Shelves at Home – Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts by Emily Gravett

Book cover image

I adore all of Emily Gravett’s books both for their story & artwork. There is so much life & character in her drawings. This book is a great example of one of her more interactive stories, with flaps to lift, mini leaflets to read & a wasp to swat.

It also bursting with different art styles & collage work. It shows just how much more a picture book can be, I would highly recommend checking out all her work.

Shelves at Home – Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel & Emily Haynes

Book cover image

Sanjay Patel is an animator & I think that’s is partly why I was drawn to his books, I love the clean lines & shapes and how they create something so warm & cute. His animation short Sanjay’s Super Team was one of the first things I sought out to watch when we got Disney Plus.

In this fun picture book we are told about Ganesha breaking his tusk & being tasked to write down the epic Mahabharata as noted in the book “is not a retelling of this classic legend, though it is loosely based on the story.”

Shelves at Home – Knight Night

Knight Night by Owen Davey

Book cover

This was one of the books I remember reviewing for the Guardian Family Review (now defunct) website with my son. We loved this book but I especially like the graphical illustration. Owen Davey has done a number of non fiction books on different animals which are also stunning. The clean images & colour choices are what draw me to his work but this book is also wrapped up with memories of sharing & laughing together with my boy.

Shelves at home – Wonder Bear

Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu

This was the first wordless picture book I picked up and I was drawn in by the lovely oranges & blues of the colour palette. I love the surreal quality of the story & pictures. Wordless pictures books are a wonderful way of storytelling capturing the kids imagination while igniting their creativity.

Image from book

Image from book

Cover image

Shelves at home – Around the World with Mouk

Around the World with Mouk a trail of adventure by Marc Boutavant

This is my most favourite sticker book for the kids for many reasons; Marc Boutavant’s joyful illustrations, the bright colour palette, it’s large format, glossy pages & quirky stickers. Am lucky enough to have a copy in both French & English, the English copy is pretty battered owing to both the children and me pouring over its pages. At a time when we are stuck indoors travelling around the workd with Mouk is just the tonic. Son also reminded me that this was also a cartoon .

Image from book

Large headed Mouk

Image from book

Mouk in India

Image from book

Vertical layout

Shelves at Home – How the Stars came to Be

How the stars came to be by Poonam Mistry

I treated myself to this on my birthday this year & am so pleased I did. I first discovered Poonam Mistry’s artwork in a series of picture books she created with the author Chitra Soundar, the first is You Are Safe With Me & was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Prize.

This book is a modern folk tale about how the stars were created. The artwork is influenced by Indian art styles and textiles, brimming with symmetry, patterns & colours, it is truly sensational. Every turn of the page provides a feast for the soul & eyes.

Image from book

The hardest working stars imaginable

You can watch Poonam talking about her art & books in this little video

Shelves at home – Athena

I decided to pick out my fave picture books from our shelves.

Athena. The Story of a Goddess by Imogen & Isabel Greenberg

Having read & enjoyed a number of graphic novels by Isabel Greenberg I was keen to try out her children’s books and wasn’t disappointed.

This book covers a number of tales including how Athena helped Perseus, her contest with Arachne and how she helped the Greeks in the Trojan war. The telling of the stories and the illustrations are full of wit and humour making this a captivating read. I especially admired how Athena is celebrated highlighting both her strengths & weaknesses.

Image from book

Athena celebrating her wisdom & exceptional style

Image from book

Classical style in comic format
Image from endpapers

Stunning endpapers

2019 Bookish Cracker Advent

For advent this year I created mini crackers based on our favourite bookish characters & stories.

Here is the list of glorious books we have loved reading

1. Mega Robot Bros by Neil Cameron

2. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

3.Dotty Detective series by Clara Vulliamy

4. Mr Penguin series by Alex T Smith

5. Charlie Changes into a Chicken by Sam Copeland & Sarah Horne

6. Chronicles of Claudette by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado

7. Sam Wu is not afraid of series by Katie & Kevin Tsang illustrated by Nathan Reed

8. Princess in Black by Shannon & Dean Hale illustrated by leUyen Pham

9. The Five Realm Series, Book 1 Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood with illustrations by David Wyatt

19. Wild Robot duology by Peter Brown

11. Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon

12. Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher illustrated by Shane Devries

13. Midnight Gang by David Walliams illustrated by Tony Ross

14. Dave Pigeon series by Swapna Haddow illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

15. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

16. Christmas Series by Matt Haig illustrated by Chris Mould

17. Rosie Revere by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

18. Izzy series by Pamela Butchart illustrated Thomas Flintham

19. Fairytale Hairdresser series by Abie Longstaff & Lauren Beard

20. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

21. Knight & Bikes series by Gabrielle Kent illustrated by Rex Crowle & Luke Newell

22. Hilda series by Luke Pearson

23. You Are Safe With Me by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry

24. Harry Potter illustrated series by JK Rowling & Jim Kay

October Reads

Here are the kids top reads for the month of June all scoring 4 or 5 stars.

Girl Who Spoke Bear by Sophie Anderson – I loved House with Chicken Legs by the same author & this book was just as amazing, full of emotion I was swept away.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Imbalance part 1-3 – I always enjoy going back to the Avatar world with all my favourite characters

The Silk Roads: a new history of the world by Peter Frankopan illustrated by Neil Packer – is a beautifully illustrated book with plenty of interesting facts and new things to learn, I especially enjoyed learning about the Middle East

Malamander by Thomas Taylor – an exciting new fantasy series and I can’t wait for book two

Knights & Bike:Rebel Bicycle Club by Gabrielle Kent and illustrated by Rex Crowle – this is such a brilliant adventure & it’s full of action as they are always on the move all around the island.

Bad Nana: All the fun at the fair by Sophy Henn – is a really funny & hilarious book and has some great pictures

Jennings Goes to School by Anthony Buckeridge – the best thing about Jennings is that he is so naughty & is so rubbish at writing a letter it’s funny

Tom Gates:What Monster? by Liz Pichon – I had loved reading this & I am going to borrow more Tom Gates books from the library, he is pretty naughty too.