There are weeks when NetGalley is my go to for a new title, and there are weeks when my interest is not particularly peaked. This past week has been a great week on NetGalley and I have read and reviewed 5 titles. I have also requested a few more that hopefully will get approved so I have some extra holiday reads!

I read three picture books that are all incredibly unique and full of vastly different styles of illustration.

Apple Cake : A Gratitude by Dawn Casey, Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout, Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s

Iced Out, by CK Smouha, Illustrated by Isabella Bunnell, Published by Cicada Books

Show and Tell by Rob Biddulph, Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books

Iced Out

Not fitting in is a popular theme across picture books and middle grade novels. Why fit in when you were born to stand out
This old adage couldn’t be truer than in Iced out.
The seals, narwhal and walrus all attend Miss Blubbers’s School for Arctic Mammals. Wilfred and Neville just don’t fit it. Sports are not their strong suit, they don’t go to parties and actually they don’t even like each other much! Everything changes when new student Betty Beluga arrives. She does her own thing, goes where she wants, plays games with who she wants. A breath of fresh air for Wilfred and Neville.

I love that this book used the Arctic animals, in place of tigers, elephants, giraffes who we might normally find in a children’s picture book.
There is so much diversity in the Arctic world, from the weird and wonderful narwhal to the pristinely white beluga. Diversity and being who you are is such a powerful message for children to hear and I will champion this book in my schools, especially in the Autumn term when this message needs to be reiterated.

A perfect amount of text make this book easy to read and enjoy and the bold use of colours make it lovely to look through.

An brilliant book!

Show and Tell

This is Rob Biddulph at his best. It brings back fond memories of Odd Dog Out, which is one of my all time favourites. I love the use of colour and enjoy his style of illustrations. Rob Biddulph books fly off the shelves in both libraries and bookstores and are a firm favourite of many children and adults that I know.

Show and Tell is what many teachers dread….who will bring in something to show? The worry over what the children will bring in and the length of time show and tell takes. This is a brilliantly funny book taking a look at one class and their special show and tell items

There is a truly special way to meet this class and we start with A…Adam. We work our way through the alphabet from Betty to Kenzo, Parmida to Ulysses. Each student brings something impossibly bigger and better than the student before. We see race cars, alligators, volcanoes and even Big Ben makes an appearance. This captures that spirit of competition that Show and Tell inevitably brings to each class.

It is laugh out loud funny and you turn the page eagerly awaiting to see what is coming next. Surprises galore throughout and the last student is Zorg! What happens when he arrives is surprising and leaves only one winner.

I guarantee this will be an instant hit and I will be reading this far and wide across my schools.

Apple Cake: A Gratitude

In today’s busy world, many of us take the simple pleasures for granted. How often do we thank the world for its bounty and resources?
This gorgeous and beautifully illustrated book show us a young girl gathering ingredients and thanking everything and everyone along the way.
From the flowers to the farmers, the sun and the rain, and the “earth beneath our feet”, she makes sure all are thanked for what they have given her.
We follow the girl on her path with her dog following her along the way. Each page is a painting that could adorn the walls of a gallery- stunning artwork!
A perfect book to teach children thankfulness and joy in the simple ingredients that come together to make a delicious apple cake.
The addition of the recipe at the back makes my mouth water- it is one I will definitely try to make.

Enjoy this book, it is truly special!

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