An Animal ABC, Alice Patullo Age 2+
A is for Armadillo, short stout and round, B is for beetle, close to the ground.
An Animal ABC is a beautifully illustrated alphabet with poetic text that creates a lovely narrative. It starts with the armadillo and ends with the zebra, but features some very unusual animals in between including okapi, nautilus and xantus. A lovely book to share, families will enjoy discovering each animal together, not just through the wonderful rhyming words, but also the helpful descriptions and even the Latin name!
The illustrations are gorgeous as is the font work. The production quality of the book is extremely high making it a wonderful gift. Of all the ABC books I’ve seen, this one is a real treasure.
Find out more about Alice Patullo at alice-pattullo.blogspot.co.uk
Handstand, Lisa Stickley Age 2+
Handstands aren’t easy. Just ask Edith. From standing on her hands for one second on Monday. She eventually does seven in a row on Sunday. But in between, she’s put off by worms, bees and a cheeky bird. Count along with Edith as she learns that practice makes perfect.
This is gorgeous story about a little girl who is determined to do handstands really well. With quirky illustrations, this delightful tale will have anyone who’s ever tried to handstand nodding in agreement. Counting how long she can handstand for, we follow her progress through the story.
The narrative, which is reminiscent of the Hungry Caterpillar working its way through the days of the week, perfectly describes the tricky nature of mastering handstands – made all the more difficult with constant interruptions! I particularly enjoyed those doing the interrupting; all manner of creatures, even a cheeky bird. I also enjoyed that this was quite different – muted colours, white space, a child-like font which bring to life the voice of Edith.
Handstand is a lovely story with the simple message that practise makes perfect – and brings its own reward; in this case, a lolly. To be enjoyed whilst doing a handstand – of course!
Find out more about Lisa Stickley at www.lisastickleystudio.com
Sleeping Beauty A mid-century fairy tale, David Roberts and Lyn Roberts-Maloney Age 5+
Living in the 1950s Annabel loves to read stories all about the future. But a curse could mean she doesn’t see beyond her sixteenth birthday. After a wicked witch places a spell on baby Annabel, her aunts do their best to protect her as she grows. On her sixteenth birthday their guard is let down, and Annabel falls into a deep sleep. Many, many years later, a young girl called Zoe finds the story of Sleeping Beauty. Can she break the spell in time to show Annabel how the future really looks?
A contemporary twist on a classic fairytale, set in the 1950s, this is sure to delight readers young and old. The ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in this story is far removed from the run of the mill damsel in distress; Annabel dreams of seeing the future, fascinated by science-fiction. Little does Annabel realise she is living under a spell and whilst her Aunts do everything they can to protect her she does indeed prick her finger on a needle (of a record player!) and falls into a deep sleep. Fast forward into the future and Annabel is protected by an enchantment and her story told in the pages of a book. When a young girl Zoe finds this story, she realises the tale is true...can she save Annabel in time?
Being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to fairytales I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy this – but I did! A clever plot, a new style heroine and – spoiler alert – a happy ending, what’s not to like?!
Mixing the old with the new – enchantments, 1950s retro glamour and futuristic scenes, this Sleeping Beauty captures the magic of the fairytale but adds a grown up feel making it appeal to older children too. There is a feminist twist, with no Prince Charming in sight, in fact, no male characters at all! Adults and children alike will enjoy the amazing, detailed illustrations and design-led artwork which make this a beautiful book to own. I am looking forward to trying the others in the series – a 1920s Cinderella and 1970s Rapunzel!
Find out more about David Roberst at www.davidrobertsillustration.com