Templar

NSTBA PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY LONG LIST part 4

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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?!

NSTBA PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY LONG LIST part 2

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Here are the next five books on out Picture Book long list. Treasures one and all!

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Living in a city of tents, Lubna’s best friend is a pebble which she found on the beach the night she and her daddy arrived in a new country. She tells it everything and Pebble always listens to her stories. When a new boy arrives, Lubna and Pebble befriend him. However, when Lubna’s father tells her they are moving on, Lubna has a difficult decision to make. A beautiful book encouraging empathy and understanding, ‘Lubna and Pebble’ is full of the most wonderful illustrations. Thought-provoking and moving, it is essential reading.

Lubna and Pebble Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egneus

OUP ISBN: 978-0192771940

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Full of colour and fun, ‘The Case of the Red Bottomed Robber!’ is a wonderful read. Who is stealing the young chalks drawings? And how will they stop this dastardly villain from continuing to erase the evidence? Bright colours on black backgrounds make the illustrations look as if they have been chalked directly onto each page and so many expressions are conveyed using just eyes and eyebrows as the culprit is identified, escapes and then the crime turns out to be a big misunderstanding! This is a great story for sharing, laughing over - and perhaps getting out the chalks! Just wonderful.

The Case of the Red Bottomed Robber! Richard Byrne

OUP ISBN: 978-0192749772

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A new twist on a modern classic, ‘The Little Green Hen’ see out heroine tending her apple tree and sowing its seeds. When she asks for help, three animals agree whereas others do not. Then the rains come and those with the hen are sheltered safe in the oak tree; those who are not are left floating on a log until they ask for help and are welcomed inside. As the animals work together to conserve the apple tree, its bounty continues to provide food and shelter for all of them. A lovely story about the importance of conservation and teamwork, ‘The Little Green Hen’ is full of bold, colourful illustrations and things to discuss.

The Little Green Hen Alison Murray

Orchard ISBN: 978-1408340202

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Whilst on a walk through the woods, Billy and Fatcat notice all the creatures have disappeared. Finding themselves kidnapped by the Terrible Beast, quick-thinking, resourceful Billy has to save everyone from ending up in the pot for dinner.Her hair hides a whole range of useful objects that will help to save the day and defeat the Beast. This is a wonderfully warm story showing the importance of standing up for others and defeating the monster- whatever form this might take. Billy is a delightful character, full of determination and brilliant ideas that will inspire! Lots of fun!

Billy and the Beast Nadia Shireen

Penguin ISBN: 978-1780080680

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Mixing fiction and information, the breathtaking illustrations and text follow the water cycle from the pool where a boy called Isaac plays on its journey to the vast seas and on to the other side of the world where it falls as rain on Cassi and her village before continuing back to Isaac in his pool. Celebrating all the wonders of water, the lyrical text and magical pictures are perfect for considering the wonders of the natural world, how our actions are connected and the many ways we find water in our world. Beautiful.

The Rhythm of the Rain Grahame Baker-Smith

Templar ISBN: 978-1787410145

You can read another review of this here.

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.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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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