Peeking At Picture Books – August Part 2

Continuing on from my #PeekingAtPictureBooks -August Part 1 which you can find here this is my final selection for this summery month of the year that will see so many of us looking for suggestions on books to entertain the children whilst they are at home and also for advice on books to add to purchasing lists ready for when we return to our much missed libraries in schools. Enjoy this amazing selection of picture books that would be hugely suitable within either setting.

Clem and Crab

A hugely topical story, Clem and Crab tells how two sisters visit the seaside at weekends and whilst there they clean up all the rubbish that is left on the beach or washes up there. Clem sees a crab is stuck in a plastic bag and releases it only to find it has found a home in her trouser hem and gone home with her. When she then takes the Crab into school to tell her school friends all about her mission to improve the environment along the coast she is advised to return Crab to his home sooner then later as it is where he belongs and when Clem next goes to the seaside she is pleasantly surprised to see all of her class friends are there clearing up and that they too see preservation as a priority. A brilliant way to introduce young readers to environmental preservation early on, this book touches on the subject and develops the story in a relatable context for the intended audience, undoubtedly proving a hugely popular story.

The Bug Collector

When George visits a museum with his grandad he finds inspiration in the section dedicated to insects and sets about back home capturing them into jars and bottles. Thankfully grandad realises something isn’t right outside and finds all the insects George has. He explains to George the important roles each bug has and that as small as they are they play a huge part in our survival. A great book to teach little ones the role insects have in general, how special they are and how we should be promote insect conservation whatever our age. A great book to get children to see bugs differently and get them asking questions, curious and interested and keen to learn more. This book would be the perfect accompaniment to an EYFS insects topic.

Don’t Go There!

A utterly hilarious book about a child trying to teach a martian she found how to use the toilet. The naughty little martian goes where ever he finds comfortable like the goldfish bowl of all places. At the end of her tether the child teaches the martian an adorable toilet song in the hope he will go on the actual toilet and after a few mishaps he finally starts to get it. The book has rhyming sentences that add to the funny aspect of the content and this book will be a huge hit with those trying to potty train or who enjoy a book full of giggles as this will definitely leave you laughing.

Mr Scruff

A beautifully told story of dogs who belong to owners and then there is Mr Scruff who is still at the dog centre looking for someone to pick him. All the dogs with owners have names that rhyme with the owners name i.e Martha belongs to Arthur so you anticipate whoever does rescue Mr Scruff will have a name that rhymes with his and that isn’t the case when he does finally get picked which will leave you smiling as it links in brilliantly with the hilarious surprise at the end of the book. This is a fantastic book to show younger readers examples of friendship, belonging and the story of a dog that finally gets his forever home.

Red Red Red

A rhyming book detailing the angry state toddlers can sometimes get in and then the mum suggests counting to ten which calms the child and situation down and instead of anger there is love. A great way to show younger audiences a more positive way to cope with their feelings and portrayed in an understandable way for a younger audience to comprehend. The illustrations reflect the emotions within the book brilliantly and build up the temper tantrum in a gradual but consistent way that helps younger readers visualise what they are hearing in the story perfectly.

Jane, the fox and me

An amazing graphic novel for older readers that depicts one girls struggle to deal with bullying at school, constantly surrounded by nasty remarks. Helene seeks escape in Jane Eyre – a book she carrys around constantly, like a reliable companion. Hopeful that Jane Eye will have a happy ending-given that Jane herself didn’t have the happiest of starts in life-she is taken by surprise when things change for her and she makes a friend suggesting that a happy ending is possible for us all. The story covers the area of bullying brilliantly from the view of the victim by detailing the words and actions the bullies use to be hurtful and how it makes the girl feel and what she is capable of doing as a consequence, hindering her freedom to move around school without issue. It is great to see the difference in Helene between the start of this book and the end and the stunning illustrations and their choice of colours really do help reflect the way Helene feels during the different aspects of her life referenced. I really loved that literature – and classic literature at that is what provides Helene with comfort and a safe place to escape to when things are not going well for her and can see this book becoming the relevant escapism literature for the right children too.

The Pigeon HAS to go to School!

Pigeon is rebelling against the idea of going to school, using every excuse possible such as already knowing everything! – something I am sure we have all heard a child say in one capacity or another.

An absolutely perfect book for those parents with younger children about to start school or those that are showing a fear/reluctance to go to school and having just started in nursery and reception classes. Absolutely adorable that it relates to a pigeon which every one is familiar with and can imagine this being the case. A fun way to portray a significant time in younger audience members lives that they will definitely consider needing more thought and advice on.

You are my friend

A great book to motivate self respect in the intended audience, this is the story detailing Freddie Rogers childhood before he became famous for the TV series Mister Rogers and his neighbourhood. Through being poorly, bullied and left alone with no one to play with little Freddie endures so much and learns through his grandad that just being yourself is the most valuable thing. In a book that makes you see that successful people have their own challenges to face in their childhood just like we all do and that being yourself is the biggest, best and most amazing thing you have to offer to the world for there is only one you and that should be cherished.

Make me a Monster

An interactive board book that includes a monster body part to interact with on each page, which unfolds out of the book. As the pages progress you unfold more and more features of a monster until finally at the end your grand reveal is a really cool looking monster that children aged 3+ will absolutely love. The book can also be stood freely as well so the monster can be put on display in a child’s bedroom, a library bookcase or a home bookshelf. The book itself asks whether the specific features you are unfolding are what defines a monster and using text that rhymes helps make this entire book a huge hit with children and incredibly memorable too.

A Stone Sat Still

A great story of all the uses nature has for a rock that is sat where it always has and all of these uses are referenced in the book as opposites to each other i.e rough and smooth. In time the rock becomes submerged in the ocean which brings environment and climate change to mind and reminds us of the impact it has on even the smallest of things and the knock on affect that then has elsewhere. The rock has provided shelter, protection, relief, sound and colour as well as a stage at one point and all of that has gone now that the rock is submerged under water which does leave you resentful of climate change and wondering what you can do as an individual to help. A great way of creating a starting point to discuss how we can help the environment and reasoning for why we would want too.

I hope this months two part #PeekingAtPictureBooks has been as entertaining and interesting for yourselves as it has for me to create them. See you next month for the latest instalment.

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