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The Power of Picture Books- The Perfect Shelter

Written by Clare Helen Welsh, Illustrated by Åsa Gilland
Published by Little Tiger

This blog feature was created because of books like The Perfect Shelter. I adore picture books and celebrate them widely, but every so often a book comes along that is special, that burrows into your heart and let’s your spirit soar.

Whether it is the overriding message, the powerful illustrations or the perfect match of both, these books become my favourites. They are shared, celebrated and revered.

The Perfect Shelter is gloriously illustrated in soft tones, designed with stunning garden images and soft family moments. The love within the family is intense and perfect. It leaps off the pages. The relationship between the sisters is heartfelt and adoring.

With some repetitive text and the change in seasons, the sisters continue to work together to build “the perfect, perfect shelter”. When the older sister gets ill and spends time in hospital, the younger sister is bereft and like their den, destroyed.

With more seasonal changes, the lives of the family are changed and they adapt as they can. Instead of feeling sad and worried, the sisters realise the perfect den can be built anywhere as long as the sisters are together…even in hospital rooms.

My favourite line from the story is “Now we make plans to go back to the woods to ride out the toughest storms.” So much meaning conveyed within a simple statement. Their love and special time together, though difficult at the moment, will brave the toughest storms.

The sheer beauty of the words and illustrations makes this a powerful picture book.

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Extraordinary Blog Tour- Focus on Illustrations

Written by Penny Harrison, Illustrated by Katie Wilson
Published by New Frontier Publishing

This book is not an adventure for just the boy and his dog but for the reader. Beginning with a question, “Have you ever had an extraordinary wish?”. A question that asking those with huge imaginations sparks conversations and fun. A question that makes you think. With this book, it isn’t simply the words that get imaginations soaring, it is the illustrations. It is a visually stunning book, full of the high quality, colourful and detailed work of Katie Wilson.

Luckily, for the blog tour, she has sent over some examples of her sketches for the book. These are rough sketches yet I would still frame and display them as I think they are incredible. Katie’s talent is undeniable and I can’t wait to see what else she works on in the future. I have included pictures of her sketches alongside the finished images.

My favourite page in the book- this is my idea of the perfect day!

Stemming from the wild and wonderful wishes are the reminders of what you already have and do that are amazing. This books encourages its readers, young and old, to remember fondly, those experiences and events that form their world. Whether a family camping trip, fun in the snow or swinging on the swings. Those moments that bring a smile to your face. These ordinary moments are actually extraordinary.

This is a book that encourages children to dream big and aim high! It reminds them to relive the memories they love the most. I adored this book and the illustrations are powerful and match the text in its power for the reader.

This book is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you New Frontier Publishing for the gifted copy of the book, for allowing me to be part of the blog tour and a huge thank you to Katie Wilson for the sneak peek at her sketches and work!

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The Power of Picture Books- Dear Earth

Written by Isabel Otter, Illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi
Published by Caterpillar Books (Little Tiger)

Sometimes a picture book can expressly convey an important message in few words, in images and in bringing the two together perfectly.

Dear Earth is a shining example of how powerful a picture book can be.

In this time of climate change, bushfires, flooding and endless debate over plastics, Dear Earth serves as a powerful letter to the planet. Tessa has grown up listening to her Grandfather’s tales of exploring, and the “pictures were painted in Tessa’s mind”. Feeling the need to write to the Earth, she begins simply, “Dear Earth”.

Once her imagination starts to work, she writes about places she wants to visit, animals she wants to encounter and the wonders she imagines in the world. The illustrations are incredibly detailed colourful and perfect for encapsulating the message.

However, Tessa knows our world is fragile and needs some TLC.

The overwhelming message is just how precious our world is and how we need to make changes to save it.

With helpful tips and ideas at the back of the book and with so much pressure to make small changes, we can hopefully create a massive impact. Reduce, reuse, recycle and make vital decisions about your impact on the Earth. This letter to the Earth is a brilliant lesson to all students. It could be a very moving activity to have them write their own letters to the Earth.

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The Power of Picture Books

This is a new type of blog post for me, although it is about one of my favourite topics- picture books! Sometimes you come across a book that is much much more than just a story or a picture book- something powerful and emotive and stunning!

The Power of Picture Books will hopefully prove just how widely used a picture book can be, how it can inspire, evoke imagination and promote empathy.

The first in this series features Extraordinary! By Penny Harrison and Katie Wilson. It is published by New Frontier Publishing.

Being a nature lover I was immediately captivated by the front cover. A beautiful scene of stunning Autumnal colours, a young boy and his dog and what looks to be an adventure. I also loved the title Extraordinary!, a word I wish I used more in my daily life!

This book is not an adventure for just the boy and his dog but for the reader. Beginning with a question, “Have you ever had an extraordinary wish?”. A question that asking those with huge imaginations sparks conversations and fun. A question that makes you think.

Stemming from the wild and wonderful wishes are the reminders of what you already have and do that are amazing. This books encourages its readers, young and old, to remember fondly, those experiences and events that form their world. Whether a family camping trip, fun in the snow or swinging on the swings. Those moments that bring a smile to your face. These ordinary moments are actually extraordinary.

This is a book that encourages children to dream big and aim high! It reminds them to relive the memories they love the most. I adored this book and the illustrations are powerful and match the text in its power for the reader.