Picture book of the week: A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Another Julia Donaldson book and I have come to expect the rhythmic rhyming couplets and repeated refrain. In this case: ''My house is a squash and a squeeze.' Donaldson really does love a rhyme and so do we. My daughter Ella (4) declares that she is going to read the book today and has memorised most of it. The rhyme and rhythm really helps her to hear the sounds that she will need when she starts reading the words for herself.

The story is about an old lady who lives in a small house. She wants more space and a random wise old man basically makes her put a load of animals in her house. They wreck it and when they leave her house feels massive and she's happy. So the moral is...things could always be worse? Be grateful for what you've got?

I have three children under five and sometimes it feels like things really couldn't be worse. So I will try the following things to make things seem easy by comparison:

1. Invite an unmanageable amount of children round to play and invite their parents to leave (what? wait come back...)

2. I will try to make dinner holding two screaming babies! (clearly impossible, so holding one seems EASY)

3. Not go to bed at all! The next night's two hours sleep will then seem HEAVENLY.

Sorry, I digress. The book. It rhymes and it has animals, so it's a winner in my house.

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