Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

This is a wonderfully circular book. Amelia smiles, her smile is contagious and spreads all around the world and finally finds its way back to her - and she smiles again!

I love a book that shows (but doesn’t preach about) the interconnectedness of people around the world – this book manages exactly that.

And I think the key is the joyfulness of the illustrations. There’s a fuzziness* to them that invites the reader into the edges of the world each character inhabits. 

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classic literature isn't just for grownups

classic literature isn't just for grownups

ages 0 to 3 years
One-year-old Angus’s favourite book at the moment is A Christmas Carol from the BabyLit series. 

If you’re not familiar with BabyLit, they're board book primers (covering things like animals, counting, sounds, flowers and much, much more) that are a sweet introduction to classic literature. The words are simple and each page connects an object to a story via engaging artwork. For example, in A Christmas Carol:

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life lessons about tipping points and the need for balance

life lessons about tipping points and the need for balance

ages 0 to 8 years
It’s like ...who sank the boat!' That’s how my family often describes an overwhelming day, too much of something, or a time when we've gone one step too far.

In this story, there’s ‘a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and a tiny little mouse’ who decide to go for a row on the bay. One by one, they gingerly climb in the rowboat and restore the equilibrium before the next passenger. Finally it’s the tiny little mouse’s turn and so in it jumps. You can guess what happens next I’m sure!

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determination and imagination will get you there in the end—just maybe not where you expected!

determination and imagination will get you there in the end—just maybe not where you expected!

When you’re a worm on a mission to get to an apple, you need determination and imagination – and you need to be a go-with-the-flow sort of worm. There’s a great punchline in this book and easy to ‘read’ pictures too.
ages newborn to 8 years

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delighting in the extraordinary brings confidence and happiness

delighting in the extraordinary brings confidence and happiness

ages 2 to 8 years
his is a must-read must-own - it speaks to the anxiety of being separated from family, the strangeness of new worlds, reconciliation with those new worlds, a return to family..... few books speak to family love as strongly as Stellaluna. 
 

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a good lead-in to talking about body image

a good lead-in to talking about body image

When an elephant worries about being fat, it's a sure sign that something is wrong with her body image. This is a funny book that will ring true for many children - it's great for pointing out the absurdity of dieting.
ages 2 to 8 years / funny

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integrity, kindness and creativity can change the world

integrity, kindness and creativity can change the world

ages baby to 8 years
I lent this book to my children’s school and it disappeared for a week or two. I shouldn’t have worried – it came back to me with a new plastic cover, making it one of our most carefully preserved books! Here's how it goes:

Annabelle lives in a cold and colourless little town, but one day she finds a box of yarn of all sorts of colours. So she knits herself a sweater. Then, since there is ‘extra yarn’, she knits her dog a sweater.

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