Tag Archives: Illustration

BLOG TOUR: One More Try by Naomi and James Jones

Today is the final stop on the blog tour for a wonderful new picture, One More Try, by Naomi and James Jones, published by Oxford University Press. This delightful story introduces a very determined Circle who will just not give up!

Circle loves the tower that the squares and hexagons have built. But Circle and his friends are much rounder or pointier…and much wobblier so making a tower turns out to be quite tricky. When the shapes are ready to give up, Circle asks them to have one more try. Can he find a way?

A follow up to their 2021 debut picture book, A Perfect Fit, which featured a triangle trying to fit in, this time we meet a very determined Circle in another shape-filled adventure. Circle and his friends try everything to make their tower-building work – from making themselves stronger and smarter to looking at the problem from every angle. Finally, when all the others are ready to stop, Circle asks for one more try. And you guessed it, it works!

A thoroughly enjoyable story about workings out, seeing things from different perspectives and not giving up, One More Try is sure to bring a smile to your face and get little minds thinking. I love the shapes as characters, each with their own personality, and I can imagine if my boys were still young they would be asking for ‘one more’ read of this colourful story!

With thanks to Oxford University Press for sending me this book to review and Liz Scott for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Find out more on the rest of the tour:

New reviews: Picture Book Round-Up!

Today on the blog, I’m sharing a round-up of the plethora of brilliant and beautiful picture books I’ve read over recent weeks. Full of fun, themes of friendship and acceptance right through to wacky adventures, readers young and old won’t fail to enjoy these delightful stories!

Super Silly Museums by Nick Sharratt is a simply a delight! Everything a picture book needs to be to grab young reader’s attentions: inviting, entertaining, informative and jam-packed FULL of brilliant illustrations and fold-out pages. Readers are invited to explore the silliest museums ever, from the toe-tapping Shoe-seum to the somewhat stinky Pooseum. As the book says ‘going to the museum has never been so much fun’! Published by Scholastic (who are also running a fantastic competition to celebrate the book).

Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is a gorgeous story about kindness and making your friends happy. Join friends Frank and Bert, as they play hide and seek, and Frank discovers that there is more than one way to win. Beautiful illustrations and a simple narrative with a huge heart; this is simply a great picture book! Published by Nosy Crow.

Punk Rocker Poodle by Laura Dockrill and Sandhya Prabhat brings to life a noisy, punk-tastic poodle (who is a toddler with terrible twos in disguise!). A stomping, rhyming, rap-filled narrative shows just how much attitude this little pooch has – until it’s time to go to sleep; then all she wants is a cuddle!! Illustrations leap off the page and the whole story is so full of colour, readers will want to listen to Punk Rocker Poodle again and again (but maybe with the ‘volume’ down a little if it’s bedtime..!!). Great fun! Published by Faber.

Oh No George! by Chris Haughton celebrates it’s tenth anniversary this year! The perfect tale for dog lovers everywhere, it features George, the hapless hero who simply can’t be good. Whether it be eating cake, chasing cats or digging up the flower bed, George is powerless to resist. How can he make it up to Harris, his owner?! You’ll have to read this funny, entertaining tenth anniversary edition to find out! Published by Walker Books.

SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun by Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss illustrated by Amy Willcox is the first in a new STEM-focused adventure series. Great for sharing, this engaging title brings STEM topics to life, introducing a great cast of magical characters, taking readers on an exciting adventure and inspiring their learning. With opportunities to participate and gain rewards in the shape of colourful stickers, children will love each STEM Quest and the opportunity to become STEM superheroes! Published by QuestFriendz.

You Are Enough: A Book About Inclusion by Margaret O’Hair illustrated by Sofia Cardoso is an inclusive and empowering picture book inspired by Sofia Sanchez, a 12- year-old girl with Down Syndrome. Featuring a cast of characters with all kinds of backgrounds and disabilities, You Are Enough encourages children to be brave and courageous no matter what they are facing. It also shines a light on the difference kindness can make and how we all need a cheerleader or two in our lives. Inspiring and engaging with lovely illustrations, this is a great book to share and prompt discussion. Published by Scholastic.

Monkey Bedtime by Alex English and Pauline Gregory is a wonderfully funny look at monkeying around at bedtime – with real monkeys! If you don’t know your marmoset from your gibbons, Monkey Bedtime will introduce you. Meet a whole host of marvellous, mischievous monkeys as one little boy tries to get to bed. As the time ticks on and Mummy keeps calling out ‘it’s time for bed’, more and more monkeys arrive through window, doors and even down the chimney! Find out if he’ll ever get to bed in this delightful, wonderfully drawn tale perfect for anytime of day! Published by Faber.

Wowee Zowee: A Flight of Imagination by Jurg Lindenberger invites young readers to join the fun as they step on board the airline of imagination. Travelling to some weird and wonderful places, they’ll meet a some crazy characters along the way. With space for their own imaginations to come to life on the page, children can draw and colour throughout, in places like the Fruitnveg Megaburb, Frostonika and Vectoland. In amongst all the fun, they’ll learn about what to pack for a journey and even navigating the airport. I think it’s time for a Wowee Zowee adventure – the perfect travel companion! Published by Cicada Books.

With thanks to all the publishers for sending me these books to review. They will be finding new homes via my local foodbank.

BLOG TOUR: Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things by David C. Flanagan illustrated by Will Hughes

I’m so pleased to be hosting the final day in the blog tour for the second book in this delightful adventure series, Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things by David C. Flanagan, illustrated by Will Hughes published by Little Door Books.

Uncle Pete the explorer and his fearless mouse sidekick, TM, have lost their stardust-powered plane. Where should they look for it? The strange and mysterious Forest of Lost Things? That’s crazy! Nobody should EVER go there! With lots of dangerous dilemmas to overcome, Uncle Pete and TM head out on a brand new adventures that’s full of surprises, laughs and a few scares. Along the way they meet some ingenious squirrels, a kindly dolphin, 12 enormous cats and a lost polar bear. Can bravery, kindness and lots of jam sandwiches help Uncle Pete and TM find there plane and get back home safely?

Having been lucky enough to read the first adventure featuring Uncle Pete (read my review here), I did catch a sneak preview of this latest adventure – and have been looking forward to finding out what happens ever since! We join Uncle Pete and TM as they set out to find the wonderful, rickety bi-plane that takes them on their adventures, and see them use all their ingenuity to find it! Readers will not fail to be entertained as Uncle Pete’s delightfully eccentric character comes to life once again, along with his brilliant sidekick TM (Tiny Mouse!) – through both the lively narrative and the quirky illustrations. And readers will love meeting new characters – like Tiddles the giant scary cat (not so scary when he starts licking his bottom at the wrong moment, just like normal sized cats do…!). Full of delightful detail, little bits of magic and as it turns out, more than just a plane rescue, Uncle Pete’s adventures in the Forest of Lost Things will have young readers clamouring for more!

With thanks to Little Door Books for sending me this book to review. Find out more on the rest of the blog tour:

New reviews: Picture books to brighten your day

I don’t know about you, but glancing out the window is enough to make one feel a little fed-up with gloomy overcast skies. I can’t wait for the cold, frosty winter sun to come out but until it does, reaching for a picture book or two always works to bring a smile to my face! Especially these lovely titles.

The Three Happy Lions by Louise Fatio, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin is the third title in this very happy series! This time, the third happy lion is a baby and as he grows up his parents begin to wonder which career he should choose. Perhaps a fireman? A policeman? Or a pet? And of course, there’s always the circus…Whichever one he chooses, you can be sure it will be a marvellous adventure getting there, beautifully told and illustrated! Published by Scallywag Press.

Sophie’s Stories by Devon Holzwarth brings the magical world of stories to life with every book that Sophie opens transporting her on a new adventure. How on earth can she go to sleep when stories are so exciting? Vibrant illustrations will bring young imaginations to life, alongside the charming narrative, which shows just how truly magical stories are. Published by Alison Green Books.

The King’s Birthday Suit By Peter Bently, illustrated by Claire Powell is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. Prepare to be amazed as two smooth-talking tailors promise King Albert-Horatio-Otto the Third a stunning new outfit for his birthday…It’s a right Royal Stitch-Up! Young readers won’t fail to be entertained with this hilarious story that leaps to life through fantastically funny illustrations. Published by Bloomsbury.

Betsy Buglove Saves the Bees by Catherine Jacob, illustrated by Lucy Fleming shows every little garden explorer just how they can help the insects in their gardens, especially the bees! Betsy Buglove uses her magical magnifying glass to show her grumpy neighbour Stan why it’s not a good idea to pave over his garden and scare away the bees. Gorgeous illustrations, a delightful rhyming narrative and fabulous bug facts will bring much-needed sunshine to all who read Betsy Buglove! Published by Scholastic.

The Wall and the Wild by Christina Dendy, illustrated by Katie Rewse is another picture book bringing the magic and wonder of nature to life! As Ana grows perfectly-sized plants and flowers in her garden, throwing all the uneven shoots and seeds over the wall, little does she realise the wild she is creating over the wall. The beautifully muted illustrations shot through with colour, show the power of nature to delight and survive, and how through it we can entice wildlife to our gardens. A lovely story. Published by Lantana.

Stop That Dinosaur by Alex English, illustrated by Ben Cort is a rollicking, rhyming roar-some romp, with a gran-napping brontosaurus. What can the little girl do when a dino steals her granny? Follow the adventure as she chases them through the parkm, fields and forests and finally finds out why the dino did it! Full of fun and with a sweet twist at the end, children will want to read this colourful story again and again. Published by Bloomsbury.

The Queen on Our Corner by Lucy Christopher, illustrated by Nia Tudor tells the story of a young girl who is the only one who ‘sees’ the homeless woman on the corner of the street. In her eyes, the woman is a warrior queen who has fought many battles but sadly lost her palace. It’s not until the woman sounds the alarm and saves the street from fire, that everyone sees her, and helps to make her home again. An important story about noticing everyone around us, especially those in need who all have their own story to tell. Beautifully told and beautifully drawn, a lovely addition to any bookshelf. Published by Lantana.

When Cucumber Loses His Cool by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Tom Knight shows even the coolest of characters can sometimes lose their cool! Join Kevin the Cool Cucumber as he raps his way round the veg store helping everyone keep it together; but what happens when Red Pepper steps up with his own song to share? Kevin is not impressed; but as we see with the fun, rhyming narrative, it’s ok to have your own song to sing, and soon all the veggie friends are happy together. Great fun and full of beans (pardon the pun) this is a fab story to read aloud and share. Published by Scholastic.

The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug by Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Polly Dunbar is a story we can all relate to, as we meet Hedgehog and Tortoise, who have been waiting for a very long time to see each other. Hedgehog gets more and more upset as hibernation has ended and Tortoise is nowhere to be seen and life is just not the same without him. But when they finally meet again, an extra-big hug awaits! A very simple, sweet narrative accompanied by gorgeous illustrations – each of which is a hug in itself – shows just how wonderful it is to be reunited with the ones we love. An absolute delight of a picture book. Published by Faber.

With thanks to all the publishers for sending me these books to review, which will be finding new homes via my local foodbank.

National Non-Fiction November: Cicada Books

Cicada Books is a New York Times award-winning children’s book publisher based in London, who specialise in beautiful, high-end books for children aged 4-11. Their books are often unique, quirky and always engaging, with eye-catching artwork. Today, I am delighted to share a whole host of gorgeous non-fiction titles published by Cicada on the blog, in celebration of National Non-Fiction November.

Map of You by Sophie Williams helps middle-grade readers colour and draw their way to inner peace in this charming wellbeing activity book. Full of helpful advice with opportunities for self-reflection , this delightful book will engage readers and support their development, through lively illustrations and heart-warming positivity.

Atlas of Amazing Architecture: The Most Incredible Buildings You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of by Peter Allen celebrates buildings all over the world from neolithic monuments in Northern Europe to traditional Japanese architecture to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Beautifully presented with detailed artwork, this is a vibrant, wonderful journey across the world and will open the eyes of young readers to the awe-inspiring architecture all around us.

The Young Cyclist’s Companion by Peter Drinkell, illustrated by Thomas Slater will give any young cycling enthusiast the ideal treat and explain all the essentials from bike maintenance to road safety to cycling techniques. Combing colourful, quirky illustrations with photographic images, this informative book will have young readers itching to get out on their bicycles!

Cat Eyes and Dog Whistles: The Seven Senses of Humans and Other Animals by Cathy Evans, illustrated by Becky Thorns is a step-by-step guide through the biology of the senses, bringing to life the remarkable world of communication in all it’s forms. Did you know that smells can trigger feelings and emotion in a way sight and sound can’t? Did you know that a cow has 250,000 tastebuds, compared to a human’s 5,000? A lively and engaging narrative gives brilliant insight, accompanied by colourful and equally lively illustrations. It’s time to make sense of the senses!

History of Cars by Elliot Kruszynski introduces the knowledgeable Professor Wooford McPaw, who takes the reader on a journey through the history of the motor vehicle. Reminiscent of classic book The Busy World of Richard Scarry, quirky characters help Professor Wooford show how the car has changed over time from the age of steam to cars of the future! This book will delight car enthusiasts young and old; readers will love Professor McPaw and be waiting with anticipation for his next canine adventure.

Find out more about the wonderful world of Cicada Books here.