This summer and the coming Autumn are set to be huge for children’s books! I have spent a thoroughly enjoyable lockdown and summer holiday reading piles of books, and have plans to spend the cool Autumn evenings reading as well. Between buying books and being sent review copies, I have been spoiled for choice in terms of picture books.

They still rate amongst my all time favourites and I still buy them for my children, though they sit firmly on my bookshelves, not theirs. In order to do justice to the newest additions to my bookshelves, I will split the books into more than one blog post.

This moving book celebrates a beautiful father son relationship. As the boy reminisces with his father, the message of being perfectly designed rings throughout the story. The father believes the son is “perfectly designed” to explore the world, feel emotions, be exactly who you are meant to be. The son is growing up completely confident in who he is and feels ready to take on the world. A powerful story and lovingly illustrated. I came away from this feeling positive and proud of my own children.

In many friendships, there is always one more exuberant person and in this book it is a little girl intent on playing with her friend. His facial expressions show his lack of enthusiasm for the same games but when it comes time to leave school, he turns and smiles. The next day, there is more of an even friendship between them with plenty of smiles and fun. When another girl looks a bit lost, the two friends run over shouting “Hello friend”. Wonderfully fun and full of charm, this is a perfect book for those first week jitters.

My Grandma is 102 and still doing very well, so I went into this book with high expectations. From a child’s perspective, the candles on the cake is hilarious as is the idea of having only soft food and speaking loudly so she can hear. Living in a simpler time, Grandma feels sorry for this generation for wanting and having so much more than is necessary. For her a simple doll is plenty and it may just be the perfect present. A lovely book celebrating the grandparents in our lives and a purpose of remembering simpler times.

This is an important book, now more than ever, as the family dynamic changes and evolves constantly. Families are no longer one mum and one dad and in fact, this type of family is perhaps in the minority. This celebration of different families is perfect so we can ensure children see themselves and their families represented. The colourfully illustrated pages show families with two dads, two mums, grandparents, foster parents, divorced parents, mixed race couples, transgender parents! The message to take from this book, regardless of your family dynamic, is that love is present in all these homes.

I adore Marta Altés books and this one is no different….full of engaging and beautiful illustrations! I love the story of this huge pup looking for his home in a new town. Searching high and low, the pup finds himself feeling lost and alone. Will anyone love him? Until, he locks eyes across the crowd with a little girl who is also lost and alone. Together they find home and it is a moving ending for all. The kindness and friendship between dog and girl is completely stunning in this book.

An encouraging and funny look at friendship from the perspective of a pair of socks! Dale and Phil annoy the other clothes with their antics in the washing machine. They have the most fun together, until they get separated. Feeling alone and uncertain, they both long to find each other. When one gets changed, the other feels unsure of being a pair anymore. It takes another spin the the cycle to remember why they make a great pair though they are entirely different. A brilliant message reminding us to celebrate the differences of our friends!

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