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All reviews tagged with EDITOR’S CHOICE

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A Moment In Time

A Moment In Time is beautiful and inventive, but a little challenging to use. Described as a perpetual atlas, it claims that the reader can discover what the whole world is doing at exactly the same time. Well, sort of. The unusual layout allows you to compare 6am in one place with 6am in another…

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…

Beegu

‘Beegu was not supposed to be here. She was lost.’ The opening words of Alexis Deacon’s new picturebook are set against a flat landscape rimmed by dark mountains. In front of the mountains what we may assume is a flying saucer lies partially embedded in the ground. To the right foreground lies a yellow figure,…

Birds and Their Feathers

Teckentrup’s work needs no introduction to people who read picturebooks. She is author of The Egg; Under the Same Sky; Neon Leon, and many more. What they all have in common is beautiful artwork and this is no exception. I don’t use the word ‘stunning’ lightly, but it is deserved here. If you know a…

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

An eclectic collection of illustrated biographies celebrating thirty ‘Rebel Ladies’ who, in the author’s own words, ‘did exactly what they wanted with their lives.’ From a 7th-century Chinese concubine who rose to the position of Empress, to an actress who refused to submit to Hollywood beauty standards and found success playing iconic villains; from a…

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,…

Cool Coding

Code tells a computer what to do. Each individual directive is very simple, but, when combined into a program, can accomplish amazingly complex tasks, including games. Many coders begin as hobbyists before turning professional. Code can be written in a myriad of programming languages. Different languages are optimised for specific tasks, and all have unique…

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy is having car trouble. Matty worries that Daddy will not be able to pick him up from nursery. He needn’t fret. Daddy can think of several zany ways he could reach him without needing the old green car. A lazy old teddy bear could carry him on his back or a neighbour could use…

Fox and Chick: The Party and Other Stories

Fox and Chick have many adventures together. Fox and Chick are funny and have fun. Fox and Chick do not always agree. But nevertheless, Fox and Chick are always friends. The Party and Other Stories features a classic odd couple made up of a patient, if somewhat exasperated, Fox and a lively but perhaps occasionally…

Great Dog

A father and his son go through the family’s portrait gallery, each painting a reminder of the brave deeds and extraordinary lives of their ancestors. Between Uncle Scooter and Aunt Frida, Pup seems to be last in a line made of formidable fire dogs, running champions and talented artists, and as inspiring as those stories…

Harrison Loved His Umbrella

It’s not often I begin a review with a description of the physical attributes of a book, but Harrison Loved His Umbrella is such a tactile and satisfying volume it is impossible not to comment on this at the outset. Its square shape (17.5 cm.x17.5cm.) is just perfect for small hands to hold and 56…

Holes

The subject of holes may seem like a strange and dull choice for a children’s book. However, Holes is a beautiful and compelling book, which is a joy to explore. The author investigates what makes a hole a hole and attempts to show us how holes shape our world. He does so in a way…

It’s My Pond

It’s My Pond is the latest book from French author and illustrator Claire Garralon and has been translated into English by Sarah Ardizonne for Book Island, who specialise in translated picturebooks. In it, yellow duck stumbles upon a nice pond and claims it as her own. She is joined by white duck who also thinks…

Jabari Jumps

Jabari has passed his swimming test, and says he is ready to jump off the diving board in his local pool. In this wonderful portrait of a father/son relationship, we see the gentle guidance of a loving father helping a young child to recognise and process feelings of fear and excitement. This kind of emotional…

Julian is a Mermaid

Julian and Nana love to go swimming, and on their way home they notice three beautiful mermaids. Julian LOVES mermaids we are told, and as soon as they get home, he decides to make himself up to look just like one. But what will Nana think of Julian’s new look? This poignant and beautifully illustrated…

Life Is Magic

Julian and Nana love to go swimming, and on their way home they notice three beautiful mermaids. Julian LOVES mermaids we are told, and as soon as they get home, he decides to make himself up to look just like one. But what will Nana think of Julian’s new look? This poignant and beautifully illustrated…

LOTS

This sumptuous book is a ‘gathering of facts, thoughts and observations’ by the illustrator-author Marc Martin (A River, Templar Publishing, 2016 is a recent offering). The book is a festive blend of the best of Charley Harper’s ecological awareness and Miroslav Sasek’s penchant for mapped guidebooks. The information is divided geographically by cities and though…

Mariella Queen of the Skies

Mariella is a talented inventor, the only problem is that something is interrupting her thinking and inventing time… Eoin Colfer has created an engaging and witty story about the bane of every child’s existence – bedtime. Mariella spends most of her time coming up with ideas for ingenious inventions, but it always seem that just…

Mini Rabbit Not Lost

Like many of us, the small hero of John Bond’s début picturebook is partial to cake. But when Mother Rabbit’s plans to bake his favourite treat are thwarted by a lack of berries, Mini Rabbit heads off on an adventure of epic proportions in search of some. Through fields and forests, over oceans and mountains,…

Mirror Play: What am I?

Mirror Play is an invitation to engage. Each page has an abstract rotating shape. When combined with the mirror and rotated, these shapes transform into frogs, pandas, planes and more. Initially this seems like a simple book – there is no narrative to speak of, the illustrative style is bold and clear with lots of…

Mr Moon Wakes Up

Mr Moon seems to spends most of his time snoozing, making him an excellent bedtime companion but a rather languid playmate. He can’t seem to be tempted by anything, be it games, puzzles or even adventure stories. However, one night our boy protagonist follows Mr Moon through the vines and branches of their wallpaper. As…

Pandora

A little fox named Pandora lives alone in a world of broken things. She spends her time gathering and mending what she can, never seeing anyone else in this strange and ruined landscape. But one day, when a bird falls from the sky, another living thing in need of her help, her world slowly begins…

Shapes Colours Numbers

Shapes Colours Numbers is a silent, ritualistic, revelatory book. Created by Dario Zeruto, a Cuban artist trained in mechanical engineering, the book-object plays with the very idea of its materiality. With great ceremony we open the book; first we remove the sleeve, then open a page right-left, which reveals the sole sentence of the book…

Technicolour Treasure Hunt

Learn to count from one to ten with this nature-inspired treasure hunt. Design house Hvass&Hannibal have arranged their stylish spreads according to the seven colours of the rainbow. Young readers will encounter over 70 first words, mostly based on flora and fauna. The spreads feature groupings of the associated objects for readers to find and…

The Antlered Ship

Marco is a small fox with a lot of questions – why do some songs make you happy? Why do some make you sad? Why don’t trees talk? How deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea? When the Antlered Ship arrives, Marco joins its crew of deer and pigeons on a…

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs

When Ken Nedimyer was little, Nasa was just sending its first rockets, and then men, in to space. But while the whole world looked to the unknown realms of space for inspiration, Ken was far more interested in the unknown here on Earth – in the ocean. As a young man he collected hundreds of…

The Colours of History: How Colours Shaped the World

There is something for everyone in this colourful, well-designed book: adventure, danger, discovery, intrigue and more! From ancient times to present day, colour has shaped our perceptions and engagement with the world and drawing on history, chemistry, sociology and economics, Gifford tells the story of how colours we take for granted today came into being.…

The Crocodile and the Dentist

When Crocodile has a toothache, he becomes very apprehensive (like a lot of people) about visiting the dentist; but what Crocodile doesn’t know is that the dentist wants to help, but is afraid of the crocodile! ‘I really don’t want to… but I have to,’ says Crocodile walking to the dentist. ‘I really don’t want…

The Day War Came

Simple yet highly charged, this is one of the big stories of our time told in a form accessible to young children. More than ever in a post-truth world, art, here in the hands of masterful picturebook makers Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb, gets closer to the truth about the world we live in than…

The Goat

When a young girl named Kid moves into an apartment block in Manhattan from Toronto, she has no idea what awaits her. Shy and rather anxious, she misses her school, her friends and, most of all her cat. But New York City has a lot of unusual things to offer. In her building alone, there…

The King of Birds

This collection of linked stories, in comic strip form, modelled on traditional Russian folklore has some beautiful artwork. Rich colours are everywhere and there are some very dramatic visual compositions that maintain engagement. There is evocative and effective use of comic strip grammar in laying out pages to increase drama, emphasise key points, and shift…

The Match

The Man works all week in a football boot factory while His Dog waits not-so-patiently at home for The Man’s return. At the weekend, Man and Dog settle on the settee to watch The MATCH. Unfortunately, The MATCH usually ends in The DEFEAT, leaving Man and Dog under a bit of a dark cloud. Eventually…

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

Meet Romeo from Italy, Kei from Japan, Daphine from Uganda, Ananya from India, Ribaldo from Peru, and Kian from Iran. These seven children are inviting you into their homes and their lives. They want to introduce you to their families, their teachers and their friends, and show you how they play, where they sleep and…

This Is Not a Book

When is a book not a book? When it’s a monster and a toolbox and a butterfly and much more besides. This board book created by the French graphic artist, Jean Jullien is a playful tribute to symmetry, to things that open and close and to the imagination. Exploring the creative possibilities of the book…

Triangle

This book takes a simple pair of journeys by two naughty characters and makes a charming narrative of it. A sort of Zen Tom and Jerry, perhaps! The basic narrative is that titular character Triangle, who lives in a triangular house in a triangular terrain, decides to play a trick on their friend Square. This…

Wed Wabbit

Fidge, the almost-eleven-year-old heroine of Lissa Evans’ latest book, has a lot on her plate – not least the fact that her real name is Iphigenia. Two years after her father’s death, she, her mother, and her little sister Minnie are still struggling to cope, albeit in very different ways. But it’s only when a…

Welcome To My House, A Collection of First Words

This a delightful catalogue of the most common (and some less common) items that you find in a house. You have everything for sitting on, everything that brightens, and everything for cooling down, amongst many other such headings. But it is far more than an illustrated catalogue. It has a mysterious narrator. ‘My name is…

What a Wonderful Word

What a Wonderful Word is a wonderful book for word-lovers of all ages. It presents a collection of words from all over the world which have no direct translation in English, and yet they all describe situations that readers will easily understand. But these words aren’t only succinct labels for different lived experiences; they also…

What Can a Citizen Do?

Probably better known for his books for adults, Dave Eggers’ new book for children is an answer to the book’s title. Taking what can be a difficult concept for children to understand, Eggers uses verse and simple ideas to help children understand what it means to be a citizen. More importantly, it gives examples of…

What Does the Crocodile Say?

There are plenty of picturebooks on the market that address the anxieties of little ones embarking on their first day of nursery. What sets What Does the Crocodile Say? apart from others is its focus on the sounds and noises that provide the backdrop to this momentous day. From the ‘Dringg Dringg’ of the alarm…

Where Will I Live?

This photo-book introduces the refugee crisis with powerful simplicity. With a short sentence and large image on every page, it cuts through the politics and overwhelming scale of the current forced migrations, asking questions that will resonate with young children. From the first understated line – ‘Sometimes scary things happen to good people’ – readers…


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