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The Tidy Books UK Blog

  • The Usborne Book of Night Time - Kids books review by our parent panel

    Are you looking for a new book to read with your children this month?   Our new series, kid's books reviewed and recommended by our panel of parents is a great resource.   Each month, our panel of three families will read and review a kid's book from a leading publisher.  So you can decide which kid's book to buy next.

    Read what our panel thought of The Usborne Book of Night Time, published by Usborne Children's Books

    usborne books, tidy books, kids book review, recommended kids books reading, usborne book of night time The Usborne Book of Night Time © Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2018

    We loved reading this Usborne book and learning what goes on while we are in bed asleep.  Our favourite bits were learning about how new sea corals are made and how the northern lights are made! We also enjoyed the way the book is set out in a fun way with lots to look at and discover, As always a quality book from Usborne;  from the pictures to the text, and I loved the way it encourages my child to read.  Laura and Ruby Jo, 6

    usborne books, tidy books, kids book review, recommended kids books reading, usborne book of night time The Usborne Book of Night Time © Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2018

    This is a great book with the usual writing and illustration quality you come to expect from Usborne books. Both educational and fun, it explores our world both the natural one as well as city life through the night.  It provides lots of opportunities for questions about our surroundings.  It is also broken down in to short, self contained chapters so you could read it as a whole or pick and choose.  My daughter loved reading this book.  Stella and Lola, 5

    usborne books, tidy books, kids book review, recommended kids books reading, usborne book of night time The Usborne Book of Night Time © Usborne Publishing Ltd, 2018

    For children who are struggling with being ‘afraid of the dark’, this is an interesting and ultimately reassuring book about the things which happen once they are safely tucked up in bed. Oscar thought that if you were afraid of the dark, then this might reassure ‘scared children’,

    Each chapter deals with a separate aspect of ‘night time’, such as what happens in the British countryside, different global cities and the Australian outback. My boys, Oscar and Stanley, aged six and four, were particularly enthralled by the pages about the nocturnal animals who emerge from their daytime hiding places each night and learning about the ships and trains which carry cargo whilst the rest of the world is sleeping.

    Favourite pages were the ones at the beginning which explained about how it was night in some parts of the world, compared to others. We have grandparents in Australia, so this was personally of interest to them both.  Each page is beautifully illustrated with a wide range of facts to interest the young reader, meaning you can ‘dip into’ the most relevant facts for your own children to enjoy. Engaging and informative, I would recommend this book for informative bedtime reading. Sarah, Oscar aged 6 and Stanley, 4

    Thank you to our panel of reviewers; Sarah, Oscar and Stanley, Laura and Ruby Jo and Stella and Lola.  Thank you to Usborne for supplying our panel with great kid's books to review.    You can find The Usborne Book of Night Time  illustrated by Bonnie Pang on sale on the Usborne Children's Books website  to add to your child's library!

  • Literary days out the kids will love

    I love literary destinations – so much so that when my partner, Matthew, and I tied the knot earlier this year we had our honeymoon in Yorkshire so I could visit Brontë country. It completed our love story, really, because the first book I read when I moved from France to England was Jane Eyre – a gift from Matthew when he discovered my love of 19th-century literature.

    Visiting literary destinations can be a brilliant way for kids to connect to reading, too. What better way to spark their interest in books than by taking them to places where writers have created characters and magical worlds from the inspiration around them. There are also some great museums and visitor centres where kids can learn more about their favourite author through interactive exhibits and activities.

    You might like to try these...

    tidy books, literary destinations, literary days out, days out with kids, getting kids reading, literary places, literary tour The books that inspired literary days out, on a Tidy Books bookcase

    The World of Beatrix Potter

    Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tittlemouse – you’ll meet a whole host of Beatrix Potter’s characters during this tour. You can pop into Mrs Tiggy-winkle’s kitchen, see Tom Thumb hiding under the floorboards and get a photo of Mr. Jeremy Fisher on his lily-pad boat. There’s also a short film that introduces you to the author and her stories. While you’re in the Lake District, take a trip to Potter’s house, Hill Top, which has been kept exactly as she left it when she died in 1943. http://www.hop-skip-jump.com/ https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top

    The Gruffalo Trail

    At Thorndon Country Park in Essex, kids can use a map or app to find the cast of characters from The Gruffalo – which, by the way, is my favourite business book Just follow the clues and you’ll discover hand-crafted carvings of mouse, fox, owl, snake and, of course, The Gruffalo himself. http://www.visitparks.co.uk/education/gruffalo-trail/

    Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

    You’ll find the fantabulous world of Roald Dahl in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden, where the writer lived and wrote for over 30 years. The galleries are packed with things for 6-12 year-olds to see and do – like creating a character, making up a gobblefunk word, smelling chocolate doors and finding the mouse in the gobstopper jar. http://www.roalddahl.com/museum

    Pooh Country Tour

    It’s a real adventure tracking down the places that inspired author A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books. A map will help you find the East Sussex locations for Roo’s Sandy Pit, The Heffalump Trap and Where The North Pole Was. A favourite for kids is Poohsticks Bridge, where Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore had fun racing their sticks in the stream. http://www.pooh-country.co.uk

    The Harry Potter Experience

    At the Warner Bros studio tour Harry Potter fans can step into the Great Hall, marvel at the Forbidden Forest and see the Hogwarts Express on  Platform 9 ¾. There’s also chance to view props like the Puking Pastilles dispenser and a whole range of movie costumes. Plus you can find out more about the special effects used to bring Harry’s magical world to life.   https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/experience

    * Do you have a favourite literary destination where you take the kids?  Tell me in the comments below

     

    geraldine grandidier, tidy books

    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world. 

  • Polonius the Pit Pony - Kids books reviewed by our parent panel

    Are you looking for a new book to read with your children this month?   Our new series, kid's books reviewed and recommended by our panel of parents is a great resource.   Each month, our panel of three families will read and review a kid's book from a leading publisher.  So you can decide which kid's book to buy next.

    Read what our panel thought of Polonius the Pit Pony by Richard O'Neill, published by Child's Play

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, polonius the pit pony, childs play books Tidy Books' parent panel reviews Polonius the Pit Pony by Richard O'Neill, Child's Play

    "What a pleasure to read!  With lively text, lovingly drawn illustrations and engaging plot, both my boys were captivated.

    My six year old enjoyed reading about the history of pit ponies and while we were reading the book he had lots of questions to ask. After the story, on the inside back cover, is a mini-history of the use of ponies in coal mines in Britain. My three year old has asked lots of questions about the horses and about the relationships and identities of and between the different characters.

    I would strongly recommend this book because it is a multi-layered, stereotype-challenging book about determination and courage and kindness. And it is just lovely to read and to think about, even long after you’ve come to the end of it."    Amy, Isaac, age 5 and Cassius, age 3.

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, polonius the pit pony, childs play books Inside Polonius the Pit Pony

    "The story of the little pony was easily accessible for my 5 year-old.   He needed some further explanation on negative behaviour (i.e. making fun of someone due to differences like the horses did to the pony) but then understood that the two horses were undermining the pony due to his size.

    He did not really pick up on the traveller family’s storyline in the background as he took on the book for the sole purpose of following the adventure of a pony. So I’d say if the main purpose is to celebrate traveller values, this could be highlighted a little bit more openly for younger audience.

    Overall, I can say this is a pleasant read with a young child. It has captivating illustrations and the story is interesting."  Sedo  and Korai Charlie, age 5

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, polonius the pit pony, childs play books Inside Polonius the Pit Pony. Illustrated by Feronia Parker Thomas

    "We cheered when Polonius the Pony he got to be free and spend time outside. We particularly liked the names of the horses: Polonius  (gave an impression of a great hero from Roman times),  Thor  (another great hero) and Cushy (the soft one) 

    We really enjoyed the happy ending that celebrated Polonius becoming a real hero.    It was a lovely way of opening a discussion about animals and how we treat them. 

     We ended up doing a lot of activities about animal grooming.   I think it is a great way of teaching children about coal mines and horses."   Crina and Sebastian age 3 

    Thank you to our panel of reviewers; Amy, Cassius and Isaac, Sedo and Korai Charlie, and Crina and Sebastian.   Thank you to Child's Play International for supplying our panel with great kid's books to review.    You can find Polonius the Pit Pony on sale on Child's Play's website to add to your child's library!

  • Take one book, add grandparents – and relax!

    If you’re a grandparent you’re probably a little bit relieved that the schools have gone back now. Much as you love your grandchildren and you’re happy to help out with childcare, I bet keeping them entertained over the long holiday left you feeling pretty exhausted at times.

    I read one study that said the average grandparent would be looking after their grandchildren for more than 600 hours during the summer recess. That’s a LOT of hours to find ways to occupy them!

    grandparents reading with grandchildren Read together, and relax!

    Of course, grandparents reading with grandchildren is a lovely way to spend some time together. And it’s a nice, calm activity that doesn’t involve racing around – with grandparents getting out of breath and the grandchildren getting hyperactive!

    I know from grandparents who’ve been in touch with me that once they’ve bought a Tidy Books product for one of their grandchildren, when another one comes along they buy them the same one, too. It’s not just about treating their grandchildren equally – they obviously understand the importance of books in their grandchildren’s life and want to share the enjoyment of reading together.

    I love visualising a child selecting their favourite book from their Tidy Books bookshelf and asking granny or granddad to read it to them. What a wonderful way to connect the generations and to watch your grandchildren learn and grow. When my son, Emile, was growing up he loved his granny Barbara reading to him even more than me or my husband. It was such a special time together, just the two of them.

    I’m a way off from becoming a grandmother just yet, but I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to experience all that for myself. In the meantime, next month it’s National Grandparents Day on October 7th. And what better way to celebrate the occasion than gathering up the grandchildren with a good book and sharing some quality time together. No running around required!

    geraldine grandidier, tidy books

    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

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