe they were a little to young.

9) Bad Girls- Jacqueline Wilson I read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books at the end of primary/beginning of secondary school. I think it was when I really started getting into ‘issue’ books. Bad Girls was my favourite.

10) Remembrance- Theresa Breslin was my favourite of a series of war books I read in my early teen years. I still have it on my shelves, and I’ve re-read it a few times. It still beats some of the adult war books I have since read.

11) (oops) The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien I thought I had finished my list then I thought of this one. I’ve never managed to finish Lord of the Rings but I loved The Hobbit. My Mum read it to my sisters and I when we were younger and I still associate it with snuggling up on my parent’s bed.

If you have enjoyed this post you may enjoy my Children’s Hour feature.

 

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Children’s Hour: A Squash and a Squeeze


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.

Image from Amazon

A Squash and a Squeeze was a favourite book in toddler room when I started being based there, but is disappeared, this week it has reappeared so we’re introducing the story to a whole new group of toddlers. A Squash and a Squeeze it the story of an old woman who thinks her house is just to small. She goes to a wise old man for help and he tells her to “Take in your hen”…so she does and returns to the wise old man who tells her to take in increasingly large animals until she has a hen, a goat, a pig and a cow in her house…and it really is A Squash and a Squeeze . Then he tells her to take the animals out again, of course in comparison her house is enormous! Really the message behind this story is to be grateful for what you’ve got.  The woman’s house may not be bigger but at least she has a house, and it’s all hers. Of course the children don’t really get this message but they still enjoy the story. They find the idea of having all those animals in your house funny- especially when the cow is dancing on the table. They like the rhymes too, and the repetition which makes it easy for them to ‘read’ it themselves.

I like to imagine that the old woman is gradually getting more cheesed off with the wise old man as he keeps giving her what seem to be stupid solutions (she just wanted him to come and build an extension really), and he wise old man laughing as she seems to blindly follow them.

Buy A Squash and a Squeeze:

Paperback (£3.89)

Boardbook (£5.39)

Braille (£5.99)

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Children’s Hour: One Mole Digging a Hole.


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.

One Mole Digging a Hole is basically a counting book. We find mole and all his friends getting the garden ready for summer. Each page features a different animal doing a different gardening job, and each page rhymes. One mole digging a hole. Two snakes with garden rakes. Three bears picking pears. The children really love the way the book rhymes and enjoy counting the animals. Some of the animals are ones they don’t usually encounter (e.g. storks) which is nice because it’s a way to expose them to animals you don’t find in tradition animal toys. The rhyming helps the children to join in, it makes it easy to remember what the words are so kids can even ‘read’ it to themselves after some time without much trouble. The pictures are lovely and bright, with lots of things going on for the kids to study. One of our kids loved the 3 bears picking pears so much that every time he heard the word bears he would add picking pears at the end. (Actually I say picking pears but he had an issue with the letter p…he would replace it with an f…I’ll let you imagine how that sounded!).

This book was actually in the bookstart set last year and I think it was a pretty good choice.

Buy One Mole Digging a Hole:

Paperback (£3.47)

Board Book (£4.49)

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