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Dot isn't like the other dogs: she doesn't like going out for walks, and she doesn't like going to the park. Her favourite thing is staying at home with her favourite toy and best friend, Peep. But when Peep goes missing under the garden fence, Dot might have to venture out into the world...
There is nothing more exciting than having a dog; your own best friend to play with and in Easy Peasy Awesome Pawsome, the UK’s no.1 dog trainer, Steve Mann, teaches children how to train, play and have fun with their new poochy pal. Steve shares the passion he had when he was a child growing up with dogs and fires up that same passion in a new generation of children. Speaking directly to boys and girls of all ages, this is THE must-have book for any family with a dog and kids living under the same woof – ahem – roof.
Stuck inside and feeling blue with nothing do to? No problem! With a dash of imagination, everyone’s home and outdoor objects can be transformed into the stuff of adventures, as toddler Tilly and puppy Toby discover in this charismatic picture book that wears its message on its sleeve - “all the fun of outside was already inside their minds”. With Toby confined to the house on account of his poorly paw, and Tilly stuck inside due to a brewing storm, both of them are feeling pretty despondent. Toby paces back and forth by the door while Tilly gazes sadly outside at the “dark, gathering clouds,” until Toby brings her his lead and she’s struck by inspiration. Together they explore every nook and cranny of their house for “all their outdoor belongings,” discovering lots of toys they’d long forgotten about, from roller skates and balls, to bicycles and an old paddling pool. These objects are quickly transformed into the “most amazing, astounding, and spectacular Dog-Walking, Storm-Protecting Machine,” no less! I loved the retro soft-but-scratchy illustrative style that put me in mind of the original 1970s Topsy and Tim books, and the book’s message of having adventures at home has resonance beyond its current COVID-19 relevance - it’s a perennial theme, here delivered through an upfront story with enduring visual charm.
Gizmo the dachshund has moved to the country. He didn’t really want to, but where Grannie goes, he goes. However, life in the village of Puddle, unprepossessing as it sounds, turns out to be rather exciting. He makes friends with next door neighbour Jilly the Irish wolfhound and before you know it is helping her find new owners near to home for her four puppies. It’s a real challenge, and the other village dogs can’t come up with a solution, but then Gizmo has a brilliant idea, one that uses his unique skills, learned at the foot of Grannie’s typewriter (she was a journalist). It’s highly entertaining, the illustrations – in full colour – are very appealing and this is great for children ready for solo reading.
What a wonderful story! Robin finds solace in the tale of a cat called Red. We follow Red through his adventures to find a home, and what scary adventures they are. It is beautifully written and with perfect drawings and sketches. Well recommended - a joy to read. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Little h Dog longs to do what other dogs do but his weak muscles, which are becoming increasingly weaker, prevent him from doing so. His owner, Big H, is determined to support him and does so by seeking out the best canine experts, holding charity events and featuring on TV programmes. He eventually receives help from the Supervet who constructs a special set of wheels for him, enabling him to run about in the fresh air. It is difficult to read this little book and not feel moved. It is dedicated to a special boy whom the reader surmises is Harrison. In the story Harrison is the 'real little h dog' and his father, Alex is the 'real Big H'. 100% of the profits are going to Harrison's Fund, a charity that is dedicated to research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Cartoon-like illustrations are used, together with bold and distinctive font that focuses upon the visual aspect of words such as 'sniff their bottoms', 'run rings' and 'hope'; this has quite a powerful effect upon the reader. At the end of the story, we are encouraged to share reviews and visit the charity website. There is also the incentive of a free colouring book. My heart goes out to all those who were involved in the production of this book and I do hope that it is well supported. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Bertram and Alan are best friends and live next door to each other. Bertram is very tidy whilst Alan lives in a bit of a mess! Bertram feels there is something missing in his life and decides to get a cat. Pierre is a very superior cat – one that Bertram feels will fit in his life perfectly. The only problem is that Pierre has other ideas! He is not keen on eating out of his special bowl – and likes to go next door and eat Alan’s scraps, curl up on Alan’s old coat, and cuddle up with Alan whilst he watches the TV. So, Alan gives Bertram his old coat, and Bertram starts to leave Pierre scraps on the table - but there is still something missing! The two neighbours come up with an ingenious solution – illustrating that friendship can overcome even the contrariness of cats! A tale of friendship and cooperation illustrated in a lovely free-flowing style, full of colour. The double spreads of the book illustrate the difference between the two friends – with the spick and span Bertram’s home on one side and the mess and disorganisation of Alan’s on the other! The comparisons will keep children studying the pictures for a long time. There is a great deal to see in all the spreads, and readers will enjoy the many different things they can pick out!
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.
Even among lovable children’s book characters, Furry Purry Beancat is in a class of her own. A beautiful, beautifully furry little pussy cat with the pinkest nose and the fluffiest tale, she has some very exciting adventures. Sometimes you see, when Beancat goes to sleep, she’ll wake up somewhere completely different and in another one of her nine lives and that’s when she knows an adventure is about to happen. In this story, she’s a railway cat – what could be better? And she’s arrived at the station in very interesting times – there are unscrupulous thieves targeting the passengers and they’re in cahoots with enemy spies up to no good. Fortunately, Beancat is not one to panic and with the help of a great supporting cast, including Yorkie the talkative cockatoo, she’s able to save the day and the life of her new friend, Polly. It’s beautifully told for young readers, a mix of excitement and charm and the illustrations by Rob Biddulph are purr-fect too. Funny, exciting and thoroughly charming.
If you’ve ever looked at a furry ball of purry cat asleep in the sunshine and wondered what they are getting up to in their dreams, then you’ve got something in common with Philip Ardagh. In these exciting, comic and purr-fectly written little adventures, he imagines his feline star, Furry Purry Beancat exploring one of her other eight lives while asleep. In the first story, she finds herself on a pirate ship, a pirate ship’s cat. She arrives at a particularly exciting moment too as the ship is under attack from fellow pirates. With her captain locked up in his cabin, things look bleak, but Furry Purry Beancat soon discovers that the ship’s rats are a resourceful bunch and together they turn the tide in favour of their own pirate crew. It helps that one of the opposing pirates, a huge chap called Ten-Tun, falls for Beancat, but really, who wouldn’t? The little story is packed with incident and adventure as well as some gloriously comic moments thanks in the main to the young rats. It’s irresistible reading, made even more so by fabulous black and white illustrations by Rob Biddulph. All in all, this is a real treat, and it’s great to know that there will be eight more Furry Purry Beancat stories to come.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2020 | Penny, the notorious dog-napper, has a host of dogs already but there is one very special dog she is determined to get her hands on. Quick, clever, a master of disguise and very good at problem solving, he is the dog she wants. And he is covered in spots so should be easy to find. Penny’s assistant Pat sets out to find the dog. Can the dog-nappers catch their prize or will they be outwitted by the super-smart dog? Emma Lazell’s energetic and vivid illustrations inject this simple story with great energy.
This book offers a fun and quirky introduction to famous artists, writers and scientists, via their pets. We learn a great deal about Sigmund Freud for example through the story of his beloved chow chow Jofi, who was present in his owner’s famous treatment rooms for seven years. Similarly, it’s much easier to identify with Isaac Newton once you know about his little dog, Diamond, or Henri Matisse as you learn about his cats Minouche, Coussi and la Puce. Some of the pets of course are interesting in their own right too – the crocodiles Dorothy Parker kept in her bath, or Charles Dickens’ talking raven Grip, who stars in Barnaby Rudge and also inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. There are full page illustrations of each pet and owner and opposite a page of lively, accessible information about the pair and their relationship. Unusual, handsomely illustrated and inspiring.
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