2+, 3+, 5+, 7+, Poetry, Review, Summer Reads

Dinosaur Poems: A selection of verses and rhymes with real bite! By John Foster and Korky Paul

If you thought dinosaurs were extinct, then think again! They live on in the stomping, chomping, growling, howling poem collection. So if you’re looking for poetry with a prehistoric twist, look no further than this sensational selection.

Poet John Foster was an English Teacher for twenty years but has been compiling poetry anthologies since 1979 and has written twelve of his own. He has a website crammed with poetry and inspiration and well worth a visit. Dinosaur Poems is an anthology of poems entirely about dinosaurs. It’s a fantastically funny and informative collection of rhyming poems that are perfect for reading aloud. I particularly loved ‘Ten Dancing Dinosaurs’ and ‘The Bookoceros or Ancient Thesaurus’.

The illustrations to accompany this fine collection of dino poems are provided by the rather wonderful Korky Paul (you may have enjoyed his work on the Winnie & Wilbur series). I adore his illustrations. They are filled with humour and interesting details that bring the words alive and adds another dimension to reading the poetry (I particularly love the bunny slippers for ‘Dinosaur Stomp’). There is always plenty to point at with Korky’s illustrations!

This is a brilliant little book of poetry. It is paperback and size wise is about the size of an A5 notebook. There are 21 poems to share and once you’ve finished reading them why not have a go at writing your own. 🙂

Dinosaur Poems is published by Oxford University Press Children’s Books. It was originally published in Hardback back in 1993 but is now available in paperback with Korky’s fabulous illustrations.

The paperback ISBN no is: 9780192767486 and should be available from all good book shops. For more information why not check out the publisher website.

Thank you so much to the lovely team at OUP for sending me a review copy. I absolutely loved it.

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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.

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

Picture Books

Picture Book Heaven…

Publisher Simon & Schuster have a wonderful selection of picture books which are just perfect for storytime anytime of the day. Bright, colourful and with engaging characters, these are sure to capture your little ones imagination.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Alison Ritchie & Marisa Morea

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A riotous, rhyming countdown to Christmas with adorable dogs leaping from every page.

A delightfully doggy take on the twelve days of Christmas, this fun, beautifully illustrated picture book is filled to the brim with perfect pooches. With one excited little pub, ‘three drooling Dalmatians’ and ‘six sausage-snaffling Scotties’ and many more besides, this will be a perfect book to share with young dog lovers.

Children will love picking their favourite dogs and spotting the puppy in busy scenes. This hilarious picture book is a great way to introduce children to Christmas traditions.

Published in paperback: 5th October 2017

Price: £6.99

The Magical Ice Palace by Suzanne Smith & Lindsay Taylor

Illustrated by Marnie Maurri

9781471123191Doodle Girl uses her magic pencil to create adventures by transforming doodles into fantastical lands, full of amazing animals!

On their latest outing, Doodle Girl and her friends find a curly, curvy shape. What is it supposed to be? Whilst trying to work it out, they find a sad, lonely mammoth high up on a mountain. What’s he doing there? Will Doodle Girl be able to help him? And what is the curly, curvy shape going to be?

Talented trio, Suzanne Smith, Lindsay Taylor and Marnie Maurri have created an original and fresh character in Doodle Girl, who exudes positivity and encourages creative thinking. With a giant, free doodling poster included inside, this book is full of creativity and fun for all to enjoy.

This is such a charming, pretty picture book, which celebrates the power of drawing and the illustrators who bring the words to life. Doodle Girl is incredibly endearing, feisty and brave. She made me want to go grab a magic, red pencil and create my own fantastical lands and adventures. A wonderful tribute to both books AND those oh so important illustrations. – Oh and it comes with the most amazing giant poster to colour in. This would be the perfect gift for any little readers who love to draw and especially those who lack a little confidence with their drawing.

Published in paperback: 19th October 2017

Price: £6.99

Evil Pea Rules! by Sue General & Paul Linnet

9781471144066_JacketFrom bestselling, award-winning duo Sue General & Paul Linnet comes the story of the much-loved Supertato’s nemesis…the Evil Pea. It’s all very well being a superhero and saving the day…but what if there was no one there to cause the chaos? To provide these heroes with their chance to shine? Would we even need superheroes?! Fortunately, this isn’t something we will have to worry about any time soon. The Evil Pea is BACK! And this time he has his biggest, most dastardly plan yet to take over the supermarket…

Evil Pea escapes the confines of the freezer and tries to cause madness and mayhem in the supermarket. Will Supertato save the day?

I absolutely love Evil Pea and the frosty chaos he tries to unleash on the other vegetables and fruit. There is a distinctly festive feel to this latest adventure making it perfect in the run up to Christmas. I think even the naughty, little pea found a little Christmas spirit in the end (or should I say in HIS rear-end – tee hee 😋.)

Published on: 2nd November 2017

Price: £6.99

Words and your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

41gv2McsjML._SX428_BO1,204,203,200_Your words are amazing!

This book is about your heart.

The little bit inside of you that makes you, you!

A very timely book about the power of words – and how we use them. Told through the eyes of Pip and Cat, this book beautifully demonstrates the importance of what we say – both positive and negative. Thoughtful, warm-hearted and completely non-preachy, this is a book that has already resonated with large numbers of children, whose teachers report a sea of change in the culture of their classroom after reading it.

A universal message, for a world that always needs a little more kindness.

This is an absolutely stunning book. The design and layout is just beautifully executed, the illustrations perfectly complimenting the text have a wonderfully memorable impact. The message is simple yet powerful and expresses the effect our words have on those around us. It’s about empathy, compassion and how each and every one of us can make the world a little better, a little happier. This is a book I think every child should read.

Published on: 2nd November 2017

Price: £6.99