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Book Club – A Tower of Giraffes

Once in a while a children’s book comes along that is as much of a joy to read for them as it is for yourself.  Anna Wright’s hardback ‘A Tower of Giraffes, Animal Bunches’ is just that.  I have long been a fan of her artwork which combines pen, ink and watercolour with fabric collage to make totally unique, yet very recognisable, humorous studies of animals.  I have previously given my goddaughter a gorgeous print for her Christening gift as I find her artwork appeals to adults just as much as children.

Anna’s new book depicts the names given to animal groups and includes little paragraphs of facts which Little A loves.  Who knew that in a gaggle of geese the ones at the back of the group honk to encourage those in the front to keep moving quickly!  A Tower of Giraffes would make an ideal birthday gift or great to have a couple of copies in the pressie drawer.


All in the detail:

A Tower of Giraffes – Animal Bunches, by Anna Wright
£11.99 in hardback
Click here to view and buy

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Party Bag Swag – Audio books for kids

audio books
As Mylene Klass recently found out, the protocol behind the giving and receiving of presents at children’s birthday parties can be a something of a minefield.  Hosting a birthday party also throws up some valid dilemmas too and living in London means that we get invited to all sorts of parties for Little Ones.  For Little A’s fourth birthday party I was slightly resigned to my annual trip to Poundland to pick up some plastic fantastic toys for the party bags but when I stopped and thought about how often I am throwing out similar fare at home I decided to do something different.  Inspired by a friend who had gifted books for children to take home, I got online to the Book People and snapped up a collection of audio books.  The Julia Donaldson Audio Collection is 10 CDs for under a tenner and make for great party bag fillers.  They come in individual slipcases so are easy to divvy up and yes I popped in a mini bag of Haribo to maintain the sugar high for the ride home from the party (as if cake wasn’t enough).  We had a few CDs left over and they are great for the car when the traffic jams get too much and the Little Ones need appeasing.

All in the detail:

Books and Audio Books, by
Click here to view
Julia Donaldson Audio Collection, 10 Cds, £9.99
For Books try the Alfie Collection, 10 books, £9.99
or the Richard Scarry Collection, 10 books, £9.99

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Pitch Perfect – children’s music book

Whilst babysitting my gorgeous goddaughter a couple of weeks ago, I made a great discovery in the non-annoying musical book category.  Yep, as we are aware most toys/books with a musical element are aimed at children to torture their parents.  As Little B is on the brink of 8 months and is starting to take an interest in books I will certainly be buying this one.  Usborne’s Noisy Orchestra book actually has extremely palatable music and with buttons to press it should last through the toddler years too.

All in the detail:

Usborne Noisy Orchestra, by Sam Taplin
Click here to view

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All Mapped Out – beautiful Children’s atlas

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If you are looking for a stunning present for someone aged 5 through to 50 then look no further than this beautiful book entitled Maps.  Showcasing the world in glorious, illustrated map form, this super-sized hardback would capture the imaginations of both young and old and would certainly make you a popular godparent.  Almost A3 in size, it is excellent to dig out pre-holiday to examine iconic landmarks and indigenous animals for your chosen destination.


All in the detail:

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska, Daniel Mizielinski
RRP: £20
Click here to view

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Mischievous monsters – interactive puppet books


If you are ever stuck for a bday pressie for someone aged 1-4 then you should definitely consider one of Sam Lloyd’s hardback books.  Each comes with a interactive hand puppet element ready to delight and ignite the imaginations of little ones.  Little A’s ultimate fave is ‘Calm Down Boris’ in which naughty Boris smothers the reader with his tickly kisses.

Available from Amazon, from £6.89
Click here to buy



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Are you sitting comfortably?


If Little A is about to have a new experience or we are up to something exciting or different from our day-to-day life, I always turn to the classic children’s books starring twins Topsy and Tim to give Little A a steer on what to expect.  We have Topsy and Tim… Go to a Wedding (perfect to prepare for his page duty at the end of the month!) / Go on an Aeroplane/ Have a Birthday Party and best of all I have bought Topsy and Tim: The New Baby.  I am not sure that Little A is entirely au fait with how life will change once the stork visits our house in the summer but these two books have been fab to help with the preparation.

There’s a House Inside My Mummy, by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban (Orchard Books, £5.99) – lovely illustrations accompany a rhyming story about a boy awaiting the arrival of his sibling. Click here to buy.
Topsy and Tim: The New Baby by Jean and Gareth Adamson, (Ladybird, £4.99) – the twins’s friend Tony has a new baby brother called Jack. Click here to buy.
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Once upon a time…personalised children’s stories

Little A is already showing worrying degrees of narcissism (I wonder where he gets that from) and so what better gift that a personalised bedtime story.  Upload your child’s name and photo online and voilà a book all about them.  ‘Its’s Your Story’ does the most contemporary storylines I could find – we love ‘Dressing Up Box’ and ‘Zoo Adventure’.  Great for Christmas stockings.

All in the detail:

Personalised books by Its Your Story
To view more books click here for website.
Prices start around £12.50
Some books have the option of including mummy and daddy’s faces too.


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Book Club – August 2012

What we are reading this month….

For Princess:

Having just got back from a wedding in Cape Cod, I cannot wait to start this debut novel from Liza Klaussmann set in Martha’s Vineyard.  Narrated by 5 different perspectives, Tigers in Red Weather promises suspense, passion and an intriguing plot.

Tigers in Red Weather, Liza Klaussmann
£12.99 for the hardback

For Little A:

The perfect book to be kept at Granny’s house.  When the family secret is revealed follow Granny’s swashbuckling jaunts and pirate tales.

My Granny is a Pirate, Val McDermid


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BOOK CLUB – July 2012

This month we are reading…

For Princess…

Holiday reads in my view should be easygoing and light and after putting down the mandatory Shades I moved onto Me Before You.  Wow what a roller coaster of a read. The narrative follows an unlikely love story between Lou, a girl adrift in the mundane confines of small-town living and Will, a successful businessman whose motorcycle accident changes his life forever. Finished it in two days but make sure you have a box of tissues handy.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, RRP: £7.99

For Little A…

We were given this by a friend and it makes a lovely present.  Superb illustrations with a simple but heart warming story about friendship.  This book is a real keeper.

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers,  RRP: £5.99

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For Princess…

I have to admit that I have already wolfed through this over the Jubilee weekend.  A friend recommended it and whilst it’s not new if you haven’t read it give it a whirl.

Set in the 1920s, the book charts Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson. As Ernest’s career begins to flourish amongst the literary glitterati of Paris it has complex repercussions for his home life.

The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain, click to buy
RRP: £7.99

For Little A…

A really fab and beautifully illustrated book.  Follow Duck’s delight when he finds an egg of his own to look after.  The question is exactly who will hatch out of it?

The Odd Egg, by Emily Gravett, click to buy
RRP: £5.99


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