Over the summer, a stack of amazing picture books arrived and I honestly couldn’t wait to dive in. I am such a fan of picture books and these caught my eye quickly. I spent a lovely evening reading, pouring over details and planning how to use these in school.
The best Bear Tracker by John Condon and Julia Christians, Published by Templar Books
Bears are a popular animal in picture books and this book is proof of why they are so popular. It is charming and fun, the bears are curious and cute! The main character is planning to track a bear. She has her supplies and a list of rules to follow. Each delightful double page spread shows her following these rules while the reader actively shouts, “It’s behind you!”. The main character is completely oblivious to the action and fun the bear is having without her and continues on her search. From the first page, readers will be hunting for clues as well making this a perfect story to read next to someone. Lovely illustrations and a super story are the perfect match! Goldilocks and the Three Crocodiles by Michael Rosen and David Melling, Published by Macmillan
As a fan of all things fairy tale and traditional tales, this books appealed to me before I even opened the cover. I can’t recall ever seeing anything quite like crocodiles in a Goldilocks story before. Beginning with a quick poem and introduction to the story, readers will be ready to read more and find their way back to the house of the bears. Reminiscent of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, there are chants and chances for readers to join the fun. Knowing the story of Goldilocks, this one follows a similar pattern of chairs, food and beds with some fun and exciting new twists to look forward to. The illustrations by David Melling are perfect for Michael Rosen’s text and this will be hugely popular in classroom and homes! Agent Llama, Alpaca Attack by Angela Woolfe and Duncan Beedie, Published by Little Tiger
I loved Agent Llama, the first in this series. We met Charlie Palmer, spy extraordinaire as she saved the world and rescued a pair of underpants. It was fun to read and the children chuckled away. Charlie Palmer is back again with a new mission- to find the culprit behind the attacks of spaghetti and sauce all around the world. It looks to be a double of Charlie but that can’t be right. Discovering this evil villain and saving the world all falls to Charlie, again. Told in rollicking and racing rhyme, this adventure is fun, full of excitement and plenty of asides for the reader. Duncan Beedie’s illustrations are perfectly spy-oriented and bring the spy adventure fully to life. This is a brilliant series and I am already ready for more. Fox & Son Tailers by Paddy Donnelly, Published by O’Brien Press
Paddy Donnelly is my absolute favourite author-illustrator and I always trust his books will be special. Cleverly written and wondrously illustrated, this is a must have. With plays on words and detailed illustrations, this book will have readers of all ages smiling. I often find Paddy’s books are charming and touching, offering simple messages of hope, love and joy in nature. Rory the fox is destined to become a tailor as the generations before him were, but his ideas are a bit out there. That is until a peacock comes looking for something amazing and extravagant, and one of Rory’s designs is just perfect. Changing the way they think, Rory and his Dad embrace the new ideas and prove that uniqueness is brave, bold and the in-thing to do. Pick a Story by Sarah Coyle and Adam Walker-Parker, Published by FarShore
Pick your own stories are gaining popularity again and these style appeal to readers of all abilities and ages. There are plenty of opportunities to change the path of a story and then try something new the next day! This adventure features pirates, aliens and the jungle, a fun mix of settings and characters. Vincent is in the park with his dog, Trouble, when he notices some extraordinary things, pirate hooks, spaceships and snakes! When Trouble disappears, Vincent must find him. With decisions to be made on every page, readers can change the story constantly, making it super silly and funny. A great way to engage readers into discussions about their choices and what they want to happen. Kitsy Bitsy’s Noisy Neighbours by Polly Faber and Melissa Crowton, Published by Nosy Crow
This book reminds me of the Busytown books from Richard Scarry, and that was a big plus point for me. There is so much detail woven into each page and the clever character names will have readers smiling. Park View Rise is full of clever, talented animals, all living peacefully side by side, until one evening. The noise begins at the top and the domino effect is felt throughout each apartment all the way to Kitsy, who wears big boots and solves problems. Reminders of kindness, helpfulness and forgiveness are woven into this funny story of mishap and capers. With so much to look at, readers will return, not only got your story, but to spot something new each visit. The Blue-Footed Booby by Rob Biddulph, Published by Macmillan
Rob Biddulph has created some of my absolute favourite stories and I was so excited to see the cover for The Blue-Footed Booby, knowing it would become a firm addition to my shelves. The cover immediately grabs the reader and once inside, the illustrations and styles of text ensure the reader follows along. This is an utterly charming story with a mystery that builds momentum as red-footed boobies join the hunt. The red-footed bakers discover a missing tart and the thief must be found! As a read aloud, this is spectacular as the rhymes roll off the tongue and there are plenty of opportunities for chanting and laughs along the way. I think readers will adore the surprises as they read and will chuckle as mysteries are solved! Delightful, fun and a firm new favourite.
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I am a primary school teacher, turned librarian. Now I have the title Reading Advocate for ASSET Education Trust, based in Suffolk.
I read constantly and have more books than bookshelves, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I celebrate reading every day at work and at home with my two children, aged 11 and 9.
I sit on the National Executive Committee for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and run an OU/UKLA Teachers as Readers group!
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