The first picture book perfect of 2022! I love all things picture books and likely have hundreds in my home. These are all new to me and I can’t wait to share them with my own children as well as those in school.
20 Unicorns at Bedtime by Mark Sperring and Tim Budgen, Published by Scholastic
This delightful and colourful story is ideal for bedtime as readers count the unicorns, instead of sheep! Also published is 20 Dinosaurs at Bedtime! When Mindy cannot sleep, she and her Daddy count unicorns. Each page is bright, fun and full of sparkles. Encouraging children to know their numbers 1-20, this is not just a bedtime tale but a counting one and one that rhymes, ensuring it is a memorable and rollicking read. As Mindy counts the unicorns, the reader can see the nighttime colours fade in as it calms the creatures and the reader. What will you encourage your young reader to count as they fall asleep? Colour and Me, Written
and Illustrated by Michaela Dias-Hayes, Published by Owlet Press
I absolutely adored Sunflower Sisters and this gorgeous book is Michaela Dias-Hayes debut as author and illustrator. Reading about her reasons for writing this book and the negative connotations of the colour brown made me love this story even more. What starts as simple colour mixing turns into an understanding and empowering look at skin colour. As the girl mixes colours, she links them to her world, like the juicy oranges she shares with her grandmother. When she mixes all these colours together, she makes brown, which is her colour. You can’t help but smile at the love she has for herself. Heartwarming and special, this is a beautiful book to read with all ages. We Are Family by Lucy Reynolds and Jenna Herman, Published by Doodles and Scribbles
This book takes a unique look at families, both human and animal. I found that I was reading this book in two ways, one just as a story with a message on how unique and special every family is, and second as an information book. I would take each animal and read the short blurb about their family groupings. Utterly fascinating, this is an amazing book suitable for all ages. The cleverly designed pages are creative, engaging and colourful. While you are reading and learning about animals, there is a reflection on human family groupings and choices. A great way to build empathy and understanding for the different families in one class, this is a book I would share widely across the school. Wolf Girl, Written and Illustrated by Jo Loring-Fisher, Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
A visually stunning book, one that transports you from a cosy den to the frosty wilds of wolves and bears. Sophy feels bravest and strongest when wearing her wolf suit and so she decides to wear it to school. When she is laughed at, she returns to the safety of her den but finds herself whisked away on a cold journey with a wolf and her pup. Seeking shelter they encounter another cold and lonely figure, but Sophy’s voice and courage are not initially of kindness and care. What an enchanting book for those shyer children, the ones who feel most confident in small groups or who worry about making new friends. This would make an exceptional read aloud during whole school assemblies. Poems Aloud by Joseph Coelho and Daniel Gray-Barnett, Published by Wide Eyed Editions
I automatically know that any book with Joseph Coelho named on the cover is one that I will need in my library. His writing is so diverse and unique, with plenty to offer all age of reader. This collection of poems are intended to be read aloud with children but I thoroughly enjoyed reading them to myself as well. With a one or two line instruction under the title on each page, there is much to test out on audiences. From tongue-twisters to using diminuendo and personification. This collection is not just for the enjoyment of poems but the understanding of technique, style and performance tips. We are adding this book to our poetry spine as it offers so much scope for having fun and building confidence with poetry! Octopants, The Missing Pirate Pants by Suzy Senior, Illustrated by Claire Powell,
Published by Little Tiger
I can’t think of a class that don’t love books featuring underpants! They love to giggle, point and imagine throughout these underpants tales. This one offers so much pirate voice fun and actions as Octopants helps Pufferfish find his pirate pants. Where they end up is a rather hilarious twist! Along the way, you meet the undersea community and see plenty of pants on each page. Told in fun and catchy rhyme, this story will enchant and delight readers of all ages, but particularly younger readers. An ideal bedtime book, it could be perfectly paired with the first in the series, Octopants. The illustrations are bold, bright and eye-catching, not to mention fun and underpant-tactic! Somebody Crunched Colin by Sarah Roberts, Illustrated by Hannah Jayne Lewin,
Published by Scholastic
We read this in the whole school assembly this week and all ages of children enjoyed the story, the illustrations and the overriding message of recycling and caring for our planet. I think we have all seen the effects pollution, littering and lack of care have caused the animals who share our space, and this book is perfectly pitched at children in the hopes they will take the lead and show us the way forward! A perfect accompaniment to Somebody Swallowed Stanley, these are colourful, engaging and topical. The children loved the ending and could all relate to finding litter around our school grounds and home. They were issued with the challenge to bin anything they find, whether the recycling bin or garbage.