NEW TITLES

The following picture books among our highlights for this month. They are ideal for young children aged 4+ and can be used as read-alouds as well as starters for discussions about subjects including friendship and siblings, as well as sparking ideas for other class-based activities.

Jampires
Sarah McIntyre

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910200124

Jampires, the new picture book by duo Sarah McIntyre and David O'Connell (published by David Fickling Books), is a feast of jamminess that young children will devour! We follow Sam who is determined to find out who sucked the jam out of his doughnuts and sets a trap, unexpectedly catching not one but two young jam thieves. They turn out to be harmless 'Jampires' who lost their way while out exploring, and they offer to whisk Sam back to their world, the land of the Jampires, 'where we can eat jam every day! Jam forever, jam always, Yippee!' When Sam arrives in Jampire land, he discovers a landscape of sherbet-snow, skyberry orchards and mountains of blueberry pie, which are all deliciously created across the pages. He is also given a special treat by the Jampire parents to show how grateful they are to him for returning the errant young jam thieves! The story is told in rhyming text and is great to read aloud; children can also be encouraged to create their own pudding-based landscapes and imagine what kind of thief might want to steal their favourite treat.... Reviewed by ReadingZone

Jampires
My New Home
Marta Altes

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447206507

A gorgeously simple new picture book from Marta Altes ('I am an Artist') explores what happens when a small raccoon moves house and has to face the strangeness of a new house, school and friends. The text is completely pared down: 'I was happy in my old house. Here everything feels new,' and the images contrast sunshine and red and orange colours in his old town with the greens, blues and rain of the new house. Reassurance from Dad, that there will be new adventures around the corner, set the small raccoon off on a hunt for friends and things to do and, by the final spread, the moving boxes have been turned into an exciting new game for him and his friends. It's a lovely story to share with young children to discuss new environments and friendships, and will support work around 'Home' topics and what makes us feel at home. Reviewed by ReadingZone.

My New Home
Mungo Monkey goes to School
Lydia Monks

Egmont Books Ltd

ISBN 9781405269094

A lovely picture book to share with children who might be finding their first few weeks at school a little overwhelming. The reassuring bright colours and simple text about a little monkey, Mungo, who is starting school, can be used to encourage young children to talk about what it's like to be at school and, like Mungo, to think about their favourite things about being at school. During their first day, the class learn about bugs - finding and collecting some outside and then drawing them in the classroom - and there are lots of flaps to open to discover where exactly the bugs have ended up... Reviewed by Jane Shelton, librarian.

Mungo Monkey goes to School
The New Small Person
Lauren Child

Puffin

ISBN 9780723293613

Elmore Green started life as an only child with his own room and his own toys, even his own jar of jelly beans that all belonged to him (especially the orange jelly beans), everything was fine until the arrival of a new small person. The new small person seems to get more attention than Elmore and as it gets bigger wants to be with him all the time and share his things, even the jelly beans, especially the orange ones. Elmore is not at all keen but one day everything changes and he begins to learn that doing things together and sharing things (though not orange jelly beans) can be fun. This is a lovely story about sibling rivalry and learning that it can be just as much fun to be the oldest or the middle child. Quirky and witty illustrations and humorous text create a lovely story and a wonderful new character. I hope there will be more of Elmore Green and the new small person, Albert, in the future. Picture book / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian

The New Small Person
Bubble Trouble
Tom Percival

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408838778

Bubble Trouble is a simple story about friendship and how easy it is to fall out with ones friends. Rueben and Felix are firm friends and love blowing bubbles together. But one day they get into a very competitive contest where they try to beat one another to blow the biggest bubble. Each uses different tactics to beat the other and even resort at one point to cheating. A group of judges are appointed to judge size of the bubbles. The friends use complex machines to try to outshine each other but then they both realise the silly nonsense about being so competitive with each other. As a result they collaborate together to create one giant bubble and understand the importance of friendship. The Illustrations in the story are charming and various bubble shape flaps are included through out the book to lift which give the readers further information. The story would read aloud well and would be a good basis for discussing issues such as the importance of friendship, being competitive and collaboration. Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

Bubble Trouble
There's a Lion in My Cornflakes
Michelle Robinson

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408845608

There's a Lion in my Cornflakes is a quirky and funny picture book which uses a long standing childhood interest as a basis for the story. For many years children have collected coupons, cards and small objects given away in cereal packets. The basis for this particular story is collecting coupons for a very unusual item: a lion as a pet. The story is told in the first person from the perspective of a young boy and his brother. From the first page onwards the story involves the reader in the fast action as the brothers visit the supermarket to buy the number of cereal packets to give them the 100 coupons required to get the lion. Their parents are decidedly unimpressed with the packages and make them eat the cornflakes for every meal. However, the real down side of the collecting is that the demand for the pet lions is very high and the boys do not get a lion but are given a bear, crocodile and gorilla instead. Each of these creatures bring different issues with them which the family have to deal with! The Jim Field cartoony illustrations add greatly to the fun of the story. This would be a delightful book to read with a class of young children and perhaps start a collection of current cereal offers as discussing environmental print adds to young children's reading repertoire. Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

There's a Lion in My Cornflakes
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox
Julia Donaldson

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9780230771970

A clever and imaginative story from Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks, in which Ellen, who has chicken pox, is joined by her reflection from the mirror. The reflection, 'Mirror-Belle' (who says she is a princess), also has spots but claims hers are 'dragon pox'. Together the girls set out to find a cure, mixing and pouring various lotions and potions into the bath. Along the way, Mirror-Belle explains what it's like in fairyland (there's no bubble bath but they do have bubble fish; no shampoo but there's a spell to give you different hair each week), which Ellen isn't sure she believes. However, when Mirror-Belle disappears after bath time (leaving, it has to be said, quite a mess), Ellen's chicken pox does seem to have got better. As well as a lovely early reader (lots of pink and sparkles for girls...) reading it aloud could encourage children to imagine what other things might be different in fairy land, and what they'd like to discover there if they visited themselves. Reviewed by S Voisey, teacher.

Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox
The Colour Thief
Gabriel Alborozo

Bloomsbury Childrens

ISBN 9781408847534

The Colour Thief is a delightful picture book about Zot, who comes from another planet where there is no colour. The story tells of Zot travelling to a colourful planet because he thinks that the colour would make the planet a happy place. Once on the planet he decides to steal all the colour, one colour at a time. As the colours are stolen the images reflect what the world would look like without any green, blue, yellow and red. Finally only the colour orange is left. Zot then meets a little boy carrying an orange balloon in the now grey world. The image of the boy is very reminiscent of the French film The Red Balloon (1956). Zot acts without thinking and takes this last colour, too, leaving the young boy standing bereft in the totally grey world. As the boy looks so sad, Zot feels guilty and returns to the planet to give all the colours back. The boy is delighted and as a reward gives Zot the orange balloon to take home with him in order to brighten up his grey planet, which it does. This lovely story has a great deal of potential for discussion about the rights of stealing and also the importance of colour in our world and could easily be linked with an art and science topic at Key Stage 1. Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant.

The Colour Thief