The Importance of Being Ernest the Earwig

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I love a book about books and this one introduces the reader to some classics whilst acknowledging the importance of everyone being reflected in the stories they read.


Central to the story is Ernest, an earwig, who is saddened by the fact that nobody ever writes stories about earwigs. With his friend, Edward, he plays around, adding earwigs to some well-known Nursery Rhymes, but this is not enough so he decides to get inside a book or two.


Finding a bookshop with a sign saying ‘Children’s Literature’, Ernest sets off on a journey of discovery. He takes tea with the Mad Hatter, walks with Mole in the Wild Wood and flies to Never Never Land with Peter Pan. At last he feels noticed and decided to write a book of his own called ‘The Importance of Being Ernest the Earwig’.


This is a delightful story reflecting on the importance of inclusion and of everyone being noticed. Tiny though he is, Ernest takes action and feels like he has changed things. The illustrations are a great talking point, with shelves of books containing many familiar volumes- Heidi, Black Beauty, Mary Poppins and what looks like it might be Mrs Tiggywinkle amongst others, offering plenty to discuss and explore. Original illustrations from ‘The Nursery Alice’, ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’, ‘Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper’ and ‘The Wind in the Willows’ add to the charm of the story with Ernest taking his place in each adventure.


A wonderful way of introducing new stories or re-visiting old favourites, even the title of this lovely book encourages the joy of exploring stories and becoming part of them! A real treat!

The Importance of Being Ernest the Earwig Nanette Newman, illustrated by Lindsay Branch

Templar Publishing ISBN: 978-1783706365

Paper World: Planet Earth


Today is the publication day of Paper World: Planet Earth. This is a beautifully presented book, full of information about our fabulous planet.


Each spread investigates a geological feature from the layers of the planet to why a volcano erupts to the features of deserts. Clever use of paper cutting allows links between subjects to be made from page to page and lift-the-flaps reveal additional information and details.


For example, on the ‘Volcanoes’ pages, a cross section of a volcano is revealed, clearly labelling the different parts. Another flap conceals a submarine volcano and explains what ‘pillow lava’ is. Correct geographical terms are used throughout the book, with many explained as they are used and an additional glossary at the end.


Each section starts with a succinct explanation of the feature and lots of additional facts, making it more than a novelty book. Areas of study from the KS2 Geography National Curriculum are beautifully introduced here in a way that informs as well as capturing interest. The use of die-cuts and flaps might be a way of inspiring children to adopt a similar approach to presenting their own research, explaining how things happen in a very visual manner.


A delightful book, full of facts and ingenious use of illustration, ‘Paper World: Planet Earth’ is a wonderful way to explore our incredible planet.

Paper World: Planet Earth


Templar ISBN: 978-1787410411


All 80 titles for the six categories of our long list have now been reviewed! Each and every one a fantastic book, highly recommended by JAB and the NSTAB team.

The short list will be announced on the 8th September. Votes from the panel are already coming in so here's a little reminder of the twenty fabulous books on the Picture Book Category Long List.


After the Fall      Dan Santat (Andersen Press) 


Almost Anything - Sophy Henn (Puffin)


Cyril and Pat- Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)


Fairy Tale Pets - Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Jorge Martin (Little Tiger)


What's Your Favourite Colour? - Eric Carle and Friends   (Walker)


Goat's Coat - Tom Percival, illustrated by Christine Pym  (Bloomsbury)


I'm Going to Eat This Ant- Chris Naylor-Ballesteros   (Bloomsbury)

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Izzy Gizmo  Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie  (Simon and Schuster)

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Little Red Reading Hood  Lucy Rowland, illustrated by Ben Mantle  (Macmillan)


Lulu Gets a Cat Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Alanna Books)


Mrs Noah's Pockets  Jackie Morris, illustrated by James Mayhew (Otter Barry Books)


Nimesh the Adventurer  Ranjit Singh, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini  (Lantana)


Something Fishy  Polly Dunbar  (Two Hoots)


The Great Gran Plan  Eli Woollard, illustrated by Steven Lenton (Macmillan)


Unplugged    Steve Antony (Hodder) 


This Zoo is Not for You Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)


The Word Collector  Peter H. Reynolds  (Orchard Books)


Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert (Little Tiger)


The Last Chip    Duncan Beedie    (Templar Publishing)


Spyder     Matt Car   (Scholastic)

All amazing! Which will make it to the short list?