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January Picture Book Round-up

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

Mum's Jumper by Jayde Perkin

'Some people say that grief gets smaller over time. But Dad says it's a little more complicated than that. Dad says grief is like Mum's jumper. The jumper stays the same size, but I will eventually grow into it.'

A beautiful, brave picture book that sensitively looks at loss and grief through the story of a young girl losing her mother.

Perkin's writes with a simple, yet delicate honesty, balanced with charming illustrations that offer a heartfelt visual depiction of the girls growth through grief.

Just unforgettable.

Joy by Corrinne Averiss, illustrated by Isabelle Follath

Such a magically uplifting book - I loved it! (And that's not just because the young girl has the same name as me!)

I was utterly swept up in this delightful tale of the importance of happiness and empathy, lovingly told through the relationship between Fern and her Grandma. Not to mention, how utterly heartening it was to read of the innocence found in Fern's moments of joy - a puppy bouncing, a baby chuckling and the sun sparkling. These moments beautifully danced across the page in their warm colour palette, perfectly capturing the simple essence of joy and happiness.

Joy is an absolute joy to read time and again.

For more book recommendations celebrating our grandparents, check out my booklist for kids here.

Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival

Another fantastic picture book from the storyteller extraordinaire that is Tom Percival!

I'm a massive fan of Percival's Big Bright Feelings series and Ravi's Roar did not disappoint. In this clever and engaging picture book, Percival delves into the importance of expressing your emotions (even when they're temper tantrums) and understanding your feelings.

For Ravi, being the youngest, smallest and slowest can, understandably, be frustrating, but when Ravi finds his temper flaring and his anger erupting he transforms into a fierce little tiger who roars his way around the playground. But who wants to play with a growling, roaring, noisy, wild tiger who won't share or play nicely?

With an effective contrasting colour palette that skilfully captures Ravi's temper, Ravi's Roar is a perfect, and naturally funny, book for tackling those bad days and noisy outbursts.

Next up in the Big Bright Feelings series is Meesha Makes Friends, which look at the joys and difficulties of making and keeping friends - I can't wait!

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

What happens when two children’s books superstars collaborate on a picture book together?

A quirky and quaint delight, full of warmth and wit is what happens. Imaginary Fred is what happens.

In this comically charming tale of friendship and hope, Colfer and Jeffers bring the imaginary to life when a little lonely boy makes a wish for friend.

Longer in extent yet lyrically composed with a light and whimsical flair, Colfer, who usually writes for older children and adults, offers a reassuring message about the true test of friendship surviving time and change. Complimented with Jeffers iconic line doodles, Imaginary Fred is a beautiful book that will be enjoyed by the young and resonate with the old. A must read.

Juniper Jupiter by Lizzy Stewart

I absolutely loved Lizzy Stewart's There a Tiger in the Garden so it was a treat to see what Lizzy would do next.

Juniper Jupiter is a real-life superhero. She's super brave, super fast, super strong, super smart and she can even fly! But it turns out being a superhero can be pretty lonely and boring without a sidekick. In a mission to find the perfect sidekick, Juniper Jupiter uncovers the importance of friendship and learning to value what you already have in this fun and punchy picture book.

Paired with Lizzy's bold and colourful illustrations varying from double paged spreads and smaller images punctuated by white space, Juniper Jupiter is a delightful feast for the eyes!

The Road Home by Katie Cotton

Illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

'For safety is a precious place, a place to call our own. This road is hard, this road is long, this road that leads us home.'

A stunning picture book that depicts the vulnerable journeys of woodland animals as they seek the safety of home in a wild, unpredictable world.

Tender and lyrical, Katie Cotton's writing reinforces the fierce and endless bond between parent and child, and the beauty of life, love and comfort that comes with it.

As Cotton's writing effortlessly rolled off your tongue, Sarah Jacoby's illustrations had you lingering in a mesmerised pause. So detailed and delicate are Jacoby's illustrations that they articulated a deeper meaning to the tale. A beautiful combination for such a beautiful book.


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