Wednesday, 24 June 2020

CHILDREN'S BOOKS: Saving planet Earth, finding hope and pony magic

Answer a call to arms to save our world, find hope and comfort during a time of illness, meet a magical pony in its woodland home, and enjoy puzzles galore in Beanotown with a sunshine collection of children’s books

Age 3 plus:
Like the Ocean We Rise
Nicola Edwards 
and Sarah Wilkins

‘Like the ocean, we rise, 
and we promise to fight.’

AUTHOR Nicola Edwards and New Zealand illustrator Sarah Wilkins make a lyrical call to arms in an inspirational picture book which puts our increasingly endangered planet at centre stage.

Earth is vast and it’s beautiful too, but it needs our help… it needs me and it needs you. This timely peek-through picture book, with its raindrop-shaped cut-outs, explores the impact of humans on the planet and how we can all make a difference.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Edwards’ all-encompassing and powerful poetry empowers children to think about how they can protect the planet, while Wilkins’ beautiful, rainbow-coloured illustrations cover a world of diverse landscapes and portray a cast of children from all continents. The intriguing peek-through element of the book allows young readers to contemplate how societies are interconnected and to understand the importance of collaborative efforts if we are to effectively tackle climate change.

A celebration of both the world around us and the international youth movement making waves to save our amazing planet, Like the Ocean We Rise is guaranteed to delight, inspire and educate.
(Little Tiger Press, hardback, £12.99)

Age 3 plus:
The Perfect Shelter
Clare Helen Welsh and Åsa Gilland

WHEN the going is tough, we all need to find a place to shelter where there’s hope, comfort… and safety. There has never been a more important time to help children understand and cope with serious illness, but it’s not just the current pandemic which focuses minds on this difficult and emotional subject.

Every day, families somewhere are told that a loved one has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and for young children, the news is both frightening and worrying. So here is a beautiful, sensitive picture book that offers a comforting space, and some gentle reassurance.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Author and primary school teacher Clare Helen Welsh and Swedish illustrator Åsa Gilland combine a lyrical story and a heartwarming gallery of pictures as they explore the conflicting emotions engendered by illness, and offer solace through the joys of loving and just being together.

At first nobody knows why a young girl is so tired and then they learn that she is sick. Her little sister knows something isn’t right because people are crying and now she is too worried to sing or help her daddy bake. But after tears, anger and frustration, she watches her sister grow stronger and brighter, and knows that together they will ride out the storms. In the meantime, today is the perfect day to build a shelter, and be together.

Uplifting, honest, beautifully empathetic, and quietly powerful, The Perfect Shelter is ideal for any child struggling to understand why a loved one is ill.
(Little Tiger Press, hardback, £11.99)

Age 7 plus:
The Silver Pony
Holly Webb

WHEN it comes to animal adventures, much-loved children’s author Holly Webb certainly knows how to put the magic into storytelling! And who could resist this heartwarming story starring a lonely young girl who finds companionship with one of the wild ponies that wander freely in the New Forest in Hampshire.

Daisy loves watching ponies in the woods near her home in the New Forest. They are beautiful animals but she has always been afraid to get too close. Then one day, to Daisy’s amazement, a pretty silvery-white pony approaches her. Can it tell how much Daisy needs a friend? For the first time ever Daisy isn’t looking forward to the school holidays. She’s worried about her best friend Mara who is ill in hospital. But then, walking her dog Betsy in the wood, Daisy spots a group of wild ponies quietly grazing. She is especially drawn to a young silvery-white pony and, as she spends time watching the pony, she starts to feel less alone.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Visiting the pony one day, Daisy runs into James from school. She’s worried he’ll tease her but instead he has some terrible news. The pony actually belongs to his dad and it’s James’ job to help look after her. Is Daisy about to lose her new friend?

Expect drama, the joy to be found in unexpected friendships, excitement and danger in this beautiful story filled with Webb’s natural warmth, compassion and storytelling magic.

With its heart-melting, atmospheric adventure – beautifully illustrated by James Brown – The Silver Pony is perfect for children just starting to read alone, youngsters who love to share a book with mum or dad, and any child who can’t resist the magical allure of ponies.
(Little Tiger, paperback, £5.99)

Age 7 plus:
Mermaids Rock: 
The Floating Forest
Linda Chapman and Mirelle Ortega

WELCOME back to Mermaids Rock, a super, sparkling sea-blue series which is simply rippling with fun and adventure. These thrilling illustrated stories about the natural wonders of the ocean, are brim full of environmental messages and warm friendships, and come from the pen of Linda Chapman, author of the much-loved Star Friends series.

Coralie is overjoyed when she visits a beautiful kelp forest where she meets adorable sea lions and otters, and finds a mysterious treasure map! After telling her friends, all members of their very own Save the Sea Creatures Club, they are also excited to search for the treasure, but when they arrive they find the forest has been destroyed. With no protection from the plants, the animals are in danger, and the friends must do everything they can to save the creatures before it’s too late…

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Newly independent readers will love making friends with the underwater mermaids, merboy Kai and a host of adorable sea creatures as they dive deep into the ocean, share exciting adventures, and learn about some of the important ecological issues now facing our planet.

And with all the action in the deep blue ocean brought to life by the enchanting black and white illustrations of Mexican-born artist Mirelle Ortega, this is the perfect way to swish, swim and swirl into a summer of sunshine reading.
(Little Tiger, paperback, £5.99)

Age 6 plus:
Beano Puzzle Book
Beano Studios Limited

JOIN those perennial comic favourites Dennis, Gnasher and a crowd of familiar Beano faces as they puzzle their way around Beanotown!

Classic Beano puzzles not seen since the early 1990s make a welcome reappearance in this fun activity book with a nostalgic twist. Made up of official archive material from the Beano Puzzle Books series, the book includes dot-to-dots, mazes, word searches, maths challenges, anagrams and comics and characters to draw.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

All the much-loved characters like Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie the Minx join old favourites such as Lord Snooty, Desperate Dan and Dinah Mo, making this the perfect puzzle book for a long journey or a rainy summer’s day. Draw your own comic strip punchlines, help characters find their way out of mischievous mazes, spot the difference and join the dots… there is a puzzle here to suit every taste and every whim.

You’ll soon be a billy whizz with words and gnash numbers quicker than Gnasher can chomp his sausages with these super cool and fun-filled puzzles. So grab a pencil, put on your thinking cap and get puzzling!
(Studio Press, paperback, £5.99)

Age 3 plus:
Tracey Corderoy and Tony Neal

MANY youngsters dream of doing what seems to be impossible… So put them on the scent of this warm and inspirational story from award-winning author Tracey Corderoy which stars an adorable dog who is doggedly determined to beat the odds, whatever they might be… and finally see the sea!

Dog runs a laundry on a busy street in the city but it’s a noisy place even at night and he longs to visit the ocean. He has no hope of getting there, though, because it’s miles away. But after using a new washing powder called Ocean Magic, which offers seaside freshness with every wash, a crab appears and needs Dog’s help to get home. ‘Impossible!’ he sighs but Crab reckons it’s only impossible of you say it is. So will Dog take this chance to make his dream come true?

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Corderoy’s imaginative and fun-filled story takes young readers on an adventure through dark caves, across giant waterfalls and high up into the mountains as we learn that nothing is impossible when we are brave enough to follow our dreams. Tony Neal’s gallery of bold, colourful illustrations are packed with rich detail and humour, and bring added depth and vivid life to a story which will delight both children and grown-ups!
(Little Tiger Press, hardback, £11.99)

Age 2 plus:
No-Bot the Robot’s New Bottom!
Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

THE bottom line is… Bernard’s bottom is broken!

Everyone’s favourite husband and wife picture book team Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet have resurrected their much-loved, bottomless No-Bot Robot for another super-silly, fun-filled adventure. The creators of super-bestselling series, Supertato, have lovingly put together a riotous new robot romp starring the creaking, crazy Bernard who won the hearts and minds of readers, young and old, seven years ago with his frantic antics.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

Here, we join Bernard as his tin bottom starts to make funny noises. When smoke and sparks start coming out of it, he decides it must be broken. So along with his friends, he sets off in search of just the right replacement. Children will love watching No-Bot try on all kinds of strange new bottoms, from a wheel of cheese to a large red sofa! Expect giggles galore, madcap mishaps and some unexpected eruptions as the wonderfully eccentric Bernard sets out to find the perfect bottom.
(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £6.99)
Age one plus:
Where’s My Peacock?
Kate McLelland
WHERE'S my peacock hiding? She was here a moment ago. Can you find her? Help your curious little ones get interactive with this sturdy touch-and-feel board book which comes loaded with fun, discovery, word recognition development, and lots of visual and tactile appeal.

Click HERE for Lancashire Post review

A tantalising trail of footprints will lead children past a touch-and-feel owl, a lemur with a striking black-and-white tail, and a toucan with a very large orange beak as we go in search of the spectacularly shiny peacock. With Kate McLelland’s bright, appealing illustrations, discoveries on each spread, and a surprise flap ending, this enchanting series is ideal for young children. The perfect sharing book for babies and toddlers finding their way in the big, wide world!
(Little Tiger Press, board book, £6.99)

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