Tom Percival

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?!

2018 Picture Book Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Picture Book Shortlist.

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Almost Anything    Sophy Henn

Puffin     ISBN: 978-0141385471

Read the long list review here.

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Fairy Tale Pets    Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Jorge Martin

Little Tiger    ISBN: 978-1848694422

You can read the long list review here.

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Goat's Coat   Tom Percival, illustrated by Christine Pym

Bloomsbury    ISBN: 978-1408881026

You can read the long list review here.

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Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert

Little Tiger    ISBN:  978-1848698215

You can read the long list review here.

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Lulu Gets a Cat     Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Alanna Books    ISBN: 978-1907825163

You can read the long list review here.

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Cyril and Pat     Emily Gravett

Two Hoots       ISBN: 978-1509857272

You can read the long list review here.

Congratulations to all! The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th November. 

Ruby's Worry

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Ruby is a happy, adventurous little girl who one day, discovers a worry. It's only a small worry and she tries to ignore it, but little by little the Worry grows until it dominates everything she does and everywhere she goes. Ruby is now worrying about her worry and can't think about anything else. However, a chance meeting with a little boy in the park helps her to control her worry by talking about it. Finally, Ruby stars to feel like herself again with the new found knowledge of how to deal with another worry should one come along.

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This is a wonderful book for encouraging children -and adults- to discuss their worries. With mental health issues being a real concern, 'Ruby's Worry' offers an excellent starting point for talking about how we can deal with things when they are troubling us. Ruby does what many of us do when faced with a worry- she bottles up her feelings and tries to pretend there is nothing wrong. Meeting someone who also has a worry allows her to realise that she is not alone- and this makes everyone more likely to talk about things. 

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Beautifully illustrated, colour has been cleverly used to focus on the scale of Ruby's worry. The colour is gradually leached from the pages as Ruby's worry grows and then a rainbow surrounds her and her new friend as their worries shrink. Ruby is delightful with a wonderfully expressive face and the her worry is no made to look threatening, just anxious, offering a safe way of visualising problems if needed. 

I really like the way that the story doesn't promise that Ruby will have no more worries or that all her problems will be solved, but that problems can be made more manageable when shared. The story makes worries seem something normal, something which can be coped with. An excellent book- visually appealing and with a lovely sentiment. Every class/ home should have one!

Ruby's Worry     Tom Percival

Bloomsbury      ISBN: 978-1408892138