Touring Picture Book Club: The Girls by Lauren Ace and illustrated by Jenny Lovlie.

Welcome to a new post as part of the Touring Picture Book Club Series. Myself and three UK based book bloggers share our thoughts on the same handpicked picture book and complete fun activities connected to the read. Our last piece was all about dinosaurs. 

July 30th marks International Day of friendship and the book chosen for this months Touring Picture Book Club could not be even more timely as it is such a great read about friendship.

The heartwarming read The Girls is author Lauren Ace’s debut picture book with gorgeous Illustrations completed by Jenny Lovlie.

The Girls

The book is based around four friends Sasha, Lottie, Alice and Leela. They are a diverse group of friends who make a point of meeting each other under an apple tree. They each have their unique personalities, talents and dreams but they are the best of friends and do a brilliant job at being there for one another.

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Just as the apple tree grows and matures so does the girls friendships. Through happy and sad times, the girls are there supporting each other and maturing into woman. The book gently reminds young readers of what friendship truly means. You witness the girls helping each other when they are injured, disagreeing with each other but knowing how to forgive and being there to celebrate successes.

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This book is truly a beautiful read and represents how special positive friendships can be. I remember my grandma explaining to me that it is not the number of friends you have but the quality of friendship and she is so right. I am blessed in that I have three sisters and the close friends I have. I am now a mother of two girls and my sisters have blessed me with three nieces. May their friendships and love for each continue to grow just like the characters in The Girls.

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Jenny Lovlie’s illustrations are adorable and so charming. I adore the characters faces, their outfits, the sweet illustrations of them together under the apple tree and the lovely way in which the art just makes you grin. Together with Lauren Ace’s meaningful text makes for a very special book. The book is reassuring not only from a friendship aspect but also for pursuing your dreams. Each of the girls in the book pursue careers that are varied and are ones that make them happy. Regardless of their colour, religion or sexuality their friendships are a strong one and in a world that is forming so much dislike based on appearances and beliefs it is so comforting to read. It is also brilliant that Little Tiger Group are publishing such brilliantly diverse books particularly after Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) published their research into ethnic representation and in children’s literature discovering that 1% of children’s books published last year had a Black or Minority Ethnic (BAME) main character.

The book is a brilliant one that could well make you a little teary and is definitely one that will make your heart smile. A must read and a must share with your little ones.

Picking apples and baking.

As the apple tree is quite significant in the story I was keen to get the girls in my family, daughters and nieces together and go apple picking. Together we talked about My Girls and questioned what it was that makes a good friendship. We also collected some apples that we baked into an apple pie. Something that my girls and I have never baked.

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I can report that the apple pies were successful. My girls and I always love baking and it was a lovely team effort.

We chopped apples:

We prepared pastry:

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And we cheered when we saw the final result:

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We adapted the recipe that we found on BBC Food by halving the amount of ingredients as we made two small heart shaped pies as opposed to one large one. I think Sasha, Lottie, Alice and Leela would have enjoyed what we baked, my girls (and husband) were certainly pleased.

I have so enjoyed sharing this brilliant book with you all and we had fun completing the activity too. To see the other super blog posts from the rest of Touring Picture Book Club click the links below.

Along Came Poppy: Exploring Friendship

Bookbairn: Planning the perfect playdate

Acorn Books: Positive Male Frienships in Children’s Books

I look forward to sharing another Touring Picture Book Club post with you all next month.

Disclaimer: We received this book from the publishers and as always all opinions and words are entirely my own.

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