Hello Hello – Brendan Wenzel

Hello Hello Brendan Wenzel  picture book

One of the most magical things I remember about my kids being small is curling up with them and a book before bedtime. There was a stage with both of them when they were really small when they had a complete obsession with animals, and rather than reading story books to them we instead used to have a series of old books that were more identification books for animals. There were full of pictures and we just used to spend ages going through the pages, pointing at everything, identifying what it was and talking about the similarities and differences between it and other animals on the same pages. For those where I knew we could often both be found laughing as we made strange animal noises together, pretending to be whatever we’d just been pointing at.

Hello Hello is basically the book that I wish we’d had at this stage. It starts off simply with two cats to say hello to. One black and one white. Page by page more and more animals and birds are introduced. The text is simple, just focussing one one physical attribute or characteristic, but the book provides so many prompts to be able to talk to your little one as you go through the pages.

Brendan Wenzel’s illustrations are stunningly beautiful and make Hello Hello into one of those absolutely gorgeous children’s books that I feel my kids are so lucky to have.

There’s an added few pages at the back that I feel make Hello Hello particularly special from an educational point of view. There is a comprehensive list of all the animals featured in the book, in order of appearance, with a silhouette-style picture of them all and it tells you which the conservation status of all of them all (according to The International Union for Conservation of Nature). It’s a lovey touch, and so valuable if you have a little one who demands to know what everything is when you find yourself struggling in a sleep deprived state.

Hello Hello is a beautiful book for any young child who loves animals and wildlife, and it’s the perfect book to snuggle up and share with them.

Hello Hello, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel, ISBN: 9781452150147  Price: £12.99 Available to buy online here

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Hello Hello for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Great Bunny Bakes – Ellie Snowdon

Great Bunny Bakes

With the current celebrity version of the Great British Bake Off (The Great Celebrity Bake Off) hitting our screens it’s made me realise that despite the programme’s move to Channel 4 and the loss of Mary Berry, the tent based baking competition doesn’t seem to have lost any of its magic. Kids also seem to completely love the show (even if some of the innuendo does go right over their heads!) and so Ellie Snowdon’s new book Great Bunny Bakes really captured my children’s imaginations.

Quentin is a wolf who fancies himself a a bit of a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood mix. He loves baking! For some reason that he can’t quite fathom, he’s been sent an invitation to the Great Bunny Baking competition. He’s desperate to take part, but there’s a slight problem when you’re a wolf and you want to enter a Bunny Baking competition…

But any problem can be overcome with a bit of imagination. Oh, and some fancy dress!

Disguised as a bunny, Quentin he starts to win over the competition judges with his perfect loaf, trifle and honey bunny tower. But when it comes to the pastry round things start to go wrong. It turns out that one of the other competitors isn’t a cute bunny after all, and he’s swapped Quentin’s sugar for salt (something we’ve seen happen all too often on the bake off, although there it seems to be due to competitors just picking up the wrong glass jar!)

As if the sugar/salt mix up wasn’t enough, as Quentin goes to carry his chocolate cake to the judging table disaster strikes and he drops it!

All is not lost though as it turns out that the other bunnies are more than happy to come together and help their fellow baker in his hour of need.

Great Bunny Bakes is a lovely book for any child who enjoys baking and who has maybe enjoyed the Bake Off, or Junior Bake Off, on television. We were lucky enough to be sent a review copy along with a beautiful recipe card and some cookie cutters. Master C was delighted to see these and has specifically asked if he can do some “biscuit making” with me the next weekend we have together.

Great Bunny Bakes

He thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved the baking creations in the accompanying illustrations. They are beautiful busy pictures, with lots of details for children to pick out when you read the story to them. I am slightly worried that Master C might think my baking ability is up to making a honey bun tower like that pictured, but hopefully he’ll be impressed enough with the biscuits that I think I can manage!

Great Bunny Bakes by Ellie Snowdon is published by Simon & Schuster on 8 March 2018. Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4711-4567-4 £12.99 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4711-6635-8 £.6.99

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Great Bunny Bakes for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.