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All reviews tagged with Picturebooks

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A Polar Bear in the Snow

This simple story of a polar bear waking up and going for a swim is anything but simple! Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris have created a starkly beautiful and clever book that will have you eagerly turning the pages to see the magical artwork. The illustrations really steal the show in this book, created with…

A Shelter for Sadness

A Shelter for Sadness is a story about a boy who builds a place for his Sadness, where it can be as loud or as quiet, as big or as small as it needs to be. The Sadness can be comfortable in the shelter, whether it be in the light or in the dark, no…

Albert Talbot: Master of Disguise

Albert Talbot is a very imaginative boy who lives by many guises. One moment, he is the notorious desperado Clate Stouderhoofen, wanted for spittoon kicking and hat flattening, and the next moment he is Professor Octavius Pickleswick, mechanical engineer and inventor of robots but, in the end, he is always Albert. This book has a…

All About Diversity

The newest addition to Usborne’s ‘All About…’ series is a compelling and upbeat examination of differences between people and how everyone learns, looks and acts differently. This book is illustrated with bright, simple pictures, which depict a variety of ages, skin tones, different abilities and cultures. The fun and delightful illustrations aid the information-heavy and…

All Kinds of Friends

Plot twist alert! In this follow up to All Kinds of Families, Sophy Henn again flips the script. Instead of depicting human interactions to explore different types of relationships, she turns to the animal kingdom and unusual animal pairings found in the wild. The relationship between each animal pairing is used to help young readers…

Arno and His Horse

This is the story of how Arno loses his toy horse and tries to retrieve it. It becomes a journey of sorts, one that takes the reader to different places – from the riverbed to the supermarket. The story then pivots to develop the narrative and takes a slightly fantastical turn which produces some really…

Barbara Throws A Wobbler

Barbara the cat is having one of those bad days, although she refuses to admit it at first. It starts with a frustrating sock problem in the morning, followed by a tense lunch, thanks to the presence of a rather strange-looking pea on her plate. Despite her perplexed friends’ best efforts, her mood just gets…

Beatrix and her Bunnies: The Story of Beatrix Potter

For many generations of readers, Beatrix Potter is a household name. Her tales of Peter Rabbit are loved by young and old, but how did this little rabbit hop onto her pages? This beautifully illustrated picturebook tells the story of a lonely girl who found joy and company in the animals that surrounded her for…

Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up

For months the garden has been quiet and grey, until one morning Dad puts on his gardening jumper and announces that it’s time to plant carrots. His two eager daughters follow him outside to a world of wonder, where the plants and animals are waking from their winter slumber. There is much for our narrator…

Can I Sit With You?

A little girl is out and about in the world, seeing sights both strange and familiar. She’s sometimes surrounded by people and overwhelming noise, and sometimes by herself and quiet. All the time, a little dog is with her. He is unnoticed at first. But whether she is going near or far, he stays right…

Creature

The creature’s eyes reflect galaxies, with twinkling stars and golden sun flares. Exposing a solar system-pale tummy, the creature stretches out. Reaching out with curling and flexing claws, it watches as the nails catch on fabric and space. Purring contentedly, the creature licks paws and whiskers and goes in search of attention and affection. At…

Different Like Delia

Five-year-old Delia lives in San Francisco and dreams of becoming a world-famous fashion designer. When Delia begins to stutter, she loses all of her confidence and battles with anxiety and worry. Throughout this book, Delia deals with low self-esteem and bullying as a result of her stutter, before learning to see the bigger picture. Different…

Eugene the Architect

Sometimes it’s good to bend, if not break the rules, as fussy architect Eugene learns in this delightful book about how the natural environment and the built environment can work together, to celebrate the imperfect perfection of nature. Eugene the architect designs buildings that follow strict designs and that are incredibly straight and orderly –…

Fidget the Wonder Dog

‘Fidget is not a fetch and carry dog, not a lie by the fire dog.’ He is full of mischief, mayhem and fun. In this gem of a book by Galway author Patricia Forde and illustrator Rachel Saunders, a little girl tells us about her beloved dog, Fidget, who gets up to all sorts of…

Finn’s First Song

Finn’s First Song is a real treat for young readers. The vivid illustrations pull the reader in to Finn’s ocean home from the get go and the text is paced well to allow children to enjoy the underwater scenes as they travel with Finn on his journey to Ireland. Daly cleverly weaves big themes into…

Finn’s Garden Friends

When Finn has to move with his mother from a house in the countryside to stay with Grandpa Sid in his flat, he misses having outdoor space. His initial disappointment is alleviated when one day Grandpa takes him to a special place: the allotment where he grows vegetables. This book is a gentle meditation on…

Flossie Mc Fluff: An Irish Fairy

From Eoin O’Brien, and illustrated by Audrey Dowling, Flossie McFluff is a unique series of new Irish tales that will inspire children and adults to search for fairies the next time they’re walking through the woods. The book brings traditional Irish myths into a modern setting that will inspire and delight young readers. This is…

Grandad’s Camper

Every summer, a young girl visits her grandad’s cottage by the sea. It’s full of fruits and vegetables from the garden, places to hide and treasures from Grandads’ travels around the world with Gramps. More than anything, she loves to hear the stories about the amazing adventures Grandad and Gramps had together. Gramps is gone…

Guinea Pigs Go Gardening

A charming and gentle introduction to the world of gardening and growing your own fruit and vegetables, Guinea Pigs Go Gardening features Ginger and Bob, a pair of guinea pigs who plan ahead to organise their delicious harvest for the next year. The book begins with gardening tips to explain key concepts like how composting…

Hello! A Counting Book of Kindness

Hello! A Counting Book of Kindnesses is a beautiful story about a mother and her three children who are forced to flee from a war-torn country. Along the way, they are met with many people on their journey who show them great kindness, such as providing them with food and shelter, and providing the children…

Hello, Rain!

This illustrated celebration of rain from the mind of Kyo Maclear and the paintbrush of Chris Turnham will make readers of all ages excited for the next day filled with puddles and raindrops, and knowing Ireland there’s definitely one just around the corner. Don your wellies and get out your brightest umbrella for a tale…

Here Be Dragons

Like a Pixar cartoon in book form, this funny and subversive tale pokes fun at a brave knight, whose self-proclaimed mission is to find and slay a dragon. Despite the naysayers, he has complete self-confidence and a map with an X saying ‘HERE BE DRAGONS’. As he begins his quest, readers will delight in spotting…

Here We Are: Book of Numbers

In Here We Are, acclaimed picture book creator Oliver Jeffers gently, beautifully reminded us all of our place on the Earth and the wonders around us worth protecting. He returns to these themes in a related title, Book of Numbers, which offers a similar message to small humans: here is the world, and here is…

Hey You!: An empowering celebration of growing up Black

‘When was the first time you felt empowered as a Black person – that you deeply believed you could live your dreams?’ This is the question that introduces the reader to Hey You!, a richly illustrated story of love, belief, and the realities of growing up Black, created by Dapo Adeola and illustrated by eighteen…

How to Be Cooler than Cool

From the first page of this book, I was in stitches. I adore this book. We all do it: if we find a pair of sunglasses in the house, we put them on and strut around the kitchen thinking we look cool. Men In Black cool. Blues Brothers cool. But no sunglasses can hide the…

I Can Catch A Monster

Imagine your big brothers take off on a quest to find a monster without you. This is what happens to Bo; she is told she is too small and must stay home, but Bo is brave and decides she will find a monster on her own. Along the way she meets a griffin, a kraken…

I Love Tractors!

‘Have you any tractor books?’ is a question I’ve often been asked while working in libraries and I’ll certainly be offering this book to the next child who asks! I Love Tractors is a beautifully illustrated book, full of glorious colour and rhyming text – perfect for reading aloud at storytime or bedtime. I particularly…

I Talk Like A River

Here is a book about the sounds of words, the feeling of saying, and the isolation and barriers that speech impediments can bring. Furthermore, it’s a book about a kind and thoughtful father, gently parsing and reframing – helping to put language on experience – and how this connection can change everything. Jordan Scott, a…

I’ll Believe You When…: Unbelievable Idioms from Around the World

Cheerfully illustrated and thoughtfully diverse, this playful picturebook explores the concept of idioms through examples from around the world. Beginning in the UK, we begin with the phrase ‘when pigs fly’. The frequently absurd idioms are delightful. Hairy frogs, toothy chickens, dancing cows and whistling lobsters feature as we encounter examples from Spain, Nigeria, the…

If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here

A little boy floats happily in an outdoor swimming pool, emerging only for the promise of ice-cream. His big sister looks on, waiting for her moment. Soon winter will be here, she tells him, and all your favourite things will be gone. This is a story about jealous sisters, but it is also a story about…

In the Half Room

What, one wonders, is a Half Room? And why is there half a cat on the cover? With its intriguing title and cover image this enigmatic picturebook grabs the reader’s attention from the outset. All of the objects in the book are halved and as we turn the pages the Half Room is gradually constructed…

It’s Only Stanley

It’s Only Stanley is a deliberately misleading title as Stanley, the Wimbeldons’ family pet, is a resourceful, clever dog who certainly should not be taken for granted (nor indeed his DIY skills be underestimated!). Woken up by strange bump-in-the-night sounds over the course of one night, the Wimbeldons (and by extension the readers) are relieved…

Julian at the Wedding

Julian at the Wedding is a beautifully written and illustrated picturebook, full of warmth and heart, that explores love in all its forms. Love’s illustrations are vibrant and are cleverly composed to allow readers to see the different types of love at their level. The book celebrates individuality, acceptance and self-love. Every character is unique,…

Leo and the Octopus

This is lovely. An unlikely relationship builds between a child and an Octopus after a trip to the aquarium. Together they bond over their anxiety in large crowds and a love of solving puzzles. Marinov has written a sensitive and emotional tale. She expertly portrays Leo’s difficulties in navigating the world around him through the…

Love

Tess lives in a safe world full of love. Whether she’s at home with her parents, brother and dog, or visiting her grandparents, there is always love there, keeping her ‘warm, like a scarf’. Starting school is the first time she’ll be really on her own, but Mummy reassures her: ‘Love is like a string…

Making Friends

Making new friends, and understanding how to be a good friend to others, is probably one of the biggest learning curves facing little people. Friendships can be special and life-changing, but they also come with their own pitfalls. Which is why this sensitive guide from McCardie is one for parents, carers and teachers to keep…

Margaret’s Unicorn

With youngsters yearning for freedom and space, this lulling, magical tale proves the perfect antidote for those who have recently struggled with feelings of isolation. Briony May Smith utilises a rich and complex palette to portray the expansive and rugged landscape of the highlands, as a young girl and her family relocate to a remote…

Meesha Makes Friends

Meesha is a warm, inventive little girl who loves to make drawings and music. The one thing she can’t seem to make is friends and, no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to get it right.  Eventually, she begins to wonder if she will ever be able to make friends. Meesha Makes…

Molly and the Lighthouse

There’s trouble at sea in this fast-paced adventure starring Molly and her islander friends and family. The lighthouse beam always flashes on the count of seventeen … but not tonight! What’s happened to poor Jamesie the lighthouse keeper – and can Molly and her mum get things back on track before dad’s fishing boat ends…

My Dad Is a Grizzly Bear

What happens when you have a grizzly bear for a dad? You get lots of furry scritches, wet sloppy kisses and never have enough honey to eat – but you do get the biggest and the warmest bear hugs to make up for that. The young narrator in Haddow and Adeola’s picturebook has quite an…

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

On first viewing, one might assess this as purely a beautifully illustrated picturebook. It is vibrantly colourful, and some spreads have a subtle hint of Eastern art. This stunning artwork makes Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small stand out among other STEAM books. However, after reading this clever book it is apparent…

Neighbors

Neighbors is a book all about a little girl who moves to a new apartment and begins to wonder about the neighbours that surround her. She ponders that her ceiling is someone’s floor and her floor, someone’s ceiling. She imagines who might be on the other side of the wall and what they might be…

Outside, Inside

Written and illustrated by award winning illustrator LeUyen Pham, this timely picturebook is dedicated to the first responders and essential workers whose selfless dedication during the pandemic proved so vital to us all. The illustrator of over 100 books for children, LA-based Pham applies her assured image-making skills to a sensitive exploration of the countless…

Pirate Stew

A slightly cautionary rhyming tale about what might happen if you hire a pirate as a babysitter. As the two unnamed children’s parents leave for an evening out, babysitter, pirate and ship’s cook Long John McRon arrives. The children take one look at him and suspect they are doomed, which they are, but not for…

Rita’s Rabbit

Pets these days come in all shapes and sizes but not everyone wants a bearded dragon of their very own, especially if all they have ever dreamed about is owning a rabbit. What was Rita’s Grandad thinking? How could a scaly, scrawny and spikey pet like that ever be as lovable as a rabbit? Unless….…

Snow Ghost

‘Snow Ghost came shimmering out of the air, searching for somewhere to settle – but where?‘ Snow Ghost is looking for a place that feels like home. She travels over chilly hills, unwelcoming towns and dense forests until she finds a cosy country farm to settle in. The story of hope and a search for…

The Bear and the Moon

The Bear and the Moon is a stunning journey through the joys and sorrows of Bear and his new companion. The reader is swept away by his initial delight at meeting his new friend and equally saddened by their sudden parting. The theme of grief is explored with a subtle elegance. Bear’s feeling of guilt,…

The Blue Giant

I am conflicted with this review. On the one hand I dislike overly moralistic or ‘message’ books. Which is book certainly is. On the other hand the message, that we are polluting the earth and only if we work together and work hard can we fix it, is simply not sinking in to society. So…

The Bookshop Cat

Never happier than when you have your nose stuck in a book? Then you will certainly appreciate the bibliophile nature of the black cat in The Bookshop Cat by Sindy Wume. This black cat comes from a long line of high-achieving, career-driven felines—pastry chefs, dancers, mechanics, and everything in between. However, he loves nothing more…

The Boys

A companion to the highly successful and beautifully illustrated picturebook The Girls, The Boys follows the lives and friendship of four boys – Rey, Nattie, Bobby and Tam – through the years of babyhood to adulthood. We first meet the boys on a beach with their mothers and follow them through their adolescence and into…

The Cutest Thing Ever

The Cutest Thing Ever is a fun-filled explosion of cuteness. It starts with a darling little bat asking the reader if they want to see the cutest thing ever. What ensues is a series of adorable illustrations and nonsensical prompts that grow more and more complex with each turn of the page, ultimately leading to…

The Rock from the Sky

What could be better than a new story from Jon Klassen? Five new stories from Jon Klassen! At 96 pages, The Rock From The Sky, is bigger than your average 32-page picturebook. It tells its story over five chapters and it is wonderful to spend longer in Klassen’s world. The book is about a big…

The Snowflake

Award-winning author illustrator Benji Davis has created yet another beautiful picturebook in The Snowflake. A little snowflake who isn’t so sure of how to fall is gently dropped from a kindly cloud with words of encouragement that everything will be alright, and they will eventually find the perfect place to land. Meanwhile, little Noelle and…

The Song of the Nightingale

I love origin tales like how the robin got its red breast, and why the moon travels. In The Song of the Nightingale, author Tanya Landman weaves a beautiful tale of a young earth full of life and colour, but the animals within it are dull and drab. So the painter decides something must be…

The World’s Most Pointless Animals: Or are they?

Full of bright and engaging illustrations, this is a book that makes you want to pick it up and take a look through. And after the pictures have grabbed your attention there are the weird and wonderful animal facts to keep your interest. The humour will keep children entertained, but it also highlights just how…

We Want Our Books

Thankfully, library closures aren’t common in Ireland but this isn’t the case elsewhere, sadly. In recent years, hundreds of public libraries have been closed across the United Kingdom and the United Sates due to government cutbacks and this has had a major impact on local communities. We Want Our Books is the story of a…

Where Snow Angels Go

O’Farrell’s enchantingly whimsical text tells how Sylvie has unknowingly brought into being an endearingly human guardian angel, who will prove to be essential to her wellbeing. Visiting by night, the angel assures Sylvie that she has within her the potential to help her family and friends rediscover the joy in living that helps keep us…

Who’s Your Real Mum?

Children of same-sex parents must find it wearying to be asked which parent is their ‘real’ one. In this book we meet Elvi, who is of mixed race, and has two mothers, one of whom has brown skin. Her friend Nicholas asks her which woman is her real mother. She patiently explains that both are,…

Will You Be My Friend?

Twenty-six years after Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram are back with this heart-warming sequel, Will You Be My Friend? Little Nutbrown Hare is eager to play, but Big Nutbrown Hare is a bit too busy – as parents sometimes are. Little Nutbrown Hare asks if he can wander off…

Windows

As we all spend our days far from the homes of our friends, Windows offers the reader a meandering, dusk-time journey through their neighborhood. The protagonist leaves home with their dog at the end of the day just before the town goes to sleep. What slowly unfolds is the perfect journey narrative from the mind of Denos…

Zeki Loves Mummy

An ideal choice for a baby’s first introduction to the wonderful world of books, Zeki Loves Mummy takes us through a day with baby Zeki and his mum – building dens, going for bike rides, making splashy paintings and cuddling. I love this book; it gets so many things right, and is perfectly attuned to…

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