Newest For Sharing Reviews

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Frog is a Hero by Max Velthuijs

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Always a sucker for a story with a hero, I thoroughly enjoyed this book with Frog as the unlikely hero. It's a very rainy day. At first the rain, for Frog at least, is lovely and he goes outside dancing. But then it starts to get a little bit too heavy even for him. Worried about how his friends are coping with the adverse weather, Frog decides to go and see them and with everyone's houses leaking, a plan must be formed! Full review...

The Wonder by Faye Hanson

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Don't judge a book by its cover, they say. It was the beautiful cover that made me want to try this gorgeous book and still I was not prepared for the stunning illustrations that make up the journey into the imagination of the little boy in this thoughtful story. Full review...

The Boy Who Lost His Bumble by Trudi Esberger

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A little boy loves his garden and he particularly loves the bees that visit it each day. He is so fascinated by his buzzy friends that he gives them each names and records their habits and characteristics. Then the weather changes, it grows cold and his bees disappear. Where can they be? Will they come back? The boy is puzzled and saddened by their departure and tries hard to encourage his missing friends to return. Full review...

Rita's Rhino by Tony Ross

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Rita really wants a pet, but when she asks her Mum for one she isn’t so keen. They’re smelly and greedy and take lots of hard work. Eventually she relents, and gives Rita a jar with a flea in it, his name is Harold. Obviously, Rita isn’t happy with this so she decides to take matters into her own hands. What will she do, and how will she manage to hide a Rhino from her pet-fearing mother? Full review...

The Brockenspectre by Linda Newbery

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Tommi lives up in the mountains with his parents and his baby sister. Mamma is artistic and paints beautiful designs on chairs and stools and planters for tourists to buy. Pappi is a mountain guide and Tommi's hero - brave and fearless and a lover of his wild mountain home. Tommi wants nothing more than to be like Pappi. But things aren't peaceful at home. Pappi is only truly happy by himself, out amongst the peaks. After just a day or two at home without guiding work, he becomes irritable and critical of Mammi and his children.

After an argument one day, Pappi strides out of the house and onto the mountain. And he doesn't return. Full review...


The Quayside Cat by Toby Forward and Ruth Brown

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Sometimes it's good to be wrong. I'd been keen to review The Quayside Cat almost entirely because of the beautiful colour palette of the front cover – and also because I spend quite a lot of time hanging around on quaysides. But then I began to get cold feet – had I been guilty of the classic adult sin, choosing a book because it appealed to me and with no thought of whether the children would like it? Full review...

Numbers by Paul Thurlby

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Is it art or is it pedagogy? That’s a weighty question to start a review of a children’s picture book. When the book in question is 'Numbers' by Paul Thurlby though, it’s central to whether you will love this volume or not. Full review...

The Illustrated Old Possum by T S Eliot and Nicolas Bentley

4star.jpg Children's Rhymes and Verse

This title is clearly of importance to the house of Faber. To this day their puff mentions it was one of their first childrens' books, after the author sent his publisher's son, his godson, some writings based on jellicle cats and some of their scrapes. It's clearly a book that's important to Andrew Lloyd Webber, too, but we'll gloss speedily over that. It's a book that was important to me as well – I certainly had a copy, a thin, barely illustrated, old-fashioned style paperback of it once I had seen the musical. And with the excellent writing here and the ability of it to delight so many people of so many ages, it has the power to be important to a future generation. Full review...

Nonsense Limericks (Faber Children's Classics) by Edward Lear and Arthur Robins (illustrator)

4.5star.jpg Children's Rhymes and Verse

There was a young man whose critique
Of this book was submitted one week
When they asked 'Was it fine?'
He said 'No denyin' –
'There's very little here they could tweak!' Full review...

Rudey's Windy Christmas by Helen Baugh and Ben Mantle

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We all know that at this time of year there are oh-so-many Christmas and Santa related stories to choose from. How do you pick which ones to buy or read? Well, the answer to that is if you’ve got small boys or girls who tend towards potty humour, then this is the book for you. Full review...

Polly Parrot Picks a Pirate by Peter Bently and Penny Dann

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Anyone who has anything to do with little children will know that you can never have too many pirates. There are pirate costumes, pirate television shows, and here we have another pirate book. In this fun and entertaining tale, we find out how Polly the parrot goes about choosing a pirate as her pet. Full review...

The Owl and the Pussy-cat by Edward Lear, Charlotte Voake and Julia Donaldson

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This is a poem which has always resonated with me, because there is something about it which is nothing short of magical. It taps into that part of children which still love nursery rhymes, or to pretend they fly to the moon when they go to sleep. This edition is beautifully laid out, and I would happily buy it in a heartbeat. Full review...

Katie's London Christmas by James Mayhew

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We have never been strict about Christmas in our house. It's usually my husband who starts it, with a carol or two during the summer! It's hard to resist that Christmas urge if you're a die-hard fan of the season! I have a friend who keeps all her Christmas related stories safely in a cupboard, brought out in a special basket only during the season itself. We, meanwhile, have Christmas stories all year round because, honestly, who doesn't like a bit of Father Christmas magic now and then?! Anyway, this is all to say that here is a Christmas story that some purists will tuck away until Christmas Eve but we have quite happily read during Halloween! Katie is back, and heading back to London, but this time she's on a mission to help Father Christmas... Full review...

How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown

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When I'm not reading books, or being a mum, I'm busy being a librarian, so of course I wanted to read this book! Poor Rapunzel is down in the dumps. As the story tells us, she had nowhere to go, she had nothing to prove. If this were an adult story she'd be diagnosed with depression, but since we're in the realm of pictures books we merely see a queue of people who drop by to visit Rapunzel, asking her to let down her hair so that they can deliver things to her or come by and visit who fail completely to entice her out of her flat, or for her to let down her hair to let them in. What is it she is waiting for? Is she just on hold until her handsome prince comes by? Full review...

Robert Crowther's Pop up Dinosaur Alphabet by Robert Crowther

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ABC books could stand for A Boring Concept, but you might want to wait until you find out what the D is before making a decision. In this case D stands for Dinosaurs and there is nothing boring about them. There is also nothing boring about pop-ups. The two together may just join up to make something pretty special. Use this book to learn your basic alphabet and gain the some pretty intellectual knowledge on dinosaurs; from Allosaurus to Zapalasaurus. Full review...

Seen and Not Heard by Katie May Green

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During the day the eight children of Shiverhawk Hall are seen and not heard for they are images captured on canvas. 'Don’t they look so sweet and good, so well behaved like children should?' They certainly look a picture, picked out in the silvery moonlight. As night sets in and all is quiet, only the black cat and a handful of mice are there to see the portraits come to life and step out of their frames. What mischief can these children from across the ages make? Full review...

Dog on Stilts by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon

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Once you have reached adulthood, never try and understand what is going on with a child’s imagination. Whilst they can sit on the floor and talk to their imaginary friends, from the age of 20+ this is suddenly frowned upon. A child can think of crazy and wonderful things that would not even cross an adult’s mind. That is unless you are an author of children’s books, then you can come up with an idea as strange as a dog who likes to use stilts. Full review...

Twinkle by Katharine Holabird and Sarah Warburton

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Pink. Glitter. Magic. Right from the start this book has all the ingredients needed to be a hit with little girls. I hate to stereotype but there’s no denying it with this one. From the author of Angelina Ballerina comes the first in a new, rather magical series. Full review...

One Christmas Night by Christina M Butler and Tina MacNaughton

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If you regularly read children’s books about Father Christmas you are probably as amazed as I am that he ever gets the job done. It would appear that almost every year some sort of problem befalls old Santa Claus and he has to ask for help. I can understand getting aid from his elves, his reindeers or even the tooth fairy at a push, but a hedgehog? However, this is not just any hedgehog, but Little Hedgehog and with the aid of friends and a fluffy scarf, Hedgehog may just get the job done in time. Full review...

Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

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Who loves underpants? EVERYONE loves underpants! We’ve already explored how aliens love them, how cavemen love them, and how pirates love them. Who else could there possibly be? Oh yes, that’s right…. Monsters! Claire Freedman and and Ben Cort are back with yet another tale about pingy pants elastic. Full review...

Do You Speak English, Moon? by Francesca Simon, Ben Cort and Lenny Henry

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Night can be a scary time for a child, with shadows playing tricks on the walls and no daylight to make everything seem okay. Do You Speak English, Moon? is a great book for this situation, with a little boy deciding the best thing to do is to talk to the moon. He asks the moon some lovely and magical questions before finally snuggling down and going to sleep. This is an excellent way to try and make the dark just a little less of a fearful place for young children. Full review...

Rattle and Rap by Susan Steggall

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Apparently, back in the days of steam, every little boy used to dream of being an engine driver. The trains in Rattle and Rap are all diesel but the allure of travel still wafts strongly from the pages. This is one in a series of vehicle-themed books aimed at pre-schoolers. It’s unusual to find engaging non-fiction for the under fives. With the focus on vehicles, Susan Stegall takes a staple of many a children’s book but, unlike some other authors, she treats the subject with imagination and creativity. It’s enough to make an anthropomorphised tank engine blush. Full review...

Secrets of the Rainforest: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown and Alyssa Nassner

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The rainforest is bustling with life. If we look closely, we will be able to spot the animals living there. Some are hiding in the trees, some under leaves or behind rocks. There are plenty of secrets to discover. And to become a special rainforest explorer, you will need a torch, or a bright light, because that is the key to spotting all of those hidden creatures... Full review...

The Tooth Fairy's Christmas by Peter Bently and Garry Parsons

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If I had a choice of being a magical figure I would choose someone like Father Christmas over the Tooth Fairy. Yes, he may be morbidly obese, but at least he only has to work really hard on one day of the year. The Tooth Fairy has to work all year round, including Christmas Day. Thankfully, all these magical folk appear to be in some sort of union, so when the weather is too bad on 24th December you can always rely on St Nick to help you out Full review...

Over the Hills and Far Away by Elizabeth Hammill (Editor)

5star.jpg Children's Rhymes and Verse

I’m a bit picky on behalf of my toddler. See the word ‘Treasury’ and I expect him to be treated to a volume he will want to pass on to his own children. Anything less and I am disappointed. I’m relieved to get one thing straight from the start. This one’s a gem - a gorgeous joy of a book that you will just want to keep opening again and again. It’s not a question of whether it is worthy of hypothetical grandchildren, it’s more a question of how well thumbed it will be when they get it. Full review...

What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood

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What a Wonderful World is a book and accompanying CD set based on the Louis Armstrong song. In fact it is the book and CD of that song as it’s not a new story or a padded out version of the original, it’s simply an illustrated version of the lyrics. Full review...

It's Snow Day by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb

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We all remember the best sort of school days, don’t we? Snow days. Waking up in the morning and seeing the glow of white through the curtains, and looking out of the window to see the whole world of our back gardens and rooftops turned white. This is a book all about that, and the only two people who turn up at school on this particular snow day. Full review...

The Crocodile Under the Bed by Judith Kerr

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Judith Kerr wrote the classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and now she is back with The Crocodile Under the Bed, which I’m fairly certain is going to join it in classic status before too long. This time, Matty is a little boy who wants desperately to go to the party but he gets sick so can’t go. He’s having no fun, but there’s somebody who is pretty sure he can help with that; the crocodile under the bed… Full review...

The Snow Leopard (Mini Edition) by Jackie Morris

3.5star.jpg Confident Readers

You probably haven't heard of Mergichans – although if you pronounce it correctly in your head, in connection with spirits and magic, you will work out what they are. One of them is the totem, if you like, of a hidden Himalayan valley, and she is in the form of a snow leopard, singing existence as she sees fit and protecting the Shangri-La type location. But she cannot protect it from all-comers, least of all when she's trying to sing to find a successor. Mergichans do not have it all their own way… Full review...

What Will I Be? by Richard Sinclair and Jon Lycett-Smith

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When your children are very little, it can be incredibly difficult to sum up to them what it is you want for their future. It can also be incredibly difficult to sum up to them just how much you want them to go to sleep of an evening; this book ties up the two nicely, in what I believe to be a really good bedtime story. Full review...

Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris

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I'm partial to a book about bears, as I've mentioned in previous reviews, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I could give you a couple of paragraphs just on the cover art if you like! I'm not fussy about my bears in bear books...I'm not a purist, requiring that they all look like real bears, but in this book the illustrations are really wonderfully done. Mr Bear on the cover is a delightfully serious brown bear. I have a friend who declares picture books for children with artwork like this are wasted on small children, but I'd beg to disagree. I think that it's wonderful to be able to provide your child with a range of artistic styles to enjoy and appreciate. There's a place for the Gruffalo style, or Richard Scarry, but I think there's also a place for these books that are made of beautiful paintings. Full review...

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe by Diane Fox and Christyan Fox

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Have you ever sat down to read a story aloud to someone and found that they interrupt at every given opportunity, asking questions, making comments, and generally fidgeting with anything and everything? I'm sure if you've spent any time with a toddler then this will be a familiar experience. This story plays on that, with a cat trying, very hard, to tell a dog the story of Little Red Riding Hood. But dog can't sit still, and he wants to know what Red's superpower is, because if she has a cape she must be a superhero, and he's pretty sure that Red must have zapped the wolf with her kindness ray when she met him... Full review...

A Day at the Police Station by Richard Scarry

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We like Richard Scarry books in our house. My 2 year old son has brought me the Busiest People Ever book to read more times than I'd care to think about, but actually I always enjoy it too because there are so many things to see and discuss and look for. The funny illustrations are usually the key selling point for me but actually, in this particular book, it was the story I liked. Full review...

Jampires by Sarah McIntyre and David O'Connell

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Jampires is a great book explaining why some of your doughnuts might not be as jammy as you’d perhaps like. This is a really funny premise for a children’s book and I really did enjoy reading it, on the whole. Full review...