It’s a cold, snowy Christmas Eve and everyone is at home waiting for a special visitor…
Little ones will adore this new story featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar as they lift the flaps to discover who is hiding behind. With its northern hemisphere focus offering the opportunity to talk about why Christmas is so different from here, they will enjoy searching for the VHC because although he doesn’t play an active role in the story, he does appear on each page sharing the precepts of the Christmas season in simple text and classic Carle illustrations which will help focus their thinking to predict the story and who might be hiding.
A favourite friend in a familiar setting and a recognisable author – has to be a Christmas stocking winner.
Thirty years ago I discovered a lovable character that has been an integral part of the lives of the very young students I’ve taught and my grandchildren – a patchwork elephant called Elmer. Every time his creator David McKee offered a new story, it was in my hands and in the ears of the nearest children. So now, to have a collection of the five earliest stories in one volume is heaven on a stick for such a fan.
Featuring Elmer,Elmer and the Rainbow,Elmer and the Lost Teddy,Elmer in the Snow, and Elmer’s Special Day, just five of the 27 stories in the series, the little patchwork elephant who likes to play jokes on his friends but is always compassionate and helpful, is set to make a whole new generation of fans as parents discover this childhood favourite all over again.
And to celebrate his 30th birthday, there is a new story called, appropriately, Elmer’s Birthday. Hoping to get their own back on him, the elephants decide to play a joke on Elmer on his birthday and spend the day getting all the other animals on board. But who has the last laugh?
Great for teaching children about elephants, the animals of the jungle, colour and patterns, as well as the themes of each story, I believe little ones have not had a real education if they don’t meet Elmer. These two are going straight to my version of the pool room!
Whether your child’s favourite Dahl book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, Matilda or The BFG, they will find their favourite characters brought to life in this unique book as they meet them face-to-face and learn more about what makes them tick. From Grandpa Joe and Mike Teavee, to Mr and Mrs Twit and Muggle-Wump, to Sophie and the Fleshlumpeater. Miss Trunchbull and Bruce Bogtrotter, each has a special place in this collection that, as the title suggests. looks at Dahl’s most heroic human beans and beastly brutes, each created by Dahl to engage children and show them that children can have power over the adults. The main character from each book guides the reader around the story and introduces the rest of the cast.
But, as the introduction states, “this is no ordinary book…it’s a press-out paper adventure” because there are lots of card press-outs of the characters and places that help the child describe the roles and personalities of the players and recreate and retell the story in their own words. Making new from old. (And there’s a convenient envelope at the back to keep them in too.) Clever design means parts of the pages can be pressed out to reveal a glorious parade of characters, interacting with each other in quirky and mischievous ways.
This is probably not one for the general circulation shelves but it would be the most wonderful prop for any study of Dahl, who has been and will be a children’s favourite for generations, or the ideal gift for a Dahl fan. Like Dahl’s writing which offers something new with every reading (wouldn’t mind a dollar for every time I’ve read or gifted The BFG), this is a gift that will keep on giving, especially it if it’s teamed with the featured books!.
In 1844 Alexandre Dumas gave the world his story of Les Trois Mousquetaires and now 175 years on it is again being made available to young readers in graphic novel format so they, too, can share the adventures of young d’Artagnan after he leaves home to travel to Paris, to join the Musketeers of the Guard. Although d’Artagnan is not able to join this elite corps immediately, he befriends the three most formidable musketeers of the age – Athos, Porthos and Aramis, “the three inseparables,” as these are called – and gets involved in their adventures. Set in the France of 1626 when there was fierce rivalry between the republicans and the monarchists, and bound by the famous cry of “All for one and one for all”
Graphic novels have proven to be an invaluable way of introducing young readers to the classic stories of old and this is no exception, and with the current thirst for high action, high adventure with superheroes, this is the perfect way to lead children’s reading on to something just as exciting while opening up a new world of literature. To help with understanding the context because it is set in the real world but a different time, there are pages at the back that set the scene and Usborne have their usual Quicklinks page to help the reader explore even further.
A must for independent readers seeking to expand their horizons, as well as an addition to a unit comparing superheroes past, present and future!!
This selection of five well-loved fairytales – Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and The Princess and the Pea – has been lovingly recreated in words and pictures to appeal to the young reader, either as a read-along or one who is verging on independence and knows the stories well enough to predict the text.
Fairytales never go out of fashion and there is always a new generation of children coming through to enjoy these age-old tales so a new, revamped version is just the thing for sharing with them. The illustrations in this edition are very modern although still retaining the charm of the past, making this a suitable book for those children who are older but who are learning English as another language, and who are expected to be au fait with these traditional tales. They may even have similar tales in their own language that they can compare and contrast these with. Cinderella, for example, has a version in many different cultures.
Similarly, the stories could be used to compare other versions of the same story or even the movie versions so their appeal is not limited to just emerging readers.
Since 1902 when Rudyard Kipling began to explain how certain creatures got their distinguishing features as bedtime stories to his daughter Josephine, children have been fascinated by this collection known as the “Just So Stories”, apparently because Josephine said they had to be told, “Just so.”
Continuously in print for almost 120 years, this new collection has been retold by a number of different authors and pulled together into a collection for a new generation by the distinctive illustrations of John Joven.
Collected together in the one volume are six of the stories – How the Elephant got his Trunk, How the Leopard got his Spots, How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin. How the Whale got his Throat, How the Camel got his Hump and Why the Kangaroo Jumps. – classic literature for young readers beautifully packaged in a 21st century container with much more simple language than the originals and stunning illustrations by John Joven. This is a perfect collection that meets the needs of many – a read-aloud bedtime story, one for independent readers and also one for those who are a bit older but who are learning English as a new language.
First published in 1934, Mary Poppins was the greatest success of Australian born Pamela Lyndon Travers. It gained a new lease of life when Disney produced a musical movie adaptation in 1964 starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and introducing the world to songs like A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chiminee and of course, Supercalifragilisiticexpialidocious.
Now, with the release of Mary Poppins Returns in late 2018, the stories of this magical nanny are being discovered by a new generation and so the publication of a reimagined, abridged edition of the original, beautifully illustrated by Lauren Child, is the perfect way to build a bridge between the movie and its original premise.
When seemingly staid and upright Miss Poppins arrives to be the new nanny for the Banks children – Jane, Michael, and the twins, John and Barbara – it seems that nothing much will change from previous nannies. Good behaviour is encouraged, misbehaviour punished and order and routine are important. But within her stern exterior are some magical powers such as being able to slide up banisters, float in the air, step into pictures, stick stars on the sky, and talk to animals. Mary takes the Banks children on a series of magical adventures, such as using a magical compass to travel around the world, and suddenly the children find themselves forming a relationship with her that they don’t have with their busy, neglectful, upmarket parents..
Lauren Child has created an edition of this classic tale that is perfect for this time and generation and which should have pride of place in any collection featuring classics which are being introduced to a new generation. It is excellent as an independent read-aloud but would also be great as a bedtime read-along, introducing younger reaers to the concept of novels with chapters that continue the story with the same characters.
Both Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny have been sent on errands to get them out of the house as the Christmas preparations become more hectic and their excitement gets them into trouble.
On the way, they meet William the Turkey who is full of himself and the fact that he is fed so well by Mr and Mrs McGregor, thinking that when they say they will be having him for Christmas dinner they mean he will be dining at their table. Peter and Benjamin break the truth to them and it becomes a mission to hide him so he can’t be roasted and served on a platter. But William is so proud of his fine fan of tail feathers that every idea they have fails, until…
Inspired by the characters created by Beatrix Potter and written and illustrated in her distinctive style, this is a new story to add to the collection of the legion of Beatrix Potter fans, old and new, including those who were entranced by the movie.
In board book format this edition is sturdy enough to stand up to all the re-readings that little ones will demand as Christmas approaches.
That thump, thump, thump on the roof is not the man fixing tiles that my daddy says it is. It’s the hippopotamus getting ready for Christmas and he’s as excited as I am. He’s up there making a big Christmas cake, writing his long list for Santa, doing his special Christmas cake dance, doing all the things my family is doing to make Christmas extra special again. He even sings carols by candlelight!
This is another heartwarming story in this series about the hippopotamus that lives on the roof, first released 35 years ago with There’s a Hippopotamus on our roof eating cake and which has delighted generations since then. With both the boy and the hippopotamus involved in many of the activities prior to Christmas that young readers will recognise, this book will bring lots of joy as together they share their experiences, compare them to what happens in their home, talk about why things might be different and generally just get wound up in anticipation of the Big Day. There’s even a free activity pack to download for even more fun.
Sixty years ago today, on October 13, 1958 a small bear with a blue coat, a red hat, a suitcase and a note pinned to his coat which read “Please look after this bear” was found by the Brown family at Paddington Station London. Sent from darkest Peru by his Aunt Lucy who has gone into a retirement home, the little bear was a stowaway on a lifeboat where he survived on marmalade until the Browns renamed him Paddington and took him to their home at 32 Windsor Gardens near Notting Hill.
And so began a great series of adventures culminating in this final addition, completed before Bond’s death in June 2017 and issued to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington’s arrival.
Also being released are anniversary editions of the main Paddington Bear series, each of which has a number of chapters which work either as a continuing story or a stand-alone episode, making them perfect as read-alouds to get the child used to the concept of the continuing characters in novels or read-alones for the newly independent reader.
The Paddington Collection
With more than 35 million copies sold worldwide, translated into 40 languages, television and features movies, Paddington Bear is arguably one of the most favourite bears in the world. To have the stories republished, an exquisite gift edition of the first story with the original illustrations by Peggy Fortnum, and this final chapter is indeed a fitting anniversary gift to introduce a new generation to this series inspired by a lone teddy that Bond saw on a shelf in a London toy store and the children who were evacuated from English cities during World War II.