Jabari Jumps

img_3865.jpgJabari Jumps doesn’t just have a great name for its main character, it’s also a beautifully illustrated fun tale of a little boy as he builds up the courage to dive from the diving board. With his dad and baby sister giving him moral support Jabari doesn’t quite want to admit he’s nervous….a lovely book showing that being brave means to do something even when you are a bit afraid.


Ellie’s Wellies

img_3629.jpgSo this is a sweet and imaginative tale of a young girl called Ellie who is looked after by her Aunt for the day. The wellies Ellie gets as a present are magic and result in fun and frolics with a little magic creature she discovers in one of the puddles she jumps into! A fun tale with bold and exciting illustrations by Nick East and written by Amy Sparkes.



Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones



This book is fabulous! I enjoy reading it so much! As it chimes me as I have a little scientist who gets VERY frustrated when things down work out well for him! This great book is written in a wonderful poetry by Pip Jones with delightful illustrations by Sara Ogilvie. It’s the tale of a feisty girl called Izzy who is always inventing new machines that unfortunately don’t all work out so well. She become delightedly and realistically frustrated at times but the wise and calm counsel of her grandfather keeps her trying until she invents a wonderful machine that helps her friend the crow who can’t fly. I highly recommend this book and hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World

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by L. A. Amber

Illustrated by T. Z. Nissen

So the wonderful Charnaie Gordon of Here Wee Read who has put together a really special group featuring bloggers who are all interested in promoting children’s books that feature diverse lead characters. Charnaie has then worked with publishers to distribute such books to these bloggers to review! I am so thrilled to be a part of this group and to be reviewing my first book today.

So I had seen ‘Bedtime Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World.’ on the Hee Wee Read instagram page and was so excited about it. I have seen all the books that are about now such as ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ and I was really excited at the thought of similar format for children that focussed solely of the achievements of black people – I knew a book of that depth would include people who I also didn’t know about so it would be a great chance for me to be introduced to some new names. When there was the opportunity to receive a copy to review I jumped at the chance – thank you to the US publishers for shipping to London to me!!

The book is really focussed on the young reader or listener of the book being inspired by the life stories and achievements of each of the people and connecting those achievements and qualities to their own lives. The format of the book features a short biography of the person on one page with an illustration and inspiring quote on the other page. Each biography ends with questions to help the young listener or reader of the book reflect on what they have heard as well as a ‘Did you know…’ fact. It feels like the book is a great conversation starter for all the family – reading one story at a time and discussing what they have read together as well as no doubt following up with more research on people of particular interest to the child.


#50bpbedtimeinspirational #bedtimeinspirational #laamber #blackhistory

Fantastically Great Women who changed the world 

Text and illustrations by Kate Pankhurst

So I love this title!! As soon as I saw this book I snapped it up! I want my son to be inspired and in awe of the achievements of both men and women. I have to say I also learnt about Sacagawea for the first tim through this book!

I know he is currently  too small to get the depth of this book yet as I think it is for the older primary school aged child but I’ll keep it lurking on his bookshelf until the right moment!!

Grandma’s List

Written by Portia Dery and illustrated by Toby Newsom

And so I am back. I have not been able to keep up with the blog over the past few months due to massive work commitments as I have just gone freelance – yes i went freelance to have more time with my son but ended up working all hours…but I think, maybe, possibly…I’m finding a better rhythm now…

So I picked this beautiful book up from The Golden Baobab stall at the Chale Wote festival in Accra, Ghana this August. I love the illustrations of the book and I think these are some of my favourite drawings so far. The colours on each page evoke the landscape that I saw whilst in Accra and also the beautiful strong clean lines of the work really celebrate the lifestyle of the characters in the book as well as supporting the narrative. And this tale is about a little girl who wants to prove she is a big girl by helping her Grandma do the errands. However, she loses the list of instructions and decides to complete the errands from memory…

African Musical Instruments

Natalie Cooper

So you just never know who you work with!! Working on this blog has connected me to so many interesting people! The first to mention is Natalie Cooper @thejewelledcrown who sent an email around our place of work saying that she has a book of African patterns that you can colour in – adults or children. I emailed back straight away and asked to meet her for a coffee!! And discovered this wonderful young woman who is a graphic designer, illustrator and facilitator of creative projects with young people. She has designed, written and published a book for children which features detailed information on the range of musical instruments that exist across Africa. ‘African Musical Instruments’ is a wonderful book starting with a map of Africa and the different countries that exist there and moving on to images of each of the instruments accompanied but a range of information about that instrument…so much specific and beautiful information presented in a really clear and friendly manner. Great for young primary school children upwards. Natalie spoke about how she uses the book as the basis of a range of workshops she delivers with young people exploring the origins and uses of these instruments.

 And then she kept going and created a colouring in book that features African textile patterns that you colour in yourself a wonderful resource as we all know how rich and exciting these patterns are. Now I have not got into this whole mindfulness/colouring in movement (too busy!!..yes I know that’s the point!) but i see that for anyone who is interested in this it would be a lovely addition to their collection as its suitable for adults as well as children! And may get me started (after a trip to Tiger to pick up supplies!
Check our her work at www.ami-book.com where you can buy the books as well as musical instruments which Natalie has sourced directly from crafts people in countries across Africa.