Just had to take some time to talk about this beautifully illustrated book: A Recipe for Playtime by Peter Bentley & Sarah Massini. We discovered it on a recent library trip and it’s been a big hit, particularly for Carson (and me).
The story is written like a recipe but is about all the fun things to do at playtime, like paint, play hide-and-seek and much more.
“Take a box of coloured blocks. Lift up lid. Tip up box. See them rising… add one more… See them TUMBLE to the floor.”
After all the fun it’s time to snuggle with a good book and have a nap.
“Softly, softly, creep away. Soon we’ll be back to play.”
I love how the story is written like you are following a recipe. The colourful illustrations and rhyming text adds to the enjoyment of the book.
We recommend following this recipe, the best recipe ever!
Nothing beats a good bedtime story. We love reading before bedtime and have a a few favourite titles that never seem to get old.
Goodnight Tractor by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Nick East is one of our favourites. The pages have been turned and turned. It was a 2nd birthday gift from one of our dear friends (Owen’s first friend in fact) and we have been reading it ever since. Owen (4.5 years old) and Carson (recently turned 2) throughly enjoy Goodnight Tractor. They love to get involved and say the words with us.
“the stars are out, it’s time for bed so say goodnight my sleepy head”
The story helps set the tone for bedtime as we follow a little boy on his night time routiene. Where he says goodnight to his toy farm, including the animals, combine and tractor of course.
“Goodnight donkey. Goodnight duck. Goodnight pig and goodnight sheep…”
The rhyming text is complimented by fantastic illustrations which both transport us into a night time farm setting.
We most definitely recommend reading Goodnight Tractor.
I’m realising more and more how precious memories are attached to the stories we read to our little people. I love rereading certain titles and reminiscing about milestones, family trips or reading in the fort on a rainy day. We have a few memories attached to this brightly illustrated cloth book entitled Fish, a Usborne cloth book written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells. Like may of our favourites books I gladly know it off by heart.
“Freddie the fish follows the bubbles…” on an adventure to find his friend Frankie. We meet a few friendly sea creatures along the way including starfish, a crab and jellyfish.
Every time we turn these pages it brings a smile. This was Owen’s first cloth book, he kept it in the bed with him during nap time and loved making crab claws with his hands when Freddie the fish swims “in front of the crab with big claws…”
Eventually when Owen started to talk he would call out ‘fish‘or ‘crab‘. My most favourite part was when Freddie says “Hello Frankie! I been trying to find you.” At this point Owen would shout out ‘Hello Frankie, I’m Bibim!’ (this was what Owen Called himself for ages).
Fish has recently become one of Carson’s favourite books. We told him all about Owen’s adaption of the story and he thinks it’s halarious. Both boys laugh every time we get to the end of the story and say ‘Hello Frankie, I’m Bibim.’
We all recommend making your own special memories and reading Fish.
Colours have been the theme of the household recently. From teaching our 1 year old Carson the colours (orange seems to be the favourite and it conveniently also seems to be his favourite fruit) to teaching Owen (4 years old) about the primary colours (red, yellow and blue) and how to mix them to create the secondary colours (orange, purple and green). We have also been looking at all the colours of the rainbow.
Sticking with the colour theme it feels appropriate to suggest WOW! said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. This vibrantly coloured book is one of my personal favourites – another great read provided in Owen’s toddler Bookbug bag.
The story follows a curious owl who fights her nocturnal instinct sleep all day. Instead she sleeps all night and wakes with the morning sun. Immediately she she is amazed by all the fantastic colours.
“WOW” said the owl. She couldn’t believe her eyes! The sky was a warm and wonderful pink.
Readers join in her journey and soon enough an array of vibrant colours are discovered in the clouds, trees, butterflies and more. The sun is still shining but then it starts to rain resulting in a rainbow.
“WOW!” said the owl as a beautiful rainbow filled the sky with colour.
As night approaches the colours start to change. The evening sky is filled with its own variety of fantastic colours. She soon concludes:
But “WOW! said the owl”
“The night-time stars are the most beautiful of all”
Additionally the book has a colour pallet on the last page which encourages readers to have a another look through the book to spot individual colours.
Both boys really love this book and we find ourselves rereading it over and over in one sitting. All I can say is WOW! We definitely recommend reading this entertaining and educational book.
Title: WOW! Said the Owl Author: Tim Hopgood Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!” (by Ian Whybrow) was a fitting read this week as we prepared both boys for a trip to the dentist. Hubby and I stratagised the order of events – who will go first and most importantly which snacks shall we take? A chocolate spread sandwich (as per Owen’s request) or sliced cucumber and pepper? We opted for the non-sugary snacks – hopefully the dentist was impressed. ‘Maybe a chocolate spread sandwich when we leave, Owen’ whispered Mummy.
Harry and the Dinosaurs always provide fantastic adventures with lessons along the way. In Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!” Harry is preparing himself and his is dinosaurs for their own trip to the dentist. Feelings of trepidation are felt by the dinosaurs, especially Tyrannosaurus. Harry soon puts their minds at ease “don’t worry, because when we get there, I shall press a magic button on my bucket, and that will make you grow big”.
Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!” was a fun and exciting read. It also helped to highlight elements experienced at the dentist like the big chair “it goes up and down” as well as the drill and brushing your teeth.
Our little people didn’t take a bucket of dinosaurs with a magic button, rather a large backpack filled with an array of toys. A simple trip to the dentist looked like we were ready to camp out for the night, but if i’m honest it did come in handy! Incase you were wondering the boys’ visit went well, they both sat independently in the big chair and said raahh!- I mean ahhh!
Whether you are visiting the dentist or not we recommend reading Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!”
Title: Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!”
Author: Ian Whybrow
Publisher: Puffin Books
This sweet bedtime story (by Mary Murphy) has become one of my favourites (and the boys too of course). It was one of the books in Carson’s toddler Bookbug Bag. We have enjoyed (and reread) all the books introduced through Bookbug. Good Night, Like This has not failed to impress. Its the end of the day and we have the opportunity to say goodnight to an array of adorable creatures including bunnies, bears and ducks.
One of my favourite things about the book are the illustrations and colours. Deep shades of blue, orange and purple span the book setting the tone for bedtime. Also split-page flaps are used to show the animals transitioning from awake to asleep.
We highly recommend snuggling up and reading Good Night, Like This.
“Good night, bears, sleep tight…like this. Good night!”
Title: Good Night Like This Author: Mary Murphy Publisher: Walker Books
Finally we have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, I cant believe it took so long. I of course knew of the book and it had been on the reading list for ages, but it kept slipping through the net. It was worth the wait! Owen chose it from his nursery school library and I couldn’t wait to come home and find out all about the celebrated caterpillar.
The brightly illustrated story follows the life cycle of a caterpillar from a tiny egg to fluttering beauty. A few lessons including counting and days a of the week are woven into the story. And a valuable lesson for us adults too – perhaps we all need a hearty green salad after some overindulgence 😉
We all highly recommend indulging in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Read it sooner then we did!
Title: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author: Eric Carle
Publisher: Philomel Books
Title: Find the Rhyme: Animals! Author: Books for Little Ones Published: Printed by Amazon
This bright and colourful book was given to my 4 year old (Owen) for Christmas from my oldest and dearest friend. From the first read to the hundredth it has been a big hit. He enjoys playing the rhyming game over and over and shouting out the answers to the puzzles.
Title: The Snuggle Sandwich Author: Malachy Doyle and illustrated by Gwen Millward Publisher: Anderson Press
I proudly know all the words to The Snuggle Sandwich, as my one year old (Carson) loves this story so much. We picked it up in our library run one Saturday morning in December last year and have since renewed it…twice!