NEW TITLES

This month's picture book reviews for 2-7 years cover a range of topics; healthy eating, the environment, mini beasts, colours and shapes, with important messages around friendship, teamwork and not discriminating against others.

Cake
Sue Hendra, Paul Linnet

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781509827435

From the duo that brought you Supertato, Barry the Fish with Fingers and other laugh-out-loud gems comes Cake; you (and your children!) will never see a birthday cake in the same light again... Cake is excited because a party invitation has just arrived and he has never been invited to a party before. What he needs is a hat, but he can't find the right one until the hat shop assistant finds him one that is just right! (careful readers will have spotted the bakery next door to the hat shop - but Cake remains clueless!). Now, with his beautiful icing and candles, Cake is all set and when he arrives at the party, he is made to feel welcome: 'A party isn't a party without CAKE!'. He has a brilliant time - until everyone starts singing 'Happy birthday' and Cake can't shake off the feeling that something isn't quite right.... (don't worry, rescue is at hand!) This is a colourful, dramatic picture book that will have children both horrified and in stitches as they recognise the dangerous situation Cake is in... There is lots happening 'behind the scenes' that careful readers will pick up in the pictures, too. This is a great read-aloud for Reception and Year 1 classes and can also lead on to discussions about how children celebrate their birthdays and other occasions. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Kelly Hill.

Cake
The Wardrobe Monster
Bryony Thomson

Old Barn Books

ISBN 9781910646366

All children have a fear of the dark, of monsters, of shadows at night. Thomson (Author) turns those fears into a wonderfully crafted story which will have your children laughing and all fears forgotten. The Wardrobe Monster is a story that focuses on the classic fear of the monster in the wardrobe. Dora is a little girl who is afraid to go to bed, she thinks up every excuse 'until Mum got cross then she had to go'. Dora is grumpy from the lack of sleep all caused by a loud 'BANG!' that persists throughout the night. Except this time, Lion (cuddly toy) tells her she has to be brave and face her fears. Eventually Dora approaches the wardrobe only to discover that what was in the wardrobe is actually a big, lovely cuddly green monster who was just as afraid of the noises outside of the wardrobe, as Dora was of the noises in the wardrobe. Dora has overcome her fears and in doing so has made a new friend. Uniquely illustrated, this story stands out as less conventional than other stories for young children and therefore makes it more intriguing to read. The illustrations are hand drawn and convey such intimacy in the emotions of the characters. Dora has a lovely relationship with her toys and each toy has different qualities that help Dora overcome her fears. From a parent's perspective, this tale is a wonderful find to assuage fears of those noises in the night. Thomson has added other qualities to her tale - the lion's bravery, the encouragement of her toys and the comfort her toys provide her when she is afraid. There are lovely moments of humour which help alleviate rising tension of the monster in the wardrobe and I couldn't help but smile at Dora's polite reference to the monster as 'Mr Wardrobe Monster'. For me the constant affection and intimacy between the characters which is reflected in the both the narrative and the beautiful illustrations, are what makes this book special. A charming tale that teaches children to be brave and overcome their fears; if they do, there might just be something exciting to discover. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher.

The Wardrobe Monster
That Fruit Is Mine!
Anuska Allepuz

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406375480

That Fruit Is Mine! tells the story of five very selfish elephants who love fruit. They each LOVE a different kind of fruit and do not share. One day they are walking through the jungle and spot a very tall tree with a totally new type of fruit that they all want... for themselves. They all plot and try to get the fruit individually and are completely oblivious to the five little mice who have also spotted this exotic delicacy. A fantastic story to encourage team work and sharing, as well to show that size and status are not everything. I laughed heartily through this story. 32 pages / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Fiona Dalu-Chandu, school librarian.

That Fruit Is Mine!
Triangle
Jon Klassen

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406378368

Triangle (now available in paperback) is a funny picture book of a two-dimensional Triangle who decides to play a trick on his two-dimensional friend, Square. On his way to Square's house, we learn a little bit about size and non conforming shapes (stones and boulders in this case) which is great for early years. When Triangle arrives at Square's house he tries to scare him but it doesn't go quite as planned. This is a great little story about shapes, spacial awareness and friendship. Definitely one that the kids find funnier than the adults...but surely that's the point. Klassen's (Lemony Snicket's The Dark and the his own Hat trilogy) illustrations are so simple but perfect for this. 50 pages / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Fiona Dalu-Chandu, school librarian.

Triangle
When's My Birthday?
Julie Fogliano

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406380682

I have read When's My Birthday? with my five-year-old who thinks it is hilarious. It is actually a very realistic representation of the excitement of pending birthdays in childhood. Christian Robinson's (best known for Last Stop on Market Street) illustrations cleverly hark back to a bygone era in their simplicity. His use of different visuals and photographed textures is wonderful. This is a lovely book for a child to be read in the days up to their birthday, but it might over-excite them a little. As a parent it might drive you a little crazy too. I think it would be a really lovely book to share when you are discussing special occasions and traditions in an early years classroom. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Fiona Dalu-Chandu, school librarian.

When's My Birthday?
A Home Full of Friends
Charles Fuge

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444920567

A delightful tale that encourages children to be kind and to do good deeds. A Home Full of Friends jumps off the shelf with its carefully, detailed hand drawn illustrations and embossed writing. The creatures that feature throughout the tale are softly drawn with big eyes and faces full of expression guaranteed to be a huge hit with young children. Reminiscent of a classic, this story reminded me of stories such as Animals of Farthing Wood and The Wind in the Willows. The story tells the tale of young Bramble, a kind Badger who sets out on a very windy day for something to eat. On his walk he comes across three of his friends - a squirrel, a toad and a hedgehog - who all need his help. Bramble worries he will not be able to accommodate all his friends and is anxious they will all keep him awake if they sleep in his bed. However, Bramble cannot refuse to help but when they arrive at his home, to Bramble's surprise, they have all brought their families with them - which makes Bramble panic even more. How will he accommodate them all and how will he feed them? Bramble soon discovers this his little bit of kindness in opening up his home to his friends leads to a delightful evening and a home truly full of friends. This story is written in rhyming couplets throughout which enrich its quality. The narrative is so engaging that you do not notice the rhyming couplets until you read it several times. The illustrations really add to the story as they are so detailed you will notice something new every time you read it. This is a tale rich in messages combined with the creation of kind and homely creatures; perfect for children of any age. Bringing classical stories back to life, this beautifully-illustrated and engaging tale was wonderful to read with my children. I couldn't help but fall in love with this story and it sits with pride on our book shelf. Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher.

A Home Full of Friends
Fussy Freda
Julia Jarman

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444929232

A story that every parent can relate to - a toddler who refuses to eat! As parents we all tell those little white lies to our children, in vain attempts to try and get them to do something - eat vegetables or fruit, not to sit so close to the television, to go to bed on time.... Jarman and Blunt (authors) have cleverly used these myths to engage your children with a colourful tale involving one of those little white lies. Fussy Freda tells the story of a little girl - Freda - who just will not eat.... 'But it didn't matter what they cooked, Freda only shouted 'Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!'.' Freda is a very stubborn little girl (as all toddlers are) and her parents valiantly try every method possible - puppets, dressing up, fancy recipes - to try and get her to eat something; but still Freda refuses to eat. That is until one day Freda begins to shrink, becoming so small the cat terrorises her. Freda yells 'Give me something to eat' and she eats and eats and eats until she grows back to her normal size. Freda soon realises the error of her ways and enjoys eating, so much so that she even begins cooking herself and writing her own recipe book. A brilliantly colourful tale that had my toddlers - ages two and four - in hysterics. The illustrations are very engaging and animate the varying emotions of Freda and her parents with wonderful clarity. This story soon became a firm favourite in our house with my son reading along shouting 'Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!'. Interestingly the message stuck with my four year old as he recently commented when another child who was refusing to eat - 'Shall we call her Freda? Watch out, you might shrink if you don't eat!' proving that this simple children's tale had an impact on his awareness of the importance of eating healthily. A humorous tale which will have all the family giggling and will have lots of uses in the classroom when discussing healthy eating habits with young children. Picture book / Ages 2+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher.

Fussy Freda
The Last Wolf
Mini Grey

Jonathan Cape Ltd

ISBN 9780857550927

Set 100 years or so after the original tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Mini Grey has created a wonderful story with an inventive modern day twist. One day Little Red sets off alone into the wood in search of a wolf to catch but the woods aren't all they seem to be. Her mum is understandably not to concerned, seeing that there haven't been any wolf sightings for over 100 years. Little Red ventures forward and into the forest, with Mini Grey using a fantastic array of language to help her on her journey. The verb choices really help the reader visualise Red's movements and offer great opportunities to extend children's breadth of language. Words such as stalking, lurked, slithered and pounced are all relatively new to many children but are words that they would love to use themselves. I would certainly be encouraging children in my Y1 class to 'magpie' these ideas. The story further develops and we see Little Red's viewpoint begin to change. We start to see her wanting to help rather than hunt and see her understand what has happened in the years since wolves were last seen. She leaves her new friends and finds her way back home - another unexpected twist is included here - where she decides to find a way to help. This is where the green message of caring for our world is introduced and we see Little Red begin to try and change the world for the future. The illustrations that accompany the text are wonderful and offer lots of clues to other classic fairy tales. A fantastic and innovative twist to a classic story, The Last Wolf is certainly a book that should be introduced when learning the original tale of 'Little Red Riding Hood' but also to compliment topics based around caring for our world. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

The Last Wolf
10 Reasons to Love a... Whale
Catherine Barr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786030139

This is a charming book that informs children about whales, through 10 reasons as to why they should love them. Each fact has its own double-page spread and is accompanied by charming illustrations. These illustrations are labelled clearly with the breeds of whales and make this book more accessible for younger children as the content doesn't look scary! The book is well written, the sentences are clear and use subject relevant vocabulary. This book would be great for topics about whales, children who are keen to learn more about whales or for promoting environmental awareness. 24 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Lizi Backhouse, teacher.

10 Reasons to Love a... Whale
The New Neighbours
Sarah McIntyre

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910989012

The animal residents of Pickle Rye have new neighbours. Mr Pigeon delivered the good news to the children of Mr and Mrs Rabbit, whilst they played up on the roof of the apartment building. They squealed with glee to hear that their new neighbours would be rats! The bunnies rush off to tell the rest of their family the exciting news - they have rats in their flats! Big sister Lettuce was a little uncertain at the news, she had never lived with Rats before and wondered what best friend Vern the sheep would say about the new residents. Vern was less then impressed, worried that the new neighbours would be untidy. It was decided that the neighbours of the tower block should gather and figure out what to do. As the animals gathered, the rumours and prejudiced feelings regarding the rats grew stronger. The pigs, whilst living quite untidily themselves, felt that the rats should know the rules about keeping the building spic and span. The polar bears were very concerned that the rats would steal their food. The yaks felt that the rats might chew and destroy the building. Granny goat was the most alarmed of all, determined that the whole apartment block would be buried alive in rat poo! Convinced that the new neighbour's arrival was an emergency situation, everyone decided to pay them a visit but no one wanted to be the first to knock on the door. Eventually Mrs Rat, a very friendly and tidy looking creature, open the door. She was soon joined by her husband, equally friendly and immaculately dressed. They invited the very embarrassed residents of Pickle Rye into their new home for a piece of cake. Ashamed of their ignorance, the animals now realise how lovely their new neighbours are and how welcome they should have made them feel. This is an insightful book which can be enjoyed on several levels. Sarah McIntyre's humorous text and wacky characters are a joy to read. As the tensions rise amongst the residents of Pickle Rye, hilarious chaos ensues. More importantly this book deals with the issue of how ignorance can lead to feelings of prejudice and intolerance. Sarah has created a beautifully illustrated book, colourful and engaging, which teaches a powerful message, one that is especially important for a multicultural society. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

The New Neighbours
Hello, Mr World
Michael Foreman

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406378924

Mr World is not feeling well. The children have decided to act as doctors today to try and diagnose the problem and help him to feel better. The world's symptoms appear to be that he is hot and sweaty and finding it hard to breath. The children's advice is for the world to get straight to bed, for a good rest. When they take the world's temperature, they find it is far to high, no wonder he was feeling hot and sweaty. The colder regions are too warm, snow is melting; The animals in the polar territories are in immediate danger and soon they will have no where to live. Mr World also has a cough, his breathing isn't good at all. An X-ray shows that the world is full of smoke and fumes. The prognosis for planet earth isn't good. Mr World wants to get better but cannot do it alone. The wonderful things of the earth; animals, plants and trees, need to be taken care of. The children promise to help, as do hundreds of others, as they are the future too, and they need a planet to live on. This book beautifully highlights the impact climate change is having on our planet and in a non-preachy way encourages us to make a change in the way we live in order to try and lesson its impact. Michael Foreman outlines some of the simple things we can do to help Mr World feels better, such as turning off lights, walking or cycling, turning off the tap when we brush our teeth. A beautifully simple book with an essential message for us all - we need to look after our planet! The characters in the book represent us all, highlighting the responsibility we all have to look after our world. However, the use of childlike characters also demonstrates the impact even the youngest members of our society can have on climate change. The message of this book is for everyone, but delivered simply to the very youngest readers - the next generation. Micheal Foreman's beautiful pencil and watercolour illustrations will appeal to those readers, as will the straightforward text. This book is perfect for environmentally conscious families and would be particularly useful in schools, for younger classes, to introduce the topic of climate change. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

Hello, Mr World
Search and Find Alphabet of Alphabets
Aj Wood

Wide Eyed Editions

ISBN 9781786030016

With over 600 hundred things to find, Alphabet of Alphabets is a beautifully illustrated search and find book that will keep children entertained for hours. The pages are full of cute details that offer more to spot than just the 26 alphabetical objects. A bonus to this is the mouse which can be found on every page as well as many little details that grown ups will find the funny side of. This book is a great resource for anyone living with, or working with, children who are becoming familiar with the alphabet. I have shared it with my 18 month old son and he has enjoyed picking out the familiar pictures which will naturally develop into helping him learn his alphabet. I feel I have only just scratched the surface with this book and am looking forward to spending many reading sessions looking deeper into it. Recommended. 48 pages / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

Search and Find Alphabet of Alphabets
Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide
Emma Yarlett

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848696914

A fantastically colourful book! This story follows Nibbles, a book eating 'monster', as he comes across a range of other similar creatures on his travels. Nibbles is responsible for lots of different holes that begin to appear throughout the book - he just can't stop nibbling! As he continues his journey, he is warned about the dangers he may face but he doesn't seem too frightened! Can he survive his encounter with the stompy-footed Triceratops? Or will he wake the snoring Velociraptors who are enjoying their nap? His biggest challenge comes when he meets the Tyrannosaurus Rex at the end of the story, but will he survive? The book is filled with pictures, facts and fun flaps for little fingers to lift. It is perfect for any dinosaur-loving children willing to find out more about their favourite species. The factual information is presented clearly alongside colourful diagrams and pictures. A lovely book to enjoy reading in small groups, as a class or as a research tool for a dinosaur topic. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Newton, teacher.

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide
The Parrot and the Merchant
Pippa Goodhart

Tiny Owl Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781910328255

The Parrot and the Merchant is a story based on a thirteenth century fable about a merchant who trades goods between Persia and India. However, the merchant this time takes shape as a woman Mah Jahan, who is depicted as a strong, self determined figure adorned with beautiful and exquisitely designed dresses. Interesting then that she should be drawn to a colourful parrot that she brings back from India and keeps caged for her own pleasure. It's as if Vafaian has captured the essence and beauty of the parrot in the motifs that adorn Mah Jahan's dress. A metaphor for life; we as humans are forever seeking to encapsulate the richness and beauty of other things. For children, though, the message is simple. Is it right to capture something that was born to be free? As with many fables from this country and from other cultures, it makes us question why we need to do such things. Is it fair or just? This story provides a platform for discussions about what is morally right; children could draw on and compare experiences from their own life against that of the fable. Or the story could form part of children's learning about what living things - birds and parrots - need to survive. This is a beautifully illustrated, enchanting story that will appeal to a wide range of ages. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

The Parrot and the Merchant
We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Birds

Walker Entertainment

ISBN 9781406379952

A little gem! This activity book - and it's pairing in the series, Let's Discover Bugs - are great for inquisitive minds. The book is designed to be a carry-along guide for children and adults whilst on their adventures discovering birds. I really like that this book is lightweight and a great size to fit in your bag whilst out and about with the children. It is packed with colourful illustrations, easy to read labelled diagrams and images of the characters from We're going on a Bear Hunt. The book takes you on a journey from start to finish. It begins with a handy 'Stay safe' guide and preparation ideas as well as some useful information to 'know before you go'. It seemed to progress in difficulty/chances of spotting particular birds according to their habitat (e.g. starting with home birds-House Sparrows, Pigeons etc) and therefore engaged children from the start, making the activities accessible for all as soon as you venture outside! Each page gives you information about different species of birds, where to find them and what to look for. As well as this, there is a craft activity on each page as a follow-up to fieldwork, discovering the different species. There are so many great ideas to use with the children, to encourage work outside the classroom and for fieldwork trips. The pages can be photocopied and provided to children for reference. As a Geography co-ordinator in school, I know that I would be excited to see more invaluable resources like this in school, engaging the children to explore their surroundings. Throughout the book there are fun facts, mini activities and my favourite little addition was the snippits of information/definitions given for some of the scientific vocabulary used. These were provided in place of a glossary that we would normally see in an information book like this and I think it worked really well as the definitions were provided on the pages where the words were used and were short, sharp and easily digestible for children. 100 plus stickers are an added bonus, especially the blank colour-your-own ones! If used in class these could be a daily treat for one pupil each day to colour in one of the stickers and add to the book, maybe even enough for two goes! 32 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Birds
A Bottle of Happiness
Pippa Goodhart

Tiny Owl Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781910328262

A Bottle of Happiness is a book about two villages; one rich and wealthy, where the people work hard to get richer, the other where the people had just enough to get by and loved to share the same stories over and over again. Their villages are separated by a huge mountain, but one day a child called Pim decides to climb the mountain in search of a new story to share with his people. He is amazed to find a village full of amazing food and riches. When he asks if he can have an apple, the villagers ask what he can give in return. To which he replies, nothing, but I could bring you some happiness. On his return he attempts to bottle some Happiness, along with some laughter and love to bring back to the villagers over the mountain. This is a great book that brings into question what makes us truly happy; material processions or the love and companionship of friends and family? Young and old children will find the colourful illustrations by Abodollahi quite captivating; the illustrations could even be used as a stimulus to design their own clothes, or make a patchwork coat (exploring pattern in fabric or textile shades) to symbolise happiness or another virtue important in society. The book also provides a great stimulus for story writing around the idea of what else could be bottled to give to someone, and why. A modern fable that will appeal to all. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

A Bottle of Happiness
Paradise Found
John Milton

Graffeg Limited

ISBN 9781912213641

Albie, the farmer's dog, wakes one morning to find that his companion Nellie has disappeared. Always together, Albie sets off in search of her. First he investigates the kitchen; The fire place, smell of food and cold stone floor are all the same but Nellie isn't there and her food bowl hasn't been touched. Albie heads into the garden to check for her there. In the garden he sees the familiar blackbirds, vegetable patch and green house but no sign of Nelllie. Albie decides to look beyond the security of the farmhouse and garden to the surrounding fields, the meadow, the beach and harbour but Nellie isn't there either. In the high street Albie finds a greengrocer, cafes and a butchers shop. He cannot resist stealing a sausage and chaos ensues but he is undeterred in this mission to find Nellie and sets off again into the countryside. There he refuses the temptation to hunt rabbits but instead is drawn into a narrow tunnel carved deep into the mountainside. Maybe Nellie has hidden herself in there? Instead of finding Nellie, Albie finds himself in the home of the ancient dragon Gwendolyn, who guards golden veins of quartz embedded in the rocks. She guides Albie back to his home at the farm with a riddle: 'asleep in the gold; five maybe more; farmer Jones' barn'. Albie barks his thanks and races back home. The valley home is singing with lapwings and dotted with heather. Albie runs past crumbing stone buildings and fields of wheat. He barks to announce his arrival back home as he enters the old barn and is answered by tiny yelps. Hidden in a golden straw nest is his beloved Nellie surrounded by six newborn pups. Albie, the proud father, settles in for a well deserved nap with his new family. Paradise Found is a gorgeous tale of hide and seek through a rich and varied landscape. Albie is the most endearing character and we follow his journey from the familiar to the unfamiliar as he hunts for his mate. This book is full of stunningly detailed descriptions, the smell of the salty sea, the bustling high street, the feel of the ancient sooty breath of the mountain dragon. John Milton paints a vivid picture through the eyes of a small dog and Helen Elliott's beautiful illustrations bring these scenes to life. Each scene wonderfully portrays the light, colour and activity of Albie's adventure to find Nellie. Readers will love seeing the world through the eyes of Albie, guessing where he might go next and what he might find along the way. Will they guess where Nellie can be found? Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

Paradise Found
The Night Gardener
Terry Fan

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786030412

Normally when you open a book, you pass the first couple of pages where the publishing details are etc... But before you open the Night Gardener it is really important to read the pictures from page 1 (where all the boring info is printed on the road). Look at this page carefully and study what Grimloch Lane might be like? The next two pages, too - look at the old man and the boy sat on the log - what is he drawing in the grass? Who is the old man, why has he got all those cutting tools? Then the story begins...The Night Gardener is just fabulous. William, a small orphan boy, wakes one morning to find that a Topiary Owl has appeared outside the orphanage where he lives. (Do you remember what William was drawing in the grass?) As each day unfolds a new surprise appears and with each new sculpture come a curiosity of Grimloch Lane and happiness begins to grow in the street. People begin to come together joined with excitement and anticipation as to what will come next. As the story builds, William follows a stranger one night to the park where he meets the Night Gardener. Here, he helps the Night Gardener create the next sculpture and in the morning as he wakes by the tree, he finds a sent of hedge cutters with his name on them. All the villagers come out to see the work that William and the Night Gardener have done and everyone is happy. And even though over time the autumn comes and blows the leaves of every sculpture away, the happiness they had left in the town stays forever. William also is forever changed and a new career forged for this once unhappy orphan. If you're a Power of Reading lover, then this book will be a great addition to your school library. One I will certainly be using in the future. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Maria Berry, teacher.

The Night Gardener
What's Your Favourite Colour?
Eric Carle

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406356526

Do you have a favourite colour? Did you know that Eric Carle's favourite colour is yellow? Yellow like the sun. In his new book 'What's Your Favourite Colour' Eric explains why he loves yellow and invites 15 favourite children's book illustrators to share their favourite colours with us. This is a bright, beautiful book dedicated to the love of colour and is a visual delight which needs to be seen to be truly enjoyed. Bryan Collier's favourite colour is blue. A blue that reminds him of balloons bought to brighten a rainy day. Mike Curato's favourite colour is mint green because he loves mint choc chip ice-cream, who doesn't? William Low's favourite colour reminds him of his home in the Bronx, New York; The brown hues of the buildings, people, trains and afternoon sunlight all mix together to create his old neighbourhood. Rafael Lopez, best know for his colourful picture books, selects grey as his favourite colour. For him, grey represents being smart and unique. Grey is also a colour that gets on well with all of the other colours in the palette, 'grey knows how to make them sparkle'. Yuyi Morales loves fiery and intense Mexican pink because it reminds her of bougainvillea flowers. Yuyi would pick these flowers on her way to her grandmother's house when she was a child. Marc Martin chooses Crimson Red as his favourite colour because it is the colour of the beautiful parrots that can be found near his home in southeastern Australia. Artwork and thoughts from this collaborative book offer a glimpse into the colourful worlds of picture book creators and provide us with insights into how they see colour. Eric Carle is most recognised for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and this book was created to support Eric Carle's Museum of Picture Book Art, which is dedicated to inspiring a love of art and reading through picture books. Contributors to this book include: Eric Carle, Lauren Castillo, Bryan Collier, Mike Curato, Etienne Delessert, Anna Dewdney, Rafael Lopez, William Low, Marc Martin, Jill McElmurry, Yuyi Morales, Frann Preston-Gannon, Uri Shulevitz, Philip C. Stead and Melissa Sweet. This book is a pleasure to read and not only provides a unique insight into the colourful world of the artists involved but also offers a starting point for stimulating discussion about colour with readers. Do they have a favourite colour? Why is that particular colour a favourite? Where have readers seen that colour on display? Does the colour remind them of anything or make them feel a certain way? 40 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian.

What's Your Favourite Colour?
Du Iz Tak?
Carson Ellis

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406373431

Young and old will be captivated by this book through its sheer brilliance and originality. A book about two damselflies, a plant, some other mini beasts and an intriguing 'bug language'. A tiny shoot unfolds and begins to grow, as ants, beetles and damselflies look on in wonder and imagine what it is, and all the while a caterpillar lies still in his cocoon, oblivious to the changes happening around him. The magic of Du Iz Tak? is its ability to draw the reader in, enticing the reader to decipher and interpret this strange language and as one does, the pace at which the story is read slows right down and you find yourself observing every minute change that has occurred. Just as with nature, a child can begin to see and appreciate the subtle changes, the growth of the plant, the new inhabitants that arrive and the story that unfolds as the cycle of nature unwraps around the text. It stimulates conversation, discussion; children would have great fun giving the bugs names, describing their characters, predicting what might happen next and why in relation to what they already know of the world around them. But its real strength lies the instinctive need to tell a story. Children and adults alike can guess at what the 'bug words' might mean and in doing so, inadvertently create a narrative all by themselves. This really is an ingenious book which, through its visual literacy, stimulates the spoken and written word effortlessly and with a great deal of fun. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher.

Du Iz Tak?