With kids' books you have to find the age dependant sweet spot that's got story, but isn't too long, and isn't so annoying that reading it twice a day for months won't drive you to suicide. Luckily there's a fantastic range of publishers, and with picture books you're not dogged branded stuff (that hits later when they like Marvel, DC and Turtles.)
Babies and I have never really hit it off. But while I have never been that person who will coo on cue at the babies of strangers, I have a new-found appreciation of babies via my niece Leela who is just about The Best Thing Ever. When I visited my sister in the hospitable three weeks ago, I burst into tears at the sight of this tiny little person who hadn't even existed a year ago.
In my eyes adopting a child is one of the most amazing things someone can ever do. To give a child a loving and stable family life is a gift beyond compare. For England's 6,000 children hoping to be adopted, every day is a desperate wait. Another day spent longing for the love and support that, through no fault of their own, they are currently being denied. Everyone involved with these brave children wants to see them all get the family they deserve. To make sure each of their dreams come true we need a system that gives them the chance at a new life as quickly and effectively as possible.
Last week the House of Lords considered the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill as it makes its way through parliament. There are a number of controversial aspects of this Bill - mandatory prison sentences for knife crimes have caught the public's attention. Plans to change the rules on judicial review have got Peers, lawyers and children's charities very worried.
Childhood should be an important phase to learn about oneself and the people around you, while expanding your mind and attention spans through playful exploration. Little imagination, creativity or skill goes into surfing the web, watching mindless YouTube videos, using social media and playing virtual games.
Research has shown that children who have a healthy level of self-esteem and confidence learn faster and achieve better academically than children described as having low self-esteem. There are a multitude of reasons why a child might suffer from low self-esteem but in general it's caused by the beliefs that they hold regarding their own self-image...
I have a bugbear, and that is the way resilience is described as simply bouncing back. Here is the thing. We all bounce back from the rubbish life throws at us one way or another. That in itself is not resilience. Resilience is the way we adapt and respond to the rubbish life throws at us. This will either strengthen or weaken your resilience over the years.