Unicorn fans?? “Thelma the unicorn” by Aaron Blabey

“Thelma the unicorn” by Aaron Blabey is a great unicorn story with a great message about accepting who we are.

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This story is about Thelma, a horse who wished she was a unicorn. Thelma’s best friend Otis, likes Thelma just the way she is but Thelma just isn’t happy. One day Thelma notices a carrot on the ground and decides to make her own horn and just say she is a unicorn! Then a truck accidently covers her in pink paint and glitter……. was she now actually a unicorn? Thelma quickly becomes famous, she feels all her dreams have some true……or did they? Fame starts to become tricky, so she decides to return to see her friend Otis. She soon realises maybe it is fun being who we are!

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This is a great simple rhyming book which unicorn fans will particularly love. As well as the subject matter the humour of the story and illustrations really engages the reader. Perfect book to share with children and discuss the important message of loving who we are.

Highly recommended!

Happy reading xx

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Read, create and love in July!

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Here is my regular post that looks ahead at the month and suggests things you could read, create and love with your children. These things will focus on celebrating the Summer!

Read

Summer

Nature’s day by Kay Maguire I was so pleased to find this book as I have been looking for a good season’s book. It is such a wonderful books that goes through the different seasons and the changes we may see.

Tree: seasons come, seasons go by Brittaa Teekentrup It is a lovely simple picture book which shows the changes in a tree through the changing seasons.

Summer- seasons of the year by Harriet Brundle This is a simple non-fiction book about the season for younger readers. There are beautiful photos on each page with a simple bit of information. Topics cover the weather, food and things to do. The book includes a contents page and index.

Beach and under the sea books

The pirates next door by Jonny Duddle Wonderful pirate book, which will make you smile.

The night pirates by Peter Harris – another of our favourite pirate books.

Billy’s bucket by Kes Gray For more information and fishy craft ideas click here

The snail and the whale by Julia Donaldson – a classic from Julia Donaldson!

Barry the fish with fingers by Sue Hendra- We really love books written by Sue Hendra. I remember reading this over and over to Tom a couple of years ago!  

Create

Make homemade gifts for the teachers at school Here are some ideas of simple homemade gifts to say thank you to the wonderful teaching staff we have in our schools.

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Plant a herb garden Children love to get involved in the garden and a really great way is to plant a herb garden, easy to maintain and attracts lots of minibeasts to explore.

Make homemade lemonade- great to make with the kids. Lots of recipes

Beach inspired arts and crafts Check out our Beach life post.

Create a list of things you are going to do this summer For the summer holidays we always create a list of things we hope to do during the holidays.

Love

Visit the beach….. any excuse….. any seasons…….just love the beach!

BBQ time….. come on sunshine it’s BBQ season!

Watch some music outside – Look out for local festivals and catch some live music.

Play with water……… paint with water in the garden……… play in the sprinkler………water fight….. wash toys in the garden………

Play tennis………… or just watch Wimbledon on TV eating strawberries and ice-cream!

Run in water fountains! Our favourite places to do this are Somerset house and Southbank.

Well I hope you found this post useful! If you have got suggestions of things we should be doing in July let me know! Happy July everyone! xx

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What did we read, create and love in June?

Hello everyone, I hope you had a good June. Here is my monthly post where I look back at the month and share some of the things we have been reading, creating and loving!

A quick note before I get started is just to say this month marks my second anniversary of blogging! I really love this space I have created to share my love of picture books and creative ideas. I really want to thank you the readers for visiting my blog and supporting me on social media, I am truly grateful!

Read

In June, Tom and I read together “Boy”, it was a really interesting read for both of us. Lots of discussions about things like boarding school, the cane and medical procedures with anaesthetic!!!

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I read “The girls” by Emma Cline – I found it a tragic story about how vulnerable teenagers are and the choices they make can affect them throughout their lives. I also read “The shock of the fall” by Nathan filer which is about a family dealing with grief and mental illness, it has a beautiful ending.

Together we have loved reading “The thing” by Simon Puttock and “The journey” by Francesca Sanna. Both fantastic books click on links to find out more.

Create

This month we made these lolly-pop stick weaving looms which we love!

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We also made book marks for our Daddy’s using some of our artwork.

Love

As a national and particularly for London June has been full of great tragedy. I continue to pray for all these effected by the terrorist attacks and those effected by the fire at Grenfall tower.

I always write this list of smiles not to forget the bigger things but to remember even during the worst of times, HOPEFULLY we can all find some smiles……….

These are the little things I have loved and smiled about this month:

All about Daddy! This month is Mr Lee’s birthday and Father’s day so we do a lot of celebrating…. and breakfasts in bed!

Big niece love! I got to visit my beautiful nieces and also one of my nieces came to stay as she has just finished her GCSE’s – so proud of her! While she stayed we spent a lovely slow day wondering around London, taking photos and eating yummy food.

My sister being very brave and having cochlear implants- very proud!

A sneaky date in the day with Mr Lee.

My very fabulous friend getting the keys to her very own flat!!! So proud!

This month, I got to try some new places that I had wanted to go to for ages including Electric cinema in Notting Hill, Albion café, The green café (local Vietnamese restaurant) – all fab places!

Wow, that is a lot to be proud about this month and to be honest there has been a lot of smiles so just going to add a few more: visiting the tower of London, second BBQ of the year, local festival in the park, sunshine, cupcake in Primrose bakery and having our bedroom decorated.

Thanks for reading, hope you had a good June, I’d love to know what you have been reading, creating and loving, you can use the hashtag #readcreatelove to let me know!  Happy July everyone xxx

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“The new small person” by Lauren Child

Lauren Child has just be made Children’s laureate, so well deserved! We love her books and “The new small person” is no exception, what a sweet true to life story which a lot of children will be able to relate to when a new sibling arrives.

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The book is about a boy called “Elemore Green” he enjoys being an only child – he is able to watch his favourite cartoons, line toys up with them being moved and have all the jelly beans. However one day everything changed, a new arrival! Unfortunately the new arrival enjoys knocking over Elemore’s toys and everyone said Elemore couldn’t get cross because the small person was only small. Elemore couldn’t understand why the small person couldn’t go back to where he came from. As the small person got bigger, things got worse, he even moves into his bedroom! However one night Elemore had a bad dream, which is the start of him realising that maybe having a little brother wasn’t so bad after all!

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Such a great story told from a child perspective, with simple humour the children love. The illustrations are wonderful so expressive, simple and colourful. Perfect book to read around the time a new sibling is expected or if a child is struggling with a sibling rivalry.

Great read, highly recommended!

Happy reading x

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Seasonal weaving!

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It is always great to combine nature in our creating! This is a simple way to weave with natural treasures that can be found in the garden or park.

Need: craft sticks (lollypop sticks), glue, sting, natural find e.g. flowers and herbs. Optional: pens to decorate sticks.

I prepared the craft sticks by gluing four into a square, then tying 6 stings across to make the loom.

The children first decorated their sticks/loom- we used sharpies but any felt-tip pens would do.

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We then found flowers and herbs and weaved them into the loom.

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They looked great and smelt amazing! I think this could be done in any season – collecting different natural finds to weave.

Happy creating! xx

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“The Thing” by Simon Puttock

At the weekend I read “The Thing” by Simon Puttock and Daniel Egneus a great clever picture book that will make you think!

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One day “a thing” falls from the sky, four animal friends discover it. The animals start to wonder…. What it is? What does it do? Why it was there? Who does it belong to? The animals decide to look after it and soon other people come asking similar questions. News of “the thing” spreads across the world and everyone is asking those same questions. But one day just as it came it went……. Will everything go back to it was before “the thing”?

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This open ended story will appeal to wide range of readers. This book is essentially about friendship, compassion, kindness and belonging and could definitely be used to extend children’s thinking and talk about the bigger questions in life. The illustrations are beautiful in a stunning pale palette of colours.

Wonderful thoughtful picture book, highly recommend!

Happy reading x

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Dog picture books!

We were recently sent a couple of dog themed books which we have been enjoying and it has inspired us to share some of our favourite doggy picture books!

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“Dog on wheels” by Gillian McClure This book is about a dog called “Dubbin” who enjoys travelling on his skateboard. He takes his friend Todd and Todd’s bone for a walk. Dubbin can go super-fast on his wheels but Todd can’t keep up and keeps dropping his bone. Todd soon gets fed up so they decide to bury the bone until they come back, however on their return the bone is gone and Todd is very upset. Has someone been following them? Can Dubbin on his wheels find the bone? Can Dubbin get away from the big dog? Can Dubbin on his wheels save the day?

The children really enjoyed the book, they notice different things about the story each time they read it! As the characters go on their journey the book uses repeated language which children really enjoy joining in with. Also the story contains lots of positional language so the book could be used as good tool for teaching this language to young children.

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“Oi dog!” by Kes Gray, we absolutely loved “Oi, frog!” and this follow up book is just perfect! Find out more on my post.

“What I think about when I think about……… running” by Eleanor Levenson and Katie O’Hagan As soon as I showed this book to the children, they found the title very funny! It is a simple book about what a dog might think about when they are running, things such as cats, being a puppy and balls. The last page really made them laugh out loud!

I think this book could be used to discuss the emotions we feel when thinking about different things and events. The children really enjoyed this book and it would be great if you have a family dog!

“Dogs don’t do ballet” by Anna Kemp This book is about a girl who owns a dog but her dog doesn’t do the normal things dog do, instead he thinks he is a ballerina! The girl tries to persuade her dad to let the dog come to her ballet class but her Dad says “Dogs don’t do ballet”, however the dog sneaks into her ballet class but the teacher says “Dogs don’t do ballet!” But will her dog finally get to show off his skills? Can dogs actually do ballet? A wonderful picture books for dog fans and ballet fans alike!

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“Some dogs do” by Jez Alborough This is a story about a dog called Sid who when he feels happy he can fly! Unfortunately none of his friends or teachers at school believe him, so he feels very upset. Will he ever be able to fly again? Will his friends ever believe him? A great fun story!

Reading these dog picture books inspired us to get creative. Look at these dog collage made with vintage paper!

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What is your favourite doggy picture book?

Happy reading xxx

Thank you Andrea Reece at troika books for sending me “Dog on wheels” by Gillian McClure and “What I think about when I think about……… running” by Eleanor Levenson and Katie O’Hagan. As always, all my reviews are 100% honest- all thoughts are my own.

 

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