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Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

Wolfy by Gregoire Solotareff. translated by Daniel Hahn.

August 25, 2017 Comments off

wolfyWolfy by Gregoire Solotareff. translated by Daniel Hahn. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

A multi level picture book by an Egyptian author who lives in France. It is about friendship but also delves into deeper concepts such as Can the lion lay down with the lamb?

Wolfy is a wolf who has never seen a rabbit and Tom is a rabbit who has never seen a wolf. The two meet and become friends oblivious of the traditional roles that they have in each others lives. They bury an old wolf and talk about wolves eating rabbits and rabbits having fears about wolves. But become friends anyway as wolf has never tasted rabbit and rabbit isn’t scared of wolf.

The friendship is blissful until they play a game of Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? read it and find out what happens.

Great read-a loud for juniors and something for older readers to muse over.

Illustrations feature bold primary colours with the wolf in black and the rabbit in blue. A great addition to the school library and in the home.

Big Box Little Box by Caryl Hart and Edward Underwood.

August 22, 2017 Comments off

big boxBig Box Little Box by Caryl Hart and Edward Underwood. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

It is a pleasure to read a picture book with rhyming text where the rhyme is not forced or uses a made up word. The text flows from one box to another making it perfect for reading aloud to juniors.

Not only that it emphasises shapes, colours and uses that the box has besides the ones that the cat and later the mouse put them to.

” Brown box, Green Box, Yellow box ,black box, blue box, red box. Hey That’s not a bed box.”

The cat is inside most of the boxes with  a knowing look, until the mouse. Then a chase and a surprise ending. Read it and find out what it is.

Superbly paced, well written and set out, with the illustrations just perfect.

Just lovely

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival.

August 17, 2017 Comments off

perfectly normanPerfectly Norman by Tom Percival. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

This superb picture book has a touch of genius about it as it helps children who are different understand that they should not be embarrassed or ashamed about their difference and tells them they are not alone.

Norman is,in his parents eyes, perfectly normal, but you the reader know this is not true by the illustrations. Norman and his kite are in colour and everything else is in black and white.

Then the imaginative Norman grows a pair of multi coloured wings and celebrates with a flight with the birds. Norman worries how his parents will react, so wears a warm coat which he never takes off. This makes his life miserable until he realises that the wings are not the problem but wearing the coat is.

He sheds the coat and other children with the same difference shed theirs and we have a wonderful celebration of colour as winged happy children take to the air.

Perfectly Norman or is that normal. Great to read aloud to juniors.

The illustrations are superb. The contrast of black and white with colour enhances the theme of difference and the isolation that people with difference sometimes feel. I repeat, a touch of genius.

So Special by David Hill, Illus. Nikki Slade Robinson

August 6, 2017 Comments off

so specialSo Special by David Hill, Illus. Nikki Slade Robinson. Pub. Duck Creek Press, 2017.

Picture books can be used to highlight topics, feelings and personal situations so that the reader can see that they are not alone. The pen is still mightier than the sword although when applied to this book, there is something ironic about that statement as the topic is the families of the armed forces who are serving overseas and the problems they have.

Oscar and his sister Laila miss their dad who is with the army overseas. Laila sucks her thumb and Oscar sometimes gets angry when other kids ask about the whereabouts of his father. Mother copes as well as she can and supports her children with skill and attention.

But they still miss their dad. Both children learn to live with the fact that their dad is special and is serving his country oversea.

Nikkii Slade Robinson’s illustrations are perceptive, large and colourful. They show the joy and the sadness. The use of the family dog is powerful and the mother is always in control. The aircraft, tank and battleship shadows throughout the book remind readers of who we are talking about.

David Hill’s text is simple, straight to the point and sensitive. Also available in Maori language under the title He Tino Taonga.

This picture book fulfills a need in a most positive way.

Dragons Under my Bed by Kathy Bee, Illus. by Lisa Allen.

July 31, 2017 Comments off

dragon bedDragons Under my Bed by Kathy Bee, Illus. by Lisa Allen. Pub. Duck Creek Pres, 2017.

Something happens in my room at night. Straight after Mum turns out the light” Heck we all know that is true and like the little boy in this story it pays to have a good story to explain what happens.

Yes it is dragons under the bed who come out and have enormous fun creating a hellava mess until mum comes back to see what the kerfuffle is.

A picture book from the song Dragons under the Bed from well known singer/songwriter Kathy Bee. You can download the song from this book and sing along or you can read it aloud instead.

It has the added advantage of easing childhood fears of a monster under the bed  especially knowing that the dragons are having such fun.

Lisa Allen has illustrated the song and brought it to visual life. The dragons are brazen, puffing smoke, firing arrows, throwing clothes around, emptying the wardrobe and all sorts of mischief. The little boy is as innocent as the day is long and of course has imagination

But we know who is really to blame.

Worth every cent of 20 bucks from  www.kathbee.nz

I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon

July 24, 2017 Comments off

ate my friendI Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.

I have been sitting on this potentially award winning picture book for a few weeks now and I just have to get it out. Why you say? Because it is multi level, thought provoking, funny, with illustrations that are so simple I could have done them, yet it has that je ne sais quoi.

On a child’s level it has a strong message of, “be careful who you chose as a friend.” It also looks at ways in which we make judgments on who our friends should be.

At an adult level, while everything above is relevant, it deals with old adage of “what goes round comes round”.

A monster regrets that he has eaten his best and only friend, he ponders the meaning of this and goes looking for a new friend. In the end another monster chooses him. He is happy for a while, but………

Lots of black with bright colours on whole pages and white font in short but perceptive sentences. The ending is a killer.

Juniors will love it but older children and adults will be bewitched too.

There is no Dragon in this Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright.

July 23, 2017 Comments off

no dragonThere is no Dragon in this Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright. Pub.Bloomsbury, 2017.

I like dragons but I am afraid they are not always the good guys in children’s stories. They maybe in The Game of Thrones but I haven’t seen the ending yet.

The dragon in this excellent story for juniors and older fans of traditional stories, is sick of being the villain who captures a princess and fights a knight who becomes a hero. Fair enough not all dragons are tarred with the same brush and so it is with this one.

After trying to get into a number of stories involving the Gingerbread Man, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Pinocchio and Hansel and Gretel, and been told that “there is no dragon in this story”, dragon is fed up. He needs acceptance.

Jack and the Beanstalk gives him his big chance. See if he takes it.

Easy dialogue, best read aloud, with a chance for children to interact with the reader and the story. Illustrations are big, colourful and enhance the story line, especially the facial expressions of the dragon. Other traditional characters are easily recognisable.

An excellent publication out in August for $24.99NZ.