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.

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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.

Christmas 2017, Picture Books

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Eight

The Magical Ice Palace by Suzanne Smith & Lindsay Taylor

Illustrated by Marnie Maurri

Now this is a wonderful picture book for those who live adventures, wintery fun and doodling.

img_20171219_2324501244307660.jpgDoodle Girl and her friends are having a wonderful ride aboard a Magical snowflake when…

TRUMPETY TOOT!

… they discover a Mammoth Prince wobbling and wobbling on top of a mountain!

Luckily, Doodle Girl is ready with her Magic pencil to help, but can they get to the ICE PALACE in time for the Mammoth’s royal part?

And once you’ve enjoyed the bright, colourful and fun illustrations there is a fabulous poster sized colouring sheet full of wonderful doodles to colour in.IMG_20171219_232307

The Magical Ice Palace was published in October 2017 by Simon and Schuster

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Christmas 2017, Picture Books

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Seven

Day Seven

I’m going back to a picture book for this one and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s by Kate DiCamillo, author of titles such as Ramie Nightingale and Flora & Ulysses and illustrator, Jaime Kim

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim.

La La La

“La La La…La”

A little girl stands alone and sings,

but there’s no response.

So, gathering her courage and her curiosity,

She skips out into the world,

calling to the trees,and the pond and the reeds..

But will anyone sing back to her?

This is a book where the pictures literally tell the story. A story about loneliness and finding the courage to find your voice, step out into the world and connect with it. It’s a beautiful, gentle story with the most sublime illustrations that add warmth and tenderness. This is a book to share with your little ones, a book to talk about and look for the meaning in. “What is she doing? What is she feeling? How has she overcome that?”

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim was published in October 2017 by Walker Books.

Just wonderful and to finish a few words from Lovereading4kids expert reviewer, Andrea Reece:

There’s no need for extra words to tell this story, children will understand exactly the girl’s need to be heard, seen and answered; impeccably told, it’s a story that speak to us all. ~ Andrea Reece, Lovereading4kids

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Three

Day Three

Magnificent Birds illustrated by Narisa Togo

Walker Studios is an imprint of Walker Books. They produce the most stunning books that will mark the perfect gift for book lovers. The quality and finish is beautiful and perfectly compliment the talent of the illustrators and authors whose work is captured within. These are books that are a joy to pick up and read.

Magnificent Birds is filled with the most amazing illustrations from Tokyo born Marisa Togo whose lino-cut prints capture the beauty and magnificence of these incredible birds. Perfect for both art and bird lovers alike. Young and old.

IMG_20171203_185056From the bird-of-paradise that performs it’s extravagant courtship dance, to the godwit that makes the longest flight without stopping, discover incredible birds from all over the world. Explore the long-living, the rare and the spectacular, and celebrate the truly magnificent birds of our planet in this gloriously illustrated gift edition.

 

Magnificent Birds was published on the 2nd of November by Walker Studio.

Discover more about Narisa Togo here.

Discover more about Walker Books here.