Peapod’s Picks – Birds, Bears, A Boy and A Beast!

We’re still enjoying Charlie and Lola, but have also added some more books to our repeated bedtime reads too.

Otto Blotter, Bird Spotter by Graham Carter

We were gifted this last year, but it’s only recently hooked Peapod in as we picked this up again when looking for a book about birds or binoculars after looking at the birds in our garden.

My absolute favourite thing about this book are the absolutely stunning illustrations; with an autumnal palette that almost glows, some beautiful birds and rich, detailed backgrounds they are, like the story itself, full of warmth.
A charming tale of a boy who yearns to explore while his family prefer to stay still and how an unusual, lost (and unusually large!) bird helps them find a way to bring their interests together. With gentle humour, a little mystery and much to enjoy, this is a lovely story, especially for nature lovers and budding explorers!

All that aside, Peapod mostly loves it for the giant poo. Of course.

Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen

This is Peapod’s favourite snack time story at the moment. It is read at least once a day when he’s not in nursery, more often two or three times back to back. He just loves it!

You can read my review of it here.

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth

A classic! Little Bear can’t sleep because he’s scared of the dark, so Big Bear fetches lantern after lantern to no avail until he finally takes him outside to look at the dark all around.

I’ve always loved this (despite it being lengthy and repetitive as Peapod’s dad likes to point out! That’s its charm!) and Peapod has been utterly won over by it too. The baby-wearing, co-sleeping, contact-napping mum in me especially loves how little bear falls fast asleep as soon as he’s out of his own bed and snuggled in big bear’s arms!

Lost and Found/Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers

I love Oliver Jeffers’ books and they were always favourites to both teach from or read aloud when I was teaching so it’s been lovely to come back to them with Peapod. And it’s a good job as we’re reading them at least three times back to back most nights!

At first he was only interested in Lost and Found, loving the tale of the little boy who finds a penguin and tries to get him home to the South Pole only to realise the penguin wasn’t lost but lonely. He loves the ending, finishing the last sentence: “Penguin! Cuddle!”

Last night he was equally taken by the ship/ship’s horn, making us return to that page and asking what it was. The resulting ten minutes of all of us reading and re-reading that page making ship’s horn noises were joyous (if not exactly conducive to sleep!)

And he’s got into Up and Down now too, where we see Penguin trying to fly and the power of friends to support each other, help each other and catch each other when we fall is played out beautifully.

Peapod’s not bothered about that though. He just wants to know what the game that pops up through the book is.



“Not salmon – backgammon.”

Peals of laughter.


Which picture books have made you chuckle recently?

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