Baby Book Club: Hooray for Hoppy by Tim Hopgood

I’m an English and Creative Writing graduate, so it probably comes as no surprise that I love reading, I’m happy to report that so does Pippin. It makes my heart absolutely sing when she drags a book over to be read to, or pats the sofa so she can sit down and read with you.

I am always looking for new and beautiful books to read with her, although she already has a few firm favourites. We have read Hooray for Hoppy! by Tim Hopgood at every bedtime for at least the last month.

What is it about?

Hoppy, a rabbit, is waking up from his long winter sleep. He uses his senses to identify that spring has in fact arrived and he shares this joyous information with all his little bunny friends! The books beautiful illustrations take us with Hoppy from his burrow deep within the snow, to the smell of the fresh air, the sound of the bird song, the taste of the fresh grass, the sight of the lambs leaping in the meadow and the feel of the warm ground under his feet.

After he has realised that it really is spring time he just can’t wait to share the great news with all the other rabbits, but they aren’t there! So Hoppy thumps his feet in true rabbit fashion and calls them all to the hill and they are just as thrilled as he is that spring has finally sprung!

It is a book to help children learn about the five senses – and like the other books in the series it has a little section on the back to help re-emphasise the message in the book. At the moment Pippin is a bit young for this, but I really can’t see her getting tired of this book any time soon and I am very sure we will talk more about the senses with her in the future.

Why is it a favourite?

For me, because of the illustrations. We now have a lot of Tim Hopgood books in our reading corner. I first bought Tip Tap Went The Crab for Pippin’s book advent last year. We then quickly added Ping and Pong are Best Friends (mostly) and Wow! Said the Owl to our collection. I picked up What a Wonderful World at Plas Newyd in Wales and then I bought Walter’s Wonderful Web and Hoppy from and independent book shop in Beaumaris. I think you can safely say I’m a fan!

I love the bright colours, and I love the collage effect of the artwork. We spend a lot of time looking at the pictures, and Pip enjoys pointing at all the elements on the page, and we talk about what they all are.

Pippin’s favourite bits are showing me all the birds in the pictures, baaing with the lambs and thumping her feet just like Hoppy.

She takes her foot in her hand, drops it on the page and bangs her heel: as hard and as fast as she possibly can. You become proud of the strangest things when you become a parent – and that makes me very proud.

 

Should you buy it?

Yes, in short. The story is simplistic, but that is not a bar to reading with young children. It is short enough that it keeps Pippin’s attention, and we’ve been reading this to her since around the ten month mark. My nephew has also read it to her, so it is pretty easy for new readers to grasp too.

The pictures are engaging, and they allow for expansion to the story: ‘Can you show me all the birds?’ ‘What noise do the lambs make?’

It’s an attractive book, and it makes a great addition to our book shelf.

 

Pippin’s Adventures: Speke Hall, Liverpool

I’ve said it before, and again, I absolutely love being a member of the National Trust. For £108 a year we get access to hundreds of properties around the UK, which means we’re never short of somewhere to go for a day out. Whatever the weather.

Despite the frosty weather we’re being treated to at the moment we took a trip out to Speke Hall in Liverpool with the little.

Speke Hall is a Tudor Building sat in a large expanse of grounds, which you can explore and play in – but also watch the planes from Liverpool John Lennon Airport fly over!

Poor Pippin got to explore next to none of the grounds, she had fallen asleep within ten minutes of our arrival,  although she did find the time to make a new friend: a pug called Hercules.

If your child has more stamina than mine then you might manage to make it rounds the hedge maze with them, or you could enjoy some snacks from the café whilst they played on the huge play area. We are definitely going to go back and explore this with Pippin, because we’ve never properly had a look round it and it looked so much fun!

There’s also a special woodland walk, complete with zip lines, den building and outdoor obstacles to balance on.

 

We’ve been to Speke before, but not since Pippin was born and we never knew about all the fun things we could do with her there, so Speke will definitely be going on our re-visit list.

The house re-opens on February 10th, but until then there’s loads of outdoor spaces to explore.