Picture Books – July 2022 (Part Three)

My Bindi

  • Gita Varadarajan
  • Illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
  • Published by Scholastic on 7th July

This book tells all about a little Hindu girl, Divya, who is unsure how she will be received by others if she wears a Bindi on her forehead like her mum. When she does choose an amazing sun shaped Bindi to wear to school everyone is curious, and wants to see. So Divya gets up at the front of the class, with her teachers encouragement, and explains her Bindi to the rest of the class, and they absolutely love it. Divya is so proud of herself, and her religion, and the connection to her family and faith that wearing her Bindi offers her.

The traditional Hindu details to the illustrations make this such a special book that celebrates an incredibly special aspect to growing up as a Hindu child, and this book will resonate with children of that faith, as well as those that know of someone that is, and even those eager to learn more about other faiths and traditions.

Skater Cielo

  • Rachel Katstaller
  • Published by Scholastic on 4th August

Cielo likes to skateboard everywhere, and is really good at it too. But one day when Cielo is trying out a new skate ramp she falls off, her first skating accident, and her confidence is knocked. Cielo believes she is rubbish at skateboarding, and is determined to give it up, until she makes friends with Mia and Milo, who are skateboarders too, and they help her build up her self confidence, and her self believe, and realises that with perseverance she can achieve her dream of being really good on the new skate ramp, and as a skateboarder too.

This book combines a fun hobby with factors that impact self confidence, and going the extra mile to pursue a dream, and in doing so it helps children to realise that whatever their dream is it is possible to make it a reality with the right support around you to encourage you, self believe, and persevering beyond any hurdles that come up along the way.

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam – Pirates Ahoy!

  • Tracey Corderoy
  • Illustrated by Steven Lenton
  • Published by Nosy Crow on 7th July

In this latest escapade the duo decide to bake cakes for pirates onboard their ship, but every time the pirate band, who are their to entertain the pirates with music, go past Shifty and Sam notice things go missing! It starts with cake, and then becomes the pirates gold that has been taken, and it is Shifty and Sam, with the help of the pirates parrot, who thwart the bad pirates (disguised as the band) plans.

This is such a fun sea fairing adventure for younger children to enjoy embarking on, and is full of incredible illustrations that portray all the chaos and antics with such energy that truly brings the story to life in your imagination. Little ones will be totally engrossed in this book as it is fast paced, funny, and involves accompanying these two iconic book characters on another epic voyage that involves pirates, and cake!

When a Dragon comes to Stay

  • Caryl Hart
  • Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
  • Published by Nosy Crow

This latest title in the dragon series by Caryl Hart shares all the ways a dragon plays nicely with others, and shares, and eats sensibly, and tidy’s up after themselves, and gets ready for bed properly too, and does so in rhyming sentences, with dragons behaviour rubbing off on the two children he has come to stay with in a positive way.

This is such a brilliant book to use when encouraging children to play and do daily tasks sensibly, and with kindness and compassion at the centre of them all. It is such a great way of getting children to see the differences between not behaving that way, and doing so. I have a young nephew who isn’t used to playing with others because of limited social experiences and opportunities (prevented by covid), and he struggles with sharing with other little ones, and playing sensibly, which is why I have been sharing this book with him when he comes over as it gets him to see how even a dragon is capable of being kind, and thoughtful around others, and it has had a positive impact on my nephew when he goes on playdates now. He also digs this book out specially when he comes over, as it has become a firm favourite.

The Elephant Detectives

  • Ged Anderson
  • Published by Nosy Crow on 7th July

Alan and his elephant head to the park for some fun, but whilst trying to retrieve his balloon from a tree Alan loses his elephant, but comes across Edie, an elephant detective, who is keen to help Alan find his. The pair head to the library to research elephants, and then use the information they have obtained there to look for Alans elephant. Location after location they go to brings them no success in locating the missing elephant, until they are back where they started, and learn that elephants never forget – and find Alans! And and Edie become friends along the way, and have quite the adventure!

This is such a fun story to share with younger readers, and embarking on the journey with Alan and Edie to find the missing elephant involves a variety of locations, with Edie explaining the relevance of each of them, and children will likely recognise some/all of them from their own experiences too. The book is stunningly illustrated, with so much attention to detail, all of which offers younger children plenty of opportunities to spot things on the pages along the way, including the elephant that has gone missing, who makes an appearance at the different places Alan and Edie visit, with readers left wondering whether the elephant was really there, or suggested in a possible way.

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