Kinderroom — Great toys and more!

I’ve just gotten my daughter this wooden Moover Pram from Kinderroom, and it is a huge, HUGE success! She immediately placed her baby doll inside and hasn’t stopped pushing the buggy around the house ever since. So cute. I knew I wanted to get her a wooden pram because my experience with the plastic ones is that they always fall apart in seconds. This is a pram she can play with for years, maybe even keep for her own children. Apart from it being beautiful, it’s also incredibly well-made from high-quality birch veneer and has massive wooden wheels with rubber tires (so it’s easy on my new wooden floors!).

Kinderroom is a great UK-based children’s boutique with a massive selection of toys and games, furniture, and accessories. I love their selection of Djeco toys and games as well as their collection of ride-on toys.  And really… if you know a little girl who loves babies, I suggest you check out this wonderful wooden pram!

-Courtney

Alex & Alexa Summer Looks

I had fun creating some summer looks for Alex and Alexa. The above ‘look’ is for girls, what do you think of it? I also made one for boys, baby girls and baby boys — check them out on the Alex and Alexa blog!

xxx Esther

BlaBla dolls



Oh, I am in love with the BlaBla dolls. They are just so beautifully made, and the designs are simply amazing! Too cute, the magician, the ballerina, the queen and the fairy… My kids really love their BlaBla dolls, they make up whole stories around them. And Ava loves talking to them; blablablablabla… Sweet!

xxx Esther

P.S. The BlaBla line of doll’s clothing is seriously darling!

Summer Hats


Over here in Paris we have been having an insane sun wave. We cannot believe our luck! The French, pessimists at the best of times, are telling me that this means that it is going to rain all summer. I am happily ignoring them and getting myself and my girls ready to face the glorious sunshine. My kids have inherited my addiction of wearing hats in all shapes and sizes (maybe learnt behavior?) so I have been doing some research and here are some of my favourites:

I love this classic little straw hat with a simple pink ribbon by L’Esprit de Luna Rose, the cute little denim baker boy cap by Urban Elk which is great for girls and boys, the original shape of the Bobo Choses Hat with the cute little cherries on it, the cheap and cheerful straw hat from HM, the super cool star studded cap from Zef and finally the sunny cap by Stella MacCartney Kids.

Now the big question is: which one to choose!

Karin Littlewood’s Book List

I’ve mentioned Karin Littlewood before in my review of her book, Immi (which we still really love!). Karin lives and works in London and has illustrated more than 40 children’s books published in the UK and worldwide. I got in touch with her after discovering her books and have since discovered she is not only a talented artist, but also a really lovely person. She kindly took the time to compile her top ten list of children’s books for us and I was SO excited to receive a list with not one single familiar book on it. This means I can add ten new books to my Amazon wish-list! Her descriptions and reasons for loving each book are so compelling — don’t you just want to read every single one? Here is her list (divided into two sections: books from her childhood and newer books).

CHILDHOOD BOOKS:

I have so many books on my shelves from my childhood , and they still make me feel the same when I look at them now as they did then. It was just too hard to choose only ten as there are plenty more I would love to share with you !

1. Joba and the Wild Boar — ‘Joba und das Wildschwein’ by Gaby Baldner, illustrated by Gerhardt Oberlander (a dual language English/German book)
Loose, scratchy, quite abstract black and white line drawings combined with strong blocks of colour. Looking at it now it feels so modern. I love the fact that it’s not cute and cuddly, but you love the little stripy wild boar piglet all the more for that. Set in the middle of the Black Forest it’s a lost, found, lost and found again story. Definitely something that would never happen in the Yorkshire town I was brought up in, although I really wanted it to! I loved my mum reading it to me, fascinated by her switching from English to her native German.

2. Little hedgehog by Gina Ruck-Pauquet , illustrated by Marianne Richter
Another German translation , and again a very bold use of black and white and alternate colour spreads. Lots of texture with hints of collage. Very different again in style from the English books on the bookshelf. I must have always been aware of the power of illustration, and how different each book made you feel. A naughty little hedgehog is brought home from the woods by a little girl and gets up to lots of tricks, especially with the cat!

3. The Useful dragon of Sam Ling Toy by Glen Dines
This is set in Chinatown, San Francisco, although I didn’t know it at the time! I just knew that it was ’somewhere else’, which is what books are all about aren’t they? Sam Ling Toy has a wonderful pet shop, and the little lizard he finds grows and grows and grows …. into a dragon with one red eye and one green eye, so you can imagine what happens to the traffic when he goes out. But come Chinese New Year, all’s well that ends well! The illustrations are done in coloured crayon, and it’s like opening a magical sketchbook. I felt like I’d jumped into the book and was one of those kids that had befriended him.

4. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Very, very simple 2 colour illustrations and the joy of this story is this …. Harold draws his way through the book: a pie when he’s hungry, an air balloon to stop him from falling, a home when he’s lost and a bed when he’s tired. This has been reissued, although I like my falling-to-pieces one best!

5. Algernon by Charlotte Hough
Wonderful evocative sketchy drawings … set in a thatched-cottage-filled village, but managing to steer clear of the twee, where vegetables are still delivered by donkey and cart. But Algernon the donkey can read, which comes in handy when a burglar comes to town! Some pages are two colour, some full colour, ….The old printing restrictions still proving how great a book with these limitations.

NEW BOOKS:

6. The Silver Donkey Sonya Hartnett , illustrated by Laura Carlin
This is an illustrated book for older children and I know its also the favourite of many illustrators. A beautiful, beautiful book and so good to see illustrations used in a book for older children. I love this one…. Hartnett has such a special way of writing… simple and deep, evocative and beautifully descriptive. A perfect combination with Laura Carlin’s illustrations. I could write too much about this book, but I think you should discover it for yourself! Get the hardback version if you can as it’s wonderful to hold! Also see Laura Carlin’s work in Ted Hughes’ “The Iron Man”.

7. Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen , illustrated by Kevin Waldron
One of the the best things about working in a studio is that you get to share with wonderful creative illustrators who just make some of the best books ever! Kevin now lives in New York — he was busy drawing animals here and he still is there …and what animals! A stunningly designed book, his bold and graphic illustrations fill the page and Michael Rosen’s simple rhythms and rhymes roll over from one page to the next.

8. Halibut Jackson by David Lucas
Another ex-studio pal who has created an absolute classic story — and what a title! How can you not want to find out about Halibut Jackson, although he’s not always that easy to find! This was David’s first book, but as soon as I read it I felt as if it had been around forever. I think there’s a little bit of Halibut in us all — so why don’t you take a look for yourself.

9. When Martha’s Away by Bruce Ingman
You don’t have to be a cat lover to love this book. You definitely don’t have to be a cat owner either, but if you are you’ll never feel quite the same when you leave the house in the morning! It’s not a cutesy cat book at all. I’ve had this clever, funny, sort of observational book for ages and it still makes me laugh. Brilliant, stylised illustrations.

10. The Bremen Town Musicians illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Lisbeth Zwerger is an Austrian illustrator and I know of no-one who draws quite like her. Timeless, beautiful, subtle, traditional and very modern at the same time. Look closely at her drawings and get a sense of how quietly clever she is at placing her characters on the page. She has illustrated so many classic titles I found it hard to choose one for you. I have them all at home so I don’t have to have that problem!

PS – Karin is taking part in the Pop-Up Festival of Stories event happening on the 9th and 10th of July in Coram’s Fields. Check out the site for more info.

Tissue box holders from Sparkly Pony

I am in love with these tissue holders! Esther gave the whale to my son for his birthday and it is so cute. What a great way to hide an ugly tissue box. I just love that the white tissue acts as the whale’s spout (or the horse’s tale!). Isn’t that so clever? They’re available from the Sparkly Pony Etsy shop.

-Courtney

Animal nightlights from White Rabbit England


I have long been a fan of the beautiful nightlights from White Rabbit England. How cute are these animals? I’m not sure which one I love most. Maybe the owl? But the dog is cute for a boy’s room!

They’re made here in England from fine bone china, and I must say… they’re even more impressive in person, especially when lit as they give off such a warm, soft glow. They’re perfect for lulling your little one to sleep.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Colour-me-in T-shirt by Pure Baby
Welcome Ava!!!
Sunja Link

Win! Colour changing t-shirt from Deerling


Here’s something for the boys: this colour changing t-shirt will definitely be a hit!  When indoors, it shows merely a vague outline of a tortoise, but once your kid moves in the sunlight, the animal will pop to life in a strong, purple colour. Cool!!

If you know a little boy who will appreciate a t-shirt so magical as this one (or, honestly, a little girl will surely appreciate it as well), then we have great news: the kind owners of NY-based webshop Deerling are now giving away one colour changing tortoise t-shirt in size of choice (2,3,4 years available) to one Babyccino Kids reader. Just leave a comment below by Tuesday, May 24th and we’ll pick a winner at random. Good luck!!

This give-away is now closed.

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Amazing Travel Tote
DIY Colourful Lanterns

Littl by Lilit


This dress is possibly my favourite summer dress of the year. (Unfortunately it is not for me, but for my daughter, Coco.) It comes from the German label, Little by Lilit. I love their designs, and the idea behind them is so simple and intelligent. The clothes are designed to last for at least 3 years; they start out baggy and cute and then become more tailored and still cute. Perfect for these little people who never  seem to stop growing! This dress is available from one of my favourite webshops, Zebre à Pois.

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Amazing Travel Tote
DIY Colourful Lanterns

Dagmar Daley Sunsuit from Arte Bebé

Isn’t this just about the sweetest little sunsuit you’ve ever seen?! Darling! I love the 1950’s style with all the stitched gatherings at the tummy. (In fact, I wish it came in my size — I’m a big fan of anything that hides and disguises the tummy! )

The sunsuit is by Dagmar Daley and is available from cute webshop Arte Bebé (which we’ve mentioned before). Arte Bebé is now offering free international shipping on all clothing orders of $130 or more — just use code ABCCINO at check-out (offer good until May 31st).

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Win!! Priti Nail Polish set
Liz Earle, natural skincare

Taro Gomi’s Play All Day

I love Taro Gomi’s illustrations and we’ve always enjoyed his books (My Friends, Bus Stops and Everybody Poos) so I was really interested when I discovered Taro Gomi’s Play All Day activity book.  Since then, I have bought it for everyone I know — I feel like I’ve found treasure!  The book is basically the BEST book in the world for a rainy day (which we are prone to over here in Blighty).

It is cram-packed with things to make and pretty much everything you need is already in the book.  There are more then 100 innovative ‘punch-out’ pieces for making games, cities, landscapes, sculptures, hats, finger-puppets, picture frames and all in Gomi’s distinctive style.  All the ideas are simple enough for my 4-year-old to construct with a little bit of guidance.  But what I love (other then the end result actually looking good — unlike our ’start-from-scratch’ craft ideas) is that all the ideas inspire play — we made the ring-toss game last night and once made my kids played with it for 45 minutes. It’s available from Amazon (UK and US).

Mo. x

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Win!! Priti Nail Polish set
Liz Earle, natural skincare

Gorgeous summer pyjamas


Cute, cuter, cutest… these summer pyjamas by I Love Gorgeous! The colours are just beautiful and they look absolutely darling on. I love Gorgeous just knows how to strike the right tone: girly and chic, without losing its innocence or becoming too feminine. If you’re not familiar with their partywear and dresses just yet, you should really take a look — it’s all so darling (cute baby dresses too)!!

xxx Esther

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Pedal Power

Egg Timer


I have just bought my first egg timer:

A) because I literally do not know how to boil an egg — they are either so undercooked that the egg white is still transparent or I forget about them and the egg yolk gets this really ugly grey cover, and

B) because my Aunt Liz, whose parenting advice I listen to more than Gina Ford and Tracy Hoggs combined, taught me a great trick — if the kids are fighting about a toy, simply put on the egg timer for a few minutes and the moment it rings they have to swap, then the egg timer goes back on until the next swap. Works like a charm. It turns out that kids are much more reactive to the ring of a egg timer than to my nagging voice. Must be some kind of a Pavlovian dog reaction…

-Emilie

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Pedal Power

Sweet William Monthly Book Selection

Exciting news! One of my favourite children’s boutiques, Sweet William, has launched a new monthly selection of children’s books! I’m so excited to see so many new titles (new to me, at least) alongside some of my favourites. There is nothing better than discovering great, new children’s books… and I have a good feeling this is going to be a fantastic source of inspiration over the coming months. I’ve just purchased The Little Fisherman by Margaret Wise Brown — how have I never heard of this book before? I just know my boys will love it!

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Kouch
Broer&Zus

Around The World Print

I just got this Around The World print from the recently re-designed site, L’Affiche Moderne, and I love it. It’s one of those prints you can look at for hours and still find something new. My kids are especially fond of it — and I think it’s such a clever way to teach kids about the world and the different regions. All the cute little creatures and colourful details are so fun to point out.

We’ve mentioned L’Affiche Moderne before (here)… but the whole site has recently been re-designed and I’m loving this spiffy new version. If you’re looking for affordable art for your house, this is a good place to start.

-Courtney

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Kouch
Broer&Zus

Downloadable cards — for a good cause


Loving these downloadable cards that Virginie Dreyer designed for TinyUs! The downloads will be sent to you after you make a donation (however small or big you would like), of which the proceeds will go entirely to “Présence”, an educational institute for young handicapped individuals in the South of France. I love it. (The super hero one might be my favourite!)

xxx Esther

Livie & Luca — now in the UK!

Livie & Luca childrens shoes incorporate brightly coloured leathers, bold designs and whimsical modern touches. The company has been around in America since 2005 when a group of mum friends got together, compared notes and decided there were not any good-looking children’s shoes with flexible soles and affordable prices…so they decided to create their own (I love stories like that!).

This well-known American shoe brand is now, as of this week, available here in the UK with a brand new UK website! Hooray! My daughter Ivy has been sporting the darling yellow patent leather shoes and they are as comfortable as they are cute. I love that they have a (disguised) velcro snap which makes them easy to put on and take off. Plus, they’re great for both summer (as a sandal) and winter (over tights). Cute, comfortable and practical.

-Courtney

Boon Frog Pod

Have you recently taken a close look at your baths toys? My husband is mostly the one bathing our kids, but last week I happened to be the one scooping the toys out of the bath. Two comments:
1. Where does that black residue on and in the bath toys comes from? Is that mould???
2. How come my husband doesn’t take notice of the fact that the toys are dirty when he’s the one storing them away every evening? (Let’s just ignore this point.)
Time for action. I carefully washed the toys that could be saved, and tossed the ones that couldn’t. Then I got myself a Boon Frog Pod, partly because I always thought it looked so cool, and partly because (I hope) it is now easier for my husband to rinse all of the toys after bath time.

So far, so good. The frog is super easy to install, and looks super cool in our bathroom. It stores away all of the toys, and it also has a very handy shelf for the baby bubbles and shampoo. And no mould yet!

xxx Esther

PS Do you have tips on good bath toys? I think our kids’ favourite ones are the old-fashioned stacking cups!

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Is it a girl thing?
Wherefore art thou toothbrush?

La Petite Magazine

If you aren’t already familiar with La Petite Magazine, I suggest to take a peek at their newest issue to discover the world of everything extraordinary. The online magazine is filled with inspirational fashion trends and decor tips, plus beautiful photography and illustrations. The current issue includes an homage to the ’70s and ’80s — how cool!

I think my favourite bit is always the interviews of people in the children’s world — it’s so fun to get a glimpse into the lives of other inspirational mums… which is why I was so flattered and thrilled to be invited for an interview! You can find my little interview Q&As in this current issue (pages 172-173). Hope you enjoy!

-Courtney

Pepillo — crafting fun for kids!



We have just discovered the creative world of Pepillo! Such lovely little products like stamps, stickers, colouring books, stacking felt pens, etc. All so cute! And I love that you can mix and match all the products to create little artistic masterpieces — my kids have been making cute towns by drawing, then adding stamps, then stickers, etc.

Pepillo is available online from the great children’s webshop, Smallable. And you can also read the Pepillo blog to get crafting ideas!

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