crafts and books for children and adults to share

sharing stories, singing rhymes, making fun things, having great times

Posted in: Books

Danny McGee Drinks the Sea

If the author’s name rings a bell, you’d be right !!  It’s the same Andy Stanton who is also reponsible for the multi award winning Mr Gum books, much loved by many children.  After just one read it’s immediately apparent that ‘Danny McGee drinks the sea’ will be a big hit.  Reminiscent of ‘I know an old lady who swallowed a fly’ it’s a great rhyming tale  which will appeal to older children too.  Such books are rare, which is why it is such a treat!

Read More »
Posted in: Books

Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool

‘Appearance is everything’ says Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool, ‘the most beautiful girl in the whole of the school!’  This cautionary tale is yet another masterpiece from the pen of Jeanne Willis and is particularly relevant to today’s image conscious society. Finding picture books that are suitable for older children can be quite difficult, another reason to love this book!  Our heroine (!) meets a somewhat sticky end something that an older audience will no doubt approve of.     Tony Ross’s humorous illustrations compliment the text well, and are sure to lead to one or two giggles!!  The rhyming nature of the words makes it particularly suited to being read out aloud.  However if tongue twisters are not your forte make sure you practise first.  It will be worth it believe me!

lucinda belinda melinda mccool

 

Read More »
Posted in: Books

The Lion Inside

the lion inside

 

It is often said the best things in life are worth waiting for.  This is definitely true of today’s book, ’The Lion Inside’ written by Rachel Bright and beautifully illustrated by Jim Field.  Originally published in hard back last year it is now available in paperback, and what a treat it is! This is a great book to share.  Here’s why…

As picture books go it’s pretty big. The copy in my hand measures 24cm x 30cm.  The illustrations are wonderful.  Remember “Oi Frog, well it’s the same artist!  Particularly stunning are the double page spreads, of which there are several.  Even children sat at the back will have no trouble seeing.   The story is set in Africa and features a little mouse that is desperate to be noticed. If only I could roar like a lion and off he sets. It’s a tale every one can relate to, and will be particularly useful for those children who require a little confidence boost.  The story rhymes throughout and is very reminiscent of ‘Giraffes Don’t Dance’.  Another great book!

Read More »
Posted in: Books

The Queen’s Hat

 

queens hat 3

If you are planning to visit London this half term then ‘The Queen’s Hat’ by Steve Anthony is a definite must.   Whilst the text may be minimal the illustrations are fabulous. Each page features a famous London landmark and soldiers, in a drawing style very reminiscent of artist LS Lowry.  Children will have great fun trying to identify the well known sights while at the same time be captivated by the highly detailed drawings.  If the authors name sounds familiar, yes you’re right, Steve Anthony was also responsible for Please Mister Panda and whilst his illustration style may vary, his appeal is sure to remain.

Read More »
Posted in: Books

Hooray For Hat ! ( or hats !!)

Hooray for hat

At Crafty Stories, writing in books is  a definate no, no.  We would never dream of doing such a thing or encourage  anybody else to.  And here lies the dilema.   ‘Hooray for Hat’  by Brian Won  is a  delightful story book about 6 animals, their friendship and the joys of wearing a hat.  The illustrations are lovely and the simple, repetitive  text makes it particulary appealing to young children  (2-5 years).  There are  lots of opportunities  to join in, aswell as the chance to make some pretty fab hats afterwards .  You could say it’s the perfect Crafty Stories book.  So what’s  the problem.  Here goes.   Everytime we read the book we want to shout  out Hooray for Hats.  Hooray for Hat  just doesn’t seem to trip off the tongue quite  so well!  This book is far to nice to be consigned  to the unloved pile, so do we add a sneaky ‘s’  in our bestest handwriting, using a matching felt tip, hoping that our young audience will not notice .  After all hand lettering is very much in vougue at the moment.

Read More »
Posted in: Uncategorised

Gruffalo Tea Caddy available now!!!

I have to confess at Crafty Stories, when it comes to a cuppa we  do have  a leaning towards PG tips.   However this gorgeous tea caddy, produced by Yorkshire Tea could change all that.  We bought our tin, containing 80 tea bags, yesterday from Sainsbury’s for what we consider a very reasonable price of £2.50.   It’s fab!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

Read More »
Posted in: Books

Never Tickle a Tiger

never tickle a tiger

Marc Boutavants illustrations are fabulous and are sure to leave a lasting impression on the reader.  ‘Never tickle a tiger’  by Pamela Butchart tells the story of Izzy, a little girl who’s  ‘a bit of a fidget’ who likes to ‘wriggle and jiggle’.   When  Issy  visits the Zoo with her class mates, she unfortunately fails to take notice of Miss Potterhurst’ s  advice  to ‘never tickle a tiger’ .   The  consequences are here for all to see in this visually stunning book.

Read More »
Posted in: Uncategorised

An Island Adventure!!

For one week only the Crafty Stories studio has relocated to an island in the Menai  Straits, Anglesey.  The house where we’re staying is amazing.   It’s full of character  and would not be out of place in an Enid Blyton adventure.   On the top floor of the house are bookshelves crammed to bursting with well read books, many of which are probably no longer in print.

It’s very fitting that amongst these books is the first of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, ‘Five on a Treasure Island’. Incidentally, over 70 years on and this   book is still in print!  Not quite sure how old this copy is but whilst the pages may be yellowing the dust jacket remains wonderful and vibrant.

Old books, with attractive covers are much too nice to be hidden away.  If you have any at home why not put them on display.  Once upon a time hardback books were published in large quantities, nowadays not so much. It’s therefore time we began to cherish these portable little gems !!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA            OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read More »
Posted in: craft

Almost good enough to eat!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes they almost do look good enough to eat !!.  Our donuts are easy to make, and look great when displayed

http://www.craftystories.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Doughnut-downloadable-craft.pdf

If you chose to make a garland like in the picture below why not use use small wooden pegs to attach the donuts to a piece of silver cord.  If several children are taking part in the session, simply write their names on the back of their creations and give back at a later date.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read More »
Posted in: Books

Doughnuts, Doughnuts, Doughnuts!!

Considering the vast number of cakes that were eaten on Monday afternoon,  it  seems only fitting that our first featured books should be about doughnuts!

Please Mister Panda,  written and illustrated by Steve Anthony, tells the story of  Mister Panda and his box of doughnuts.  Mister Panda very kindly offers each of his animal friends a doughnut. Unfortunately only one of Mister Panda’s friends shows any gratitude for this kind act.  As a consequence all but one of the animals go without.   This beautiful book has simple text and wonderful, bold illustrations which makes it perfect to share with a group of children, aswell as with an individual child.  This book would be ideal for under fives but could also be used with older children because of its subtle message!

Another great book for younger children is Norman , the slug with the silly shell  by Sue Hendra.  As you can see from the front cover , Norman is desperate to be a snail and thinks a Doughnut tied to his shell will be the answer!!   Is it?  You’ll have to read the story to find out.  This delightful tale has fantastic colourful illustrations and  is sure to go down a treat with a young audience!

please mister panda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More »