NEW TITLES

From monsters to bath toys, the seasons to the power of stories, this month's selection of picture books provides a wonderful range of stories to entertain young children and support their learning. Within these stories concepts like the seasons, family relationships and the power of stories are developed and explored.

Monsters Love Underpants
Claire Freedman

ISBN 9781847385710

We have already enjoyed pant-loving aliens, pirates and dinosaurs but get ready for a fiercesome collection of monsters who are determined to get their hands on the best pants around! In the latest addition to the 'Love Underpants' series by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, we travel from space to the bottom of the ocean, from swamps to the frosty mountains, to discover what the pant-stealing monsters are up to! Because, while monsters love scaring people and creatures - they love underpants even more. But they also know that if humans ever discovers this, their scaring days will be well and truly over! This is a great story to read aloud to young children. The variety of monsters in the story - see the wonderful spread of monsters having their picture taken - are a great starting point for children to create their own monsters. Look out for the fabulous end papers, too, which are bound to inspire children in painting their own pant-tastic collection of monster underpants. Picture book / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Monsters Love Underpants
Bears Don't Read!
Emma Chichester Clark

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780007425181

Emma Chichester Clark, the creator of 'Blue Kangaroo', delivers a wonderful story about the power of stories to make the world 'a more interesting place'. A Bear living in the woods finds a book that intrigues him - it has a bear, just like himself, but living 'an exciting life' and he is determined to discover what this and other stories are all about. He wants to be able to read the book and other stories like it and so he journeys to the nearest town to find someone who will teach him to read. His journey - including learning how to read - isn't an easy one but Bear succeeds against the odds, making this a perfect book to share with children who are on their own reading journey. Children will also enjoy discovering that the book that bear is trying to read is actually Bear's own story, and that the little girl in the story - who offers to teach bear to read - is much wiser than many of the adults around her! Picture book / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Bears Don't Read!
The Wonder
Faye Hanson

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783701148

The Wonder is a story about a little boy who questions and day dreams. As the reader follows him to school the sepia illustrations reflect a rather sombre tone. The reason for this is that on his journey the boy meets various adults who seem to dislike his daydreaming; the park keeper sighs at him when he treads on the grass, the bus driver grumbles because the boy bumps into another passenger and the lollipop lady snaps at him because he is not paying attention when crossing the road. Things do not get better in school and it is only when the art teacher tells him to use his imagination that, 'his day dreams are set free'. The illustrations then take on a spectrum of vibrate colours and show a fantastic magical world. The boy shows his work to the art teacher who tells him, "What an incredible imagination you have". This is an intriguing story which should unlock many children's imagination and would be a very good book to read to children in order to encourage them to use what ever they imagine within their artwork. Picture book / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

The Wonder
Penguin and Pumpkin
Salina Yoon

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408858370

As the leaves change colour and with Halloween around the corner, this is a perfect book to share with young children who are exploring what autumn is all about. Penguin lives in an icy landscape but wants to find out what autumn looks like so he sets off with some friends to find a farm. There they discover every size and shape of pumpkin imaginable - but Penguin's attention is caught by the sight of twirling, golden leaves. What will he take home to his little brother to share what autumn is all about? The story can be used to support children talking about what autumn means to them and to create their own autumn displays.

Penguin and Pumpkin
Blown Away
Rob Biddulph

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780007586318

Blown Away is Rob Biddulph's first picture book and it is a delight to read. Rob Biddulph is the art director for the Observer magazine and is also a father. As author / illustrator of this entertaining picturebook he has created a magical story of a journey into a new and distant land. Penguin Blue lives in a cold icy region and he has a new kite which he flies for the first time. The kite takes him high in the sky and even though two of his friends try to save him, they are all swept away. As the three are flying in the sky they pick up two more animals: a seal and a white bear who is ice fishing in a little raft. The animals are swept to a tropical green island miles away from their home where they are trapped. However, clever Penguin Blue has an idea of how they can escape. He makes a sail for the bear's raft and they are blown back to their cold home. On the return journey home they are secretly joined by a monkey who has an amusing role at the end of the story. The illustrations are intriguing as there is lots for the young reader to explore. He has included clever pieces of text throughout which add to the enjoyment of reading. For instance as the animals return home they pass a row of young penguins standing on a whale which has School Bus written on its side and three other penguins are waiting at a nearby school bus stop. This book is ideal for 1:1 reading or group reading as it would generate a great deal of discussion. However, during the reading it might be appropriate to point out that penguins and polar bears (although not explicitly mentioned) do not live in the same region. Picture book / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

Blown Away
The Flying Bath
Julia Donaldson

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9780230742604

The Flying Bath is the latest collaboration by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts, in which we take to the skies in a bath tub, accompanied by frog, duck and turtle. The picture book is perfectly designed for developing readers with short, simple rhyming text and a repeated verse - 'Wings out, and off we fly. The Flying Bath is in the sky!' On each spread, the trio in the bath tub rescue different creatures who need water - a thirsty kangaroo, a bee's drooping flowers, a dirty pig who needs a bath and a baboon whose tree is on fire - so there are also plenty of opportunities to talk about what we need water for. There is also a lovely, rewarding spread on the final page when the magic bath returns home in time for bath time, and with an extra passenger on board! Picture book / Reviewed by ReadingZone

The Flying Bath

ISBN 9780763666309

Bear Hug is a warm, beautifully-illustrated story about the seasons and cycles. It begins in the autumn with a young bear collecting leaves for his bed and fishing for food, just like his parents have taught him. Winter is coming and the bear knows he has to prepare for the approaching harsh conditions. Then he meets another bear and together they settle down to escape the winter, warm in their cave. When the spring arrives, so does their new arrival, a bear cub who, like his parents before him, sets about learning how to forage and hunt and to prepare for the next winter.... The gorgeous colour palate takes us through the seasons and, along with the pared-back text, make it a strong read-aloud, especially with some lovely descriptive phrases like the 'shivery river', the 'deep, downy blanket of snow' or the cub, 'soft as thistledown and lively as a sunbeam'. Picture book / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Snow (Mini Gift Edition)
Sam Usher

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783700738

With winter around the corner, children will soon be waiting for the first signs of snow and all the fun that it brings and in this story, no one is more excited than this small boy who wakes to discover it's snowing - and wants to be the first to walk across that white blanket covering the outside world. Except, that he has to wait for his Grandad. So they miss being the first, or the second, to walk in the snow. He misses his friends as they go by... until finally Grandad is ready to set off and when they arrive - well, the whole zoo has got there first and there's a whole lot of fun waiting to be had. There are some wonderfully pictured spreads depicting the boy's impatience to get out of the house and into the snow, and few words are needed to describe the draw of that perfect snow, waiting to be trodden in. The surprise appearance of the zoo animals in the snow adds a wonderful, magical touch to the story and cements the relationship between the boy and his Grandad. Picture book / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Snow (Mini Gift Edition)
The Midnight Library
Kazuno Kohara

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9780230736092

Kazuno Kohara was born in Japan and now lives in the UK. The Midnight Library is her third book and is made distinctive by her use of linocuts for the illustrations as well as the use of a limited palette of colours. In this picturebook she uses black, orange and blue. The story focuses on a library that only opens at night and is run by a little librarian and her three owl assistants. The story shows what a library is for and how it should be used. At one point a squirrel band starts to play loudly in the reading room and they are told not to play there because it is too noisy but they can play in an activity room. A tearful wolf, who is so upset by the book she is reading, is taken to a storytelling corner. The use of the wolf is reminiscent of the Cultivated Wolf. The reader is informed about library cards, borrowing books and storytelling in the library. This is a gentle book which can be used as a focus for how a school or public library should be used. From reception to Year 2 this could be read to encourage children to discuss reading and borrowing library books. Picture book / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

The Midnight Library