Time has been short again this month with home-schooling but, as always, we have been spending lots of time reading and waiting for the postman. February has brought us lots of new delights on the picture book front and it's always great to see that, despite growing older, my children all still love to snuggle up with a new or much-loved picture book. What's even more wonderful is that my reluctant reader, at nearly 8 years old, has taken up the mantle of reading picture books to the rest of the family- something that is building her confidence and gives her a strong sense of satisfaction.
So, without further ado, here are some of the new picture books we have been enjoying this month:
Here Be Dragons by Susannah Lloyd and Paddy DonnellyLink to Waterstones
Published by: Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2nd Feb 2021
This is a classic example of a picture book that has illustrations telling a very different story to the text. It is a brilliantly fun tale of a hapless knight who is determined to find dragons. Look very carefully at the cover and you might spot what the knight hasn't...right under his nose!
Actually, it's the dragon's nose that this knight ends up going adventuring in. Thank goodness he remains oblivious! However, it soon becomes clear to us readers that this knight is oblivious to most things- including the fact that the princess and his trusty steed are fighting to save his soon-to-be crispy skin. There was great delight on every page as my son spotted the tell-tale clues that the knight did not.
This story feels both traditional and original and has a strong character voice. We struggled initially with the set-up of the first page but then everything clicked into place. The entire story is built on the knight's internal monologue, making it hugely effective and enjoyable. Oh, what it is to be a knight of such determination and hopefulness and...poor eyesight?
The character is loveable, the drama is tense and the stakes are high in this story and we highly recommend it. Dragon hunting here we come!
We've Got Talent by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles
Published by: Simon and Schuster, 4th Feb 2021