Top Ten Picture Books 2015

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We really struggled to pick just ten picture books from the brilliant editions we've seen this year and some of our personal favourites had to be left out, but here they are in alphabetical order, by author.

Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph

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Fred has won the contest for best bear in the wood for three years in a row. He's the best at everything from catching fish, doing the hula-hoop and scaring humans, to the all-important growling competition. But everything changes when another bear arrives and decides to enter the contest. Fred's no longer the best bear in town and, to make matters worse, he's lost his 'Grrrrr'. Fred's going to need help to find his 'Grrrr' in time for the start of the competition. But will the other animals want to help him look given he's been too busy training to make friends? Full review...

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph

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If you thought penguins didn’t fly, think again. Penguin Blue is up in the sky but it’s not what you might think – thanks to a fun kite and a cheeky gust of wind, he’s soaring up, up and away from the home, and as his friends try to help they get pulled up and away too. Uh oh. Where will the wind take these South Pole creatures? The answer, in this amazingly fun book, is to a lush, tropical island. It’s full of friendly creatures and wondrous green foliage like none they’ve ever seen before. But it’s rather hot and far from home. Full review...

I Want Spaghetti! by Stephanie Blake

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Simon likes spaghetti. In fact, he likes it so much that that's the only thing he wants to eat. Simon is also blessed with having no concerns about stating his demands, very clearly, nor any qualms about criticising any other food that might be placed in front of him. He is, as you can tell, a typical toddler! Full review...

The White Book by Silvia Borando, Elisabetta Pica and Lorenzo Clerici

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A little boy stands in front of a white wall, paint brush in hand. He looks concerned where he should start. We turn the page and he smiles because he now has a column of pink paint down the side of the page. We turn the page and his smile widens as his paint expands across the page to reveal the white outline of a bird. There are six birds on the next page and he is smiling broadly. But, when we turn the page again, his smile has gone – the birds have left the pink wall and are flying off across the page. And so the story continues with a new colour and a new animal on the next page of this unique, wordless picture book. Full review...

Not Without My Whale by Billy Coughlan and Villie Karabatzia

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It feels at times that children's books are the last place left that the surreal can thrive. Whilst adult fiction is dominated by the gritty and realistic, children still get the chance to read about flights of fancy. Why do I want to read about the latest Scandinavian murder when I can read about one boy and his whale? Surely a whale is too big, smelly and wet to take into school? Full review...

Give and Take by Lucie Felix

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Some of the best children's books are the simplest. Do away with pages too full of imagery; begone novelty characters and repeat references to underpants. Some books don't need this; they are so clean, crisp and simple that they border on being art. A book that can be fun for a child, educate them and look amazing is a rare thing, but does happen once in a while. Full review...

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

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There’s an enormous disembodied eye staring at me. At 30cm it’s as big as a dinner plate and it’s in my living room. Which is no bad thing because if I met it in the sea then I’d really be in trouble. Fortunately the eye is contained on page four of the intriguing and really rather splendid, book 'Actual Size'. Full review...

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

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One day a small bear cub finds something strange in the middle of the woods. Not knowing what it is he tentatively touches it with his paw. It makes an awful sound! However the little bear continues to visit the object every day over months and years and gradually the sounds become beautiful and the bear feels happy. The other bears love listening to the wonderful music that he makes and then one day a father and daughter visit the forest and tell the bear he should take his musical talent to the big city. So the bear embarks on a journey to seek his fame and fortune. Although the city is all the bear could possibly have hoped for, something deep inside him is tugging him back home. Full review...

Poo in the Zoo by Steve Smallman and Ada Grey

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If you’re one of those parents who really can’t stand farting jokes, or avoids nappy changing discussions with your peers at all costs then step away from this review now! This is a story that is made for families who enjoy a funny poo story, and who can bear a few armpit fart noises now and then! For this is a book that is entirely about poo, from start to finish, so make sure everyone who needs to be is in a nice clean nappy, then get ready for a treat of a read! Full review...

Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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Meet Bully.

He's a bit of a... well, a bully, really. The farm animals want to play with him, but he just calls them names. He proceeds to insult each one until a brave little goat stands up to him and calls HIM a bully. How will Bully react to that? Full review...

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