The boys had been friends for as long as they could remember, and a little while before that. They were like brothers. Follow the adventures of four boys as they grow up, forming bonds of friendship to last a lifetime – even if they are occasionally put to the test...
The Boys portrays the essence of boyhood, friendship and growing up through a simple narrative, accompanied by heartfelt illustrations. Many of the changes we all face in our friendships as time passes are captured here – from finding new love, making different friends, competing with each other to feeling sad and alone and realising just how important our friends are.
Reading this as the mother of two boys made me smile – you can almost hear the shared laughter of the boys as they play and feel the changes as they happen. This story reminds us that real friends are there to love and be loved, and will always be there no matter what. And it shows boys in particular that it’s good to share your feelings and ok to cry. Endearing on every page, The Boys would make a great gift for inspiring the young boys in your life.
With thanks to Little Tiger for sending me this book to review.
Sometimes by Stephanie Stansbie illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
“Your body’s full of feelings: like the tide, they ebb and flow. Sometimes they lift you high and sometimes they bring you low.“
An absolutely joyous picture book, gently explaining the many and varied emotions we might feel in just one day. Shown through the eyes of a brother and sister as they play outside, the rhyming narrative captures each moment and how we might respond in a given situation. The joy of leaping over waves, the wonder of flying a kite in the wind – and the fear we might feel or frustration when the kite gets stuck in a tree. Each theme is cleverly matched with the colour and tone of the illustrations.
At the back of the book is a descriptor for some of the more tricky emotions we feel, and a suggestion of what you can do to make yourself feel better. Sometimes would be a great way to explore emotions with young children, as a family or a class. But it’s also a lovely, gentle story to enjoy, reminding us that the strongest and most important emotion of all, is love.
With thanks to Little Tiger for sending me this book to review.
Pip and Egg by Alex Latimer illustrated by David Litchfield
Pip and Egg are like two peas in a pod. But as their friendship grows, so do they. For Pip, this means growing roots. For Egg it means growing wings – and she can’t wait to use them. And though their lives take them away from each other, true friends always find their way back to one another, and there are no truer friends than Pip and Egg.
What a beautiful story. At a time when many of us haven’t seen our friends for such a long time, this really does remind us that true friendship never ends. From the first page, Pip and Egg are utterly enchanting as they meet and begin their friendship of a lifetime. As they each change, they adapt and find new ways to play together. When Pip grows into a sapling, Egg still visits him every day.
And when Egg becomes a beautiful blue bird, discovering her wings and the world to explore, Pip tells her she’ll always know where to find him. Young readers will be captivated by their friendship and identify with the care they have for each other. The narrative is brought beautifully together through the warmth of the stunning, detailed illustrations. I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say, it couldn’t be more a more perfect illustration of friendship – in both words and pictures.
With thanks to Scholastic for sending me this book to review. Pip and Egg publishes on 6th May 2021.
I was utterly thrilled when Faber sent through not one but FOUR Richard Scarry picture books to review. The renowned children’s publisher has launched a new list of books by the internationally adored Richard Scarry. Packed with zany humour and warmth, these four classic titles, promise to restore Scarry’s place as a national treasure and bring his best loved characters to a new generation of young readers.
Richard Scarry is one of the most-loved children’s illustrators of all time. He wrote and illustrated more than 250 books, which have gone on to sell more than 150 million copies globally. He once wrote: ‘It’s a precious thing to be communicating to children, helping them discover the gift of language and thought.’
I have incredibly fond memories of these books and can remember pouring over them drinking in the detailed illustrations and wonderful world of fantastic animal characters. Not only this, but they are full of fascinating facts and information providing entertainment AND education! The four titles published by Faber include Richard Scarry’s Best Busy Year Ever, Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon, The Adventures of Lowly Worm and the ABC World Book. And they are just as brilliant as I remember – so much to see and lots of interaction. Children will LOVE getting know the characters who are so full of fun. And they’ll love looking at all the amazing illustrations and getting drawn into Richard Scarry’s wonderful world of imagination.
If you’ve never been to the Busy World of Richard Scarry – or perhaps your children haven’t – now is the time to visit! These books offer a shared reading experience you’ll enjoy again and again and they are the ideal entertainment for any day of the week.
A Way with Wild Things by Larissa Theule illustrated by Sara Palacios
Poppy loves bugs, butterflies and bumble bees, but she’s less confident around people. When a very special dragonfly lands on her grandma’s birthday cake, Poppy finds herself in the limelight. Could this be her moment to shine?
An uplifting story about a nature-loving girl Poppy, who finds her confidence just when she needs it most. Colourful, lively illustrations bring Poppy and her insect friends to life, celebrating the wonder of nature. And they cleverly capture Poppy’s shyness as she has to navigate family events, showing her blending into the background.
Young readers (and probably some grown ups too) will identify with that feeling of having no confidence and maybe hold their breath as Poppy inadvertently takes centre-stage. Thankfully, it’s her love of nature that enables her to shine and the warmth of her grandma’s embrace reminds her how special she is. Simply told, and wonderfully drawn, A Way With Wild Things is a poetic tale to warm the heart.
With thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this book to review.