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All reviews tagged with Margaret Anne Suggs

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A House That Once Was

Two award-winning children’s books heavy-weights come together to craft this beautiful tale of the life of a home that is now only a house. With gently rhythmic words and delicate, impressionistic paintings we learn the story of the house. Children walking in the woods come across an abandoned house and decide to explore through an…

Ba-chan, The Ninja Grandma: An Adventure with Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl

To Western eyes, this might seem a strange and quirky book! It is the third in a series of three Japanese-themed stories, all featuring Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl. In this adventure, Kunoichi gets bored with her own home and her parents decide to send her, ‘little bro’, and bunny to Grandmother’s island for the…

Chalk Boy

In this imaginative and atypical picturebook, Barnaby is a pavement artist in a busy city whose drawing of a boy – Chalk Boy – seems to take on a life of its own, with ‘eyes that can see’ and a ‘heart that can feel’. Barnaby explains that once the rain comes, Chalk Boy will wash…

Discovering Architecture

Perhaps it is the lasting popularity of books such as Iggy Peck, Architect, but architecture seems to be cropping up more often as a topic for children’s books lately. The worthy subject is certainly made appealing in this beautifully crafted book. From the endpapers that resemble blue-prints to the plans for buildings on Mars, this…

Everybody’s Welcome

Written in rhythmic rhyme, this warm tale is being marketed unnecessarily at the politically aware parent. The links to a political unease or a refugee crisis are not going to appeal to children, but this lovely book, with its sense of community and busy, productive animals, will. A well-produced book, the colour is rich and…

Grandad’s Secret Giant

Following the acclaimed The Bear and The Piano, Grandad’s Secret Giant is David Litchfield’s second offering as an author/illustrator. The story follows a friendly, patchwork-wearing giant who hides his identity to avoid frightening the people of the village because ‘people are scared of things that are different’. When the main character, Billy, finds out through…

In Focus Forests: Wilderness, Wonders, Wildlife

In Focus Forests is an accessible and unique non-fiction book. Although there is a distinct lack of an overall introduction to the book, there is an impressive amount of interesting information here. Aside from the stories of trees and forests, there are facts on animals, history and science, as well as information on weather, geography,…

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…

Migrations: Open Hearts, Open Borders

Migrations, Open Hearts, Open Borders is a capsule collection of illustrated postcards from artists who wished to express their support for migrants and refugees. The original idea was that illustrators the world over would send a postcard illustrated with a bird and a few words of encouragement to a central address, thus physically creating a…

Pigín of Howth

A recent winner in the 2016 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, Pigín of Howth is a charming picturebook containing three stand-alone stories about a delightful, fun-loving pig, and his adventures around Howth, a busy fishing village in North Dublin. The character of Pigín was created by 82-year-old Kathleen Watkins after she realised how popular…

Step Inside Homes Through History

This light and pretty book introduces the reader to seven types of housing beginning with the Middle Ages and ending with the present day. The eras have loose parameters and simplified explanations, but there are a lot of interesting things to discover! In describing each home, the author and illustrator offer facts on not just…

The Boy Who Knew Nothing

Following The Elephant in the Room, The Boy Who Knew Nothing is the latest book from this successful duo. The sing-song rhythm of the text is matched by the unique look of the illustrations. While the pictures might be an acquired taste for some, others will recognise the Comic Expressionist psychedelia of the 1960s (think…

The Fox On The Swing

The Fox on the Swing, with its shimmering stars on the cover, is a wonderfully written and delightfully illustrated treat of a picturebook. The story, which begins with a tree, is a bit mad cap but is incredibly entertaining. It follows a very observant boy, Paul, who lives on the edge of a pretty park…

The House Full of Stuff

The House Full of Stuff is about a man, Mr McDuff, who sees the potential to make, repair or create in everything. It is a gift. My father-in-law had the gift. You know someone with the gift. And they have a house full of stuff too. While Mr McDuff’s neighbours live in cookie-cutter houses with…

The Lost Horse

This is an unusual and magical story about a beloved statue of a man on a horse. What’s unusual is that the statue comes to life and at first only changes position when people in the museum aren’t looking. However, once the horse from the statue goes missing, wanders into the forest and befriends a…

The Wonder of Trees

The incredible duo that produced The Variety of Life has produced another gem, The Wonder of Trees – a big, bright and beautiful book all about ‘huge green beings’. Davies, a hugely popular nature writer, gives concise and clear information on all kinds of engrossing aspects of the lives of trees. Her captivating text is…

Under The Canopy: Trees Around the World

Trees have long been considered nearly sacred, as they provide food, medicine, shelter, shade, natural materials and, most importantly, oxygen. More than just nature-lovers and tree-huggers will be happy with what lies beneath the unnaturally bright cover of Under the Canopy: Trees Around the World. The layout of this book is similar to a lot…

You Can Never Run Out Of Love

This is a simply beautiful book that starts slowly but delivers a bright burner of a message. The gently rhyming text and zesty illustrations tell all about the things that can be used up, like soap, glue, milk, or good ideas, often due to sharing with friends, pets or parents. Yet in the refrain as…

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