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Father’s Day Picture Books

Father’s Day is a day for celebrating the dads out there. It can be a wonderful day but it can also be filled with sadness for those who have lost a father in some capacity. Hopefully this post will joyously promote a few books with Dads featuring.

Three of these are completely new to me while the others sit proudly on my bookshelf. There are countless more books with Dads as a prominent character and I could add them here but I have gone for some favourites in our house.

A charming, funny story of Dads getting sent to school and acting as children. Show and tell becomes a celebration of the uniqueness of each Dad. They may be late or sleepy sometimes but they are special to their own children.
Written by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, Illustrated by Ada Grey
Published by Egmont
A true celebration of Dads! They come in all shapes and styles and have unique features, traits and ways to be fun. They do different jobs, have hobbies and favourite foods.
Written by Ruth Redford, Illustrated by Dan Taylor
Published by Egmont
Pearl has high hopes for fun, sweets and silliness when going to new friend Matilda’s house. Assuming that because Matilda has two dads they will be more fun, but it turns out they are just as boring and “parenty” as her own Mum and Dad.
Written and Illustrated by Mel Elliott
Published by Egmont
Raj and his Dad have planned the ultimate adventure and even though most of their plans change, they still have the best day together. Turning everything into a positive and enjoying time together makes this book a special one to share.
Written and Illustrated by Seb Brown
Published by Templar Books
Dad is exhausted trailing after two children worried about time. Being late, needing more time are all Dad can think of, until it comes to story time. Five more minutes when sharing a story is always allowed. Busy parents will relate to this story!
Written and Illustrated by Marta Altés
Published by Macmillan
Dad is trying to read Sophie a bedtime story but he is constantly interrupted as Sophie tells her own version of the story. The story gets out of hand and Dad looks frazzled at the end but it is a complete delight for the imaginative Sophie. Bedtime stories will never be the same!
Written by Will Mabbitt, Illustrated by Fred Blunt
Published by Puffin
Katie tries to convince her Dad to buy her a pet. Hoping for a small, quiet pet, Dad asks Katie to describe what she wants. When she decides on a zebra, Dad thinks no! But will he be able to pass up a buy one get one free offer?
Written by Jenna Harrington, Illustrated by Finn Simpson
Published by Little Tiger Press
Gracie Grabbit’s Daddy is a robber and a trip to the zoo becomes an eventful afternoon. With plenty of funny mix-ups and a tiger encounter, Gracie tries to teach her Dad to be good!
Written and Illustrated by Helen Stephens
Published by Scholastic

This is a hilarious book celebrating the funny things we do as adults as viewed through the eyes of the children watching them. Being clumsy, rude, grumpy and messy- all part of growing up and into an adult!
Written by Davide Cali, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
Published by Chronicle Kids
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The Perfect Shelter- Guest Post from Clare Helen Welsh

Clare has shared beautifully the “Story behind the story” in her guest post below. This incredibly moving picture book perfectly encapsulates the emotions and uncertainty of dealing with illness but ultimately it is a book of hope. Gorgeous illustrations fill the pages! Read on for the true story…

The Story Behind The Story: Guest Post

I’m delighted to be writing this guest post for Erin, ahead of publication of ‘The Perfect Shelter’. Thank you for inviting me to talk a little bit about how the story came to be.

Illustrated by debut illustrator, Åsa Gilland, and published by Little Tiger Press,

‘The Perfect Shelter,’ is hugely personal. In my writing I often take painful experiences and turn them into something beautiful. Something that helps me make sense of the world, and to help others make sense of it, too. This story was written after a member of our family died very suddenly from a brain tumour. Here is a picture of Shane, who the book is dedicated to. He was full of fun and always up to mischief. I love this photo of him!

To say it was a challenging time for our family is a massive understatement. It was hard for everyone, not least my children, then 6 and 7 years old, who understood enough to be scared, but not enough to be able to process how unfair it all felt. I find writing hugely cathartic, which is why I put pen to paper and penned The Perfect Shelter late one night.

Actually, it was more a finger to iphone sort of thing! Some of my books have many, many drafts but this one came out in a beautifully, effortless way. I had already been writing a story called ‘The Perfect Shelter,’ inspired by watching my children make a den and hearing my son say ‘It’s going to be a perfect shelter!’ I had the lines ‘We sang as we worked and we worked as we sang, it’s the perfect, perfect shelter,’ and I knew that building the den was going to have ups and downs. The idea of ‘perfectionism’ is tricky for children (and adults alike). I wanted to explore making mistakes and accepting that things can be ‘perfect’ even when they don’t work out the way we think they should or want them to. That day had been full of questions from my oldest about Shane’s cancer; what does it look like? How did it get there? So, I decided to try and ‘answer’ some of them as best I could through a story about dens.

My agent, Alice Williams, sent the text on to my editors at Little Tiger soon after, and I was delighted when the feedback was that they found the story beautiful, powerful and very moving.

As fate would have it, the story turned out to be even more special than I had first thought, when in January 2019 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t really have the words to describe how this felt, and still feels sometimes. But working on this book has been both difficult and a joy.

Åsa and the Little Tiger Team really have done the most beautiful production. The story sets out to unravel the difficult emotions we face when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer. It is not a book about loss, but rather living with life’s uncertainty. I hope that it brings love and support to others going through difficult times.

Once again, a thank you to Erin allowing me to share my ‘story behind the story.’ ‘The Perfect Shelter’ is essentially a book about hope, living in the present and making the most of every day. The subject is painful but the words are lyrical. I hope people enjoy the beautiful contrast between the two.

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Picture Book Perfect

I am thrilled to highlight the seven books in this feature- they are all new favourites in my house, both with me and my children. They are perfect for gifting, sharing, reading aloud and reading often!

We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt

Written by Martha Mumford, Illustrated by Laura Hughes
Published by Bloomsbury

Following the popular pattern of a favourite classic story, this book features bunnies as they hunt along the beach for treasure. Sure to be popular with young readers and their families, core concepts of counting, rhyming and scanning for treasure are reinforced throughout this joyful book. Fun lift the flaps keep even the fidgetiest child engaged and entertained in hunting and counting the coins.

Martha Mumford and Laura Hughes are a dream team with their lift the flap bunny stories. From Egg hunts to pirate treasure hunts, children of all ages will love this book. Laura Hughes has an incredible talent for creating a world in which we can delve into. You can almost feel the sand beneath your feet and feel an ocean breeze on your face. Lyrical rhyme and repetition ensures even the youngest of readers can join in.

The Wonder Tree

Written by Teresa Heapy, Illustrated by Izzy Burton
Published by Egmont

“Let me tell you a wonder” begins Mummy Owl as she answers Baby Owl’s many questions. I would love to begin all my sentences with that…as we need to celebrate the wonders of our world, nature and the animals living alongside us. Children have this innate curiosity which needs to be nurtured so they continue to be curious and ask questions as they get older. Author Teresa Heapy has written the lovely story of Mummy Owl showing patience and love as she explains nature to her worried baby.

Illustrated by Izzy Burton ( her debut!- I guarantee we will see more from her!) with a celebration of nature and its warm colours, we follow Baby Owl as he learns about his tree, how it lives and how the seasons change around it but ultimately, how it is always home. As the Owls fly into the night, the tree rests knowing they will return. A superb book celebrating curiosity, nature and love, perfect for soothing worries at the end of a day.

Boo Loves Books

Written by Kaye Baillie, Illustrated by Tracie Grimwood
Published by New Frontier Publishing

Phoebe is the classic reluctant reader- avoiding the book basket, shying away from reading out loud and worrying about reading day and night. The teacher is wonderful- encouraging, patient and confident in the trip she has planned for the class. She has taken the book basket, as “every place is a place to read books”, with the class to the animal shelter. Phoebe is shown to Big Boo, a shy, worried dog and is encouraged to share the book with him. My heart melted when Boo brought his blanket over for story time- incredibly moving- a move towards hope and trust from both Boo and Phoebe.

Both Phoebe and Boo have worries and fears and through the power of books, they find a way to overcome these. Boo doesn’t mind if Phoebe gets stuck on a word or if she says it wrong- he just loves her company. Providing Phoebe with the ultimate gift, time to read, the pair are well matched and it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

This Book has Alpacas

Written by Emma Perry, Illustrated by Robin Parekh
Published by David Fickling Books

With pictures I want to frame and new favourite characters, I am so excited to share this book. Bears, Bears, Bears- everywhere in books- but where are the Alpacas?? Alfonso is determined to write a book featuring alpacas, once he figures out how to hold a pen that is. Alfonso has the determination to make sure he is represented in books- just what much of the publishing world is trying to ensure now for all children. A hilarious book filled with colourful and vibrant illustrations and a super story.

With a firm plan, Alfonso asks his friend Colin, a bear (ironically), for help. Colin, disinterested, says no at yoga, while in the bath, at the movies and constantly throughout the week. Alfonso, sure in his conviction that Alpacas are wonderful works extra hard to impress Colin. They go through the entire process until Alfonso says “Ta-da! Finished Story!” Then come the plans for Alfonso product domination! Will you be Team Alfonso or Team Colin??

Llama Glamarama

Written by Simon James Green, Illustrated by Garry Parsons
Published by Scholastic

I have decided the only way to truly appreciate Larry the Llama is to read his story while listening to the ultra hip playlist created by author, Simon James Green, on Spotify. So Larry has some groovy moves which he keeps hidden away from the other llamas for fear of disapproval. One night, making a getaway and feeling blue, he discovers a poster for Llama Glamarama- a carnival of music and free apples. “For a lonely young llama, a spectacular sight” awaits.

Loud music, groovy moves and new dances to learn- Larry is happy! This experience gives him the courage to share his secret with his friends and as all great books about being true to yourself have- his friends accept him and share their own secrets! In this time of celebrating differences, and having empathy- could we love Larry more?

Karate Kids

Written and Illustrated by Holly Sterling
Published by Walker Books

I love highlighting sports to children in new ways and seeing them connect with something new. This beautifully illustrated books introduces us to Maya who wakes early, excited to get to her karate class and practice her moves with her Sensei and her karate friends. I felt a part of the lesson as Maya learned new moves and mastered familiar ones with the help of her friends.

Maya watches in awe as one of the big kids, a black belt, practices her kata and Maya already aspires to be that good when she grows up. An inspiring story, based on children, Karate champion and author/illustrator, Holly has taught over the years.

The Walloos’ Big Adventure

Written and Illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
Published by Walker Books

A colourful adventure for the Walloos’, Big, Spotty, Old and Young. They all have their talents and role to play in the world, Big builds boats, Spotty makes delicious food while Young and Old journey and adventure together. Over many days and nights, the group sail looking for tropical exotic islands.

The colourful illustrations are stunning, enhancing the adventure of the Walloos and bringing the reader along for the journey. What they find is more than just an island and they work together to protect the environment around their new home and make it so wonderful that other “islands” come to join in.

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Picture Book Perfect

I want to highlight some truly lovely picture books that I have had the immense joy of reading recently. Luckily, some have arrived as physical copies, though I am still able to enjoy the books that arrive digitally as well.

Five More Minutes, written and illustrated by Marta Altés, published by Macmillan

An adorable story about Dad, raising two boisterous fox cubs. Time is always an issue- it either ticks by too quickly or drags on too slowly. Dad wants five more minutes of sleep, the cubs want more time to play yet at the end of the day, they are all happy to share five more minutes of storytime.

This book celebrates all that happens in the day of a parent and reminds us to share “five more minutes” of time with our children. I am in awe of Marta’s talents as both author and illustrator. The illustrations are gorgeously detailed and full of clues to the busy-ness of the home- from drawings on the wall and toys scattered along the floor. Reading this should remind us to slow down and enjoy moments together.

I Can Catch a Monster, written and Illustrated by Bethan Woollvin, Published by Macmillan.

Woollvin’s distinctive artwork fills the pages of this story of bravery and monsters. Bo is small but mighty, left behind by her brothers on their quest to catch a monster. Bo knows she “is smart and brave and strong” so she too goes in search of a monster.

Monster hunting takes a twist as Bo befriends monsters instead of hunting them, and we learn who the true monsters are towards the end of the story. Bo’s brothers learn never to underestimate the bravery of Bo and her incredible kindness towards monsters. There are so many positive messages to explore in this book.

Bloom, written by Anne Booth, illustrated by Robyn Wilson-Owen, published by Tiny Owl.

Bloom is the beautiful tale of a young girl, happy and thankful for the world around her. She is particularly fond of a pink flower near her school. She talks to it every morning until the man who owns the bloom chases her away.

When the flower starts to droop and lilt, the mans frustrations grow and he blames the gardener, lack of shade, not enough water. It takes him awhile to realise that the key to the flower blooming has been chased away. Finally seeking advice, it is not only the plant that comes back to life. A charming and endearing story full of stunning illustrations.

Animal Explorers, Lola the Plant Hunter. Written and Illustrated by Sharon Rentta, published by Scholastic.

Lola is “a bear on a mission”, determined to sail to the Amazon Rainforest in search of singing orchids. Her grandpa Reggie was an intrepid explorer and Lola wants to follow in his footsteps. She gets ready for her adventure, though all the Arctic animals think she is silly.

Her adventures are captured in her diary every evening just like her Grandpa. The jungle is loud, hot and full of amazing plants and animals. When a mudslide takes Lola and the jungle animals on a ride, she is pleasantly surprised to hear a special sound. Could it be she found the singing orchid after all? This adventure is just the beginning for Lola…where will she go to next? Colourful and delightful illustrations fill the pages!

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Picture Book Perfect- Digital Edition

With plenty of books being sent digitally, I have been lucky enough to read and enjoy the the following titles. Whether via Netgalley or sent in PDF by the publishers, these books are worth celebrating.

This is the Path the Wolf Took, Written by Laura Farina, Illustrated by Elina Ellis, Published by Kids Can Press

Gabe, being a brilliant big brother, is retelling some favourite traditional tales to his little sister. However, in his versions of the story, nothing bad ever happens. The big bad wolf does not eat Granny or blow down the pigs’ homes, instead Sir Gabriel dashes in on his trusty steed and scares the wolf away.

“His armour was made of truth, his shield was made of glory and his sword was made of courage”. This line sums Sir Gabriel up perfectly. He is ready to scare the wolf away each time. However, Little Sister is not at all pleased with Gabe’s versions of the stories.

Can brave Sir Gabe save the story and entice his sister back for story time? He will need the power of his imagination, twists and funny endings but I think they might just work. I adored this story, it is perfect for reading aloud and sparking imaginations.

Meesha Makes Friends, written and Illustrated by Tom Percival, published by Bloomsbury.

Tom Percival’s Big Bright Feelings series is an amazing set of books featuring children of all ages and races learning about themselves, their emotions and building their confidence. Stunning stories and pages full of gorgeous illustrations, these books are a must have for every home and school.

Subtle messages are communicated via the story that most children can relate to. This series will build empathy, self confidence and positive self image in all children.

Meesha, a young girl, has talent with making items from paper, She can make things from sound and pictures, but making friends does not come as easily as her designs. Left out and introverted, Meesha decides to make her own friends, and they go with her to a party. For Meesha, this is a scary event and she ends up playing with her “friends” under the stairs, Spotted by a boy, Meesha is worried he will tease her or break her toys. Can she be brave and allow a real friend in?

A wonderful story full of heart and hope, brilliant for those formative years in school where learning to share and make friends is the whole world.

My Best Friend, written and Illustrated by Rob Hodgson, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

I am a huge fan of Rob Hodgson and was actually on the panel that selected The Cave as Booktrust’s book for all children in reception. It was not a hard choice and I can see this one being as equally well received.
Delightfully illustrated and with bold vibrant colours I can’t wait to get a physical copy to share with children.

Mouse finds himself a best friend….Owl. As we read we can see that Owl really just wants to eat Mouse. Mouse happily believes that Owl is doing nice things for him- like feeding him donuts, playing chase and building a cage for his house.

When Mouse finds himself in a dark tunnel, he hopes Owl will come to rescue him- where could Mouse possibly be?

This brilliant book will make children giggle, laugh and want to protect Mouse- will there be a happy ending?

Buy this book- I can guarantee it will bring a smile to plenty of faces.

Mr Brown’s Bad Day, written by Lou Peacock, illustrated by Alison Friend, Published by Nosy Crow.

I have long been wanting to read this. The cover is so colourful and enticing. Who can resist a tiger in a suit after all?

Mr Brown is a “very important business man” and he has a “very important briefcase”. Leaving the office for lunch with his briefcase, he cannot guess the adventure he will have. When the case gets passed accidentally around town, Mr Brown must chase it! Mr Brown is having a bad day.

It is clear how important this briefcase is, and as the reader, we wonder what important documents are in there! Colourful and bold illustrations make this book stand out and the story is wonderful.

I cannot possibly say what is kept in the briefcase but it was worth the chase for Mr Brown. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for him.

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Picture Book Perfect

Titles from Little Tiger and Oxford University Press

Five new picture books landed on my doormat last week and I was ridiculously excited. As a book blogger, the book post is a complete highlight! We all wait for the news of lockdown being lifted so we can browse bookstores, libraries and publisher catalogues.

These five picture books will keep me going a little longer and certainly Netgalley has become a go to for me to read new books. I still have fingers crossed that the physical copies of those books will find their way into my home so they can find their way into schools.

Impossible! Written by Tracey Corderoy, Illustrated by Tony Neal
Published by Little Tiger

Certainly a word we are hearing a lot of, this book may just have the answers we need. Dog dreams of visiting the ocean whilst living in the noisy city running his laundry. A new washing powder brings unexpected adventures and friendship. Uttering the word, “Impossible” time and time again, Dog is worried and afraid of adventure, even with new friend Crab at his side.

A delightful story filled with Tony Neal’s impressive illustrations

The catch phrase to take away from this story is “It’s only impossible if you say it is.” Crab teaches Dog to be courageous, adventurous and to step back and enjoy the journey. It is no secret I am one of Tracey Corderoy’s biggest fans, and this book continues to prove the reasons why. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones and find freedom in the journey! You can’t help but adore Dog and find Crab wise beyond his years!

The Bedtime Book written by S Marendaz, Illustrated by Carly Gledhill
Published by Little Tiger

A gorgeous book all about the importance of bedtime stories and sharing. Frank the dog is woken by a sad and frantic mouse searching for her favourite bedtime story. Cat and Owl have seen the book and offer clues to where it could be, joining in the search.

Colourful illustrations bring the nighttime to life

When it is found, Mouse sacrifices her favourite book so another little one can enjoy it, and goes home sad. In an attempt to cheer her up, Frank shares his favourite book and they both fall asleep curled up together. Wonderful story of sharing books and being good friends. A perfect bedtime book, and conversation starter about favourite books.

I’m Sorry written by Barry Timms, Illustrated by Sean Julian
Published by Little Tiger

Hard words to say to your best friend as Fox and Owl will learn. Scribble and Swoop are the greatest of friends, and vastly different. Scribble is a playwright and Swoop a carpenter. When they find the perfect home to share together, they are both drawn to the potential of the veranda. A super theatre space or a workshop….enemy lines are drawn as the friends battle it out for the space.

“But sorry is not a magic word. It only works if you mean it”! Incredibly wise words from master storyteller Barry Timms. Scribble and Swoop have some work to do to mend their friendship. The stunning and detailed illustrations will warm your heart. A valuable lesson to be shared with children, and adults too!

The Crow and the Peacock written and Illustrated by Jo Fernihough
Published by OUP

Although Crow is happy, he believes that other birds must be happier than him. Perhaps they sing better, live in a better place or have more beauty in their feathers. He flies around meeting Dove, Nightingale, Cockerel, Swan and Peacock, expecting them to be the happiest.

Colourful, striking illustrations allow the reader to be immersed in Crow’s world

What Crow discovers, however, is the opposite. They are not happy, they wish and want for more. The overriding message of being happy with who you are comes across strongly and makes for a joyous book to read and share with children. Often we compare ourselves with others but in reality we are all unique and wonderful, with a right to be happy and free.

Where’s My Peacock? Written by Becky Davies, Illustrated by Kate McLelland
Published by Little Tiger

A beautiful board book perfect for tiny hands and grabbing fingers. Tactile and sensory, join the hunt for peacock. A great introduction to animals with touch and feel wings, tails and beaks. A special ending to find the glorious peacock.

Captivating illustrations and use of fabric to promote touching.

Board books are excellent for little ones as they can withstand a bit of chewing, grubby hands and reading over and over again! This little delight will enchant the tiniest of readers. Adorable.

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Picture Book Perfect

Beautifully illustrated books fill my book loving heart with joy. The four books shared today are spectacular, all unique! Yet they all have brilliant illustrations and a wonderful story in common.

Play Outside by Laurent Moreau, Published by Norton Young Readers

A bright colourful book urging children to play outside- “you’ll find plenty to do” says Mum as she ushers them from the house. What follows is a beautiful foray into the world- full of animals and habitats to spot. The illustrations are particularly striking and bold, beckoning the reader to each page.

Travelling from the seashore to the countryside, past mountains and jungles and to the furthest corners of the planet- there are 250 animals to discover. A handy guide at the back lists each animal to spot within the pages. It also gives an indication as to the animals status, from least concern to critically endangered. So many animals to learn about as well as some surprising status. As a population, we really need to protect and care for the animals in our world.

Paolo, Emperor of Rome by Mac Barnett and Claire Keane, Published by Abrams Kids

Paolo is a dog with no freedom- stuck looking from the windows of the salon and knowing he is missing out on all the wonders Rome has to offer. Finding the door left open one morning, Paolo makes his escape and doesn’t look back.

“And was the city all he imagined?” Of course! It was more than he could have dreamed. Travelling alone Paolo goes where he wants and discovers much about the city and its inhabitants. He also learns a lot about himself. However, big cities tend to have big problems- Paolo finds trouble with cats bigger than he, dogs unwilling to share food and Nuns to be saved.

Paolo faces every situation with confidence, determination and an unwavering sense of self! He fast becomes the most popular pup in Rome. The illustrations in this book are art gallery worthy- bringing Paolo and Rome to life!

Hugo by Atinuke, Illustrated by Birgitta Sif, Published by Walker Books

Another gloriously illustrated book with an animal as the main character. Hugo, the pigeon, is the park warden, looking after the park and the residents who lives near by. He is there season by season and visits everyone. There is one window that does not open for Hugo when he knocks.

Over time, somebody looks out and Hugo makes it his mission to help them. However, it is Hugo who needs help after an accident involving a dog. Somebody finds Hugo and takes him home to help him heal.

This is an adorable story of friendship and patience for those who may be a bit shy. Hugo is thrilled when the little girl comes out and they can play together in the park. There is a very Parisian feel to the illustrations and they are a complete joy!

There’s a Lion in the Library by Dave Skinner, Illustrated by Aurelio Guillerey, Published by Orchard Books (Hachette)

A modern and hilarious twist on the cautionary tale of The boy who cried wolf. Little Lucy Lupin looks so sweet and innocent and no one believes she could possible lie. When she invents a tale of a lion in the library, everyone takes one look at her, and they then freak out!

Police, firemen and vets with nets come racing time after time, searching high and low for a lion- who they never find. When the staff of the library get together one evening, they realise Little Lucy Lupin has tricked them over and over. Vowing not to fall for her tricks again, they are ready when she yells “There’s a Lion in the Library”.

Bold and brightly coloured illustrations bring this funny story and its events to life. Little Lucy Lupin and her big fat lies get her into trouble of the fiercest kind. What could possibly happen to Lucy when she is caught out? Read on to find out.

All of these books will go in my special read aloud collection for school as they are all brilliant, colourful and fun!

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Picture Book Perfect

A fantastic selection of picture books, in all shades of blue this afternoon. In a completely unplanned post, I love that their covers are all blue!

Written and Illustrated by Antje Damm, Published by Gecko Pres

The Wolf and The Fly is another book from talented Antje Damm. Wolf is very hungry and starts gobbling up toys from the shelf. Guessing which one is missing is a fun puzzle for the reader as the pages are turned. The Wolf takes mini breaks between eating the toys until the end, where there is a fun surprise waiting for the reader. A brilliant board book and one to encourage the youngest readers to chat and guess about which toy has been eaten. Funny and interactive, a little gem for youngsters.

Written and Illustrated by Annemarie van Haeringen, Published by Gecko Press

My Mama is published in time to celebrate Mother’s Day, and the relationship between mother and child. While the reader enjoys the text and illustrations, we can see separate stories emerging. One from the child who tells all about his mum and the fun they have together. The other side of the story is illustrated, and we watch how the mum plays with, teaches and cares for her little elephant. A beautiful celebration of love and mothers. Gorgeous illustrations, lovingly drawn.

Written by Hannah Whitty, illustrations by Paula Bowles, Published by Simon & Schuster

Superkitty is back and ready to solve more mysteries! This time, the town’s food is missing and there isn’t enough left for the superheroes picnic. Suspecting the mice to behind the robberies, the team set off to investigate. A Mousezilla appears in the city and the team leap into action. In a surprising twist of events, the mice lead the team to the actual culprit. Someone is pretending to be the mayor and it is none other than…. sorry, no spoilers! A funny and colourful book to share! Superkitty is the one to call when trouble arrives!

The clever ladybird is back, solving crime and helping others. This time, at the seaside with sea creatures and a mermaid. Listening to Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len hatch a devious plan to steal the mermaid’s hair to sell to celebrities, the ladybird listens intently and then hatches his own plan with the help of the creatures in the sea. When night falls, the duo swim to the rock and cut the mermaid’s long flowing hair. They are in for a surprise when they open the sack in the morning though. Delightfully illustrated and fun rhymes make this an instant classic, perfect for fans of Donaldson and Monks previous collaborations.

Quite a range of picture books today, from celebrating mothers to saving friends, being superheroes and super hungry. Something for most tastes!

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Picture Book Perfect

More enjoyable and beautiful picture books to share today! Titles are from Egmont, OUP and Bloomsbury.

Written by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, Illustrated by Sam Lloyd
Published by Egmont

A bright and bold counting book told in rhyme perfect for younger readers! Hilarious for reading aloud and sharing. This fun book features bananas, llamas and a hungry monkey. Complete calamity ensues ensuring readers are kept laughing throughout the entire book. Bananas get up to all sorts of tricks to foil Monkey’s plan to eat them. Will they get away? The incredible use of colour truly makes this story pop off the page. This will be a huge favourite with children everywhere.

Written by Caryl Hart, Illustrated by Bethan Woollvin
Published by Bloomsbury

This book is so bright and bold that your eye is immediately drawn to the cover and it begs to be read. The incredible team of Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin have created a fun, new way to meet the planets. Using bold, neon colours and fun designs, readers are taken on a rhyming journey through the galaxy. Meeting the planets as though meeting new friends, children learn facts while understanding the order and names of the planets. A wonderful new way to introduce space to would be explorers.

Written and Illustrated by Jon Burgerman
Published by OUP

Another book with a brilliant use of colour and design. This book highlights just how great it is to be you and to be different. Using monsters to illustrate the point of how different everyone is, you see tall, long, hairy and groovy characters alongside small, strong and soft monsters. After reading this I immediately thought it should be a staple book in every early years classroom. Learning how great it is to be different is something our youngest generations can learn early and grow up knowing. Loved this brightly coloured celebration of being you!

Written and Illustrated by Paula Metcalf
Published by OUP

Lenny meets a strange little fish at the pond one day and wants to be friends. Unfortunately the fish can’t come out of the water and Lenny is not allowed near the edge. Having to say goodbye, Lenny gifts the fish his blue scarf and hopes they will see each other again. Making a wish one evening, Lenny wishes to see the fish. When the summer arrives, a surprise hops up the path to see Lenny. Recognising his blue scarf, Lenny is surprised to see who is wearing it. A completely lovely and endearing story about the power of friendship. Beautifully illustrated as well.

Written by Wendy Meddour, Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
Published by OUP

Lubna and Pebble had taken the world by storm in 2019 as a hardback book. Now published in paperback, I want to ensure it continues to get the attention it deserves. This striking book about the power of friendship and hope also gently deals with refugees and their plight in finding a safe haven.

Lubna finds a pebble on the night she lands on the beach. She draws on a smiley face and the pebble becomes her best friend and someone she shares everything with. Using Pebble, Lubna learns to cope with her current situation. When a young boy arrives looking lost and sad, Lubna introduces him to Pebble. When a home is found for Lubna, she gifts Pebble to the boy. Giving away her best friend and most prized possession is an incredible act of kindness and friendship. A truly stunning story both in text and illustrations.

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Picture Book Perfect

Have I told you how much I love picture books?

This week has been very much a picture book week! I have been ridiculously busy and so the perfect picture book is enough to soothe my soul! I was spoiled for choice this week with an incredible selection from Walker Books, Egmont, Scholastic, Bloomsbury and Oxford!

This post will focus on Walker and Scholastic titles. A wonderful mixture of hilarity and powerful friendship stories.

Written and Illustrated by Lorna Scobie
Published by Scholastic

The narrator wants to collect cats and has the perfect plan! Some cheese will attract some mice and the mice will attract the cats. The plan is working and some cats have been collected. The plan continues until some big stripy cats arrive. Now there are too many cats. Not to worry, the narrator has a new plan. This book will make you smile and giggle. Superb illustrations of cats in all shapes, sizes and colours fill the pages and with so much to look at, this book will engage readers for a long time. I want to collect cats too!

Written by Michelle Robinson, Illustrated by Tom Knight
Published by Scholastic

Hilarious and colourful! Perfect for sharing! I adored this book! Poor Banana has been put into the reject bin with sour satsuma and other overripe friends, but he is not happy about it. Staging a revolt, he leads everyone on a mission to escape the store. With funny rude bits and striking illustrations, you can’t go wrong with this book. With prominent messages of loving yourself as you are, this is a great book to encourage confidence in children.

Written and Illustrated by Petr Horáček
Published by Walker Books

Gorgeously illustrated this incredible book has a lovely message about “finding the best place in the world”. Hare asks all his friends if their meadow is the best place in the world and although their answers are all yes, they have different reasons as to why. Hare is confused until Owl tells him to explore the world so he can decide for himself. Finding many beautiful places in the world, Hare realises he knew the answer all along. The best place is where your friends are! A very special book!

Written by Hiawyn Oram, Illustrated by Gwen Millward
Published by Walker Books

Jimi-my-Jim lives with his owner Sophie at the very top of a tall tower. With only windows to the outside world, boredom is a huge problem for Jimi, who longs to be part of that world. He starts to get flat until one busy morning Sophie leaves the keys behind. Finally Jimi can go outside, meet some friends and be part the world with his crush, Blanche. When the cats come over to party, Jimi gets caught and told off by Sophie. Knowing he needs more excitement in his life, Sophie has a plan to help! Colourful illustrations bring Jimi and friends to life and this book made me smile so much. Utterly charming!

Written by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Walker Books

This picture book is so imaginative and special. It feels as though this book is giving children and their imaginations permission to fly! Emotional, practical and fun items are suggested to help children reach for the sky! Beautiful illustrations accompany simple rhyming text and they work in perfect harmony. To me, this book gives my imagination wings but it also reads as the perfect bedtime story, ensuring the readers dreams are special! One for the personal collection I think!