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The Tidy Books UK Blog

  • All about Families - 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 All About Families, published by Usborne

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, all about families, usborne, usborne books Tidy Books' parent panel reviews All About Families Usborne

    It was nice to see a lot of diversity in this book as we are a very small, mixed race family where parents are bilingual in different languages. Our son could identify which family was similar to ours and learning about people speaking different languages in families (he hadn’t heard us speak another language rather than English until then) and it aroused his interest in languages and he made efforts to learn words in my (dad’s) language.

    The illustrations are interesting and related to the facts. It helped us make concepts easier to introduce (i.e. patchwork family). Although we were appreciative that the audience of this book are young people, it would be really nice to see words such as ‘gay’ / ‘same sex relationships’ during the parts where it explained ‘What is family?’

    Having mentioned that, I am also aware of the fact that some parts are left open-ended (like above) for parents to build onto and provide further details as they wish – which may have been the purpose after all.

    As a family, we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this book with our son during our bedtime and weekend reads.   Sedo (Teacher)  and Korai Charlie, age 5

    There are some nice positive comments about what families are and some useful illustrations which encourage acceptance and understanding of difference. I wonder if the book would be useful when teaching speakers of English as a Second Language, for example, in a pre-school classroom, about English culture. It would suit a pre-school age group for dipping in and out of, in order to introduce families as a topic. It could also support a nursery or pre-school project on family trees, or possibly even in a Reception classroom for EAL pupils.

    Unlike the Usborne ‘look inside’ books that have larger more complex illustrations and smaller flaps to lift, which make the reading more interactive, this book is very plain and each page looks very similar to the last. I would like to have seen more depth and detail about family life, and humour to provoke more interest or questions.  Amy (Teacher, 40), Isaac, age 5 and Cassius, age 3.

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, all about families, usborne, usborne books Inside All About Families, Usborne Books

     We particularly enjoyed the feeling page. It really sparked a long conversation. Parts of it could be made more playful to appeal to a younger age.  This book is more for dipping in and out of over a few days as it has loads of information and parents have to make it exciting for child to actually stay still and read.  I personally loved the family tree and I will use it when my son is 6 or 7 to make our own family tree.

    My child’s favourite part was ”What do families do?”  He really enjoyed identifying different families and said; 'I want to do that.'

    The book gave us lovely ideas for this summer activities also.”Family talk”, ”Family food” and “Celebrations”  were very educational.   The babies talking in different languages is a great way to introduce foreign words.  Images about different customs is a great way of knowing about how other religions and countries celebrate important dates.    Crina and Sebastian age 3

    Thank you to our panel of reviewers; Sedo and Korai Charlie,  Amy, Isaac and Cassius and Crina and Sebastian.  Thank you to Usborne for supplying our panel with great kid's books to review.    You can find All About Families on sale on the Usborne Children's Books website  to add to your child's library!

  • The accidental trend-setter

    When I founded Tidy Books in 2004 it was never my intention to be a trend-setter. In fact, being trendy was absolutely NOT what I wanted my business to be about. I never wanted to make things that would be here today and gone tomorrow. My ethos was – and still is – to design children’s furniture and storage that stood the test of time. But I’ve always been extremely proud that my bookcase, with its front-facing shelves so kids could see the book covers, was the first of its kind.

    Fast forward to 2018 and it seems Tidy Books is accidentally trending again. According to Houzz  nearly 50% of parents are choosing white as the main colour in their child’s bedroom. Which is how, earlier this year, our iconic white bookcase came to be featured in the Houzz of 2018 – a pop-up home exhibition showcasing the latest design trends.  

    tidy books, neutral kids room design, kids rooms, timeless design, kids design Parents are choosing white and natural furniture for kids' interiors

    Using wood as part of a neutral palette is also having a bit of a moment, and we’re getting an increasing number of requests from bloggers and Instagram influencers asking to feature our bookcase. Being on trend has even led to TV stardom. Fans of Homeland will probably have spotted our natural wood bookcase and letters in Series 6 of the show – fitting in beautifully in Carrie’s daughter’s bedroom in their trendy New York apartment.

    A neutral look for kids’ bedrooms definitely seems to be ‘the thing’ this year. It’s all over Pinterest and has even gone global, with Australian-based interior designer Kristy Wither picking it as a 2018 trend. She suggests using natural and whitewash tones as a canvas, then adding splashes of colour with bed linen and throws (in case you’re interested, her other top trend are metallics, velvet... and unicorns!).

    It’s all pointing to a more unisex style for kids’ bedrooms, creating a space that’s suitable for boys or girls. And of course it’s a perfect interior design solution for a bedroom that’s shared by a young brother and sister. Which is probably why grey is another popular choice right now. Well for that we must have had a crystal ball because last year Tidy Books worked with an interior designer to introduce a timeless and harmonious colour palette that included pale and dark grey.

    Honestly, I don’t try to be on trend. I’ve always gone for neutral colours because I love kids’ furniture and storage that looks great wherever you put it in the home. The combination of style and practicality is what Tidy Books is all about. Trends will always come and go, and that’s fine by me. I’ll still be here creating beautifully made, long-lasting designs that can be passed down through the generations.

     

    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.

  • Homeland starring kid’s bookcase visits Kind und Jugend 2018

    The first ever kid’s bookcase to star in hit TV series ‘Homeland’ will be exhibited at Kind und Jugend 2018 in Cologne on 20th-23rd September 2018.  The bookcase, which featured in Homeland’s Carrie Mathison’s New York apartment in Series 6 was created by kid’s bookcase and storage company Tidy Books.

    homeland, carrie, tidy books, kids bookcase visits kind und jugend The Tidy Books bookcase in Homeland, Carrie's daughter's bedroom

    Tidy Books was founded by Geraldine Grandidier in 2004 when she could not find a good bookcase for her young daughter and so developed her original children’s bookcase which encourages children to pick out books and read.  Her design forever changed the concept of what a good children’s bookcase should do, and has become an iconic kid’s design,

    Now a favourite with influencers and parents around the world for its original design, practicality and style, the Tidy Books bookcase has also featured in interior design platform Houzz of 2018 pop up expo, as well as being featured in TV series ‘Homeland’, BBC children’s programmes and home makeover shows.

    Kind und Jugend , the premier children’s product fair has identified that children’s design brands are more focussed on great design, quality and environmental sustainability than ever before, and Tidy Books’ award winning designs for kids tick all 3 boxes.

    Tidy Books makes a range of original children’s bookcase and storage designs which are easy for children to use, stylish to fit in modern living spaces and environmentally friendly; made from sustainable wood, and finished in an eco-friendly water lacquer which is better for the planet.  

    Geraldine Grandidier said; “These are exciting times in the children’s design industry and I’m looking forward to exhibiting alongside so many international brands, and meeting new and existing customers.  Parents rightly demand so much more from kid’s products; they want style, practicality and are nostalgic for the simplicity of their own childhoods. That’s why they’re tapping into Tidy Books’ philosophy of doing what works for kids, designing to foster children’s independence, because kids know best. 

    Tidy Books will be exhibiting with the Nursery Industry Productpreneurs Association - NIPA Baby alongside other original kid’s design businesses.  NIPA Baby is a group of inventors turned entrepreneurs who support and promote each other.   The Tidy Books team is delighted to meet retailers, industry colleagues and influencers at Kind +Jugend.    You can find us at Stand 04.1 C-047b  UK Pavilion  

  • Errol's Garden. Kid's 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 Errol's Garden by Gillian Hibbs, published by Child's Play

    "What a fantastic book! I read this to my boys and they both loved it. As London kids who spent their early years in a flat, they could relate to Errol’s longing for a garden and it was so lovely to read a story which wasn’t automatically set in a house with a  mummy and daddy. This is one of the first books I’ve read to the kids which showed a single dad family and we all adored the pages showing the diversity of people living in the flats through the depiction of Errol chatting to them in the lift. Indeed, the illustrations are wonderfully colourful, vibrant and engaging.  Intriguing for little people and excellent in terms of encouraging vocabulary and enthusiasm over growing fresh and healthy food. As a London school teacher, this book should be on the shelf of every London classroom."   Sarah, Oscar aged 6 and Stanley, 3

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, errol's garden Tidy Books' parent panel reviews Errol's Garden by Gillian Hibbs, Child's Play

    "Errol's Garden is a sweet story about a young boy who lives in a city flat and has a passion for gardening. He discovers a roof terrace in his block of flats, which makes the perfect setting for a roof garden. After lots of planning and research Errol, his family and neighbours take part in transforming this concrete space into a garden that is full of life. The communal effort brings the families and neighbours together and offers them a space to watch the seasons and plants change.
    Our first home was in a flat that had a roof terrace and like Errol and his neighbours, we all got involved to make the space full of beautiful flowers, fruit trees and fruit plants. It was really special for us all to share and for the children to discover how our food grows and how to care for it. It's a great story"   Stella and Lola, aged 5

    tidy books, kids books, kids book review parent panel, errol's garden Inside Errol's Garden by Gillian Hibbs

    "We loved reading Errol's Garden, and the mystery of the top floor.  We liked the way he had a plan and made his dream come true.  We enjoyed watching the community spirit come alive, the way all the neighbours got involved and helped and became friends as they grew different fruit and veg to share. We also enjoyed the lovely illustrations of all the different people being friends and having fun together.  We loved Errol's curly hair!  The book has even prompted us to start growing our own fruit and veg in our garden!"  Laura and Ruby Jo aged 6.

    Thank you to our panel of reviewers; Stella and Lola, Laura and Ruby Jo, Sarah and Oscar and Stanley.   Thank you to Child's Play International for supplying our panel with great kid's books to review.    You can find Errol's Garden on sale on Child's Play's website to add to your child's library!

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