Peeking at Picture Books – May (Part 1)

I have really enjoyed sharing the following selection of picture book titles with younger audiences, both at home and at work. With a fantastic content selection ranging from an artistic snail to life on earth between the big bang and the time of the dinosaurs, there is something for everyone.

Meet the Penguins

Meet the Penguins by Mike Brownlow

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of two penguins eager to play, and the affect of others repeatedly making excuses to not play with them. Left sad, the two penguins are delighted when they finally have someone asking to play with them, making them feel wanted and included. When all the other animals see and hear the fun the two penguins and their new friend are having they all ask to join in, leaving the penguins deciding on whether they will inclusive in their play. A brilliant way to show young readers the importance of including others and the affect rejection has. Fun to share, the book even suggests getting the little ones to Boo the baddies and this proves a huge hit with young audiences at school.

Publication date – 04.04.19 RRP – £6.99 (PB) Publisher – OUP Childrens

The Anzac Billy

The Anzac Billy by Claire Saxby, with illustrations by Mark Jackson and Heather Potter

The heart warming story of a young boy in Australia preparing a christmas package (a billy can) to send to his dad who is off fighting as a soldier during World War One. Each day the boy puts another item in the package that is relevant to home and his dad, then it’s mum and nannys turn to add their choices into the package before they watch the package travel by ship toward his dad, hopefully received in time for Christmas. There is a beautiful end to the story which sees dad return home from the War, depicted in such amazing illustrative detail, along with the entirity of the book which really adds more depth and information to the story throughout.

Publication date – 02.05.19 RRP – £11.99 ( HB) Publisher – Walker Books


Nuts! by Lou Peacock and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail

A great way to teach young readers about sharing, Nuts! tells the story of two squirrels that are both unprepared to share, adament that all of the nuts they have found belong to them. When it is suggested that they share the nuts out equally they are still not happy, until they realise that selfish behaviour is very isolating and they long for the company of their friends and each other so decide on a compromise that leaves everyone happy. This is a really fun, feel good book that young readers will thoroughly enjoy especially as it has repetition of words throughout giving them the chance to join in, and a brilliant way to this share the story is by using different voices for each sentence/character using more and more emphasis to stress the situation which proves a huge hit with younger children.

Publication date – 01.08.19 RRP – £11.99 (HB) Publisher – Nosy Crow

Big Cat

Big Cat by Emma Lazell

While searching for her Grandma’s glasses Isobel finds a cat – but not just any cat, a Tiger! She explains to Grandma that she’s found a cat and as Grandma is currently not able to see well invites the tiger to stay with them until they find his owners. It is hilarious when they walk the Tiger round the neigbourhood enquiring whether any one has lost their pet, Grandma puts their lack of interest down to not liking cats, it is more that they are terrified of a Tiger on their doorstep. The hilarious text and brightly coloured illustrations make the story come to life off the pages, laughing at the craziness of the situation. When Grandma has her glasses returned to her by the parents of the tiger searching for their child she finally sees the cat Isobel found is a Tiger! This has a real the Tiger that Came to Tea feel to it ( there is reference to this title in the illustrations), with really traditional feeling illustrations to compliment the text providing a fun to read and share story that young readers will cherish, undoubtedly asking to hear this story time and time again.

Publication date – 04.04.19 RRP – £6.99 (PB) Publisher – Pavilion Children’s Books

Matisse’s Magical Trail

Matisse’s Magical Trail by Tim Hopgood and illustrated by Sam Boughton

Matisse the snail enjoys making artwork from his slimy trails but is left disappointed when no one notices. All this changes when a young boy does pay attention to what Matisse has done and tells all of his friends too. This leads to some real appreciation for Matisse’s art work and this leaves him delighted. A great way to show young readers the reward for paying attention to the smaller less obvious things around us with vibrant and bright coloured illustrations depicting in beautiful detail the story on each page helping young audiences imagine the story more.

Publication date – 04.04.19 RRP – £6.99 Publisher – OUP Childrens

LIFE – The First Four Billion Years

LIFE The First Four Billion Years by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith

This book is utterly spectacular. Starting within Space, detailing the birth of stars and galaxies and the big bang, then moving on through time to the first and second Ice Age. Then we are told of life within the Seas, moving on to life on Land, leading to the time of the Dinosaurs. There are pages that fold out to reveal information below the breath taking illustrations on the page which will interest children as they explore the books contents.

The illustrations are detailed to such a high level that they really captivate you, encouraging your imagination with the creatures and animals on each page. I have shared this book with adults and children alike recently and they have all agreed that this is an unbelievably informative, engaging book that should be cherished and coming as a gift edition with cloth spine reaffirms that opinion. The text is easy to follow and interesting, giving details on fundamental events, creatures and animals relevant to our earths history. The book is a large size which is useful in sharing situations such as group work in school or holding up the book to share the illustrations with the audience as it allows the pictures to really stand out, especially when they are a two page spread. A phenomenally designed book that balances interesting and educational perfectly.

Publication date – 02.05.19 RRP – £16.99 (Gift edition with cloth spine) Publisher – Walker Books

That was such a great selection to share for my May edition of Peeking at Picture Books, and that was only part one. Come back for more very soon

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