Steve Antony


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The final five books in our Picture Book Long List for 2019!


Finn has many memories of his grandfather and the stories he used to tell. On the day his grandfather would have been 90, Finn builds a boat in his honour and after falling asleep, finds himself on a wonderful journey in the company of a golden fish where they explore many magical places before the fish floats up to the moon where Finn can’t follow. As his mother calls him, Finn wakes, feeling comforted.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! This is a stunning celebration of love, imagination and special relationships. Perfect for tackling conversations about loss, the book focuses on the joy of having had that person and the legacy of the relationship. The illustrations tell a wealth of untold stories and will be enjoyed again and again. Fabulous!

Ocean Meets Sky The Fan Brothers

Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN: 978-1786032058

You can read another review of this here.


Beautifully illustrated, ‘The Tide’ uses the imagery of the ebb and flow of the tide to explain Grandad’s dementia. As the little girl plays with her grandfather on the beach, she is puzzled by some of the odd things he does, but with her mother’s help, tries to understand them, using her own experiences to make connections. The thing that scares her the most, however, is that Grandad might forget her, but she knows he loves her no matter what.

A wonderfully comforting book, ‘The Tide’ is full of those special family moments that memories are made from, and sensitively seeks to explain dementia. It is a thing of beauty!

The Tide Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1788810852

You can read another review of this written by us here.


Nothing is ever truly lost if you keep it in your heart

When Sofia loses her precious teddy bear whilst on a day out at the beach, she struggles to come to terms with the loss. But the sea saw what happened and did its best to reunite the two.

Tissues at the ready; this is such a lovely story! Sofia’s teddy has been passed down through the generations. It was her mother’s and we see a picture on the wall of her pregnant mother standing by her father whilst holding teddy, but then she disappears from the story, leading us to believe that Sofia’s mother has died. The personification of the sea is perfect, worrying about the length of time that passes as it takes the bear everywhere it can reach in its bid to bring Sofia and her bear together again.

The pictures are fascinating and there are some YouTube clips showing how Tom used images from the Rijksmuseum to put together pictures in the book. There are humorous details to spot as well- her father’s newspaper is wonderful! This is a real treasure of a book.

The Sea Saw Tom Percival

Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1471172434


The Society of Distinguished Lemmings has many rules which must be followed without question. Members appreciate the finer things in life and abide by the strict etiquette required. However, the Society is not to Bertie’s taste and he leaves the burrow to explore the outside. Here he meets a bear who, much to Bertie’s surprise, does not follow society rules at all! The rest of the society decide that the bear must conform to the rules, but soon conclude that he is not distinguished and will not fit in. Bertie sticks with his friend which is lucky for the rest of the Society who are heading for disaster!

Full of wit and wisdom, ‘The Society of Distinguished Lemmings’ celebrates difference and reminds us that we can all be distinguished in our own way. The illustrations are fabulous- full of details and little asides, they demand close inspection and revisiting. The lemmings come to realise that their failure to inclusive could have led to their demise, a stark warning about dismissing others and failing to value them. Brilliant!

The Society of Distinguished Lemmings Julie Colombet

Templar ISBN: 978-1787410541


A little boy and his dragon, Zibbo, best friends and enjoy doing everything together. Nothing holds them back and they are amazing! The story is a wonderful celebration of friendship and the importance of being yourself. Throughout the story, the wheelchair shown in the pictures is never mentioned- it doesn’t need to be. Zibbo is very obviously different, but he is accepted completely- when they are together, anything is possible.

The illustrations are delightful and the story a much needed addition to all bookshelves. It is amazing!

Amazing! Steve Antony

Hodder Children’s ISBN: 978-1444944709

So - there they are! All twenty of our Picture Book Long List now reviewed. Which will make the short list on the 7th September?!

Putting the 'BOO' into books!


Today, there was great excitement at school as lots of wonderful book character pumpkins arrived. Five tables were covered in the most amazing range of root vegetables painted, collaged, carved and sculpted to represent hungry caterpillars, pandas, Mr Men and many others!


Morrigan Crow, Max the Cat, the Tiger who came to tea… the creativity was fabulous! Everyone enjoyed going through the entrance hall and admiring them; parents, staff, children, visitors- all were impressed.


And then, in the afternoon, the lovely Steve Antony joined us to judge all the entries. We had four categories- EYFS, KS1, Y3-4 and Y5-6. It was a very hard job, but he managed to select a winner for each category. Steve announced the winners at two assemblies and each winner was given a copy of one of Steve’s books which he signed and a book token.


He spoke to the children about believing in themselves and read his brand new story, ‘Amazing’ which is not out yet. The children were really excited about being the first to hear this.


What a fantastic day! Huge thanks to Steve for coming to judge all our wonderful pumpkins!

Goodnight, Mr Panda


It’s bedtime and Mr Panda is getting ready to go to sleep. Not everyone, however, is as careful with their preparations and Mr Panda offers sage advice to each one of his friends whilst continuing with his routine. But he is such a tired panda that even he makes a mistake!

Mr Panda is one of the most adorable picture book characters- ever! In each story, he teaches us the importance of good manners and this one is perfect for discussing and developing a good bedtime routine. The story is wonderful for reading aloud, offering the opportunity for lots of different voices and silly sound effects.


The illustrations are fabulous! Mr Panda sports amazing pyjamas, decorated with multi-coloured doughnuts which match the neat little shower cap he wears in the bath. Although each spread appears quite simple, there is plenty of humour - Mt Panda’s fur going all ‘pouffy’ when he uses the hair dryer, Skunk in his heart covered boxers, trailing toilet roll caught round his tail, Mr Panda’s toy panda-teddy with its little doughnut fabric patch on its tummy… pure joy!


Lemur does all the right things and dressed in his smart, stripy pyjamas, has to remind Mr Panda to give him a hug and say goodnight because Mr P is so tired he ends up getting into the wrong bed and falling fast asleep.

Another adorable story from Mr Antony about the loveable Mr Panda… I can’t wait for the next one!

Goodnight, Mr Panda Steve Antony

Hodder Children’s ISBN: 978-1444927894

You can read our review of ‘Thank You, Mr Panda’ here.