The Books I Read {2016}

As part of my 2016 Bucket List I promised to read a book a month. Now, I’m not going to lie – I haven’t read a book every month through the year. But, I’ve read more than twelve books through the year so I think I have done a good job.

The Books I Read {2016}

To put this into perspective, in 2015 I aimed to read just one book through the year. I used to read so much and it was my way of starting to read again. But this year I have made a huge improvement on the reading front so thought I would share with you the books I have read throughout 2016.

Continue reading “The Books I Read {2016}”

Redhead Roundup – Books {November 2016}

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Here are a few books we’ve been reading over the last month or so, mostly with a Christmas theme!

Athena and the Magic Chair

LP and Little Man love personalised books and the Magic Chair book is one of the most beautiful ones we have seen. Centred around the child, LP in this case, you are able to design a character that looks just like the child – with the right hair colour, eye colour and skin tone.

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LP loved that she had a book all about her, with a character that looked like her too. The Magic Chair is a really festive story, all about Father Christmas and his travels. It was so nice to read and with each page beautifully illustrated it’s the perfect book for a family to enjoy together.

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The Magic Chair would make such a wonderful gift this Christmas and you can order for Christmas delivery all the way until 9th December. LP loves her book and Little Man loves reading it with her – seeing his sister on each page.

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The European Tour of Troy Wishart

Little Man loves books with him in too – although in this personalised book he’s a racoon! The book follow’s Little Man’s journey around Europe, learning new words and a little bit of the culture as he goes.

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The European Tour is based around the alphabet and each page, and country, ends with another letter of the alphabet being found. The book is great for Little Man with it’s beautiful illustrations and rhyming text but as he grows he’ll be able to really learn more about Europe too. A great book for any age child.

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Handstand

Handstand is such a lovely book that teaches numbers and counting although in a completely different way to normal. It only goes up to seven but uses repetition and verse to really reinforce the numbers and is much more fun than a typical count to ten book.

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The book follows the main character trying to do a handstand for as long as possible and the things that happens to her whilst handstanding. The illustrations are so different to other books we’ve read with a sketchbook feel and LP and Little Man really loved looking at the pictures throughout the book.

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Refuge

Refuge is a new take on the classic Christmas story – but from the perspective of the donkey. It’s simply written, full of emotion and with illustrations that the children loved.

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The story was easy enough for even Little Man to understand and it tells the basic principles of the story without going into too much detail. A really lovely version of the Christmas story for any age family member.

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The Winter Fox

LP and Little Man loved The Winter Fox. The illustrations were beautiful and each page had some metallic aspects of the text too, making it just so beautiful to look at. The story talks about all the animals getting ready for winter and helping each other.

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The Winter Fox is a lovely tale of friendship, working together, sharing skills and team work. It also teaches a lot about winter, what happens to animals during winter and is really just a wonderful story to read with the children at this time of year.

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Daisy Darling – Let’s Have Lunch

Let’s Have Lunch is the latest in the Daisy Darling series of books. This book follows Daddy giving Daisy her lunch and Little Man and LP loved the rhyming text in the book and the humorous illustrations.

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The book is one that both adults and children can relate to and it’s a nice size book that children can hold easily but is also the right length for a story at any time of the day.

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The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my favourite children’s stories and one I remember from my own childhood. It’s a story that has been retold countless times and this version may be the most beautiful one I have seen so far.

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The book is a large size hard back book with a beautifully illustrated dust cover over it. The illustrations continue inside the book and really kept LP and Little Man’s attention throughout. The whole book was lovely for them to not only listen to but have such wonderful illustrations too. If you are looking for a timeless book that will last generations and look beautiful on any bookshelf this could well be it.

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Sleeping Beauty – A Mid-Century Fairy Tale

I have read Sleeping Beauty so many times and the children are so familiar with it but Sleeping Beauty – A Mid-Century Fairy Tale is so fresh and new – a really modern update of the classic fairytale.

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This book has such lovely illustrations and LP and Little Man loved the new spin on one of their favourite stories. It brings Sleeping Beauty right through to the modern day and it was a really lovely read. It’s the sort of book that children will treasure forever.

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The Christmas Fairy

The Christmas Fairy was one of LP’s favourite books this month. It’s written in rhyme which makes it fun to follow for the children but also makes it memorable. LP loved that Clara the fairy had ginger hair like her and she really enjoyed learning about Clara’s fairy lessons and her ambition to sit on top of a Christmas tree.

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We loved reading The Christmas Fairy and it was such a lovely book to enjoy at this time of year. It’s a nice length for bedtime or just a quick read at any time of the day and the illustrations are brightly coloured and beautiful. This book will give anyone a warm fuzzy feeling and a little bit of Christmas cheer.

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Quack and Field – Trampolining

Last month I shared Quack and Field – Swimming but this month we were sent the Quack and Field Trampolining book. It’s the same style of book with lovable characters teaching the reader all about trampolining – the process, the different moves and styles and how the scoring system works.

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LP and Little Man loved the antics that the characters got up to and laughed at the different animals’ personalities. It was a fun book that they both really enjoyed reading.

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The Princess and the Christmas Rescue

I loved The Princess and the Christmas Rescue almost as much as the children. It’s a book that’s made to be loved and treasured, with a hard back finish and beautiful illustrations. The story is written in verse which makes it so engaging and easy to read – it may well be one of the most read books this Christmas.

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The book tells how the Princess is quite solitary, happy making things and being creative but her parents want her to make friends and get outside more. In the end she makes friends without even trying and her parents learn to embrace and love her creative side. It’s a really lovely book with a feel good story and really lovable characters.

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Elmer’s Christmas

LP and Little Man love Elmer and he’s a character I loved as a child too. But, as well as Elmer’s usual adventures LP and Little Man can now read about Elmer’s Christmas. Any fan of Elmer will love this book – that comes in both a large paperback or baby board version.

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The illustrations are beautiful and will be familiar to anyone who has already been introduced to Elmer. The story tells of how Elmer and his elephant friends prepare for Christmas and it’s such a lovely story, one LP and Little Man really enjoyed.

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Odd Socks

Odd Socks isn’t a Christmas story but it’s one we’ve still really been enjoying this month. It tells the story of two socks and their lives together before being separated. It’s fun, with quirky illustrations and just the fact it showed socks with faces on made the children laugh so much.

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This is such a lovely book for any story time. It’s so much fun to read and has a really lovely and unexpected ending. It’s one the children now ask to read again and again.

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Tell My Story: Imagination Book

Little Man was sent the Tell My Story Imagination book and I couldn’t wait to see his reaction. The book is personalised throughout with his name and photo and he loved being in the book.

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Each page features Little Man doing a different job or playing a different role – from flying a rocket to being underwater and working in a circus. It shows all the things that children can do inside their own imaginations.

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This was such a beautiful book and I love that it’s hard back to make it as long lasting as possible. It’s a book that Little Man will really enjoy indefinitely and has a classic, timeless appeal – and child would love a book where they are the main character. This would make a wonderful gift this Christmas.

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Disclosure: The above books were sent to us for inclusion in this post however all opinions are my own.

Redhead Roundup – Books {October 2016}

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The children love to read. Here are a few books we’ve been enjoying this month:

The Royal Rabbits of London

This book was a little grown up for LP and Little Man but they were happy for me to read it to them chapter by chapter over a few evenings and lazy afternoons. The Royal Rabbits of London follows the story of Shylo, the runt of the rabbit litter. He is constantly teased by his siblings because he isn’t as strong or brave as them. But when Shylo stumbles across a band of rats who are plotting against the Queen, it’s up to him to travel all the way to London to tell the Royal Rabbits about the rat’s plan!

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The Royal Rabbits of London could easily be a new classic, presented in a beautiful hardback cover it’s a really lovely book for older children or even adults. It has a few pictures through the book and a really timeless feel to it. We really enjoyed reading this book as a family.

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Eric Says Sorry

Eric Says Sorry is a really lovely story about children making mistakes and then owning up to them and trying to fix them the best they can. It’s set around Eric and his family who are really lovable characters and each page is full of beautiful illustrations.

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The book is a really lovely story that really send messages across to children about doing the right thing but towards the end of the book it has quite strong religious references that I don’t think were necessary – as they were so out of the blue and unexpected. The story would have got the same point across without such a blunt Christian message.

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Quack and Field Swimming

LP and Little Man really enjoyed Quack and Field Swimming. The book is full of really cut illustrations that the children really warmed to and introduced you to each of the animal characters. The story follows them preparing for a swimming race and the fun that’s had during and after the race.

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The book is really engaging, with lots going on and lots of different size text all over the pages to keep the children entertained throughout.

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Gordon’s Great Escape

We all loved Gordon’s Great Escape. It followed Gordon’s adventures, as a balloon, trying not to burst and getting up to all sorts – including rescuing his friends. It was written in rhyme which the children really enjoyed and the illustrations were fantastic, perfect for a fun, vibrant children’s book.

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Gordon’s Great Escape was easily the children’s favourite book this month – both LP and Little Man really loved Gordon and they laughed and clapped throughout. A thoroughly lovely book.

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Nightmare Before Christmas 20th Anniversary Edition

I remember watching the Nightmare Before Christmas movie when I was a child and it being so different to anything I had watched before. I actually found it vaguely terrifying but had never read the book so was interested to see what this updated, and rather beautiful, book would be like.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas book is a really lovely hardback book with a slip case. It’s a book made to treasure and it’s even illustrated by Tim Burton, making it a rather special book indeed.

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The children weren’t sure what to make of the book at first but with the rhymind text of the story they soon got into it. It talks about Halloweenland where Jack Skellington lives and Christmas Town, where Father Christmas is preparing for Christmas. It explores what would happen if they swapped worlds and although it’s a pretty dark story it also has a really fun feel to it, with amazing illustrations and something the whole family will love.

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An Animal ABC

An Animal ABC is unlike any other ABC book I have read with the children. Each page is beautiful – with one page dedicated to a unique animal illustration and the other has the name of the animal, a fun sentence about it and then actual facts about the animal too.

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But this book isn’t just Alligators, Bears and Cats. This book has Armadillos, Jack Rabbits and Moths. It has more unusual animals, explains their place in the world and their relationship to other breeds of animal. It’s a really fun but educational book and LP especially loved it.

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Disclosure: We were sent the above books for inclusion in this post however all opinions are my own.

Redhead Roundup – Books {August 2016}

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Here’s a few books we’ve been enjoying this month:

Where’s Spot?

I remember reading Where’s Spot? as a child and now the book has been re-released, along with a Spot the Dog website, so that a new generation of children can enjoy it too. The new Where’s Spot? book is just as I remember, looking for Spot all around the house and finding lots of different animal friends instead.

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The children loved reading Where’s Spot? It’s a really lovely lift the flap book that helps them get involved with story time. They always take it in turns to read the flaps and LP is starting to recognise a lot of the words too.

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Along with the new Where’s Spot? book there’s also a brand new Spot App too. The app, Spot on the Farm, lets you explore a farm with Spot, playing lots of games as you go.

The Lion Guard Magazine

LP and Little Man love the The Lion Guard TV show so they were really excited when they found out there was a The Lion Guard magazine too. The magazine came complete with a toy and puzzle, both in sealed packs so you had a surprise to see which ones you received with lots more to collect.

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The magazine contains lots of stories, activities and colouring pages as well as stickers in the middle – Little Man’s favourite thing! There was enough to keep him entertained for quite a while and he loved seeing all of his favourite The Lion Guard characters throughout the magazine too. A really lovely magazine that I’m sure we’ll be buying again.

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Can You Keep a Straight Face?

This is one of three flip and flap books that we were sent to review. Each page is brightly coloured with childlike illustrations that LP and Little Man could really relate to. Unlike typical lift the flap books, each page on Can You Keep a Straight Face? had tabs to pull, twist and turn, making one of the most interactive books the children have read in ages.

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The pages on Can You Keep a Straight Face? each feature a face each have a different face on them that the children loved changing using the flip and flap aspects.

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What’s Up?

What’s Up? is another in the flip and flap series of books with such beautiful illustrations and really thick, well made pages to keep the children flipping and flapping for ages.

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Each of the pages has a different animal and shows what that animal does – from laying eggs to dancing! The book not only has so many fun interactive elements for the children but is also quite educational too and both LP and Little Man love to read all three books in the series, both independently and with Hubby and I.

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This or that?

The last of the three flip and flap books is This or That? This book teaches the children about pairs and opposites with each page dedicated to things like the sun and moon or a chicken and egg.

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Each page has a really lovely illustration and bright, bold colours. The children are able to use the flaps and different interactive aspects to go from showing one thing to showing it’s opposite. This book is fun, engaging and educational and both LP and Little Man really enjoy reading it.

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Disclosure: We were sent the above books to include in this post however all opinions are my own.

Redhead Roundup – Books {June 2016}

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Here are a few books we’ve been enjoying this month – a few with a Fathers Day theme too!

I Love My Daddy

We love Little Tiger books and their latest I Love my Daddy book is one that Little Man loves reading with Daddy.The book has thick board pages and stars cut from the centre of each page which make it interesting for Little Man but also easy to hold and turn each page.

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The stars are incorporated really nicely into the story and each page has a few lines of verse, each relating to a different animal Daddy and child. It’s a lovely book with a really nice story and one that always keeps Little Man entertained and engaged.

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Odd Bods

Odd Bods is such a fun book! It’s full of bold and bright illustrations that have a sketchy feel to them. Each page introduces you to a cute and quirky character and the odd things that they do.

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The children love how the story bounces around the pages and how the illustrations are all over the place. They like to pick out different things in the pictures, decide on their favourite characters and giggle at the things that the Odd Bods get up to. This is now one of their favourite books.

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Play the Forest School Way

Play the Forest School Way is a woodland adventure book full of outdoor activities for parents and children. It contains everything from making nature jewellery, constructing a bow and arrow, foraging for food and making a fire.

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The Forest School movement is really popular at the moment and a lot of LP and Little Man’s friends go to Forest School sessions each week. They encourage self-esteem, confidence and social skills through nature play. Play the Forest School Way is beautifully illustrated and perfect to take to the countryside, for a day out or to give you ideas when looking for things to do during the summer.

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We’re looking forward to taking Play the Forest School Way on many days out over the coming months and I know it will give us inspiration for things to do for many years to come.

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Disney Frozen and Disney Jungle Book Disney Movie Collection Books

LP and Little Man are huge fans of Disney movies and now there’s a beautiful storybook series to compliment the movies. The books are all beautifully illustrated with stills from the movie and as they’re large format the children can read them together, pouring over the images.

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Each book has the movie in full on it’s pages which makes them quite lengthy books but ones that can be enjoyed before bed over the course of a few evenings, introducing the children to reading books in instalments rather than in one sitting.

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These are books that are made to last. They are really beautiful hardback books which can be invested in to create a collection to be enjoyed for years to come.

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Hello Little Egg

LP and Little Man love the Puffin Rock TV series and Hello Little Egg is the perfect accompaniment to the show. It has the same much loved illustrations and familiar characters who the children know inside out.

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Hello Little Egg is the perfect length for bedtime or a little reading session. Each page is just long enough to keep the children engaged and the text is positioned all over the page which easily adds interest. LP and Little Man really enjoyed this book and they love it so much more as they know the characters already.

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The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy

The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy was Little Man’s first experience of The Dinosaur The Pooped series and he found it hilarious. It’s something about little boys and poo that is a match made in heaven and this book made him laugh page after page.

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This book is a really nice board book that Little Man can read by himself and the pages have a glossy, hard wearing feel. The book has a really nice, easy flowing story with not too many words that keeps Little Man entertained and engaged throughout. The story is based on counting and teaches numbers one to ten in a nice rhyming style.

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Both Little Man and LP loved this book but it is now Little Man’s all time favourite – he reads it every single day without fail.

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The Dinosaur That Pooped a Rainbow

Just like The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy, The Dinosaur That Pooped a Rainbow had Little Man in stitches, he loved in immediately. Each page is made of thick board and has a glossy feel so Little Man can read it by himself without doing any damage.

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The Dinosaur That Pooped a Rainbow is written in the style of the rainbow song and each page is beautifully illustrated and dedicated to a different colour. Both LP and Little Man could easily join in with reading – or singing – the story and they now read it all the time. A really great book for young children.

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Colouring in with HP

This month HP Instant Ink also sent me some colouring pages and pencils to take some time out and relax. I used our HP printer to print the pages and it was great to have them at the touch of a button whenever I wanted to colour something new.

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Disclosure: We were sent the above products to include in this post however all opinions are my own.