Top Ten Books For Sharing 2014

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There were some picture book gems in 2014 and as ever we've had a tough time selecting just ten for you, but here they are, in alphabetical order, by author.

Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo by Giles Andreae and Korky Paul

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King Colin has spent his fortune on a giant sweet machine, which he guzzles from each and every day. The entire kingdom has grown fat and lazy, except for Sir Scallywag. It's lucky somebody in the castle still has their wits about them, because Baron Greedyguts has heard all about their sweet machine, and he's coming to get it! Full review...

Nine Words Max by Dan Bar-El and David Huyck

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Some children talk lots and some talk quite little. Some jabber away incessantly, while others prefer contemplative reflection. It’s the same the world over, and it’s true whoever you are, from an average Joe to a member of the Royal Family. Prince Max is a talker, full of fun, interesting facts and observations he’s keen to share with everyone around him. His brothers, on the other hand, are boys of fewer words, and don’t have much time for Max’s waffling on. Full review...

The Way To The Zoo by John Burningham

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It’s easy to lie in bed and see shadows on the wall and imagine what they could be. I still do it now though I know better than to think something that looks like, say, a door in the wall, might be a portal to another universe. Sylvie, though, wants to double check when SHE sees what looks like a door and it’s just as well she does, because lo and behold it IS a door and it DOES lead somewhere. It goes all the way to the zoo! All the animals look nice and friendly so because it’s getting late and she has school in the morning, Sylvie heads back to bed and invites a little bear to come with her for the night. She has her own real live teddy. What fun. Full review...

This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne

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Bella decides to take her dog for a walk across the page of this very naughty book, when what does the book do? It eats her dog! The cheek! Various people and vehicles go in after it, but none of them come back out again! There's nothing for it, Bella will just have to sort it out herself... Full review...

A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld

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There is a difference between a book for children that the kids themselves will like and one that adults will like. A more mature person may like some interesting illustrations or imaginative story, but most of the children I know are happy just to see some dinosaurs in their pants. However, there are books that transcend this and can appeal to both groups. Books that may have slightly dry reading for the very young, but illustrations that will transfix and amaze – introducing ‘A First Book of Nature’ written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld. 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...

Where Bear? by Sophy Henn

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Where Bear? is a delightful picture book that is sure to charm. A bear and a boy live happily together but both baby bears and baby boys grow up, and over time the bear grows too big for the human-sized house. Sad to lose his friend, but determined to find a nice new home for him, the boy offers up suggestion after suggestion. Some bears live in zoos, or forests or perform in a circus. What about one of those places? With each No from the bear comes a defeated response from our boy Then where bear? Full review...

Tin by Chris Judge

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Robots are ace and this picture book about a little boy ‘bot Tin and his younger sister Nickel really does them justice.

When Tin agrees to look after Nickel for the afternoon, you can tell he really just wants her to play peacefully while he reads his comic. But little sisters have a habit of not doing what you want, and before he knows it, Tin is up off his sun lounger and racing after Nickel to keep her from danger. As he and Zinc the dog chase after her, they find themselves in an adventure of their own in the big city. Full review...

Tales From Hans Christian Andersen by Naomi Lewis and Emma Chichester Clark

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Hans Christian Andersen certainly had an original and fertile imagination. Some of his more obscure flights of fantasy reveal a sly wit and sense of humour. Lewis does his tales justice. She writes with an economy of language and seldom puts a word wrong. The direct speech is convincing, never stilted and is great to read aloud. She is clearly passionate about her subject matter and appears to remain faithful to her source. In her hands Andersen’s stories are safe for another generation to read and re-read. Full review...

A Walk In Paris by Salvatore Rubbino

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Welcome to the City of Lights! Come join a little girl and her grandad as they spend a magical day exploring the sights of Paris. Follow them as they see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Sit down with them in the bistro as they tuck into lunch, and then look longingly alongside them as they gaze at the delicious treats in the window of the pâtisserie. Full review...

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