“There is no dragon in this story” by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright

“There is no dragon in this story” by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright is wonderful picture book with a great fun twist on traditional fairy stories.

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The story begins by the author explaining what the story was meant to be about…. However the dragon in the story has gone off in a huff because he is never the hero. In his huff the dragon searches to see if he could possibly be a hero, he finds various fairy tale characters and asks if he can be in their story…… but they all explain that he can’t because there are no dragons in their story. Suddenly the dragon finds himself caught up in the story of Jack and the beanstalk….……. maybe they do need a dragon in the story? Is the dragon hero material after all? Will the dragon save the day?

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This a great simple story which contains repeated phases that the children will love to join with, it also has a great story structure which makes it easy for children to follow and engage with. The illustrations are bold and vibrant which enhance each part of the story.

This book could simply be read and enjoyed, however there is lots of potential for it to be used to support literacy. This story would be a great to use in schools alongside other traditional fairy stories. Within the book there is a clear pictorial model of the story structure which could be used with children to support story telling.

I highly recommend this heart-warming story!

Happy reading x

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“Have you seen my giraffe?” by Michelle Robinson and Claire Powell.

“Have you seen my giraffe?” by Michelle Robinson and Claire Powell is a great classic picture book which will definitely make you smile!

What would you do if you won a giraffe at the fun fair? Would your parents let you keep it as a pet? Though giraffes are cute they are also very big and clumsy! Where could you keep a pet giraffe? The girl in this story tries to show her parents that her giraffe does fit in their home, in a variety of different places but her parent are not convinced so she decides to simply hide the giraffe. Is it possible to hide a giraffe? The girl tries lots of places but in the end maybe the giraffe has to go back to where he is came from……….A lovely ending to a great picture book!

A simple humourous story with a happy ending! Highly recommended! x

We also love “Odd socks” by Michelle Robinson and Rebecca Ashdown which is a cute story of love lost and then found again! (Click here for more information) For another great giraffe story check out my blog post and creative ideas for “Giraffe’s can’t dance” xx

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“There’s a monster in your book” by Tom Fletcher

“There’s a monster in your book” by Tom Fletcher is a fun interactive picture book!

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There is a monster in your book and we need to get him out, but how are we going to do it? The  book encourages the reader to see what happens if we shake the book? tickle the monster? blow him? and tilt the book?

Hooray the reader has freed the monster, however a monster is safer in the book than in your bedroom, right??? Will you be able to get him back in the book!!??

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The illustrations by Grey Abbott are bold and vibrant and depict the monster as cute character. The pictures and simple instructions keep the children engaged in this cleaver fun book.

We love this funny interactive picture book! Highly recommend! X

We also love “Press here” and “Mix it up!” by Herve Tullet which are great interactive books too, click title for link to mini book share.

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The Marvellous Moon map!

“The marvellous moon map” by Teresa Heapy and David Litchfield is delightful story of friendship and determination!

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Mouse and Bear are best of friends and live together in the woods. Mouse decides he want to find the moon on his own. Mouse creates an amazing moon map. Bear offers his friend help but Mouse is certain this is something he will do on his own, all you need is a map, right??? As Mouse sets off into the wood in the dark, Bear is worried about his friend going on his own so he follows closely behind. When Mouse realises maybe he needs more than just a map, bear is there to help his friend. Will they reach the moon? Will the map come in handy in the end? Is there anything better than finding the moon?

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What a stunning story of friendship, I am sure you can’t read this book without having a big smile on your face by the end. The illustrations are beautiful, full of lovely details which makes you want spend time looking at each page. At the end of the book there are instructions on how to make your own paper boat.

We are big fans of David Litchfield, we love “The bear and the piano”, check out my post about it here.

Highly recommended!

Happy reading! x

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8 Thrifty creative ideas

Honestly getting creative with children doesn’t require lots of money and resources there is so much you can do with things you already have in your home! I ran a series over on Instagram sharing every Wednesday an idea for getting creative with the things you already have in your home so no added cost necessary. I decided to share the ideas here on the blog too.

I hope you find some useful ideas!

Bubble wrap – check out this post for more details about bubble wrap printing.

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Muffin tin printing- for more details about printing with a muffin tin, check out my post about printing with things you have in the home.

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Explore paint inside a bag – this idea is not only thrifty but no mess too! If the child is age/stage appropriate allow them to put paint onto a piece of card or you can do this part. Then put the card in the plastic bag, seal it with a little tape and allow the child to explore spreading, scrapping and mixing the paint without getting messy. Once the child has finished, take the card to reveal the masterpiece!

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Scrape art – check out this post about our favourite creative activities including scrape art. 

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Cotton bud painting – instead of always using paint brushes try cotton buds, they make great dotty marks!!!

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Lego printing – Super simple – dipping the lego in the paint and printing onto paper, younger children will make random marks while older children enjoy making patterns.

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Printing on a freezer/sandwich bag – for more details check out my post about printing with things you have in your home.

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Mini paint pallet- another super simple one – put a little paint on a scrap of card and invite the children to mix their own colours and use them to paint a picture.

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What are your favourite thrifty creative ideas? Remember if you are on Instagram add to #thriftycreativemums to your pictures to share your thrifty ideas.

Enjoy getting creative! xxx

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Camille Walala inspired!!!

During the summer we visited the Now gallery in Greenwich which was exhibiting Camille Walala’s fantastic artwork. The children loved exploring and getting to interact with real art. We have then gone on to research some of Camille art and found ourselves very inspired!

Here are two different pieces of art we have created:

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Printing shapes art

Need: paint (various colours including black), paper and shapes to print (we used wood toy blocks).

The children first printed with different colours and shapes. When it was dry we printed black rectangles over the top.

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Shapes and washi tape art

Need: Paper, pencil, ruler, circle template, paint, paintbrushes, washi tape.

I invited the children to draw their design using a ruler, adding circles if they wanted to. They then painted their shapes different colours. When it was dry they added washi tape around the edges of the shapes.

Which artist are inspiring you at the moment???

Happy creating! x

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“Mrs Mole, I’m home” by Jarvis

Some books I pick up I instantly fall in love with and this book definitely falls into that category. “Mrs Mole, I’m home!” by Jarvis is a fun and warm-hearted story!

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Mrs Mole has had a busy day at work and is keen to get home to her family. Unfortunately she can’t find her glasses anywhere. She thinks she must know the way home by now. So she sets off, she enthusiastically pops up is various different homes, including Antarctica! Will she find her way home? Where are her glasses? She won’t lose them again, would she?

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The illustrations are fantastic and add to the story perfectly! The book is great for a wide age range and even a few little added humorous details to make the adults smile as well as the kids!

If I was still teaching I would defiantly use this book, as it has a great structure for retelling and it even has a story map illustration. The children could use the structure to create their own story. Also it would be a great story if the children were learning about habitat too.

Love love love this story! Highly recommend!

Happy reading xx

PS. I need to check out “Alan’s big, scary teeth” which is also written by Jarvis! x

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