Mister Magnolia – Quentin Blake


A delightful classic book that needs no introduction. If you have a child around 3 years or need to buy a present for a child of this age, I would recommend this book.

Age : 3-4 years

A lovely picture book by the illustrator of the Roald Dahl books, Quentin Blake.  We have this book for the last 3 years and Mini still loves to pick it up and read it. The rhyme is so funny and witty that I hear giggles soon after she starts reading. Mini loves the silliness and the tragedy of ‘poor’ Mr Magnolia, who just has one boot.
Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
He has an old trumpet
that goes rooty-toot—
And two lovely sisters
who play on the flute—
But Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
A very happy character, Mister Magnolia continues to have fun despite a missing boot. A lovely and light-hearted  piece that ends happily. He gets another boot that does not match his other one but makes him really happy nevertheless.
The book is a delight with lovely rhyming pattern and always brings a smile to our faces.


Yasmin – the Night Owl Fairy (Rainbow Magic Series)


Kirsty and Rachel and their parents were spending a week of the summer holidays at Camp Stargaze. Just outside the camp was a clearing in the woods called the Forest Fun Playground. When they arrived at the Campsite, their Twilight fairy friends had asked for their help again (as in the other stories of the series). These fairies ensure that everything is peaceful and harmonious between dawn to dusk with the help of their fairy dust. Unfortunately, Jack Frost and his goblins stole the magic bags so that they could cause chaos.

When the girls looked out to the farm from the treehouse, they were surprised!

“The farm animals are all fast asleep!” Rachel told her. “Isn’t that strange?” Kirsty trained her binoculars on the field across the river. Now she too could see that the cows and sheep were all sleeping contentedly!

“But it’s still day-time!” Kirsty pointed out, puzzled. “Why are the night-time  creatures like the badger and hedgehogs awake during the day, and why are the  animals like the cows and sheep, who should be awake, asleep?”

The girls met the magical snowy owl called Shadow, who sprinkled fairy dust and the girls shrank to fairy size. They began to fly to the fairyland and were astonished to realise that all the fairies were fast asleep. Must be Jack Frost !! They recognised Yasmin, the night owl fairy amongst all the sleeping fairies and woke her up. The three of them began their adventure to bring the day and night balance back to normal.

What little girl will not love such a story !


At what age do children start reading Comics? Daddy has introduced them to Mini already !

Mini loves Tintin and she’s been reading ‘The secret of the Unicorn’.



She loves it, just as I had always loved them as a child.
Mini doesn’t remember our visit to the Herge museum in Brussels as she was around 2 at the time. Maybe another visit is in the offing.

Have a lovely Friday

Mike Teavee – the poem by Roald Dahl

It has been a while since I had read this poem/song. Last night I finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate factory to Mini. (Read about 4 chapters at bedtime every night). Mini loved the story and so did I. I can read this one again and again.

The poem (below) made me smile. Not sure how much Mini understood even though on asking she had a clear reasoning.

Mike Teavee 

(from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…. ROALD DAHL)

“The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set–
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all the shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink–
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic takes
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy–Winkle and–
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole–
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks–
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start–oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hears. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
P.S. Regarding Mike Teavee,
We very much regret that we
Shall simply have to wait and see
If we can get him back his height.
But if we can’t–it serves him right.”

Tiddler – by Julia Donaldson

Mini, along with her friends went on a school trip to the Blue Reef Aquarium at the onset of her school term when she started Year 1. All the learning that followed since, were related to the sea.

As part of the ‘Under the Sea’ theme in Year 1, Tiddler was an obvious choice of book.

Name: Tiddler

Author :  Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)

Age: Preschool – Year 1 (3-6 years)

A delightful story about a little fish who gives very elaborate, made up excuses, when he is late to school. Only one friend, Johnny Dory, believes those extraordinary adventures, and spreads those stories in the ocean world. One day, when Tiddler gets caught in a fisherman’s net, he actually experiences all those adventures in real life, that he had previously lied about. Familiar ?

Pros: Cute story to read aloud with beautiful rhyme and wit. It is a book that can be used in a classroom environment because the story is quite open ended. This means that all the children can have their own conclusion on this story. The book Tiddler encourages a pupil to initiate independent writing, creating rhymes of their own, learning about different names of fishes. Each fish has its own personality and the illustrations reflect their emotions very clearly.

Cons: I would wait to introduce this book till they start school. A little twist to the Boy who cried Wolf story

Mini says: I love the story but not Tiddler

Gosh ! why?

Mumma says:  4.5/5

How to encourage a child to love books

I am hoping to raise a little girl who loves books. So far, she loves them  – that’s great!

Mini is five and a half years old. It is only in the last six months or so, Mini has started to actually able to ‘read’ a book with a small degree of fluency. The good thing is – she loves a book, even if it is just a picture book or a sticker book.  I think –

One of the best ways to bond with children is, to read aloud to them.

It is a shared activity that we can continue for many years to come.

Reading provides stimulation and helps increase their attention span as well as their curiosity.

Above all, reading is fun.

So how to get a child pick up a book?

1. Start Early

It is never too early to introduce books to a baby. Bright and colourful fabric books and board books would be perfect (I know – baby will first chew, then feel and then appreciate the picture probably). Ah well, just read and watch the sparkle in those curious eyes. Babies love repetitions and so just a couple of books will go a long way.

Oh, and then you get waterproof books for bath time and buggy books for the trips to keep them entertained.



2. Make time and create an atmosphere for reading

Make time to read, with no distractions. This will help your child to listen attentively and enjoy the book. It is fun to be creative, build a den with a few sheets and snuggle in with a book, and read. Wear a tiara and read the princess story or a pirate hat and role play.

Disclaimer: All photos sourced from the internet.

3. Play

Making letters with play dough, making words with paint, paper, using chalk outdoors, big foam letters to create small words, the scope is endless.

4. Read yourself

Children imitate a lot – so if you read a book, they will copy. Convince the children to value books.

5. Visit the library

Go to the library, with time in hand. Let them pick up books, explore, then encourage them to turn the pages, ask questions, show excitement and bring books home.

At home, scatter books around; not literally but maybe have a small bookshelf here and a box with a few books, there, all within their reach. They will pick them up and investigate.

Source: Internet

6. Read signs, road names, shop names when you go out.

Read whatever you come across, when you go out. Bus numbers, roads and shops, signs, menus, shopping list, labels – anything. As they grow older, they will be eager to read all that, themselves.

7. Once they start school

Sit back and leave it to the teachers – not! It gets serious now, phonics, recognition, joining different sounds and all that. Continue having fun and encourage them and have a lot of patience. Always praise, praise and praise and see that gorgeous smile.

My journey continues from here.

I hope Mini always says –


Thanks for passing by.

I hope to be able to continue blogging.

A few useful resources and links that I plan to check

  1. http://www.educationcity.com/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/
  3. http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/
  4. http://durham.schooljotter.com/coxhoe/Fun+Stuff
  5. http://www.ictgames.com/
  6. www.topmarks.co.uk
  7. www.primaryresources.co.uk
  8. Helpful post at I can teach my child


Name of Book: Hug

Age Group: 0-2 years

Author: Jez Alborough

This is a perfect book for an infant who learns the emotion of the hug. The whole story unravels through illustrations and the use of a single word HUG!

Pros: This book is one of the most delightful books and has a very cute story. The illustration of this book is also beautiful. As a baby, Mini Edition used to be mesmerised by the story and Bobo looks for the mummy and therefore a hug.

Cons: Absolutely nothing.

Mini Edition thinks:

I love you mumma.

Mumma thinks: 5/5