I’m delighted to be reviewing these four very different, but all very gorgeous picture books, published by Pavilion on the blog today. My New Room by Lisa Stickley; Just like Daddy by Lucy Freegard; Little Red by Lynn Roberts-Maloney, illustrated by David Roberts and Woolf by Alex Latimer, illustrated by Patrick Latimer are a wonderful example of the amazing picture books available for children’s enjoyment today.
In My New Room by Lisa Stickley, we meet Edith again, after her first outing in Handstand! This time Edith has a new bedroom and her toys are each helping her settle in. Featuring wonderful characters such as Gary Guardsman, Clarissa the Cow, and Major Ted, we discover that having a new bedroom can be an exciting time for everyone – even the toys! And a big bed isn’t as daunting as you might first feel, especially if you’ve got all your special toys around you. I absolutely LOVE Lisa Stickley’s unique style; childlike illustrations with bold colours and wonderfully imagined scenes.
The storytelling is gentle with a light touch of humour; just the right tone for turning what can seem like a life-changing event into a joyful one. All the toys have to adapt and find their new place in the room, but they’re all there just waiting to welcome Edith and make her feel at home. This is a really lovely story and a great addition to your picture book collection! Find out more at www.lisastickleystudio.com
Just Like Daddy by Lucy Freegard is one of the best picture books I’ve read celebrating the relationship between a child and their Daddy. I’m certain this will have made it’s way into lots of Daddies hands over the last weekend for Father’s Day! Full of charm and warmth, the story reminds us of the very special relationship between a father and child and all the magic and fun they have together. Whether on the fair rides, reading stories or even tug of war, this little one is going to be just like daddy – brave and fearless! And not only this, Daddy will always love his child – even through the tantrums and the tears.
I loved that we’re reminded how fleeting those early years moments can be and how precious memories are for parents and their children. Colourful and lively illustrations bring the story to life and capture how wonderful a Daddy can be – and how much love a child can have for their parent! Find out more at www.lucyfreegard.com.
Little Red retold by Lynn Roberts-Maloney, illustrated David Roberts
I absolutely adore this series of re-imagined fairytales, each set in a different time period including Sleeping Beauty set in the 1950s. Little Red is, of course, a version of Little Red Riding Hood with incredible illustrations giving a wonderful twist to the tale, featuring artwork and characters inspired by the 18th Century. A little chap called Thomas takes the central role of Little Red. He lives with his parents who preside over the local inn and who make the most amazing ginger beer, enjoyed by an interesting mix of visitors! Little Red sets off to visit his Grandma and the tale unfolds, taking a few unexpected turns along the way. Detailed images beautifully depict quite a scary forest, with scary inhabitants, giving a darker flavour to the story perhaps more akin to the original fairy tale. However, there are also humorous moments that lighten the mood and of course, ensure the wolf does get his comeuppance – but not how you might expect!
Little Red is a great way to introduce younger readers to fairy tales but with more artistic flair and interest – and perhaps even a lesson in what life might have looked like in the 18th Century! Find out more at www.pavilionbooks.com.
Woolf by Alex Latimer, illustrated by Patrick Latimer
A wonderful story with a simple narrative; a perfect parable for acceptance, tolerance and diversity. The tale starts with a he-sheep and a she-wolf finding love together. They have a son who loves his home and is happy being both sheep and wolf. But as he grows up he realises how different he is to the flock of sheep and pack of wolves he meets. Trying to fit in, Woolf pretends to both wolves and sheep he’s in disguise, but his plan only works for a short time and he gets bored of just being one thing. Woolf is more than this but instead of making him happy, it makes him sad. Finally his parents help him see that he is special and unique, and thus encouraged Woolf finds new friends who accept him for who he is.
Woolf is a fantastic picture book for demonstrating the difficulties we face fitting in sometimes, and how with a little bit of love and encouragement we can overcome them. Given the stark differences between wolf and sheep, children will instantly recognise the problem this could create and identify with Woolf trying to find friendship, and the lengths he goes to, to fit in. The narrative springs to life through great illustrations, capturing Woolf’s character perfectly as he plays the part of both a wolf and a sheep. With a positive message about accepting yourself just as you are, this is a great picture book to have in the classroom and at home. Find out more at www.alexlatimer.co.za
With thanks to Pavilion for sending me these books to review.