Books and the Jelly Bean


Jelly Beans. It turns out jelly beans and books go together quite well, no matter what age! World Book Day 2018 is coming up SUPER quickly. It is on 1 March every year and schools and nurseries around the world will be dressing up in their favourite book characters. We had loads of fun last year dressing up Patronus A! You can see pictures of her from last year at the bottom. 

This year we are championing Storytelling with props. If you want to read more about that then I have previously written a blog post about it, link below. 

Reading books with your children with the additional use of props can further help spark imagination and play long after the book has finished being read. It can lead to further discussion, dressing up, creating, eating and general playing. As i was going through our books I realised we had a couple of books that have or are about Jelly Beans in them. When was the last time you ate a Jelly Bean? It has been years, so that's when I decided our storytelling prop would be an eating one! Patronus A and B have never had them before so it was really fun. 

The two books we used are: 


Jelly beans feature in both these books. The New Small Person by Lauren Child was given to us after Patronus B was born. Patronus A was struggling somewhat, tantrums went nuclear and more often then not she became Dementor A. This book really helped us. It is about a boy being the centre of attention until a new person arrives. This new boy is annoying, until one day he realises that the new boy is actually fun, he even lets him share his jelly beans. So well written and the illustrations are awesome. 

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The next book we used was The Magnificant Jelly bean Tree, by Maura Finn, illustrated by Aura Parker. This is about a boy who explains his Jelly Bean grew into a tree, a tree so magnificent that it produced hundreds of jelly beans. They are juicy and not hard like the ones you buy in the shops, the glow like lanterns in the dark and he stays in his tree. He soon realises that it's pretty lonely without anyone to share it with so invites his family along. Again, the illustrations are so fun. 

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I hadn't realised when I bought them that these particular Jelly Beans have 35 flavours in them. After Patronus A had eaten a few she came running to me saying that she didn't like them. Funnily enough I had just eaten a Liquorice one and it was so unexpected I had to laugh. I'll bet all my Jelly Beans she must have eaten a coffee, cinnamon or liquorice one. As soon as I crunched down on that liquorice one my mind took me straight to Harry Potter. Can anyone guess where I'm going with this? 

Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans. 




If you haven't read or watched Harry Potter,   ( shame on you) they were sweets that a wizard named Bertie Botts accidentally made.

Bertie Botts pictured to the right. 

Albert Dumbledore (headmaster of Hogwarts, again, shame on you if you don't know who that is) famously said that he had eaten a vomit flavoured bean in his youth and had put him off them. 


I guess my point to the above paragraph is that, Storytelling with props is not just for kids! That string of consciousness that I had while eating Jelly Beans has made me want to pick all the Harry Potter books and read them again! Older children can play games with the jelly beans guessing which is which flavour. 


As promised last years celebration of World Book Day. Patronus A went as Princess Daisy from Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights. An EXCELLENT read. It is all about girl power. We have noticed that the children's book market have more and more books about Princesses who are not just damsels in distress. We love these books at our house. If you are interested in some GIRL POWER books here are a few:

  • The Worst Princess, Anna Kemp
  • Zog, Julia Donaldson
  • Zog and the Flying Doctors, Julia Donaldson
  • The Princess and the Giant, Caryl Hart
  • The Princess and the Peas, Caryl Hart
  • The Princess and the Christmas Rescue, Caryl Hart
  • Princess Scallywag and the Brave, Brave Knight, Mark Sperring 

Storytelling with props

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need a is a book. 

Dr. Suess 


Books. Books. Books. 

We are a family that loves books. We have more books then we know what to do with. We gather books at the speed a mouse produce baby mice. We never have enough shelf space and I'm too picky with buying bookshelves that we have books stacked up in strategic places.

I realise this makes us sound like hoarders. I promise we're not.

Though to some, with normal book keeping habits, perhaps we are. Our hands are never far from a book and we always have a book or two on the go. This love of books has inflitrated the little people. Which of course, we love. But this means that as well as hoarding adult sized books, we now hoard children's books. Those buying books as presents for them is now risky as we have all the best ones. More then once we have been bought duplicates, it's no ones fault really, except probably ours. We could start a small regional library and stock it with board books, children's books, history books, politics books, military books, religious books, art books, design books, craft books, classical fiction, humorous non-fiction and an embarrassingly (actually sorry-not-sorry) large amount of fantasy/sci-fi books. 

From an early age the kids became interested in flicking through books. They were just part of their toys and as such became like toys. 

Now, reading for some children and even adults can be a struggle and an effort, finding it difficult to immerse themselves and get lost in a book. My sister was never a reader until recently, Now we swap recent reads and geek out over dragons and wizards.

For some people the thought of reading anything with dragons, wizards and sorcerers makes their faces contort in disgust before being able to control their facial muscles. But reading can be made fun for kids. There our some books which I really loathe having to read Patronus A (a particular troll book springs to mind), but for some reason she adores. She will go through obsessions where we will have to read the same book everyday, multiple times a day for a week until she has completely rid herself of the addiction and knows it off by heart herself. She'll then go 'read' it her self from memory. 


My point is that book reading with your littlies doesn't have to be a bore. Especially if you do it with PROPS. We have discovered this fairly recently and the results have been fab! We got gifted the book, 'The Hundred Decker Bus', by Mike Smith. I had never heard of it or even seen it at the library, but man, is it a fun read! It's about a bus driver who gets bored of doing the same route every day so decides to go on an adventure and everyone wants to join him. 15 pages later and the bus has 100 levels. It's fun and ends with a page that folds out. As we were reading it, I remembered the kids got given a red London double decker bus for Christmas. Once I realised that the rest was easy! 


We found any toys we could find to recreate this gigantic bus. We had a lot of fun with it. The extra bonus of this is that this then led on to playing with our duplo lego in a way we had never played with it before. Patronus A was so taken with the whole idea that she was entranced and happy playing for about 45 minutes afterwards. No mean feat! 


Storytelling with props could be as simple as having a caterpillar soft toy when reading the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar', making a Stickman when reading, 'Stickman', going for a walk in the woods after reading 'The Gruffalo', letting your littleun make a marmalade sandwich after reading Paddington Bear, or building a pirate ship from lego or play dough before reading 'Ten Little Pirates'.

Have fun with it! 


The more you read the more things you know. The more that you learn the more places you'll go. 

Dr. Suess