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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 5+. At 5 many children are learning to read and this selection includes books to give children the opportunity to take off privately into worlds of their own. There are picture books and easy readers with a background of richer stories to further stimulate the imagination. All books are suitable for 5-6+. The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Suitable for 7+ year olds reading slightly below the average level and for 3+ ready to explore a more challenging read with the help of an adult.
Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2021 | The Klaus Flugge judges said: ‘A visual treat and the text and illustrations work very well together; it’s full of detail but never cluttered; pace is cleverly controlled; just the right balance of fun and fright!’. Flavia Z. Drago introduces us to Gustavo, a gorgeous little ghost who is so shy he’s literally invisible. Her folk-art style with its palette of orange and Rosa Mexicana creates a distinctive playground for Gustavo as he suddenly and unexpectedly makes new friends.
September 2021 Book of the Month | Warning: this is the kind of book you can get lost in. Open at random for a quick bit of browsing, and you’ll find yourself engrossed, turning page after page to absorb its assortment of marvellous facts and weird true stories. Whatever takes your fancy, whether it’s space, animals, sport, vehicles or words or numbers, you’ll find information herein to boggle the mind, all brightly and attractively presented across large colour pages. Fun to look at, fascinating to read, this will prompt all sorts of ‘Did you know …?’ conversations. Great fun!
September 2021 Book of the Month | The opening poem in Joshua Seigal’s sparkling new collection invites readers to ‘fill the world with words’, and he does a very good job of doing just that in poems that represent his audience’s world perfectly. Here are poems about classrooms, playtime, grandparents, chocolate biscuits – all just right to read aloud and deliciously easy to remember. There are poems that deliver jokes, poems that play with sense and their shape, poems that sneak in deeper meanings too as they describe familiar emotions. One thing is for certain, everyone will find a favourite in this collection, a poem they’ll want to read to someone else. It ends with a selection of Seigal’s tips for children on writing poetry and I think lots of readers will be inspired to add their own poems to the world as a result.
What a witty feast of sing-song verse and visuals this is. Chris Riddell’s vibrant characters whish and whoosh in rhythm with Neil Gaiman’s rambunctious rhymes to create a hearty banquet befitting a pirate crew. The swaggering story begins when a brother and sister are introduced to their babysitter, a certain scar-faced, grey-haired, peg-legged ship’s cook called Long John Mc Ron. Moments after their parents have left, Long John opens the door to an entire crew of hungry pirates, and so he does what any respectable ship’s cook would do – he cooks up “Pirate Stew! Pirate Stew! Eat it and you won’t be blue. You can be a pirate too!” With a rib-tickling twist that will send readers into fits of giggles, Pirate Stew is buccaneering blast of a book that demands to be read aloud, acted out and treasured like ill-gotten gains!
Inspired by the true story of a Chinese dancer, Yin Jianling’s The Visible Sounds is a unique, magical, affecting story of a little girl who finds a new world, and a remarkable new talent for dancing, after losing her hearing. At two-years-old, MiLi’s world falls silent due to an illness doctors can’t fix, but it’s not long before she realises that sound can be felt, touched and seen through understanding and interpreting vibrations and movement in the world. This realisation is expressed through a lyrical cornucopia of the senses: “sound is a warm wind gently brushing against cheeks and softening one’s heart…Language is a river, flowing and flooding into MiLi’s body. The river turns into musical notes, like little tadpoles swimming into MiLi’s heart.” Though pitched at young readers, the style has a piercing clarity that speaks just as well to older readers (and adults), and Yu Rong’s illustrations - blending stark, graphic style (the use of colour is exceptional) with detail - is the perfect partner for the text. Moreover, it’s sure to spread a glow of joy through children facing - and living with - disability, while also evoking empathy in those who are not.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2021 | A spoilt, lonely and unhappy child, Mary Lennox’s life in India is brought to an abrupt end when her parents die. Uprooted from everything she knows she is sent to live with an unknown relative in a cold and mysteriously sad house in Yorkshire. Mary cannot unlock the mystery but, with the help of Martha, the cheerful servant who looks after her, she begins to explore outdoors and in particular to discover a secret garden. The power of nature to unlock Mary’s unhappiness, especially when harnessed to the natural goodness of Martha’s brother Dickon is as delightful here as in the original. Equally moving is Mary’s influence on her invalid cousin Colin who she transforms into a happy and healthy son whom his father can love.
Testing friends’ and family members’ knowledge of birds, animals and insects is great fun with this clever riddle book, created by the team at National Geographic Kids. Pages of ‘What am I?’ questions are followed by pages with the answers, each illustrated with attractive colour photos of the relevant animals. The questions are intriguing, designed to get you thinking logically alongside those that are calling up remembered facts. Once thing’s for certain, you’ll learn lots of interesting information about lots of very different animals. Oh, and if you’re thinking about C*******s presents, this is definitely worth putting on a list!
From award-winning picture book funny-man Russell Ayto comes this laugh-out-loud tale of friendship and acceptance. Bush Baby is so lonely - nobody wants to be her friend. Giraffe thinks she's too small. She's not pink enough for Flamingo. Lion, however, thinks she is just right to be his friend. And he'd never be so rude as to eat a friend. Is Bush Baby very brave, very foolish, or just very, very lonely?
This comic picture book cleverly demonstrates the dangers of being swayed by popular opinion. New boy Peter is quickly branded the baddest boy in school and it does indeed seem that he’s given to doing naughty things. So when the school’s pet rat goes missing from his cage, everyone assumes Peter is responsible. Only one person knows the truth, and that Peter’s bad behaviour is not what it seems either. The book explores the dynamics of any classroom while also showing us that strange or different doesn’t equal bad and that categorising people on assumptions is never a good idea. Peter is a very charming little character, with his cape, fangs and lacy collar, and the story is beautifully told by its mystery narrator. Original, memorable, and lots of fun.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2021 | An inspiring and original book which encourages all readers to think like an artist and to think what it might be like to be an artist. Fittingly, through very visually creative illustrations and only a brief text, John introduces himself as an artist and then describes what that means. He thinks big about art as he looks at how art may be defined, the many different forms in which it may be created, where ideas for creating it can come from and simply but very perceptively, how difficult it can be to create. A book to inspire and savour.
Rabbit and Bear: Book 5 | Rabbit and Bear are back with another helping of adventure, humour and wisdom. Rabbit thinks Wolf is the most dangerous animal in the valley and with Bear’s help, sends him away. But something even bigger arrives, and it’s a lot meaner. Within minutes of strolling into their valley, the enormous Icebear has proclaimed himself king and taken Bear’s house for himself, declaring the other animals ‘food that no-one has bothered to eat’. What can they do? Even Bear is stumped when her usual methods of using kindness and friendship don’t work. Fortunately, Wolf knows just how to organise the animals into an effective fighting force. Every page brings something funny and insightful and the wintery woods look gorgeous in Jim Field’s illustrations. With its irresistible cast of characters and unforced messages of community and caring, this series is well on its way to becoming a classic. Superb.
Families come in all shapes and sizes and this cheerful picturebook celebrates that beautifully. Lily-May is sad when she learns Dad is going to move away, but Mum and Dad reassure her it’s going to be alright and soon she’s listing the positives of her new situation. She has more time with Mum and then, when Peter moves in, more grandparents to play with not to mention more noise when his young sons come to stay too. There are still some wobbles, but nothing that Mum and Dad can’t sort, and the final pages capture her birthday party, much more fun with her big fantastic family. Though the book is described as ‘a story about parents separating’, the emphasis is strongly on that big new family formed as a result, and it’s so positive and encouraging it’s just the thing to share with young children going through the same as Lily-May or to help explain a friend’s or other young family member’s new situation. The rhyming text is fun to read aloud and Ali Pye’s clear, bright illustrations will prompt lots of conversations.
Tilda’s life is just as she likes it until, suddenly, everything seems to be difficult. Nothing seems as it should be, everything is just upside down. How can Tilda get her life to turn the right side up again? Watching a ladybird struggle to get off its back gives Tilda a clue: if you want something, you just have to work at it! Slowly but surely she starts to put enjoyment back into her life and soon books are fun to read again and her friends welcome her back to play.
After a horrible dream, NAME 1(Child) feels that only a cuddle from NAME 2(Adult) will make things better. However, the cuddle isn’t quite enough, even when ALL the family join in. As it bursts out of their door, how far will this cuddle eventually stretch and will it make a difference? And could it become the LONGEST cuddle in the world??! “[Name 1] and [Name 2] and the Longest Cuddle in the World” is a beautiful, rhyming personalised book for 2 for ages 0-99. After a tough year of Covid separations, it's a touching story about how a cuddle can make all the difference to our fears and unite us all over the world. It is Tickled Moon’s 5th personalised book to date and the story has been uniquely written to be personalised throughout for a Child and Adult (or older Sibling). It also includes the names of 5 (or more) Family Members, the Child’s Teacher/Hero and their Hometown. And you can add a personal Dedication too. “The Longest Cuddle” is priced at £19.95 for a Softcover and £24.95 for a Hardcover and is available on Tickled Moon’s website. There you can preview the whole book with your personalisations and listen to the story read by the author, Alison Reddihough.
Following the success of children’s picture books Leap, Hare, Leap! and Swim, Shark, Swim!, Dom Conlon and Anastasia Izlesou tackle another natural phenomenon – the wind. As Dom writes: ‘Chase Wind through the oceans, fields and mountains as, from zephyr to gale, she carries seeds and stirs seas, enriching the world and breathing life’. Dom and Anastasia guide the reader through the journey of one gust of wind using rich poetic language and amazing illustrations. Blow, Wind, Blow! shows children how wind affects almost every aspect of our daily lives, moving windmills in Holland to irrigate land and crops, flying kites in Paris, sailing boats in the Pacific, creating sandstorms in Chad and Sudan and hurricanes in Florida before settling back down to the gusts we encounter at home.
From the inventive author-illustrator of the award-winning There’s a Bear on My Chair comes this smart sequel, and boy has Ross Collins delivered again. It’s a rollicking, rhyming, visually-pleasing treat in which it turns out that Bear isn’t terribly keen on getting a taste of his own medicine (to begin with, at least). The cause of Bear’s irritation is the presence of Mouse in his house (yes, the very same Mouse on whose chair Bear presumptuously sat in the first book). In Bear’s outraged words, “That rodent can’t live here, oh no! I’ll tell him that he has to go.” Of course, Mouse refuses to leave and proceeds to cause chaos in Bear’s house, before a mob of partying mice turn up. But then - the twist! – when Bear realises “Hey! These mice are nice!” With wonderful interplay between text, illustration and design, this is excellent for reading aloud - the kind of book that will have toddlers urging for it to be read again, and again (and again) while completing the rhymes before adults have chance to read them.
A magical, beautifully illustrated picture book about what it means to be a friend. Little Witchling lives alone in her mountain top and more than anything else, she wishes for a friend. So, when her spell-book tells her that the secret ingredient is the fur from a little girl's favourite teddy, she knows what she must do. But the teddy belongs to Lilly, who can't bear to part with him. Will Little Witchling give up her dream of a real friend? Or just maybe, is there a way for her and Lilly to make the wish come true, together? With a heartwarming rhyming text and breathtaking illustrations from Sarah Massini, this magical friendship story is perfect for little witches everywhere!
What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? After a day of being unable to speak when asked, and of being stared at, a boy and his father go to the river for some quiet time. It's just a bad speech day, says Dad. But the boy can't stop thinking about all the eyes watching his lips twisting and twirling. When his father points to the river bubbling, churning, whirling and crashing, the boy finds a way to think about how he speaks. Even the river stutters. Like him. I talk like a river, he says. An incredibly moving picture book that offers understanding rather than a solution, and which will resonate with all readers, young and old. Masterfully illustrated by Sydney Smith, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.
‘Charlie’s Ark’ written by Mike Payne, Illustrated by Adam Prescott and Mike Payne is a collection of stories following the events and adventures Charlie has with the magical new ark he’s inherited from his grandmother. There’s 24 different stories, all written in rhyme and based at different times of the year, making this a brilliant book to come back to again and again. Each poetic story has a soothing rhyme that would make this a great selection of bedtime stories. The soft pastel colours and the shorter length of each story also help to make this a brilliant bedtime read either for younger children to listen to, or older and more confident readers to read for themselves. Beautiful illustrations and beautiful stories. I think that this book will really appeal to young children. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Perfectly child-centred, Storm in a Jar tells the moving, honest story of loveable Arlo’s distress in the wake of his much-loved Nana passing away. After visiting her every Sunday, Nana’s no longer there, the jar of sweets she used to top up for him will never be refilled. So, Arlo keeps the jar with him, as a reminder of Nana. In time, his sadness turns to clouds of anger - the “jar felt heaver and filled with a moody sea” as he lashes out, needing to unleash his grief. Talking helps and, with the support of his teacher and family, Arlo navigates his way through the storm, and a beautiful new tradition begins. The storm in a jar metaphor is wonderfully evoked in words and pictures that speak deeply to young children struggling with the most difficult of emotions. As such, it’s a valuable practical tool for adults seeking to help children understand and manage loss and grief, and truly a support for children experiencing them.
Discover the joy of dancing and the importance of family, whatever your culture, ability or style with Luna! When Luna dances, she feels like the world's volume turns up, like all colours brighten, like sunlight sparkles behind every cloud. But when she takes her dance exam she ducks, dives, spins and... falls. Luna thinks she can't be a real dancer now. Can Luna's family convince her otherwise?
Having already read and thoroughly enjoyed 'Everybody Poops', I think that this text will once again have widespread appeal to children - (and adults) - especially those who are at an age when everything connected with bodily functions seems hilarious. The cover illustration showing the inside view of a house with various family members in the act of having a pee is an immediate draw and children will have fun spotting the dog who is also joining in. Having shown the reader a glimpse of our internal organs, the book goes on to reveal an eclectic mixture of people and animals having a pee in various settings. I was however a little surprised to see that males were depicted sitting down - surely for most men that is generally not the case - and wondered whether children would have any experience of seeing women wearing rollers in their hair nowadays. Despite that it is a great, fun book that I am sure would be reread frequently. It ends with the surprise that even the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa need to have a pee and I loved the fact that the author and illustrator are seen sitting on the loo too. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Amabassador
‘Eudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room Takeover’ by David Horn is an exciting space adventure with Math and Science at its heart. Eudora loves maths and science and is always wanting to use them to engineer new and exciting things on her home space-ship, Athena. Alongside the adventures (and trouble) that Eudora gets into while experimenting on the Athena, the story also focuses on honesty and responsibility. I think this is an entertaining space adventure that would appeal to 7-9 year olds. I liked that the main character of this STEM led story is a girl and I think these types of stories will help young girls reading them to feel more confident about being interested in maths and science. This is the first of a new series. I think young readers will find it entertaining and will enjoy the conversational and highly descriptive writing as well as the friendly and appealing illustrations. ‘Eudora Space Kid’ is the beginning of a fun sci-fi adventure series that will have wide appeal to younger readers. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
All brilliant picturebooks rely upon the interplay between words and pictures and this partnership of author and illustrator has very good form. Indeed, the acclaimed A Place to Call Home has a similar theme about discovering the world beyond, but in Ergo Deacon and Schwarz have produced a sublime and joyful mix of text, art and clever typography, which will stimulate endless discussion and read aloud requests. While not being at all a book about the COVID crisis, I think that this adds additional resonance for children (and adults) who can easily recall the time when they were literally shut inside. It also speaks to the universal self-absorption of young children and babies. Like them, the first discoveries Ergo makes are of herself. Her feet! Her wings! A demonstration of the principle that consciousness defines existence - I think therefore I am, as Descartes told us. But then Ergo discovers the boundaries of her world and enjoys pushing against these and making her world move and then her astonishment is unbound when she feels movement and noise from outside! The recognition that there may be other creatures like her and the sad thought that they might be forever separated is what spurs her determination to break out and achieve the joyful meeting with fellow fledgelings. What a perfect allegory for recognising that we all need other people and that there is a wonderful world out there if you are brave enough to explore. A perfect introduction to philosophy with the most apposite title ever- not only a word that means therefore, but one which sounds perfectly eggy too! An absolute must have for classrooms and homes.
From the team which brought you the critically acclaimed If All the World Were… we have an inspirational story about finding your voice, both literally and metaphorically. The lyrical text and expressive images capture the intense anxiety of the shy protagonist who never speaks in school and also the transformative power of a good teacher. The illustrations show us the colour, vivacity and joy which Miss Flotsam brings to the classroom and the creativity which she inspires. Getting the child engaged in responding to poetry is the first step into unlocking her feelings and revealing what she needs to say. Gradually and cleverly building confidence and ensuring a nurturing atmosphere in the classroom, Miss Flotsam supports the child until she is ready to read her words aloud. The visual representation of creativity is so well done and is a perfect match for the carefully considered words. This lovely story has a powerful message of resilience, courage and determination and will encourage all children to unlock their potential.
Have you ever wondered how a forest gets started? With huge trees growing up close and dense undergrowth covering the ground, their scale is so mighty that it is hard to think that they could ever have been small. Are they man made? Did an enormous giant or a massive business enterprise put them there? In a gentle and elegant story matched by simple, evocative illustrations Who Makes a Forest? helps children explore the multi-faceted ecosystem that sustains the many forests that cover so much of the earth’s surface. From the soil, made from the decay left by tiny clinging plants such as lichen and the insects that feed on them, through the first flowers that grow in that soil and the butterflies and bees and birds that feed off them to the massive trees and shrubs that we see today all stages of forest growth are covered. The book ends with 5 pages of useful facts about forests.
Eric and Terry Fan are renowned author illustrators with such gems as The Night Gardener and the Kate Greenaway shortlisted Ocean Meets Sky. For this collaboration they have been joined by brother Devin for the first time. Stunningly beautiful images are what we have come to expect, and this is no exception. The enticing, mysterious cover spotlights a little creature in a bell jar. Beneath the jacket the cover looks like a blackboard covered with code, double helixes and creature sketches. The endpapers are design files to start and shelves of completed products at the end. We know then that this is about creating things. We meet our little creature again and we are shown the contrast between the naturalistic wold and an ordinary shop – Perfect Pets- on an ordinary street, but far below there is an underground world and a laboratory where they make the perfect pets and where they put the Failed Projects like Barnabus. Alerted of impending recycling doom, by his friend Patrick the cockroach, who has been entrancing him with stories of the natural world above, Barnabus and fellow Failed Projects work together on a daring and thrilling escape and find refuge hiding in plain sight in a nearby park. Being a team and supporting each other is crucial to their success. A multi-layered story that will appeal to a wide range of ages and prompt much discussion and debate about ethics and freedom. In a world where young people are constantly bombarded with social media that promotes artificial standards of perfection, this empowering fable has an important message to share.
The Mr Men and Little Miss are having a festive contest to find the best decorated Christmas house! Little Miss Splendid and Mr Tall are judging the competition and are at the lighting up of each house, but there are many surprising choices of decorations and some that haven't gone quite as planned! Who will be the winner this year?
Join the Mr Men and Little Miss for a day at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market! Mr Tickle can't wait to visit the Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair. There will be plenty of treats, ice skating and sleigh rides. But most of all Mr Tickle can't wait to visit the crowds and tickle as many people as his arms can reach!
A tender, funny tale celebrating all forms of love from award-winning and bestselling author-illustrator duo Mac Barnett and Carson Ellis. What is love? a young boy asks. I can't answer that, his grandmother says, and so the boy goes out into the world to find out. But while each person he meets-the fisherman, the actor, and others-has an answer to his question, not one seems quite right. Could love really be a fish, or applause, or the night? Or could it actually be something much closer to home? A CLASSIC LOVE STORY: A wonderful narrative voice and spectacular pictures give this book the feel of a modern classic. A BOOK THAT KIDS AS WELL AS PARENTS WILL ENJOY: This book begins from the child's perspective, and it's funny and unexpected in ways that children can relate to, while being thoughtful in ways that adults will appreciate. A STORY GRANDMOTHERS WILL LOVE: The boy's grandmother is an essential part of this story. Grandmothers everywhere will appreciate what this book says about their wisdom and affection. A BOOK ABOUT FINDING YOURSELF: The boy's journey takes him to many different people, whose descriptions of what love means to them is very much about how they see themselves and their lives. A GREAT READ-ALOUD: The engaging text is full of surprises and the distinctive voice of the narrator invites audiences to respond. STAR TALENT: Mac Barnett is a New York Times bestselling author and Carson Ellis is a Caldecott Honor-winner and illustrator of some of the most interesting and beautiful children's books published today.
Follow a herd of elephants across the savannah as they trek to water, guided by the matriarch's memories of more verdant times gone by. Told in gentle rhyming verse, this is a follow-up to What Did the Tree See? from the same team. There is lots of extra non-fiction content on African elephants, the challenges of habitat loss and poaching, how rangers and elephant orphanages are helping, and what we can do to help too.
A Children's Anthem | After the triumph of her performance at the inauguration, this first picture book from poet Amanda Gorman has been hotly anticipated and it certainly does not disappoint! The combination of the lyrical writing with the luminous illustrations from the acclaimed Loren Long, is a marriage made in heaven. From the first page, where we meet the young girl with her guitar, centre stage on a white page and she announces “I can hear change humming/ In its loudest, proudest song./ I don’t fear change coming,/ And so I sing along,” we are swept along by her gentle, quiet confidence. The second spread is a glorious technicolour image of an inspiring community mural of Martin Luther King and we see her meet a light skinned boy carrying a tuba. She offers him a rubbish bag and together they begin to clear litter from the park. As page follows page they continue to reach out to others, “though it might take some courage” and to model little acts of kindness: feeding the destitute, delivering groceries to an elderly person, constructing a ramp for a disabled child and all the time building the song, gathering instruments and changing their community for the better; building towards a glorious symbolic mural of their own. We end as we began with our narrator on a white page, this time looking directly at us with an invitation to carry the song onwards and leaving the reader with a belief in collective action for positive change. Powerful words and images that repay multiple visits and leave an indelible impression. A must have addition to school collections and children's bookcases.
Harold Philip Snipperpot is turning seven years old. He's never had a real birthday party. His parents are too grumpy. But this year is going to be different. Thanks to an amazing man named Mr. Ponzio, something incredible is going to happen on Harold's birthday - and it's going to be absolutely extraordinary. Full of surprises, every animal imaginable, and magical moments galore, Harold Snipperpot's Best Disaster Ever is a rumbustious exploration of the ways in which good things can emerge from disaster.
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