The Great House Hunt book review

A Great House Hunt book review

A Great House Hunt book review

A Great House Hunt book review

The Great House Hunt by Davide Cali and Marc Boutavant (author and illustrator of Around the World with Mouk – another of Harry’s favourites) has been a surprise hit in our household. It is an enormous book full of bright colourful illustrations. Harry chose it and was adamant it should be added to his and Teddy’s ever growing library. He asks to read it often. The story is read through the dialogue of the characters almost in a comic book style.

A Great House Hunt book review

It follows two ladybirds, Polka and Dot as their “estate agent” Mr. Weevil tries to find them the perfect new home. Harry enjoys the way it is written as you literally travel through the story with the characters. The characters move through the pages as their day unfolds.

A Great House Hunt book review

A Great House Hunt book review

From an educational point of view in The Great House Hunt, the insects travel through various mini landscapes from a wood to a beach to a miniature urban jungle. It also introduces insects as main characters which is not a common theme for childrens’ books.

Will Mr. Weevil manage to find them the house of Polka and Dots dreams? Why not find out for yourselves…

The Paper Dolls


Find me any parent in the UK who hasn’t come across a Julia Donaldson story – The Gruffao and Room on the Broom for example are synonymous with toddlers and story time…


A somewhat different approach to story-telling from the author’s more well-known stories, touches me every time I read it. It sparks Harriet’s imagination and leaves her questioning the outcome. It has a very clever way of approaching loss and the joy of memories. Be warned it could be a tear-jerker. But a good one I promise.


The Paper Dolls is by no means only a book about loss, though that is a part of it. It is an imaginative story about a little girl and the adventures she has with her string of paper dolls. The rhyming verse is delightful and somewhat odd – with “Ticky and Tacky, and Jackie the Backie, and Jim with two noses, and Jo with the bow….” – though that’s what Harriet likes the most. Julia Donaldson really does know how to write for children! I often find Harriet singing the verse to herself throughout the day.



I don’t want to tell you too much of the story, but I can’t recommend  enough – the illustrations are spot on and again, simply magical. It is a great pairing between Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb. Just watch out for the dinosaurs, tigers and crocodiles!

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Katie and Georgie

Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day

book rev3 0303 is a little girl who loves making hats. Her favourite is one which was owned by her Granny Elsie, who was a milliner. When her horrid brother Oliver tears Granny Elsie’s hat, Clara is distraught. To cheer her up, her mummy takes her on a magical day out to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hoping to be able to find someone there to help fix her Granny Elsie’s hat, Clara tucks it into her backpack before they set off.

book rev2 0303.jpgWhen they reach the Museum, after seeing all of the “imposing statues, glittering jewels, silver and gold goblets and… the strangest, sparkliest sculpture…” Clara eventually finds herself in a huge cupboard brimming with hats!

There she meets a hat doctor – will he be able to save her hat?

book rev5 0303.jpgWritten by Amy de la Haye, former curator of 20th Century Fashion at the V&A Museum, this book is an absolute delight. The illustrations by Emily Sutton are exquisite, and make it very easy for any little girl (or boy) to delve into the magical world of the museum. A treat for anyone heading for a trip to London, or better yet the V&A Museum.

pic2My favourite page of the book is Clara’s bus journey to the V&A, where they pass Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Harrods – the illustrations are exquisite and full of hats!

pic1Suited to a wide range of ages. Harriet enjoys having it read to her, but I think in a few years time she will adore and appreciate the detail of the illustrations far more. With clear, large text it, I can see  also being a great story for older girls to read by themselves.


365 penguins…

365 Penguins

365 Penguins

Harry loves numbers and maths. As a baby he could be calmed down if a bit fractious by being given a calculator and at 18 months he could count and recognise 1 – 10. Therefore, any book which not only tells a story, but which also incorporates numbers is a must for his bookshelf. 365 Penguins is such a book.

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet is an unusual yet amusing tale of the arrival of a penguin on New Year’s Day to a family’s home from an unknown sender. Things turn even more peculiar as a penguin arrives from a courier every single day for a year and the family have to deal with the chaos which follows. Who has sent the penguins, and why?

The story is slightly surreal (aren’t most children’s stories?) and Harry absolutely adores it. It takes into account a child’s sense of fun and the ridiculous, as the family try to find ingenious ways to store the growing number of penguins entering their lives on a daily basis.

365 Pensguins

365 Penguins

The bold illustrations using just three colours makes for a strikingly visual book. It is also a large book which Harry finds appealing.

It is not just a book for those who love numbers and maths (although it is a deliberate element to the book to make numbers more accessible and fun). It is a tale of a family trying to work together through an unexpected event and coming through it with a sense of humour.

Have you read this book? What did you and your minis think of it?


Mami 2 Five