Book Review: Kiki and Bobo’s Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail

Kiki and Bobo are having a day at the seaside, its all very exciting but they have very different personalities which reminded me of my own children. This is a lovely picture book from one of the UK’s best children’s book illustrators. Aimed at very little children this has lots of flaps to keep their interest and a very simple charming dialogue between the characters.

I like books which have slightly eccentric characters and in Bobo there is a picture book version of one of my own highly eccentric children. Suffice to say we all found this charming, its a really endearing book.

Being set a the seaside makes it the perfect book to gift any little pre-schoolers who are about to go off on summertime seaside holidays. There are plenty of opportunities in the book to allow you to discuss any anxieties that they might have which makes it a useful addition to the bookshelf this time of year.

As ever with Walker Books Kiki and Boko’s Sunny Day is beautifully presented and feels like a quality book. If you’d like to find out more have a look here.


Book Review: Martin Brown’s Lesser Spotted Animals

lesser-spotted-animalsThis is a fabulous book from the illustrator of Horrible Histories. Its basically a book about animals, except these are all unusual animals. Instead of your usual hippo’s and giraffes you can learn all about sand cats, the yellow-footed rock-wallaby and the banded linsang.

I must admit, i’ve always loved a book about animals- as does my daughter. We both pounced on this when it arrived and its been sitting on our coffee table attracting much attention for the past couple of weeks. Not only is it a brilliant conversation starter, it is one of those books which you delve into and then get lost in. We absolutely love it and you wont be able to beat us in an unusual animal pub quiz, trivial pursuit or scrabble now. I can guarantee there wont be anyone else you know familiar with the Cuban solenodon.

Sometimes its hard to get children really interested in a non-fiction book, you need something modern and usual and this fits the bill. The illustrations are brilliant, its perfectly pitched and really well written. If you want to make sure your children value and respect the world around them this is a great start. The book is based on a list of threatened species and its a great way of introducing concepts of environmental awareness.

Fabulous, you must get hold of this! Find it here.


Book Review: A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor illustrated by Emily Hughes

a brave bearSean Taylor dedicates this book in memory of Tove Jansson and I can really see the influence that the Moomintroll author had on him. This is a lovely gentile story of a little bear and his father and their day out together.

As a family we thought this was a fabulous picture book for so many reasons and we loved it. The story is perfect for bedtime, its a slow meander with a tiny bit of mild peril a child might be able to identify with. I thought it was great that it didn’t mention the mother character and was simply about a day out with dad. My four year old thought the story was lovely and it sparked a long conversation about a day out he had with his dad.

As someone who now has children at various different reading abilities bedtime stories can be a bit of a challenge and I often read a selection of different stories. This book was a bit different though; the story and illustrations appealed to everyone from the 9 year old down to the 4 year old. On top of this though the clever use of verbs enabled the 9 year old to get something else above the story out of it. We had a little chat about this and I think he used it in his writing work at school, which to my mind was fabulous. To find a simple story which can work on different levels for different children is a rare thing indeed.

I can’t write about this book without mentioning the beautiful illustrations by Emily Hughes. Every illustration is suitable for framing on the wall and the whole presentation of the book makes it a work of art. I really loved looking at it as an adult, which of course makes it much more enjoyable and something that i’m much more likely to read with the children.

A Brave Bear gets a big thumbs up from us, its simply a lovely heartwarming read. If you’d like to find out more and have a little look inside have a look here.