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Framed in the context of a sweet grandfather telling a favourite tale to his library-loving granddaughter, Polly Ho-Yen's The Boy Who Grew a Tree is a pitch-perfect charmer for 5+ year-olds wondering what it will mean to have a new sibling. It’s also a beautiful book about the magic of nature, stories and libraries, and the coming together of a community, with Sojung Kim-McCarthy’s softly emotive illustrations adding further beauty and depth. Timi has always loved growing things, and now his mum is growing something too – his baby sister. While he imagines his sister “to be like one of his seedlings”, at the same time it was almost “impossible to believe there really was a baby in his Mum’s tummy”. Amidst this confusion, as the arrival of his little sister draws ever closer, Timi discovers something rather strange and magical in his local library – the little green shoot of a tree, which grows to an incredible size after he tends and waters it. Sadly, though, the library is due to close, but perhaps Timi, his friends, and the magic of the tree can convince the grown-ups to change their plans and protect both the tree and the library. Exquisitely simple and stirring, this will be a delight to share.
Albert is desperate to get a pet, so he’s really excited when Dad finally brings one home. There’s just one problem: it’s a potato. Potatoes can’t do anything a proper pet does . . .can they?! A funny story with a sweet, green-fingered resolution for any child who’s ever begged their parents for a pet!
Created in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this bright, appealing and interactive board book is a perfect way to inform the very young about the wonders of fruit and vegetables. In the garden, vegetables are sprouting; we can see their leafy tops. ‘What could they be?’ asks the text. Lift the sturdy flap – just right for little fingers – and there are parsnips, potatoes are carrots growing underground. On the following pages, we can lift flaps to discover more about things growing in the greenhouse, the orchard and inside the net cage, while the final flap reveals the special things growing in the pretty greenhouse, including bananas, pineapples and papayas. The cheerful illustrations are true to life and lovely to look at, and there are mini-beasts and brightly coloured flowers to spot and name on every page too. Part of a series of (very) first information books, this will be lovely to share with little children and will teach them so much about the food they eat.
The Editor at Nosy Crow says: "This stunning book is packed full of inspirational activities that any family can enjoy. A seasonal structure means that there’s always something to do – from recipes to crafts to gardening – at every time of year, while beautiful illustrations and a vibrant text make this is a book to be treasured for years to come.”
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 Information Books 3-14 | 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.
Imbued with infectious personal passion as it shares expert information and plenty of practical guidance, Vicki Hird’s Rebugging the Planet is a brilliant book for bug-lovers of all ages and, given bugs’ vital importance to the upkeep and well-being of Planet Earth (let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge the fact that bees contribute more to the UK economy than the Queen), it deserves to be enjoyed and implemented far and wide - at home, and in classrooms too. In fact, this is perfect for reading and implementing during longer holidays from school, or over the course of a term, especially chapter four which presents an extensive range of how-to ideas for re-bugging your own patch of the world. But back to the beginning. The book sets out its inspirational stall in the opening chapters by explaining all the vital things bugs do for us, among them pollinating plants, feeding birds, feeding humans, defending our food crops, cleaning our water, controlling pests, and healing us. Maggots, for example, can remove (munch) and disinfect rotting flesh, leeches can stop clots, and the honey made by bees has anti-inflammatory properties. To play a role in the author’s re-bugging initiative, readers might find themselves inspired to build a bug palace, buy bug-friendly food from bug-buddy farmers, and much more. This is packed with plenty of ways to live a bug-better life, which in turn means living on a better planet.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | This perfectly told story is rooted in family love. Blossom is missing her grandparents, who died recently, and within weeks of one another. She’s also worried that her parents are going to split up: running her grandma’s flower stall is putting lots of pressure on her mum, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Blossom can’t bear the thought of her parents separating, but she loves the Peacham Garden Flower Market too. Like her plants however, Blossom’s family find a way to grow through all the problems, and they become even stronger. Laura Dockrill tells the story with a sweetness and a simplicity - the book is published by Dyslexia specialists Barrington Stoke - but there’s real depth to this exploration of family relationships, resilience and community. Illustrations by Sara Ogilvie add to its appeal and this is a book readers will return to again and again.
How many wonderful things start with time, with looking up and the imagination? That’s how treehouses start, according to this beautiful and inspiring picture book. As each page turns, we explore a different treehouse in the company of groups of little children, excited, happy, working together. And the treehouses, how wonderful are they? The one shaped like a pirate ship, the one with the huge built-in bookcase, the ones high up amidst the stars in the sky, all extraordinary, all for children only, places in which to dream and explore. It’s a book that repays multiple readings with each spread full of detail and joy.
Pip and Posy are enjoying the garden in their different ways. Pip is doing some gardening, Posy is having fun. For Posy, having fun means making noise, lots of it, which doesn’t go down well with Pip’s new friend, a snail – poor Posy! Except that, when the snail urgently needs some help, Posy is just the person to supply it. It’s a funny, beautifully observed story about difference, individuality – and the near-impossibility of being quiet if you’re someone like Posy (and lots of little readers will be). As ever, Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are full of vitality and detail. Pip’s snail is wonderfully expressive, in or out of his shell, and the garden they all share is bright, colourful and welcoming. A perfect book to share with the under-fives.
Rows of adorable little veggies tuck themselves up for the night in their flower beds in this charming and whimsical picture book. The potatoes are closing their eyes, the tired-out tomatoes humming lullabies, and the little aubergines are already dreaming, after all, nothing’s more exhausting than growing day and night. The text is short and its rhythm and rhymes make it just right for bedtime reading while the pictures of the vegetables, cosy and smiling in their beds, will set the liveliest toddler in the mood for sleep. A worm tunnels through each page and at the book’s end he too is stretched out for the night fast asleep, his one shoe lined up tidily at the foot of the bed. Gorgeous!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2021 | Filled with curious and intriguing illustrations and with an original text filled with unusual and fascinating facts, this handsome, large format picture book takes a completely new look at vegetables. Accompanying each vegetable, or sometimes a pair of vegetables as with a carrot and a parsnip which are similar although they are described as ‘an odd couple’, there is an elegant text telling something of the history of how each one comes to be on our tables, something of how each one grows and something about the traditions about how we eat them. The delights in this book are perfect for sharing for all ages.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2020 | 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.
Rob Ramsden is an exciting new arrival on the picture book scene and We Planted a Pumpkin is a really lovely book, just the thing to get young children excited about nature, eager to plant seeds and see them grow. It stars two very young gardeners and follows them through the process of planting a pumpkin seed, from watching and impatiently waiting for it to grow as the seasons change. The children bring liveliness and action to every scene, but there’s always lots going on – new shoots appearing, mini-beasts flying in and out. Though it feels beautifully simple, it’s actually chockful of information and opportunities for learning. A gorgeous book to share with the young and likely to be the start of many adventures in the garden.
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