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All reviews tagged with Andrew Roycroft

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100 Steps for Science

For many children, science requires very little packaging to make it attractive and compelling. The urge to know why, and how, and when means that science scratches the unending itch of young and enquiring minds. Capitalising on such natural curiosity and wonder, this book serves as a junior history of science, as well as a…

101 Games to Play Before You Grow Up

This is a resource which parents and children will want to keep ready to hand in the battle against boredom. Comprising 101 brightly illustrated activities, it introduces a wide range of activities, some of which may be undertaken individually, and others which could involve over 20 people. The games range from the ubiquitous (Kick-the-Can, I-Spy,…

A Rainbow in My Pocket

Poetry from the perspective of a child is not easily written by adults, but in tender tones Ali Seidabadi captures the world in a way which will reflect and inspire the minds of young readers. Whether it is the culturally enriching experience of reading Persian poetry, or the accessibility lent to it by Azita Rassi’s…

A World of Information

This is a miscellany of the very best kind. Readers will be hooked by facts as varied as differing kinds of knots, different kinds of print, the periodic table of the elements, neap and spring tides, the organs of the body and a whole host of other information. At no point does the trivia seem…

Chicken on the Roof

Poetry, profundity and high comedy combine in this brilliant book of sparkling poems from Matt Goodfellow. The absurdity of chickens stuck on rooftops, hedgehogs wincing through the backstroke, talking baked bean tins, a cat relieving itself in a grandparent’s beard, reflections on loss, the passage of time, the importance of place, and the grandeur of…

Come All You Little Persons

Nature and cosy nurture meet in happy harmony in this evocatively written and beautifully illustrated invitation to enjoy the natural world. Capturing the elements, the seasons, animal life, bird life, and the wide-eyed variety that the universe offers, everyone is warmly welcomed to explore – both by the gentle rhymes and rhythm of the text,…

DARE

DARE is a poetic manifesto for children, encouraging them to live loud and clear, to stand up for what they believe in, and to be unafraid of making their own mark on the world. Captured in couplets that belie the punch this book packs, Lorna Gutierrez’s writing sparkles and speaks direct to the heart, without…

Elise and the Second-hand Dog

This is a book full of profound and poignant things wrapped in a charming story about a little girl, a cherished pet, and the trials of life. Elise lives with her father in Copenhagen, and desperately misses her mother who is working as an engineer in Brazil. The purchase of a second-hand dog, McAduddi, who…

Elizabeth and Zenobia

A gothic ghost story combines with a journey of self-discovery as Elizabeth and Zenobia explore the history and haunting occupants of their new home in Witheringe House. This is a tale which is wonderfully spun in vivid language and captivating imagery, but with plenty of humour and emotional moments as well. Jessica Millar’s great skill…

Explorer: Plants!

Agent Osprey has been assigned a mission: every tree and flower that she can see must be studied, logged, and reported on! Thankfully her findings are vividly captured in this densely detailed treatment of all things botanical, thus providing a rich resource for young readers who are keen to understand the natural world more deeply.…

Forest School Adventure: Outdoors Skills and Play for Children

Any text which gets children into the natural environment and away from merely indoor pursuits is to be welcomed. Forest School Adventure is one such book, demonstrating just how much fulfilment awaits those who venture outdoors and engage with their world. Part manual for parents, part guidebook for kids, the basic premise behind the book…

In Focus: Cities

This book is a gloriously colourful tour through some of the world’s most important cities. Taking a collaborative approach, ten illustrators take one location each to convey something of the geography, culture, and unique colour of each place. Whether it is the vibrant streets of New York or the sumptuous sunset-soaked skyline of Istanbul, the…

Jumble Wood

Emotions can be big things for little children, and this gentle book seeks to make sense of them through a simple tale about Pod. This little creature finds that unlike the others around her she can’t quite grasp what would make her happy. What follows is a search for the ‘hard-to-find thing’ called joy. Pod’s…

Plantopedia

As colourful and fascinating as a wildflower meadow, this gem of a book introduces children to the variety, beauty and sheer quirkiness of the botanic world. Although fulfilling all of its credentials as an encyclopaedia, this text manages to go far beyond that, providing a vibrant celebration of the natural world. Crucial to the success…

Raise the Flag

In the right hands, a book on flags can be a gateway into appreciating history, understanding geography, celebrating pageantry, and encountering national diversity – and all of these benefits are vividly and passionately delivered in this text. From the Jolly Rogers and Calico Jacks of pirate ships, through the celestial imagery of Asian emblems, to…

Riding a Donkey Backwards

Khayaal Theatre, one of the parties behind the composition of Riding a Donkey Backwards came into being to help people move away from the narrow views they might have of Muslim culture. This book, which also enjoys the writing skills of Sean Taylor and the illustrative work of Shirin Adl, admirably fulfils this aim and…

Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry

Poetic expression, beautiful setting, and a rich mythological yarn meet in this attractive reprint of Rosalie K. Fry’s 1957 novel. The lead character, Fiona McConville, returns to her native Western Isles having had to live for an unhappy time on the mainland. As she finds a warm and welcoming home with her grandparents, the gently…

Small World

This is a book which celebrates ever-widening horizons, the spiralling possibilities of childhood and youth, the seemingly endless potential of growing up and learning more about what the world holds. The descriptions of a young girl Nanda’s journey from infancy to maturity, from the small circle of her mother’s arms to a future in which…

The Blue Cat

The Second World War rumbles ominously in the background of this intriguingly conceived and delicately phrased narrative. Depicted from the perspective of a precocious young girl named Columba, Australia in 1942 is a kaleidoscope of the trivial, the historic, and the evocative. Columba filters her understanding of what is happening on the world stage through…

The Goldsmith And The Master Thief

A richly textured world and wildly different paths are the setting for the adventures of identical twins Laurenzo and Jiacomo in this charming book from Tonke Dragt. From childhood through to their choosing of careers, the brothers find themselves caught up in various exploits which include mistaken identity, both brothers falling in love with the…

The Nature Timeline Wallbook

This is a volume for diehard science fans, which combines a densely detailed 2-metre timeline with a newspaper style book chronicling the rise and progress of scientific discovery across the ages. Painstakingly researched, the book bears the hallmark of its Natural History Museum origins with a heavy emphasis on the theory of evolution and its…

Zanzibar

Success, friendship and finding one’s own special gifts are at the heart of this deceptively simple tale about Zanzibar the crow. When a local frog journalist comes calling, Zanzibar fears that he possesses no special talents, outside of making mushroom omelettes. The quest for recognition takes him to an unlikely place to perform an outlandish…

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