Book Review; New Roald Dahl Hardbacks

I love Roald Dahl, I make the children listen to parts of the stories at bedtime as I yet again vicariously re-live my youth. I’ve even dragged them around the Roald Dahl museum several times. They don’t seem to mind despite being little. Toddler boy loves the first chapter of Fantastic Mr Fox, with its rhyme about Boggis and Bunce and Bean. We sometimes even sing this in the car. Fifi giggles at it, Toddler Boy is very serious. He takes life seriously, which is why I think the Roald Dahl stories actually go down so well in our house!

Anyway, we were fortunate enough to be sent a couple of copies of these wonderful new hardbacks by Random House. We all know the stories, so I’m not going to critique them. They are childrens classics. Suffice to say, if someone bought one of your children one of these little hardbacks as a gift you would be more than happy. They are really nicely produced, and ten percent of the author royalties go to Roald Dahl charities. If I were you, I would start ordering a few now as they will make excellent stocking fillers this Christmas and I can see them selling out. That’s what I intend to do anyhow. You can buy one here.

Book Review: Can You Count? by Gyo Fujikawa

Cardboard counting books are ten a penny, we have not had a great deal of success with them so far. However, the children are both capable of counting; Fifi to five and Toddler Boy to thirteen, so maybe the ones we have used are more successful than I thought. More likely my incessant counting out of things; spoonfuls of formula, socks, anything and everything.

However, counting books are generally nice because they offer lots of opportunity for discussion and this lovely little book does just that. Its unusual as it is really retro, the illustrations are reminiscent of my old ones from the 1970’s. I like this. Finding out more about the author it appears that Gyo Fujikawa’s books are read in 22 countries. She is a classic and groundbreaking children’s book illustrator and illustrated her first book in 1957. I think this makes the book even more special.

There were plenty of images to discuss and the fact that they were in such a different style of usual was a bonus. We enjoyed this one. You can buy it here.

Can You Count? by Gyo Fujikawa is published by GMC Publications Ltd and has an ISBN number of 1402768249.

Toddler Boy and Fifi’s Favourite Books

Friend and blogger Metropolitan Mum recently asked about some of Toddler Boy and Fifi’s favourite books. I’m more than happy to oblige, we love reading books and to be honest buy absolutely loads. I tend to look at the Red House and The Book People websites and grab any bargains that I see. Toddler boys bookshelves are creaking under the weight of books, but reading and a love of books is one of those things that I really want to encourage. we tend to read books together that means we range from books suitable for a one year old to books suitable for a nearly four year old (and the rest!)At the moment our favourite books are listed below:

Miffy at the Gallery by Dick Bruna
This is a great little read, and features Bruna’s take on some of contemporary arts most famous paintings!

Stone Girl Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning of Lyme Regis by Laurance Anholt

This is based on the real life of Mary Anning, famous fossil hunter and one of my childhood heroines. The illustrations by Anholt are superb.

That’s Not My Baby by Fiona Watt
Both children love these books and they never fail to amuse and delight, this one has a mirror at the end which Fifi loves.

Brilliant Boats by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker
This one is from the Amazing Machines range which includes tractors, fire engines, space ships. They love them all and I have personally found them educational. Again, the illustrations are lovely.

We are Wearing Out the Naughty Step by Mick Inkpen
This is a fun story with a twist at the end. I use this with them after a challenging day and they enjoy the story and seems to understand the moral to it!

Little Princess – I Want My Potty by Tony Ross

We love the Little Princess and have loads of these books, including one about Ghosts! However this is the one that makes the recently potty trained Toddler Boy laugh and Fifi loves pointing out the page where she has the potty on her head.

Maisy at the Museum by Lucy Cousins
You cant go wrong with a Maisy book and my kids are obviously always in museums. Therefore this book has everything for us and sparks off endless discussions. It’s great, I can see it being a firm favourite for years to come!

If you get a chance have a look out for these either in the shops or at the local library. I’d love to hear your suggestions as well.

Book Review; Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates


Random House publishers asked me to try this book out with Toddler Boy and Fifi and I am only too happy to oblige! Dog Loves Books is the story of Dog who loves books so much, that he opens up his own bookshop. At first, the bookshop is unpopular, so he decides to read all the books. When a customer finally comes in, he knows which books are the ones to recommend.

This is a genius story which we read when Toddler Boy’s friends the Little Garden Helpers were over to play. It kept all the kids amused and best of all, the story is one that subtly encourages children to read more. We like a bit of good brain washing in this house, so I heartily approve of the story. The illustrations are nicely unusual and felt accessible. Overall, the book is nicely presented. It’s great to find a book that my children like which doesn’t involve super-hero’s or television/film characters!

This book has become a firm favourite in our house and has sparked off a few drawing sessions. Well worth acquiring, if you have a toddler. It scores very highly in our house!

Book Review: Instructions not Included by Charlotte Moerman

I’m in awe of fellow mummy blogger Charlotte Moerman, not only does she juggle three little boys on a daily basis, but she has managed to write a charming book detailing their lives and her journey from office girl to mum to three in as many years. Charlotte’s husband is a businessman travelling the world, so no help there and although she has a cleaner once a week to maintain some sort of order, she does it all herself. She is a woman that any mum can identify with, in fact, this would be a good manual for any first-time mum to be. It tells the truth!

How I laughed at her opening the door to the gas-man whilst in a whirl of breast-feeding chaos. I un-thinkingly did the same when our next door neighbour called round. Red cheeks all-round. I have to cook several different variations on dinner at different times every-night. Poor Charlotte is cursed with children who all seem to like wildly different food-stuffs. I have a double buggy, she has to use the double buggy and the sling. Ha, ha, someone has it worse than me. It made me feel so much better!

I have to admit that the start of the book jumped around a bit and it took me a while to get my head around what was going on. Then, all of a sudden the book and writing style metaphorically speaking, finds its feet, or rather, I suspect, that Charlotte found her feet, in terms of the writing required from blog to book. It’s like motherhood as a whole, you jump around in a wild panic then, all of a sudden it all falls into place and you could look after 37 children whilst cooking a healthy organic meal, finding time to go to the loo and ironing hubby’s shirts. I haven’t got to that stage yet, but I can dream. I digress, by the end of the book, I really felt that the whole range of emotions involved in motherhood had been described beautifully and it was a real pleasure to read. It also has a particularly nice cover, important for anything that goes on my bookshelf.

I can’t wait for some more installments and the film of the book. I wonder who Charlotte would like to play her, in my minds eye I have Renee Zwellegger down, but perhaps she has some other ideas. You can read her blog at The Buggy Blog and if you get the chance have a read of the book, I’m sure that you will enjoy it and find a few bits you can identify with.