Picture Book and Play – Easter Bunnies!

Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

As Easter approaches, Peapod and I have begun some Easter themed activities, starting with our Easter cards.

I totally cheated for this one and found it on a good old g**gle search.

I have tried to find the original source to credit here, but I’m just on an endless Pinterest-Google cycle so just please know: this isn’t my own idea and I’m not being asked to use it, but I did love it. If it’s yours, shout and I’ll credit you 🙂

We had a good laugh getting the footprints done and it was a great sensory experience for Peapod!

And once we’d done the spaced out ones for the cards, he had a great time stomping round (with me holding on!) shouting “fee fi fo fum…smell blood man…be dead…grind bones make my bread!” so a bit of a bookish bonus there too!

That said, between tickly brushes, slippery paint and a wriggly toddler I’m glad there were two of us on hand to help…and even then it wasn’t without mishap 😬! Definitely one to do on the grass outside next time!

We also did a quick bunny craft which he really surprised me with.

I put out bunny templates, cotton wool balls, pritt stick, sticky eyes and scissors and, honestly, I was expecting two bits of cotton wool half-heartedly stuck to it with several mismatched eyes and probably a severed head.

But (obviously with guidance!) he carefully covered the whole bunny, stuck some eyes on in about the right place (miraculously with no help) and (with me turning the card and doing the inside fiddly bits) followed the lines to cut it out too.

He even chose to do another independently…although that did end up de-furred and with eyes on its ears some time later!!

We’ve also got some bunny painting to do at the weekend to use up the last often footprint paint! We’re going to use cotton wool to splodge, stamp and probably spread the paint over our bunnies for some colourful Easter pics!

Of course, with all these Easter bunnies on the go, we had to get some of our best bunny books out to read too.

We read Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit by Lorna Scobie which I’ve reviewed before here and absolutely love.

(Incidentally – I was made up that our copy of Lorna’s new book ‘Duck, Duck, Dad?’ arrived the other day but had to resist the temptation to read it as it’s Peapod’s present for his dad’s birthday so we’ll review after that!)

Next up was Hooray for Hoppy! by Tim Hopgood, another enduring favourite we’ve read for the last couple of years at this time. Read more here.

And finally, Hop Little Bunnies by Martha Mumford and Laura Hughes, which again we have reviewed before but remains a favourite.

Peapod very much enjoyed dancing his newly made bunny around the room singing “hop little bunny” too!

And just because we couldn’t possibly get to them all yesterday, here’s some more of our favourite bunny books that we’ve got in our basket at the moment!

Have you got any favourite bunny books?

Will you be making any Easter cards or crafts?

What have you been reading or playing this week?

Picture Book and Play – Construction Site

Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

Peapod has been mad on playing with his builders recently so this is the first of a building site double over the next two weeks!

Yes, that is a Tool Station catalogue – nothing like a bit of ‘real life’ print! In fact, it was that rather than one of his picture books that triggered this interest in his building toys again, as he went and got his toolbox after seeing the hammers and drills in here!

He’s also enjoyed the Let’s Pretend Builders Toolkit which has pop out tools that he likes to get out and pretend to use.

I pushed plastic golf tees a little way into a box then left them out with his hammer.

This is one of those activities though that requires a bit of realism on our part; Peapod enjoyed it but it’s very much a short-bursts, short-lived one – he returned to it a few times a day over a couple of days for a few mins at a time. So don’t go expecting it to fill an hour, but since it takes no time at all to set up it’s all good, and great for hand-eye coordination and motor skills too!

A more long-lived activity, and probably Peapod’s favourite of those we’ve done, was his construction site tray. Peapod loved playing with “Orange Bear” when we had the snow in his tray, so I ordered a couple more of the diggers in that range and set them up in his tray.

We had this out for a good week and it was probably the most played with thing in that time. He spent hours here (and although the tray’s changed now, he is still playing with the diggers).

We used lots of modelling and his books to help extend his play and language in here. His favourite book to use was definitely Busy Building Site – he’s looked at this over and over again! He loves the flaps and the central character of ‘Builder Barney’ who takes us through a build from start to finish.

It’s a great book with lots of flaps to lift that help show the processes on the site; simple rhyming text to help talk us through it; ‘sound effects’ written on to engage and join in with; and, most importantly, lots of age-appropriate technical vocabulary labelling items on the pages.

Peapod has loved finding out what everything is called, matching it to his own toys where he has them, finding out what the builders are doing abd acting it out in his tray – he particularly likes digging foundations!

We adapted it as we went, adding in this ‘rubbish chute’ and ‘skip’ for example, and while he loved the pebbles and corks, he didn’t touch the bobbins despite us modelling them so I took those out. And Peapod chose to bring his other builders and people into it.

We’re also reading ‘Dig, Dig, Digging’ by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe most days and he likes to match the vehicles in the book to his own toy ones.

While it doesn’t explicitly say its poetry, I don’t know what else you’d call each short rhythmic passage – one for each vehicle, filled with onomatopoeia, repetition and action. A perfect, slightly surreptitious introduction to poetry!

As well as matching his vehicles to the images in the book, he also likes to bring them over to match to his jigsaws!

And of course, it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t include one of the duds – this week play dough!

I made playdough and put it out with his tools, with the idea of making prints – hammering, drilling, screwing into it etc. – and while he did do this for all of two minutes, the dough quickly became a cake and the screws candles! He enjoyed it and that’s the main thing 😂

Join us next week for more building-themed stories and play!

What have you been reading and playing this week?

Picture Book and Play – At the Vet

Picture Book & Play is a new weekly post (moving to a Friday from next week!) in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

If you and your little ones do similar bookish play, we’d love you to join in with Picture Book & Play and to let us know what you’ve been reading and playing too!

It’s a short one this week – we’ve kept it really simple with some vets role play, which Peapod loves.

I’ve written before (many times but in more detail here and here) about how much Peapod loves the Mog books by Judith Kerr, so for Christmas he got a couple of new Mog books including Mog and the V.E.T., which he loves; he thinks its so funny calling the vet the V – E – T!

Mog gets a thorn stuck in her paw and has to go to the vet (or the V- E – T as they have to be called due to how much Mog hates going) Of course, Mog not being a fan of the vet means chaos ensues and Peapod thinks it’s great fun seeing the animals run wild and the vet fall over! As funny and expressive as you’d expect from Mog!

Mog at the V – E – T! (The laundry basket is the car taking her there of course!)

As we’ve been reading it again recently, we’ve been using the Dr’s set and pet care set he also got for Christmas to play vets.

We’ve also used the brilliant ‘Busy Vets’ to help introduce the idea and talk about who might be at the vets, which animals we might see there, what the vet might need to do etc.

The Busy range of board books are so great for this – Peapod loves the moving parts, there’s lots to talk about with illustrations that are lively but informative and questions and captions to extend on the simple rhyming text.

We don’t have pets so this has been a great introduction to some otherwise unknown concepts for Peapod.

Peapod likes to be the “vesinny (veterinary) nurse” and specialises in putting on plasters (it doesn’t matter what animal it is or what ails them – a plaster is the cure!) and the fact that they’re a bit fiddly and great for fine motor skills is an added bonus!

He’s got a little notebook which he likes to record the animals he’s seen in – great for getting a bit of mark making in!

Even unicorns are treated at our vets (with plasters of course!)

Are there any favourite vet or pet themed picture books in your house?

What have you been reading and playing this week?

Peapod’s Picks 15/7/20

A weekly(ish!) round up of some of the books Peapod has been enjoying recently.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

This is never one to sit and collect dust and has been back at the forefront of his choices at bedtime for the last couple of weeks.

He likes to tell us the story now too – “Noooo. Noooo. Yes! Noooo. Rock. Sad. You!” – which is the best! You can read my original review here.

Mini Rabbit Must Help by John Bond

Our other regular bedtime read, this has been chosen almost every night since we got it too. He loves telling us what’s happening in the pictures here too, you can read our review here.

This has been another popular bedtime or pre-bath pick too. We’re big Hairy Maclary fans and I’d love them to do more of the stories in board book format as while Peapod is able to carefully handle a paperback, he finds these much easier and prefers them.

He loves seeing Hairy Maclary hiding from Zachary Quack in this one – “hide!” and giggles away as we do “pittery pattery, skittery skattery, zip” up and down his arms!

It’s a really sweet story of friendship, playing with and helping each other, all set in Linley Dodd’s wonderfully energetic and linguistically pleasing rhyming text. Lots of fun and great to read.

We’ve also been having something of an Emily Gravett time of things recently, which I am not complaining about in the least, as she’s a real favourite of mine.

In Monkey and Me, we see a child visiting the zoo with her toy monkey, pretending to be all the animals (which of course its also lovely for little readers to do too).

It’s got lovely, simple repetitive text that’s absolutely perfect for little ones to join in with and finish the phrase with the animal, which Peapod loves to do.

I love the layout and how it so carefully matches the animals as well as the images themselves. I also love the very last spread which perfectly sums up the evd of a lovely day out (with an extra bit of fun little ones will love!)

In Where’s Bear? Bear and Hare are playing hide and seek, but Bear is too big to find a good hiding spot…or is he?!

This might just be the perfect book for us at the moment! Peapod LOVES hiding things then we all have to pretend to look for them everywhere shouting out hammed up “noooo”s when we can’t find it.

He’s also loving counting all the time and can get to 6 (to ten if you don’t mind missing 7 and 8!) so the counting element of the book is perfect too.
This is a fab book with plenty of warmth and humour. We love it. I’ve bought him the other Bear and Hare books too, but he hasn’t got them yet!

Ketchup on your Cornflakes by Nick Sharratt

A delightfully daft classic to finish. Peapod has this one in his basket of books by his kitchen and chooses it regularly, loving making odd or awful combinations with the flap style pages and reacting with a loud “ugh!” or “noooo!” Lots of fun!

Have you read any of these?

Which picture books have you read this week?

Peapod’s Reading Round Up 20/6/20

A weekly round up of some of the books we’ve enjoyed over the past week. It should be on a Wednesday, who knows when it will turn up at the moment!

As I’ve mentioned in recent weeks, Peapod is very much in a phase of getting stuck on certain books and wanting them over and over again.

Trying to sneak new books into this is no mean feat; it takes careful selection, timing and suggestion and more often than not fails!

But this week I did manage to get a few new books into our regular rotation…

Mog and Me and other stories by Judith Kerr

Peapod loves the original Mog book and its one we return to regularly, so I ordered this one and he’s taken to it immediately. I think he might even prefer it, seeing himself in Nicky and enjoying the simpler, shorter text.

Almost primer-like, this is a collection of four short Mog stories – one about a typical day, another about Mog’s kittens, another about being in the garden and one about Mog’s family.

Peapod loves to join in with this – “streeeeetch!” – and point out things that are familiar to him either from. His day to day life or other books (he loves that there’s a cat called George who plays in a dustbin because of the dog George who does the same in Oh No George!)

We’ve even ended up ordering him a bed because Nicky in the story has one and he’s so taken with the idea!

Peapod has had a thing for cleaning up for as long as he’s been old enough to show an interest in things. So I used this to add the next two to our regular bedtime reads.

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

This is a Donaldson favourite of mine and Peapod loves it too. A hermit crab is convinced to share their shell with an anemone (“memnee”) who can scare off potential predators and bristleworm who keeps it clean. Life is peachy til the shell becomes too small and crab and anemone fall out over it. Luckily bristleworm is there to play peacemaker.

Donaldson’s way with words and rhyming skills combine with Lydia Monks’ vibrant, fun illustrations to create a thoroughly enjoyable book that’s great to read and re-read with a warm theme of friendship that uses humour and pace to avoid becoming saccharine. It’s a big hit here.

Tidy by Emily Gravett

I also managed to get him switched on to this one thanks to Pete the badger’s cleaning obsession. Trying to make the forest perfectly ordered and clean and neat, Pete soon realises he may have gone too far.

I’m a big Emily Gravett fan and I really love this one. With her trademark detail and well-balanced realism and humour in the illustrations alongside perfectly rhythmic, rhyming text which is equally amusing and very enjoyable to read.

Playfully put, it’s a warning to us all to look after nature and embrace its messy and unbridled ways, but it’s also just a very good story with wonderful illustrations.

This is one that can stay in the repeated reads pile indefinitely as far as I’m concerned, which is lucky as Peapod loves it too.

If you know of any other cleaning and tidying picture books, I’d love to know what they are?!

Peapod’s Reading Round Up 11/6/20

We have continued reading a lot of last week’s choices (though thankfully Pigeon Poop seems to have been forgotten about for now!) and there’s been some old favourites creeping back in too, but this week’s absolute favourite bedtime read has been

On the Way Home by Jill Murphy

Having bumped his knee on our walk, he was utterly taken with this tale of Claire and her bad knee. He now asks for it every night (“knee!”) and often during the day too. He especially likes the witch (if we read it during the day he dashes off to get his cardboard tube Broom!), the giant (off he goes to get Jack and the Beanstalk) and ghost (“wooooooo!”).

It’s one of my favourites from when I was little too (we video called my mum with it the other day!) so I’m loving gushing it on regular repeat! You can read my original review of it here.

The other books that have really grabbed his attention this week are these from Campbell’s ‘First Stories’ range.

We ordered Jack and the Beanstalk after reading Jasper’s Beanstalk a few weeks ago, so decided to get a couple of the other traditional tales at the same time. He loves his Bear so we got Goldilocks and I thought The Three Little Pigs would be good for his current building themed shelf downstairs.

He is LOVING them.

As with Campbell’s ‘Busy’ range of books (which we also love – you can read our review of Busy Railway here) the books have bright and busy illustrations, with plenty to talk about and find on each page and a moving part on each spread.

Little fingers can pull, turn and slide various parts to make the pictures move. He absolutely loves this! The giggles of sheer delight as we find Jack in a cupboard or the wolf in a cooking pot are joyous and everytimr we see Goldilocks make a run for it, he leaps up to leg it round the room too!

Each story is told in short, rhyming sentences over double page spreads. The way the books have managed to tell the tales so succinctly is great and there’s enough scope in the pictures to allow for a longer telling too.

We have been doing just that; sometimes we just read it as is, but often we tell a fuller version page by page, based on the illustrations then summed up with each page’s text.

On the back of the books are pictures of the others in the series. Peapod has picked out Cinderella who he recognises from Each Peach Pear Plum so that’s in our next order, and I quite fancy Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel or The Little Mermaid after that…

(I’d also love a Three Billy Goats Gruff in this range if anyone at Campbell is reading..!)

Have you read any of these?

Which classic, traditional or fairy tale would you like to see in this format?

Peapod’s Picks – All Aboard!

We switched Peapod’s downstairs shelf to trains recently and I realised we were severely lacking in books on/featuring trains.

Following a Twitter plea I got lots of fab recommendations, and these are the books we chose (with a couple more suggestions banked for when he’s a little bigger, notably William Bee and Look Inside Trains…)

Unfortunately, Choo, Choo, Clickety-Clack and The Runaway Train didn’t get much of a look in. But, I really like them and I know they’ll be ones we return to (especially The Runaway Train which is perfect for small world play!) so I’ll come back to review those at a later date!

Poppy and Sam’s Noisy Train, written by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright, designed by Francesca Allen and Marc Maynard and with sounds by Andrew Marks

We already had this one, which has been a trusted favourite for months.

It’s Farmer Dray and Dolly the horse to the rescue when Poppy and Sam take a trip on a steam train with their class and it breaks down.

Full of old-fashioned, rural charm but with a bright, light feel. Peapod loves playing and joining in with the sound effects, naming people/things in the pictures and – of course – finding the iconic Usborne duck on every page!

Busy Railway from Campbell, based on the original Busy Railway by Rebecca Finn and illustrated by Jo Byatt

This is one I’d already ordered as I’m a huge fan of this range (and their similar ‘First Stories’ range which I’ll be posting about soon).

We see steam engines, a modern train departing the station and a fabulously broad and busy spread with both passing through.

With simple, rhyming text and parts to push, pull, turn and slide on each page, this is a great little train book packed with things to spot and discuss.

There’s questions on each page asking children to find things and it’s easy to do this yourselves too – we spend ages pointing things out with Peapod and getting him looking for things too. And, like the Usborne duck, there’s a bee to spot on each page too!

These have, without doubt, been Peapod’s favourites (with The Train Ride taking the lead early on but Oi! Get Off Our Train making a late comeback!)

The Train Ride by June Crebbin, illustrated by Stephen Lambert

This is a lovely book which I’ve seen in passing before but never really paid any mind to. My mistake.

A child’s train ride (and yes, one of the things I love about this is that nowhere in the book does it say if the child is a girl or a boy. I think they are *meant* to be a girl, but in our house they’re either a ‘they/them’ or a boy)

Anyway I digress – their train ride takes us past farmland, through tunnels to a seaside town where grandma is waiting, with the story ending in a big hug of welcome.

Peapod LOVES this book. He opens his arms wide for a hug both to ask for it and to join in with the hug at the end.

He enjoys pointing out, naming and making the noises for all the things they see on the journey, especially the farm animals, tractor and ticket collector.

It’s also lovely to see him joining in with the rhythmic, repetitive text (written wonderfully in that sort of train like clickety-clack, clickety-clack pattern) and asked for it today with a “See! See!”

A firm favourite that’s made the transition from our shelf as it changed over to his bedtime story basket.

Oi! Get Off Our Train by John Burningham

A little boy is told to leave his toy train set and get to bed. From there, we see him and his pyjama case dog embark on a fantastically illustrated night time train adventure, with various endangered animals joining the trip along the way.

Peapod loves the animals and trying to join in with the repeated phrases. We name colours and flowers and talk about weather, playing and places.

And while it is enjoyable just as it is, with its repetitive text, animals and of course trains, there’s also huge potential for more for a huge range of ages from small world play to talk or work on endangered species and geography.

And that’s not to mention the artwork – wonderfully rich and varied, its like a gallery in a book. There is much to look at and it’d be perfect for children to explore the many techniques and media used too.

Do you have any railway favourites you’d add to our collection?

Have you read any of these?

Lions and Tigers and…Hippos?! Oh My!

We were lucky enough to request and receive copies of two of these from Usborne (Hippo we bought ourselves!) in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are our own.

This week, we have three gorgeous Usborne board books to share with you. All are bright, engaging and lots of fun and have definitely been given a thumbs up from Peapod! First up…

Play Hide & Seek with Tiger by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Gareth Lucas

This is a lovely addition to the lift-the-flap range, with large almost whole page style flaps that are sturdy and easy for little fingers to lift.

There are little cut outs in the flaps, which add an extra level of detail, interest and challenge. Peapod is enjoying putting his fingers through and using to lift the flaps too. We also really liked the way the final page folded out via multiple flaps,each revealing another animal.

The illustrations are bright and cheerful, with just the right balance between being bold and simple enough for little readers, but detailed enough to talk about and point things out.

The text is all done through speech bubbles, which felt different and begs for the use of voices.

We’re really enjoying this. Peapod loves us naming the animals and making the noises for them, especially roaring like tiger (although, as a very minor point, I think all of us felt tiger should roar on the final page instead of saying boo!), as well as the fun “where can they be?!” hamming-it-up way we can read it to build up to the grand reveals!

And speaking of being overly dramatic and creating a build up when sharing a book, these next two are just as good.

Don’t Tickle the Hippo/Don’t Tickle the Lion by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Ana Martin Larranga

I snapped up Don’t Tickle the Hippo as a Christmas present for Peapod when it came into work as I was certain he’d love it.

He was (still is) going through a spell of loving noisy books and animals are always a win with him, and I was really excited to see the touchy freely elements there too as he loved this aspect of the That’s Not My… books but since growing out of them a bit, we’ve not really found anything touchy freely that’s captured him in the same way.

I promise the hippo top is a coincidence!

Well, he LOVED this. And still does, nearly two months on. So when I was offered a review copy of Don’t Tickle the Lion from Usborne I jumped at it knowing he’d love it even more as this time there was also a lion (ROOOOAAAR!)

Both books follow the same structure. Each features four different wild animals with the repeated phrase “Don’t tickle the…! You might make it…” Each animal has a touchy-feely textured part and when you feel that it makes the animal noise.

(I should also note here that we have one other book that works in this way, Noisy Farm, which we loved the look of but never use because it’s really hard to press on exactly the right spot and hard enough for the sound – these books are infinitely better! Peapod uses them absolutely independently with no trouble at all.)

There is loads to love about these books. First, they feel really high quality – from the textures to the cut outs and shaped pages to the font and text design and layout to the stunning, vibrant and detailed illustrations which have an almost batik feel in parts and have plenty of extra flora and fauna to point out, name, count and talk about.

Secondly, they are just joyous. Not to mention hilarious. By the final double spread, all the animals are in ticklish uproar and there’s a riot of animal noises and music. We continue to giggle our way through these, and theur appeal shows no sign of abating with Peapod!

Peapod’s Book Advent – Day 3

You can find out more about our Christmas Book Advent here.

Last night, we read…

Ten Little Elves by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty

This is another that I’m hoping we’ll see more enjoyment from on the seasonal shelf and we might read it another night too, as Peapod usually likes this series but fell asleep while we read last night!

It’s one we enjoyed last year though – you can read our thoughts here.

Last Christmas I Gave You…

…these books!

Last Christmas I was lucky enough to receive some brilliant festive stories. Some I reviewed but ridiculously late in the day, and some of the reviews never even made it out of the gate! So, here again in good time for Christmas are reviews of some excellent seasonal picture/board books!

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Emily Brown and Father Christmas by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton

This was a brand new one to me. It was great and I loved the writing style. A thoroughly modern story, with hugely appealing, lively illustrations reminiscent of Lauren Child’s collage-y, textured appearance, and a very traditional twist. It takes all the magic of Christmas and delivers it by the sleigh load!

Originally reviewed here. Thanks to Hachette Kids for sending me a copy.

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Kipper’s Snowy Day by Mick Inkpen

I love Kipper and have really enjoyed reading this to ‘Peapod’ during our book advent this year (along with Kipper’s Christmas Eve).

OK, it’s not strictly Christmassy but everyone knows snowy books and Christmas books go hand in hand!

A classic character in a story so full of snowy fun you can’t help but smile – makes you want to go and play in the snow

Originally reviewed here. Thanks again to Hachette Kids.

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Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas

This is a beautiful book, and will make a wonderful addition to a Christmas collection. The combination of activities and stories/poems/illustrations make it ideal for dipping into throughout the season and, while there’s a wonderful sense of nostalgia and old fashioned charm, there’s also plenty for new, young readers to love and relate to – playing in the snow, going for wintry walks and acting in the school nativity – and the activities are timeless: Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without paper decorations, homemade cards and gingerbread!

A cosy, nostalgic hug of a book and an absolute delight – it’s one we’ll be getting out year after year.

Originally reviewed here. Thanks to Walker Books.

Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnley

This is the 20th anniversary of this book, but it’s not one I’d previously heard of, so I’m extra glad to have been given this as it’s definitely one we’ll be reading in our book advent each year!

It’s a lovely, heart-warming story that manages to convey the message of Christmas spirit and kindness without feeling didactic or sickly sweet (no mean feat – I’m a particularly harsh critic of books with a moral or message!)

Robin is utterly loveable and I loved the illustrations too which felt light and bright, with a touch of humour in the details.

Thank you to Nosy Crow for my copy.

Winnie the Pooh: The Long Winter’s Sleep by Jane Riordan

Drawing on the original stories and illustrations from The Hundred Acre Wood, this is a lovely introduction to the world of Winnie the Pooh and fans of the original (like me!) won’t be disappointed.

The story itself is a warming winter tale full of friendship and it captures both the season and the characters well.

Thank you to Egmont for my copy.

Ten Little Elves by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty

I’ve reviewed books on this Ten Little series before – they never disappoint and this festive outing is no exception!

Combining counting, Christmas and catastrophe, it’s as bold as they come – positively leaping off the page and demands a lively telling full of sound effects, actions and energy.

Thanks again to Hachette Kids for our copy – thrilled to have a board book version of it that ‘Peapod’ can handle (and inevitably chew!)

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas by Kes Gray and Claire Powell

We loved this – it really made us laugh and it has definitely earned a firm 23rd December spot in our annual book advent!

It retains a feel of its inspiration, Clement C Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, and is just as full of the building excitement the days before Christmas bring, but is a much more modern tale, taking Christmas preparation and tradition and depicting them with a huge dollop of humour that will be enjoyed by both children and parents.

Father Christmas is frantically trying to get through his last minute jobs in readiness for the big night and the story bounds along in a pace to match. The illustrations are busy, warm and detailed too – again, perfectly festive and funny. And the ending…well, I won’t spoil it, but…it’s guaranteed to raise a smile!

Thanks to Hachette Kids for my copy.