Picture Books – August 2022 (Part Two)

Somebody woke Wilson

  • Sarah Roberts
  • Illustrated by Jayne Lewin
  • Published by Scholastic on 7th July

This book tells of the journey one carbon molecule, Wilson, takes after being disturbed by underwater drilling. Wilson travels across land, and even through the entire digestive system of a cow before finally being able to return to his slumber underground after someone plants a new tree. The book shows examples of things that release carbon into the earth’s atmosphere, and introduces readers to the carbon cycle, and most importantly it shows us how we can help reduce the carbon footprint on earth.

This is such an appropriate addition to the world of children’s literature right now, and will be going forward to, as we continue to try to inspire the next generation to continue in our efforts to protect our planet, and reverse the damage being done to the natural world. The book is equally informative as it is engaging, as readers learn many aspects of science from Wilson’s adventures, and is beautifully illustrated to reflect that which is being referenced in a way that makes it so interesting that readers will want to take in all the detail from the pages, as Wilson’s story is brought to life on the page.

Eyes that Speak to the Stars

  • Joanna Ho
  • Illustrated by Dung Ho
  • Published by Harper Collins

From the author of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, this is a book that celebrates the uniqueness we each have in our features, and tells us of a young boy who notices his eyes are different to his friends, and through talking to his dad the boy comes to appreciate the family trait that connects him to his younger brother, dad, and grandad is his eyes, and that they are a part of his heritage. The young boy is proud to look how he does, and appreciates having a special family connection with the other members of his family too.

The Last Tiger

  • Becky Davies
  • Illustrated by Jennie Poh
  • Published by Little Tiger

A powerful read about the need to protect the natural world for the animals that live there, told through Aasha the Tiger’s experience of losing everything she called home, the land and the other animals that lived there because humans destroyed it so that they could take the trees, and polluted the area as a consequence. Aasha travels very far to escape it all, and is reunited with the other tigers and animals she loves, but the damage is already done – especially to the number of tigers left in the wild. The book has a glossary of keywords at the back, and ways we can help with much needed animal conservation efforts.

Piano Fingers

  • Caroline Magerl
  • Published by Walker Books

Bea is the youngest in a family of musical instrument players, and she longs to join in. When she plays her triangle to her sisters music she is told off for playing wrong. Bea goes off in search of an instrument she can play well, and finds a piano – and as if by magic Bea starts playing and finds she is really good, so much so her sister eagerly comes to join her. This is a book that celebrates the magic of music, and the talent involved in being able to play an instrument well.

I fell in love with the illustrations in this book from the moment I opened the book, because the colour palette choice, and the attention to detail, give them a light and lyrical feel. Bea is an incredibly resilient young girl who isn’t deterred by the rejection of others when she plays an instrument, and her perseverance pays off because it ultimately means she finds her success story through playing the piano.

A Song in the Mist

  • Corrinne Averiss
  • Illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
  • Published by Oxford Children’s

This book is stunningly illustrated to reflect the calm and soothing atmosphere the Panda lives in, and happens upon a young boy playing calming music through his bamboo flute. When Panda follows the music he is spotted by the boy who then comes looking for Panda amongst the trees, and gets lost in the mist. Panda finds the courage to help the little boy, and is rewarded with the boys flute, which he then uses to communicate with the little boy.

This is such a beautiful story about courage, friendship, and the power of music in connecting people (and animals) together. Music is able to forge friendship were language barriers prevent it from otherwise happening, because musical is a universal language that we are all able to hear, interpret, and evoke the relevant emotions with.

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