That’s Not My Babybear…

…her face is too sparkly clean without  chocolate and tomato sauce all over it!

Since Babybear was only a few months old we’ve been big fans of Usborne’s ‘That’s Not My…’ series of touchy feely board books, written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells. These are fabulous books to share with younger tots with their bold pictures and different textures to feel.

There is such a vast collection of ‘That’s Not My…’ books now that, whatever your wee one’s current passion, there will be something that appeals. Babybear has a definite love of ‘That’s Not My Dinosaur…’  (a gift from her lovely Auntie) and we are now on advanced level reading of this book in which we name the dinosaur on each page – that’s not my Stegosaurus…!

However, my favourite has to be “That’s Not My Robot…”.  I even designed and had coasters made inspired by my favourite robot in the book – check them out:

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Get Crafty

Feeling creative? How about trying this craft activity inspired from the books, perfect for older toddlers. We’re yet to try this our but I’ll be sure to post some pictures when we do. Take your favourite book, in my case ‘That’s Not My Robot”, and get your wee one to draw some pictures of the characters or their own characters. They can then take a variety of different textures of material/paper/card/any other suitable stuff and cut and stick them on to a part of their picture so, with tin foil for example, they could have their very own “That’s Not My Robot…His Body Is Too Shiny”. The pictures could even be stuck together to form a homemade “That’s Not My…” book. Give it a go and post your creative endeavors below to inspire us all!

-Find “That’s Not My…” titles and a whole lot more in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

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Robert Burns for Wee Folk!

Burns for Wee Folk!

Babybear and I love the books, written in Scots, ‘Katie’s Ferm’ and ‘Katie’s Year’ by James Robertson with the fabulous illustrations in both by Karen Anne Sutherland.

So, I was thrilled to discover ‘Rabbies Rhymes’ – a collection of the first lines of some of Robert Burns’ most well known poems, illustrated for wee ones in the same brilliantly vivid style as the ‘Katie’ books. It takes me right back to my school days of learning a Burns poem by heart for the class Burns Night poetry competition; this proves to be a real advantage when reading ‘Rabbie’s Rhymes’ with Babybear as though each page of the book only has the first line or so for each poem, I can still remember the rest for a few of them!

‘Rabbie’s Rhymes’ also has flaps for wee ones to lift, which Babybear loves as it makes the book more interactive for her; she takes great delight in peeking at the pictures below over and over again! I’m not actually sure if it’s me or Babybear that enjoys this book more, it’s a real winner for both wee ones and those not so wee!!

  • Find ‘Rabbie’s Rhymes – Burns for Wee Folk’ by Robert Burns and illustrated by Karen Anne Sutherland in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find it, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

Babybear’s Favourite Books: ‘The Big Night-Night Book’ by Georgie Birkett

bignightnightbook

For Babybear’s first recommendation in, what will be, a series of favorites, it seems only right to select the current bedtime story of choice: The Big Night-Night Book.

The ‘story’ is a lovely rhyme in which the wee boy in the book says night-night to everything (teddy, cup, toothbrush, stars…) before snuggling down to sleep. There are some touchy-feely bits on every page and I love that in this book they enhance the bright and bold illustrations instead of being the main focus.

The illustrations in the book are familiar routines for wee ones, like getting their pyjamas on and having a glass of milk before bed. Babybear likes pointing out the cat on each page with cries of, “Dat! Dat!”. Personally, I like the page of the wee boy brushing his teeth, I have this vague hope that it might encourage Babybear to love getting her teeth brushed instead of trying to hide when its teeth brushing time!

  • -Find ‘The Big Night-Night Book’ by Georgie Birkett in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find it, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

I ‘heart’ Libraries!

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One of my favourite activities with my daughter, aka Babybear, is a trip to our local library, she gets so excited when we near the library door so I know she loves it too! Libraries have so much to offer babies and toddlers and regular trips to the library is a great habit to get into when they are young. Here are my top reasons to love your local library:

Rhyme time – Many libraries offer free sessions (like ‘bounce and rhyme’ and ‘Bookbug’) for babies, toddlers and their carers. It’s a great opportunity to learn some new songs and rhymes to sing with your little one at home but also to spend some time focused on and engaging with them. This benefits the literacy development of even the youngest tots and can be a great opportunity for you to meet other parents in your local area.

Lead by example – Toddlers love to copy, only today Babybear was busy cleaning her highchair while I got her lunch ready! So, if your little one sees you borrowing and enjoying library books they will want to do the same so they can be just like mum/dad/granny/grandpa!

A space away from home – Libraries are especially wonderful on those freezing winter days or when it’s bucketing with rain, they give you a child friendly space to get out of the house. The children’s sections in libraries will usually have little chairs and tables toddlers can sit at to look at books or draw/colour in.

Did I mention the books? Of course, the best part of the library is all the wonderful books you can borrow! Babybear loves to leaf through the baby/toddler books and pick out ones that catch her eye. Its never too early to read with babies and show them the pictures in books; it can help them understand the rhythm of language and begin to build their vocabulary. With a mass of choice of children’s books to borrow, all for free, there is nothing to stop your little one being a baby that loves books!

how the story began…

There are books everywhere in my flat, my 14 month old daughter loves them. She looks at her books more than playing with any of her toys and brings me her favourites to read to her again and again. The love affair began when she was only a few weeks old, amongst the many gifts of clothes, teddy bears, booties and hats, she received a couple of carefully chosen baby books. What wonderful gifts they were! Inspiring me to read with her, tell her stories and rhymes, explore the children’s sections of the local libraries and encouraging her to enjoy the wonderful world of books. So, might I suggest, if you’re getting a gift for a baby, what about a book? Not only a change from the masses of clothes that newborns are given but you may find you inspire another baby who loves books!

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