Books for a long summer ...
Parcels come thick and fast into our porch at Armadillo HQ – they come in all shapes and sizes. Some contain one book and its AI (advance information sheet for those not in the know about such things), others a book in some intriguing wrapping perhaps with some goodies, others still in fun and funky envelopes. Then there are the BIG packages, these have multiple books in them and recently it was the turn of Nosy Crow to be the senders of such a parcel – crammed with a selection of gorgeous books for little ones, all of which are considered here and some of which have been perfectly timed to go into small hands in time for the long summer holidays (or 6 well-deserved weeks off, as my husband likes to term it) that UK school children and teachers are about to enjoy!
I find it always best to start at the beginning which in this case is the book that probably satisfies not only the most children but also the very youngest.
Why is it suitable for all, including the very youngest? Happy birthday to you! by Nicola Slater pleases us all because we all have birthdays! More than that the book comes with a light-up candle AND music – what more could young readers need to convince them that reading is absolutely the best thing they could ever do? This is not rhetorical, the answer is that they could enjoy this story and follow Bear as she walks, skips and plays her flute. Listen along as Badger plays his guitar then join Cat and Otter too and discover what is in store for them all! Simple text on full colour hardboard pages, music and fun – this book has every element it needs to draw in its readers.
Pip and Posy: the new friend by Axel Scheffler has been published before but can now be enjoyed by little hands who are desperate to hold the book for themselves. Nosy Crow have now published it in a delightful board book; firm, chunky and bright the characters whose funny story little children will love are still here and are waiting to be known and loved all over again by a new audience.
Returning to books with sound the box contained another pair … Monty monkey and Elise elephant by Nikki Dyson, both come complete with sounds. Once again nice chunky board books, full of colour and vibrancy with fun stories that will certainly delight young readers. Monty monkey is on the hunt for something yummier than a banana – can he find anything? What could possibly be yummier than this soft squishy funny shaped fruit? You will love following his fruity adventures and they may even encourage children to explore their fruit too. Elise elephant on the other hand is getting ready to sleep, and hers is a great story to share when fruity adventures have led to sleepy children. Both books provide adults with a positive and exciting way to introduce children to animals, food and other concepts. As both come complete with sound effects (don’t worry you can turn them off too) make sure to leave plenty of time for listening and reading as well as adventure!
Now to two picture books, the first is a completely new title – Oh me, oh my, a pie! by Jan Fearnley is a story of learning to share. When granny bakes a delicious pie that smells just oh-so-good there is sure to be demand for it. Yet who is going to be blamed when pie goes missing and what can be done to rectify the situation? With simple, rhyming text that is easy to follow, great to join in with and helps readers follow the story easily, this is a lovely story, full of humour – be sure to look for clues in the illustrations – and an important message about sharing and being honest, with yourself and others too.
Picture book number two is a title that is now available as a paperback This zoo is not for you by Ross Collins is a moving, heart-breaking, heart-warming, funny story of acceptance. Another important message for children, gently delivered.
If you and your little ones love these books but you feel your voice fading, after multiple readings, then don’t forget to scan the QR code found on the inside front cover and download your FREE audiobook …
There is no better way to come to a close than with two non-fiction titles, both ideal for the school holidays and summer ones too, both featuring a selection of ideas for outside activities.
Go wild on the river by Goldie Hawk & Rachael Saunders begins by introducing children and other readers to rivers. Providing very helpful hints to parents about river safety alongside plenty of facts for children, there are additionally check lists to ensure all is prepared for any outings and a series of activities to enjoy completes an excellent and well-considered set of activity suggestions. Think traditional - stone skimming and pooh sticks – yet at the same time discover how to sift a stream, fish and even speak in nautical language. Learn the rules of the countryside, what it is possible to do as well as what not to do, plus get tips on staying safe. Plan a trip to the river and take this handy little book with you for hours of great fun.
For those who find themselves planning another trip to the seaside and wondering how to keep the whole family entertained A nature sticker book sharks, seahorses and other British sea creatures by Nikki Dyson will help children plan their activities and decide what they are going to look out for when they get there!
With over 120 stickers to position in the correct places children have to pay plenty of attention to the pages of this book. When they have located the places for the stickers encourage them to read the useful facts. Learn about the sea creatures of the night and the day, what they eat, where they really live and why some of them may be a little dangerous! Take this book with you on a trip to the seaside for some great spotting activities or bring the seaside to you and delight in the vibrant pictures, fun activities and hours of learning fun.