Children’s Book of the Week: Tidy by Emily Gravett

Our children’s book this week is Tidy by the award-winning author and illustrator Emily Gravett.  

  1. Emily reads… Tidy

We recommend this reading of Tidy by the author, Emily Gravett.

2. Emily draws… A Badger called Pete

Fans of Emily Gravett’s illustrations will love her draw-along videos.  This one is of Pete, the badger in Tidy.

3. How to make a paper badger

This tutorial shows you how to make an adorable badger out of a recycled cardboard tube.

4. How to draw a badger

Learn how to draw a cartoon badger with this YouTube video by Shoo Rayner.

5. Dry leaf craft ideas

Badger wants a tidy world, but by the end of the story he learns to appreciate the messiness of nature.  Here are some cool things to do with autumn leaves.


Children’s Book of the Week: Walking Through the Jungle by Julie Lacome

This week our children’s book is that Rhyme Time classic, ‘Walking Through the Jungle’. We found five jungle-themed things to make, do or watch.

  1. Walking Through the Jungle – signed story

    Leanne reads the story using British Sign Language – if you’re new to signing, this a great way to learn some new words.

2. Paper plate snake craft

Sssss! Over there – it’s a paper plate snake!

3. T is for Tiger handprint craft

Grrrr! We found this awesome tiger craft made out of a child’s handprint.

4. Tiger face painting

Kids love to be transformed by face paint! Teach yourself a popular face paint design with this quick tutorial.

5. How to Make a Crocodile Paper Puppet

To finish our walk through the jungle, here is a snappy puppet tutorial. Watch out for those teeth!

Children’s Book of the Week: Moomin and the Wishing Star by Tove Jansson

Our children’s book of the week is part of the world-famous Moomins series.  Adults and children alike find things to love in the quirky characters.  Here are five things to do, inspired by the story.

  1. How to draw Moomins

Jim McGee shows you how to recreate Tove Jansson’s drawings of Moominvalley characters.

2. How to make an origami star

Moomin finds a special pebble, but is it really a star?  Create your own star with this origami tutorial. 

3. Twig stars

Here is a different way to make a star, this time out of twigs.

4. Moomin storytime with Sophia Jansson

Discover another classic tale from Moominvalley, read by Sophia Jansson, the author’s niece. 

5. How to draw Moomin

To finish up, we found another quick drawing tutorial featuring Moomin.

Children’s Book of the Week: When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Our children’s book this week introduces readers to the two basic kinds of monster.  On every page there are two possible outcomes… but some possibilities are more horrible than others!  Here are five monstrous things to do, inspired by the story. 

  1. When a Monster is Born – read aloud

So, when a monster is born, what kind of monster will it be?  Find out by watching this read aloud version, over on YouTube.

An illustration from When a Monster is Born

2. Sponge monsters

These sponge monsters are a lot of messy fun, and great for younger kids.

Photo of a child’s painting made of sponge prints

3. How to make a paper monster puppet

These paper puppets are amazingly easy and fun to make – this video shows you how.

Photo of two paper monster hand puppets

4. How to make monster cupcakes

Baking with the kids is a nice activity for a rainy afternoon – here is a monster cupcake tutorial for Halloween.

Photo of a green monster cupcake

5. Monster party games for kids

And finally, we found some party games to help your little monsters celebrate Halloween indoors!

Photo of a Halloween pumpkin. Photo credit: Łukasz Nieścioruk 

Children’s Book of the Week: Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

This week’s children’s book of the week is the award-winning Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola.  It tells the story of Rocket, a girl who loves astronomy, and her big brother, who prefers his phone.  We found five online things to do that are all inspired by the story.

  1. Look Up! Storytime and draw-along

First up is this reading of the story on YouTube, plus a draw-along feature with illustrator Dapa Adeola.  You might recognise the author Nathan Bryon from his TV sitcom work!

  1. Build a spaceship craft activity

Younger kids can really go to town creating their own spaceship with this fun craft activity.

  1. Mae Jemison colouring sheet

In the story, Rocket is inspired by her hero Dr Mae Jemison.  We found this awesome colouring sheet celebrating the astronaut’s achievements.  

  1. OurShelves: Meet Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

Check out this YouTube film featuring the author and illustrator talking about how they created the book.


  1. Make your own scratch art

Children can create the wonders of space using this amazingly effective scratch art technique.

Children’s book of the Week: Booboo Baby and the Giraffe

Boo Boo Baby has lots of fun bouncing from animal to animal – but here comes a… rhino! “Boo hoo!” says Baby Boo Boo, so the animals comfort her, bouncing her back to bed. This is a wonderfully soothing bedtime story from the author of Handa’s Surprise.

Continue reading “Children’s book of the Week: Booboo Baby and the Giraffe”

Lucy the giraffe can’t sleep – the zoo is full of such a lot of different noises.  Ellie has the solution – she organises a way for everyone to live together and express themselves in a beautiful way.

The Ellie in Concert orchestral suite

Andy Jimenez has composed an orchestral suite for the book.  Listen to it here, accompanied by an animation based on Mike Wu’s illustrations.

Cardboard tube elephant craft

Mike Wu’s ‘Ellie’ books are proving very popular.  Here is a cute elephant craft for fans of the books.

Panpipes craft for kids

‘Ellie in Concert’ shows us that it is possible to create music out of surprising ingredients.  This is a great way to make a musical instrument out of 8 drinking straws.

Paper plate hippopotamus craft

This craft takes paper plate animals to another level, without being complicated.  The result is very comical hippo with impressive teeth.

DIY music shakers

Music shakers are a great way to enable children to explore music.  We particularly like these cardboard tube shakers decorated with tissue paper.



Children’s book of the week: Daisy 006 and a Bit

Daisy: 006 and a Bit’ by Kes Gray, illustrated by Nick Sharratt is the story of Daisy, who was first introduced as the pea-refusing star of ‘Eat Your Peas’.  There are now over fifteen Daisy books, including this one where she wears a moustache and joins the Secret Service.

A reading of ‘Daisy: 006 and a bit’ by Kes Gray

Check out the author Kes Gray reading ‘Daisy: 006 and a bit’  over here.

 Explore Daisy’s website 

If you’re wondering who Jack Beechwhistle is, or if you’ve forgotten the name of Dylan’s snake, this is a fun way to find out.   Click here to find out more about Daisy over here.

Draw Daisy with Nick Sharratt!

The lovely Nick Sharratt shows you how to draw Daisy, line by line, in felt tip over here.

How to make a Caesar wheel

Budding secret agents need some kind of code-cracking device to send and receive messages.  Luckily the clever people at Bletchley Park have created this printable Caesar wheel.

How to make invisible ink

Another way for kids to send a secret message is to experiment with invisible ink.  Here are some great ideas for creating hidden messages.


Children’s book of the week: I will not never not ever eat a tomato

Lola can’t imagine a world where she will ever eat tomatoes, carrots, peas, fishfingers or mashed potato.  Will her brother Charlie’s stories help Lola to change her mind?

Make your day a Book Themed Day!

A Book Themed Day is an awesome way of bringing stories to life – especially when it comes to mealtimes.  The Happy Mummy site suggests creating some delicious tomato-themed dishes with your child here.  The bruschetta looks particularly appealing!

Make a vegetablethemed superhero cape

Charlie uses his imagination to encourage Lola to eat different food – in a similar spirit, here is another imaginative way to celebrate vegetables.

Grilled veggie skewers

Kids love getting involved in creating veggie kebabs – and building these colourful skewers might broaden their vegetable horizons.

Charlie and Lola paper dolls

The traditional activity of making paper dolls gets the Charlie and Lola treatment.  Have a go at making your own over here.

Lola’s mobile

This is a very cute project for Lola fans and a great opportunity to showcase their colouring skills.



Children’s book of the week: Llamas in Pyjamas by Russell Punter

A group of llamas have a sleepover and experience some ghostly happenings in this unexpectedly spooky story! Continue reading “Children’s book of the week: Llamas in Pyjamas by Russell Punter”