I have a small collection of picture books next to me and I am planning my blog week based on all of them.  There are some amazing books being published in 2019.

Tonight is…
I’m not Grumpy by Steve Smallman and Caroline Pedler
And
Nell & the Circus of Dreams by Nell Gifford and Briony May Smith

Nell & the Circus of Dreams
Nell Gifford and Briony May Smith
Published by OUP Children’s 

A delightfully illustrated story about Nell and her chicken called Rosebud.  As Nell deals with an ill mother, Rosebud walks in at just the right moment.  They become inseparable and Nell tells Rosebud all her hopes and dreams.  Rosebud goes missing one morning and Nell is distraught, running to find her beloved friend.  
In the quest, Nell happens upon a circus and gets drawn into the magic, fun and wonder waiting behind the curtain. 
“Nell wished that this beautiful circus of dreams could last forever.”
Was it all a dream or her imagination running wild, or was it real? It doesn’t matter as she tells her mother all about it when she reaches home with Rosebud! 
The illustrations are wonderful- full of details, bold and joyful.  Briony May Smith has brought the circus to life.  I felt uplifted with Nell in finding the circus and her beloved Rosebud.  I had some tears in my eyes as Nell’s mother welcomed her home and hugged her, what a brilliant moment. 
A beautiful story about having hopes and dreams and sharing them with friends and family. 
I’m Not Grumpy
Steve Smallman and Caroline Pedler
Published by Little Tiger
A hilarious start to a heart warming story as baby Badger’s bottom is blocking the entrance to Mouse’s house.  Mouse grumbles throughout the story, although he is adamant he is not grumpy.  It seems he has a reputation for being grumpy throughout the woods and animals avoid him.  Could this be part of the problem? 
 Mouse, reluctantly, but kindly takes Badger through the woods home to his mother.  They meet animals who help along the way and guide Mouse and Badger in the right direction.  Mother Badger appears at just the right moment and thanks all the animals for finding her baby.
Mouse is no longer grumpy and he finally has some friends! What a wonderful happy ending.
I do love a happy ending, especially when it involves new friends and a new outlook on life!
The illustrations are so lovely and they bring the innocence of the story to life! The cover illustration of Mouse is fabulous and I could stare at him all day. Such expression and the perfect scarf for a little, grumpy mouse! 

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