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Rabunzel

Rabunzel
Gareth P Jones
Loretta Schauer
Egmont Picture Books
Age 3+

Will she live hoppily ever after?
This book is so much fun and perfect for spring which is just within reach!

A silly, colourful twist on the traditional fairytale or Rapunzel this created much delight at storytime!

Set in Furry Tale Hill lives Rabunzel who has very long ears. Rabunzel’s mother worries about her so she decides to put her somewhere safe away from the scary creatures who live in the deep dark wood.

Rabunzel, Rabunzel, let down your ears! Shouts her mum whenever she wants to bring her food or water. Rabunzel hates being locked away but her mum just won’t let her down. Flash Harry the hare saves the day when he falls in love with Rabunzel and helps her down. But Rabunzel does not need love or her mum to keep her safe. She uses her ears to defend herself from the creepy creatures!

This made us laugh especially when its says she ‘lobbed down her lobes.’ Great fun

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The Midnight Fair

The Midnight Fair
Gideon Sterer
Illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio
Walker Children’s Books
Age 3+

Beautiful pictures draw you in to this magical story set at the marvellous midnight fair. All of the people have returned home so the animals that live nearby come out to play. Under the starlit sky they take their turn on the rides and attractions!

Rich, busy illustrations show the animals playing hook the duck, trying cotton candy delights and spinning around on the teacups!

Children who are intimidated by text and non readers can create their own narrative for this wordless picture book adventure!

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Wild Cities and even Wilder Animals

Wild Cities
Ben Lerwill
Harriet Hobday
Puffin

Go wild for these non fiction books all about animals and their wild ways!

In Wild Cities visit fourteen wild cities from Warsaw to London, Cape Town to Mumbai where there is much to explore. This book takes a different look at the cities you thought you knew. Discover the humpback whales that live around the waters of New York or the parakeets who have adapted to the cold London weather.

Sound of the Wild
Moira Butterfield
Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Little Tiger Press
Age 3+

Super sound effects bring the wildlife into your home in this fantastic visual guide to some of the world’s most impressive animals. With nine sounds including the lemur’s call and the tiger’s roar this is an interactive book that will definitely keep your children interested.

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Comic Classics: Treasure Island

Comic Classics: Treasure Island
Jack Noel
Egmont Children’s Books
Age 7+

Boats! Booty! Buccaneers!

Jump aboard and set sail for a swashbuckling adventure in this adaptation of Treasure Island for the new generation!

Jim Hawkins wants to sail away and have adventures but he soon finds himself with more adventure than he asked for! Accompanied by Long John Silver will Jim have to walk the plank?

Just like the other book in this series there are doodles and maps to keep even the most reluctant readers engaged in Robert Louis Stevenson’s story. I particularly love the annotations and diagrams as my boys love anything like this. Such a fantastic way to introduce children to classic authors in an accessible way! Join Israel Hands, Cap’n Flint the chatty parrot and Squire Trelawney as they sail the seven seas!

I can’t praise these books enough they are brilliant!

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How do you make a Rainbow?

How do you make a rainbow?
Caroline Crowe
Cally Johnson-Isaacs
Macmillan Children’s Books
Age 3+

A symbol of hope during 2020 and a historical year filled with so many emotions. But hope is the thing that keeps us going and this story shows us how to look for colour during the darkest of days. We all need a bit of this right now as lockdown drags on.

When a little girl asks her grandfather to paint a rainbow in the sky she discovers that they are made out of kindness, hope and helping other people!

At the back of the book are gorgeous activities to complete

Yellow is my favourite colour as it brightens any day. I love daffodils and sunshine, yellow wellington boots and raincoats! What is your favourite colour and why?

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Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World
Matt de la Pena
Christian Robinson
Two Hoots

We are super excited to be on this blog tour. Intriguing and unique in its content we meet Milo and his sister as they board the subway and we are immediately drawn into the book.

Observant Milo loves to watch the hustle and bustle from his seat,in stark contrast with his fellow passengers who are absorbed on phones or listening to music. Milo is different. Milo is in the moment. He hears, sees, smells, tastes, touches and feels the world around him. Beautiful imagery is created throughout this book and we felt like we were there. Milo uses his vivid imagination to sketch the people around him in the lives he believes they lead. The man next to Milo reading gets up to leave and Milo draws him returning home to a lonely apartment with his cats. The smart boy opposite is a Prince in a horse drawn carriage! But it’s important to note that Milo has made assumptions on these people based on his own experiences and their appearance.

As Milo continues through the city streets we want to know who he is visiting that involves security checks and heavy police presence. Not just a physical journey this is an emotional one for Milo and he describes himself as ‘a shook-up soda’ full of excitement, love and confusion. There are clues as to who it could be when we hear his mum reads to him over the phone but it surprised us to see Milo visiting her in prison. Largely because it is not a subject that is ever covered in picture books. Milo and his sister embrace their mum and in a very moving end to the story we see Milo give his mum a picture. I was close to tears as I looked at his drawing of him, his sister and mother eating ice creams on the steps of their home. Milo is equally as surprised when he spots the earlier imagined Prince visiting his mum. Thought provoking and original this book teaches us that we can’t judge people based on their appearances. Milo reimagines the people he drew in very different lives, just as we reimagine Milo.

miloimaginestheworld #picturebooks

Thanks to @amberivatt

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Milo Imagines the WorldMatt de la PenaChristian RobinsonTwo HootsWe are super excited to be on this blog tour. Intriguing and unique in its content we meet Milo and his sister as they board the subway and we are immediately drawn into the book.Observant Milo loves to watch the hustle and bustle from his seat,in stark contrast with his fellow passengers who are absorbed on phones or listening to music. Milo is different. Milo is in the moment. He hears, sees, smells, tastes, touches and feels the world around him. Beautiful imagery is created throughout this book and we felt like we were there. Milo uses his vivid imagination to sketch the people around him in the lives he believes they lead. The man next to Milo reading gets up to leave and Milo draws him returning home to a lonely apartment with his cats. The smart boy opposite is a Prince in a horse drawn carriage! But it’s important to note that Milo has made assumptions on these people based on his own experiences and their appearance. As Milo continues through the city streets we want to know who he is visiting that involves security checks and heavy police presence. Not just a physical journey this is an emotional one for Milo and he describes himself as ‘a shook-up soda’ full of excitement, love and confusion. There are clues as to who it could be when we hear his mum reads to him over the phone but it surprised us to see Milo visiting her in prison. Largely because it is not a subject that is ever covered in picture books. Milo and his sister embrace their mum and in a very moving end to the story we see Milo give his mum a picture. I was close to tears as I looked at his drawing of him, his sister and mother eating ice creams on the steps of their home. Milo is equally as surprised when he spots the earlier imagined Prince visiting his mum. Thought provoking and original this book teaches us that we can’t judge people based on their appearances. Milo reimagines the people he drew in very different lives, just as we reimagine Milo.miloimaginestheworld #picturebooksThanks to @amberivatt

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The Worrying Worries Blogger Tour

The Worrying Worries Blogger Tour
Rachel Rooney
Zehra Hicks
Andersen Press
Age 3+

‘A worry is an awful pest but it won’t do you harm.
Try these simple exercises. They will keep you calm.’

It’s our stop on this lovely blog tour and we are overjoyed to share with you the marvellous new collaboration between Rachel Rooney and Zehra Hicks. Their first picture ‘The Problem with Problems’ was reviewed by us earlier in the year and was read by Tom Hardy on CBBC bedtime stories during the first lockdown. Fast forward 6 months and here we are in lockdown three, reading their wonderful new book, ‘The Worrisome Worries.’

As with ‘problems’ this book gives the emotions of worry a face and an identity so that little ones can more readily relate to their emotions as actual things. In this story the worry takes the form of a little boy’s purple, fluffy pet. Annoyingly, worries follow us around everywhere and this one is no different. It joins him at school, the library and even the park! It soon becomes an even bigger nuisance and the little boy can’t concentrate on reading or watching tv and he starts to refuse his meals, developing tummy pains. These are all symptoms of anxiety and worry and the book so cleverly articulates this message in a child friendly way with the pet pinching his food and jumping in his hair so that he can’t concentrate. The sadder the boy becomes the happier the worry is. It thrives on attention and starts to manifest itself through tears, bad thoughts, bitten fingernails and nightmares.
Luckily, the boy decides enough is enough and goes to see a worry expert who helps him use mindfulness techniques, yoga and breathing exercises to manage his worries. As the little boy begins to laugh and forget his worries we see the once happy, thriving worry become glum and despondent.

If you pay close attention to the children in the background they also have their own worries that they carry around, the little girl getting her food from the cafeteria has one in her pocket and the girl in the wheelchair has one jumping on her knee. This book also embraces diversity showing children from all backgrounds.

This last year has been filled with one worry after another and our little ones have lived through unprecedented times. No one could have predicted that we would be living through a pandemic and unfortunately however much we try to shield our children from the horrors of Covid 19 it’s virtually impossible. They know they can’t see lived ones or have lost loved ones. They see the strange masks and the worry on their grown ups faces. They miss their school friends and the routines of school. Sometimes it is hard to talk about and some children are very good at masking their worries and fears. The Worrisome Worries provides an excellent way of getting children to discuss these worries and understand how they make their bodies feel.

So bright and vibrant and with end papers to die for this is a beautiful and much needed book to add to your collection.

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A Polar Bear in the Snow

A Polar Bear in the Snow
Mac Barnett
Art by Shawn Harris
Walker Children’s Books
Age 3+

Simple, delicate, beautiful and powerful.

Meet the polar bear in the snow. He’s difficult to see at first; his soft white fur camouflaged against his snowy habitat.

But hold on. What’s that smudge of black? Is it his nose? And look, there are two eyes.
Slowly we see the polar bear emerge from the white out and follow him on his journey to swim in the sea.

We loved this book, and the 3D artwork makes you feel that you can reach out and touch the bear. Mesmerising and calming this is the perfect book for animal lovers.

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Where Snow Angels Go

Where Snow Angels Go
Maggie O’Farrell
Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
Walker Children’s Books
Age 6+

‘His hair was sculpted curls of ice. When he moved, tiny showers of luminous dust came off him, like snow falling from a branch.’

I love Maggie O’Farrell’s books for adults so I was very excited to receive this review copy of her brand new modern fairytale for children. Illustrated with beautiful, atmospheric pictures by the internationally acclaimed artist Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini ,it is the perfect Christmas story.

Sylvie is visited in bed by her snow angel where he tells her he has come to help. Sylvie made a snow angel the previous year one winters day and this gave him life. Her snow angel senses that young Sylvie is ill so he wakes her mother. The snow angel was right and the Drs tell Sylvie’s mum that it was good luck she had woken when she did. But we know it wasn’t a case of good luck but that someone very special was watching over her. Sadly Sylvie is poorly for a long time but by the next Christmas season she is back to school.

She waits and waits but her angel doesn’t visit so she tries to put herself in harms way by participating in activities that might make him appear in order to protect her. She climbs up a tree, toboggans down the stairs and even walks around with her eyes closed.

The following summer Sylvie gets into difficulty swimming and feels an especially cold wave pull her back to shore. Sylvie soon understands that the snow angel only visits when she really needs him.

Sylvie longs to see her angel one more time and becomes anxious that her loved ones may not have their own snow angels to keep them safe. So she summons her angel to see if he can grant her one wish; the gift of snow.

In a heartwarming ending where science meets magic she takes all
of her family into the garden where they each make their very own angel.

This beautiful story sent tingles up my back as we looked at the snow angels dissolving into the air. This was a gorgeous book to share on a cold winters night about a very special guardian angel.