Peeking At Picture Books – June 2020 (Part One)

As I know picture books to be valuable additions to primary school bookcases. as well as being enjoyed at home with younger audiences, I have created this blog post which looks to contain a variety of themes and cover many interests with the books chosen. This month features Fathers Day so I have chosen some family themed books within this selection of entertaining titles aimed at younger audiences.

Everyone’s Awake – Colin Meloy and Shawn Harris

This is a humour filled book that features a laugh a minute, feel good book telling of the antics one family get up to at bedtime when they should be getting ready for and heading to bed. The only member of the family observing a bedtime routine is the stories narrator and one of the children in the family. They go on to describe and detail the actions and behaviours of each member of the household – from grandma to the other children, and even including the pets!

This is a fantastic choice if you want a fun, LOL story that will leave the audience smiling, and also ideal to entertain younger audiences at bedtime as their heads are filled with silly thoughts just in time for happy dreams. The book shows the importance of a healthy bedtime routine whilst showing the impact not having one has, proving detrimental the following day to those who have not abided one. The illustrations bring the families craziness to life for younger audiences to visualise the story as it develops and appreciate the ridiculousness of those things each member of the family has prioritised over sleep – seeing mum on the roof is utter madness!

Published by Abram & Chronicle Books in March 2020, this book is available to purchase from all good booksellers.

The Perfect Shelter – Clare Helen Welsh and Asa Gilland

This is the story of a family that enjoy spending time with one another, especially the two sisters, who enjoy making a shelter in the woods together -singing as they work. At the same time that their shelter faces the elements and needs the pair to maintain its upkeep it becomes apparent that the older girl has some health problems. Expressing the frustration and concern we all feel when faced with knowing someone we care deeply about is unwell, the younger girl stops maintaining the upkeep of the shelter, saddened by her sister having to go to hospital for an operation.

The younger of the two girls displays the emotions we all feel when someone close to us is poorly, and these are reflected in her actions as she stops repairing the shelter, no longer sings, and waits for news of her sibling instead. When the pair are reunited the relief, love, and caring the two feel is evident through them building a shelter together that turns out to be utterly perfect. This book has a heart warming story, portraying a situation relevant to us all at times, and the emotions involved as we look to get through it. The illustrations are utterly stunning and equally as powerful as the text in portraying the importance of family, and the emotions we explore when faced with someone being unwell.

Look out for this title publishing in harback on 25th June 2020 by Little Tiger.

My Daddy is Hilarious! – Gavin Puckett and Chris Jevons

Published on the 7th May 2020 by Faber and Faber, this book would be a fantastic addition to reading piles to share on Fathers day, and beyond that this book is perfect for every day enjoyment accompanied by laughter and smiles. The story tells of how much a boy adores his dad, longing to be just like him – that is until his dad starts to behave in a peculiar way and is seen modelling an array of hair styles and outfits, each of which will definitely have readers giggling and smiling.

The admiration the young boy has for his dad is a reflection of how most children feel about their dads and ensures that younger readers connect to the characters and the story as a whole. When the story concludes and you come to understand the logic behind not just dad’s strange ways but also other family members it leaves the reader feeling good, having enjoyed each and every rhyming sentence that details the silly behaviour and all the fun being had within the boys family, This will prove a popular title within school libraries, at home, and whenever a feel good story is required.

Little Turtle and the Sea – Becky Davies

An utterly beautiful book that allows the reader the opportunity to accompany a turtle on adventures through the ocean, from one side of the planet to the other, from her very first venturing into the sea to those she undertakes routinely as she ages. When the story refers to her never feeling lonely, even though you can see from the stunning illustrations that shes by herself, you get a real sense of how at home she feels, and how warm and welcoming the ocean has been for her from the offset.

In stark contrast to this portrayal of paradise the story continues as Turtle grows, with the ocean becoming strewn with variations of plastic which Turtle doesn’t recognise, attempts to befriend as she believes it to be a species belonging there, confusing Turtle as to what these new things could be, and also where in the ocean they find themselves, as nothing looks familiar anymore. Thankfully their are people that clean up the ocean and Turtle’s story has a happy ending, but she really does endure so much more than she should have to, and the negative impact plastic/litter in the ocean has is reflected powerfully through this story and the amazing illustrative content too.

Bringing attention to a hugely significant topic, and to the younger generation also, really is important, especially as children are never too young to start learning and being made aware through the power of stories.

Published by Little Tiger on 1st June 2020, and available to purchase from all good booksellers.

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