Archive for the ‘Children's Books’ Category

Reviews – Hooray for Fish & Dr Seuss – The Big Brag

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book – Hooray for Fish!

Hooray for Fish! Hooray for Fish!By Lucy Cousins. Red Ted’s “first” favourite read – I picked up a hardback copy at Tate Modern Bookshop. He really enjoyed it the most 9 months – 12 months, though he does still enjoy it now, especially since I have brought it back out for Pip Squeak. We love all the different, bright and colour fish! Our favourite bit is probably the very rhythmic  “Eye Fish, Shy Fish, Sky fish, Fly Fish” page, but that is just us. It is all lovely! I now know all the words practically off by heart!

From a parental perspective, it is great, as it has lots counting going on, lots of colours to identify, stripes, spots etc etc so they are definitely learning too!

One of my (!) favourite Lucy Cousins books.

Kid’s iphone App – Dr Seuss – The Big Brag

We were lucky enough to be given this iphone App for review. I ADORE Dr Seuss, I love his books and we already have a number of the other Dr Seuss iphone Apps. So I was chuffed to bits to receive this brand new App for Red Ted and me to enjoy! Hurray. Especially, since I haven’t read the book yet!

What do we think? Well, we ADORE it (almost a given). There are so many things we like:

1) I like the voice over – voice can be so irritating, but they have this one spot on

2) The intro music – very “Dr Seuss” – cheeky, quirky and fun

3) The way, as with all of Dr Seuss’s apps, you can tap on the images and you see the word appearing and being read out – great for additional vocab learning (e.g. “Hill” or “Ears”)

4) How you have Read To Me, Read My Self  and Auto Play modes

Because of these different “Modes” (point 4), this App has appeal to a number of age groups. Red Ted (2.5yrs) use the Read My Self mode like a book when we are on the go and I didn’t get a chance to pack a book. I get to read and gets to tap and scroll. Older children learning to read (5-8yrs), can assist their reading skills with the Read to Me function or go it alone in Read My Self. OR, you can just relax, sit back and use Auto Mode.

The story itself is about a Bear and a Rabbit engaging in a “Big Brag” of who is the best animal in the world. The Rabbit has fabulous hearing abilities. The  Bear has amazing smelling abilities.. and then a little worm comes along and shows how he can see right around the world – we get a wee less in geography and foolish animals… And a little lesson on bragging! All excuted in the well known Dr Seuss drawing style.


 That way we get to read it at our pace (which you can anyway by just scrolling through), but also to tap at all the pictures.

Previous iphone Apps reviews:

I Hear Ewe (free) – All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose


Story + Art = stART – Story- and Thank You Time..

Our next stART project inspired by Playing By the Book and  A Mommy’s Adventures – who have made some great booky projects! Do take a look, they are fab!! (Do scroll down, there is a suggestion for you with what to do with a baby…).

Colouring his Thank You

Thank You for the Farm Visit

Thank You for my Train Ride

Ok, a slightly different take on “Story + Art” this week. This week I wanted to write some Thank You cards – as Red Ted’s Granny came to help (I had an appointment with Pip Squeak) and we went to a birthday party at Odds Farm. Both warranted Thank Yous – Red Ted had a wonderful outing on the Tram & Train with Granny and at the Birthday the Birthday Mum had gone to a HUGE effort with all the cakes (she made 4!), she also paid for everyone to go, which was very generous.

So. What does this have to do with “Story + Art”. I decided to “reminisce” with Red Ted – the art of storytelling is fading in our culture and is just as important for stimulating the imagination and learning to express yourself. So, we talked about the “good times had”.

The Farm: Red Ted told me about the pigs and the sheep (and how we were allowed to feed them (eat eat sheep) and how we had to wake the pig (“wakey wakey” pig and snoring sounds and eyes shut) and how there were 2 donkeys (2 iiii-aaa, horsey) – there were 4 actually, but Red Ted is only just starting to learn about numbers… So, I (badly) drew some sheep, pigs, donkey and some bunnies. Red Ted coloured them in!

Then to Granny’s day. This time Red Ted told me about how he was allowed to press the buttons (two buttons two) and how I had to draw some doors for him to get in and out of the train. Then some windows. We also drew the tracks and flowers.

Both cards I drew “free of hand” – don’t worry how your drawings look, your child will love whatever you do – look at mine, hardly a piece of art – specially, considering that selling art is “what I do”. But getting it right wasn’t about this activity. It was about telling a story. Reminiscing and encouraging Red Ted to “have a go”.

He did get a little bored towards the end (he was tired from the day out) and wanted me to colour, but I resisted – the colouring was HIS job and HIS thank you!!! I think he did wonderfully!! (PS He also drew inside the card a little.. but that was fine too!).

Gone on, have a go.

Thank You from Pip Squeak

For Pip Squeak’s Thank Yous, I have to employ a different tactic – soon she will be allowed to do some “messy play”, especially as soon as we can do it outside with not many cloths on. In the meantime, I LOVE taking prints with her foot. Cutting out the best one and sticking it on a small card. You can add her name and age if you like! Great thank you card to family babysitters or for someone who lives far away and doesn’t get to see them often!

I am linking this with “T is for” at:

Jenny Matlock

Other stART projects:

Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!

Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery

The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO

Story + Art = Great stART- Baby Bright Bedtime Star

Our next stART project inspired by Playing By the Book and  A Mommy’s Adventure – who have made some great booky projects! Do take a look, they are fab!!  (and there is a chance to win some fabulous books from Playing By the Book).

Erm, sort of reading

I decided to choose one of Pip Squeaks books, else this will become a project all about what Red Ted and I are reading. This is a cloth book called, Baby Bright Bedtime Star (see my books section). We read this to Red Ted when he was small and now it is an integral part of Pip Squeaks bedtime – I know it off by heart, so often just recite it! I also think it is nice to do this book, as I like to “remind people” that you can start “reading” from a very young age. They get it sooner than you think!!! 

Bedtime Star ("Baby Bright") 

This project is super simple – hopefully to inspire you that things don’t have to be clever. We decided to make some stars!! Materials needed: Paper, Scissors, Crayons! Done. I decided to glue it on some blue paper we still had.. 



I I drew some stars and cut them out (several sheets at a time). Red Ted and I coloured them in together. You could also decorate them with stickers or glitter! But we decided to have a simple project today!


Getting Stuck In

We then hung them in Pip Squeak’s room. And she LOVES them! 🙂 


Story+ Art = Great stART- Oliver Jeffers – The Way Back Home

Finally, our first stART project inspired by Playing By the Book and  A Mommy’s Adventures – who have made some great booky projects! Do take a look, they are fab. We decided to “honour” Oliver Jeffers with our first arty porject and we picked The Way Back Home. It is a lovely quirky book featuring the impossible made possible! Planes in cupboards, martians and climbing to the moon. Lovely drawings. Lovely book.

The Way Back Home

Red Ted likes to leaf through his books by himself, but we also read them together. Sometimes I just “tell him” the story as we go along (as I speak German to him), so we talk about the pictures more that way.

He we are reading.

Story Time

Some craft materials: Loo Roll, Cardboard (recycled box), scissors, Masking Tape, paint & prushes, Newspaper.


I made the models, as Red Ted is still a little small, but let him paint. For the plane I used some loo roll, cardboard and some newspaper at the front scrunched up. I secured it with masking tape, as you can paint over it. The wings are just slotted into holes I cut. I got the idea from a friend’s father who made a fabulous plane out of a kitchen towel roll for his son! For the UFO (as we call it in German), I used an empty baby food pot (erm, I don’t buy baby food, this was left over from a visitor) and two circles of cardboard. I slot the pot through a hole in one  circle and stick the other circle underneath. I did pad it out with some scrunched up newspaper, to give it some body. I covered it in masking tape, as Red Ted is sure to cover it in paint. You can remove it afterwards!

Red Ted gets stuck: Red Ted gets to paint! We almost had a tantrum as Red Ted couldn’t wait to start on the UFO, but I hadn’t made it yet. Maybe Green is his favourite colour!!! I think just as much paint went all over the newspaper and Red Ted’s hands as it did on the plane and UFO. But surely, that is half the fun?!?

Paint Plane Red

Painting UFO Green

We also like washing up!

Washing Up


Klipp Kopp

Klipp klopp

Klipp Klopp – Nicola Smee – as Red Ted gets older, suddenly the German Book market explodes with excellent books. We recently ordered “Klipp Klopp” – about some farm animals going for a ride on a big horse and he LOVES the book! I can lure him upstairs with a promise of Klipp Klopp when I have change Pip Squeak. Hurray! What is in it for the parents? Not much, apart from that it is fun to read, esp when the horse goes faster and faster (klipp klopp klipp klopp klipp klopp klipp klopp) etc. Enjoy!

For more books:

Silence. What a wonderful pleasure.

 Having had two – three days of hectic-ness & Pip Squeak not settling for naps (but bedtime, thankfully yes), and having just had more babies and toddlers round for a visit, I am basking in that wonderful thing called “silence”. Even more wonderful, due to it’s sharp contrast to two toddlers fighting over toys, as well as its unexpected-ness, due to Pip Squeak settling blissfully into sleep in less than 3minutes.


Now. I have no excuse to do some work. (Oh no!).

Less stuck…


Blue Green Swirls

.. oh, bad bad me – forgot to mention that my very good friend Dieuwke Swain is helping me organise the Big Draw – take a look at her fabulous artwork her –

Even “badder” of me, as Dieuwke just emailed me a list of fabulous ideas for the Big Draw event! Can’t wait! AND she will be coming ALL the way from Holland to help organise the final days and obviously be there on the day itself. Do check out her stuff and DO come in Oct and see our mini exhibition… 😉

Another reason I am less stuck, is that I had some follow up appointments with Pip Squeak in hospital – one involved sitting in the dark cuddling my gorgeous baby girl to sleep for a good 2 hours – plenty of time to think and at least work out ONE idea that I have trying to figure out. Woo hoo. Monsters’ Tea Party, here we come.

Oh and I got some more feedback on book idea and maybe original drawings are ok afterall.

Still. I have lots to do. And lots to figure out. But I feel like I know a little bit more now! 🙂