Today sees the release of the newest and much anticipated David Attenborough story as part of the Little People, Big Dreams series.
Not many individuals have been inspiring so many people of all ages, genders and walks of life for so long. Not many individuals have the power to make so many others listen and pay attention. The life’s work of David Attenborough has been to bring the wonders of nature to our living rooms, to make us think and care about wildlife as much as he does. His television series are absolutely iconic, particularly recently Blue Planet 2. It managed to have such a big impact that ‘The Blue Planet Effect’ is a phrase used to describe the mass awakening of people to the dangers of plastic in the seas and oceans.
In this book, aimed at children from 4 years, we learn about his childhood and his early interest in zoology. We watch him develop a television career and become the tour de force he is today.
The Little People, Big Dreams series tell the life stories of some of the most inspirational people from history and the present day. All these lives have one thing in common: a childhood dream. These books are perfect to fill children with a sense of determination, passion and resilience to pursue their dreams. The series also includes some of the more tricky topics to talk to children about such as disability and racism. There was an initial focus on inspirational women but now there are many books about outstanding men including Bruce Lee, Stephen Hawking, David Bowie, Mahatma Ghandi and Muhammed Ali.
This book is a real treat for any library. Whoever would have thought that a little boy with a love for animals would become the legend that is Sir David!
One of my 2020 resolutions is to read more widely. I know what genres I like and tend to stick to my comfort zone. Recently I have found myself covering the same themes again and again, although I’ll continue to enjoy that content who knows what else I’ll enjoy! I also love Bingo…. So I’ve created this Yes Bébé Reading Challenge for 2020…. Join me!
I will read something……
There is only one rule…. One piece of writing per square
You’ll notice nowhere it says ‘book’. Reading challenges that specify the length of the piece of writing and ultimately only consider lengthy books to be worthy don’t appeal to me. In this Yes Bébé Reading Challenge you are free to decide the length of what you read and what type of writing that read. There are endless variables that influence what we read, some are very personal and some are trivial. This challenge allows you to focus on the diversity and enjoy the material you decide upon.
It may also be the case that you don’t read with your eyes. That’s cool too! There is a fascinating discussion around the way we absorb words and what difference that makes.
You can pick your own goal, whether it’s one square, a line
or a full house.
Each month I’ll be writing a short blog article reflecting on the journey and making reading suggestions so please, if you come across anything amazing do share! I can’t wait for you to join me on this challenge!
For now you can find a fantastic selection of books for children and adults here
Buying for Under 2’s can be very tricky, especially when you need to have ideas at the ready for friends and family. From rattles and stacking toys to noise makers and soft toys you can take your pick secure in the knowledge that everything we sell is safe and ethically traded. Enjoy this Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers….
Based in the UK, Best Years have been making toys for over 10 years and were the first to introduce knitted dinosaurs, still a favourite today! They care about remaining ethical all the way through their production process, from where they source their materials to whom makes the toys, currently- a network of fair trade cooperatives, artisans in Peru and disabled groups in Vietnam. All of Best Years toys are suitable from birth and safety tested to CE and EN71. All of their toys are also Machine Washable.
Babies LOVE to make noise and Hape have a huge selection of instruments suitable for even the smallest child. Hape is guided by the philosophy that the future belongs to our children and creates toys that inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in. From the best selling and forever loved Pound And Tap Bench to Percussion Sets baby can find their rhythm in their own way!
Usborne have been publishing the very best in board and sensory books for baby’s and toddlers and the ‘That’s Not My’ Collection are must-haves. Why not start a gifting tradition this Christmas?
Also available are gift sets featuring a delightful soft toy!
Grimm’s are a family owned and sustainably managed manufacturer at the foot of the Swabian Alb, which produces natural, high quality and safe wooden toys made to officially certified standards. In product development, they are guided by the principles of Waldorf education and other educational approaches, such as Montessori.
Grimms Toys have a huge selection of toys that are just perfect for babies and toddlers:
Graspers are available in Rainbow, Pastel and Natural colourways and made from maple, cherry and beech wood with a non-toxic plant based oil finish. Little finger are naturally sensory, what a true gift to be able to put these graspers in their hands and allowing these first sensory experiences to be with natural, hand crafted wooden toys. Grimms graspers are also popular with older children who still enjoy their calming and grounding feedback.
The classic stacker with 10 trade mark Grimms rainbow coloured discs! With the large Conical Tower the children can sort, stack and build. Through play little one’s develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and colour sorting. Made from lime wood with non-toxic water based colour stain. Beautiful to display in a nursery too!
When babies have learned to walk then love to pull things behind them especially if they can load all their favourite things on top. The Rainbow Turtle has 10 blocks which can be used as building blocks and a puzzle too. This gorgeous turtle is 24cm and made from lime wood with a non-toxic water based color stain and non-toxic plant based oil finish.
Le Toy Van create traditional wooden toys with a modern feel and high quality. They focus on role play to help promote early learning and imagination development in young children. They ensure they use natural materials including replenishable legal quality smooth rubber-wood. All of Le Toy Vans toys comply with rigorous safety standards and are hand finished to achieve a unique look each time.
This fun sensory toy features 4 pieces to stimulate different senses and skills: sight, sound, touch and dexterity. Each piece is made with solid rubberwood and water based colours,to sort into the matching tray. Shape and colour recognition develop logical thinking. Discover them all with this multi sensory toy.
Grapat is a small family project built on the premise of letting children play, at their own pace and in their own time. They are inspired by the sacred and complete immersion of child like play when new worlds are created with rules unique to that moment and time. They believe in nurturing the safe space children create when playing and provide natural material without instructions. The finishes are made with waxes and oils of vegetable origin and it is made following traditional processes.They use thick soft raw materials and natural dyes which leaves the wood veins visible through vibrant coloured waxes and oils with a slight shine. All products are home made and hand painted with great care. While some small parts might not be suitable for the very youngest of children they have some great toddler friendly items. Check out Tinker Trays for an ideal play companion.
Everyone has their family traditions during the Christmas holiday season. Any of these sound familiar, past or present? Not all mine.
Getting a tree together and decorating it?
Baking mince pies?
A Christmas day walk after or before the main Christmas feast?
Watching Top of the Pops countdown? Snigger. How retro.
Watching the Queen’s speech?
Morning church service?
A must-see annual viewing of a special film?
Present giving before the Christmas feast?
Present giving after the Christmas feast?
Present giving on Christmas eve?
Snack left for Santa and Rudolph?
A little nap after the feast?
The list can be endless. Sometimes you don’t even realise a tradition is hidden away amongst the festivities.
And as we get older and have our own families we become nostalgic and pass these traditions on (or even get rid of them because we hated it as a child) and gain another few along the way. Any of these ring true? Not all mine.
New Pyjamas and socks (because we haven’t got enough already)?
Xmas eve box full of treats?
Charity donation or visiting someone who might be lonely this holiday?
And then there are those extra-extra special traditions that you just can’t replicate and are close to your heart.
Eating my grandpa’s turkey sandwiches late on Christmas day when you start to get hungry again after the feast (because it happens). Squeezed in between the layers of bread are roasties, stuffing, vegetables, dripping and all. A death-wish right there, but so amazing and indulgent. A last nod to Christmas day. I still find it hard to imitate those wicked flavours.
Just when you think you can’t have any more amazingness over the Christmas holidays, someone waves that hygge* wand over you and you discover a new tradition!
What sorcery is this you speak of?
The concept is simple. Picture this.
It’s Christmas Eve. You have been gifted a new book from your family (smell those crisp pages). Donning your Christmas pyjamas and socks, you wrap yourself in a blanket. The fire is lit, candles out and the tree lights are twinkling. With a mug of hot cocoa you spend the rest of the evening reading.
“Oh, for a nook and a storybook. With tales both new and old. For a jolly good book whereon to look. Is better to me than gold.” Old English Song.
Christmas Eve is the main gift giving day in Iceland. After the exchange of presents have finished they lose themselves in a book. Everyone grabs a cup of hot chocolate (eh hem, or an alcoholic beverage) and cozies up to spend the rest of the evening reading. And this is exactly how Icelandic people celebrate each year. The most book buying people in the world enjoy a bit of Hygge* time with their new book and family. In the words of Pop Larkin from The Darling Buds of May – Perfic.
This tradition started around 1944 (World War 2) when paper was one of the few things not rationed in Iceland and there was low tax on paper imports. Today, while the rest of the world celebrate World Book day in Spring (Next year – Tuesday 23rd April 2019), Icelanders have their equivalent between October and November and start purchasing books for Christmas Eve. A book boom of the year. This tradition is known as Jolabokaflod, which translates roughly to “Christmas book flood” in English. A study conducted by Bifrost University in 2013 found that half the country’s population read at least eight books a year.
In a world slave to technology, I cannot think of a better way to spend the evening. My dad always had a tradition of reading his new gifted book on Christmas day, while everyone was busy tidying in the kitchen or sat in front of the box. He always looked so happy and content. Lost to the world. So, why not bring it forward a day? There’s nothing worth watching on the TV these days on the night before is there? Snigger typical British television.
If this sounds like an ideal way to spend Christmas Eve with your family, here’s a little bit of Yes Bebe inspiration for you all.
Something to keep your hot cocoa warm or your ‘naughty-but-nice’ cold? Try U Konserve insulated coffee cups and tumblers with helpful drinking lids. They come in a variety of colours. Why not assign a colour for each family member?
Yes Bebe stock a carefully considered range of books. For example, themed books on Dinosaurs, Seasons, Sea life, Baby milestones, Inspiring women of history, First books, Classic picture books and interactive fairy tale books.
Many of these books can be used in conjunction with their toy section and you could create your own story sacks to accompany them.
Waldorf and Inspiring play books are also available for parents.
* Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. Look it up. It’s now become a widespread thing. Down with the kids so to speak.