My recent obsession with children’s books has continued. This week we’ve been reading Find My Name in the Alphabet Train. It’s a beautifully illustrated hardback book that’s personalised to your child’s name. I do love a personalised book, so I was very excited when it arrived.

Find my name in the alphabet train

The story involves meeting lots of passengers (one for every letter of the alphabet!) from the alphabet train. Unlike a lot of personalised books, this one goes through the whole alphabet, not just the letters in your child’s name. I think this makes the book quite unique and a great learning opportunity.

The book is written in phonics, with lots of new and usual words to learn. There are definitely a few tongue twisters in there. It would be quite ambitious to read through the whole book at once—26 letters is a lot—so it’s suggested that you just read a letter or two at a time to let your child practice the sounds and really absorb it. At the moment Jacob definitely doesn’t have the patience to sit and listen for too long, so I tend to just read two letters.

The font is really clear, which will hopefully help when Jacob starts to learn to read. It’s designed to be dyslexia friendly.

If your child is at the age where you want them to start learning the alphabet, this book is for you. Jacob is slightly too young to get the most out of it at the moment, but he’ll soon grow into it and he does really enjoy hearing me reading the rhymes. I can’t wait to see how he responds to it as he gets older.

The character can have the skin tone and hair colour personalised to be more like your child—there’s even the option of adding glasses if your child wears them. Apparently, children are 9 times more likely to engage with a book if it’s personalised. There’s also the option of adding a personalised message at the end of the book, making Find My Name in the Alphabet Train perfect as a Christmas or birthday present.

 

*We were sent a copy of the book to review, but all thoughts are my own.

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Reading books to Jacob is something I really enjoy and it’s getting more fun everyday as he becomes more interested in them. I think it’s important for kids to have access to lots of books as they grow up. Here’s my list of my favourite books for Jacob. I’ve purposely chosen ones that work for him now as a 1-year-old, but will also grow with him as he gets older.

Books for babies

Just some of the books in Jacob’s library

The ultimate books for baby’s first year and beyond

Monkey Puzzle

I recently bought Monkey Puzzle from a charity shop while we were on holiday. I realised I hadn’t brought even books away with me, and when I walked past I saw this. It’s one we didn’t already have and as we love so many books by Julia Donaldson, I thought I’d give it a go. It didn’t disappoint. It’s a great story about a monkey who loses his mum and his search to find her with the help of a friendly butterfly. Cue lots of misunderstandings. I love it. Monkey Puzzle is £6.99 at Waterstones.

Yawn

This was a Christmas present and is one of Jacob’s favourites. The colourful board book is beautifully illustrated. The story follows a yawn as it travels from a little boy called Sean to a cat, pig and rabbit, among other animals. The words have a lovely rhythm and Jacob loves listening to my voice when I read it to him. He loves ‘helping’ to turn the pages by sticking his hand through the yawn hole in each page. It’s a nice short story, which is perfect for when Jacob is tired and we want to get him to bed quickly.

It will be great once Jacob is older too—it’s nice and simple so he’ll be able to read along with me. I can’t wait until he starts shouting out the animal that’s coming next! Yawn is £5.99 from Waterstones.

Cave Baby

This is another Julia Donaldson book I love. This one is about a baby in caveman times and it’s adventures with a mammoth. It’s £6.99 at Waterstones.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business

This book is hilarious. I hadn’t really clocked what it was about before I started reading it, so I was pretty surprised when I realised it was about a mole who had poo on his head! Despite the slightly strange premise, it’s a great book that I’m sure Jacob will find hilarious as he gets older. The book is £4.99 on Amazon.

Zog

Zog is yet another Julia Donaldson book that we love. Zog is about a dragon who is learning how to be a dragon, with a little help from a girl who happens to be a princess. Another fun story that Jacob will grow into. Zog is currently£4.50. Bargain!

Each Peach Pear Plum

Each Peach Pear Plum is an absolute classic. Again, Jacob is a bit young for it, but he loves the pictures. I like introducing him to characters like Baby Bunting and the Wicked Witch and the illustrations are amazing. It will work well as he gets older and can point out all the characters hiding in the illustrations. Each Peach Pear Plum is £3.99 from Amazon.

The Snail and the Whale

I think this is probably aimed at slightly older children, but it’s still good now. It’s a bit longer than some of the other books and tells a nice story about a snail travelling the world on a whale. The Snail and the Whale is on sale now for £3.99!

The Gruffalo

This one is my favourite! The Gruffalo  is a brilliant story. It’s definitely designed for the older child—I’d guess a 3-year-old would love it—but I think it’s great for a 6-month old for a few reasons: it’s longer than some of the others so good for winding baby down, plus I find Jacob likes listening to me reading longer books; it’s enjoyable for the adult reading it; the illustrations are lovely for a baby to look at. I think exposing babies to a wider variety of words can only be a good thing. I love doing silly voices for all the characters and Jacob seems to enjoy it too—he laughs with/at me! If you don’t have it, you must buy it. The Gruffalo is £3.99 from Amazon.

Not A Box

Not A Box is a board book about a rabbit playing with a box. A fab story about the power of imagination, I love the message of this book. It’s nice and sturdy too, perfect for my little dribbler! Not A Box is £6.99 from Amazon.

We’re Going on A Bear Hunt

This is one of my husband’s favourites. He read it a lot as a child. I think getting to revisit your old favourite books is one of the best things about becoming a parent. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is a story about a family going on an adventure to find a bear—they’re not scared though… or are they?! Ha. I love doing the sound effects for Jacob. He particularly enjoys the ‘swishy-swashy’ bit It’s only £2.93 on Amazon at the moment! Bargain.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is yet another classic book. The illustrations are beautiful and colourful and I think it’s a good introduction to understanding days of the week and basic counting. I’d say this is the ‘youngest’ of these books we are reading to Jacob at the moment, but it would still be fine for slightly older children. The board book is £3.99.

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

You can read my more detailed review of The Little Boy Who Lost His Name, but in summary it’s a lovely, personalised story aimed at children aged 0-8 years. It’s about a little boy (or girl) who loses his name and his journey to find it. The little boy meets characters who represent the letters of his name—so for Jacob its a jaguar, alligator, chameleon, ostrich and bear. The book is a little bit old for Jacob really, but it’s definitely one he will grow into. Sometimes it’s nice to read babies slightly longer books anyway, as it gives them more time to listen to your voice and unwind. You can buy The Little Boy Who Lost His Name for £19.99.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

This cute book actually has a moral to the story—all babies are the same, wherever they come from. It’s very sweet and Jacob likes it because he gets kisses at the end. It has a nice gentle rhyme and is beautifully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. It’s £4.79 on Amazon.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

This is a classic tale about a tiger who visits a little girl and her mummy for tea. Jacob likes it because a tiger is basically a cat, which is his favourite animal right now. My husband isn’t keen on this one. He finds it boring and never reads it. I disagree. I think it has old school charm! It’s not funny like a lot of modern children’s books, but it is exciting. Imagine if a tiger really did come to tea! I couldn’t find my version on Amazon, but you can buy a different version here.

If You’re Happy and You Know It

This is a book version of the nursery rhyme. It has really nice illustrations and sliding parts, which Jacob likes. He can’t quite manipulate them himself yet though. It’s obviously not a story as such, but it is a nice book. There’s a QR code to scan on your phone and you can listen along to the song, which is unusual. It’s £5.99 on Amazon.

Oi Frog!

This book is hands down my favourite (closely followed by The Gruffalo!). It’s funny and engaging. In my opinion, it’s pretty important that the adult enjoys the book, and this really made me laugh. It starts with a cat telling a frog to sit on a log—the frog objects and a rhyme explaining why he should sit on the log ensues. It’s very silly, but that’s why I love it. I think rhyming books are great at Jacob’s age, as he really seems to listen to my voice more. It’s also great for teaching different animals to babies. Oi Frog! is £5.24 on Amazon.

Oi Dog!

Oi Dog follows on from Oi Frog and is about the Frog getting revenge. Another very funny book. I highly recommend. Oi Dog is £6.99 at Waterstones.

 

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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It’s nearly Halloween, which means one thing… it’s socially acceptable to dress your baby up in a novelty costume! Yay! I love dressing Jacob up, mainly because it’s a great chance to get some photos I can use to embarrass him when he’s older.

For his first Halloween last year, I dressed Jacob up in this adorable pumpkin baby grow. I might be biased, but I think he looks pretty cute.

baby pumpkin outfit

Jacob dressed as a pumpkin

I’m currently undecided about what costume to pick this year, but during my search on Etsy I found these absolute crackers!

The best baby and toddler Halloween costumes on Etsy

  1. Hocus Pocus vest. Comes in lots of sizes from 0-24 months.
  2. Lion hat. This would be hilarious! I’d love to get it. Unfortunately, Jacob hates hats so I don’t think it would work for us.
  3. This baby skeleton baby grow is too small for Jacob (it’s 0-3 months), but it is so adorable.
  4. Dinosaur costume. For the dinosaur obsessed toddler, this would be perfect!
  5. Cow costume. This is adorable. Dressing babies as animals is aways a winner!

I could get lost for hours looking at costumes on Etsy. There are so many really good ones. I need to narrow it down and hurry up and make my decision.

Do you like dressing your baby up for Halloween? What’s the best costume you’ve seen?

*Links are affiliate links. I earn a small amount of commission for purchases made through these links but this doesn’t cost you any more.

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I can’t believe it’s October already! We’ve had a very busy and stressful September, but a lot of fun too. I’ve been settling in back at work, we’ve had several illnesses (including a possible case of chickenpox!) and some bad news as well.

Jacob’s walking has improved loads and he’s becoming cheekier by the day. I hadn’t realised it, but we actually managed to get outside quite a lot in September and there seems to have been a reasonable amount of sun! It’s so grey today I can’t remember that, but my Instagram posts prove it happened. We are loving having a garden, as you can see from Jacob’s digging. We joined a new toddler class in September too, which is a lot of fun and gives Jacob a chance to burn off some energy. It’s nice to have something fun planned for my day off.

Here are my favourite Instagram posts from September.

An afternoon in the garden of England. Check out the retro dog toy 🐶

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To top off a rubbish week, my baby has CHICKEN POX 😱😱😱

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Digging 🌿 We are loving having a garden. Jacob in particular is enjoying getting as muddy as possible!

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Sunday funday! After a bad start (hangover, poo incident), Sunday has turned out well ☀️

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If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, come on over and say hi! https://www.instagram.com/andjacobmakesthree/ 

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