Peeking At Picture Books – January 2020

My first picture book blog of 2020 features some fantastic titles that are definitely perfect for sharing with classes of little ones in the school library, at home on the sofa, during bedtime with children of all ages, and as stock in the school library for staff and students alike to borrow. Sit back and enjoy.

Nop – Caroline Magerl

  • Published by Walker on 2nd January 2020.

A beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a sorry old bear that nobody wanted, left unchosen whilst all the other more decorative bears got snapped up. Nop the bear takes matters into his own hands and makes a great big balloon out of scraps of fabric and takes off on an adventure of his own which concludes with him finding a forever home in the best way possible. A heartwarmingly brilliant story about creating your own story and your own destiny. Nop does well not to be disheartened by how things work out for those around him first and he is left out and in staying true to himself is a great role model to readers.

Love From Alfie McPoonst, The Best Dog Ever – Dawn McNiff, illustrated by Patricia Metola

  • Published by Walker on 2nd January 2020.

A touching book that will help children who have lost their pet dog, giving them hope and reassurance as to where the dogs go afterwards. Alfie McPoonst has died and gone to doggy heaven from which he sends his child owner Izzy letters detailing how he is happy where he is, the antics he gets up to, the food he gets access to there – which is more of a treat then he would get at home, and lots of other details that bring comfort to Izzy and helps her to heal and move on. Whilst it is a sad subject this book has the potential to be an extremely useful tool in the grieving process for children, or to prepare them for the expected/upcoming death of a pet. This book is going to be gifted to our nurture staff who would no doubt have children in mind that this book could help.

A Year of Nature Poems – Joseph Coelho and Kelly Louise Judd

  • Published by Wide Eyed Editions in paperback on 7th January 2020.

With a two page spread for each month, and every poem in this book telling of the essence of each, alongside stunning illustrations that pick out the focal points, this is a welcome additional to a school library or home. This book would undoubtedly inspire young readers to enjoy poetry as a whole, see the months of the year as more than just the contents of a calendar, and enjoy the beauty of the seasons in twelve brilliant segments. Readers will enjoy browsing through the illustrations throughout the entire book whilst indulging in the poems inside.

Bake a Rainbow Cake – Amirah Kassem

  • Publishing on 25th February 2020 by Abrams & Chronicle.

Huge fun to interact with, this book has tabs to pull for each stage in the cake making process so that you can see the progress your actions make, from pouring the ingredients into the mixing bowl through to an astonishing pop out completed rainbow cake that looks so good you cannot help but want to make one for real, and enjoy a slice! Younger children will love being a part of this book, hearing the instruction on the page and seeing it in happen. The entire book has vibrant colours that make the book both eye catching and energetic, and ensure this book will be cherished time and time again.

Eggs are Everywhere – Hans Wilhelm, illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan

Publishing on 4th February 2020 by Abrams and Chronicle.

The idea of the book is quite simple, you need to turn the wheel on the side of the book and then lift the flap, younger children are going to love this fun and interactive book that details where easter eggs are hiding, waiting for readers to come along and find them amongst the books pages. There is a small indicator on each page which ensures the wheel has been turned to an intended image and then children have to decide between the options on the page, for example if the easter egg is hiding behind the rabbits left ear or right, or which hand the child is holding an egg in. There are multiple choices that ensure this could be used time and again without the reader becoming familiar with where to find the eggs, and allowing the book to be shared over again fairly with multiple offspring for example. This really is a fantastic book that takes the game of “which hand” and incorporates it into a book in such a brilliantly entertaining way which is reinforced by the beautiful illustrations throughout the book which encapsulate the feelings experienced during an easter egg hunting perfectly as well as the joy children feel at that time of year too.

The picture book market is huge, at times in fact it really can feel overwhelming as to how much choice is out there and it can help to be advised on those books that hold that little something extra within their pages – that something that will nurture a child’s enjoyment of books and set them up to want to read for pleasure, those are the titles I feature on my blogs, the ones I have held, shared, tried and tested – and ultimately the ones I am eager to continue sharing as a librarian and parent, and that the children request and recall for time to come.

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