In my opinion, one of the greatest gifts one can pass onto their children is a love of reading. When I was a child, I always had a book in my hand, this continued throughout my teens and into adulthood. When I had my own children, I encouraged a love of books from when they were babies and I am delighted that they all share my passion for reading.
As you are most likely aware, I also feel very strongly about feeding my children ‘real’ food and limiting the amount of processed food we consume as a family overall. Fiona Dillon, author of ‘Food from an Irish Garden’ and one of Ireland’s best known food bloggers (fionadillon.com) has created a wonderful character in Freddy Buttons who not only introduces children to the concept of where ‘real food’ comes from but also draws them in to his tales of adventure as he solves mysteries on his farm with his team, the FBI-that’s the Freddy Buttons Investigators!! These are exactly the type of books I’d like to see my children reading.
Little Miss Abbie (3) is at that stage where she relishes having stories read to her so she was thrilled when she spotted the Freddy Buttons series in the kitchen. Straight away she had her sister read them to her. Caoimhe (11) enjoyed reading them to her and was especially impressed that each book contained some extra facts about the food at the centre of the story and better still a recipe! She has plans to make all 6 dishes, she also has my full encouragement with that.
Abbie absolutely loves the Freddy Buttons series, her favourite being Freddy Buttons and the Slimy Slugs, pooping in the halls will always produce a fit of giggles! The illustrations in the books are beautiful and the stories engaging and whilst the message which Fiona is aiming to convey is there and influences each tale, it is done so in a gentle manner and it works! Abbie now often requests boiled egg for breakfast ‘like Freddy Buttons has’ or when she had a cough and cold this week, she was quick to ask me if we had any honey because ‘honey made Freddy Buttons better’ I think a book that has that sort of influence is wonderful. All too often it can be difficult to encourage children to eat a particular type of food, however if one of their favourite characters from a much loved book is having it, it may just change a stubborn mind!
In order for Fiona to make these first six Freddy Buttons titles a reality, she knew a collaboration with an Irish company was required, and very quickly Glenisk committed to a promotion for their customers to earn copies. Fiona then recruited the imagination and illustrative skill of Derry Dillon – no relation – for the project. Finally, independent Irish publisher Orpen Press, were delighted to work once more with Fiona in publishing the books nationally and to the wider world. The journey was fully realised when the Freddy Buttons world was made real with an award winning Freddy Buttons themed garden at Bloom.
While the books can be read to children from a very young age, the first three books are designed for 5-7 years olds and the second three for 6-8 year olds. The series is accompanied by a website, freddybuttons.com, where children can interact with Freddy in a fun way to learn more about healthy food.
If my review hasn’t convinced you of how good these books really are, here’s our very own Miss Abbie with her thoughts on Freddy, Juno and their pals.
With Christmas fast approaching, I cannot think of a better gift for a book loving child than the Freddy Buttons series, which can be bought here; they are a delight for bookworms every where.
I received a complimentary set of Freddy Buttons books for the purpose of this review, all thoughts expressed are my own honest opinion.