The Perfect Shelter by Clare Helen Welsh

As with last weeks blog, some of you may know I’m a huge fan of WriteMentor. After participating in two of their live writing weekends, when an online weekend was on offer, I jumped at the chance.

I wasn’t let down. I’ve come away with such motivation. I was lucky enough to be taught by Clare Helen Welsh who kindly agreed to be interviewed for this weeks blog.

If you’d like to follow her, here are her social media handles:

@ClareHelenWelsh www.clarehelenwelsh.com@LittleTigerUK @AsaGilland Facebook: BooksByClareHelenWelsh

Tell us about your book

The Perfect Shelter is beautifully illustrated by debut talent, Asa Gilland, and is published by Little Tiger. It’s a story that explores the complicated emotions we feel when someone we love is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer.

What lead you to write The Perfect Shelter?

It’s a special book for me and our family, since it was written after my Uncle was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He very sadly died 5 months later and it was an especially hard time for my children, then 7 and 8yrs old. They understood enough to be scared, but not enough to be able to process how unfair it all felt. I find writing hugely cathartic, so I penned The Perfect Shelter late one night. My agent, Alice Williams, sent it on to my editors at Little Tiger Press soon after, and I was delighted when they found the story beautiful, powerful and moving. The text became even more important to me and my family when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019.

What does your book bring to the readers?

I hope it brings love and support to others going through difficult times – it’s essentially a book about hope, living in the present and making the most of every day, which we could all do with remembering during the challenges of lockdown.

Pre order your copy by clicking here

Thank you so much for being part of my blog.

I think it’s so important for childrens books to tackle subjects such as cancer. Books help children understand things more easily but also start to ask questions that they may not have been able to formulate other wise. Also, a little like a perfect shelter, gives the child knowledge that it’s a safe time/place to talk about things on their mind.

Love Kat x

Milton the Mighty by Emma Read

A couple of weekends ago, I attended a Write Mentor online weekend. After attending to in-person weekends and getting so much out of them, when I saw this, I thought why not! It’s not like I had plans to go anywhere, or do anything, or meet anyone!

I wasn’t sure what it would be like but I’m pleased to let you know, it was AWESOME.

Emma Read

One of the tutors was Emma Read, author of Milton the Mighty. I learnt so much from her and was motivated to write a lot. I came away brimming with ideas.

As with Alexandra Sheppard (author of Oh My Gods)

https://moretobooks.blog/2020/01/29/write-mentor-and-oh-my-gods-by-alexandra-sheppard/https://moretobooks.blog/2020/01/29/write-mentor-and-oh-my-gods-by-alexandra-sheppard/

and Emily Critchley (author of Notes on my Family)

https://moretobooks.blog/2020/01/11/notes-on-my-family-emily-critchley/

Both of whom presented two amazing weekends earlier this year, I interviewed Emma Read for this weeks blog.

Milton the Mighty- the teeniest superhero by Emma Read

How did your book come about?

I was mulling over how the media is changing the way young people view celebrity. These days anyone can become famous, not by being an actor, a singer or a sports star, but simply by accident. It got me thinking about finding unwanted fame, like publicly shamed dogs in fancy dress on YouTube, or humiliated local cats on missing posters. Then I remembered the unfairly vilified spiders in the tabloids and I thought maybe I would like to tell their story. I wrote the first book in the series – Milton the Mighty, while my youngest was still at home so it took a while. I was fortunate that it caught the eye of the junior judges at the Bath Children’s Novel Award and was shortlisted for that prestigious award. It was there I met my soon to be editors from Chicken House Books.

What do you think the readers learn from your book?

I’d love to help ‘spider worriers’ begin to overcome their fear and become ‘spider warriors’ – and have fun at the same time! But as well as talking about facing fears and promoting a love of wildlife, Milton is also a series about tolerance, friendship and courage – no matter your size. I hope readers will see how to find their inner strength and begin to believe in themselves, even if they find the world overwhelming.
Milton the Megastar develops those ideas further and shows children how important our environment is and how they can help protect it. It also shows children how varied families can be, and whatever makes up a family, we are stronger together.

If you’d like to follow Emma Read on Social media, here are her handles.

Twitter: @emmydee73
Instagram: ediereadie
Facebook: emmareadauthor
youtube: Emma Read
website: emmareadauthor.com

Milton the Megastar- the teeniest superhero by Emma Read

Thank you so much to Emma for sharing her journey with us. I’m looking forward to receiving my signed copy in the post which I will share as soon as it’s arrived!

If you have this book already, please post a pic of your little one with the book below.

Love Kat x

Star Wars

Hello! Happy May the 4th be with you!

A perfect way to get boys reading is to choose a topic that they love. Some girls love Star Wars too, but statistically, boys are more reluctant than girls to pick up a book!

Star Wars- A New Hope (Logo and Disney) photo credit: Amazon.co.uk

There really is more to books than reading when the book itself is an amalgamation of Star Wars and Lego. See if you can make a space ship out of Lego, and send a picture to moretobooks@gmail.com to feature in this blog!

And for our younger learners, why not learn your numbers and alphabet with the Star Wars Gang!

Star Wars Obi 1 w e by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy, illustrated by Katie Cook. Photo credit- amazon.co.uk
Star Wars ABC – 3PO by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy. Illustrated by Katie Cook. Photo credit: Amazon.co.uk


I’d love to see your Star Wars antics today. Send in pictures of food/dressing up/colouring or simply reading/watching anything Star Wars related to moretobooks@gmail.com.

Love Kat x

Uk Nannies Matter

I am one!

Shout out to all nannies in the world right now! To those who have been furloughed or those, like myself that are working even harder in these strange times.

More to films…

DVDs with Nannies in!

As a child growing up, my favourite films were The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Harriet the Spy. All of which have nannies in them!

As an adult, I love Uptown Girls and The Nanny Diaries. Obvious in the title of the latter, but again, nannies!!!

More to books…

Mary Poppins is perhaps the most loveable Nanny. By PL Travers.

Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (photo credit: world of books.com)

Nurse Matilda is a set of three books that were written on the 60’s and 70’s of a Maternity Nurse turned nanny who looked after the naughty Browns children. Heard that story line before? That is because it was adapted to Nanny Mcphee by Emma Thompson!

Nanny Mcphee and the Big Bang by Emma Thompson (photo credit: worldofbooks.com)

There is a very important reason this blog is on Nannies this week.

UK Nannies Matter Campaign

I am proud to announce that I am a founding campaign partner of The UK Nannies Matter Campaign.

https://uknanny.org/nannies-matter/

It’s all about helping Nannies be recognised as Professionals. The campaign is founded by the wonderful Nannies at UK Nanny Ltd, Helen McCarthy and Maria Culley as well as Allie Bell, owner of Harmony at Home and Laura Hellfeld, founder of KoKoPie Families.

Together, Nannies are stronger.

The campaign is to empower nannies, regulate it as a profession to give a clear career path and safety for Nannies as well as showing the parents the safeguarding of the children and value, quality and standard they can expect from a Professional Nanny.

Love Kat x

Minecraft Home Schooling

You all know my motto is that there’s more to books than reading, well, there is also more to Minecraft than screen time.

If you are at home and wanting to help educate your little ones, here are a few ideas (that I used via Skype lessons) When planning things for G7, I wanted to choose something that she was intrinsically motivated about which is half the battle, hey!

Minecraft Manual

Writing a Manual can be about any subject that your child loves.

What I love about a manual is they get to tell you all they know and they are excited to learn more about the subject.

We did a fun facts page where we used different shapes for information boxes.

We learnt the key features of a non-fiction text, having a title and subtitle, writing a caption under our pictures, making a contents page and glossary.

Examples of bullet points

When adding in instructions for someone else who has never played Minecraft, they start to use bossy verbs naturally.

Using their actual mine craft maps to make a map of our own

Taking an actual interest in what they are doing online, can take it offline. I definitely don’t advocate lots of screen time but as a child who grew up on theme hospital and the sims, I think it’s worth using what they love to help.

G7 told me all the features that she has in a map that she had built on Minecraft. So we mapped out the coordinates and placed the items on our own map.

Key for map

Using the map, have your “skin” character go on an adventure. Use the coordinates to say where they go from and to.

They can write out their adventure, use their senses to explain where they are, where thy do and choose some mobs to create something exciting, perhaps they need to go to the cave to find some diamonds or defeat the Enderdragon.

More to books…

Unofficial Activity book for Minecrafters by Blockboy. Although unofficial this has lots of activities that will take up some time in lockdown life!
Minecraft Maths Volume 1 by Gameplay Publishing (Photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)
Also unofficial but I’m excited about the arrival of this book, we ordered it for g7! There is even a volume 2. Children are more likely to want to learn if they are motivated and using a subject that excites them will do just that!
There are also lots of official books from Minecraft too to get your little screen time monsters hooked on books!
Minecraft- the survival collection (Photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)

MineCraft Earth app

And to get them outside, download Minecraft Earth, like Pokemon go a few years ago, but they collect things as they walk around and then have adventures and “build” things for other people to find in augmented reality! Also, when they are holding the phone, it keeps their hands from touching benches and fences and gates etc! (Do practice safety when crossing roads- I take the phone off her when we are crossing a road to keep us extra safe!)

Please send in your Minecraft fun.

Love Kat x

Competition time

Books and awards

As some of you know, I was supposed to be speaking at the Childcare and Education Expo next week at London Olympia. And while I fully understand and support the cancellation, I need something positive to look forward to.

With talk of school closures in Britain and lots of school closures around the world, my book literally is packed full of ideas you can do in the home for different ages of siblings, but you don’t need to buy my book to be involved in this competition. (You also don’t need to be suffering from school closures)

The four categories are:

Creative- 3D model of their favourite book

Writing- book review or their own story

Mathematics– using their favourite book, what maths can they do (let them think creatively- check out some of my blog posts for ideas) or baking and cooking works linked to their book

Drama- create a scene with their toys or act it out by themselves or make puppets/characters

The most creative CHILD LEAD ideas will win.

The age categories are:

EYFS

Key stage one

Key stage two

If there is an uptake of Key stage three as I am fully aware you may have older siblings, then they can definitely get involved.

My book is for adults- parents and nannies or anyone who spends time with children. I will be giving the adult involved a book if their child wins, and an age appropriate prize for each child who wins.

If you are a nanny, please get permission from the parents to send pictures of the child.

Send their work in by March 31st to moretobooks@gmail.com with their name, age and general location. Their work will be shared if they win and others might also be shared on a blog.

If you’d like to read more of my blog,

Www.moretobooks.blog

If you’d like my book, go to http://www.moretobooks.com and follow the amazon link.

Send entries to moretobooks@gmail.com

Winners will be announced in April! But as I don’t know the uptake of the competition please be patient with me, I’m a one woman Band (who works full time as a nanny)

Love to all,

Love Kat at More to Books.

Oh and follow me on Twitter at kathrynlord912

On Insta @moretobooks

I have a Facebook group called More to books too.

Please share with all your friends that have/work with/see children.

Dr Seuss Week

Today is Dr Seuss Day. I just saw a quote from him shared on Instagram. To be number one you have to be odd!

Dr Seuss was definitely different and it encourages children to think outside the box.

Horton heard a who! By Dr Seuss
How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

I know it’s a Christmas book, but it is one of my favourite Christmas Movies. I prefer the live action one rather than the cartoon versions but there is a place in my heart for all of them.
Oh the places you’ll go! And Green eggs and ham by Dr Seuss

These were library finds. Oh the places you’ll go is my favourite Dr Seuss book; It’s a lovely premise and I hope it encourages children to be who they want to be and go where they want to go!

It’s Dr Seuss day today because it is his birthday!

His real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel!

There are several quotes in my own book from him about reading! To find out which ones and more quote from other famous authors buy it at http://www.moretobooks.com and click on the amazon link.

Photo credit- Etsy.com
Photo credit- imagine forest
Photo credit- imagine forest
Photo credit- imagine forest

Share your pictures and craft for Dr Seuss with your child

Love Kat x

Nanny Kimbo’s favourite Dr Seuss book is Fox in Socks
Nanny Kimbo made a Cat in the Hat Costume from scratch for World Book day in 2015!
Hellen Prideaux created several activities for her Nanny Children for Dr Seuss Day!
Hellen Prideaux with her cat in the hat mask!

Pancake Day

Yum! One of my favourite days.

When I was a teenager, my mum would be working so I perfected making three or four pancakes on the hob at once, usually for my brother and his hungry friends. I think what I loved about it when I was little was that it was a day you literally could eat dessert for the whole meal. I’m pretty sure we only had sugar and those fake plastic lemons on ours for years.

Making pancakes is easy. Cooking and baking, as I’ve said over and over again is great for reading opportunities but also maths and science. I differentiate based on age and ability of my children.

Flipping pancakes is a lot of fun, I think it’s important to show children safely how to flip. I remember making them with one Nanny Family and their 11 year old was helping me, her father walked in while she was flipping and was worried that it would be unsafe. I think the importance is modelling, supporting and teaching them how to cook safely. If they are aware of the dangers and know how to do it safely, the risk is lessened. Also, it’s a skill for life. If they do it under supervision throughout their childhood, it will be second nature to be sensible when cooking as they grow up.

More to books...

The Runaway Pancake by Mairi Mackinnon and Silvia Provantini (photo credit: Amazon.co.uk)
Grace, aged 2 and a half, (Loughborough, UK) did all of the mixing and cooking the first pancake!
Lorelei, aged 5 (Oregon, USA) enjoying rainbow pancakes
Lorelei, aged 5 (Oregon, USA) with a huge pancake!

Opera and ballet

Now, I am the first to say I love the theatre. I truly do! I try to go atleast once a month and I don’t mind the cheap seats in the back! I also love to take the children as I think not only is it an immersive way for story telling but it fires their imagination and could inspire them.

We went to see School of Rock with G7 and she now is intrinsically motivated to play the piano. It helps that her baby brother also loves “play” the piano.

Sleeping Beauty by Blackwell and Fletcher
This book literally lets you bring stories to life on a mini stage.

I remember the first ballet I went to see was Sleeping Beauty in Manchester. I pirouetted all the way home.

This is the Royal Opera House in Covent Gardens

I don’t know about you, but theatres always make me feel special. Wherever I am sat. The luxuriousness Of the curtains and the deep crimson with the gold. I love thinking about the history of the place and who was sat in this very theatre decades ago!

I think it’s important to let our children experience this. It also teaches them about being patient, waiting, sitting nicely, thinking of others.

A few weeks ago, my wonderful nanny friend and I went to see Alices adventures underground. It was an opera. I’m more used to musicals and plays but the costumes and set were amazing! This show had Russian, German and French as well as English and there were subtitles so our older learners might get some reading opportunities but I would say, you probably didn’t need any words to follow the much beloved story.

More to books…

My First Orchestra Book. Y Genevieve Helsby and Karin Elkins

I always try to show my NKs the Orchestra. Maybe in the interval, to go down to the front and look at all the instruments and the players. It could inspire them to become a musician.

My First Classical Music Book by Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman

This book also comes with a CD but I don’t think I know anyone with a CD player anymore! You can listen to it online also.
As well as reading the book and dancing to the music. Pull out some colours and big sheets of paper and encourage them to Mark make to the music.
http://writedancetraining.com/

I’m trained in write dance which improves hand, fine and gross motor skills all to music. It is really fun, there are books you can buy or training you can go on.

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini and Rosie Brooks
Carmen by Georges Bizet and Rosie Brooks
The Walkabout Orchestra by Chloé Perarnau

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt

I have a lot of love for books that take a story and make it in a different setting. My G7 wants to be an astronaut so she would love this! Girls don’t have to wear pretty dresses and jewelry!
Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt

I think Reading Beauty is me!

Share a picture of your little one at the theatre! What did you go to see?

Love Kat x

Valentine’s Day

Love heart made my last Nanny child and I when she was 5. You just roll up strips of card and dip them in PVA. You can dip in glitter too but we opted for a glittery background instead. You can also make flowers this way!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone from More to Books. I am declaring my love has always been and will always be for books!

This weeks blogs will share some books like usual but I really wanted to send it over to our lovely nannies and parents to give you ideas of what craft projects we can do just in time for Friday.

If you’d like to have your idea shared on this blog, email me at moretobooks@gmail.com with your idea and your name. If I share your idea, I will always credit you for your awesome work. Or if we are contacts on social media send a private message. On Twitter I am @KathrynLord912 and Instagram @Moretobooks!

Chocolate Hearts

This year my Nanny children are a bit older, meaning I could teach piping, marbling and let them roll creatively. G13 even did cursive writing in chocolate which really helps fine motor skills and artistic accuracy.

Chocolates and treats
First attempt at piping!

We filled the hearts in so they were less likely to break after being refrigerated.
I taught G7 to melt chocolate safely and marble the milk and white.
We used different materials to make our creations!

Valentine’s Day Crafts from Parents and Nannies

Emily (10 months old) from Canada made a plate making a love heart with her feet

Made by Laiq, 3 from Rochdale
Thank you to Helen McCarthy for your artwork that you do with your nanny children every year.

I love these bears holding a chocolate heart by the Nanny Children of Hellen Prideaux

Food
Jamie Herrell Roman (Nanny in California) shared this gorgeous Valentine’s Day Packed lunch for her Nanny Child on The Nannyhood and gave me permission to share it on the blog, this looks delicious, I want a packed lunch like this!

More to books…

Love from the Crayons my Dre Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
Guess how much I love you by Sam MCBratney and Anita Jeram
Peter Rabbit I love you by Beatrix Potter