These books are all so incredibly beautiful- vibrant and striking visually as well as offering insight into another world. These would be amazing class reads, or books shared in an assembly.
Saving the Butterfly by Helen Cooper,
Illustrations by Gill Smith, Published by Walker Books
All too relevant in our world today, this story of two children surviving a harrowing journey is wonderfully told. The older sister remembers more of their past life, their journey but the younger brother adapts quickly and finds friends in their makeshift home. Over time, the sister finds it harder and harder to leave the house until her brother traps and shows her a butterfly. I think the use of colours and simple text with a poetic quality makes this completely accessible for all readers. Whether studying the in depth issue of refugees, or just sharing the importance of facing your fears, this is a vital book for schools. Bloom by Julia Seal, Published by Sunbird Books
The cover of this book is intensely colourful and engaging, which I am thrilled to say continues into the pages of the book. Jellyfish travels around the oceans but always returns home to her friends, sharing her stories and sights. Her friends begin noticing differences in their ocean, warmer waters, new shells and different looking fish. When Jellyfish returns home the next time, everyone is gone and she must find them. She enlists the help of a “bloom” of jellyfish, who also help her to deliver a vitally important message to the humans who are polluting the oceans. Stop the Clock by Pippa Goodhart, Illustrated by Maria Christania, P
ublished by Tiny Owl
How many times have I uttered the words, quickly, hurry up, we are going to be late, to my kids? Too many! This book clearly reminds us to slow down and take notice of all the things around us. Children are naturally observant and want to share these observations with family and friends but in a world where time is of the essence, they may not get the chance. Whether working with children or just as a moment of reflection for ourselves, Stop the Clock reminds us to take time, stop rushing about and to enjoy the moments! I think reading this to children could have a huge impact! The illustrations are brilliant with bright bursts of colour thrown in encouraging the eyes to search them out! Goodbye Bear by Jane Chapman, Published by Little Tiger
I have yet to read through this book without the words going blurry from the tears welling up. Grief is perfectly portrayed here with the passing of Bear. His friends struggle, share memories and show emotions that range from sadness to anger to hope. As time passes, they still miss Bear and though the emotions change, their love and memories of their dear friend remain. Finding his treehouse and going in, they can see Bear everywhere, from his tools to the gifts left behind for his friends. Working together they bring the treehouse back to life and share favourite memories of Bear! As they finish and look to the stars, they can see Bear smiling down on them. An absolutely perfect book to have in school for those times when grief needs explaining and understanding. It Fell from the Sky by The Fan Brothers,
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
The name, The Fan Brothers, on the front builds up the anticipation of greatness in this picture book! When an item of wonder falls from the sky, it not only adds a vibrancy of colour but plenty of conversation over its purpose by the community of insects living there. When the patient but greedy spider sets out to exploit the object and those who wish to see it, he quickly becomes rich but all soon stop visiting and then disaster strikes! The spider must make amends and though it takes time, he does and even more colour enters their world! The illustrations and exact attention to detail is entirely brilliant as each insect is skilfully drawn. My favourite, though, is probably the dandelions, so perfectly drawn you feel you could blow on the page to scatter them! The Last Tiger by Becky Davies,
Illustrations by Jennie Poh, Published by Little Tiger
Deforestation and destruction of habitat is something we are all to familiar with and see the impact of around the world. Explaining it perfectly is this tale of a tiger watching his animal friends leave, the trees and environment destroyed by humans and machines. Realising she needs to leave and search for food, water and shelter, Aasha begins a long walk. Finding only an orangutan for company, they search for miles until finally a new home is found. The illustrations are beautiful and impactful on sharing this tale with young readers. Eyes that Speak
to the Stars by Joanna Ho, Illustrations by Dung Ho, Published by Harper Collins Children’s
A companion book to Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, this book shares a similar message of loving who you are, your family and those who share similarities with you. When a young boy is portrayed differently to his friends in a drawing, it makes him question his heritage. Luckily his father, grandfather and baby brother are there to share their love, similar traits and confidence in being who you are. The illustrations feel so real and vibrant, you feel a part of this story as you read.