Book Review: Ivy Loves To Give by Freya Blackwood

It’s my fault for giving my daughter an obscure name but sometimes I feel sad that I’ll never be able to read her a special story where the main character shares her name.

Her name really isn’t all that obscure. It’s actually quite a common name- just rarely given to girls. Her name is Camryn. Isn’t it strong and beautiful all in one? But she’s certainly not a Ruby or a Lily so I won’t go holding my breath waiting for her name to be used in a picture book.

So, I’ll settle for a book with a character who looks like my darling and shares her personality.

Camryn & ivy: Kindred Spirits

That book is called Ivy Loves To Give. Freya Blackwood extends her talent beyond the pencil and paint brush to write this delightful and warm book about Ivy, a gorgeous toddler with blonde pixie hair and a very giving nature. It’s a special book for me because it really is a book about my little Camryn.

Ivy loves to give.

Sometimes her presents are the wrong size, don’t sit properly, taste funny, or feel strange.

On the title page, Ivy is trying to give a tutu to her pet cow. In the following pages we see Ivy attempt to dress a snail with a shoe, position a pair of glasses upon a dog, offer a chook a cup of tea and calm a cat with a dummy. In the background illustrations we see Ivy’s family members looking perplexed as they search for their missing items.

Ironically, just days before we came across this book, my own daughter was trying to share her toys with a friend’s pet cat.  I’m sure you’ll be able to relate the story to your toddler or pre-schooler too.

The double page illustration in the centre of the book is a funny one in which Ivy’s family realises where their possessions have gone, as they watch the odd scene before them of a cow in tutu and a dog wearing glasses.

The story then works backwards and Ivy returns all of the items to their rightful owners.

Now Ivy is a toddler after all, and she doesn’t ALWAYS want to give. Luckily for her she has a kind older sister who lets Ivy keep her tutu.

I have sent an email to Freya Blackwood to let her know how much I love this book. As it turns out, this book is about Freya’s own daughter, Ivy, not mine. It does highlight that although each little person has their own unique personality there are some traits that are quintessential to toddlers.

Freya Blackwood is at the top of my favourite illustrators list. She captures families so authentically and lovingly. Her sweet illustrations, along with a story about toddlers who like to please, make this book an absolute delight that will warm the cockles of any parent’s heart.

Book Details:

Author/Illustrator: Freya Blackwood


Format: Board Book

Publisher: Little Hare Books (Hardie Grant Egmont), September 2010

RRP: A$12.95

Also available as a Hardcover (ISBN 978-1921541377)


Book Review: Ivy Loves To Give by Freya Blackwood


  1. Camryn is a great name! This is a lovely book. I like it when picture books present a positive perspective of one of the things a child at any stage typically does. It helps us see our own little ones in a positive light. Isn’t it interesting how children’s books teach adults too!

    • Yes, and I love that books can help us appreciate the small things in life too.
      Have you read Emma Quay’s new book, Rudie Nudie? Sometimes the time it takes to get my daughter dressed after a bath can drive me insane, but this book reminds me that running away from Mum is such a fun and innocent time for little ones.

  2. Hi Jackie! My daughter and I enjoy this book too! The illustrations are as sweet as it gets and you are right it’s nice to be reminded that it’s all part of growing and playing :-)

  3. as always Jackie, your reviews are as touching as the books. Thank you for the time you take to do this. xxx

  4. Yes! We love this book too. Originally borrowed it from the library for my little one and she loved it so much we just recently bought a copy of our own..

    • That’s how we first came across Ivy Loves To give too- at the library. Glad to hear of other families enjoying it. :)

Leave a Reply