There are a range of stories, from picture books to chapter books and non-fiction titles, publishing this month for readers aged five to seven years.

A Forest
Marc Martin

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783702084

This textured hardcover picture book with vegetation on the front cover has been created by new picture book author and illustrator Marc Martin. The graphics are stunning and are supplemented by simple but appropriate text. The story is told of how a forest grew into woodland and was eventually destroyed by the actions of humans. Watercolours and pen and ink are married to great effect with the colours mingling and darkening. The plants, human figures, machines and then buildings all start small and become more significant as the trees are all cut down to make way for roads, factories and dwellings. Opportunities are plentiful for discussion about the reasons why trees are important in the environment. The issue of poor air quality is raised as there are no trees to clean it. As the storm brews and the rain starts to fall, inevitably the built-up area is washed away. After the storm just one tree remains. This tree becomes the foundation for the new forest. The book would be useful for looking at sustainability, how man affects nature and climate change in its simplest form and could be used as an introduction to plant growth and linked in with growing seedlings inside the classroom and monitoring its growth. Picture Book/Age 5+/ Reviewed by Pat Chandler, librarian

A Forest
Art and Max
David Wiesner

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781849392679

This is a clever and beautifully-illustrated story about creativity in all its forms. As an over-enthusiastic young creator, Max, tries to get involved in painting a picture with the more serious Arthur, then ends up having to re-create Arthur through his own artwork. This story underlies the idea that, in all creative projects, there is a process involved; children are encouraged to think about what the next step might be in creating these images and about how pictures - and stories - are created in layer after layer. In effect, the story shows children how illustrations are born, from simple line illustrations to full blown colour images, while emphasising the individuality of creation. A lovely picture book. Ages 5-7 years / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Art and Max
Migloo's Day
William Bee

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406339307

William Bee, who is behind books like Beware of the Frog, And the Cars Go...., has created another wonderful world in Migloo's Day. Migloo is a small dog who joins Farmer Tom on a trip into town. There, he visits different environments including the Town Square, the Market, the Fire Station, Sunnytown School and Sunnytown Park and on each of these colourful spreads, children are invited to find things that are hidden in the busy pages. After lots of snacks and generally being well looked after, Migloo has a chance to help the children when their school bus breaks down - and the little dog gets everyone involved in helping out. There is a wonderful spread with flaps showing the entire town rushing to the rescue. As well as simply enjoying the story and the 'look and find' element, there is lots to learn in this book. Exploring the different environments that Migloo visits will support lots of discussion around the Emergency Services, road safety and signage, what happens at factories and garages, and so on. The bright, cartoon-like illustrations and the simple, bold text will also have lots of appeal to children who are developing confidence in reading, particularly boy readers, and they will also enjoy the magazine-style quiz at the back. It's a lovely book to have in the class library for children to sit with and browse. 38 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Anna Holt.

Migloo's Day

ISBN 9781405273480

Blue Bananas is a series of simple stories for developing readers and what a treat for these children to have an author like Anne Fine writing for them. Toby has trouble getting to sleep as he thinks there is something under the bed to come and frighten him or worse, in spite of the fact that time after time his parents, brother and Nana come upstairs and tell him that although there are things under the bed they are his belongings. In the end Harry comes up with answer - he unscrews the legs and puts the bed on the floor so there is no under the bed! (Parents might not thank Anne Fine for this solution to a common problem!) Matt Robertson's lovely coloured illustrations, particularly the one on the cover, capture Toby's expressions beautifully and there are repetitions in the test with the things that are really under the bed so the reader can relax a bit for these bits! Mum and Dad's graded tones of exasperation will be familiar to many readers I am sure. A real winner for 6+ boys and girls. 48 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian.

Do You Know Pippi Longstocking?
Astrid Lindgren

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192739032

As the 70th anniversary celebrations of the publication of Pippi Longstocking get underway, it's good to see this joyous introduction to Pippi for today's young readers, the girl who is 'clever enough to outwit burglars, brave enough to wrestle a circus strongman, crazy enough to bake biscuits on the kitchen floor, and strong enough to lift up a horse!' Through these pages, we discover how Pippi makes friends with her neighbours and get a glimpse into some of her adventures from her longer books, so it's an ideal introduction to the character and her stories. The retro images are packed with colour and energy and the text is broken up across the spreads, so will encourage early and more confident readers to dip into the pages. 32 pages / Ages 5+/6+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

Do You Know Pippi Longstocking?
Mad about Monkeys
Owen Davey

Flying Eye Books

ISBN 9781909263574

Who would have thought that there are so many different kinds of monkeys! In this beautifully designed book from Flying Eye Books, we learn all about monkeys in an accessible and engaging way. There are lots of suprising facts that we wouldn't necessarily have known and I like the way the layout and illustrations present the information in a very manageable way. As well as finding out about monkeys - and this book is ideal to support any topic work on this subject - Mad About Monkeys is also useful for literacy lessons and for learning about non-chronological report writing. The book is a great example of how to do this, especially with the more unusual groupings and headings, for example 'Meet the gang' or 'Weird and wonderful'. Indeed these headings could be used to write a short story using that as the heading. Very inspiring. 40 pages / Ages 7-10 years / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Mad about Monkeys
Knight in Training: Dragons Can't Swim: Book 1
Vivian French

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444922271

Sam J. Butterbiggins has been sent to live with his Aunt Eglantine, Uncle Archibald and Cousin Prunella in Mothsdale Castle while his parents are away on important business. Sam has a secret ambition - he wants to be a knight and do all kinds of daring deeds but, unfortunately, he does not know how to go about it. Luckily for him, Mothsdale Castle doubles as 'Luxury Holiday Accommodation for Dragons, Griffins and Other Regal Beasts' and so he meets Godfrey, a dragon in distress and gets to perform his first daring deed. This is the first in a series of books about Sam and his quest to become a knight and we are introduced to the residents of Mothscale Castle and to Godfrey, who, one fine morning, in a bid to get away from Prunella, finds himself stuck down a well. Prunella is desperate to rescue Godfrey before her mother notices there is a problem and enlists the help of the reluctant Sam. In the course of retrieving Godfrey from the well, Sam is amazed and delighted to find a parchment with instructions on how to become a knight and sets about his training forthwith. This is an entertaining read, full of illustrations and a sneak peek of the second book in the series to whet the appetite of those who have read and enjoyed this one. Confident young readers should have no trouble with the vocabulary and it is also ideal for reading aloud to children, giving plenty of opportunities to exercise skills in funny voices for the various characters. 103 pages / Ages 7-11 / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian

Knight in Training: Dragons Can't Swim: Book 1