Picture Book Perfect

I love reading picture books, especially ones that offer so much to readers of all ages. The books in todays blog will appeal to readers of all ages, even adults who will appreciate the illustrations and messages!

Blue Badger and the Beautiful Berry by Huw Lewis Jones and Ben Sanders, Published by Happy Yak (Quarto)
I read the first Blue Badger story in assembly and the children (all ages) loved the story. Seeing it become a series is wonderful and I think this one might be my favourite. Each story features Blue Badger as he learns about life, friendship and happiness. In this story, we see Blue Badger spot a red and delicious looking berry but someone else has spotted it as well, someone who thinks Blue Badger is lovely. Uncertain of his feelings, Blue Badger seeks Owl’s advice. Blue Badger decides to follow his heart, makes a new friend but kindly asks her not to eat all the berries. Delightful, charming and sweet!
Flooded by Mariajo Illustrajo, Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (Quarto)
It can take an emergency for a community to come together and that is exactly what happens when a “bit of water” floods the city. Larger, taller animals are ok but the smaller ones are struggling with even a small amount of water. When the water continues to rise, one small animal knows what to do but finds no one will listen so the problem gets bigger and bigger. Finally it takes a huge team to solve the problem proving the strength of a community when they come together…if only they had listened! Wondrous illustrations fill this water-logged story and there is much to see and discuss on each page.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, Published by Scholastic
It’s great to see The Billy Goats Gruff getting a new update, especially by Max Barnett and Jon Klassen. The tale follows the same pattern at the well known story with a hungry troll, 3 goats and a bridge where the story takes place. The added humour comes from the troll listing all the ways he would cook the goat from curried to flambéed, making himself hungrier and greedier until the largest goat deals with the troll. Nature then ensures that he won’t be seen again. The illustrations are classic Klassen and children will love this new version of a classic.
The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry, Published by Templar Books
The illustrations take centre stage in this story, wowing the reader from cover to cover. Brilliant use of detail, colour and patterns as in her other well loved books, You’re Safe with Me. Panther feels like an outsider as he compares himself to tiger, lion and leopard. Their features are bold and striking while his are dull and black. As he wanders the forest, he tries to change his appearance but nature will not allow it and sets out to prove his beauty to him. When the stars begin to shine, Panther can see his true beauty and finds his place in the world. A lovely book to share with all ages.
Lost by Mariajo Illustrajo, Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (Quarto)
Another gorgeous book from award-winning Mariajo Illustrajo. When a polar bear finds himself lost in a big city, asking for help proves to be difficult. Everyone has their heads down, earphones on and is unwilling to listen or help. However, a young girl spots the bear and brings him home. When he shares a book about his home, she understands him and makes a plan to get him home. She packs him up and adds a little surprise to his bag. He can then share this with his family along with his story of being lost. A truly lovely story of friendship and finding home.
Lizzy and the Cloud by The Fan Brothers, Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Book (Quarto)
I have always found books by The Fan Brothers to be wondrous and extraordinary, giving the reader time to ponder and study the illustrations as they follow the story. Lizzy buys a regular cloud from the cloud seller and takes him home, calling him Milo. The instructions are clear and Lizzy does a great job of caring for her cloud until he throws a tantrum in the form of a storm. Lizzy then realises that she will need to let Milo float free. The book feels like a vintage classic, a reminder of simpler times. Another beautiful Fan Brother creation!

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