Peeking At Picture Books – October (Part Two)

As children move from Board Books to Picture Books is a huge milestone in the journey to becoming a fluent reader, and one that reads for pleasure, it gives me such joy to bring attention to titles that will definitely grab younger audiences’ attention from the get go, make them laugh and smile, ensure they think about what they hear and see from each book, and that they go away having enjoyed themselves. All of those are hugely important as we look to help children make reading a key part of their daily routine.

Scared of the Dark? It’s Really Scared of You – Peter Vegas and Benjamin Chaud

  • Published by Chronicle Books
  • RRP – £12.99 (hb)
  • Released on 18th August 2020

A story told from the perspective of darkness, portraying it as something with feelings and that for the most part likes to be alone. The story tells of how darkness hides away from light and only goes outside at night time. You can empathise with darkness as it is unable to make friends, or be anything other than alone. We learn of the need for darkness to exist for such reasons as the stars in the night sky to be visible, and this book genuinely leaves you wanting to be friends with darkness, and those children scared of the dark would particularly benefit from sharing this story.

Under the Stars – Rosie Adams and Frances Ives

  • Published by Little Tiger
  • RRP – £11.99 (hb)
  • Released 3rd September 2020

With rhyming text throughout, this beautifully written book tells of how we are all similar, and the things we all share in the world. In a heartwarming way of portraying why we are all lucky to be part of this world, this feel good book does make you stop and reflect on how fortunate we all are. The illustrations make the world look stunning, with gorgeous views of the sea as well as countryside – all of which adds to the appreciation of the world we live in.

My Rhino is Better Than Yours! – Bec Barnes

  • Published by David Fickling Books
  • RRP – £11.99 (hb)
  • Released on 2nd July 2020

Hilarious rhymes inside this book tell of two children that compete to prove that the hippo toy they have is better then the other persons. The differences between their hippos that they use are fantastic as younger audiences will love the descriptive vocabulary and brilliantly funny statements each child makes. There is a fun ending to the story too which younger audiences will find brilliant, and doubtless they will request this book over and over again.

I Really Really Need a Wee – Karl Newson and Duncan Beedie

  • Published by Little Tiger
  • RRP – £6.99 (pb)
  • Released on 3rd September 2020

A hilarious tale of a poor little bushbaby that needs a wee after leaving home, and consequently needs to find somewhere to go to the loo. Each place bushbaby finds is either not suitable or occupied – and gets him into a spot of bother! When bushbaby then finds a signposted toilet the queue is massive! The story is funny and relatable, and there is a hilarious twist at the very end which younger audiences will absolutely enjoy! Anticipate lots of giggles when sharing this story.

The Bookworm – Debi Gliori

  • Published by Bloomsbury
  • Available in paperback (6th August 2020) and hardback
  • RRP – £6.99 (pb)

Max wants a pet, and his parents have specific ideas as to what is and isn’t acceptable, which concludes with Max taking care of a worm in his bedroom. In time the pair become friends that enjoy sharing stories together, with Max declaring his pet is a real bookworm! Max notices that the worm seems to be changing shape and is completely surprised to find his pet worm isn’t a worm after all – and in the end Max asks for a new pet, whilst remaining good friends with the first one too. A lovely adventure story that encourages using your imagination.

Fergal Meets Fern – Robert Starling

  • Published by Andersen Press
  • RRP – £12.99 (hb)
  • Released in hardback on 3rd September 2020

Fergal is an only child, enjoying life with his parents until one day he comes home to discover there is an egg. When the egg hatches Fergal is introduced to his baby sister Fern, and that is when changes begin to happen. Adults are giving Fern all of their attention, and Fergal finds his sister is always spoiling his fun by doing things like playing with his toys or getting poorly. When Fergal has had enough he takes drastic measures to ensure he is noticed, and finally explains to his dad how he has been feeling. Reassured that his feelings are normal, and that if he looked at the situation differently it would be more inclusive of him, Fergal begins to enjoy being a new big brother and helping out his parents along the way. A brilliant book to share with younger children expecting the arrival of a new sibling.

Just One of Those Days – Jill Murphy

  • Published by Macmillan
  • RRP – £12.99 (hb)
  • Released 3rd September 2020

Returning to the Bear family that we have all come to love through reading the timeless classic Peace at Last, Jill Murphy treats readers to another picture book classic when we read about an utterly chaotic day that the Bear family go through, beginning with oversleeping. Each of the family members has to deal with their day not going to plan, but they get through it and regroup at home, with baby bear even getting a present from daddy bear – which definitely made up for his awful day at nursery! A heart warming, feel good story about family, and getting through. The illustrations are classic Jill Murphy designs, identifiable at first glance, and utterly stunning. It is a real pleasure to be able to pair this book up with Peace at Last and share the two with the next generation of Jill Murphy fans.

This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story! – Eoin McLaughlin and Robert Starling

  • Published by Pavilion
  • RRP – £6.99 (pb)
  • Released on 1st October 2020

Putting a twist on the bedtime story book that would usually be all calm, soothing, and involve non “scary” content due to the age of the intended audience, this book takes that perception of a scary monster, and tells of how he tries at every opportunity to be scary, only to fail at every turn. The characters in this book know monster isn’t scary, and balance every statement he makes with one that takes the activity they are doing back to a relatable normal, such as when the monster suggests they are cooking up a potion and the other characters explain it is a tasty family recipe! This will definitely prove to be a huge hit with younger readers who will enjoy the concept of another perspective telling the story.

Since reading these books, and those on my October (Part One) blog – which you can find here I have given these titles to classroom libraries and teachers within the school in which I work, knowing that under the current circumstances this would increase the amount of viewing they got as they very much deserve to. Colleagues have given me feedback that children have utterly adored having these books read to them, and sharing these stories as a class.

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