Monday, 24 February 2014

Mother's Day Picture Books

The UK will be celebrating Mother's Day on March 30th, so there is sure to be flowers and chocolates galore in every shop we walk in. Much like Valentine's Day, I am sceptical about the commercial aspects of Mother's Day but it is hard to be too cynical about a day that encourages love and thanks. As a mother myself, I like the simple things that Mothers Day brings; the breakfast in bed, the homemade card and the simple bunch of daffodils or a wonky homemade cake. Of course, these things can happen every day but it's all a little bit of fun, especially for little ones. Spending time together on Mothers Day can mean a nice walk in the park, treating the family to lunch out or simply enjoying a cuddly story time session together. Here are our favourite Mothers Day inspired stories.

For classic books about love between Mothers and children, look no further then 'Guess How Much I Love You' or ' Love You Forever '. You may have read these books to your children a lot but I am sure you will never tire of hearing your little one tell you that they " love you to the moon and back ", aaaaaahhhhh.

Not everybody has just one mummy, some are lucky to have two mummies, so the heartwarming Mommy, Mama and Me may be the book that you would like to share this Mother's Day.  For adoptive ( well for all families really) families, Motherbridge of Love is a beautiful poem that emphasis the bond between parent and child.

Just like some people who are lucky to have two mummies, there are some children that are lucky to have two daddies or even two sets of mummies and daddies. Whatever your family structure is, you are sure to enjoy Picnic in the Park as it celebrates the love between all types of family.

One of our favourite books to read on Mother's Day is My Mama Earth, a book that takes us on a wonderful journey through Motherhood and nature. A book for all of us, not just mums.

The best stories of all are your stories so have fun telling each other tales from your imagination and don't forget the extra cuddles!Whatever book you read on Mother's Day, I am sure you will love a relaxing time out together after that all important breakfast in bed.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Barefoot Books World Atlas App

The Barefoot Books World Atlas App had over 4 million downloads since it's launch, with numbers increasing each day. As soon as you see the app, you can understand why it is so popular. The app takes children on an interactive journey across the world, allowing then to discover facts about countries, oceans, mountains and everything else the world has to offer. At £2.99, parents may think twice about buying the app but you are guaranteed to get hours of fun an learning out of the it.You can jump from learning about the animals of South America to the Klondike gold Rush and get to grips with the flags of the world. There are quizzes that can be completed, to test knowledge and learn more facts, enlightening for children and parents. Now with extensions, including ' International football ', 'puzzles ' and ' world art ', you can many more ex hours of fun and facts.

The app is a great accompaniment for  the award winning The Barefoot Books World Atlas and the two together are a great example of how you can use a mixture of tradition, in the form of a physical book, and technology. Yes, children will be attracted to the colourful 3D adventure of the app but they will equally love to delve inside the pages of the engaging book and the accompanying pull out map. The atlas is great to use in storytelling sessions, to add background to country or culture the book is set in. For example, in a our recent Chinese New Year book club session, we guessed the population of China and tried to name the most popular landmarks and animal that can be found in Asia. With fun ' Did you know ' pop ups, children can interact with the book and you never know, you may also learn a thing or two on your world discovery!

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Friday, 7 February 2014

Pitter Patter Furniture

Here at Little Scribbles, we are always on the look out for bookcases for children, to house our growing book collection. Of course, children's books will fit onto any bookcase but it is nice to inject some fun into bedroom furniture for children and allow them dedicated space for enjoying storytime. I am sure we have all tripped over board books or come across books with a few pages mysteriously missing. With their own personalised space for their books, children may take a little more care and, who knows they may even start to alphabetise or colour co-ordinate their books!

We love this low level children's bookcase from Pitter Patter Furniture. Books should be accessible to children, so they can pop over and pick one up whenever they want to. We don't want books to be out of sight out of mind, so this design feature is a great call. If you are after a traditional tall bookcase or are looking for a particular width, there is a good range to choose from. Arriving at your little bookworm's bedroom already assembled means to gaffing about with flat pack plans and panicking if you have enough screws. Easy peasy.

Pitter Patter Furniture pride themselves on providing excellent craftsmanship, that is both high quality and fully child safe They say ,"We understand that you want the best for your child, and we strive for perfection with building each item". Pitter Patter's prices do reflect the quality of their items and with the addition of a personalised service, this is an investment that will make you regret buying lower quality furniture that doesn't last the distance. With a range of other furniture on sale, including handmade chairs, headboards and adorable personalised toyboxes, you are sure to have fun browsing the site, with the aid of a great customisation tool.

When choosing furniture for your children's bedroom, it is important to think about durability. The book cases and toyboxes can be filled with books, dolls, puppets and trucks when they are little and as they grow older they can store comics, computer games, dressing up clothes and much more. The neutral colours of the furniture, with splashes of brightness, is ideal if you end up swapping colour themes or your children grow out of a particular trend.If your children are older, get them involved in designing their own furniture, picking colours and pictures that are sure to inject life into their bedroom. A happy bedroom equals a happy reading space!

This post was sponsored by Pitter Patter Furniture.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Bedtime Stories

For those celebrating National Storytelling Week, bedtime can be a prefect time to wind down and read a a story together. One of the most common questions I am asked, when people are looking for book advice, is what are the best books for bedtime ? One of my current favourites is Belle and Boo and the Goodnight Kiss. The Belle and Boo books are just adorable, beautifully illustrated by Mandy Sutton, the various books in the series, are sure to take us back to our childhood bedtime rituals. ' Goodnight Kiss ' is a book of play and discovery, with a sweet tale of through the eyes of Belle and her best friend, Boo the rabbit. Featuring story time, bath time and teeth brushing, it will resonate with many children and you will both delight in the closing goodnight kiss.

Whilst Belle and Boo certainly has that vintage feel, if you are looking for traditional tales for bedtimes Claire Beaton's Bedtime Rhymes is ideal for babies, as is her bedtime lullaby book, Mrs Moon is good for helping little ones drift off to sleep. Lullabies and gentle nursery rhymes, such as twinkle twinkle, are great additions to bed time routines, for babies and toddlers. Take your toddlers lead and if she does not want to look at pictures and appears to tired for a book, a song or two may just help her drift off.

For toddlers and younger children, here are a few of my favourites from Barefoot Books.


My daughter's long term favourite book for bedtime is ' A Bit Lost ', an adorable book by Chris Hopgood that has a great feel good factor when a little owl goes off in search of his mummy, with the support of his forest friends. The amazing illustrations with muted colours that are perfect for bedtime and set the scene for a night of rest.

As you children get older, they will gain more independence when it comes to reading but they may still want enjoy company for their bedtime reading session. If you older child prefers to read alone, you can still get involved in choosing books together and discussing what books he likes.Shared reading is a great way for families to come together, taking turns to read a page or a chapter and exploring the themes of the book together. You are never too old to listen to stories!

As with any type of storytelling session, one size does not fit all. Whilst some children will excitedly look forward to listen to their bedtime stories, others will do anything to get out of the ritual. Listen to your child and do not feel you have to have a bedtime story routine. Your son or daughter may prefer to read in the daytime, so a song or simple silence will benefit. If you do want to encourage more bedtime reading then make sure that your child is involved  by asking them to choose a story and who they would like to read it for them. You may find that you will be reading the same book night after night but just go with it, children love repetition and it will help them become familiar with words and sounds. It is also lovely when they excitedly tell you the story rather than you simply telling them.Be careful not to choose books that will over stimulate, as you may find yourself reading for a very long time. Most of all, make sure you both enjoy your stories and if you want to, simply make your own story up, whether it be a story about what happened that day, what you will be doing tomorrow or simply take one from your wilds of your imagination.

Monday, 3 February 2014

National Storytelling Week

We have had such a busy weekend of telling stories and holding book club sessions and have not had a chance to post about National Storytelling Week. We hope you have been sharing lots of great stories over the weekend and you little ones have been introduced to a new book or two. National Storytelling Week is organised by The Society of Storytelling. They say "National Storytelling Week is about giving out to all cultures, tales that give a twinkle to the eye, that raise a question in the mind and stories that have survived the brightness and the shadow of man’s imagination ". 

There is sure to be lots of events and storytelling sessions in your local areas, so check out the Society of Storytelling website to see what takes your fancy. If you cannot make it to an organised event, simply pick up a book and share it with others. Maybe take a seat in a homemade storytelling den or take a book for a walk to the park for some outdoors reading. 

We will be out and about hosting storytelling sessions and parties for the rest of the week and will be sharing some of our favourite books with you. Keep you eyes open for a run down of our best read aloud books, help with bedtime stories and our weekly story time blog. To give you a little reading inspiration, we have a copy of ' Storytime: First Tales for Sharing ' to give-away this week. Simply head over to ' Like 'our Facebook page and leave a comment, telling us what your favourite read aloud story is. 

Winner will be announced on Facebook on Monday 10th February. Please note that this competition is open to UK residents only and is in no way associated with Facebook.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

February Book of the Month: Motherbridge of Love

St Valentine's Day is not just a celebration of love between partners but of all the loves we can share. I still look forward to getting my card and cream egg of my dad each year! Of course, we know that love should be enjoyed and shared all year round but, in the busy world we live in, Valentine's Day can be a reminder for us all to slow down and take time out for one and other. For families, Valentine's Day can be a great day of family fun and the perfect time to read aloud together. With love in the air, our book of the month for February is Motherbridge of Love.

Featured in Time Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books of 2007, this beautiful poem celebrates the bond between parent and adopted child in a special way. Through the exchanges between a little girl born in China and her adoptive parent, this title offers a poignant and inspiring message to adoptive parents and children all over the world. The poem is very touching and is a great read for all families, not just those with adopted children. It offers opportunity to discuss feeling and emotions about how strong our family bonds can be. For children that are not adopted, the book is a great way to introduce them to the diverse nature of family lives and how their are many different types of family.

As well as giving us a beautiful story and enchanting illustrations, this book gives back by as text royalties for this book are donated to ' The Mothers' Bridge of Love ' set up by bestselling author Xinran. The book is on offer over at Barefoot this month, so why not spread a little love amongst your family.