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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