So BookBairn has turned two! My little girl is growing up way too fast. But I'm so proud of her! She has become a little independent ...

I am Unique!

Sunday, March 12, 2017 BookBairn Blog 26 Comments


So BookBairn has turned two! My little girl is growing up way too fast. But I'm so proud of her! She has become a little independent person with a strong-will and a mind of her own. Yes, it annoys me sometimes when she digs her heels in and refuses to follow my lead but part of me also knows that she is testing the boundaries, learning to make her own decisions. And that's good (most of the time).

BookBairn: You are completely unique. And I wouldn't change you for the world. I want you to dance to the beat of your own drum, keep singing your own song, be yourself!

We've been reading some books recently that stand out from the crowd and boldly declare "I am what I am! I am my own special creation!" and we want to give them a round of applause to go with the ovation!

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph


So before I tell you about this book I have to first explain that I love sausage dogs. Love them! Would love to have one as a pet. So I was always going to be charmed by this adorable book. There was no way I could resist it when I saw it for sale a few days early at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (for reference if I see a book pre-release for sale I find it hard to resist - it's my equivalent of winning a race!). And it hasn't disappointed! It tells the story of one small dog who doesn't fit in, she dances to a difference beat. She looks different, plays differently, she doesn't fit in. So she leaves her city behind in search of new adventures and discovers a new city full of dogs just like her! Great, right? She finally fits in! Except... she meets another odd dog out who tells her to stand tall, be proud: "that dog is right. It's plain to see there's nothing wrong with being me." And on returning home she finds that all her city slicker doggy friends have missed her terribly and maybe they have learned something from her!
This lovely book is written in rhyme which makes it a delight to read! And Rob Biddulph is fast-becoming one of my all-time favourite illustrators. His pictures are bold, crisp, sharp and packed full of humour that grown ups will love! His sausage dogs are fabulous! With a flick of his pen he changes their expressions. The attention to detail is truly wonderful. Like in Blown Away (which we reviewed here) his characters are truly irresistible, the settings are vibrant with life. He really is an author-illustrator extraordinaire. (Plus I love his post-it notes for his daughter's lunch box which he shares over on Instagram - they make me smile every day!) 


Odd Bods by Steven Butler with pictures by Jarvis


Odd bods is a poem about 26 very strange characters who have some very strange habits and hobbies. There's Hermione who sneaks out at night to howl at the moon; Kitty who gets in trouble for flashing her knickers; Quentin who moves things with his mind; Ramona who doesn't blink. An alphabetic list of odd bods, weirdos, bonkers bairns. And it's laugh out loud funny! And the illustrations that make this book even more magical! I'm not sure I can do them justice by describing them but I'll try... they are bright, bold and colourful! Looking like they have been drawn in crayon, there's something wholly childlike about them but they are sophisticated too. You could spend ages pouring over each character and discussing their unique quirks.  I realise I can't do it justice - just get your hands on a copy! The characters are diverse, bizarre and celebrate every weird and wild child. Hilarious, cheerful and fabulous!

Leaping Lemmings! by John Briggs and Nicola Slater


We all know that tale of the lemmings: "if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?" and generally it doesn't end well for the lemmings. What if there was one lemming, just one lemming, we'll call him Larry, who doesn't go along with the crowd? He doesn't want to dig tunnels underground when he can be sledging with the puffins; he doesn't want to eat moss from the underside of a rock when he can have pepperoni pizza; he doesn't want to look and dress the same as all the other lemmings. He's his own lemming! So he sets off to see if he could find somewhere to fit in and tries living with the seals, puffins, even the polar bears. But he doesn't fit in there either (well, the polar bear was happy yo make a space for him but Larry didn't fancy being lunch!). On his return to Lemming-land he finds a disaster waiting to happen: the lemmings are heading straight for the cliffedge. Will Larry manage to get there in time to save his lemming pals? And will he be able to show them that it's better to think for yourself than following the crowd? *spoiler alert* Of course he will! It's a children's book after all!

I love this book! It's exactly what I want to teach BookBairn: to think for herself! And the message is spot on for little ones. The lemmings are adorably illustrated and Larry is easily recognisable amongst his lemming friends with his crazy outfits.The puffins, seals and polar bears are equally cute. One of the things that I like in picture books for younger readers is when the action takes place against a plain or simply background as it really allows little ones to focus on the main events of the story and this book is great for that. Another interesting element is that much of the story is told through speech bubbles, which you don't see that often in picture books for younger readers. This sees particularly appropriate in a book that's message is about thinking and speaking out for yourself! All in all this is a well-thought out picture book with adorable characters and a message that resonates with readers of all ages. It's quirky, cute and totally brilliant!

Elmer by David McKee

A picture book classic, most people will already know the story of Elmer: the brightly coloured patchwork elephant! You'll have seen him - he doesn't exactly blend in. He's not elephant colour. He's all the colours of the rainbow. And he's an absolute joy! He makes all the other elephants happy, he makes them laugh, he makes them smile. But the strain of being different was difficult for Elmer - he began to wonder if the other elephants only laughed at him because of his patchwork skin. He sneaks off into the jungle and finds a bush covered in elephant-coloured berries and proceeds to cover himself in elephant-coloured make up. On his return Elmer blends in with the other elephants, unnoticed. But something is wrong. The other elephants are standing so still, being so silent, and serious. Elmer wants them to smile and laugh and so he shouts in his loudest voice "Boo!". And they laughed and laughed. When Elmer's concealer is all washed off by the rainstorm, the other elephants realise his trick and decide to celebrate by painting themselves in bright rainbow colours and having a parade!

Being bright and cheerful is something to be celebrated! Changing the way you look won't change who you are! A wonderful message for small children. And of course the iconic illustrations are as colourful as can be. If you haven't met Elmer yet, you're in for a treat when you do: he's bound to make you smile!

We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio


One of the most anticipated picture books of the year amongst book bloggers is without a doubt 'We're All Wonders' by R.J. Palacio. For anyone who has read the worldwide bestseller 'Wonder' by the same author, you will know that the author has created a magical character in Auggie, a little boy who is disfigured and simply wants to fit in and be accepted for who he is. This picture book version brings the story to younger readers, showing children what it is like to live in Auggie's world - a world in which Auggie feels like an "ordinary kid" but because he doesn't look ordinary he is often treated unfairly by others. This book is a perfect introduction to empathy for little ones and taps into every child's wish to belong and to be accepted for who they are. We only received this book recently so BookBairn hasn't read it many times, and to be honest it's probably one for her to grow into, but I had to mention it here as a wonderful book for encouraging children to embrace their uniqueness and be who they are but also to accept others for who they are! *Published 28th March

BookBairn: I hope this list of books makes you smile, makes you feel proud to be unique, to stand out from the crowd! Be who you are my lovely little two-year-old because you are fabulous! Blaze a trail, be a star but most of all be true to who you are.

Love Mummy! xx




*DISCLAIMER* We were sent copies of We're All Wonders and Leaping Lemmings from their respective publishers for review. I won Odd Bods in an online competition from the publisher. Elmer was borrowed from our local library (though I should really get a copy!) and Odd Dog Out I bought with my own pennies. All opinions and reviews here are my own.




26 comments:

  1. What a great set of books to promote uniqueness. Lots of factors influence an individual's values. A big factor is parental involvement and BookBairn has no problem there. She will do just fine.
    PS - nice pic at the end. Who took that? :-)

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for the great parenting role models. And yes I love this picture! It's a new favourite and definitely getting it printed and framed! x

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  2. I do lover Elmer, he's a longstanding favourite. Sainsbury's have a nice baby range featuring Elmer and it's very colourful - I think BookBump may receive a few items! I too love a dachshund and can't wait for Odd Dog Out storytime. Great blog!

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    1. I love the Elmer sleeping bag you picked up for him! I'm sure he will have the full collection by the time he's here! But perhaps we should also pick up the book for him since this is a library copy?! x

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  3. Happy birthday to Bookbairn! What a great list of books <3

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  4. Love this! Will be seeking out some of these :) x

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    1. Hope you like them! And you're welcome to borrow them from BookBairn's library anytime!

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  5. What a lovely selection of books, I have particularly unique children who don't follow the crowd, we do have worries sometimes but it's not bad being different and I try to teach them that. We were big fans of Elmer but my kids have grown out of him now.
    #readwithme

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    1. Thank you! Different is good! Blaze your own trail!

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  6. I can't wait to read ALL of these! Especially Odd Dog Out because I, too, have a major love for weiner dogs ❤️ I love them even more now that I know they are called sausage dogs where you live :) Great choices, as usual! Heading back to Instagram to follow Rob Biddulph--can't wait to see those lunchbox notes :)

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    1. You will love them Cara! Thanks for the lovely comment - you really made me smile!

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  7. Love the theme to these books, such an important message! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    1. Thank you! Such a great little bundle of books!

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  8. Happy birthday to BookBairn - she does look very grown up there! My 'baby' is 11 today and definitely unique - it's the only way to be. I love the sound of these books and it's nice to see that Elmer is still going strong after all these years. It really is a classic!

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    1. Thank you - she is getting very grown up looking but she's always my baby - just like your 11 year old (and happy birthday!). Elmer is much-loved isn't he? Sainsburys have a baby clothing line featuring Elmer and I think we will have to have it all!

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  9. I want all these books! Fab review and a wonderful collection of books with such brilliant messages for little ones. #readwithme

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    1. Thank you - aren't we lucky there are so many books to choose from with this fab message?!

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  10. ah, Elmer - a real fave here. We have so many different Elmer books x

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    1. I haven't read any others except the original - must have a look next time I'm in the library!

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  11. Fab set of books there. We have all the Elmer ones but haven't managed to read through them all yet :)
    #KLTR

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    1. I have only read the original - must have a look for the rest at the library!

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  12. As my father in law says we aren't robots. Love that these books celebrate being different. Another one perhaps to add is The Rainbow Fish but then again there are a number of fish related stories with uniqueness. #KLTR

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    1. Of course! The rainbow fish would fit this bunch perfectly. Thanks for the tip!

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  13. Some great books here! I love the look of Odd Dog Out :) Thanks for linking up to #kltr

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    1. Odd Dog Out is great - so colourful and the illustrations have loads of details to spot!

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