My name is Brenda, I am Italian and I am (totally) a Libra.

I studied Communications & Journalism. I lived in Trieste, Florence, Bologna and Milan before moving to London in 2011. I worked with fashion luxury brands for over a decade, until my first daughter was born in 2014. and my second in 2016.

Motherhood slowed down a lot my professional life, but speeded up everything else.
Raising two human beings has been utterly overwhelming, making me the best (and sometimes the worst) possible version of myself.
I am a huge fan of the the Montessori method and I implemented it from birth with my daughters.
I was lucky enough to train at the Maria Montessori Institute in London, meeting some truly inspiring AMI teachers.

I started reading to my daughter as soon as she was born, and I collected a scary number of books in the past four years, mostly appropriate to my daughters' ages and stages of development, but also many more which I just bought for myself and for the future.
I am not a collector though, when I buy online I do return books if they don't meet my standards. I am a Libra, remember? :) A couple of wrong words are enough to put me off.

Storytime is many many things for us. It's laughing and winding down, bonding, telling about the world, modelling, finding the courage,  showing possibilities, getting to know and accepting ourselves.

Our reading choices and book lists that you will find in this blog are necessarily influenced by my take on education.
I love books with beautiful, detailed illustrations and rich, not childish language. I don't like stories with a moral. Unless it's one by Lionni.
I avoid books based on gender stereotypes.
I prefer non-fiction books to classic fairy tales. Actually, you won't find classic fairy tales here!

Apart from picture books and education I like (in random order):
nutrition and healthy eating (I have a scary number of books about this too:), home decor, photography, digital stuff, walking in London parks, drinking coffee on my own listening to the Pink Floyd, staring at the sea.

I started this blog to honestly share what I have learnt so far about children's books and what we read, and to be inspired by other mums, dads, readers, authors and illustrators.
Basically by any other book nerd like me out there:)

***Note for using this blog***
We tend to buy many books in Italian because it's the best way to keep our daughters engaged with the language we speak at home and therefore with our culture.
Also, there are amazing books by Italian and foreign authors and illustrators that are published in Italian but sadly not in English.
For the same reason we buy books in English. And in French too sometimes:)
I hope that the bilingual approach will be useful not only to expat parents, but that some publishers will at some point  decide to fill the gap between different markets.

The reading age that I refer to is the minimum age that I feel it's required to approach the book, maybe with some help from the parent.
This can vary from child to child though, always read a book first before reading it to your child, to be sure that he is ready to process and enjoy what's in it.

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand"
Chinese proverb

"Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society."
"Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves."
Maria Montessori

Gianni De Conno Poster, Premio Bancarella 2015


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