Just putting a blog together to share the love for picture books! These are wonderful titles and all are available now! Read on for my mini reviews!
The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury and Lavanya Naidu,
Published by Allen & Unwin
This story is an enticing as the Katha chest in Asyia’s Nanu’s home, the one she snuggles into to listen to the stories being whispered around her. Each katha is fashioned from saris that are worn out and bear the scents and stories of their owner, thus keeping their stories alive for generations to come. Asyia’s imagination comes alive as she strokes each Katha, remembering family member and reliving their memories. What I love about this book, on top of the culture and traditions, is the wordless spreads where we can see the moments in time where the sari was worn and a slice of the memory saved. It is on those pages where the illustrations can truly be appreciated. A wonderfully woven tale bringing family, culture and memories together. The Smart Cookie by Jory John
and Pete Oswald, Published by Harper 360
Smart Cookies shares her journey of gaining confidence and finding her own talents as a way to encourage young readers to persevere and work hard! When Cookie’s teacher, Ms Biscotti challenges the class to create something unique and original, she begins to worry and struggles to create just the right thing. When she begins her work, she has that “Aha” moment and time flies as she creates her homework. Sharing it is nerve racking but it boosts her confidence and school becomes a different place. Filled with amazing illustrations and these messages of resilience and hard work, this is another success for John and Oswald. Smart Cookie is their fifth book in the food group series and is definitely one to read and share. Love Grows Everywhere by Barry Timms and Tisha Lee,
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
If ever there were an Ode to Love, this is it! Simply written and in rhyming pairs, each page will share just how simple love is! “It doesn’t need a fancy space…only our thought and care”. As you follow the story, one family grows and sells plants locally, sharing in the heart of their community, where love is all around and in its many forms. When an uncertain and shy new kid moves in, the daughter of the gardener will need to be brave and show kindness. Stunning illustrations fill each page and offer the reader their own chance to see love bloom and to tell the story of those buying the plants and to immerse themselves in the community. Charming and brilliant for schools! Molly and the Shipwreck by
Malachy Doyle and Andrew Whitson, Published by Graffeg
This series of books featuring Molly and her family are so topical and relevant, highlighting issues happening in the world as you read Molly’s tales. Previously, we had Molly and the lockdown, which we are all too familiar with now, and in this adventure, Molly saves a family of refugees and helps them to settle on the island. Molly wants them to stay in order to save the Island school but they are sent to a camp on the mainland where things are not as wonderful as they could be. Molly shows us just how easy it could be to welcome others into our communities and hearts, something everyone should learn and understand. Superb illustrations bring Molly and her island to life, almost so you can feel the sea breeze! Inside the Suitcase by Clotilde Perrin,
Published by Gecko Press
Clotilde Perrin had a unique talent for creating fantastical books where lifting the flaps isn’t only fun, it reveals a hidden depth to the story. Often linked to fairytales, her books are divine and wondrous. In this particular tale, a young boy packs for an adventure and each item forms part of the puzzle to bring him home- from a sweater to a sandwich, each item will bring about the next decision. He sails across the sea, climbs mountains and faces a monster…which item will help him in those scenarios? Perrin’s illustrations are full of brilliant colour and details sure to enchant readers of all ages. This is a brilliant gift for a young readers! The Wall and the Wild by Christina Dendy and Katie Rewse,
Published by Lantana
Ana is so intent on growing a perfect garden that she plucks out seeds that are not quite right. She throws them into woodland and begins to build a wall to protect her garden. Over time, her garden grows but Ana’s focus is still on throwing seeds away, building her wall and weeding out the unwanted plants. As a reader, we can see her mistakes but it will take time for Ana to recognise these for herself. The beauty of this book is in the flowers and wildlife that add such a bright spark of colour to the darker pages. Ana’s anger quickly dissipated as she revels in the beauty of the wild. Positive messages of wildness, ecosystems and variety will be shared while reading.
Noni the Pony counts to a Million by Alison Lester, Published by Allen and Unwin
Noni the Pony is back with a counting story. A favourite character for children in Australia, Noni is fast becoming a UK fave too. In this tale, we meet Noni and her friends, counting them from 2 all the way to a million. Counting stories are so popular and perfect for our youngest readers as they can see, point to and count with the story. We meets cats, dogs, wallabies and more as we learn to count. Colourful and fun illustrations focus on the animals and scenery, allowing the reader to feel a part of the fun. Told in simple rhyme, there is plenty of opportunities to join in! Watch out Wolf! There’s a Baddie in
your book by Jude Evans and Lucy Semple, Published by Little Tiger
Mr Wolf is becoming confused in this story…he is not the only baddie in town and can be convinced to help out around the town, something baddies just don’t do! Determined to find this baddie and restore his reputation, Mr Wolf goes hunting, meeting plenty of favourite fairy tale characters along the way. Readers are offered a visual treat through the vibrant illustrations, peek through pages and plenty of lift the flaps. I love all things fairytale and this is a fun blend of tales coming together with a fun message that Mr Wolf is “never too bad to be good”! With hilarious moments and plenty of opportunities to do the voices, children will love to listen to this adventure.