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This is the perfect place to find storybooks on animals from across the world - from wild animals to our household pets.
Jim has lived on a small tropical island since he was washed up there as a baby in a barrel of rum. There are no other humans on the island, but the animals there have done a very good job of bringing him up. The animals also run and maintain the island’s lighthouse, which has a dual purpose of keeping ships off the rocks and hiding the magical island altogether from the wrong eyes. They’re no ordinary animals you see, from Oskar the wise old orangutan, to Rafi the greedy raccoon and Maximus the millipede, they all play a part in keeping the island and Jim safe. Can they protect him though when pirates arrive set on reuniting the boy with his long-lost and not very nice father? The story is a wonderful mix of swashbuckling adventure and fun, the animals proving the best kind of family to have - brave, loyal, often a bit silly and always ready for a food fight. This will be much enjoyed by young readers – great illustrations by Ciara Flood too.
May 2022 Debut of the Month | Every page in this gloriously illustrated picture book exhorts readers to be wild and presents them with a series of unforgettable scenes to inspire them: a child carried on an elephant’s trunk, flying on the back of a swan, diving into the deepest blue. A text to stir the heart accompanies the illustrations and the final page leaves us standing with the child, arms flung wide under a sky full of stars. Truly beautiful, this is a book to summon up all that the world can offer and the possibilities in all of us for adventure, joy and discovery. Stunning.
Peppered with brain-flexing puzzles - mazes, spot the difference, code-cracking, numeracy challenges and logic games - that neatly complement the story, Tim Collins’ Sherlock Bones and the Case of the Crown Jewels kicks off a new sleuthing series in engaging style. It’s a terrific trio of story, activity, and artwork, with John Bigwood’s detailed, dandy illustrations adding to the fun. After musing, “I need a case that will challenge me…Something I can really puzzle over,” Sherlock Bones gets exactly what he wished for when the crown jewels are stolen from Kennel Palace. With the story narrated by Sherlock’s devoted sidekick Dr Catson, the detective duo must unravel numerous tangled leads, with tonnes of suspects to investigate and eliminate in their pursuit of the real criminal. Along the way, readers are invited to get into detective mode through solving puzzles, with the story driven by lively dialogue and plenty of whodunnit intrigue.
‘Just like all ring-tailed lemurs, Maki liked to bathe in the sun and huddle under the moon. BUT one thing Maki DIDN’T like to do, was LISTEN!’ Join Maki on his adventures through the Madagascan forest, where things may not be as they seem. Can clever chameleon, Sofina, help Maki to listen when it matters the most? For children, this charming story is about a loveable lemur who learns to listen. For adults, the text explores neurodiverity, demand avoidance & alternative parenting styles.
Longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2022 | Shortlisted for the Booktrust Storytime Prize | Perfectly pitched and re-assuring for parents whose child is being contrary, and interactive as children will love to join in with all Rabbit's 'Nos' and will want to read the book again and again.
Written by the nation’s favourite get-up-and-go fitness guru in collaboration with celebrated children’s writer Vivian French, Joe Wicks’ The Burpee Bears presents a blast of high-energy hijinks for families to read together, do together, and eat together - the book also contains fun physical exercises and recipes to help readers keep up the good work after the last page has been turned. Paul Howard’s illustrations are a blast of energy too - colourful, characterful, and dynamic. Meet the Burpee Bear family - from the moment they open their eyes, they get busy stretching and whirling before heading off on an adventure. Cue a whole lot of lively lunging, crawling and jumping, with Mummy and Daddy Bear’s infectious enthusiasm spurring young Bella, Frankie and Baby Bear (and readers) to enjoy getting active in the great outdoors. With a fun refrain to read (or yell) along with (“Are we ready? Are we steady? Let’s get cuddling/going/jumping/building!”), this is the perfect book to read together ahead of setting off on your own adventures, with tasty, healthy recipes to make on your return.
A special 10th anniversary edition of The Journey Home, the debut book by the first-ever UK recipient of the amazing 'Sendak Fellowship' and created with input from the great Maurice Sendak himself. It's the story of a polar bear who heads off in a boat looking for somewhere new to live and on the way he picks up other endangered friends including an orangutan, an elephant and a panda to name just three. It's a beautiful book, full of things for parents to talk about with their children as they read it.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2022 | A prize-winning picture book author and illustrator, Nadia Shireen is just as skilful at writing junior fiction, as this inventive, hilarious story shows. Fox siblings Nancy (the tough one) and Ted (the sensitive one) are forced to flee the big city for the countryside after Ted accidentally bites off pussycat boss Princess Buttons’ tail. Grimwood, where they find themselves, is a kind of paradise it seems, full of friendly if eccentric animal residents who love nothing better than a good game of treebonk. Ted feels right at home, Nancy needs convincing, but when Princess Buttons arrives, bent on revenge and armed with a Brain Zapper 3000, and their new friends step up to help, she changes her mind. It’s gloriously silly but still totally credible and a proper page turner, while Nancy and Ted are real characters. Watch out for the wonderful asides from woodlouse Eric Dynamite, and Princess Buttons’ comeuppance is an absolute treat!
So how will you sleep? by Annabel Gardiner and illustrated by Samantha Thorley is a delightful children's picture book. It is the ideal book to read to children at bedtime. Each page has a beautiful illustration. Young children will love the charming depictions of the different animals. The drawings are very detailed and have restful colours. Children will learn about the sleeping habits of several animals. The drawings will encourage further discussion about the animals and their habitats, so there is the potential for children to learn a great deal from this book. There also is a hidden caterpillar to search for on some of the pages. My favourite feature of this book is that the author skillfully presents the story in the form of a poem. The second and fourth lines of each verse rhyme, which makes the narrative flow at a good pace. Children will enjoy the gentle repetition and descriptive words. The text is quite entertaining. We see how and where a bat, a koala, an otter, a fox, a bee, a whale, and a polar bear sleep. The author asks if the reader will go to sleep like one of these animals. Will they be comfortable? The book ends with a good suggestion as to where a child should sleep! I highly recommend this lovely book for young children up to the age of about 5 years old. Susan Gibbs, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
In a gilded kennel lives a famous movie star named Mazy. While other dogs chase sticks at the park, Mazy chases her acting dreams. But then one morning Mazy's agent delivers bad news. They are only giving acting jobs to pedigrees now. Can Mazy embrace what it is that makes her special and find her perfect role?
From Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted Robert Starling comes this new tale about the incredible places books can take us. Astrid’s family has just moved in to the mouse hole in the bookshop on Maple Street, and none of her new classmates believes the incredible adventures she has with her family. But when she invites each of them to the bookshop, they’ll see that there is a big, exciting world of possibilities there, just waiting to be discovered . . .
Blaze the Phoenix is the third in a series of books set in a magical world of unicorns and dragons, running parallel with a normal world of family life and friendship. It follows the adventures of Rosie and Kat as they attempt to solve the mystery of a time turning phoenix in Starfall forest. The characters and creatures are imaginatively described, though if you have not read the previous books, you need a glossary to keep up with the fast developing plot! There is somewhat of an overload of creatures, magic crystals and flutterpuffs, all introduced quite quickly and a lot to absorb. The book is beautifully illustrated by Morgan Huff. What is clever is how Lockhart writes about the magical world seamlessly with the more mundane world of school, friendship, and the village fundraiser. The two worlds appear to blend quite effortlessly. Amidst the magic and adventure, there is also a more serious message, one of friendship, loyalty and growing up. As the two girls try to solve the mystery, they are learning valuable lessons in life skills and family life. Rosie is thought of as responsible and mature by the Magical Vet team but regarded by her parents and teachers as just a child. A feeling many young people feel as they are growing up. A fun, fast paced adventure story for all those animal lovers.
Every page in this gloriously illustrated picture book exhorts readers to be wild and presents them with a series of unforgettable scenes to inspire them: a child carried on an elephant’s trunk, flying on the back of a swan, diving into the deepest blue. A text to stir the heart accompanies the illustrations and the final page leaves us standing with the child, arms flung wide under a sky full of stars. Truly beautiful, this is a book to summon up all that the world can offer and the possibilities in all of us for adventure, joy and discovery. Stunning.
When Cherry Lost Terry by Penny Phillips and illustrated by Clare Mallison is a captivating children’s storybook written in limericks, with elaborate illustrations. The story opens with Anne the Antelope looking out to sea through her binoculars. This creates expectancy. What does she see? She and Billy Badger set off to investigate in his boat. Cherry the Cat jumps onto their boat from a passing ferry. She is searching for her friend, Terry, who fell overboard. We are kept guessing as to Terry's identity. We get a few clues along the way as we meet more and more animals who help in the search. The animal’s names charmingly all begin with the same letter as their animal species. They work together to help Cherry, which teaches children about helping others. The illustrations are gentle with restful colours and expressive animal faces. By the end of the book, it is night-time, Terry has been found and all the animals go to sleep. They are promised another adventure with Wayne the Whale the following day. Children, and those reading to them, will love the way the clever rhymes flow. The beautiful animal illustrations are also praise-worthy and will encourage discussion about animals. Susan Gibbs, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
April 2022 Book of the Month | Rigatoni the cat loves pasta. Linguini, penne, fusilli, he loves it all. He loves pasta in soup, lasagne, with tomato sauce. He even has a special pasta miaow, ‘Pastaaaaaaaa!’ But when his owners go away, neighbour George is left in charge, and he feeds Rigatoni ordinary cat food. It won’t do and Rigatoni sets out on a hunt for pasta, eventually finding his way to Paolo and Pieta’s Italian café. Michael Rosen knows just what makes young children laugh and the story is deliciously silly. It's also perfect for readers just beginning to read on their own with short chapters, even shorter sentences, lots of repetition and brilliant illustrations by Tony Ross. A very tasty tale.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Rio is sent to stay with his grandmother in California whilst his Mum is hospitalised back home in the UK. Unfortunately, Rio only met his grandmother 5 years ago so knows little about her or about the area she lives in the US. Grandmother Fran lives by the Pacific Ocean – so life becomes punctuated by the sound of the sea and waves breaking on the shore. Rio feels totally alone, away from friends and his usual surroundings. That is, until he meets Marina by chance on the harbour. Marina and her dad, Birch, live on a boat and run whale spotting trips for tourists. It is this and the finding of his Mum’s ‘treasure’ box that contains drawings of whales, and especially one who somehow seems to draw Rio in – an individual named White Beak – that helps give Rio a focus and a way back from feeling adrift. The story is totally engrossing – once I started reading I had to read it in one go! Gold writes about animal adventures in a completely natural way, combining lots of information with a strong story line and characters which evoke our empathy. It’s a story you can literally dive into, enjoying the vicarious thrills of spotting – and along the way – saving grey whales. As I read a proof copy I had no chance to see the illustrations from award winning illustrator Levi Pinfold – but, if the author/illustrator pairing is even half as good as Gold’s previous novel The Last Bear, then we are in for an absolute treat! A read that appeals to anyone interested in ecological themes.
One day Ebb and Flo find a bird sitting in their boat – in Ebb’s favourite spot! Flo invites the bird to join them, but Ebb isn’t so sure and wishes the bird would just fly away. But what happens when Ebb’s wish comes true? A seaside story of friendship with Ebb and Flo.
The first story in an illustrated magical adventure series from the bestselling author of the Unicorn Academy, brimming with drama and an environmental theme. The Keepers are a secretive tribe of little people who live in the middle of Whispering Woods, coming out at night to care for the countryside and rewild it when humans (or Ruffins as they know them) are careless with it. Young Keepers Cora and Jax have just finished school and are embarking on a trial, with several friends, to become fully-fledged Keepers. But their first venture out on their own ends in disaster when they become distracted with playing in the Ruffin children's playground instead of concentrating on the task they've been given. Can they ever be trusted to be Keepers in their own right? A brilliant new magical series perfect for 6-8 year olds combining animal rescue, nature conservation and adventure.
Shortlisted for the Books for Younger Children category, Children's Book Awards 2022 | | Spurred into action when her seagull friend gets poorly from eating plastic, young Stella is soon on a campaign for change. A beach clean up and plastic straw ban sparks her whole community into action and soon Stella is making a big impact. And it's not long before the little seagull and all its animal friends can live in a better environment.
It is evening and the big and little hedgehog are slowly making their way home. There is so much to see, and the little one wants to take it all in. Each step of the way the big hedgehog patiently asks, “What are we waiting for now?” The little hedgehog’s answers unfold in a series of lush landscapes as the two animals wait for the sun to set, for birds to fly by, for the moon and stars to appear, and for the world around them to prepare for sleep. At last, the little hedgehog is also asleep, carried home in the big hedgehog’s arms. Perfect for naptime, bedtime—or for any time that asks that we take a moment and slow down— Teckentrup’s signature combination of simple text and soothing illustration will appeal to readers young and old.
This delightful book by Leo Timmers follows Arnold the seafaring elephant on his journey to build a new home after a particularly boisterous wave sinks his boat. As always with Timmers, the books focuses on the collective, on everyone working together, no animal left behind. As the book progresses it becomes more exuberant, more colourful, more and more funny as Arnold's ideas become more and more outlandish. Arnold is so inventive, and you see the island he constructs piece by piece page by page and it's a pleasure to watch it all come together. A stunning fable for kindness and bringing people together, to be enjoyed again and again
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