Entries Tagged as 'Books & Mags'

Infinity and Me

June 1, 2015

infinity and me kids book

Anya has been asking a lot of questions about infinity lately.  I’ve tried explaining the concept to her but it isn’t an easy concept for a six year old to understand – I only just about understand it myself! :).  Her interest in infinity started when she asked what the biggest number in the world was.  I told her about infinity and for a while she thought that the biggest number in the world was infinity because she just couldn’t grasp the idea that numbers never finish.  But then I came across this book called Infinity and Me and it seemed like just the book to help in explaining infinity to children.

explaining infinity to children

Infinity and Me is about a little girl who gazes up at the night sky and starts to feel very small in the vastness of the sky.  She begins to wonder about infinity and just what exactly infinity means.  She starts asking everyone she meets and soon realises that maybe there are infinite ways to explain infinity.  Infinity and Me is a very simple and sweet book with illustrations that are equally adorable.  It’s a great first book to give some meaning and relevance to the concept of infinity to kids.  While the main character in the book happens to be a girl, I think this book is equally suited for boys as it is for girls.  Any child curious about infinity would enjoy Infinity and Me.

best atlas book for kids

If money were no object I think I would practically buy every single kids book out there.  But since I can’t do that, I have to be selective about what I buy.  And when I come across a fab book I always like to share it here.  While browsing for new books today, I remembered a book that I bought a while ago but hadn’t shared here.  And it’s definitely one worth recommending.  It’s simply called Maps and is a series maps of a range of countries.

best atlas book for children

Traveling is a big part of our lives and with that goes learning about different countires, different food, different cultures and different people.  This atlas book is a great introduction to learning more about the world we live in without leaving your home!  When we first got the book Anya poured over it and was especially interested in looking for places she has visited.  But since then both us of us often went back to the book and discovered something completely new about a country we haven’t visited.  Each country’s map has many details of things like famous landmarks, animals that are local to that country, national food dishes and so much more all beautifully illustrated often with humour thrown in too.  The book is large – nearly 40cms tall – making it easy for 2-3 kids to pour over it together or for you to snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy it with your kids.  Also this large format adds to the striking looks of this book and this book is indeed very beautiful – think coffee table looks. 

maps by aleksandra mizielinska

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska is a book that we’ll keep and enjoy for a long time.  It’s the kind of book that once you have on your shelf, you’ll always go back to and it’s so enjoyable for adults and kids alike.   This book makes a great gift too – I must have already gifted it about 3 or 4 times and have had great feedback from the recipients.  Maps is definitely the best atlas book for kids that I’ve come across.

mealtime activities for kids

I’ve long been a big fan of Taro Gomi who I first discovered through the simple and very sweet book called My Friends which was Anya’s favourite book for ages when she was around two years old.  But it’s been a while since I’ve checked out anything more by Taro Gomi until last week when I had a birthday party gift to buy for a six year old.  I came across these fun doodle place mats and immediately bought it for the birthday girl.

taro gomi animal doodles place matskeeping kids busy at a restaurant

Sitting still at the dining table is still a bit of a challenge for Anya and many of her friends too so I thought these doodle place mats are the perfect answer.  They come in a book of 50 tear-off sheets and each page has a different drawing activity.  There is already a doodle on each page and then there are some instructions like the images show.  There are three different ones – animal, story and yummy.  Not only do these fun place mats for kids make unusual gifts, they’re also handy for a kids birthday party and they would be great to take to restaurants to keep kids occupied while waiting for their food.  I know Anya gets impatient at restaurants and asks to play with our phones which I don’t like to encourage.  But I would have no objection to pulling out one of these sheets to keep her busy.

the wolfs whistle nobrow

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love kids books.  And every time I come across a great book, I love sharing it here.  While I love many of the better known kids books, I also love searching for lesser known gems and today I have one such gem for you.  The The Wolf’s Whistle is a book I am so glad I came across.  At it’s simplest form it is a twisted tale of the Three Little Pigs and the big bad wolf.  But this book is so much more.  It could be the story of how the wolf came to be so bad or even how superheroes are made.  It features a lone wolf called Albert who is a bit of a misfit.  He and his group of three friends, none of whom really fit in, are tormented by the ‘honeyroast brothers’ – three enormous pigs!  Albert has a dream of becoming a comic book artist and his story continues from childhood in to his adulthood where tragedy befalls him and yes the ‘honeyroast brothers’ are involved.

The wolfs whistle book

The Wolf’s Whistle is not only a great read but also the illustrations are beautiful.  The drawings are created in a retro style which works so well with the story.  The book is aimed at 5 to 8 year old kids but I think the upper end of this age group will appreciate it better.  Anya enjoyed the story and loved looking at the pictures but couldn’t fully understand the subtleties in the book.  For her it is a simple story of a good wolf and bad pigs but that is what is so appealing about this book – it will grow with her and I see her reading it several times over the years.  I love this book for it’s originality and the beautiful illustrations.

Have you come across any lesser know kids books that are unmissable?  Do let me know in the comments.

kids book subscription box

I absolutely love kids books and can spend hours upon hours choosing books for Anya and then enjoying them with her.  We all know that it’s important to encourage our kids to read but to develop their interest and keep it going it’s so important to pick the right books for them.   Apart from searching online, I tend to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, browse real bookshops in London and on holiday (where I have found some gems)  and I even ask on my facebook page which gets me some fabulous suggestions.  Over the years we have discovered many fab kids books in this way but there have been some disappointments too.  While I love searching for kids books, sometimes I wish there was a less time consuming way.  And that got me wondering about a kids book subscription box as there seem to be monthly subscription boxes for everything else these days!

I went searching and I found some – yay! In the UK there is The Willoughby Book Club where you can subscribe for 3, 6 or 12 months and it’s aimed at children from 5-12 years of age but they also offer toddler and baby book subscriptions.  You just answer a few questions about your child and the books are tailored to their age and interests.  In the US you have Giftlit which works in pretty much the same way but has a few advantages.  I especially liked that with Giftlit you get to see the books you are getting before you order and having briefly browsed their selection I have to add that it looks really good.  So if you don’t like the sound of one, you can substitute it with another and you can also return books.  This ensures you only get and keep books you and your kids love.  Lastly again in the UK is Prudence and the Crow who specialise in vintage books for kids and adults.  You don’t get to see the books which is a shame but I still like the idea behind the service.

I haven’t tried any of these book subscriptions yet but I am very tempted.  I love the idea of a kids book subscription box because of the element of surprise and also any kid would love to receive a monthly package in their name.  The anticipation would just add to their excitement of reading and enjoying the book.  And especially for those months when you don’t have time to search and find books you know you’ll at least receive one in the post.  Apart from your own child, these book subscription boxes would make great gifts too.  Have you tried one?  Where do you look for inspiration for your kids books?  Do you know of any other services?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

{photo by Abigail Fahey Photography for ebabee}

Once Upon an Alphabet

February 24, 2015

Once Upon an Alphabet Oliver Jeffers

Now that Anya is six, I have been introducing quite a few longer, chapter books to her as I think she is ready to follow more involved stories.  Some have been really good, others not so much.  While we are experimenting with these longer books, we are definitely not ready to give up our picture books anytime soon.  Anya is still young and loves looking at pictures in books especially ones where the pictures tell part of the story or add an element of humour and fun.  Some picture books can be a bit babyish but there are plenty of far more sophisticated ones that are actually aimed at older kids like 6-7 year olds.  Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers is definitely one of them.

once upon an alphabetbooks for six year olds

You wouldn’t expect anyone to be recommending alphabet books for 6 year olds but this is no ordinary alphabet book. Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers is a collection of short stories based around the letters of the alphabet.  The stories are very short and even though they appear simple, they are packed with humour, wit and unexpected twists.  The words used in the book like ‘E for Enigma’ or ‘V for Victor the Vanquished’ are interesting new words and the accompanying illustrations are really fun too. One of my favourite stories is the one about ‘Danger Delilah’.  It’s a book that Anya and I have read together but she has also been picking it up and reading it to herself.  I’m a big fan of Oliver Jeffers and this latest book is no exception.  It’s now on my list for birthday gifts too.

{top two photo’s by ebabee, bottom photo via}

"puzzle activity books for kids 6 years"

While Christmas shopping for Anya I came across these kids activity books which literally jumped out at me possibly because of their striking black and neon colours.  I picked up one and had a quick flick through and thought it looked pretty good.  So I bought it for her and she has loved it.  We got the orange ‘Definitely not for chickens’ one which is full of drawing puzzles, number activities, memory games and lots more.  Some pages are easier than others but all offer pretty engaging things to do.  There are five different books in total each with different puzzles and activities.

"best activity books for kids 6 years"

Apart from being really fun for kids, these quirky Totally Twisted Puzzle books are nicely illustrated and use the same colour scheme inside and on the cover making it all very striking to look at.  I’m planning to get another one once Anya has gone through the first one.  It’s been a great book to take along when you need your child to be entertained (rather than giving them an ipad/iphone).  Recently while planning our house renovation, we’ve had to spend hours at kitchen/bathroom/flooring shops and this book has been the thing we’ve taken along to keep Anya occupied.  I also love these books to give as party favours or small gifts.

"best books for 4-6 year old kids"

We are complete bookworms in this house.  I would go so far as saying almost more then adult books, I adore kids books and get excited every time we get a new one.  Christmas is the perfect excuse for me to go a bit over the top buying new books for Anya.  Last week I shared some great activity books for kids so today I wanted to share some story books.  Most of these books are suitable for around ages 4-7 years but of course can be read out loud to younger kids too.  Some of them are old classics like Puss in Boots and Aesops Fables but I’ve picked new and exciting editions which bring something different.  We already own some of these books and love them and the rest are on our wish list:

1. Once Upon an Alphabet | 2. Aesop’s Fables | 3. Ramayana: The Divine Loophole | 4. Sparky! | 5. My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am not) | 6. The Book With No Pictures | 7. All the animals were angry | 8. The Day The Crayons Quit | 9. Animalium (Welcome to the Museum) | 10. Pippi Longstocking | 11. Puss in Boots

"11 of the best activity books for kids"

My absolute favourite thing to gift kids is books – any kind of book from story books, to picture books to activity books.  Christmas gifts for Anya would not be complete without at least one book included but usually I give her many more.  If you’re crazy for kids books too then you’ll love today’s round-up of gifts.  I’ve chosen a range of the best kids activity books out there from drawing books to puzzles to colouring books.  These activity books are for a range of ages mostly from around 4 to 8 years but even younger kids can get stuck in with your help.  Here’s the selection:

1. Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists | 2. My Cut-Out Pictures | 3. Paper Play: Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it! | 4. Colour Me In!: An activity book | 5. Atlas of Adventures | 6. Illustration School: Let’s Draw (book and sketchpad) | 7. My Monster Bubble Writer Book | 8. Mobile Art | 9. Maps Activity Book | 10. Make Your Mark: The Drawing Book for Children | 11. Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure

"DIY wooden necklace ideas"

I’ve long been a fan of Merrilee Liddiard who writes the creative kids craft blog called MerMag.  She has now published a book full of the most fun crafts to make with your kids.  The thought behind the book is that we can make toys and fun things for our kids just like our grandparents did.  Everything doesn’t have to be bought but instead it’s all about engaging with your kids to create playful things where the making part is just as important as the playing.  Being the stylish mum that she is, Merrilee goes a step further with her book.  While it’s all about kids crafts it’s beautifully presented with thought given to the clothes the kids wear, the interiors and every detail so that it’s a book you can happily display on your coffee table. 

"paper plate crafts for kids""best craft book for kids 2014""DIY kids party pinata"

The book is called “Playful: Fun projects to make with + for kids” and has a big range of crafts including toy making, paper crafts, making dressing up stuff and lots more.  Some of my favourite crafts include those cute wooden necklaces (pictured at the top) and those giant animal cutouts.  That tiger pinata looks really fun for a party too.  There are many crafty mums out there but the reason I especially love Merrilee’s creations is because everything is do-able by non-crafty mums like me and it’s very easy to genuinely involve kids and let them do a lot of it.  Also, you never need ridiculous amounts of materials or complex tools.  And besides all her crafts look so beautiful don’t you think?

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