January Bookshelf - Glitter, Politics and Boobs!

Sorry this is a little late, we have been a bit manic here!!  Somehow the first month of the year has flown by in a whirl of reorganising, visiting people, and learning lots of new things.  We have also been doing lots of reading, usually snuggled up on the sofa under throws and blankets, the perfect thing to do on a cold January afternoon!

Lara and Sophia have been sent the cute Glitterbelle books from Parragon.  Modern-day princess Glitterbelle is, thankfully, as keen on tree climbing and scooting as she is primping and princessing.  She also prefers leggings to glittery dresses, and is bright, funny and energetic.  She has a pet dog called Bob and two best friends, Angel and Dazzlina.

The first four glittery books in the series feature lots of sparkle, gems and fun adventures, plus things for young readers to make and do.  They are aimed at girls aged 6+ and feature beautifully crafted sets in the photographs/illustrations.  The series starts with four titles:

We received the Doodle, Dazzle, Create and Dazzling Dress-Up books for review, but I must admit to a bit of mummy skulduggery as I passed them on to the charity shop immediately and bought a copy of the picture book, Glitterbelle: The Sparkliest Princess Ever! instead.  My issue with the other books was the overemphasis on clothes, appearance and becoming a sparkly princess, not a message, or goal, I want my daughters to have.  I'm afraid I don't consider trying on different styles of clothes, or using glittery nail stickers, appropriate even for a 6+ year old (whom I acknowledge the book is aimed at), let alone our pre-schoolers.  I'm sure many people will disagree, but in our home we choose not to believe in the importance of appearance.

However, the girls do really like the picture book with its beautiful artwork and feisty princess, so the fashion-oriented books are rather disappointing, a shame.  All in all, I like the Glitterbelle concept, as do Lara and Sophia, and a little bit of glitter and fluff is OK, but it does feel that the creation is trying to go in two different directions.  Would a fesity modern girl who wants to climb trees and play with her dog really be so obsessed about her clothes and her nails?  I hope not.

By contrast, thinking ahead to May's much-anticipated event, I have been reading The Election with Lara.  This brightly coloured picture book explains the election process to young children with a clear, informative text and lovely, inclusive and engaging pictures.  It explains canvassing, how voting works, and the whole electoral process.  Alex's family supports the party whose posters have stripes on them, while Evie's family backs the party whose posters have spots on them.  But which party will win?  And can you be friends with people who think, and vote, differently to you?  During the story we see how different people, including both parents, are active in the political sphere, and learn how, and why, political parties are different from one another.  To cover so much information in such a story is impressive, but not at all overwhelming for the young reader.

Lara's first election experience, May 2010 - hoping for a better result this time!!

Lara has really enjoyed reading this book, as she is beginning to understand more about the world and how things work (or often don't work) in the economic and political spheres.  Having asked us to set up a standing order to UNICEF when she was 2, I think we have an amazing little world citizen on our hands!  This super little book is the first of its kind in the UK, and has backing from representatives of all the major political parties.  The Election is such a great idea, after all it is never too early to learn about politics, and the importance of voting.  My 3 and 4 year olds are already well-versed in the suffrage movement and can tell you who my heroine Emily Wilding Davison was!

If you would like to win a copy of The Election, just enter via the Rafflecopter below.

As for me, I have been busy reading the wonderful Breast Intentions.  You can read the review, and win a copy, here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday 15th February 2015

UK entrants only, please.


  1. It's really hard to choose one favorite book because my 2 year old daughter loves so many of them. She's a bookworm like her mommy (and, to a slightly lesser extent, her daddy). I guess I'd go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She's getting pretty good at "reading" it herself, including sound effects and motions I use.
    I could see The Election becoming a favorite, too. I've always been interested in the political process and would love a way to introduce it to my daughter. As dual nationals, we have the benefit of being eligible to vote in 2 elections.

  2. My youngest daughter loves To Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

  3. Hard to pick just one favourite - it all depends on his mood, we love The Smartest Giant in Town, Winnie the Witch and at bedtime we're working our way through The Wind in the Willows

    (Real name: Christine Lockley)

  4. The tiger who came to tea!


  5. the gruffalo is still a firm favourite

  6. The Gruffalo definitely
    (Spencer Broadley)

  7. Peace at last is an old favourite and a telling the time book at the moment.

  8. Linda F McGarrigle15 February 2015 at 10:22

    The Fish Who Could Wish x


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