Posts Tagged ‘Picture book’

The Magical Sunglasses

Nicole McGrath

What would you do if you had one day with magical powers? This fun, bouncy read captures the imagination, and demonstrates the power of courage and self-belief. Inclusive book for early school aged children. Message for everyone.


A Vibrant and Wonderful Read

I absolutely loved this little rhyming story. It has a wonderful message at it’s core about inner belief – or what the book claims to be magic. It allows some children to put on some glasses to accomplish some of their fears that they have. Upon returning the glasses, the teacher admits that their is no magic to the glasses at all and that the children conquered their fears all on their own. I feel that this is a brilliant book to read to children and get them to talk about some of the things they’re afraid of and help them to use their own self-belief to conquer the fear. It’s also really well illustrated and rhymes in a way that simply rolls off the tongue. I give this one top marks!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Uthan

Uthania Jackson
image of Uthan Book Cove
Follow the adventures of Uthan as he goes on his first holiday and encounters the magic of a world under the sea.
Mum, Uthania, was inspired to write this story after discovering video selfies of Uthan after they came back from their holiday together.


A Lovely Read

This is a really lovely read about a boy who goes on holiday and is told that he will be able to spend some time with turtles. It starts with how excited he is to be going and what he needs to pack and ends with how much he loved his holiday and cannot wait to go back. It’s a simple story that I think many children will like and it’s a good book to have a conversation about holidays and trips out. I can definitely see many children and adults reminiscing about their own journeys that they’ve been on and really enjoyed.

The illustrations are a nice mix of handdrawn and computerized which brings a nice feel to the book overall. It makes it nice and easy to see what is going on as well. I definitely think that the colours jump off the page nicely. The illustrations are very pretty and would definitely appeal to children. I would definitely recommend this book.

Uthan Book Tour Banner

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 18
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Secret Life of Moles

Liz Burgess

Liz Burgess has always held a keen interest in nature, especially small furry mammals!
Long fascinated by their secret activities at home in her own back garden, and the fields surrounding it, she decided to explore this special underground world, and find out more about moles and their other little friends. Liz Burgess lives in South Yorkshire and The Secret Life of Moles is her first book for children.


This is a wonderfully written story about a mole who wants to find a new home but comes across an issue straight away. Unfortunately his home is in the middle of a garden owned by humans and they do not like the mole hill he creates. Thus to ensure that the moles disappear, they put a hose into the hole to wash the moles away. Undettered, the mole returns to the garden the next night and talks to his friend, the Hedgehog and asks if he knows what happened. The story unfolds to leave lots of wildlife animals helping the moles create a new home for themselves in the garden so that the humans do not try and wash them out again!

It’s a lovely story of friendship and teamwork. I loved the fun descriptive words the author has used for the different animals that you come across too – such as house tigers for cats and barking tigers for dogs! It’s laid out in a very child-friendly way. However, with very little pictures – and the ones that are there being black and white – I would believe this book is better for an older audience, perhaps children who are just thinking about learning to read themselves or who want longer picture books as the story is also quite wordy. So probably perfect for kids between 5 and 8.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book as even as an adult I really enjoyed the story and I am positive that children will enjoy it too!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: February 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 40
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Anna and Evan meet Charles Darwin

Tanya Hutter and Lina Daniel

Join Anna and Evan on a magical adventure to the Galapagos Islands where they meet Charles Darwin, discover unusual animals and learn some interesting scientific facts.
This engaging and educational book is ideal for young children to encourage curiosity and interest in the natural world and science.


This is such an informative and entertaining read. I really think it is a great introduction to science and I am definitely interested to see what other adventures Anna and Evan get up to. In this book they meet Charles Darwin who very helpfully explains why some animals are the same but also very different due to the environment that they live in. (Such as the difference between African Elephants and Indian Elephants). It’s all laid out in a fun, explorative way and throughout the book are little descriptions of the pictures on the page and I think that this could be a really great book to inspire children to start asking more questions about the world in which we live in.

Alongside such a brilliant story are beautiful illustrations. They’re really vibrant and colourful and depict the different animals really well. I also loved how the siblings return home and we get to see the drawings that they made of their time in the zoo. Once again showing that once we’ve learnt about the world, we can then explore it further with creativity. Lastly, but certainly not least, I also love that it has a little biography of Charles Darwin at the back of the book.

Honestly, this is a great book to introduce some curiosity into children!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: February 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 30
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Rage Has a Hold on Sammy

Angela Wiggins

Rage Has A Hold On Sammy is the story of an eight year old boy named, Sammy. He and his father are very close, even though his parents are divorced. Then one day, his grandmother calls; Sammy’s dad passed away. After the initial shock, Sammy’s behavior changes into a defiant, disrespectful child. How can he get over this terrible feeling that has a tight hold on him? Children that experience the loss of a parent have a difficult time? Some of those children become angry and hostile like Sammy. This book will help children in the same situation realize their not alone.


Rage Has a Hold on Sammy is a strong, moving book which could help a lot of children suffering with grief. In the story, Sammy is told by his mother that his father has passed away. Being close to his father, Sammy does not deal with his death very well. He ends up feeling angry, and betrayed, thus no longer caring about how his behaviour is affecting others. Throughout the story, it is easy to connect with Sammy and the people around him and in such a short book, Angela Wiggins did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life and really getting across how important it is to understand and recognise our feelings instead of letting them manifest and brew underneath the surface.

Along with an easy-to-follow story, the book is also full of very well depicted images of what is happening and how Sammy is feeling throughout. It would be the perfect book for children who are dealing with grief but also for those who may know someone who is acting like Sammy and cannot understand it. It’s a wonderful book for bringing empathy into children’s lives for sure. My only complaint, and it is very minor, is simply that I had hoped it would be a little bit longer and look a little bit more about how Sammy goes on to deal with his new emotions. Instead, I’ll simply have to hope there will be a sequel!

Publisher: Angela Wiggins Publishing
Publication Date: September 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 36
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Bertie the Buffalo

Wendy Jones

Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland. A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel. Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn’t need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.


This is such a sweet and lovely little picture book that I would definitely recommend! It tells the story of Bertie, the smallest Buffalo in the farm he lives. He’s the fastest – except for Emu and he loves playing Hide and Seek. Though he fears deep inside that as he is so small, he won’t be missed. Thus when the opportunity to explore arrives, he follows a little blue butterfly out into the world. It’s a fun adventure as he meets new creatures and new places. But then he begins to feel sad and miss home quite a lot.

It’s written in a rhyming verse with easy words for those who are just learning to read along with a lovely story. It is also a good book to talk to young children about running away from home – although there aren’t many consequences for Bertie but then he is a buffalo! The book also celebrates differences within a family which is really lovely too. On top of all of that, the illustrations are wonderful and easy on the eye with light pastel colours used throughout.

Overall, I found this book to be very enjoyable and absolutely adorable. I am certain that it will be loved by lots of children as they follow Bertie on his adventures both inside and outside of his home. I would definitely be happy to read more books with the main character of Bertie at the centre!


About the Author
Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Publisher: Sarah Grace Publishing
Publication Date: November 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Adventures of Eric the Spider

Elaine Madle

Eric may only be a little spider, but that doesn‘t stop him from having some big
adventures!
When a spider, with big, long, spider legs, is spotted behind a curtain he seems a little scary. Luckily, he is quickly caught in a box full of socks and named Eric.
But when Eric steals the socks (and a bike!) and goes on the run it is up to a diligent policeman to find the right sock-footed spider, stop Eric and rescue the bike!
Join Eric on his adventures as he escapes with some socks, flees from a birthday party, and goes camping on a very, very wet day in this beautifully illustrated rhyming book.


I am not going to lie. I do not like spiders. Not even a little bit. They make me itch and squirm and I just dislike them in every single way. And I am aware that this is not an uncommon feeling either. However, Eric the Spider is definitely a different kettle of fish! Somehow I actually found Eric to be a really wonderful protagonist for this book and cannot wait to read more of his adventures! Elaine Madle has done a fantastic job of taking a creature that is often feared and turning him into a lovable character!

Throughout this book, I found myself smiling and chuckling to myself as Eric gets up to quite a bit of mischief! I think this really makes the book that much more entertaining and I know that this is what will definitely draw in children. They can point at Eric on the page and laugh as he continues to be a naughty little spider before feeling pleased with how everything works out in the end.

Elaine and Shaun have done a wonderful job of creating a picture book that will keep the little ones entertained and may even help for people to find spiders less fearful and more interesting! Although… I don’t think I’ll be friends with a spider anytime soon! If you’re looking for a fresh, new and enjoyable picture book to share with your little one, I would definitely recommend giving this book a read!

Verdict: A funny, adventurous read that will definitely have you “itching” to read more!

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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My Digger is Bigger

Lou Kuenzler (Author), Dan Taylor (Illustrator)

Rex Rhino roars along in his digger, Charlie Cheetah zooms by in his super-fast motor, and Holly Hornet whizzes right up to the sky in her jet, as the animals compete to find out whose vehicle is best. But it is little Jack the Gerbil who really wows the crowd with his gravity-defying scooter tricks. A riotous rhyming picture book with a fantastic fold-out finale!

One of my favourite things about working in a library is being one of the first people to open up the boxes with the new books inside and getting a look at the books that have been sent to us. Then if anything grabs my eye, I get to have a quick peek through it. When I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued and found myself diving in. I was expecting it to be a little bit fun perhaps but I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book. It was full of fun and interesting characters, lots of rhyming words and I was absolutely sure that it would be an absolute smashing hit with the kids.

In this book, the animals all have different things that they use to compete with their friends. Rhino’s digger is bigger but the Cheetah’s car is faster. I thought this was wonderfully clever and brilliant. It showed that we’re all different and unique and have our own things and talents that make us the “best” and which make us who we are. It does this by using animals that are all different and I just found it so fascinating and I hope that it helps to show to children that everyone is different but that doesn’t make any one less worthy.

Alongside a fantastic rhyme that flows really well, this book is full of bright vibrant pictures and a lot of things happen on each page which is perfect for keeping the children entertained. I am positive that this is a book that would be read over and over again and one that would be quite fun to share with your little one as well. I feel that it is the perfect book to inspire both girls and boys and I am just absolutely positive that this book will be a big hit with the young children who can then go off and play with their toy trucks and cars – as I am sure my niece would!

Verdict: A fun, rhyming, interesting and fascinating picture book which will capture the children’s imagination and inspire them to be better and play together.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Under 5s
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Library Copy
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Dylan the Shopkeeper

Guy Parker-Rees

DYLAN THE SHOPKEEPER is the second picture book in a series featuring an exuberant stripy dog, who just loves to play. Created by bestselling illustrator Guy Parker-Rees, Dylan is a joyous new character who uses playing and fun to help toddlers explore and understand their world. Today Dylan is playing at being a shopkeeper. It’s all great fun, until his friends, Jolly Otter and Purple Puss, decide they want to be shopkeepers, too! Dylan’s friend, Dotty Bug, also appears on every page, encouraging readers to join in with the story.

Last year the world was introduced to Dylan, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees in his first book, Dylan the Doctor. It was a beautifully wonderful book about a dog and his animal friends enjoying imaginative play as they treated wounds and Dylan became a “doctor” for the day. It was bright, colourful and easy to read. Along with being fun and creative, I absolutely loved that this book invites the reader to join in with the story too, asking them questions on each of the pages.

Fortunately, Dylan the Shopkeeper is just as good as the first book in this series. In this book Dylan finds an old till drawer and so he wants to become a shopkeeper and use his till. The book follows his play as he invites his friends to purchase things from his shop. Things don’t go exactly to plan and it’s all dealt with so brilliantly, just as you would imagine young children would actually behave. Thus allowing the reader to truly immerse themselves in the story.

On top of that, this book is once again full of bright illustrations and full of creative play. It is fun, entertaining and I am certain that it would keep children interested from start to finish. I absolutely loved the story from start to finish and could definitely re-read it over and over – a very important thing for a children’s book as most likely a child will want to read it again and again! It is full of hope, friendship and imagination.

Basically, this is a wonderful picture book that I would definitely recommend and cannot wait to share with my neice!

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: Jan 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Under 5s
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Library
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My Name is Not Refugee

Kate Milner

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make.

There is something very powerful about picture books. They can sometimes be some of the first books that your child or even you, yourself, will remember reading. I know that I recall strongly my favourite picture book. So it is really wonderful when picture books also start educating children – not about Maths or English or other school subjects – but about different parts of society. If it teaches children that while there are many different walks of life, we’re all human despite our differences in our skin colour, body shape, social background and sexuality, then it’s going to give them a good start to life.

Thus I always love stumbling across picture books that manage this. So when I heard about My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I needed to read it and see what the book is all about. And it is everything I love about picture books.

It’s entertaining, informative, and full of imagination too. The book follows a child who has to leave home behind and then learn a new language and a new culture and learn not to be terrified of the experience. It asks the reader questions along the way, such as: “What would you pack in your backpack of possessions?” This allows the reader to understand what the other child may be going through. Would they choose their favourite book or their favourite teddy bear if they can’t pack both?

On top of that, Kate hasn’t identified where the child has come from or where they’ve ended up. So it’s a way for refugees of any culture to identify themselves in the book which is absolutely fantastic and is exactly what makes this book so very powerful. It’s inclusive – just as every book should be.

All in all, this is a very powerful, imaginative, and relevant book that is a must read for adults and children alike to understand society further.

Reviewed by Faye

Publisher: The Bucket List
Publication Date: May 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Under 5s
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
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