I’m a lover of books and tales. Books have helped to shape the woman I am today. I remember my mother reading me bible stories at bedtime. When I was able to read for myself, the first book I remember selecting was a small Ladybird collection of Greek mythologies. As a pre-teen I moved onto English, American and Canadian classics by Dickens, Austen, Alcott and Montgomery. I can hardly wait for Angelo and Valentina to be old enough for me to share the adventures of Jane, Jo, Anne, not to mention Theseus, Odysseus and the like. Reading is the vehicle to elevate anyone to the place they want to be. I began reading to Angelo and Valentina when they were babies. They love storytime not just for the cuddles but for the tales. My proudest parent moment to date was to hear Angelo read to his sister. I’m thrilled to be selected by Britmums and Penguin Random House to be a part of their Stories For Life campaign.


Stories for Life

Stories help us to imagine a world beyond our own. Who knows how far we could go with the power of stories and dreams to lead the way. I love to gift books and not just at Christmas. I have decided to gift two books out of the three books sent to us by Puffin Books and keep one for ourselves. We received:

  1. The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots/by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Quentin Blake
  2. Alfie and his Very Best Friend/by Shirley Hughes
  3. The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Princess and the Pea/ by Abie Longstaff, illustrated by Lauren Beard



Kitty in Boots

Kitty-in-Boots is taking a trip to Trinidad. I’m wrapping her up and sending her to my little friend Master L. He’s toddler with a big love for books. His mum tells me he like to listen to stories over and over. I had suggested that because Kitty is a book for slight older children, she could read a portion every night to him but she says he prefers to listen to a story in one go.

Kitty is a book that both mother and son will enjoy for the story as well as the illustrations. It’s collectable that I know they will treasure. Kitty is “A serious, well-behaved young black cat who leads a daring double life defeating vile villains’. Its the ideal tale for clever little boy, I dare say.


Alfie and Bernard

Angelo found settling into school hard a first but he made a firm friend in Master D. Like Angelo Master D loves reading. He’s a very clever little boy and his mum tells me he’s able to read on aided. I’m gifting him with Shirley Hughes’ story about Alfie and his best friend. There’s nothing more empowering than a sincere friendship.

I’m not sure if we celebrate that enough amongst boys. I think this book is just the ticket for a good friend. “Alfie and Bernard are very best friends and together they have lots of adventure. “They go to eh library, take part in scooter races and make a very special club with only two special members.” It’s a heart-warming book about friendship.


The Fairytale Hairdresser 

Finally, I’m keeping The Fairytale Hairdresser to gift to Angelo and Valentina. In a family of mixed heritage you know that hair is always up for discussion. Angelo and Valentina both like the tale of the Princess and the Pea, so I thought this clever twist will be a new treat for them. I appreciate Abie and Lauren’s representation of different ethnicities and hair types in the book.

“Princesses from all across the land are flocking to the fairyland village for the chance to marry the prince. But one princess is not all she seems…” I can hardly wait to read it with them over the holidays.


The Power of Stories

It’s no exaggeration that stories are a gift for life. Many of our favourites are published by Penguin Random House Children’s Books, from the works of Eric Carle  and Roald Dahl to adorable characters like Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit and The Snowman.

Do you give books for Christmas? What books to you think make good Christmas presents and why? Please tell us. Join in the conversation using hashtag #storiesforlife.



This blog post is in partnership with Penguin Random House Children’s Books.



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