Picture Book Perfection – October Part Two

Daisy’s Dragons – A Story about Feelings

  • Written by Frances Stickley
  • Illustrated by Annabel Tempest
  • Published by Studio Press

This gorgeously illustrated book tells of the emotions we feel, all depicted as dragons, who balance one another out in order for us to feel as though we are coping in our day to day. Daisy has six dragons, which only she is aware of, and each represents a different emotion that shows its individual characteristics as the young girl ventures out, and in turn causes her to feel as though she isn’t in control of how she is feeling, and longing for the dragons that have been overwhelmed by their counterparts, and then subsequently disappeared.

Daisy longs to have all of her dragons back, so she banishes though that have acted up, and decides to play with her toys instead, except they don’t make her happy like they would usually. Then the ‘naughty’ dragons return and ask to be forgiven, and the remaining dragons reappear too, which all leads to Daisy feeling happy and fulfilled again.

With sentences that rhyme throughout, there is a real lyrical feel to this book which, alongside the gorgeous illustrations, really adds to the enjoyment for readers. I can see this become a highly requested title, and a much loved story book, especially as it combines dragons, adventure, a female lead character, and an understanding of our feelings too. The beauty of this book is that it teaches younger readers the important aspects of emotions without them feeling overwhelmed, and as such it would be a fantastically valuable read in any setting.

Mula and the Fly – A Fun Yoga Story

  • Written by Lauren Hoffmeier
  • Illustrated by Ela Smietanka
  • Published by Sweet Cherry Publishing

This book is as fun as the title suggests, with it telling of a fly who initially seems to be pestering Mula the lion, that is until it becomes apparent that actually in being an unwelcome distraction during Mula trying to sleep things are much more then meets the eye. The fly is actually teaching Mula how to complete a selection of yoga techniques, and how to control breathing in the process too. Before Mula can even grasp what is going on the lion has become quite active, and is pleasantly surprised to learn that the exercise poses from their earlier dream, that they dismissed as impossible, are achieved with concentration and composure.

Mula thanks the fly for teaching the yoga that they have learnt, and asks if the fly will show them how to do more, and in turn takes great pride in accomplishing the things they dismissed as the stuff of dreams. This story will help younger readers realise that anything is possible if you try, and should they wish to enjoy some of the yoga that Mula has learnt there are instructions at the end of the book to help little ones achieve the same results. The bold, and vibrant illustrations reflect the energy and efforts of those in the story, and you get a real sense of the movements and fluidity from them too. I adored this story, and can see it creating lots of fans of Mula, and the fly, and yoga too!

Lisette’s Green Sock

  • Written and Illustrated by Catharina Valekx
  • Published by Gecko Press

When Lisette finds a green sock whilst out one day, she is extremely proud of her newest garment. That is until Tomcat and Timcat make fun of her only have one green sock on, and explaining socks come in pairs. After searching far and wide Lisette fails to find the other sock, and heads home disappointed. Her mum washes the green sock, and when it is drying on the line, Bert arrives and asks if the sock is actually a hat, and tries it on for size. It looks good on Bert, and the pair continue to search for the other sock, encouraged by Tomcat and Timcat making another appearance and teasing them. Once again Lisette heads home unsuccessful in her search for the second green sock, but when she gets home she finds her mum has knitted her one identical to that which Bert is still wearing as a hat, and Lisette decides she wants to wear one as a hat too.

The pair fall asleep in their beds still wearing their green sock hats, and the book concludes with readers being shown what happened to the original second green sock, which has a very special home too. This is a fun adventure filled story for younger children to enjoy, and not only teaches them about socks coming in pairs, but also not to be defeated by others that make fun of you or are mean, because things always work out in the end, and often that comes in the form of lovely surprises too.

I love the illustrative style within this book, which depicts Lisette’s feelings brilliantly, and allows readers to correctly ascertain the content of the story in a visual sense, which in turn makes it each for them to follow along. The overall look of the illustrations within this title make me reminiscent of my childhood years, and very much feel like those that feature in traditional nursery rhymes and children’s books that give that wholesome appeal, alongside some adorable characters too.

Captain Toby

  • Written and Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
  • Published by Scallywag Press

This is an ocean based fantasy story that tells of a young boy and his grandparents having an adventure on the ocean, aboard their floating homes. This comes from the boy, Toby, struggling to sleep at home in his bed because the wind is battering his home, and when he then must start to drift off to sleep he creates an adventure involving his grandparents, who happen across an octopus that Toby is unable to escape onboard his floating house, with his grandma coming to the rescue.

The beautiful illustrations and chosen colour palette bring the ocean adventure on the pages of this brilliant must read, and give that sense of being on the vast ocean in the midst of a storm, as well as the danger facing Toby as he navigates the rough seas, and the octopus too.

This would be such a brilliant bedtime read, spurring young children’s imaginations as they create their own adventure as the drift off to sleep, and would also be a brilliant title to choose to share amongst larger audiences as a library or class read, with the potential to create themed art or written work as a consequence of hearing of Toby’s antics on the ocean. I love that this is a different take on a child struggling to sleep, and them creating an adventure as a consequence. I adore the story being sea themed, and the ending featuring the octopus knitting, which in turn reassures the readers/audience that everything had a happy ending, and that the octopus that makes a cameo appearance isn’t something to be afraid of.

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