Baby Book Club: Where’s Mrs Ladybird? by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Disclaimer here, I didn’t buy this book. This was a husband special. Every time he takes Pippin into town they come back with a little present. Sometimes it is a toy, sometimes a cakey treat and this time a book.

He was so excited about this book. They’d sat and read it in Waterstones before buying, and he was super excited because Pippin had a new trick!

What is it about?

Ingela Arrhenius has created a really beautiful lift the flap book for very little children, complete with the signature illustrations you expect from her work. The book shows a number of different garden insects hiding behind felt flaps – and we are asked to find them in a similar format throughout.

‘Where is Mr or Mrs X.’

The final page has a little twist, and this was the source of my husband’s delight

Why is it a favourite?

It is what it is. A simple lift  the flap book.

I really do like this book though. The illustrations are bright and they feel a bit retro, which I do like. It reminds me a little of some of the books of my childhood.

The felt flaps are a fantastic idea for tiny hands, Pippin hasn’t managed to damage the book and we have had it months now and read it a lot. We’ve had some lift-the-flap casualties before, Farm 1-2-3 didn’t last more than a day, but this is sturdy and we’ve had no problems with it.

So, what was Pippin’s trick you ask?

Well, the final page of the book asks the question “And where are you?” with a mirror.

And what delighted Pippin’s dad so much was that she looked at herself in the mirror, proudly stated that there was a baby on the page and gave her reflection a big, wet kiss.

I guess they had to buy it then…

Should you buy it?

It is a great book for little ones, especially if they’re anything like miss vanity and like looking at themselves in a mirror. The colours are bright, the pictures are endearing and the flaps are secure and sturdy.

It is basically a great book for reading with the very young.

My husband bought this book for her back in September, so she would’ve been around thirteen months old, she doesn’t reach for it quite as much now. When she does she is less interested in lifting the flaps, and likes to know the names of everything on the pages and ‘count’ the flowers, trees and other elements of the illustrations. But we enjoyed the book so much that we went back and bought Where’s Mr Lion? to add to our collection.

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.