Listen up everyone! This week we have a top storybook, outdoor activities, a crafty creation for older kids, the return of Flora and a DIY forest adventure…
Jill and Dragon is a beautiful debut title for Glasgow-based illustrator and author Lesley Barnes. It tells a heart-warming story of a little girl who seeks to change the ending of her storybook by helping a dragon to be happy and find his talent. Our five year old thought Jill was very kind to care about his sad face enough to pull him out of the book and take him on a journey of discovery and it made us both giggle that his fulfilment comes from a silly twist at the end of the tale. The pictures are incredible, the colours are immense, this is a very special book and echoes the artistic quality that comes from Tate Publishing. Double thumbs up!
Wordless books don’t come much better than the Flora series from Molly Idle. We were first sold on her incredible illustrative style, as seen in Flora and the Flamingo and then again in Flora and the Penguin. Imagine our delight opening the pages of the latest addition, Flora and the Peacocks and finding the same magical artwork and clever storytelling. ‘Reading’ this wordless book is made much easier by the expressive characters and the clear storyline which introduces the challenges that can occur between friends. We have direct experience of the push and pull of a trio of pals, this book was a nice way to gently discuss hoe to find harmony with three different aims, agendas and personalities.
We have brilliant recollections of the ‘Choose your Own Adventure’ books from our childhood, magical memories of the page-turning shock and awe from deciding your own turn of events. Thames and Hudson have brought the enchantment back with a brilliant new book from Steffi Broccoli and Catherine Bidet. Through the Forest teams seriously appealing illustration with an interactive story where you can soar through the sky or climb trees as you move through the forest. We all know kids are desperate for control, any book that puts them at the forefront of decision-making is a winner!
The latest Prestel pop-up, A Tiger In The Garden, is one for serious paper-artists in the making. Aimed at 7+ readers it encourages children to have a go at making their own pop-up using push out shapes and instructions for assembly. There are five gardens to make including French, Japanese, Tropical, Arabian and dreamlike and a tiger who walks through them all. We are saving ours until the Summer holidays but from experience this book will require a fair bit of experience, time and parental supervision! That said, it is pretty special, super artistic and a great project full of beauty.
A bit of sunshine means it’s time to do some spotting, making and adventuring outdoors. If garden foraging is on your agenda, you would benefit from ‘Nature’s Day Out and About’, the activity-packed companion to the insanely stunning Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire. Top of our to-do list is to make the bee hotel and do some Summer leaf spotting at the local park. Separate by seasons, there is something to do all year round so don’t forget to dig out the winter boots and hats when the temperature dips!