Perfect Picture Books to Share – October (Part One)

Dangerous!

  • Written and Illustrated by Tim Warnes
  • Published by Little Tiger

This is a fantastic book that puts a spin on labelling things before giving them the chance to prove whether they deserve them or not, which is all done through the story of Mole, who loves to go around labelling things, until he happens across something he is unfamiliar with. Mole sets about labelling it with all the words that come to mind, and is scared when what we recognise as a crocodile/alligator wakes up and starts eating all of the labels.

When the crocodile/alligator writes a label saying sorry and places it on himself it is mole who is also apologetic and subsequently writes the word friend on the last label he puts on his new companion before they set off to have fun together. I loved the concept of this book, and I can see this being a huge hit with little ones, especially as they can read all the labels Mole has written throughout his adventures, and learn lots of things along the way.

I Would Rather Hug A Tiger

  • Written and Illustrated by Lorna Scobie
  • Published by Scholastic

I love the fun vibe to this book from the get go, as we follow along with small panda as he decides he would much prefer to do adventurous activities then those being asked of him such as brushing his teeth or holding his parents hand when they are out. Small panda does have some amazing experiences through being so imaginative with his chosen alternative tasks, and they involve lots of other animals in the vicinity. When the other animals follow small panda home he becomes a bit scared, and decides that those tasks he considered “boring” aren’t so bad after all, and gets himself into his pyjamas etc, ready for bed, which is precisely when mummy panda decides to

The illustrations are eye catching, with big bold animals coming to life on the page, and the mischievous rebellious side to small panda resonates through to the reader from the beautiful scenes that are depicted on each page. This book will be a huge hit with little ones, and there are so many ways to further engage them with the content, my personal favourite was to point to the different animals and make their respective sounds, which my two year old nephew delighted in, especially with the sss for the snake!

The Fire Fox

  • Written by Alexandra Page
  • Illustrated by Stef Murphy
  • Published by Two Hoots

The illustrations in this book are breathtakingly beautiful. They truly are stunning to look at, especially with the palette of blues used to depict the adventures of Freya, a young girl who is befriended by a white fox whilst staying in a cabin with her mum. The story itself is heart warming because Freya and her mum stay in the cabin that her dad used to love, and you get a sense of the fox being sent to accompany Freya out on the snow by her dad, who is clearly missed by both Freya and her mum.

The portrayal of Freya’s experiences with the white fox, both textually and visually, have a lyrical feel, and truly feel magical, which readers will love, especially as Freya is getting to enjoy something that we wont. That said, it really does feel as though you are right there with the little girl and her fox friend, crunching through the snow underfoot, and whizzing down the hill on the sledge. With winter just around the corner this is such a perfect choice to gift and share with little ones who will delight in the snowy adventure awaiting them inside.

Home is Where the Hive is

  • Written by Claire Winslow
  • Illustrated by Vivian Mineker
  • Published by Sunbird Books

I love the message at the core of this book, which is one of bee conservation, and is something that is incredibly important, so it is fantastic to have a book that brings it to the attention of the younger generation. Beatrice is one of many bees that sadly have to find themselves somewhere else to call home due to their habitat being taken over by humans, and many concrete structures that have been erected. When Beatrice heads off in search of somewhere the entire bee colony can relocate to she struggles. Everywhere she flies to has one issue or another, and hope is fading fast, until the determined young bee spots somewhere that just may be perfect whilst flying for home.

The hive that the bees have relocated to is situated in a garden atop of a block of flats, with the residents creating it to help the wildlife. This is exactly the sort of thing we all could, and should, do in order to protect bees and ensure their survival, and at the end of the book there are some brilliant tips, and advice, on how to achieve this for yourselves. With beautiful illustrations that are brightly coloured, and bold in design, there is a lot of the message being portrayed visually, with parts of Beatrice’s journeying coloured entirely in grey to reflect the lack of plants and flowers. I can see how invaluable and relevant this book is, and will remain, and I definitely recommend sharing this book with your little ones.

Goodbye Bear

  • Written and Illustrated by Jane Chapman
  • Published by Little Tiger
  • Coming out in paperback in Feb 2023

Whilst on the face of it this book had a sad story at its core through the passing away of Bear, it is actually really heart warming to see how Beaver and Mole cope with the loss of their dear friend, and navigate the many stages of grief that come from this life event. Beaver and Mole clearly miss Bear a lot, and little things they do reflect the respect and admiration the pair have for their friend, and as occasions such as Christmas come and go the pair find themselves drawn to Bear’s home where they find preparations have been made by their old friend, all of which have been completed in order for Beaver and Mole to reveal a special final gift.

The concept of living with loss is dealt with sensitively in Goodbye Bear, and as such it will help children to see there are positive ways to cope with loss, and keep the memory of those that have passed alive, which is something we are all determined to do in that scenario. Beaver and Mole lean on each other for support, and this again is another great coping technique for younger readers to acknowledge as they read of the pair confiding their thoughts and emotions with one another.

The special final gift that Bear has left Beaver and Mole the means to find is a star constellation in the shape of a bear, which is such a touching and magical conclusion to this book, leaving the reader with a nostalgic feeling to a sensitive matter we are all faced with at some point in life. I would love to see this book being shared with little ones in nurseries and library sessions as the content is as poignant as it is powerful, and I highly recommend it.

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