NEW TITLES

ISBN 9780857530332

Jez Alborough, creator of characters including Duck in the Truck and It's the Bear, has focused on friendship and feelings with his new book, Nat the Cat's Sunny Smile, which will be followed by two more books about Nat and her friends. These are ideal stories for sharing discussions about how are friends make us feel - and how our moods can affect our friends. When Nat decides to invite her friends to share her picnic with her, Hugo the Hare and then Billy the Goat decide they are not in the mood - too gloomy, too angry. While Nat's 'sunny smile' soon changes their moods for the better, their glumness has left Nat feeling blue although her friends soon put that to rights. Alborough's storytelling reminds us all that our feelings - positive or negative - can have a powerful impact on those around us, and it's a lesson that we're never too young to learn. You might want to go on to explore The Great Big Book of Feelings.....

Naughty Kitty!
Adam Stower

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781848773318

We have another, but very different, feline adventure in Naughty Kitty! which is Adam Stower's follow-up to Silly Doggy! and is now available in paperback. A little girl wants a dog but is given a cat instead. She decides that it is quite cute and isn't any trouble - until she leaves it in a room on its own. What the little girl doesn't realise is that there is also a tiger on the loose - but the little kitty gets all the blame for the chaos that the tiger leaves in its wake. The two levels of understanding this creates are hilarious - the little girl is completely non-plussed by just how the little kitten manages to break the cat flap, make the beds all hairy - 'and as for Mum's rug - I can't even talk about that. It was revolting!' If the reader who is sharing the book decides to adopt the stance of refusing to see the tiger, it can drive children to distraction! What a great way to get children reading 'visually'. There are so many clues, too, in the detail - from the newspaper reports on the front page to the row of stripes beneath the kitchen window - all of which are wrapped up nicely on the final end papers. It is also beautifully illustrated - we can't wait to see more from Adam Stower.

Naughty Kitty!
The Great Big Book of Feelings
Mary Hoffman

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847802811

Mary Hoffman's follow-up to the brilliant Great Big Book of Families, which introduces us to all the different kinds of families their are, with The Great Big Book of Feelings. Like its predecessor, it is an introduction to the variety of feelings there are and it encourages us to share and explore these. How do you feel today? (it's not always easy to tell!). Are you happy or sad, excited or bored, angry or calm? These are useful juxtapositions that will help children understand 'opposite' emotions as well as the feelings themselves. There is plenty of opportunity for discussion based around the images, which very clearly express moods such as silly, lonely or embarrassed. Children can be encouraged to share their own stories, or to explain how they know when their friends are feeling these different emotions and how to respond to them.

The Great Big Book of Feelings
Nurse Clementine
Simon James

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406338621

If you're studying the roles of people who are important to us, then Nurse Clementine is a lovely example of children role-playing one of these positions. Clementine receives a nurse's outfit for her birthday and immediately sets about 'making people better' with plenty of bandages and sticking plaster. While her brother runs from every attempt of Clementine's to patch him up after his many accidents, he eventually finds himself bandaged up like a mummy - and is delighted! The final spread shows everything that goes into a nurse's kit, from bandages and blood pressure monitors to stethoscope - and emergency sweets! Simon James has a real eye for how families and siblings operate, too.

Nurse Clementine
Cheese Belongs to You!
Alexis Deacon

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406339666

A little mouse has found a HUGE piece of cheese. There is no-one else around and, according to clearly-defined Rat Law, this delicious piece of cheese now belongs to her. Yum. But then a big rat muscles in and steals the cheese. Oh no! Then a bigger rat snaffles the cheese. Oh dear! Then a quicker rat . . . Oh my! . . . who then eventually falls foul of a gang of big, quick, strong, scary, hairy, dirty rats, who then . . . And so the merry game of greed and anarchy continues with more and more rats entering the fray. Until that little girl rat proves herself the most sensible of all. My initial impression, just from the cover, was of a story dealing with bullying. But it is more than that. On the simplest level 'Cheese' is a lesson in sharing, and the fact that bullying and fighting never really achieve much. Young children just love the humour and the cumulative build-up of words, images, pace and rhythm. (The Y2 and Y3 classes I tried it with really enjoyed it.) But 'Cheese' is also a moral tale that can be understood on different levels; so much so that I think this deceptively simple little story would be an excellent resource to use with children of all ages in connection with various PSHE & Citizenship topics. A masterly collaboration between Alexis Deacon ('Beegu') and Viviane Schwarz ('There are Cats in this Book'), who have brilliantly introduced young children to the world of power politics! Interest age: 4-14 For a similar theme see David Day’s rat-free 'King of the Woods' [1993; illus by Ken Brown]. Reviewed by Christine Fitt: Children's Reading Enthuser

Cheese Belongs to You!
Hooray for Bread
Allan Ahlberg

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406337990

Those of you who are familiar with Alan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman's earlier collaborations (The Pencil, The Runaway Dinner) will know to expect the unexpected in their stories. Hooray for Bread tells the tale of a loaf of bread, starting with it coming out of the oven at the baker's and explaining what happened to each and every slice - including the two slices that run away half way through the story. It's a joyous blend of everyday meals, feeding ducks and happy dogs with a little bit of the unexpected added to the mixture. The story is told in rhyming text and told 'slice by slice' as the loaf dwindles away through the day. Like their earlier books, the creator of the story never feels too far away and here, you hear the author's voice explaining what happens to each slice and then giving us the puzzle of the missing slices; that is solved on the last spread in a final, joyous celebration of bread!

Hooray for Bread
No-Bot, the Robot with No Bottom
Sue Hendra

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9780857074454

The subject of bottoms and the idea of losing one's bottom is bound to make this a popular story with young children and the bold illustrations make it a perfect read-aloud. Bernard the robot loves to play in the park - but one day he wanders off without his bottom! His friends try to help him find it as other animals try to find different uses for it. The robot's bottom turns into a nest, drums, even a sand castle bucket! As each attempt to redeem the bottom fails, poor Bernard starts to think he is now a 'no-bot' rather than a 'robot'. Luckily, he does manage to retrieve his bottom - but manages to forget another 'body part' during his next visit to the park. A humorous and fun read aloud.

No-Bot, the Robot with No Bottom

ISBN 9780192758354

Christopher the guinea pig's earlier stories have introduced us to a number of environmental themes and in this latest story, we take a look at recycling. Christopher gets a new bicycle - a 'recycled' one that has been fixed up and painted by Mr and Mrs Nibble. Having a recycled bicycle gives Christopher and idea and we see him visiting different parts of the town and asking for old newspapers, stale bread and old coffee jars. After looking online for ideas he and his friends turn each of these into useful items for their original homes - book bags from the newspapers, for example, for the library. The story can be used as a starting point for ideas to recycle everyday objects in the world around them.

Sam Who Went to Sea
Phyllis Root

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406344240

The immediately-recognisable and vivid illustrations by Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) give this story - Sam who Went to Sea - an extra immediacy. Sam, a river rat, dreams of the sea and one day, he discovers a way to make his dreams real - he finds out that he can build his own boat. His single-mindedness in doing so in all weathers and despite what any of his neighbours say is a good reminder to us all to follow our dreams and to be ourselves - whatever those around us think. Sailing, we discover, is in Sam's blood and his determination sees him through to the point where he is waving goodbye to his village life and setting sail down the river to the open sea. The illustrations are an important part of telling this story, particularly when Sam finds himself on the open seas on the 'wild green waves' with the wind behind him. Finally, we as readers understand his urge to sail; Sam is where he belongs. The end papers are a joyful little touch too, with sepia pictures of his home and neighbours on the wall in the opening pages, replaced by images of Sam at sea on the closing pages.

Sam Who Went to Sea
Monkey Nut
Simon Rickerty

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9780857075758

The vivid bold colours, clever use of white space and photographic collage, together with the brilliantly simple repetitive text guarantee that this book will become a firm favourite, easily recognised and picked out of the box. The message is also perfectly apt for this age group when sharing can be a real issue. We have two very cheerful little spiders who find a monkey nut. The contrast between the simply drawn characters and the photograph of a real nut emphasises the excitement and impact of their find. They have no idea what it is and their attempts to find out are hilarious and very creative. Is it a hat? Is it a phone? No - but it is 'mine', they both insist. The clever double page spread where the white background is filled with 'Mine' in loads of different fonts and sizes is a brilliant visual depiction of the argument that ensues. But a big black spider and a passing elephant solve the issue and our little spiders end up actually delighted by their two halves of the shell,while the elephant enjoyed the nut! This is perfect, witty storytelling which will have pre–readers 'telling' and embellishing the story to you and to each other. Reviewed by Joy Court, SLS Librarian.

Monkey Nut