While I've been reading novels all summer, bedtime with our little readers have been all about picture books. Even at 11, 9 and 7, my three still love a picture book and refuse to settle without one. What I've loved about this summer, though, is that all three of them have also (independently) been devouring books of their choosing; chapter books, non-fiction books, graphic novels, and yet still want that shared storytime at the end of the day. Thanks to these new releases, we certainly haven't been short of new material...
Sid's Big Fib by Roo Parkin and Irina AugustinavichLink to publisher
Published by: Maverick Publishing, 28th July 2022
WOW! What a treat! We've been waiting for this one ever since it was announced. With its hooky title and bold front cover, Sid's Big Fib seemed to be promising us an in-your-face story filled with bucketloads of fun and chaos, and that is exactly what we got!
It's Monday morning and Sid and his friend, Lulu are trying to outdo each other's weekend activities. But when a fib slips out of Sid's mouth, it soon escalates beyond his control. Can he put things right?
As a former primary teacher, I really enjoyed the fact that this story is based around child banter in the playground. The weekend scenarios are hilarious and Roo Parkin nails Sid's perspective as he tries to compete with his friends.
Keeping up the pretence of a fib is hard work and readers will see the comical lengths Sid has to go to to maintain his snowballing lie. Hidden underneath the humour, of course, is the clear, but not didactic, message of the importance of telling the truth and the text comes to a neat full-circle conclusion. The illustrations by Irina Augustinavich are fantastic and this has now become a firm favourite amongst our other bright, quirky and cleverly funny picture books from Maverick Publishing.
Never Let a Diplodocus Draw by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Diane EwenLink to publisher
As above, the arrival of this pre-order caused great excitement. The third in the series of 'Never Let a [Dinosaur]'... this is probably our favourite so far (and we've loved all of them).
Never Let a Diplodocus Draw. Who knows what could happen? Things might spiral out of control...and then what? Where might it all end? Why not turn the pages and find out...
Celebrating the power of imagination and the importance of having dreams and aspirations, this 'what if' book teaches young readers never to impose limitations upon themselves. Each book in the series pays homage to the gift of education and dreaming big and focuses on the exciting things that can happen as a result.
What we particularly loved about this story was the celebration of creativity and the infectiousness of it. My son chuckled at the colours and the splats and revelled in the characters' freedom to be able to explore, experiment and make a mess that was valid and valued. Mix in the fact that, of course, the genius aspect of the series is that the main character just happens to be a dinosaur and you have a winner of story. The illustrations are incredible with lots of extras to spot - particularly look out for characters you may have met before - and we're already on the edge of our seats wondering if this is the last we'll see of this dream series and dream creators.
The Elephant Detectives by Ged AdamsonLink to publisher
Published by: Nosy Crow, July 2022
Highly entertaining, this story stole our hearts with its charm and general gorgeousness. Gentle and yet totally endearing, can you help the elephant detectives solve the case of the missing elephant?
When Alan's elephant goes missing, he's relieved to bump into Edie, an elephant detective. Convinced she knows where the elephant has gone, they search everywhere; from doughnut shops to a museum, but without any success. Will the elephant ever turn up? And why is Edie so keen to help?
With the entertaining illustrations telling an alternative story to the text, this book is a great opportunity for little ones to become detectives themselves and stay one step ahead of the characters. We loved how the elephant facts were interpreted by Edie and twisted into a highly original adventure. There's a lovely nod to how important a child's relationship with a pet or animal can be and also to the importance of friendship. It left us with a warm, fuzzy feeling and a smile on our faces!
One Tiny Dot by Lucy Rowland and Gwen MillwardLink to Waterstones
With vibrant and fun illustrations, depicting the lovely life the dogs have at the dog shelter, this is a more upbeat retelling than the original that sparkles with magic and creativity. 'Pawfect' for both fans of fairy tales and for animal-lovers, the themes of friendship and family tug at the heartstrings like a dog pulls on a lead. The ending is heart-warming and Cinders and his four-legged friends steal the show from the start. The fairy dogmother is a vision to behold - just look at that pink! - and the story will have you wanting to take a trip to the local dog shelter. If only all dogs had their own fairy dogmother...
UPCOMING RELEASE:We Are The Shapes by Kevin JennerLink to publisher