Saturday 5 March 2016

March in Books // One for Them and One for Me

What a busy little month... and its only just begun! Already, we have celebrated a 3rd birthday and a 60th birthday and I have been up to my eyeballs in party organisation and top secret projects (which have now been revealed so I can FINALLY put it on the blog this week!)

Anyway, all this busyness meant February was not a fantastic one on the reading front for me... We are only half way through the two books for this month, but there's still a whole lot of March to go, so I'm not too worried about that...

One For Them:
The Railway Children
Edith Nesbit
(Kindle eBook is free on Amazon!)

We have been gobbling up "The Railway Children" by Edith Nesbit as our Readaloud these past couple of weeks. Every night, after I've fed Jonas and put him down, I sneak into the girls room, Kindle in hand, snuggle up in their little armchair and read to two little faces wide-eyed and waiting in their beds. Ava peers over the edge of her top bunk, chin resting on her little white cuddly scottie dog, and Heidi lies, tucked under the covers, staring up at the bottom of Ava's bed, listening away while eyes get more and more droopy. She's usually asleep by about three pages in. Ava, on the other hand, is gripped.

Of course, our read aloud time is punctuated by questions... "What are sleepers?", "What is the old gentleman's name again?", "Why does Bobbie do that?" and I try and strike a balance between answering the twenty questions and not losing the plot (literally and figuratively!) Nonetheless, our read aloud time together is fast becoming one of our favourite times of the day...

"The Railway Children" (if you are unfamiliar with the plot) is the story of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis. Three wealthy children in the Victorian times who are forced to live in the countryside in poverty after their Father has to "go away on business"... the "business" remains a mystery for much of the story, but I think even my little girls have picked up the sense of foreboding... the sense that something is not quite right. They are asking the same questions as Bobbie; "where IS the Father?" and now that they know, have asked a whole tonne of other questions too...

We have had wonderful discussions out of this book - historical conversations about the development of transport in those times, conversations about danger on the railway lines, conversations about honesty and lying, and conversations about justice. Big topics with a 3 and 4 year old, but something I love about reading good wholesome literature with little people is that these discussions are instigated by them in a completely natural and innocent way, and in fitting with what they can understand. It's thrilling stuff.

The book has impacted their play too... the transit has been out a little more, and I have found little sketches lying around of three children, a house with three chimneys and even these little watercolour steam trains that Ava did (below) ... I love that their imaginations are being fuelled by what we are reading together.

And most exciting of all, for two little girls in this house... we're off up to London this afternoon to see the production of "The Railway Children" in the flesh.

We can't wait!

One for Me
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo

I had heard so much about this one, and was chomping at the bit to get started on it... needless to say I am whizzing through it when I can, and I'm attempting to hold back on going crazy and kon-mari-ing the bejeebers out of our house until I get through the book so I can do it properly!

If you want your house to be tidy and ordered, but find it overwhelming/all-consuming/impossible with a gaggle of little people destroying all your work behind you, then this book is for you. It's a little fengshui-ish in places (something that I don't really buy into) but INCREDIBLY practical and totally makes sense. Its common sense a lot of what she's suggesting, but somehow common sense that only seems obvious in hindsight. I'm going to be posting a little over the next few weeks as I begin to use her method in our home to get rid of the tonne of junk/stuff that is hidden away in drawers, cupboards and at times not so hidden in piles on the sideboard/stairs/piano stool in our home! This book has been eye-opening and inspiring, and though I haven't finished it yet, I am loving it!

So there you have it... our March in books. We are looking forward to finishing these two, and then will be keeping you posted on what we go for next! Any questions on what we've been reading... or any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!

And in the meantime, don't forget to check out my co-hosts Carie and Katie to see what they've been reading...

And if you've written about what you're reading, why not join in the linky below!?

Claire x



  1. I really love these posts Clarina. Just wondered if you'd discovered the Read Aloud Revival podcast? It just lit the fire for me when it came to reading to my kids and she has some amazing guests. Looking forward to your next post :)

    1. Oh yes Jennie! It's been a recent discovery, but one I am similarly devouring!! It just makes SO MUCH SENSE and I'm so glad I stumbled upon it while the children are still so small!

  2. Oh two of my favourites this month!! I love the Railway Children and to see a live production must be amazing, I wonder how they'll handle the trains? And I'm totally with you on the Mari Kondo love, I did my clothes back in the summer and all my drawers are still beautifully tidy I've just stalled abut on books because we have mountains of them!! But our mission for this year is to get all the way through it :)

    1. Yes! I've done clothes and am half way through books! Eek. It's a big job here too! As you know, we love our books!

    2. Yes! I've done clothes and am half way through books! Eek. It's a big job here too! As you know, we love our books!


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