2+, 3+, Debut, Picture Books

When Sadness Comes To Call by Eva Eland

Sadness comes to visit unexpectedly. But when you let sadness in, you’ll discover this strange guest is not what it seems.

When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it’s welcome. This beautiful debut by new author-illustrator talent Eva Eland takes a poignant but uplifting look at dealing with uncomfortable emotions.

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This is such a stunning, touching and emotive picture book.  It looks at embracing sadness and not being afraid when it arrives.  It gives subtle tips on how to deal with it and lets your little ones know that it doesn’t stay forever.  The illustrations are calming and beautiful with soft colours and with just enough on each page to tell the story.

When Sadness Comes to Call  is a beautiful calming story that will be perfect for helping young ones to understand their feelings and accept that they are all a part of life.

When Sadness Comes to Call by Eva Eland was published in Hardback by Andersen Press 

Many thanks to the lovely people at Andersen Press for this stunning review copy.

About the author

Eva Eland

To find out more about Eva please visit her website here.

You can follow Eva on Twitter at EvaEland

 

 

 

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2+, 3+, Picture Books, Uncategorized

There’s A Spider in My Soup by Megan Brewis

Little Spider loves to go swinging from her web!

Wheeeeee!!!

But one day, she swings too far and – SPLOOSH – lands herself in a big soup-bowl of trouble.

Poor Little Spider.  

Will she ever be brave enough to go swinging from her web again?

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I’ve always been a little scared (understatement) of spiders but meeting this little spider family has made me a little more comfortable with them.  Little Spider is full of adventure and longs to swing from the web but mum and dad spider knew how dangerous swinging could be.  One day whilst they are sleeping Little Spider decides to venture out for a little swing and soon ends up in hot water… or should I say soup.

This is a delightful, beautifully illustrated picture book that will teach young book lovers how to be brave… and that spiders are actually rather friendly and lovely. 🙂

There’s A Spider In My Soup is published by Oxford University Press.

About the author

Megan Brewis

Find out more about Megan by visiting her website here.

2+, Children's Fiction, Picture Books

Meet The Penguins by Mike Brownlow

Meet the penguins! They really want to make some new friends.

But does anyone want to play?

When two penguins arrive from a faraway place and want to make friends, the other animals do not want to play with them. If only they would give the penguins a chance, they might discover how wonderful they really are!

A funny story about welcoming others – brilliantly written and illustrated by best-selling author of Ten Little Superheroes, Mike Brownlow.

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These little penguins are SO ADORABLE!  and yet it would seem that no-one wants to play with them.  Everyone they meet is rather unwelcoming and are either too busy, too concerned about mess, think they won’t understand or simply don’t even see them.  As the story progresses our little penguins become more and more downhearted.  Will there ever find someone to play with?

The illustrations are beautiful, bold and colourful. They are delightfully funny (I especially love the giraffe!) and there is much to discuss on each page.  The story also raises plenty of questions to ask of our young readers and reminds us (even us adults) that saying yes and making time for others can lead to lots of fun with new and old friends.  It’s a great story to share and also to help children begin to look at word formation and recognition with repetition and just a small amount of text on each page.

Meet The Penguins has been published by Oxford University Press and is now available from all good bookshops.

You can follow Oxford University Press on Twitter at @OUPChildrens

About the author

Mike Brownlow

Now I first discovered Mike through one of his first books Little Robots which went on to become an animated show on CBeebies, with the voice talents of Lenry Henry, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc,  Martin Clunes, Emma Chambers and Su Pollard.  You can read more about this on Mike’s website here.  My son and I absolutely loved watching these funny little robots.

He has written many books to share with young book lovers and contributed Ten Little Bookworms to the selection of World Book Titles on offer this year. He understands how important it to learn to read and his books help us to instil a love of books from a very early age. Everything changes when we learn to read. We learn empathy, gain knowledge and nourish the imagination. It’s how minds connect and people understand each other. We need literate citizens more than ever.’ – Mike Brownlow

Find out more about Mike Brownlow by visiting his website here.

You can follows him on Twitter at @mikebrownlow1

Children's Fiction, Picture Books

The Pooka Party by Shona Shirley Macdonald

How do you get in trouble with the moon?

Throw a great big Pooka party!

High in the mountains lives a magical creature called: The Pooka.  The Pooka loves living there on its own and spends its time singing, gardening, dancing and reading.

One day The Pooka realises, it feels a bit lonely and misses its friends.

So decides to invite everyone to a great big party with music and cake!

Deer Fellow Beeings,

I invite yoo to a

Pooka party, ther

Will be mOOsic

And lotz of cake.

Address: By the

waterfall and near

the hOOj bowlder.

Time: Midnite.

Will anyone turn up?

Or will everyone turn up?

Come to the Pooka Party and find out what happens!

A magical and beautifully illustrated story about loneliness and the power of friendship, by highly acclaimed illustrator, Shona Shirley Macdonald.

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This such a cute book.  I absolutely adore The Pooka.  He reminded me a little of myself.  Those of us that like to spend time alone often get into the habit rather easily and then eventually we realise that it’s actually rather nice to see friends and this is exactly how The Pooka feels.  Even though he spends his time doing all the things he likes he gets lonely and misses his friends.  So he decides to have a party but has he left it too long?  Will they come?  A really lovely story that it super to read aloud and is full of fascinating and stunning illustrations that will give you plenty to talk about.

And if you’re wondering what The Pooka is…

The Pooka

The Pooka or púca (Irish for ghost) is a creature of Celtic folklore.  It is considered to be a bringer of both good and bad fortune and is said to enjoy creating havoc and mischief.  The Pooka, who usually lives in the mountains and hills, is a shapeshifter and can take any form it chooses: dog, rabbit, goat, horse, hare and even human form.

The Pooka Party was published by The O’Brien Press in hardback last year.

Thank you so much to the lovely people at The O’Brien Press for sharing this wonderful book with me.  It’s been a pleasure to read and share.

About the author/illustrator

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Shona Shirley Macdonald is a Scottish author/illustrator based in County Waterford.  Her published illustration includes The Moon Spun Round: W.B. Yeats for Children, edited by Noreen Doody, published by The O’Brien Press in 2016, Rita Kelly’s poetry retrospective Turas go Bun na Spéire and two Scottish Gaelic graphic novels, Cuir Stad air an Stoirm Shnaechda and An Smutag Ghaisgeil.  Her projects range from publications of poetry and fiction to concept artwork for theatre.

Picture Books, Tales Before Bedtime Juniors

Pencil Dog by Leigh Hodgkinson

Pencil Dog written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson

Now to share something for our younger book lovers. Pencil Dog is a stunningly illustrated picture book about ‘memory, remembrance, and how those who live on in us.’

With Pencil Dog ANYTHING is possible.

We have adventures together.

But I’ve noticed he’s getting smaller.

What if,

one day,

he disappears…?

A moving and inventive celebration of friendship and imagination from author-illustrator and co-creator of acclaimed TV series Olobob Top.

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Oh but this is SUCH a beautifully illustrated and charming story.  Full of bright colours, the warm and friendly art work make this an absolute delight to share with young book lovers.  The story is a gentle tale showing us that although loss can make us sad, there is still always something left behind of the people or things we miss.   Pencil dog fills this little girls life with fun, adventure and friendship and it’s hard when he disappears.  However she soon discovers that he is still there with her in other ways.  I love the way Leigh has used something relatable in Pencil Dog without causing too much distress or worry for our young readers.  A lovely, tender story filled with friendship, adventure and memories.

About the Author

Leigh Hodgkinson graduated from the University of Hull in 1998 with a first in graphic design. She went on to study Animation Direction at the National Film and Television School where she made two short animated films, Excess Baggage and Novelty. Novelty toured the world at festivals bringing home numerous awards. She is passionate about writing, making things and daydreaming.

Her picture books include Colin and the Snoozebox, Limelight Larry and Scrummy! She also co-created the hit CBeebie’s children’s television programme Olobob Top. Leigh lives and works in Lewis with her husband, animator Steve Smith, and their two young children,

Pencil Dog was published by Simon and Schuster in hardback on 7th February 2019 with the paperback edition following soon on the 13th June 2019.

Children's Fiction, Picture Books

Winnie and Wilbur: The Monster Mystery by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

Oh, how I love Winnie and Wilbur. I discovered them when my son was small and now he’s much bigger I still love reading them (I think he has a sneaky peek too).

The partnership between Valerie’s words and Korky’s illustrations works incredibly well. Korky’s rather stunning art work brings her characters and words alive. His illustrations are filled with humour and there is so much to look at, discuss and chuckle over on each and every page.

Some years back now, I saw him at a literary festival. He held the children captive and had both them and the adults in fits of laughter as he chatted and drew Winnie and Wilbur before our very eyes. It was incredibly memorable. I love his attention to detail and it never fails to amaze me when I look through the books. Winnie always looks rather wonderful in a swimsuit to my mind and her party dress in Happy Birthday, Winnie, is particularly marvellous

There are lots of books to choose from if you are new to these curious, charming characters but the latest offerings are a great place to start. They are just wonderful and I heartedly recommend them.

Winnie and Wilbur: The Monster Mystery

Winnie and Wilbur decide to explore

the MYSTERIOUS forest that surrounds

their home. They want to discover just

who has been leaving the STRANGE

FOOTPRINTS on their lawn. Their foray into the

FOREST is just the start of a WILD and WOODED

drama but will they solve the MYSTERY?

IT’S A PUZZLING

WINNIE AND WILBUR

ADVENTURE!

Here are THREE SPELLBINDING

WINNIE AND WILBUR

BOOKS IN ONE!

Winnie and Wilbur make every day

SPECIAL! An outing to the museum

turns into a DINOSAUR discovery,

they use MAGIC to make a birthday

party EXTRAORDINARY, and when they

fly over a ruined CASTLE it’s the start

of a thrilling day of MEDIEVAL mayhem.

Both books were published by Oxford University Press in paperback on 7th March 2019.

Christmas 2017, Young Adult Fiction

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Ten

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I first read this book three years ago now and it’s stayed with me ever since. Haunting and well crafted, this is a pretty special piece of YA fiction. It brought E.Lockhart to my attention and she is now one of my favourite YA authors. Edgy, gripping and at times shocking, this is one YA title that’s too good to miss.

We are the Liars. We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury. We are cracked and broken. It is a story of love and romance. It is a tale of tragedy. Which are lies? Which is truth?

This book actually made me gasp at the end, I just didn’t see it coming. Thoroughly recommended.

We Were Liars was published in 2014 by Hot Key Books