There are few children who have not read a Richard Scarry book in their early childhood and now five of his most popular stories have been collected together in one volume. Featuring Great Big Mystery Book, Busiest People Ever, Great Big Schoolhouse, Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, and Best Lowly Worm Book Ever, each with several complete stories this is packed with entertainment and bedtime reading that will intrigue and engage for a long time.
As Scarry says, “I’m not interested in creating a book that is read once and then placed on the shelf and forgotten. I am very happy when people have worn out my books or that they’re held together by Scotch Tape”, so his signature presentation of multiple vignettes interspersed with minimal but entertaining text ensures that the young reader will discover something new each time as they return again and again.
Scarry has been a staple in the preschool library for 55 years – and with this collection he is set to entertain and educate another new generation.
Bored with his annual spring cleaning, Mole leaves his underground home to explore his surroundings and discovers a small community of other creatures living on the riverbank of a gentle English river. His first new friend is Rat, and after a long lazy afternoon boating down the river, Rat invites Mole to live with him. And then the adventures begin as he meets Toad of Toad Hall and Badger.
This children’s classic first published in 1908 has remained in print in many guises for 110 years as well as being converted to other media including stage, film and television. Now, an abridged version beautifully illustrated by Robert Ingpen is available for another generation to enjoy the adventures of these four friends in Edwardian England.
Whether read aloud as a bedtime story, a perfect vehicle for introducing young listeners to the concept of “chapter books” where the same characters feature in a complete story in each chapter, or as a foray into longer books by the newly independent reader, timid Mole, friendly Water Rat, imperious Badger and mischievous Toad will find a new set of fans as yet another generation follows their fun and frolics.
Ingpen himself has an impressive body of work including a range of children’s classics, his work was launched with the release of Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy in 1974, and as the only Australian illustrator to have won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, his portfolio would make an excellent introduction for studying illustration in children’s picture books.
“I just want to make pictures that help get messages across and tell stories and, if children are involved, I want to be able to have them maintain their natural imagination for as long as possible.”
An exquisite addition to a personal or a library’s collection.
It’s a dark and snowy Christmas Eve so once again Santa wants Rudolph to lead the way for the sleigh as his nose shines bold and bright.
But the other reindeer are jealous and not content with just laughing at Rudolph and calling him names, they are really mean and make him carry the heaviest loads, even using him as the ball when they played football!
Rudolph is so sad and whinges and whines so much that the light on his nose goes out! With no reason to stay to help and full of self-pity, he leaves the comparative safety of the North Pole for somewhere where he is unknown and unrecognised. And there he meets some rabbits whose babies are lost in the forest and at the mercy of foxes and wolves. Completely forgetting his own troubles, Rudolph promises to find them – but can he do it without his shiny nose to light the way? Of course he does and with the rescue comes a realisation that is brighter than any nose could be!
Written in 1954, this is the sequel to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeerbut unlike the original which May wrote to entertain children as part of a department store promotion, this one has a stronger message about there always being someone worse off than you, perhaps inspired by his family circumstances as his wife died from cancer as he worked on the original. While not necessarily the time for an in-depth discussion, nevertheless young children will feel Rudolph’s pain at being bullied and might think about the feelings of others that they tease. They will also draw encouragement from Rudolph being able to get things in perspective and go back to face his tormentors knowing that he is strong and has a lot to offer.
This new release is stunning with its beautiful artwork bringing another dimension to the story, also told in rhyme, and making a special duo of books for the Christmas Countdown.
It’s Christmas Eve and Peter Rabbit and his sisters are excited, but Peter is worried too. They have all wished for a special present but Peter can’t sleep, and he knows Father Christmas won’t visit if he’s still awake. As the hours drag by anxious Peter hears a little creak here, and a little bump there, so now he’s even less likely to fall asleep, especially as he is convinced each noise must be Santa and he gets up to investigate. Then he decides to sit and gaze at the lights on the Christmas tree…will Santa come while he’s there?
The charm and delight of Beatrix Potter’s tales about Peter Rabbit have endured over decades and this adaptation is no exception. Perfect for that final sleep on the BIG night, little ones will empathise with Peter as they share his excitement and find it just as tricky to get to sleep it will become a classic part of the annual Christmas Countdown.
Over a century ago James Barrie wrote a story about a boy who could fly and who never grew up; who had adventures on an island called Neverland and introduced us to characters like Wendy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and the croc with the clock!
Since then it has become a classic, republished many times, made into a stage play and movies and now it has been reworked into an abridged version superbly illustrated by Robert Ingpen so that another generation can delight in it.
With its modern language and stunning pictures, new life is breathed into Barrie’s words making it the perfect bedtime read-aloud story to introduce young children to the original tale, or to be read alone by the newly independent reader, and is a must for both the library’s collection and the Santa Sack. Given her grandfather is named Barrie after this author because of the impact of the story on his parents, I know just whose tree this will be under.
Over 140 years ago, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky brought a story about first love, betrayal, loss, and good versus evil to life through a musical score he called Swan Lake. and on March 4 1877 through the choreography of Julius Reisinger and a few years later that of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov that music was interpreted through dance, laying the foundations of one of the most loved and enduring of the classical ballets.
Now, in 2017, it has been reinterpreted through the stunning artwork of Anne Spudvilas.
With a synopsis of each act to explain what the reader is going to experience, the story unfolds in pictures that echo the dark, hazy, haunting mood that permeates the story – the lake at midnight, the malevolence afoot at the Grand Ball, the storm that accompanied Siegfried’s battle with the Sorcerer and the final tragic ending. Dramatic in their composition and demonstrating how many shades of grey there really are, Spudvilas has captured the essential elements of the story while also portraying the atmosphere that the music and choreography bring to the experience.
For those who are unfamiliar with Swan Lake as a ballet it is a complete sensual experience in itself; for those like me (and Spudvilas) who have been entranced with it since childhood, it is yet another layer adding to the wonder and love of the original.
Definitely one to add to the collection for a range of reasons – at its basic level it is the story behind a classic ballet and its interpretation in pictures; but at a deeper level there is so much to explore and interpret such as the creation of mood through a monochromatic scheme; the use of imagery and colour to identify emotions or portent…
While the long-ago LP record cover that took me into a lifelong love of ballet in general and Swan Lake in particular has disappeared forever, this new interpretation will be a suitable substitute and will join the other members of my treasured collection that brings back such happy memories. And even though I know I will only ever be Odette in my dreams maybe it will spark a dream for my granddaughters!
What do you get when you combine one of the world’s most popular stories – there is a version in almost every culture with 345 of them being documented in 1893 – and the popular format of pop-up pictures? You get this new version of this age-old tale recreated using the core of Perrault’s text and the most stunning paper engineering that will absolutely delight young readers.
While maybe not suitable for general circulation through the library, it has its place in a collection of versions of the story that could be compared and contrasted with other versions both those we know and those from other cultures to identify the core elements which appear in each one as well as the central meaning.
More than 75 years since the original favourite Caps for Sale was published, comes a sequel based on story ideas shared with Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer throughout their years as friends and business associates prior to Esphyr’s death in 2002. The pedlar is back with his checked cap, and his stack of grey, brown, blue and red caps perched on his head, having finally got them back since the monkeys stole them in the original story. And the monkeys are there too, mocking his every move. But the pedlar is very unhappy because he hasn’t sold any caps. Will the monkeys help him or cause him more bother?
Young readers will delight in being introduced to the original of this classic story and then following that with the reading of the sequel with a storyline, artwork and colours which echo the original. A classic ready for a new generation of fans.
Usborne have added another volume to their stable of illustrated collections that bring us the tales, stories, myths and legends that have been shared with and enjoyed by children throughout the generations. This collection includes The Secret Garden, The Railway Children, The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty, Little Women and Heidi, all based on the original stories and beautifully illustrated to entice the young reader ready to take their reading in a new direction.
There are some stories that have endured over time for very good reasons and this collection is one that celebrates some of those that continue to be published in full so many years later. They are the sorts of stories that grandparents and even great-grandparents remember fondly and love to give so these abridged versions are the perfect introduction to the longer, original stories. Apart from just being a good read, they give 21st century children a glimpse into the lives of children of the past to a time when life wasn’t dominated by screens and technology. Who wouldn’t be tempted to explore the mysteries of Misselthwaite Manor, wander down the yellow brick road or be afraid of going from luxury to poverty overnight?
As well as being an essential addition to the collection, this could be one to flag in your suggestions for Christmas purchases for parents!
Living in a bustling town is exhausting for a little mouse and she dreams of a quiet place in the country. So she writes to her country cousin to see if she can visit for a while, swapping homes so they each have a holiday.. Country Mouse is very excited because he has always wanted to be “a mouse about town.” But things are not quite as wonderful as they expect and neither is sorry when their holiday is over and it’s time to go HOME.
This traditional fable from Aesop has been retold in rhyme, bringing its powerful message of what it means to be home and to belong to a new generation. Cleverly illustrated with a gentle palette and strategic cutouts it’s a story that has endured over time because of its timeless message of “the grass always seems greener” . Little ones can have fun imagining what it might be like to live the life of their hero or in another place, but then also reflect on the things they would miss if they were really able to make the swap.