Today is Empathy Day; a day founded by EmpathyLab to focus on the importance of building real life empathy skills in children and young people through literature. But what is empathy; why is it such an important skill for children to develop; and how can books help?
As most of our regular readers are aware, this year has been a particularly challenging one in the Along Came Poppy household. The Mini Reviewers, now 4, 5 and 8, have had to deal with some huge changes and as a result there have been lots of big emotions flying around. The children have all experienced disturbed sleep, outbursts of anger as well as increased crying. These three things, according to the parents of 4-11 year olds recently surveyed by BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity, are the most common signs of young children being worried or anxious.
I am a firm believer in being honest and open about my feelings and always encourage my children to be the same, as they say "a problem shared is a problem halved". However, BookTrust's latest research highlighting the importance of reading for children's mental health, indicates that only just over half of children aged between 8-11 talk to their parents when they are feeling stressed, sad or worried. 39% of children in this age range even admit to finding it difficult to talk about their feelings or emotions.*
Kipper the dog is turning 30 and to celebrate Hodder Children's Books have released a special anniversary edition of Mick Inkpen's classic picture book The Blue Balloon. This is the story in which Kipper made his debut appearance and the lovable pup has been entertaining children ever since. It is a book that I have fond childhood memories of and one that I now enjoy sharing with my Mini Reviewers so today we are delighted to be taking part in Kipper's Big Blue Balloon Blog Tour!
Hello and welcome back to Along Came Poppy! The last few weeks really seem to have flown by here and, as we are already well into March, it is time for another Touring Picture Book choice.
For those of you new to the blog, every month the Touring Picture Book team, comprising of Acorn Books, BookBairn, Mamma Filz and ourselves, choose a new picture book together with activities inspired by the story to share with you. This month our choice is the enchanting In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon and published by Templar Books.
Today it is our stop on The Dinosaur Department Store Blog Tour and we are delighted to be sharing our thoughts on this fantastic new picture book with you. Written by Lily Murray and vibrantly illustrated by Richard Merritt, we are sure this read aloud romp of a story will get you and your little bookworms giggling!