Ann's Book of the Week
Forty authors write entertainingly about the books that formed and influenced them.
Narrative and explanatory text are cleverly combined to create a very informative non-fiction picture book.
Emily Hughes depicts a garden in shades of green and brown, and inside it she places a tiny gardener who makes strenuous efforts to nurture the plants and make them grow.
Sophie and Lil who work at the magnificent Sinclairs department store turn detective in this exciting adventure set in Edwardian London.
A fable about a peaceful planet inhabited only by children who take great joy in the beauty and wildness of their environment. Then one day a spaceship lands conveying an adult into their midst.
Hoot Owl aims to convince his audience that he is a devastating hunter, tricking his potential victims by creating disguises that he thinks will be irresistible. He lays his plans to catch three living creatures but is thwarted each time.
This book is funny. Some real laugh-out-loud moments, some terrible puns and slapstick descriptions to make you giggle.
Did you ever wonder whether the rather supercilious hen Rosie was ever captured by the fox who stalked her surreptitiously round the farmyard? We now have the answer, 47 years on from the publication of Pat Hutchins’ classic picture book.
A really good, exciting, twisting adventure where solving puzzles and overcoming problems lead to the most excellent discoveries – past and present.
A new edition of a favourite poetry book which displays many facets of humour.
A picture book by a new talent about friendship and fears which demonstrates subtle psychological awareness.
An emotional but unsentimental novel about twin brothers who live by the sea. Threaded through with a powerful mix of the retelling of old myths and legends and the newer folklore of science fiction film and television.
On World Book Day, it’s good to be able to feature a picture book from a new publishing house that plans to make more international children’s literature available in the UK.
A philosophical and humorous picture book about the coming to consciousness of a small bird.
The winner of this year's Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation is this humorous collection of four stories about a determined dog with definite ideas. Originally written in Basque and translated into English from the author's Spanish translation.
A gorgeously illustrated story giving a new slant on two well known fairy tales which leaves the reader to work out what is going on and who the protagonists are.
A sleepy-eyed panda bearing a tray of doughnuts offers them to a variety of animals. However, their eager replies elicit a negative response from Mr Panda. Why should this be?
In this fantasy adventure snow does not exist as a natural phenomenon. It has been invented to protect the life of Lettie Peppercorn. The story revolves around Lettie’s search for her mother, sparked by the arrival of an alchemist known as the Snow Merchant. Fast moving & evocative language.
Winged beings fly to earth, descending on a city and hovering unseen amongst the inhabitants ‘to watch over and to warn and to mend’. Fascinating illustrations use photographic backgrounds of cityscape, buildings and sky and are populated with drawn figures and statues.
A wordless book full of beautiful images which evoke and extend ideas around the concept of before and after.
Sita Brahmachari writes warmly about a multicultural cast of characters living in a fractured world, focusing on three young people who escape from their everyday environment and come together in an Autumn wood.
Wolf claims to be a librarian who can liven up Rabbit’s life by writing a story together. Rabbit asks lots of questions and contributes ideas while Wolf tries to nudge the story in the direction he would like it to go...
Eleven writers have each taken an object from the period of the First World War and woven a story around it in this beautifully produced volume atmospherically illustrated in black and white by Jim Kay.
An exquisite collection of nursery rhymes from around the world illustrated by an international group of 77 artists which will be enjoyed way beyond Early Years settings and should find its way into many homes too during the forthcoming festive season.
John Agard has personified the book in prose which is lyrical and polemical, whilst also being chatty and informative. As befits the subject matter, this is a compact beautifully designed volume permeated with quotations, poems and pictures.
A confrontation takes place between two creatures who accuse one another of being either big or small. As the argument continues it all just goes to show that size is a relative thing as are many aspects of one’s identity.
Bears don’t read but George is a bear who desperately desires to do so. Finding a book beneath a tree in the forest, he heads for the town, determined to find someone who will teach him.
24th September 2014 - The Cat, The Dog, Little Red, The Exploding Eggs, The Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe
The cat is reading from a book ‘about a little girl ... who always wears a red cloak with a hood.’ The dog immediately assumes she is a superhero and demands to know what her special power is. A hilarious dialogue ensues...
Who or what are the Bluchers? Who is Gaia, the girl whose whereabouts the narrator Ade no longer knows? As the story progresses and buildings in Ade’s area start mysteriously falling down and people move away, the race is on to find out the cause.
Felipe is a young cactus who only wants friendship and loving hugs but his outside appearance is a constant barrier, as is the high and mighty attitude of his family. A picture book with a strong narrative about expressing feelings.
Little Answer is a small creature who is looking for a question, a very special question, to which he can supply the appropriate response.A picture book which develops children’s thinking skills and opens their minds.
Noi lives a self-sufficient life with his dad by the sea in an isolated home reminiscent of the fishing huts at Hastings. One day he finds a little whale washed up on the sand and takes tender care of it until his dad persuades him that they need to return it to its aquatic home.
A picture book that shows how being immersed in a book can take readers to diverse places. It combines a brief text with illustrations that employ a distinct colour palette and sense of space complementing the scene on each spread.
A child’s experience of serious illness movingly and imaginatively portrayed in words & pictures. Wordless comic strip is used extremely effectively throughout the book to amplify and explore the emotions underlying the story.
A picture book with a daring denouement about a cheery little chick who sneaks into the farmer’s house and makes hay by using the computer to order all sorts of extraordinary items on the internet.
A tale of a mystery solving mouse that demonstrates and depicts delightfully some real purposes for writing.
Cat detective William solves the mystery of the missing Mona Cheesa in this dairy delightful picture book.
Sam is a boy with a devilish smile who builds up a sandwich for his greedy sister which is chockful of tasty ingredients. The thing is - he contrives to slip in some other tasty morsels too...
Tony Ross is associated with lightness of touch and a comic style of illustration but in this collection of short stories for older children he reveals himself to be a master of the macabre.
A picture book inspired by the true story of a giraffe sent as a gift to the King of France by the Great Pasha of Egypt in the 1820s. The exquisitely composed pictures show the different stages of the journey made by Zeraffa, accompanied by her keeper, the young boy Atir.
When a tragedy happens in a family, its members often express their grief by blaming each other. From the arresting opening to this sensitive novel, the reader knows that Jewel’s brother John, nicknamed Bird, died the day she was born and her Grandpa has not uttered a word since.
The horror of war is conveyed through this diary of an unknown soldier written during the first two months of the First World War in 1914. Using the words of this unknown soldier, Barroux has created this graphic novel with illustrations, drawn in lead pencil across a background of sepia shades.
Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading these thirteen enthralling short stories which highlight the lives of women across a huge swathe of time, from Boudica, Queen of the Iceni to the women who occupied Greenham Common.
This is Chris Haughton's third picture book which utilises many shades of blue to depict the nocturnal wanderings of four bird hunters, with unexpected results...
A haunting expansion of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale ‘The Tinderbox’. The combined talents of Sally Gardner and David Roberts have resulted in a reworking which reflects the cruelty and violence as well as the sensual undercurrents present in the original tale.
All children love going to the countryside, don’t they? Not Leonard, whose parents assume he must appreciate its splendour. A wry philosophical comedy in which the black and blue line drawings complement and extend the text.
In this book, on the left of each spread is a wide-eyed child, glancing sideways to a scene associated with what they aspire to be. Turn the acetate page and each child is transformed into that role.
It frequently feels like we’re going backwards at challenging sex stereotypes in terms of children’s books and toys and the way they are often marketed and displayed in shops. Then along comes this ironic and witty picture book which questions and encourages discussion.
This is the third title in a series of short novels known as the Kingdom of Silk by Australian writer Glenda Millard about Perry Angel, a young orphan boy, with a small and shabby suitcase.
Jamila Gavin has fashioned her own set of fairy tales, drawing principally on the European traditions with which she grew up. With the expressed aim of increased inclusivity, she has created characters who are people of colour.
A young wolf sets off to hunt by himself for the first time. He encounters a rabbit, then a chicken and prepares to eat them but each insists on having a last wish satisfied. What happens next?
A gothic and ghostly tale about plucky Ada who teams up with two children and a ghost mouse to defeat the plans of the dastardly Maltravers, indoor gamekeeper of Ghastly-Gorm Hall.
Dot is a child who knows all about communicating through modern media. She can tap, touch, tweet and tag, surf, swipe, share and search.
S F Said’s new novel has been well worth waiting for. The story begins and ends with Lucky, a Human boy who travels through the galaxy in search of his identity, undergoing changes in both mind and body.
Tom wishes that winter would last forever. He inhabits a winter wonderland full of sparkling snowflakes and iridescent icicles. A picture book that celebrates the beauty of winter landscapes while showing why survival depends on the seasons shifting and changing.
Did you know that Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, is the most likely place in the solar system to have extraterrestrial life?
A book I’ve often wanted to recommend and been frustrated because it was out of print, so it’s brilliant to see it available again.
Girls, Goddesses & Giants by Lari Don Published by A & C Black