Doctor Dolittle

Author – Hugh Lofting

Age – 5+

Dr Dolittle lives in a little town with his sister and many animals. He is a popular doctor until his house is so over-run with his growing menagerie that people stop coming. When the money runs out, his sister leaves in a huff, and he has nothing to feed his animal friends, his wise parrot called Polynesia suggests he become an animal doctor instead.

Little did he know as he learnt all the animal languages, that he would be soon on an incredible adventure to Africa. His fame had spread that far and the monkeys were sick. With his animal friends along for the journey, they encounter pirates, an Africa king, incredible birds, a lost uncle and the strangest animal anyone has ever seen.

This wonderful classic intrigued me as a child and made me smile as an adult. Imaginative, fun, and with action aplenty, it would make a perfect read-aloud (day or night, just before lights out), or for a young reader. The language use is of the day (first published in 1920)  and peppered with rich vocabulary that will stretch young inquisitive minds. Re-released for 2018, young animal lovers will be thoroughly entertained.

(Classic, Animals, Fun, Action, Pirates, Africa)

 

NEW ‘Picture Book by Theme’ Tool

Hi everyone!

You will notice that there are a lot of picture books being posted at the moment.

Image result for question mark image freeAs a children’s bookseller and book nut, I am always being asked by parents, teachers, librarians and grandparents, for picture books for children dealing with grief, fears, feelings etc, so I thought I would find a way to help with that.

All of the picture books showing have been chosen for their theme and can be searched for as such. Just hover over the picture books tab at the top of the page to see the drop down menu.

Use the arrow tab to move up and down to find the theme you are after and click!

If you are needing themed titles that aren’t showing, please CONTACT ME and let me know. I’d be only too glad to help.

 

The Gift Horse

Author – Sophie SiersThe Gift Horse

Illustrator – Katherine White

Sophisticated picture book

Olivia is still grieving the loss of her mum. She feels like there is a balloon inside her, squashing everything out, right up against her throat. She can’t seem to fit in with her friends anymore and just wants to stay in bed.

But her dad won’t let her, being patient and kind. One day he brings a horse to their farm and asks Olivia to look after him. He’s beautiful and Olivia calls him Amigo. But he’s angry too, and won’t let her near him even after hours and hours together alone.

In her frustration the balloon inside finally pops, letting out all her emotions. But this is just what she needed – for her and Amigo.

Stunning illustrations and a moving story about the process of grief.

(NZ, New Zealand, Grief, Losing a parent)

Once Upon a Wild Wood

Author/Illustrator – Chris Riddell

Sophisticated Picture Book

Age – 6+

Green has received an invitation to a party. She sets off through the Wild Wood with a strong stick, a good book, her clumpy boots and some breadcrumbs.

Along the way she meets all manner of creatures and characters (from fairy tales) as she travels to the party. Dancing bears, singing harps, a lonely beast and a sticky toffee doormat are just some of the things she encounters along the way.

Will she ever get to Rapunzel’s party?

Sumptuously illustrated and cleverly tangled fairy tales will ensure this becomes a classic itself. The Hardback format with the cutout in the cover just adds to its charm.

(Fairy Tales, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel,derella Snow White, Three Little Pigs, Jack & Jill, Cinderella)

 

Mr Penguin (1) and the Lost Treasure

Author/Illustrator – Alex T SmithMr Penguin and the Lost Treasure

Age – 6+

Mr Penguin has just set up an Adventure/Mystery Agency and advertised it in the local newspaper. On his first day he is keen to get started on solving mysteries and going on adventures! But his phone doesn’t ring. He’d paid a lot of money to set up his Adventure Agency, and if he didn’t get a job soon, he would have to go home to the Frozen South, leaving behind crabsticks and his favourite sandwiches (fish fingers of course).

Just as he’s really beginning to worry – the phone nearly rings right off his desk. There is a mystery at the local museum. Boudicca Bones needs his help URGENTLY to find hidden treasure within the museum.

Mr Penguin is very excited, but soon is wondering whether this whole adventuring thing was a good idea after all? With an X marks the spot, pitch-black passages, and a kung-fu expert spider side-kick named Colin, Mr Penguin’s courage, smarts and rumbling stomach are put to the test as he investigates.

The intricate pencil illustrations add to the fun format of white, orange and black pages of this new series. Mr Penguin is trying to do his best, and is lucky his spider side-kick is along for the adventure. This slapstick action mystery is a little Indiana Jones and a lot funny. Would make a great read-aloud/bedtime story.

(Funny, Humour, Friends, Adventure, Baddies, Villains, Mystery, Secret tunnels, Museum, Slapstick, Series)

Bigfoot and Little Foot (1)

Author – Ellen Potter
Illustrator – Felicita Sala

Age – 6+

Hugo is a young Sasquatch eager for adventure and maybe to even become a sailor! But his big sister Gigi says he could never become a sailor because it would break their most important rule – never be seen by a human.

One day while out on a school trip practising their sneaking and camouflage, that very thing happens. A small human wanders into the same area and Hugo is so surprised by him that he bursts out with a laugh. The boy sees him and his teacher rushes them to safety. Hugo is in serious trouble. But his curious nature has been fuelled even further. The human didn’t look dangerous at all.

When an opportunity to explore presents itself, Hugo grabs his chance…

A fun story about friendship and feet, told from a young bigfoot’s point of view.

(Bigfoot, Friendship, Multiple POV, Curiosity, Bravery, Series)

Wedgie & Gizmo (1)

Author – Suzanne SelforsRelated image

Age – 6+

Wedgie is a welsh corgi and he LOVES his house, his stick, the dog-beach and the park. He’s happy almost all of the time and loves taking his humans for a walk, and when they pet and praise him.

He’s not sure about the ‘furry potato’ that has just moved into his house with his boy and man, and he wants to sniff and check him out.

Gizmo is a guinea pig. But he detests such a name. Do humans not know that he is not a pig at all? He is from the rodent family and not just any animal. Gizmo believes himself to be the most amazing creature – in fact…. an EVIL GENIUS.

While Gizmo is plotting to take over the world where his kind will have everything they want and he is king, Wedgie is enjoying barking at the neighbour’s dog Brutus, burying his new bone (hoping he’ll remember where he buried it this time), and protecting his family.

The furry potato’s boy (Elliot) thinks Wedgie wants to eat Gizmo, and Gizmo thinks the elderly lady also living in the house, wants to eat him too. After all, she’s from Peru and they eat his kind, don’t they? Gizmo is constantly adjusting his evil plan as family events unfold.

This tale is told in the viewpoints of positive, happy bouncy Wedgie, and selfish, greedy, narcissist Gizmo. It’s entertaining to see the world from their eyes and how they perceive their human’s behaviour. Fun read!

(Animals, Dogs, Guinea Pig, Evil Genius, , Blended Family, Birthday, Pets, Animal POV, Series)

 

Embassy of the Dead

Author – Will Mabbitt39875529

Age – 7+

The most exciting thing Jake Green was supposed to be doing was attending a school camp. But when a ghost unexpectedly hands him a strange package, life becomes far more exciting than he thinks he can handle.

Curiosity overwhelms him and he opens the package – which is the worst possible thing he could have done. A secret organisation called The Embassy of the Dead has now issued a Death Order against him, unleashing one of the worst Grim Reapers. Oh yes, there’s more than one, and they love following through with a Death Order!

Jake never knew he was a ‘sensitive’ – someone who can see and hear ghosts. But soon, they are the only ones who can help him avoid the reaper, get the package back to the Embassy and keep it away from a creature wanting to take over the Land of the Living.

The first in a series, this was a fast-paced, funny story about a boy getting caught up with ghosts of every kind and their ruling organisation that has more paperwork than a tax department; all while trying to pretend to his parents that he is at a school camp. Looking forward to more in the series!

(Series, Secret, Ghost, Friendship, Funny, Humour)

Real Pigeons Fight Crime

Author – Andrew McDonaldReal Pigeons Fight Crime

Illustrator – Ben Wood

Age – 6+

Rock Pigeon loves to dress up. Is it a rabbit? Is it a chicken? Or is it a pile of leaves? No – it’s Rock Pigeon!

When an old pigeon (Granpouter Pigeon) approaches Rock about his disguise skills for a top secret Pigeon Crime Fighting Squad,  Rock isn’t sure. But he’s soon working with two other pigeons, Homey & Frillback on three separate cases.

Why aren’t there any animals and people in the park?

Who is capturing all the bats?

What is ticking in a boy’s bag at the Food Fair?

Fans of the series Bad Guys will love this new crime-fighting bunch of pigeons.

Funky illustrations amongst 3 hilarious stories.

(Humour, Series, Animals, Crime, Funny)

King Flashypants and the Boo-Hoo Witches (4)

Author/Illustrator – Andy RileyBoo-Hoo Witches (King Flashypants #4)

Age – 6+

9 yr old Edwin is the King of Edwinland, and in this episode he learns the truth about Minister Jill’s past. (Minister Jill is the grown-up who helps him with all the boring stuff).

One evening, Edwin and his best friend Megan (the court jester) decide to break a few of Minister Jill’s rules, with hilarious but horrendous consequences. Suddenly Edwin is on his own without Jill’s guidance, (Who would have thought that breakfast doesn’t make itself) and Edwin knows what he must do. But only after he’s made a few laps of his castle in screaming panic!

Edwin and Megan set off (on the coolest rowboat ever, because the original was just too boring), to find Minister Jill.

No. 4 in this funny series, it is just as zany as the rest. With lots of laugh-out-louds, this would make an entertaining read aloud or be a fun step up for young readers into more substantial chapter books. Black & white illustrations inhabit every page spread in the book, adding even more crazy fun. I love this series.

(Series, Humour, Funny, Zany, Crazy, Appreciation, Taking for granted, Blended family)

Fart Monster and Me

Author – Tim MillerThe Crash Landing (Fart Monster and Me #1)The New School (Fart Monster and Me #2)

Age – 6+

Ben Dugan is excited when something green crash lands in his back yard the day before they are moving house. It’s a creature from outer space that has farted so hard, it left its planet and landed on Earth.

It eats everything Ben can think of to make it ‘blast’ off again, but no matter how many cabbages, baked beans or eggs it eats, it cannot get enough gas. Ben doesn’t want to leave it behind on its own, so takes it with him to their new house at Stone Beach.

It’s good that the creature is invisible to anyone but Ben, except for the fact that every time it blows off, Ben is blamed.

In No. 2 in this series, Ben goes to his new school and as he tries to make friends, they all make fun of him for the smell that comes with him.

Great for any reluctant readers who love toilet humour.

(Alien, Fart, Trumpet, Blow-off, New School, Invisible, Humour, Funny, Series)

Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package

Author – Kate DiCamillo

Illustrator – Chris Van Dusen

Age – 7+

Eugenia Lincoln is a no nonsense kind of lady, unlike her sister Baby Lincoln who loves fun and joy and music. When they receive a large unexpected package one day, all the neighbours come to see what it might be.

Eugenia is unhappy. She didn’t order it, doesn’t want it and will just about do anything to get rid of it! On her way to do just that, something unexpected happens.

Another tale from the multi-award winning Kate DiCamillo which will make a fantastic Read Aloud for Year 3-4’s (7-8 yr olds). Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Tale of Despereaux and the popular Mercy Watson series. This story involves characters from that series.

(Neighbours, Mystery, Music, Series, Humour)

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape

Author – Dermot O’Leary36139079

Illustrator – Nick East

Age – 6+

Toto and her brother Silver have just moved from Italy to London. When they hear something in their bins outside one night, they go to investigate.

Little did they know they would make a friend called Catface. Catface is keen to show them the wonders of London and before they know it they are caught up in an adventure to save the small creatures of the city from an escaped King Cobra!

Toto’s eyesight isn’t that good, but she has razor sharp reflexes and was trained by a Ninja Master in Italy when she was small. Her skills come in very handy along the way.

A fun adventure above and below the streets of London, to find a giant snake escapee from London Zoo. Toto and Silver are based on the illustrator’s own cats. His Toto couldn’t see very well either, but had the reflexes of a fully-sighted cat.

(Animals, Cat, Snake, Rat, London, Sewers, Humour, Funny, Adventure)

Meet the Twitches – Teacup House 1

Author – Hayley Scott36990726

Illustrator – Pippa Curnick

Age – 6+

Stevie isn’t happy about moving from the city to the country to be closer to her dad. She is a dreamer and loves watching the clouds from her 18th storey apartment window and thinking about stuff. Will she be able to do that in the country?

Her grandmother gives her a moving gift – a teacup that opens up into a dolls house. Stevie is also given 4 rabbit figures for the house, but she knows this is a plan between her mum and grandmother to try and make her feel better about the move.

When they arrive at their new cottage, Stevie carries the teacup house and rabbits carefully inside and sets them up in her new room. But one of the rabbits is missing! While she’s frantically searching, something magical happens!

The first story in a sweet new series. Think Toy Story inside a teacup house. With colour illustrations throughout this is an ideal early chapter book.

(Magic, Moving, Adventure, Danger, Garden, Series)

 

Rabbit & Bear (3) – Attack of the Snack

Author – Julian Gough38192711

Illustrator – Jim Field

Age – 6+

Rabbit & Bear are swimming in a lake, enjoying the summer, when a THING whizzes past their heads. It screams, hits a tree and lands in the water.

What is it, they wonder as Bear plucks it from the lake. It’s unconscious. It’s small. Its face is flat. It has bird feet. Suddenly Rabbit recognises it. It’s a creature that he’s always been told to avoid. They are 6 ft tall and will terrorise you! They eat you alive and burp up your bones!

I don’t think so, says Bear having a closer look at the small, still, fuzzy bundle.

As always, Rabbit gets himself all worked up in a tizz, while Bear looks on figuring things out properly. Slowly but surely they work out the truth as the thing awakes, and Rabbit learns that he actually may have something (embarrasing) in common with it.

Just as good as the first two stories – Funny, thoughtful, and endearing, as these two friends learn about acceptance, no matter what they’ve always believed.

(Animals, Humour, Funny, Series, Acceptance, Prejudice)

Danny Best (3) – Me First

Author – Jen StorerCover image - Danny Best: Me First!

Illustrator – Mitch Vane

Age – 6+

4 more stories about a young boy called Danny Best. Danny is full-on and always first to do anything. He is always after a challenge and keen to beat everyone and then crow to the world!

1) Tongue Tied – Danny is determined to beat the World Record at talking with his tongue hanging out. And if it annoys his big sister, it’s a bonus!

2) Old Yellow Eye is a revered fish in Danny’s town, so when the annual fishing content rolls around, Danny is keen to catch this cunning creature. But when the time comes, he has to choose between Old Yellow Eye and someone close to him.

3) Bum-Free – Danny’s teacher gives his class a task. Write a story about a wholesome family – keeping to the class rules of course. No exploding bums, monkeys with guns, squashed kittens etc. So Danny begins with a very angry vacuum cleaner…..

4) Boy Vs Wild – Danny is bored. So he ventures out into the baking Aussie outback (his backyard), to brave any creatures (the chickens) that come along, and try and find water. His friends are watching through the fence as he acts out his adventure, and he soon has more water than he knows what to do with!

Anyone funny set of stories about this crazy kid. There are quizzes along the way to make sure you’re paying attention!

(Funny, Humour, Full-on, Friends, School, Fishing, Sibling, Series)

The Beast of Bramble Woods

Author – Caryl HartThe Beast of Bramble Woods

Illustrator – Sarah Warburton

Age – 6+

Nell and her best friend Freddie are The Invincibles – not scared of anything, and keen to try everything.

When Nell’s big brother Lucas plans to camp out in the back lawn with a campfire and marshmallows, Nell uses her Pester Power to convince her dad that they should be allowed to join them. Bramble Woods is right behind their house and they’ve seen an article about a strange black hairy creature spotted by a local in the woods.

After ghost stories by the fire, The Beast is clear in their imaginations – but is it real? They are soon to find out!

A fun story about siblings, getting your parents to say yes, and vivid imaginations!

(Blended family, Friends, Scary, Monster, Camping)

 

 

Pirate Blunderbeard (1)

Author – Amy SparkesPirate Blunderbeard

Illustrations – Ben Cort

Age – 5+

Blunderbeard is the worst pirate ever! His big brother Blackbeard enjoys rubbing it in every chance he gets. Blunderbeard is scared of fish, bites his nails, enjoys baking cupcakes and has a terrible sense of direction.

His pirate mum is embarrassed by her youngest son and signs him up for the POTY Award (Pirate of the Year), to try and make him become a better pirate. He is doomed!

He does his best with his trusty sidekick Boris the chicken at his side (the parrots were all gone when he went to the pet shop), and between the two of them and Blunderbeard’s crazy inventions, maybe, just maybe he can survive the trials to live another day.

(Pirate, Bully, Sibling, Family, Humour, Series)

Life of the Party (The Susie K Files 1)

Author – Shamini FlintSusie K 1.jpg

Illustrator – Sally Heinrich

Age – 6+

Susie is a problem solver. She loves science, animals and working things out. There are problems like her full name – Susanna Saathiavanni Kanagaratnam-Smith that she can’t do anything about, but there are other problems like how to get invited to the party of the most popular girl in school.

Susie doesn’t really like parties, but her mum is worried about her not being social enough and has threatened to go to school to complain and ask why.

Using science, her best friend (the class goldfish George), and her desire to make her mum stop worrying about her, Susie solves the problem.

The 1st in a funny new series by the author of the Diary of a Soccer Stop, Cricket God etc series, The Susie K Files is sure to be just as popular. Full of speech bubbles, text and quirky drawings, this series is perfect for problem solvers and budding scientists like Susie.

(Science, Problem, Popular, Geek, Family, Sri Lankan, Humour, Funny)

The Sneaky Sweet Stealer

Author – Chae StrathieThe Sneaky Sweet Stealer (Captain Firebeard's School for Pirates #2)

Illustrator – Anna Chernyshova

Age – 6+

Tommy can’t wait to start Pirate School. This means sailing on the Rusty Barnacle, captained by Pirate Captain Firebeard, for the whole school term!

Once aboard, he learns about all things piratey including sea monsters they may encounter on pirate escapades. Between their lessons, the apprentice pirates can visit the tuck shop for on board sweets and treats – until they start to go missing. Who is stealing the lollies from under their noses?

Suspicion instantly falls on Spiky Spencer and his gang including Muttonhead Max and Greta the Grouch, but maybe the thief isn’t quite so obvious. It’s only when Tommy and the entire crew are in grave danger that the thief is revealed.

A simple, fun, pirate story for young readers with lots of ‘Aaaaaarrrrr!’

(Pirates, Sea Monsters, Pirate School, Nemesis, Theft)