Mary Roche

Book Cover - Millions of Cats

Millions of Cats

This classic is as fresh today as when it was first published. The oldest American picturebook still in print, this book is famous for winning a 1929 Newbery Honor Award. Up to then, very few picturebooks had been recognised. It is famous, also, because Gág invented for it the double-page spread, now a taken-for-granted feature of picturebooks.

Book Cover - Hello Lighthouse

Hello Lighthouse

This book is delightful and well deserves its Caldecott Medal. A new lighthouse-keeper arrives at his remote lighthouse. We read a list of his duties – tending the lamp, winding the clockwork, painting the walls, fishing, cooking, mending, watching and, most importantly, noting everything in his log book. We are given a small taste of this log book at the start. We see that he does needlepoint (we are delighted to spot the finished picture later).

Book Cover - Chalk Eagle

Chalk Eagle

Tiny Owl independent publishers state on their website that they are committed to producing beautiful, original books for children, books that are visually rich and conceptually meaningful. Chalk Eagle is a worthy addition to their collection.

Book Cover - Birds and Their Feathers

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 child who loves facts, or birds, who is curious about the world, then begin with this book.

Book Cover - Belinda Brown

Belinda Brown

This is classic McKee – flat, two-dimensional, child-like artwork that conceals his genius. There is a rhyming text that avoids (narrowly) being contrived. As well as the rhyming, we have alliteration as in ‘Brother Bryan gobbled burgers, biscuits and bakes, bangers, buns, brioche and for breakfast? Bran flakes.’

Book Cover - The Hungry Goat

The Hungry Goat

This classic cautionary tale was first published in 1964. Alan Mills was a Canadian writer, folksinger and actor, and Abner was a prolific graphic designer and children’s book illustrator from the 1950s to the 1970s. They cooperated on I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. We can hear Mills’ folk music background resonate in this rhythmic, rhyming text too.

Book Cover - Can You See a Little Bear?

Can You See a Little Bear?

This is a look-and-find book with a difference. Jackie Morris’s gorgeous watercolours will draw children into a world that is dreamlike and magical – a sumptuous place of fantasy, rich in detail and colour. There is so much to explore on every opening – exotic people and animals, musical instruments, modes of transport, clothes, colours, textures, landscapes and the overall beckoning attraction of the world of the circus.

Book Cover - The Only Way is Badger

The Only Way is Badger

This book takes a light-hearted look at what happens when a delusional, egotistical animal decides that life in the forest needs to be lived on his terms.

Badger – a very black and white badger – decides one day that the best way to run the forest properly is to exclude anyone who doesn’t behave in a ‘badgery’ way. He silences Deer’s objections to having hooves that can’t dig, banishes those who physically can’t fit into in burrows – like poor Moose whose bum is too big. He ejects those who don’t bark like a badger and then sets his sights on the birds and bugs who are too colourful.

Book Cover - Little Wise Wolf

Little Wise Wolf

This delightful story presents us with a deeply philosophical question: where and how do we find wisdom? Little Wolf has become known as Little Wise Wolf because he reads so many books and knows so many important things. He spends his life reading and learning about the world.

Book Cover - Stars and Poppy Seeds

Stars and Poppy Seeds

This is an intriguing book from Ukrainian picturebook makers Romanyshyn and Lesiv. It is no suprise to learn that it won a Bologna Ragazzi Opera Prima (first works) Award.