I think illustrated fiction may be my favourite thing…a brilliant story filled with exceptional illustrations makes my heart sing. I have been truly blessed to have read the following titles and loved them all!
Indigo Wilde and the Creatures of Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick,
Published by Hachette Children’s
This book arrived in an absolute blaze of glory- a blue box containing the book, jellybeans and a bookmark! Those extra details are the amazing perks of being a book blogger! I am a huge fan of Pippa Curnick, Chatterbox Bear being one of my favourite picture books. This book serves as a colourful and ingenious introduction to Indigo, Quigley and the other, fascinating inhabitants of the house on JellyBean Crescent. Indigo and Quigley were both saved by the Wilde’s on their various expeditions and brought home to form a family. However, this is no ordinary family. The house is full of goblins, glamingos, a PurrMaid and a mysterious new creature which arrived at the beginning of this story. Following a path of disruption and chaos, Indigo and Quigley need to find the creature before their parents get home and before the nosy neighbour can call for the police. A completely brilliant story full of colourful illustrations and hilarity as the missing creature causes no end of chaos! Bad Panda by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey, Published by Faber
This book is fantastically funny with a cute, fluffy panda trying her best to be bad. Lin hates being called cute and fluffy, growling at anyone using those terms. She and her brother have the most fun together, rolling in mud and hitting each other with bamboo sticks. When Lin is sent to another zoo, she meets Fu and they contrive together to get Lin sent back home. Hilarity ensues as the pandas venture out to change people’s minds about Lin. Meeting some other creatures in the zoo, Lin, Fu and their new friends begin to change the impressions of people and the idea of animals roaming free but people being behind the glass. So even trying to be bad leads to good things for Lin and the zoo. Still wanting to get back home, she is even more determined to be bad….what could possibly go wrong? I can’t wait to see what happens next! Part fiction story, part graphic novel/comic, this has so much to appeal to younger readers. Great use of illustrations and colour palette, as well as the hilarious tale of Lin and new friend Fu. This is the first in this new series from Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey of Dave Pigeon fame. Lin is a brilliant, bossy character who learns a few life lessons along the way, and her new friend Fu will be there to teach her about friendship and family. 44 Tiny Chefs by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley
King, Published by Little Tiger Press
44 Tiny Chefs is the third book in this colourful and fun series from Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King. In the first, we met Betsy as she learned all about tiny Pygmy mice who could play piano. These mice have become the centre of each story, equally by finding themselves embroiled in trouble or by rescuing a situation. In this edition, Betsy’s dad has become baking mad! When he starts his own bakery, Betsy invites the royal tasters for the Queen to the launch party. Their first major job is to cater for an upcoming party at the palace but uncertainty looms as the icing is slow going. Betsy advises letting the mice help but with the deadline looming and a health inspector on the war path, the business may be over before it begins. An adventure to the palace ensues when one little mouse gets stuck, a greater mystery presents itself and the entire family find themselves in front of the Queen. This edition is illustrated all in blue and I wonder whether there will be an entire rainbow in this series! From 44 Tiny Secrets to Acrobats to Chefs….it will be fun to see what role these mice will take on next. Grimwood by Nadia Shireen, Published by Simon and Schuster
Having initially heard about this book by watching a video of Nadia Shireen chatting about it, I knew it would be one to watch. in actual fact, this book is completely “treebonkers” and I loved it. I am currently writing my review while listening to the funky playlist included via QR code. Fox Cubs Ted and Nancy have been abandoned by their parents and are living by scoffing from the bins outside Speedy Chicken. The fox Cubs share with other creatures until the arrival of Princess Buttons, a spoiled and stately cat. She and her minions cause endless problems for the foxes and when a terrible accident takes place, Ted and Nancy find themselves on the run. Ending up in Grimwood, a strange woodland where squirrels throw themselves into trees shouting “Treebonk”! Ted finally feels free and loves their new home but Nancy is still on high alert and judging their new neighbours as completely bonkers. A fantastically riotous tale of learning to trust new friends, being true to yourself and finding home, even in the strangest of places. The illustrations are perfect and add that extra special element! Peanut Jones and
the Illustrated City by Rob Biddulph, Published by Macmillan
I claim myself to be the biggest fan of Rob Biddulph and when it was announced he was penning and drawing a new series for MG readers, I was so excited. The proof copy is a piece of art and leads me to believe the final copy will be something special, certainly one I will want for the permanent collection. Peanut Jones has moved to a new school since her father left under mysterious circumstances and she isn’t really fitting in well. Finding a specially powered pencil, Peanut soon realises it can draw portals to Chroma, a magical other world. With her only friend, Rockwell and little sister, Little-Bit, they all head into the unknown together. Peanut believing she can find clues to her missing dad and Rockwell in disbelief over what the pencil can do. The trio will find themselves on an amazing journey where their friendship, determination and creative thinking will be all they need to jump over the many hurdles thrown in their way. Illustrated with two colours and with the promise of this being a trilogy, I look forward to reading more about Peanut and seeing where the stories will take her. This book is a magical read, one that would be perfect for fans of Mr Penguin by Alex T Smith.