Monday, 7 October 2013

Picture Books Galore

Its a fabulous time for picture books, they have been finding their way to my desk in vast quantities recently which has been lovely for not only are they always a delight to read they are a delight to recommend too!

Following a wonderful event with Scholastic Books at Daunt Books on Holland Park recently where we celebrated the launch of Cerrie Burnell's charming story, Snowflakes, illustrated by Laura Ellen Andersen a story about a mixed race family, it has been lovely to read Look Back! by Trish Cook, illustrated by Caroline Binch and published by Papillote Press.  This small independent publisher has taken on a big book - one that is magical and one that celebrates other cultures, in this instance the Caribbean culture.  In the story the reader is treated to a tale of magic adventure in the rainforest but is not quite sure whether the story is all in a grandmother's imagination or a true adventure.  Does it really matter?  probably not for the adventure takes us on a glorious journey through brightly coloured
foresty jungle and into the heart of storytelling.

A very different but equally colourful book comes from Tor Freeman.  The Toucan Brothers, published by Macmillan finds the intrepid plumbing brothers- Sammy and Paul - vying for business when a new plumber arrives in town.  The biggest problem however is not the competition but the fact that the new plumber is just no good!  Can Sammy and Paul save their reputation and their town?  A brilliant story with rhyming text making it perfect for reading aloud and pictures that just add so much to the words ...

Next it is back to grandparents with the charming How to Babysit a Grandad by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish, published by Hodder.  Filled with instructions for how to look after your granddad in the best possible way this will have children, parents and grandparents giggling as they discover that entertaining consists of somersaults, scary plays and muscles whilst drawing means pirate-shark battles and puddle pictures!  Remember to clear up all the mess and that when it is time for goodbye you need to check when they are coming again - utterly charming!

Of course we all love our parents and grandparents and quite often our brothers and sisters too but for anyone in any doubt I Love You by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Emma Dodd should help...  Here is a celebration of love, an exploration of everything in the world of a child that they may love - ice cream, puppies, teddies and more,  Funny, lively, rhyming and just gorgeous!

Of course sometimes children are not wonderfully charming, they don't always clean up their mess and of course it was not them that made it in the first place - it was the gorilla!  Ding Dong Gorilla by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Leonie Lord , published by Orchard Books, is a wonderfully messy celebration of the imagination of a child - what happens when you answer the door to a gorilla- mischief and mayhem of course.  Hilariously funny and anarchic picture book with cheeky illustration too!

Last but by no means least I will leave you with a question, posed by Alison Green and deftly illustrated by Adam Stower - What Can You Stack on the Back of a Yak? I most certainly don't want to spoil the surprise but can assure you that you will be amazed and will enjoy the surprise when you turn every page ...

A wonderful selection of picture books, really and truly offering something for everyone, the child, parent and grandparent, lots of laughs a riot of colour and the beginning of a great reading adventure!

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