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All reviews tagged with Mary Roche

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All the Wild Wonders: Poems of our Earth

This compilation of more than thirty poems focuses on showing us some of the wonder and fragility of our planet. There are lyrical poems that celebrate the wonder of the Earth; there are poems that display anger at humankind’s mismanagement of the Earth’s resources; there are poems told from different points of view; there are…

An Animal ABC

A gorgeous book that should be on every child’s bookshelf, An Animal ABC is far more than an illustrated alphabet featuring animals. This encyclopaedic book is lavishly illustrated by Pattullo using meticulous screen-prints in glorious colours. The publishers’ note tells us that Pattullo painstakingly hand printed the images on each page. Children will adore the…

Brer Rabbit Retold

In 1880 Joel Chandler Harris, an American folklorist, published Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings; The Folklore of the Old Plantation. The stories, featuring Brer Rabbit and other creatures, had their roots in oral Afro-Caribbean folktales that had been retold and embellished by slaves in southern USA. Flowers, who grew up listening to these…

Cartoon Kid

Durrr! Sploop! KLUNKK! On the first day of school Mr Butternut tells his pupils that they are secret superheroes and that if they believe in themselves they can do ANYTHING. When trouble strikes, Casper and his best friend Pete take on Masher and the Monster Mob. With people called Ethel Snufflebottom, Hartly Tartly-Green (aka Snotbox),…

Charlie Chick

Charlie Chick eats a lot. He is growing big and strong. Look at his enormous tummy and feet and beak! But he is still not as big and strong as … guess who? This is a simple pop-up book that will appeal to small children. Originally published in 1997, it has recently been reissued in…

Denver

McKee’s latest picturebook tells us all about Denver, who is ‘very, very rich’. ‘To the manor born’, Denver lives a life of prestige, power and privilege. He employs local villagers in a variety of areas: gardener, cook, cleaner, chauffer. He is a benefactor of the school, and contributes to the village community life – even…

Dog Loves Books

My dad worked in a library. A favourite treat was to be allowed to enter the ‘back store’, where the smell of books was intoxicating.Dog Loves Books feels as though Louise Yates knew the ‘small me’. Just like Dog, I loved everything about books. But Dog took his passion further – he opened a bookshop.…

Dog Loves Drawing

Louise Yates has done it again.  This is a delightful follow-up to ‘Dog Loves Books’. It has a gentle storyline accompanied by beautiful illustrations.  Dog, who loves books so much that he opened a book shop, receives a present of a book from his Auntie – a book that has no words and no pictures!…

Extra Yarn

In this oddly old-fashioned yet modern folk-tale, Klassen’s spare and subtle style of illustration combines with Barnett’s quirky prose to present us with a story that could have been written long, long ago and far, far away. And it is quite a ‘yarn’. Annabelle finds a magic box of yarn. We know it is magic…

Frida and Bear

Anthony Browne fans may be surprised that he is not the illustrator of this book. Instead he has collaborated with Danish illustrator Hanne Bartholin whose illustrations in this book are beautifully simple. Her Bear is a friendly, rather shy chap with soft, fluffy pencil outlines and Frida the elephant seems a little more extrovert and…

Good Little Wolf

Straightaway readers will sense that there is a bit more going on inGood Little Wolf than meets the eye. Where’s the copyright information? And the dedication? They should be at the front, shouldn’t they? And hang on – why does South Park come to mind as we look at the innocent characters waiting for Mrs…

Hare and Tortoise

Alison Murray has given the tale of the Hare and the Tortoise a fabulous new lease of life. This book is full of humour, energy, charm and style. The endpapers (front and back) show us the map of the route that is ‘hopped’ by Hare and ‘tootled’ by Tortoise. Even the scale shown on the…

Hooray for Bread

This book has all the hallmarks of a traditional read-aloud favourite: a refrain that can be roared out, rhyme and rhythm, understandable language, a great topic in the lifecycle of a loaf of bread, and beautiful, deceptively simple illustrations. What’s not to like? The book has a traditional and nostalgic feel to it. There is…

I am an Artist

If you are a parent who hates a mess then this book is definitely not for you. But if you are a parent who nurtures and celebrates creativity – whose walls and fridge are a gallery, or even a canvas, for the masterpieces of your tiny genius – then you’ll love this book, although you…

Ladder to the Moon

Ladder to the Moonevokes the qualities of a ‘comfort blanket’ in a familiar enveloping hug. Yuyi Morales’ illustrations convey the tactile security of a solid, warm lap and strong embracing arms. Containing subtle intercultural references, the text is fluid and graceful. The brush-strokes provide a dreamlike texture with colours that are comforting and calming. The…

Looking for Yesterday

Alison Jay has produced a very philosophical picturebook here. Ostensibly it is about nostalgia and an almost Proustian yearning for the perfection of a past experience. But there is more to it than that. It is also about a rich relationship between a boy and his grandfather. The subtle wisdom of a wise grandfather is…

Maia and What Matters

This beautiful book left me with a lump in my throat. It tells the story of feisty little Maia and her close relationship with her beloved Grandma. The bond between them is remarkable and, thanks to the brilliance of the author and illustrator, almost tangible. They adore cherries, are greedy for cake and enjoy racing…

No Kiss For Mother

Are you sitting comfortably? Well, we’ll soon put a stop to that! First published in 1974, the reissued No Kiss for Mother is classic Ungerer. This is not for the fainthearted. Forget all the cute and cuddly kittens you’ve ever known: this is an anarchic fable about a BAD kitten, and there’s no coincidence in the fact…

Pass It On

This is a gorgeous picture book by Sophy Henn who was the Official World Book Day Illustrator for 2015 and 2016. It is easy to see why she was chosen. Pass It On is a book with a strong message, yet it is also a book that manages to avoid being didactic. The message is…

Storm Whale

Brennan’s text has found a perfect match in Tanner’s illustrations here. There is a sense of performance as we are led from an ordinary, calm seaside scene on the front cover, to the drama of a dark, brooding seascape on the back cover. Delicate pencil sketches evolve through gentle watercolours and pastels into magnificent storm…

Taking Sides

Set in Dublin in 1921, Taking Sides book explores a young boy’s involvement in a maelstrom of political events and a young girl’s emergent sense of identity and social justice. The grey areas of life are well explored and Gallagher introduces ethical, moral, social and gender issues without polarisation – the notion of life often…

The Curious Fox

Children who love nature stories will enjoy this book. The story is a nice rambling narrative about a journey undertaken by a little fox cub who wants to discover what is his own ‘gift’ or unique characteristic. Leaving his Mammy asleep in their den, he sets out early one morning and his quest leads him…

The Tickle Ghost

The result of a collaboration between David McKee (Not Now Bernard, Elmer, etc.) and his son Brett, The Tickle Ghost has typical McKee artwork with its hallmark vibrant, strong colours and the flat, almost two-dimensional illustrations that are so appealing to small children. The book opens with Brett’s Tickle Ghost hinting at what is to…

Waiting for Goliath

This gorgeous picturebook has everything – a great plot, a surprising twist, deceptively simple text and beautiful artwork. Bear is at the bus stop, waiting patiently. He tells everyone that he is waiting for his best friend Goliath. We may be tempted to think of a fearsome giant and wonder what Bear and such a…


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