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All reviews tagged with Olivia Hope

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Adventures in Philosophy: Stories and Quests for Thinking Heroes

The idea of introducing philosophy to children is one that may seem daunting, but O’Donoghue approaches this topic in a form that all young readers will understand – that of stories. From the outset this introduction is posing questions that ask how much we think about our thinking and why we think how we do.…

All Better!

No one likes feeling ill, having to visit a doctor or stay in hospital, so this collection of funny, informative poems is like medicine for the reluctant patient. From the cosiness of your bed when you are sick, to parents’ care and humour when a little person in is hospital, Latvian poet Zandere gently deals…

Bathtime for Little Rabbit

Little Rabbit is somewhat unsure about bathtime, especially having his ears washed, and he needs some friendly help. As with Jörg Mühle’s previous book Tickle My Ears, this story is interactive. It encourages the toddler to call Little Rabbit, and then act out shampooing, cleaning and drying. This boardbook is gentle in tone, kind in…

Cook’s Cook: The Cook who Cooked for Captain Cook

Coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s Endeavour voyage, prepare to jump abroad and sail through a story from the other side of history. It is often the characters in the background during great moments that give us the most rounded and fullest of accounts. Written in the form of a diary by John…

Dino Duckling

In a little nest, some eggs begin to crack open. 1, 2, 3 little ducklings emerge and with a bang, one dinosaur duckling crashes out. Little Dino Duckling worries that he is different to the others, but Mama Duck is full of wise words to reassure him. In this feathered family Dino Duckling learns all…

Good Night Sleep Tight

Translated from German, Good Night Sleep Tight has eleven and a half bed-time stories about Fox and Rabbit, and their woodland friends. The stories vary in length; some only a short conversation between the animals, which are more like observations about bedtime. Others are longer, but not enough to qualify as adventures. Instead, the tales…

Grandma Z

Dazzling with a cover of almost neon orange, this book is sure to stand out on a bookshelf, pretty much like Grandma Z when she bounds into Albert’s world. Albert is only used to the ordinary, a place where his parents keep everything in Albert’s world just so. Even on his birthday, Albert struggles to…

Her Right Foot

The Statue of Liberty is an American icon; we all recognise her torch, crown and book. But have you ever noticed her foot, particularly her right foot? This is a clever, funny and interesting take on how the Statue of Liberty was first designed and built in France, and then how she came to arrive…

Home and Dry

The Paddling family live on a tiny island, surrounded by a lake. Mrs Sally Paddling catches fish, Mr Albert Paddling teaches swimming, and they travel everywhere by row boat. This is how they live all year round, with their son and new baby. Well, except in summer, when the lake dries. Then, unfortunately, they have…

How to find a friend

Squirrel has moved into her tree, and Rabbit has just settled in his burrow. They are both new to the woodland, and would like to make a new friend. But for some reason they just keep missing each other! Luckily there are two very helpful bugs who want to point Squirrel and Rabbit in the…

Hubert Horatio: How to raise your grown-ups

Hubert is an extraordinary child who is both incredibly clever and surprisingly responsible for his age. The answer to how Hubert became the marvel of a child that he is today has its origins in his parents’ blatantly irresponsible behaviour. Lauren Child returns with the Bobton-Trents, Hubert’s family, who are remarkably well off; living in…

I Yam a Donkey!

If you are going to receive lessons on grammar, it should always be from a knowledgeable vegetable. Donkey hasn’t quite mastered his pronunciation and when an educated yam overhears him say ‘I yam a donkey!’, a heated and hysterical discussion begins on the verb ‘to be.’ Donkey takes a very literal approach to everything Yam…

In the Darkness of the Night

When you are asleep in bed, what does the world do? This rhyming picturebook takes the child on a night-time journey, guiding them through the sounds and sights of a city. Scary noises are explained – a creaking gate, foxes by bins, pipes and plumbing; reassuring young readers who may worry about sounds outside their…

One Christmas Wish

This seasonal story finds a lonely child called Theo on Christmas Eve making a wish on a falling star to be ‘un-lonely’. The magic of the wish awakens four old Christmas ornaments – a cheeky rocking horse that incessantly searches for food, a robin that has forgotten how to sing, an angel with worn wings…

Owen and the Soldier

On a bench by a statue in a park, Owen can sit quietly, it’s a place where he can gather his thoughts. Sharing this bench with a tall grey figure, while eating his lunch, he can speak freely without being judged. Perhaps if life was less difficult for Owen and his mum, and perhaps if…

Professional Crocodile

It is morning and Mr Crocodile is dreaming. The alarm rings, we see him stretch, open the curtains and start his morning routine before he begins his job. But what does he do exactly? Mr Crocodile begins his commute through detailed water-colour illustrations of an everyday city that children will recognise, but with the added…

Swarm of Bees

Oh no – it’s a swarm of bees and they are so angry!  Snicket explores the nature of anger and how it is manifested. We don’t know why the bees are angry, but as they swarm through the story we see where their anger could be channelled. Perhaps the sailor or his mother or the…

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

This book brims with delicious fun like a plate of cream cakes on a summer’s day. The five stories inside are packed with an array of confectionary delights that tempt you through each tale. But it’s not the opportunities to sit with an éclair that make this collection so wonderful; it’s actually Miss Petitfour, her…

The Book of Clouds

Ever looked up into the sky and wondered about clouds? Well, wonder no more. This cloudy compilation of poetry, art and a good pinch of humour by Latvian poet Kronbergs, appeals to the skygazer in us all. The twenty-five poems in this book tell a story of clouds; from how they move and travel, to…

The Dictionary of Difficult Words

For any reader ebullient about words this book is a ripsnorter. Packed with four hundred unusual words from ‘absquatulate’ to ‘zygodactyl’ and everything in between, it’s sure to appeal to the little abecedarian in your life. Lexicographer Jane Solomon has amassed a smorgasbord of words both frabjous and blithesome that are fun to say and…

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

This book bursts with colour in a story as old as time, and about time. The Jade Emperor wishes to measure how long time is and challenges all the animals in his kingdom to a great race. The first twelve animals to cross the river will have a year named after them, and so the…

The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook

The name Kew Gardens is synonymous with excellence in horticulture, and in this book that quality shines through. The concept of a cookbook that not only encourages time in the kitchen, but moreover makes children aware of how to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs, is one that will inspire both children and their…

The Picture Atlas: An Incredible Journey

Little explorers, ready yourselves for global travels! From the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, through continents, oceans and peoples, this book is a visual feast of maps filled with indigenous flora and fauna. The picture atlas explains not only nuggets of national culture and history, but also species that are particular to an area, which is…

The Restless Girls

This modern retelling of a Grimms’ fairytale will ignite a spark in young feminists. We find twelve girls strong and capable, and although they are underestimated by a father whose main concerns are that of his kingdom, they are inspired and allowed to flourish under his audacious wife, the queen. But tragedy strikes when their…

The Visitor

Everything scares Elsie: people, children, spiders and trees. She stays inside her house for safety; a place that is tidy and clean, and very grey. Then one day something sky-blue flies in through an open window. She sweeps it into the fire, but can’t sleep that night, her dreams haunted by thoughts of her house…

This or That?

There is a refrain that repeats throughout the book – ‘All around the world and through, people have…’ – and so begins a history of people, a veritable museum of items from across time.  Each spread is full of over thirty images – all items that can be found in the British Museum. There is a broad…

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Imagine a scenario where your dad falls in love with another man and you don’t want that to happen. How about if the daughter of the other man felt exactly the same? Could you both plan to break up their relationship? This is the predicament facing the very efficient and super intelligent Avery and the…

Welcome to our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere.

This is quite simply one of the most sumptuous non-fiction books for young readers at the moment. It makes a considerable effort to only delve into important things that little children would prefer to learn; like how do you cure your hiccups in Mexico? With red string stuck to your forehead, of course! Or what…

Will You Be My Friend?

How do you celebrate Ireland’s best-selling children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice? Will you be my friend? is an extraordinary anthology of over one hundred of Fitzmaurice’s poems from thirteen collections, and includes another twenty-six new poems for his well versed fans. The richness of language, while still being accessible to a child reader, is perhaps Fitzmaurice’s…


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