Category: Once Upon A Time…

Jungle Storytime #2 ‘The Gruffalo’

 Welcome Jungle reader….



Leo cut his hair, I did not cut the hanger string from my cardigan. Fail. I realise I purse my lips a lot…apologies for the irritating habit.

These videos are not filmed to be ‘perfect’ I have no idea what we are going to talk about beforehand and between work and mummy hood I haven’t the time to make an epic Blue peter (is that still on?) narrative style video…so todays voices are all kind of my same high ‘only-for-dolphins’ pitch.. James Cordon rocks the voice in the film…I had no chance!

BUT what I have seen in a short time is Leo’s confidence develop, he usually struggles with the focus for sitting down to read but when we are filming he does and he enjoys it. As much as this vlog is about our love of books it is also about capturing the pure delight and magic that is our children.

A Gruffalo? What’s a Gruffalo?”

Jungle Storytime #1 ‘Barry The Fish With Fingers’

Welcome Jungle reader….

Firstly sorry about Leo’s crusty nose, we are going for authentic childhood representation…secondly next story we will make sure the pictures are shown better, many more questions are asked with better voices are created but this was a first whole read through so I thought little man did well and I did not dribble too much.

This is an enjoyable book with bright and bold illustration and a couple of likeable characters and let’s face it most children are familiar with fish. It is a short read with simple plot development and a fun storyline that my 5 year old could clearly follow. It has a clear message, feelings such as jealousy and bravery and recognisable theme of friendship. Also as you can see on the sticker I got it half price, whoops…

We love to encourage positive reading and interactivity; for younger children you could point out colours or on the sea page talk about a time they saw the ocean/went to the beach, you could ask others to count the number of fish, I tend to ask feeling questions like how do you know the fish is sad, how could we cheer him up etc…good for emotional development, encouraging empathy etc.

‘Message In A Bottle’ personalised children’s book, help bring the adventure to life! @MIABbook

I always feel I should begin picture book features with, ‘Once upon a time‘…

Each time my son reads a book; it is an adventure that he can hold in his hands. At five years old he is hesitantly putting his little toe into reading by himself, on mummys lap of course.  It is magic. He stands on his stool, reaches up to his bookshelf and picks our bedtime story each night, where he finds fun and friendship in the pages.

We watch our children grow with each blink of our eyes; there are so many happy moments, so many milestones; birthdays, new siblings, moving house alongside fears, praise and love.

Do you have something special to say? Come and create it the story telling way!

Acclaimed children’s author Tom Percival and illustrator Tuire Siirainen have teamed up to create ‘Message in a bottle’,  a children’s book made unique by taking your personal message to your little one and weaving it into the story; their name, address and country appearing throughout the pages of the book. You can even add a picture, photo or drawing!



Once upon a time: Reading, for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. What we can do as parents to encourage our mini book lovers.

No one is too young for stories!

  • Read a story to your child…

Read aloud, night or day to your baby, your voice is soothing and it encourages bonding. I read the newspaper to my little boy! Buy picture books and board books. They are colourful and can be chewed! Encourage your little one to look, point, and touch. Choose books with repetitive text to build language skills and find some that are crinkly and shiny. For older babies pick books with rhyme and simple language that introduce the concept of shapes, colours and numbers.


Leo loved the touchy-feely books from Usborne.

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