Wednesday, 20 December 2017

We Have Winners!

Remember those bookish competitions? Time is up and here are all the answers!

1st and 2nd class questions (click on the link to see what they were):
1) Baloo, Winnie the Pooh and Paddington are all bears
2) Mog is the odd one out as he is the only cat in this list; all the other characters are dogs
3) Horrid Henry (you ALL knew that one!)
4) the Gruffalo
5) Captain Underpants (you all knew this one, too!)

3rd and 4th class questions (click on the link to see what they were):
1) Captain Underpants
2) Mr Gum
3) Tom Gates
4) Danger is Everywhere
5) How to Train Your Dragon
6) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

(for these, if you gave me a particular title of a book in the series, I counted that as a correct answer)

5th and 6th class questions (click on the link to see what they were):
1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
2) The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
3) Peter Pan
4) Holes
5) Knights of the Borrowed Dark
6) Alex Rider
7) Little Women
8) The Gruffalo

The winners have been notified and given their bookish prize.
A huge well done to all!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Baby Book Club: the Christmas Special!

We had a brilliant session to finish off 2017 with the babies last week. In the whirlwind of the school fair, Baby Book Club was the eye of the storm, an oasis of quiet, great concentration... and driving Santas.
We read not one, not two, not three but FOUR books on various festive themes, from Maisy's Christmas Tree to the Noisy Book of Christmas, the hilarious Santa's Beard and Whizzy Santa (where Santa drives around on a magic scooter and, in our version, crashes with a toy school bus from the resource room we were in).
The babies loved listening to the Christmassy sounds, 'driving' the scooter book (it comes with cardboard wheels!) and wearing Santa's facial hair!
Inspired by Maisy and her friends we then decorated our own Christmas trees with sticky maize (aka Magic Nuudles or Amazing Maize, etc.). Aren't they pretty?

And of course, Santasaurus dropped by!

As promised, the links to festive songs and videos!

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - The Muppets Christmas Song 

You're a mean one, Mr Grinch (Original 1966 Version) 

Watch the Snowman, based on the book by Raymond Briggs

For an amazing display of lights, check out Trista Lights 2016 Christmas Light Show - Featured on ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight.

And for something closer to home, watch this short video of the Wild Lights festival in Dublin Zoo, or get there yourself if you can!
Or you can simply tune in to Christmas FM online or on 105.2 FM.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Fishy goings-on

Last week at Baby Book Club we were all about those fish as we read and read and read Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins. It was a great success and the babas spent ages looking at and chatting about all the strange creatures on the page, pointing out shapes, colours, numbers and lots more.

We then made our very own fish tanks (with baking parchment!) and turned them into lanterns.
As promised, here are the links to more underwater fun!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive from Neurotic Films Official

That’s What Makes the World Go Round (the fish scene from the Sword in the Stone)

And for real marine life, The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a great YouTube channel with lots of videos. Try the Bell Jellies (, the Galloping Bay Pacific Seahorses ( or their Bite-Size Ocean Clips playlist!

Thanks all and see you next time for our Christmas special!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Books to put under the Christmas tree!

Here is a selection of some of the best books published in the past year, for all ages from babies to Young Adults. Which one will you ask Santa for? 😉

Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle

Little Rabbit is going to have a bath and he needs your help if he is going to be squeaky clean! Can you help him turn the tap? How about blowing away the bubbles on his head? And can you rub him dry? A lovely, interactive book for very little ones! (ages 0-3)

Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton and Sheena Dempsey

‘We’re the yoga babies, see what we can do!’ Roll out your mats and pull on your yoga pants for this one! Follow a tribe of babies as they try a range of simple poses explained through bright, friendly illustrations and a bouncy rhyming text. Whatever the mood (cranky, lazy or over-excited), there’s a pose for that! (ages 2-6)

Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Cheeky Triangle, who lives in a triangular house with a triangular door and triangular windows, wants to play a good joke on its friend Square (who lives in a square house, etc.). This is a really funny story where the humour is carried by very few words and wonderfully expressive minimalist pictures. This new book from the award-winning duo who gave us the brilliant Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is a gem! (ages 4-7)

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari has passed his swimming test. He is ready to jump off the diving board. At least, that’s what he’s saying… It will take the gentle guidance of his dad and his own pluck to help Jabari through his self-appointed challenge. Fabulous illustrations of a sunny day at the pool will have you long for summer. (ages 4-7)

Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes

Follow brothers Charlie and Mouse as they go about their day, attending an imaginary party or trying to make a couple of coins selling rocks. Three stories in a book that will bring lots of smiles to young readers’ faces (and their grown-ups’, too). Charlie and Mouse is ideal for beginner readers who can combine sounding out and their knowledge of tricky words to make their own way through the book. (ages 5-7)

This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

How do kids around the world go to school? What do they wear? What games do they play? And what do they get for breakfast? Find out all about it and much more in this beautiful book following one day in the lives of real families in Japan, Uganda, Russia, Iran, Peru, India and Italy. (ages 5-8)

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

An action-packed and magic-filled adventure featuring Morrigan Crow who is a perfectly nice and normal girl except… except that she is cursed! Anything that goes wrong (from burnt toast to heart attacks) is blamed on her and to top it all she is meant to die on her eleventh birthday. It’s no fun being Morrigan Crow! But then the mysterious Jupiter North turns up and everything changes… If you’ve loved Harry Potter, this is one for you! (ages 9-12)

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

When Fidge finds herself accidentally falling into a magical world in her awful cousin Graham’s basement, the last thing she expects to meet is a bunch of toys from her little sister’s bedroom. Toys that have somehow come to life and, for some of them, developed very nasty personalities. There’s tons going on here and it’s so, so funny. A brilliant read! (ages 9-12)

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara Lareau and Jen Hill

Sisters Kale and Jaundice Bland LOVE their very boring lives: always the same, always predictable, no surprises, be they good or bad. But when they get kidnapped by a bunch of crazy pirates, things are thrown upside down and they don’t like it one little bit. Come aboard for a zany adventure, you won’t regret it! (ages 9-12)

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue and Caroline Hadiladsono

Meet the Lotterys, a family of two dads, two mums and seven children, plus an assortment of pets all living in the rambling house of Camelottery. Life is a bit mad for narrator Sumac with so many siblings and grownups to deal with, but it’s nothing compared to what happens when Grumps (a cranky grandad she’s never met) comes to live with them. (ages 12+)

Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans

Elliot’s life is hard enough as he tries to hide the fact that Mam is slowly but literally losing her mind. Yet things are going to get a lot more complicated as a young Greek goddess lands in his garden shed and as they accidentally free the Daemon of Death from his millennial prison under Stonehenge. Cue a mad race to track him down and bring him back behind bars with the help of a crew of mad gods who are nothing like what you’d expect. Action-packed and hilarious! (ages 12+)

Marvel: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Squirrel Girl has the tail of a squirrel and its amazing abilities for jumping, running, gliding and stocking nuts in her cheeks. But Squirrel Girl can’t let anyone know about her powers. She’s just moved to a new town where she’s trying hard to blend in, make new friends and figure out where the recent wave of crime is coming from. Squirrel Girl is awesome and super funny, and it pokes fun at Iron Man: what’s not to like? (ages 12+)

Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais

Hakima, Mireille and Astrid have been voted winners of the Pig Pageant, that is to say ugliest girls in school. Once the initial shock of the news has subsided, what are the girls going to do about it? Mireille has the answer: they’re going to show the rest of the world that they don’t care! Follow the girls as they hop on their bikes for a hilarious road trip through France, it will put a spring in your step! (Ages 14+, Young Adult)

For more great book ideas, head over to Inis magazine, where you will find books for all ages in English and Irish. Your local library should also have a copy of this year's Inis Reading Guide, which contains over 250 quick reviews of books for babies to young adults: picturebooks, early readers, chapter books, big, fat novels, fact books and poetry.