Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Until next time!

Another brilliant year of reading, crafting, playing, chatting, spilling milk, demolishing biscuits, swapping tips, running, footballing, dancing, laughing, sharing, taking turns and all other manner of learning comes to an end with the final session of Baby Book Club.
This time, we took a stroll through Dublin with My Little Album of Dublin, and were delighted to spot things that we knew, like a Luas! a slide! a dog! a football! a scooter! and even… ourselves!
To celebrate the end of the year we danced, we got out the balloons and we had an official award-giving ceremony. 
A huge thank you to everyone who came a long over the weeks, to Liz and Jane for keeping the show on the road and to David for setting it up in the first place!
Until next time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Party Time!

You are all warmly invited to come celebrate the launch of My Little Album of Dublin on May 21 in the glorious Hodges Figgis with my partner-in-art Tarsila Krüse and the gang from The O'Brien Press.
Come along, all are welcome!

A sigh... and a stretch... and a ya-a-a-awn: the magic of Chris Haughton

Chris Haughton worked his magic again in Baby Book Club this week. I like to start the year with the wonderful A Bit Lost as it's a book that commands little ones' attention the minute you say 'Uh oh...' Also, the owls lend themselves to some super crafting afterwards.
This year, we practically bookended our sessions with Chris: A Bit Lost at one end, Goodnight Everyone at the other. This time, everybody was taking part in the telling as the mice and deer and bears getting ready for sleep quickly had everyone yawning (in a good way!). So we sighed, we stretched and aaah-ya-a-a-awned, and felt much refreshed and zen afterwards.
The only thing left then was to make our won starry skies with freshly cut sheets of night and some snazzy shiny stickers. Equipped with pale crayons we added tails, clouds, lines, creating our own shooting stars, milky ways and constellations. Stellar work!
As promised, here are the links!

Some tips about reading at bedtime with kids aged 0-9.

"Pajama Time!" by The Laurie Berkner Band from Superhero Album
Yawning Man - For Insomniac Children 

Funniest and Cutest Animal Yawning Compilation 2017

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Avast! Ahoy! And all that jazz...

Coming right up to the end of this season of Baby Book Club, we are exploring books with that bit more text, that bit more elaborate rhyming. You will be glad to know (though not at all surprised) that our more senior* members, as they grow up and as they learn more, can absolutely take it.
It was a bit beyond our very new newcomers, but it looked like they enjoyed the atmosphere and got enough excitement to have a sound nap afterwards. Win win!
This week we looked at Rob Biddulph's Sunk, with its snappy, choppy, rhymy text and its very cool illustrations, where there's enough happening that you'd really want to go back and check out all the detail. We did a fair bit of (accurate) predicting and problem-solving and really enjoyed both the piratical theme and the double happy ending with its focus on friendship and the giant--ship-turned-playground dénouement.
We then embraced our inner piracy and got crafting our own treasure maps and customizing our hats. The little ones were delighted to have an occasion to use their pirate speak and we parted on some rousing cries of 'Me hearties!'
As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos.
*(aged at least 12 months!)

Peter Pan - 03 A Pirate's life 

Pirates of the Caribbean Orchestral Medley, He's a Pirate

Flannery Brothers Children's Music - "Pirate or Parrot?" 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

What luck!

What luck to have such a dedicated band of baby book clubbers! What luck to have such great books to choose from to entertain and delight!
We were a lucky bunch to read Lucky Lazlo by Steve Light this week and follow the antics of a cheeky and catastrophe-prone cat as they both make their way through a busy theatre. We enjoyed spotting the bright orange feline in a mostly black and white décor, informing whoever would listen that cats say meow, but also that cows say moo. We kept our eyes on the ruby red flower at all times and were delighted to see Lazlo, his sweetheart and the rose reunited at the end.
So of course, we just had to make our own flowers, crumpling up strips of crepe paper and gluing the little colourful balls on our templates. There is something about glue sticks that some of our members find deeply satisfying and today was no exception. The parents found the process of crumpling paper extremely therapeutic and soothing. Mindfulness has nothing on Baby Book Club!
If you fancy taking your little one to a play or a show, check out The Ark in Dublin, the Mill in Dundrum and the Civic in Tallaght! They often have programmes designed for very young spectators.
As always, here are the links to the songs and videos. 

Disney's "Pinocchio" - An Actor's Life for Me

The Muppet Show theme song – It’s time to play the music!

Children's Theatre Company: Alice in Wonderland (1982)

Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Official Audio) ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

We're going to catch a big one!

We went on a bear hunt in Baby Book Club this week! We were not scared. Not one little bit. At all. But we were awfully glad to be back home under the covers and we agreed we would never go again.
That said, that lonely bear looking at the sea at the very end got us thinking that maybe he had just been trying to make friends. He only went about it the wrong way…
We stopped our theorising just short of wondering whether maybe going on a HUNT wasn't a very nice idea in the first place, but that might be for next time!
After that, we had our own adventure: an obstacle course in the hall where the bear was chasing us. We ran, we jumped, we tumbled, we hopped and that was only the grown-ups! I'm fully expecting everyone to have a lovely quiet time after this…
As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos. What a beautiful day! :)

Michael Rosen performs We're Going on a Bear Hunt

The Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book)

Toddler Completes Obstacle Course

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

And it's a gooooooooaaaal!

We had a very sporty session at Baby Book Club, flexing a number physical and metaphorical muscles… We read the Noisy Football Match by Sam Taplin and Lee Wildish and enjoyed using our footy vocabulary to comment on the action: a kick! a goal! a win! We loved pressing those trickier-than-they-look buttons to make the ref blow his whistle and the crowd roar. (We would have liked to see girls on the teams, but for now you'll have to look for them in the books I suggested on the sheet) (go Maisy Mouse!) (or you might check these football books for kids of all ages) 
Next, for a special treat, we went in a very orderly fashion into the hall, like a team entering the pitch. The wide open space was all ours and we made the best of it. We ran, we kicked, we passed, we dribbled, we scored. We played about 4 matches simultaneously and the parent-goalies did an excellent job too. Some of us developed a nice pass-and-shot combo, so there was even the beginnings of an element of collaboration there. 

As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos, all about the beautiful game…

Sports Balls Song for Kids by Pancake Manor

Shakira - Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song)

The opening of classic kids animé Captain Tsubasa, in Japanese!