We Are Shapes
Melinda Beck’s board book is bright, colourful and very inviting for younger readers. Simply and clearly, it introduces basic shapes such as a square, rectangle, triangle and circle and their properties (the triangle has three sides and is very pointy). It also gives the similarities and differences for the shapes (the rectangle and square have four sides and the circle has no sides). The illustrations make it a joy as the children see how shapes can be used to form pictures together.
This Tree Is Just For Me
This Tree is Just for Me is a beautifully told story about a young child seeking peace and quiet in a tree in his back garden to settle down with his book. At first, he wants to be alone with his book, so as many animals from snakes to monkeys look to share his company, he tells them ‘this tree is just for me.’
With the global pandemic initiating discussions about adult mental health, Percival draws attention to the growing need to focus on children’s mental health. Children feel a sea of emotion which can often go undetected. Rowan realises that the river was just like him; it could be light and playful, wild and angry, and even slow and sad.
The Littlest Elephant
Read’s The Littlest Elephant tells us the story of Ellie, the littlest elephant in her herd. Ellie has recently learned to swim and is eager to show off her new skills. On her way to the pool, her excitement takes over her senses and wreaks a little bit of havoc and is only brought to full awareness of her surroundings again just before a very bad potential accident!
The King’s Ship
Vidali’s picturebook teaches a very important lesson: you must learn when to stop.
The king has everything, but he still wants more. He wants the biggest, most beautiful and most terrifying ship of all. The king’s orders are obeyed, but one voice keeps asking ‘isn’t this too much?’ The voice is ignored, the ship is built, but it is too heavy after all. The greedy king is not disappointed. He thinks he still has his beautiful palace, but us readers know that his greed has destroyed his castle.
My Mum Is A Lioness
Haddow’s picturebook explores a young boy’s relationship with his lioness-like mother. The story takes us on a journey of his day-to-day life in the world of this loud and proud woman and her interactions with her son, their family and community. At first it would appear that the boy is a little bit afraid of his mum, but this turns out to be very far from the case. As things unfold it becomes clear why she takes on the form of a lioness in this young boy’s mind: she is fierce and brave and, most importantly, incredibly loving.
I am Not an Octopus
I am Not a Octopus is a brightly illustrated picturebook that tells a story of facing fears and connecting with one’s true self. The journey to self-acceptance is told through regular tuna-loving guy, Terry (who is most definitely not an octopus and is absolutely not an octopus who is afraid of water!).
Home Is Where The Hive Is
Beatrice is a brave bee on a mission to find a new home for her hive in a city where looming skyscrapers and apartment blocks have suddenly become her neighbours. Mineker’s clever use of colour introduces us to a gloomy man-made world which feels disconnected from nature, but Beatrice discovers it doesn’t always have to be so!
Poor Badger can’t decide if he’s black and white or white and black. To make matters worse, sitting on blueberries has turned his bottom blue. Determined to discover his true self, Badger asks his fellow black and white friends for help with his identity crisis.