Picture Books – August (Part Three)

The Invention – Julia Hubery and James Munro

  • Published by Graffeg

This is such a feel good book that will have children enraptured from the offset as they hear about Fili, the Caretaker’s daughter, and her invention she builds as a way to combat the sad feeling she has from her neighbours all being too busy coming and going to bother interacting with Fili, or each other. The invention builds in size, and so does the curiosity of her neighbours as to what she is making, and the grand reveal takes place at a party Fili invites everyone to. Soon everyone is busy helping to get the invention to work, and in doing so they are chatting to one another, laughing and using their imaginations, all of which was the intended outcome of Fili’s idea.

I love the outline drawings that illustrate this book, and the use of minimal colour draws your eye to the key aspect of what is happening on that page. There is so much to spot on the pages, especially within the invention itself, and I love the vibe of the drawings, and how they bring the story to life on the page for little ones to follow along.

Ebb and Flo and the Baby Seal – Jane Simmons

  • Published by Graffeg

In this title in the Ebb and Flo series we follow Ebb the dog around as she tries to find someone to play with on a wet and windy day, only to find that everyone is busy. Ebb follows a sound down to the beach and finds a baby seal to play with, and soon it is late, and Ebb is ready to head home for dinner, only to find that the baby seal wants to follow. Eager to get the baby seal help Ebb is relentless in trying to get mum and Flo’s attention, and they follow their dog down to the beach and discover the seal pup. Mum has a brilliant idea, and the trio are accompanied by the seal pup head off on a journey to reunite the pup and its mum.

Flo is worried that they won’t be able to find the mother, but the book has a happy ending, and the reunion takes place, and it is so heart warming and adorable. Little ones often worry about losing sight of their parents whilst out, and this book is a cute way of reassuring them that there is a happy ending in those sorts of situations. I love the illustrations, which I have come to love through the previous titles in this collection, as they are very softly depicted, which adds to that feel good aspect to the book.

I’ll Be There – Karl Newson and Rosalind Beardshaw

  • Published by Nosy Crow

Karl Newson has created yet another keepsake modern classic in I’ll Be There, which has all the vibes of a message to a special little one by an adult in their live that reflects all the love they feel for the child, and how they will always be there to support, encourage and protect the child. The rhyming sentences give this book a lyrical feel, which is perfect for the feel good aspect to the book, which is accompanied by the most adorable illustrations that feature a variety of animals throughout the book to depict the referenced scene. Little ones will definitely be able to spot their favourite animal amongst those that feature, and be enraptured by everything that unfolds between the adult and child animals inside the book, which concludes with a dad and baby in the nursery at home.

I could think of so many people that would love the sentiment of this book, and the subsequent opportunity to share it with their special little one, from my auntie and her grandsons, my cousin and his baby, my sister and her toddler, and many friends too. I know that whoever I gift my copy of this book to will cherish it, and give it a forever home, that they share over and over at bedtimes, nap times, when children are poorly, or just to share some special time together with the perfect book.

Somewhere – Jeanne Willis and Anastasia Suvorova

  • Published by Nosy Crow

I am a huge fan of Jeanne Willis’ books, and this is my new firm favourite, with its cut outs that feature on every page, adding a special detail to the unfolding story, and capturing your attention with every turn of the page. We meet a lovely little boy, Oscar, who is fed up with all the questions that are being asked of him at home, so he takes himself off to absolute nowhere, a place where no questions are asked of him and he has lots of fun. Later on though Oscar realises he misses the questions that his parents ask him, because they are a reflection of how much they care about him and his welfare, and he decides he wants to go back home.

Oscar finds himself lost amongst nowhere, until a kind cat appears, and the two find their way home, and Oscar is delighted by the barrage of questions put to him as soon as he gets back. Everything is as it should be again, and Oscar is happy to be with his family once more. This is the epitome of a beautiful story, and one that portrays a potential outcome to that stereotypical answer all children give when they are frustrated by being asked where they are going, and it seems Nowhere is perfect for a while, but being Somewhere is far nicer, especially if it involves being surrounded by loved ones.

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