These are Chocolate Drops!

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This is the first book I read by Lauren Child and I loved it. Here is a stubborn girl (Lola) who has a long list of hates but gives no indication of what she might like. Fortunately her older brother Charlie is not fazed. You don’t like rice, peas, carrots (rabbits eat those), fish-fingers… No problem! Charlie won’t be serving any of those. Instead Charlie serves cloud fluff and mermaid fish-fingers!

My little angel loves looking at the pictures of stubborn Lola and then trying to copy Lola’s expressions. I think what she really loves however is the way Lola outsmarts Charlie.

The other day, Sumayya gave Little Angel a snack as she left.

‘What did she give you?’ I asked Little Angel.
‘Chocolate drops,’ she said showing me a box of organic raisins!


On Safari

Alas this blog has been neglected of late though much has been happening in the forest. Mainly involving two babies -Happity and Suki – and a great deal of procrastination!

Lately i have been doing a series for Little Explorer Magazine, called Little Explorers on Safari. Below are some pictures. By the way, did you know that ‘safari’ comes from the Arabic word ‘safar’ meaning to ‘travel’? Well it does!

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Guess how much I love you

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This is a book I keep meaning to buy having read it many times in the bookshop. It is such a sweet heart-warming book, and it won’t fail to make you smile. It is all about little and big nutbrown hares’ attempts to express how much they love each other.

‘I love you all the way to the moon,’ says the little hare.

And big hare replies (spoiler alert!!!), ‘I love you all the way to the moon and back!’

Now being a reserved child myself, I would pinch my fingers tightly to demonstrate how much I loved the asker. My little angel on the other is fond of telling me she loves me hundred, hundred, hundred times (hundred being the biggest number she knows).

The other day, while we ate dinner, she said, ‘Mummy you know I love you.”
‘Yes,’ I said.
‘And you love me,’ she said.
I nodded.
‘Then why do you become angry with me sometimes?’
‘Err,’ I said trying to formulate an answer but failing (many were the answers I could give, but all seemed rather lame).
‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘I’ll try not to get angry again.’
‘You don’t have to be sorry mummy,’ said my little angel. ‘We’re just talking.’
And for the second time in a few seconds, I had no answer.

How much does my little angel love me? More than I deserve.

We love this!

Eid A Poem

It was the night before Eid, when all through the house,

Everybody was busy, rushing about.

All the doors were flung open and lights switched on,

Bedtime was ignored — so much had to be done.

Mamma was in the kitchen making some treats,

Papa was tidying and making things neat,

Big sister Aliya was mending her scarf,

While big brother Adil was having a bath.

The twins were jumping up and down on their beds,

When they should have been cleaning their room instead.

On the floor lay their clothes waiting to be pressed,

So that on the morrow they would be well-dressed.

Then twin one fell down hard and began to howl,

Ma was cross and shouted, ‘Not another sound!’

Quietly everyone completed their tasks,

And as the clock struck twelve, all went to bed fast.

Near the front door, coats had been hung with great care,

And shoes had been shone and placed ready to wear.

And everyone was now fast away sleeping,

And it was of Eid-day that they were dreaming.

The clock ticked on and fajr time swiftly dawned,

Papa’s alarm began to buzz and he yawned,

His eyes flickered, but then he slept on some more!

Mamma jumped up when papa gave a loud snore!

She looked at the time and shouted: ‘wake up all!’

And all fell out of bed at mamma’s loud call.

One after the other wudu they all made,

And salatul fajr they all calmly prayed.

Twin one then decided to go back to sleep,

When twin two reminded him today was Eid,

Excitement began to fill everyone’s heart,

And all began to get ready to depart.

To finish reading the poem please purchase the book from the link below:

The Tiger who came to Fast

Little angel was reading ‘The Tiger who Came to Tea’ to herself when Grandfather offered to read it to her. Now Grandfather has a habit of making up his own story as he goes along. On this occasion, he picked the book up and looking at the title, read: ‘The tiger who came to fast’!

I thought this was a great title. I’m sure kids would have fun with it if it was given as a title in a creative writing exercise… as I had no willing kids on hand to try it out on, I wrote my own version; here it is:

The Tiger who came to Fast

Once there was a girl and one day she found a tiger at her door.

She tried to shoo him away but he wouldn’t move at all.
“What do you want?” She asked the tiger, but the tiger didn’t say anything.

The girl was thinking that she should just ignore the tiger when suddenly she heard a little growl.
“Oh!”” said the girl looking at the tiger. “You are hungry!”

She ran inside her house to get him some food but then she remembered they didn’t have any! It was Ramadan. They were all fasting!

“Sorry tiger,” she said. “We don’t have any food.”
The tiger didn’t say anything. The girl thought that she should still help the tiger.

So she took him to the supermarket. But nothing seemed to catch his fancy — and anyway neither of them had any money.

Then she thought he might like to nibble on some fresh grass and leaves — “think that it is a salad,” she said to him. But the tiger just blinked his eyes.

A bird landed nearby. The girl looked at the tiger waiting for him to pounce on it. But the tiger just swished his tail.
“Oh dear,” sighed the girl. “What do tigers like to eat?”

The girl sat down under a tree and thought very hard. And after much thought she found the answer.
“You need to go back to the jungle!” she said.

She quickly wrote a label and put it around the tiger and stuck a stamp on him.

Then she left him next to a post box — he was too big to fit inside.
She waved goodbye to the tiger and hurried home. It was nearly time to open her fast.

As she walked, she suddenly heard a little growl.
The girl looked around expecting to see the tiger following her but he wasn’t there.

“Strange,” thought the girl and she carried on walking, when — she heard the growl again.
The girl stopped and listened very hard: growl growl growl!
The sound was coming from her tummy!

“Oh!” thought the girl. “It wasn’t the tiger who was growling, it was my tummy that was rumbling!”

Quickly the girl turned around and ran back towards the tiger.
She was afraid the postman may have taken him and then she would never see him again!

But there he was. Sitting next to the postbox, blinking and swishing his tail.
“Tiger,” she said. “Are you fasting?”
And ever ever so slightly — so slightly that only the girl could tell, the tiger nodded his head.

“Come on tiger,” she said. “Come and break your fast with me.”

So the tiger followed her home and they broke their fast together at sunset, with squishy dates and cold water.

The Tiger who didn’t Come for Tea

I remember Judith Kerr’s The Tiger who came to Tea, from my own childhood. I wasn’t very fond of it then, but I thought I ‘ought’ to get it for my little angel; after all, it is a classic I rationalised. So I did but it didn’t go down well.

First off, little angel couldn’t enjoy the story as with each turn of the page she was convinced Sophie would be eaten by the tiger. Then next came all the questions: how could the tiger drink all the water in the tap and what would happen if Sophie never had a bath ever again? Then we came to crux of the matter: what would happen if the tiger came to our house?

‘Will he eat me?’ asked little angel.
I groaned internally, the book had opened a scary new front in her imagination.
‘No,’ I said. ‘He won’t eat you.”
‘He might,’ she said.
‘No he wouldn’t,’ I said trying to make light of the matter. ‘That would be so silly.’
‘What will he eat then?’
‘You can share your snacks with him,’ I said.
‘No!’ she said. (Little angel doesn’t do sharing.) ‘I don’t want the tiger to come to my house and eat all my food!’
I looked at her thinking now was a good time to tell her about the importance of sharing and the importance of honouring the guest – but she had already resolved the problem:
‘He can go to nanny’s house,’ she offered.
I smiled. ‘That is a great idea,’ I said. ‘Nanny will be so pleased.’