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Sharing Stories ~ July 2024

 

All the stories we shared with families at our Stay and play sessions this month. For loads of great story inspiration keep reading...

Story Cafe ~ JULY 2024


Story Café is a stay and play session with a focus on Communication and language development, with an emphasis on the benefits of sharing stories together. We share a story with props, play and explore around the story with activities, enjoy a healthy snack and finish with songtime. Each child takes home a free picture book and a sticker. Story Cafe sessions are FREE, including all activities, picture book and snack for children and adults, and led by our teacher / Communication Champion. This month we shared...

The Woods by Rob Hodgson

We met actually in the woods to share this story, which was lovely.  We sat under the big tree, shared the story, went on a little scavenger hunt, hunted for the rabbits in the trees, blew the most enormous bubbles, and played some parachute games.

What I read ~ June 2024

Love is all we need by Krina Patel-Sage. The everyday meaning of love is revealed through six diverse families. Simple rhyming text and lovely illustrations, this one is a book for keeps, a joyful, hopefully book, celebrating empathy and kindness. Perfect for sharing. 
Published by Otter-barry in May 2024 . Find out more here - https://www.otterbarrybooks.com/books/love-is-all-we-need-

Sharing Stories ~ JUNE 2024



All the stories we shared with families at our Stay and play sessions this month. For loads of great story inspiration keep reading...

Story Café ~ JUNE 2024

Story Café is a stay and play session with a focus on Communication and language development, with an emphasis on the benefits of sharing stories together. We share a story with props, play and explore around the story with activities, enjoy a healthy snack and finish with songtime. Each child takes home a free picture book and a sticker. Story Cafe sessions are FREE, including all activities, picture book and snack for children and adults, and led by our teacher / Communication Champion. This month we shared...

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 


Published by Penguin Books.  Find out more here -  https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/322742/where-the-wild-things-are-by-sendak-maurice/9780370007724  And watch the story on youtube here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALmNPxNehYE


And here's a lovely short piece linking the story to how we deal with our children's feelings - https://childpsychotherapy.org.uk/resources-families/exploring-childrens-books/where-wild-things-are 

Where the Wild things are is a classic, perfect for bedtime. Here's what we did.

What I Read ~ MAY 2024


Everything I read in April 2024 - fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's books.


Spring by Ali Smith. Part of her Seasons Quartet this is the third (because I didn't realise I was reading them in the wrong order...). She has an exceptional skill for weaving together stories through time, and linking together people through time. This one is set between Brexit and covid, and the author weaves a story around the treatment of refugees arriving in the UK, through the stories of an IRC worker (she uses all the acronyms and I had to Google them...), a playwright, Katherine Mansfield, Rilke the poet, and a child refugee who seems to be mostly invisible. An overarching story of migration, place and grief, but ultimately hope.

Published by Penguin Books in 2019. Find out more here - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/285182/spring-by-smith-ali/9780241973356 


The Observer's book of trees compiled by W J Stokoe. I love these little old books and this one goes perfectly with the book I am also reading, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Inspired to do a bit of tree spotting and learning a bit more about some of the most important beings on our planet. Published by Frederick Warner & Co in 1960 Find out more here - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer%27s_Books


The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner. Beautifully designed and illustrated children's guide to bees and the importance that they play in all our lives. We learn that the smallest bee is only 2mm long, bees make beeswax and honey, they eat honey over the winter when they stay in their nests or hives, and only female bees have a sting. We find out about life in a beehive, that bees talk to each other by doing a shaking waggle dance, and that bees help to pollinate plants so they can reproduce and make fruit. Bees are really really important, but they are disappearing, due to the changing climate, loss of their habitats, disease and pesticides. Bees pollinate our crops, like fruits and vegetables, as well as wildflower meadows which are home to small mammals, insects and birds. So we can help akttle bit by planting lots of flowers, and not using pesticides. Published by Dorling Kindersley, part of penguin random house. Find out more here - https://www.dk.com/uk/article/charlotte-milner-the-bee-book-open-book/ 



Ten poems about Butterflies. It's the perfect weekend to be reading a book about butterflies. And we live in Norfolk, one of the only places to find the Swallowtail. They've been elusive so far, but we've spotted cabbage white, speckled wood, common blue, brimstone, red admiral, peacock and painted lady. These little books come with a matching bookmark, and an envelope so they can be given instead of a card. A perfect way to celebrate any occasion, whole giving the gift of poetry. Poems of "vividness and frailty" fill the pages of this little pamphlet. We hear from poets through the years including Emily Dickinson, Matthew Hollis, Grace Nichols and John Kinsella, about the beauty, rarity, acrobatics and wonder of butterflies. My favourite though has to be Matthew Hollis's ode to the Swallowtail at Barton Turf. 

Part of my year of promoting the power of poetry.  Published by Candlestick Press Find out more here - https://www.candlestickpress.co.uk/pamphlet/ten-poems-about-butterflies/ 



Happiness with Aristotle by Duane Armitage and Maureen McQuerry and illustrated by Robin Rosenthal. A lovely little board books for tiny hands, with big messages written for the youngest ears, it explains Aristotle's beliefs about happiness and friendship in a simple, accessible way. He believed that the best way to live a happy life was to fill it with true friends, who will be fun, helpful, and play with us, but also be honest with us, encourage us and wish good things for us. And that all starts with loving ourselves for who we are so we can be a true friend to others. 

Part of the Big Ideas for Little Philosophers series, published by Penguin Random House ouse.   Find out more here - https://www.penguin.co.uk/series/BIL/big-ideas-for-little-philosophers  'A philosopher is a person who loves wisdom.  Wisdom means knowing things that help you live better and be happy.'


Ten poems about birds compiled by Katherine Towers. Ten selections from the abundance of poetry about birds over the centuries. A birthday gift "instead of a card" from my sister. These are great little pamphlets, always beautifully designed, and enough of an introduction to poetry on the topic to inspire and delight. My favourite is still Emily Dickinson's Hope is the thing with feathers though...

Published by Candlestickpress Find out more here - https://www.candlestickpress.co.uk/pamphlet/ten-poems-about-birds/ 


We are Family, six kids and a super-dad. A poetry adventure by Oliver Sykes, illustrated by Ian Morris. The author vividly depicts his real- life childhood - rough, tough but happy in this story told through poems, describing himself as a poet, performer, memoirist extraordinaire, who grew up in Derby and now lives in Denbigh. In this collection we meet six kids and their amazing Super-Dad, who come together after their Mum leaves, never to return, supporting each other through laughter, adventures and mischief. There are poems about each of the siblings, Dad's cooking, dilemmas and giving Dad a card for mother's day. A brilliant, authentic collection, perfect for reading aloud.  Published by Otter Barry Books on 9th May 2024. Find out more here - https://oliver-sykes.com/, www.facebook.com/oliverjamessykesauthor, www.instagram.com/oli_sykes89/ and www.otterbarrybooks.com/books/we-are-family 

Reading round the world challenge ~ Germany ~ The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst. This is one of those books that makes you go "ah!" and "oh!" quite a lot. Written by a German forester who has learnt from daily observations over many years about the trees he looks after. His forest is managed differently, no machines and trees that thrive. We learn about the importance of the soil, so as much as road builders promise to replant woodland, it will never be possible to replace ancient woodland as it takes decades to bring back the biodiversity of the soil. Rather we just need to protect the remaining woodlands we have, because trees thrive when all of the diversity of life is part of the web of the forest, above ground and underground. One of the most fascinating things about the forest is the discovery (by Suzanne Simard in 1992) that trees communicate via a wood wide web of fungi which is integral to the life of a forest. A brilliant book that has completely changed the way I think about and look at trees. Published by Penguin books. Find out more here - www.waterstones.com/book/the-hidden-life-of-trees/peter-wohlleben/9780008218430


The Magic Garden, FROG by Shann Jones and Hannah Roundling. The Magic Garden belongs to the children's Mamgu (grandmother, say "mamgee"), and they love visiting to play in the garden. The children discover a frog, and the magic begins. Meet Suki the frog, who teaches the children all about frogs, tadpoles, forgets, jumping , catching insects with their long tongue, and how frogs are in danger need need humans to protect them. A wonderful story combining imagination with facts, this concept is a great way to introduce young children to nature. Beautifully illustrated.

Amazing facts about frogs that young and older children will love, like did you know frog's eyeballs go down into their mouths when they eat to help them swallow!!!

Sharing this and remembering our "Mamgu", and her messy, tiny, but magic garden.

Published by Graffeg in May 2024 Find out more here - https://graffeg.com/products/the-magic-garden-frog. Teaching resources from Graffeg here - https://graffeg.com/pages/teachers-resources. A proportion of the royalties from this book go towards the work of Froglife (https://www.froglife.org/)


Christopher's Caterpillars, a tale of minibeasts and mystery by Charlotte Middleton. Christopher and his friend Posie tend to their dandelions and look after 6 very hairy and very different caterpillars, who are munching on his prize dandelions. These caterpillars are so well looked after they are the happiest caterpillars in all of Dandeville! But when they disappear one day, it's a mystery that Christopher and Posie have to solve.

Butterfly life cycles, guinea pigs and gorgeous illustrations, what more to like?

Published by Graffeg in May 2024 Find out more here - https://graffeg.com/products/christopher-s-caterpillars 


Wanda by Sihle Nontshokweni and Mathabo Tlali, and illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne. Wanda has the most beautiful hair, but the boys on the school bus tease her, so everyday she tries to arrive at school early to change her hair, tying it up so ot looks "neater". Back home, Grandmother Makhulu says Wanda's hair is her crown, special and powerful, showing her a scrapbook filled with pictures of beautiful women wearing hairstyles she has never seen before, like Diana Ross and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and Grandmother Makhulu herself. Makhulu reveals her special hair secrets and Wanda goes back to school proud and happy. 

A touching story about beauty and identity and being proud of who you are. We need stories like this. Published by Otter-barry books in 2022. Find out more here - https://www.otterbarrybooks.com/books/wanda


Sharing Stories ~ MAY 2024


All the stories we shared with families at our Stay and play sessions this month.  For loads of great story inspiration keep reading...


Finding Magic by Eric Finney, from I am the Seed that Grew the Tree, a nature poem for every day of the year, selected by Fiona Waters and Illustrated by Fran Preston-Gannon.  What magic can you see happening all around you this weekend as Spring unfolds?


Published by Nosy Crow  Find out more here - https://nosycrow.com/product/i-am-the-seed-that-grew-the-tree-a-nature-poem-for-every-day-of-the-year/.  Part of my year of promoting the power of poetry. 


When the moon smiled by Petr Horacek. Counting stars with the moon and all the animals who live on and around d the farm. Perfect for sharing with little ones.   Published by Walker Children's Books. Find out more here - https://youtu.be/KWqhGdgOcFA?feature=shared 

The Whales on the Bus by Katrina Charman and illustrated by Nick Sharratt. We loved this one. Sing along to the tune of The Wheels in the Bus, with all the animals on different vehicles. A dragon in a wagon roaring all day long anyone? The little ones loved this one, especially A who got so excited waiting for a new page. 

Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Find out more here - https://www.booktrust.org.uk/book/t/the-whales-on-the-bus/


A Good Place by Lucy Cousins. From the author of the Maisy books, we absolutely loved sharing this one. A bee, beetle, ladybird and dragonfly are looking for a home, preferably "a good place" for them all. There are plently of not at all good places, until a butterfly comes to help.  Published by Walker Books. Find out more here - https://www.booktrust.org.uk/book/a/a-good-place/ 



Sharing stories with families at First Steps Norwich CIC. Part of the NR3 Stories for families project, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund. 

Instagram | @nickyhudson2436
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Story Café ~ MAY 2024

Story Café is a stay and play session with a focus on Communication and language development, with an emphasis on the benefits of sharing stories together. We share a story with props, play and explore around the story with activities, enjoy a healthy snack and finish with songtime. Each child takes home a free picture book and a sticker. Story Cafe sessions are FREE, including all activities, picture book and snack for children and adults, and led by our teacher / Communication Champion. This month we shared...

Bee by Britta Teckentrup 


A gorgeous story, shared with families on a gorgeous morning in the park. We hunted for bees in the trees, went on a nature scavenger hunt, played parachute games and popped bubbles.   Published by Little Tiger Books in 2016 Find out more here - https://www.booktrust.org.uk/book/b/bee/.   And here's a nice video so you can share the story at home - https://youtu.be/9rZchsF3Tlw

Here's what we did... 


We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

A classic story for sharing and joining in.  Brilliant rhyming text and lovely illustrations.  

We also shared a poem from Something about a Bear by Jackie Morris today. Find it in the children's library. 


and People need People by Benjamin Zephaniah. 

Who was Benjamin Zephaniah?  Read all about him on the Book Trust website here - https://www.booktrust.org.uk/authors/z/zephaniah-benjamin/ 

The illustrated version of the  beautiful poem from the late Benjamin Zephaniah. Benjamin was a performance poet, he wrote stories that rhyme, stood on a stage and told those stories to lots of people who loved to listen to him speak. He wanted everyone in the world to live together peacefully. The illustrations are great too - loads of opportunities to spot things in the pages and talk about how the people might be feeling and what they are doing.  We shared the story, explored painting our hands, making hand and people shaped stick puppets, and cutting out little chains of people holding hands.  

Listen / watch the story on youtube here - https://youtu.be/8uHHjAsPbLc?si=ch5zdrEBT93Pet2r

Sharing stories with families at First Steps Norwich CIC. Part of the NR3 Stories for families project, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and Norfolk's Early Childhood and Family Service.  And a big thanks to Rose Feather for joining us to sketch families sharing stories and to engage families in exploring mark making.

Instagram | @nickyhudson2436