NEW TITLES

This month's picture books, featuring lots of lovely (and some slightly scary) animals are great to share with groups as well as individual children, and explore many everyday situations for young children, from 'staying in line' to learning to smile.

Blue and Bertie
Kristyna Litten

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471123740

Kristyna Litten writes a lovely book about Bertie the giraffe and what happens to him the day he stays away from his herd and meets Blue the blue giraffe. This book tackles issues surrounding meeting and becoming friends with someone who is different from you. This is great book to use in circle time especially when dealing with friendship topics. Kristyna Litten also uses lots of examples of examples of onomatopoeia in this book which makes it a lovely resource to use when introducing early figurative language. This book makes a lovely read with young children, the beautiful illustrations engage and interest young readers. Would recommend this book especially with early years and KS1 aged children. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Blue and Bertie
Little Why
Jonny Lambert

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848691834

At the back and in between the Elders, Little Why the elephant just can't stay in line. He's amazed at the spiny-spiky special horns of Wildebeest, the long lofty leggy legs of Giraffe, the speedy spotty fuzzy fur of Cheetah and the snippy-snappy snazzy snout of Crocodile. He desperately wishes he could have all of these attributes, imagining the fun he could have, and asking why he can't. After being ordered once again to get back in the line, he sulks; if only he had fancy feathers like Bird he could flutter and fly away, if only, if only... As they finally reach the watering hole, the Elders remind Little Why of his fantastic flippy-flappy ears, his super-squirty trunk and the fact that he is special just the way he is. A simple fable with beautiful artwork full of character and humour. Young children will enjoy looking at the vibrant illustrations of the animals and talking about what makes each one different. A lovely book to show children that it is our differences that make us special. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Ellie Williams.

Little Why
Terrible Tim
Laura Hughes

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783705023

Here is a hectic picture book providing lots of action with a, fun rhyming text and lively illustrations. Tim doesn't mean to be terrible but there is so much in his day to do and enjoy that sometimes things get out of hand. As he splashes, dashes and roars his way through the day, his mum struggles to keep up with him. But as the day draws to a close and bedtime approaches there is nothing that Tim (and his mum) love more than a snuggle and cuddle. A lovely book for sharing showing a situation that many parents will be familiar with. Picture book / Ages 2+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

Terrible Tim
The Bear Who Stared
Duncan Beedie

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783703753

There once was a bear who liked to STARE. While a bear who stares may seem rude and off-putting to many, we discover that he's just curious - but too shy to talk to the other animals, something that many young children will relate to. It seems Bear will never make any friends but fortunately a googly-eyed frog helps him out and lets him know that a smile is much better than a stare. Bear tries it out and finds that smiles help him to make lots of new friends. There is, however, still a green bear in the forest pool that can stare back at bear all day long and neither of them minds. A lovely story by a new illustrator which is both heart-warming and funny. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian

The Bear Who Stared
A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Michelle Robinson

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408845554

I loved this book, which reads as a more sophisticated follow up to We're Going on a Bear Hunt. My children really enjoyed this book and it got a few laughs from my six year old along the way, especially when he used the bubble gum on the bears. This book provides loads of links to curriculum work in many areas. I am currently doing a wildlife topic and we are making fact files, I will definitely use this book as a stimuli to further work creating How to ....? Guides. I loved the way the author speaks directly to the character/ reader, which is a writing skill we teach when writing instructions and explanations. This book would be a great hook when covering either genre. But this book is also a very good story, with super illustrations which really capture the reader's imagination throughout. Although what happened at the very end is anyone's guess? I hope he wasn't really eaten by the bear? Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry

A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Baxter's Book
Hrefna Bragadottir

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9780857635228

Baxter loves books, he enjoys stories about scary wolves, brave lions, cuddly bears and cute rabbits and longs to feature in his very own book. When he goes along to the storybook auditions, however, it looks as if all his dreams and hopes will come to nothing as the judges dismiss him as far to unusual and odd to be in their books. The other animals suggest he adopts some of their characteristics to be in a book but Baxter finds this too hard and decides he doesn't want to be in a book after all. But Baxter's own story provides the perfect story for showing how dreams can come true. A lovely picture book with lively illustrations and a charming storyline. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, libarian.

Baxter's Book
Fairytales for Mr Barker
Jessica Ahlberg

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406355888

Jessica Ahlberg's story is very reminiscent of her parents' marvellous books. Fairy Tales for Mr Barker is a clever story that takes the reader on an interesting journey with well-known fairy tale characters. However, for the story to work well and for the humour to be understood the child reader needs to know fairy stories and fairy story characters. In the story Lucy follows her dog, Mr Barker, into fairy story land. The first place the two visit is the three bears' cottage where they find Goldilocks eating a bowl of porridge. She joins the two of them as Lucy tells her that the three bears will be cross with her for eating the porridge. From cottage the three visit the three little pigs and help them escape from the big bad wolf and then they visit Jack and Sleeping Beauty. On the journey they are constantly chased by their foes: the three bears, the big bad wolf and the giant. Lucy leads her characters back to her bedroom where she tells them they can have a sleepover and she reads them a another fairy story which includes gruesome character. This is a fun book, which has a delicious ending. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant.

Fairytales for Mr Barker
The Red Prince
Charlie Roscoe

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783702213

The Red Prince is a sweet adventure story book based around the theme of friendship, family, team work and courage. When the poor Prince is left to look after his Island of Avala, when his parents go away, he is kidnapped and taken by a mysterious group of people, who soon take over his beloved island. It is up to the Prince to escape from these wicked people, however, this is very difficult to do when dressed all in red! With the help of some unexpected people, the Prince must make his way back home and take back his island. The illustrations are the main aid to this story and capture the feelings and emotions the Prince might going through with the colours used. However the only issue would be the boxes around the text that sometimes make it difficult to read due to colour choice. This could be problematic with early readers. However the books lends itself to so many themes and opportunities to explore in the classroom around friendship and teamwork within PSHE lessons. The story could also help with looking at courage and achievement and how we can achieve even what seem impossible with people's help. The illustrations in the book would also be perfect to use for creative writing as a starting point or to use a sole image to create a story or imaginative writing piece. I think the book would be enjoyed in KS1, however for creative writing use it could be used in Lower KS2. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman

The Red Prince