Little Tiger

Nibbles The Monster Hunt

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Nibbles is on the loose again and has found his way into a little boy’s bedroom where he is nibbling his way through lots of information books. ‘My Fascinating Book of Facts’ takes them through space, past animals and into the world of art. Chased by a dragon which escaped form a painting, they continue through colour mixing and a counting book where some quick thinking by Nibbles saves them.

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We are such Nibbles fans here at JAB HQ and this new story is every bit as adorable as the others. With flaps to lift and holes to peer through, storytime is full of fun. Each book has been written by someone whose name is an anagram of Emma Yarlett- ‘Lemy A Matter’ for example and it’s details like this that make you really engage with the many layers of the book.

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There are lots of little jokes in every picture as well as Nibbles getting up to his mischievous antics, but the text in the books which they chase through also contains lots of facts. I love the way Emma celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by including this fact in their travels!

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At the beginning, the little boy’s bedroom is beautifully neat and tidy. Not so at the end! Everything is nibbled and there are footprints everywhere. There’s even a new toy on his shelves!

Simply a joy from start to finish, ‘Nibbles: The Monster Hunt’ is every bit as delicious as the first two. Naughty, but nice, Nibbles is everyone’s favourite monster!

Nibbles: The Monster Hunt Emma Yarlett

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1788814003

You can read our review of Nibbles the Book Monster here and Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide here.

Jonny Lambert

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Jonny Lambert is going to be our September ‘Illustrator of the Month’ at school and was shortlisted last year in the NSTBA Picture Book Category with the lovely ‘Look Out, It’s a Dragon!’. Here at JAB HQ we are great fans of his lovely stories so we were delighted to be sent two new books by him this summer.

The first is ‘Let’s All Creep Through Crocodile Creek’. As the sun sets, Mouse suggests that he and his friends take the shortcut through the creek to get home. Rabbit is worried that this is where the crocodiles live, but Mouse declares he has never seen one so they set off.

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What follows is a fabulously funny journey through the creek over the lumpy, bumpy bridge, past the scritchy, scratchy thorns and through the dark green vines as Mouse describes the crocodiles. We see, as Rabbit does, that perhaps they should be looking more carefully at their surroundings!

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At last, Shelly has gathered all the answers he needs and makes his friends stop and listen to his worries, but Mouse still is not convinced and nearly leads them to disaster. However, never down for long, he decides that they will take a shortcut through the forest- but won’t there be tigers..?

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This delightful story is perfect for sharing! With plenty of crocodiles to spot as the animals go on their journey, the book offers plenty of opportunities for audience participation. The characters are wonderful: Mouse, bold, brave and perhaps a touch foolhardy, Shelly, thoughtful and questioning, gradually coming to a well considered conclusion and Rabbit, observant and cautious. The illustrations are just wonderful! Bright and bold, each page perfectly frames the animals as they make their perilous journey across the swamp, escape danger and pause before setting off again. Even the end papers tell the story with crocodile green at front and tiger stripe at the end! Fabulous!

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No less lovely, though very different, is ‘Where in the Wild’. This explores animal habitats, using cut through sections and explains the importance of saving these locations. With rhyming text by Poppy Bishop, the illustrations by Jonny show where the creature lives, for example, the wolf or the meerkat. The peep holes allow some animals to be shown in more than one habitat and there is additional text about these.

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Each spread is colourful and beautifully laid out with plenty to notice and discuss- including a challenge to find all the butterflies in the pictures. It is certainly a book that children will return to time and time again. The book ends with the reminder about all the damage that is being done to the environment and how important it is to preserve these habitats so ‘all animals can thrive’, encouraging the reader to play their part in this. An excellent book for engaging children and starting conversations about the wonders of our world and the need to protect it.

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Jonny’s wonderful collage style illustrations are always a joy and these two new titles are no exception!

Let’s All Creep Through Crocodile Creek

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1788813983

Where in the Wild

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1848699564

You can read our review of ‘Little Why’ here, ‘The Only Lonely Panda’ here , ‘Tiger, Tiger’ here and ‘Look Out, It’s a Dragon!’ here.

The Only Way is Badger

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Badger is determined to have everything his own way- after all, badgers are best. Or this is what the poster that are appearing all over the forest say. Gradually, Badger banishes all the creatures who don’t conform to his badgery standards, sending them over the wall. However, when he is left all alone, in a world he has painted black and white, it is time to think again. Perhaps the only way isn’t badger after all?

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I’m not a very political being, but there are some people I would love to send a copy of this book to! ‘The Only Way is Badger’ is a wonderful book for opening discussions about diversity, being an individual, dictatorships, the dangers of persuasive orators, building walls… aaaaargh! Fortunately, the other animals do not back Badger’s dictatorial regime, but imagine what might have happened if they did…

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The book is perfect for discussions about acceptance, diversity - and learning to say sorry and admit that you were wrong. Badger’s story could also be used to explore playground conflicts where someone might want everything their own way. It shows the power of friendship and how that is more important than always being right. It lends itself beautifully to role play or puppet work and offers many writing opportunities. What qualities do others have which you admire? How might you ‘be more bear’ for example?

The illustrations are fabulous, full of little details and lots of wonderful expressions. The colourful spreads contrast sharply with Badger’s solitary black and white world.

With lots to discuss, ‘The Only Way is Badger’ is a very satisfying story.

The Only Way is Badger Stella J Jones, illustrated by Carmen Saldana

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1848699403