2+, 3+, Bedtime Stories, Picture Books

Moon River: There’s Such a Lot of World To See illustrated by Tim Hopgood

Based on the song by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini

Follow a little girl on a magical journey along the Moon River. It flows from her bedroom and out into the big wide world just waiting to be discovered. She’s soon to be joined by other children who are all excited to be exploring the beautiful world together. There is such a lot of world to see!

Moon River is a song composed by Henry Mancini with Lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It recieved an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its performance by Audrey Hepburn in the iconic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)


This is a stunningly illustrated picture book inspired by the words of the classic song Moon River. As with all picture books the illustrations bring so much more to the story as we see a young girl’s dreams take her on a journey aboard her trusty rocking horse with Ted as her companion. Together they explore the world looking for the ‘same rainbow’s end…waiting round the bend’. Their journey is gentle and Tim has created beautiful, soft illustrations that are perfect to explore together as you unwind ready for a dream-filled sleep and your own adventures. There is also an accompanying CD which is perfect for those of us who still have a CD player at both home or in the car. Brilliant to avoid having to use yet another App or download. The CD has the original song sung by Andy Williams (rather lovely to put on after you’ve shared the story) and a audible version of the story with page-turn prompts (I find this can be useful as your children begin to explore books alone or again if you’re travelling in the car).

Overall a beautifully illustrated picture book that is perfect for sharing with little ones at bedtime and could well become an often returned to classic in itself.

Moon River by Tim Hopgood is available in hardback and paperback and should be available from all good book shops. For more information visit the Oxford University Press Website here.

You can follow Oxford University Press Kids on Twitter at @OUPChildrens

To find out more about illustrator Tim Hopgood and his fantastic selection of children’s books, please visit his website here.

You can also follow Tim on Twitter at @TimHopgood

Paperback ISBN: 9780192746405

Hardback ISBN: 9780192746399

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.


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.