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.
The Grinny Granny Donkey – Craig Smith and Katz Cowley
- Published by Scholastic
- RRP – £6.99 (pb)
- Due for publication on 5th November 2020
- 3rd installment in the Wonky Donkey series
Another hilarious installment in the series, this one focusing on granny donkey and her quirks, such as her false teeth, and her ability to fall asleep in the sunshine. This book celebrates all that we come to love about our cherished granny figures, and the bond that we have with them being so special too. This is a real feel-good book that introduces readers to the latest member of the Wonky Donkey family, and readers will come to love granny just as much as the other members we have met. The repetition throughout the book helps make the story memorable, and allows the opportunity for younger readers to join in as they become familiar with the sentences.
The Dinosaur Who Lost Her Voice – Julie Ballard and Francesca Gambatesa
- Published by Egmont
- RRP – £6.99 (pb)
- Released 27th June 2019
This dinosaur themed book features a female lead character (Milly) that enjoys singing for her dinosaur friends, but a tree hits her neck when it falls during a storm and it damages her, preventing Milly from being able to sing. Saddened for her, the rest of the dinosaurs come together and try to sing to her to cheer her up. Unfortunately they do not sound great, but it gives Milly an idea, and before long she is coaching the group, teaching them to be a successful choir. The dinosaurs are successful in taking part in a show thanks to Milly, and she comes to realise you can still be a part of that which you enjoy, albeit from a different perspective.
Crocodile Tears – Words by Roger McGough, Pictures by Greg McLeod
- Published by Otter Barry
- RRP – £12.99 (hb)
- Due for publication on 8th October 2020
When Crocodile decides he needs to travel elsewhere and experience other places in the world he says his goodbyes to all of his friends and his mum and takes off, smuggled aboard a ship – dressed in a disguise. Initially the Crocodile enjoys where he has traveled off to – the streets of London, but before long he is homesick and missing his mum. Upset, the Crocodile sheds a few tears, and decides he will head back to his mum and friends.
I Really Want to Shout! – Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti
- Published by Templar
- Released on 3rd September 2020
- RRP – £6.99
Telling the story of a young girl who builds up her frustrations about scenarios and situations she finds herself in, until she reaches the point where she has to vent her feelings and shouts. It is her dad who notices that something isn’t right, and explains to her that anger and frustration are normal emotions to feel, and that actually it is fine to shout sometimes too. Through rhyming text we follow the young girl through her day and ascertain where she faces issues impacting her anger or not.
Marney’s Mix-Up – Jane Rushmore and Sally Darby
- Published by Owlet Press
- RRP – £7.99 (pb)
- Due for publication on 13th October 2020
As Marney head’s out to collect nuts to store for the first time, he realises he would stand a better chance of finding some if he ventured to the other side of the park, and heads off alone. When he gets to the other side of the park Marney spots an animal he has never seen before and is unfamiliar with, and to top it all off the animal speaks to Marney in a crazy way too! Panicking, Marney runs back to his friends to ask what it is he has come into contact with only to find that others are unfamiliar with what the animal could be too. Only when Marney heads back intent on knowing what he saw does he speak to the animal, and finds out the animal is a squirrel too – a red squirrel. A fantastic way of teaching younger children that prejudging others isn’t the best approach.
We’re Off to Find a Fairy – Eloise White and Cory Reid
- Published by Owlet Press
- RRP – £7.99
- Due for publication on 20th October 2020
- Additional title available in the series
With brilliant rhyming repetition throughout the book, this story tells of the alternative things that are found when people are out looking to find a fairy. There are animals and insects that are found along the way, with beautiful illustrations accompanying the descriptive text. This book is perfect for all audiences as the content would entertain boys and girls alike, as they turn the page and look to discover something new.
These are all such fantastic titles to share with younger readers, inspiring them with so many subjects, themes and interests. Each of these books has been gifted to colleagues at the primary school I work in, and they have been shared with entire classrooms of children that are eager to listen, and delighted hear a brand new story. Feedback from my colleagues has been incredibly positive, with children asking to hear the same story time and time again.