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PARENT S' BOOKSHELF three illustrated food

Vegetarian Cooking Lena Tritto (£14.99 Grub Street) This is the first time that I have seen an adult recipe book laid out in this way and it is very clever and engaging. There are enough "new" recipes in here that it makes a worthwhile purchase too.

Homegrown Heather Hardison (£10.99 Stewart Tabori and Chang) Beautiful book that leads the reader through the journey of planting, harvesting and cooking with the ingredients grown at home. Think kale salad and blueberry cake. Yum!

Edible Wild Plants and Herbs Pamela Michael and Christabel King (£15 Grub Street) This beautiful book, illustrated with watercolour paintings helps novice and seasonal foragers identify around 100 plants, herbs, fungi and seaweeds.

✽ book of the month

How Mothers Love Naomi Stadlen (£8.99 Piatkus) Another profound book from Stadlen, author of What Mothers Do. I found the chapter, When the Candle Burns Low particularly poignant after a period of over-working and stress. Naomi’s clear, gentle guidance brought me back to the realisation that I often set my expectations of myself and others too high. Although this book predominantly deals with the early years of parenting, there is much here for the mothers of older children too. I love Naomi’s description of the "heart-room" often created by a pregnant woman for her new baby and how to help create this space if it doesn’t come naturally. The writing is backed by the sharing of many scores of mothers sharing their stories and the years of personal experience that Naomi has of being a mother and a grandmother. A wonderful supportive read for new parents in particular.

✽ practical outdoors

The Smallholders Handbook Keeping and caring for poultry and livestock on a small scale (£18.99 Kyle Cathie) Packed with ideas and information, this is a great primer for those completely new to smallholding. For anyone who has considered getting chickens or keeping other small livestock, this is a good place to start. Note that there is not much here for those who are already in business, as the information is fairly basic. Suzie runs her own smallholding and chicken-breeding business in Surrey and indeed the poultry section is most comprehensive with some lovely photography.

The Countryside Book 101 Ways to Play, Watch Wildlife, Be Creative and Have Adventures in the Country (Tessa Wardley £14.99 Bloomsbury) Author of the Woodland Book writes another fabulous book stuffed for of ideas for families to enjoy whilst outdoors. I love the section on Hawks and Falcons, which has useful identification notes and stunning photography. Another favourite is the spread on moths and butterflies with paintings of ten common species of each to spot. Alongside wildlife spotting there’s plenty more to entertain such as ideas for an Arthurian Quest, navigation challenges and gate spotting! Yes, really!

Meet the Author

100 Things to do While Breastfeeding Melissa Addey (£7.99 Letterpress) Melissa grew up on an organic farm in Italy and was home educated. A writer of historical fiction, she recently turned her hand to a book about breastfeeding. We love the novel approach to 100 things to do while breastfeeding – there were a few we hadn’t thought of, like having a foot spa, doing face exercises and getting creative! Melissa hasn’t always been a writer though. ‘Along the way I’ve worked for Sainsbury’s head office looking after the organic range; for Roehampton University developing student entrepreneurs and as a business consultant offering mentoring, advice and grants to small businesses.' She lives in London with her husband, son and baby daughter, juggling motherhood and writing.



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