NEW TITLES

This month's selection of picture books, covering a wide range of ages, includes plenty of books to read aloud and lots of suggestions for using these books in class.

Squish Squash Squeeze!
Tracey Corderoy

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848691896

I love the 'squished' cover on this book, especially as it expresses so clearly what happens inside the pages. When Mouse discovers a cosy, neglected house, he knows it's just what he needs - but he hasn't reckoned on a grumpy bear, a cross crocodile and a playful tiger having got their first. Having staked his claim, however, Mouse has to agree that the house feels a bit - well - squashed. But when a strange rumbling begins, and all the animals are scared, it's Mouse who saves the day by being brave and discovering an unexpected solution to their problem. This is a lovely story to share with a group; the illustrations are bold and full of lovely detail, and there's plenty of humour and some nice repetitions in the text, and not forgetting a lovely double-size pop out at the end. Children will also enjoy the story that shows Mouse being brave - despite being the smallest of the group - as well as clever and resourceful. I'm sure children would enjoy making up their own house and deciding which creatures should fill it! Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Anna Hale.

Squish Squash Squeeze!
Kangaroo Kisses
Nandana Dev Sen

Otter-Barry Books Ltd

ISBN 9781910959008

A lovely bedtime picture book. How many excuses can one little girl find for delaying bedtime for just a little while longer? Lively rhyming text and colourful illustrations make this a great book for sharing. This little girl has many adventures and meets lots of different animals on her way to bed but all ends well as mum tucks her in. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

Kangaroo Kisses
Rain
Sam Usher

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783705474

After Sam Usher's gorgeous Snow, it's a real treat to have Rain to follow, complete with tactile raindrops on the front cover! As in Snow, when an impatient little boy was desperate to get out into the snow to play, in this story the boy wants to go and play in the rain. Usher's puddles are indeed very enticing and, by the time Grandad has finished his letter writing, the puddles have joined to become a rather large pool. As the boy and grandad go out to post a letter, the rainwater becomes the backdrop for an imagined visit to 'the flooded city', Venice. While the earlier pages are smudges of grey and brick, the final spreads are filled with colour and light. It's a lovely story in itself, but can also be used to spark discussions on different weather and what we can do when it rains / snows / the wind blows etc and children can talk about their favourite 'rainy days' - indoor and outside, just like the little boy in the story. If you're looking for examples of a story told in the first person, this will also work very well. 40 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Ellen Young.

Rain
Hiccups!
Holly Sterling

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847806741

Ruby tries all sorts of things to cure puppy Oscar's hiccups. They whirl and twirl, hoppity-hop and slurpity-slurp but nothing seems to work. Just when Ruby thinks she has solved the problem the hiccups prove they are not to be beaten. A funny story with imaginative language, engaging characters and lively illustrations, which will be great for sharing and provides lots of opportunities for joining in. 32 pages / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

Hiccups!
Chimpanzees for Tea!
Jo Empson

Puffin

ISBN 9780141356433

Vincent is under strict instructions to rush to the shops and hurry home in time for tea. After all, the cupboards are looking rather bare! Shopping list in hand, he sets off. But, things don't go quite as planned. A gust of wind blows the shopping list right out of Vincent's hand and off into the sky. As he desperately tries to remember the items on the lists, things start to get rather muddled. The result is a hilarious and unexpected parade of 'items'! Vincent hurries home for tea but has he remembered everything on the list? Jo Empson has done it again: a wonderfully simple story accompanied by stunningly beautiful illustrations. Each page is a feast for the eyes: colourful and filled with fun detail. I especially love the little bird that follows Vincent the whole way home, with the shopping list in its beak! This is a book to share over and over again. You will notice something different with every read and you will soon have even the youngest readers joining on with the shopping list. The rhyme and word play between the original list and the new assortment of items makes this a story that will be easily committed to memory, allowing pre-readers to 'read' along too. Such fun could be had inventing your own items for the list. Chimpanzees for Tea! is an absolute triumph and sure to become a modern classic. Picture Book / Ages 3+ /Reviewed by Torie Walton, teacher

Chimpanzees for Tea!
Little Collectors: Nature Art: Make art from nature
Jenny Bowers

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847807724

Created as a 'collector's box', Nature Art encourages children to go outside and find things in nature that they can collect, observe and exhibit, from flowers and blossoms to to pebbles and plants - all of which can be collected in the large envelop provided. This is a great way to develop a nature table, using this book box as a guide, for example showing how to display their collection in little boxes and frames and to draw what they find on posters. Nicely done and I could see it working really well with nursery and reception children.

Little Collectors: Nature Art: Make art from nature
There Is a Tribe of Kids
Lane Smith

Two Hoots

ISBN 9781509812882

A small child explores the natural world in this colourful journey of discovery. Coming down from the snowy mountains, he waddles across the ice with penguins, dives under the ocean, flies with ravens that leave him on top of rocks and weaves through the jungle. Along the way he meets an array of creatures, joining in their adventures. But all he really wants is a tribe to call his own. A trail of seashells along the beach leads him to a happy conclusion. The text consists entirely of a playful selection of collective nouns including a band of gorillas, a parade of elephants and a troop of monkeys, whilst the story is told through the pictures, which are made to be pored over. The technique used for the stunning illustrations give them texture and an almost luminous quality. The pictures are very expressive, with simple lines and colour conveying the emotions of the child as he travels; some of them are quite melancholy, highlighting his loneliness. But the last spread is a joyous celebration of play and togetherness. This is a perfect book to share with children in Early Years and Key Stage 1, but should by no means be confined to these age groups - there is so much for every reader within the pages. 40 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Jayne Gould, librarian.

There Is a Tribe of Kids
Petunia Paris's Parrot
Katie Haworth

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783704903

Petunia Paris has everything a little girl could wish for - so what should she ask for at her next birthday? The only thing she can think of is a parrot, because she has heard that they talk so believes it would provide some company for her, but the parrot proves to be reluctant to chat. That is, until Petunia asks it nicely to tell her why it isn't talking which is when she discovers the real problem. Here, children are given a glimpse into an environmental message; the parrot wants to go back to its real home, in Peru. The expressions of both bird and girl are completely absorbing at this point, and from here the story becomes a quest to return the parrot home so the story is a nice introduction to the idea of preserving our environment. It is charmingly illustrated in a slightly retro style and this, together with the longer text, makes it suitable to children aged four to five years plus. 40 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Jane Brown.

Petunia Paris's Parrot
Migloo's Day
William Bee

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406365603

If you love Where's Wally, then Migloo's Day (now available in paperback) is one for you. In this search and find story book, Migloos day unfolds with lots of great tales of everyday adventures. The search and find pages are great fun and offer lots of discussion opportunities. These books would work well as a support for speech and language teachers developing narrative work. There is so much to talk about in the pages with many different characters doing all sorts of different things. I would find this book really useful as a stimuli for writing simple sentences as children could write about all the different characters in the story. It will also offer lots of opportunity to develop vocabulary. My children enjoyed this book and it provides a multiple read by keeping children engaged and interested. 38 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Migloo's Day
This Is Not A Bedtime Story
Will Mabbitt

Puffin

ISBN 9780141357386

Will Marbett has captured the mind of the modern six or seven year old very cleverly in this book. I thought this was a really funny book. How many times have I picked up a very dull story and had to trawl through the twee tale which can be very sickly and not engaging at all for children. I love how in this book, Sophie uses her imagination to turn what might be a rather dull story into one that is exciting, adventurous and everything our modern children are into. I might have a go at this in the future - by choosing a similarly dull story and letting my class do their thing with it! From a parent's point of view, I loved how dad gets completely sucked into the story, light Sabres are a staple toy in our house, so I totally get Sophie's need for one in her story. It even had the perfect thriller ending with the twist as Pink Kitten seemingly eaten by the Robo dinosaur, emerges victorious as she rips the batteries right from its insides!!! Love the drama! Well done Will Mabbitt - great story and Fred Blunt, from your final illustration, you know us parents too well!!!! Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

This Is Not A Bedtime Story
Immi
Karin Littlewood

Otter-Barry Books Ltd

ISBN 9781910959534

Immi finds so many wonderful things as she fishes for her supper. Soon her igloo is the brightest in the land and attracts much attention and many visitors. All the visitors have stories to share with each other about the many lands they have visited. When the snow melts Immi sends a tiny polar bear necklace on its way to another land and another child. This is a magical story using colour to build an image of Immi's cold land and the wonderful changes her discoveries bring about. The author finally takes us to a warm land, full of sun and colour where a little boy can now share Immi's gift of a polar bear necklace, but it seems that he, too, had an important part to play in starting the story in the first place. This is such a lovely book about the joy of both giving and receiving gifts and the pleasure in sharing those gifts with others. 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

Immi
There's a Tiger in the Garden
Lizzy Stewart

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847808066

Nora is at Grandma's house, there is nothing to do and she is bored. Grandma tells her to go and look for the tiger she has spotted in the garden. Nora knows that grandma is being silly because tigers live in jungles not gardens. When she and her toy giraffe venture into the garden Nora is surprised by what she finds but she still thinks grandma is making up the part about a tiger. There are surprises for both Nora and grandma in this story. This is a lovely story about the power of the imagination with vibrant and detailed illustrations that will be enjoyed again and again. 40 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

There's a Tiger in the Garden
Alison Hubble
Allan Ahlberg

Puffin

ISBN 9780141359243

'This is the story of ALISON HUBBLE who went to bed single and woke up double.' Alison Hubble goes to bed one night as a normal little girl. Imagine her surprise - and that of her parents - when she wakes the next morning to find she has doubled and there is another identical Alison Hubble in her room. Written in rhyme, the story follows Alison as she doubles and doubles. First there is one, then two and four.... Things become rather complicated when there are lots of you! I love picture books that have a mathematical theme and this one is an especially good example. The story is incredibly funny with jokes for readers of all ages. As Alison continues to double and double, things become increasingly crazy in the Hubble household as her parents try to cope with the growing number of Alisons. Such and unexpected happening is sure to spark a child's imagination. The mathematical mayhem introduces the concept of doubling to young children in a fun a lively way. This is the perfect way into counting, doubling and number patterns. With older children you could begin to investigate the number sequence in more depth and start asking - What if...? and - How long..? I can see teachers scrambling for this gem! With all of the hallmarks of an Ahlberg and Ingman collaboration - charming illustrations and a delightfully humourous plot, this is sure to be springing up on bookshelves and in classrooms everywhere. What would you do if you started to double? Picture Book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Torie Walton, teacher.

Alison Hubble
Magical Maths
Chris Oxlade

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783704217

In the past with year 5 and 6 pupils I have made maths fact books with flaps and pull outs etc... I've always had to make the model myself - well never again! Magical maths is a fantastic maths fact book which gives a whole wealth of information from across the maths curriculum. The interactive nature of this book engages and entices the reader to read on and find out more and Wizard Plusminus is an appealing character for both boys and girls. My Year 1 son and class loved this book as it was aimed exactly at the end of year expectations for them. I will be showing this to our upper school and encouraging them to use this as inspiration for a DT project to create a bank of interactive maths activity books that our younger children could use. I think this will be a book, I'll be leaving it in the book corner and I am sure it will be a popular choice with all the children. I love the fact that there are aspects of this book that can be accessed by all children at all levels. Definitely recommend this one for the KS1 classroom. 16 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Marie Berry, teacher.

Magical Maths
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight
Elli Woollard

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447254812

This is a really fun and slightly longer picture book, about a boy and a dragon who become friends in unlikely circumstances, that has loads of appeal to boys and girls. A small dragon, called Dram, is packed off by the larger, meaner ones to 'find a bite of a dribblesome, nibblesome, knobble-kneed knight'. When James sees the young dragon in trouble in a river, he rescues him, thinking he is a duck; Dram, meanwhile, has no idea James is actually just what he is looking for - a young knight in training. But after various mishaps and misunderstandings, the two put aside their traditional emnity since they have become great friends. The rhyming text in this story is a treat, as are Benji Davis's illustrations. It will make a great read-aloud, or independent read for children who want plenty of lively illustrations. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Helen Young.

The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight