What We Are Reading Right Now: The Picture Book Version…

I thought it was time to bring you some weekend reading… as one does. The latest and greatest picture books from PanMacmillan South Africa.


Se7en of the Latest Picture Books

There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith:This has to be my book of the year… I love it completely. The illustrations are completely out of this world incredible and the words… clever clever clever. This is a book of wonderful collective nouns for endless beautiful animals. A busy little fellow is looking for his tribe and he wanders through a “smack of jellyfish,” a “formation of rocks” and a “turn of turtles.” It is a very long journey, and our sympathies lie with this little fellow, he is so tired and he journeys on through a night go dreams until at last… he finds his tribe. This is beautiful, poignant and fun all in the same book. You have to love a book that is equally entertaining and intriguing for the parent and the little listener. You can take a look at Lane Smith’s books over here.

Dinosaurs Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland: Oh this book is magnificent… some picture books you want to learn off by heart so that even when you are nodding off you can read them out loud to your little people… This book is right up their with the best of the rest picture books ever. It is really a book of the most delightful, bright, funky opposites… Dinosaur roar, dinosaur squeak, dinosaur fierce, dinosaur meek, dinosaur fast, dinosaur slow… and on it goes… incredibly rompish. Brilliant fun!!! This book was first published in 1994, where was I then… and republished now and endorsed by the Natural History Museum. This book has it’s own website, app, twitter account, head straight for the Dinosaur Roar website and take a look.

Daisy Saves the Day by Shirley Hughes: Oh Shirley Hughes… writes and illustrates the most comfortable books, you can literally climb in side of them and live alongside the characters. This is the story of Daisy Hobbs, a young girl who becomes the scullery maid for a wealthy house in London at the time of the coronation of King George V. She is just the most delightful and creative little character, and we had to stop and pause while we were reading this and wait for our emotions to catch up with us. We can’t help feeling sorry and alone for Daisy when she is punished for a lapse of decorum on coronation day, she just happens to hang out the home owners’ flannel bloomers as bunting in the spirit of the celebrations, and finds herself in terrible trouble. But then she saves the day, literally and (spoiler alert) she is able to go home to her mama and little twin brothers… and of course live happily forever after. Just pure Shirley Hughes loveliness… from the illustrations to the words it is just perfect.

The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight by Elli Woolard And Benji Davies: From the very same author as The Giant of Jum… This is a fairy tale of the friendship kind. A young lad, called James, is surprised when a strange looking duck, called Dram, lands in the lake next to him. Now James is a knight, but has taken off his armour to rescue the duck. The duck, is unbeknownst to James, a little dragon who is dying to eat a nibblesome knight… he leaves James alone, because he is just a lad and doesn’t appear to be a Knight. While the knights dread the beastly bad dragons and the dragons are on the lookout for their tasty knights… James and Dram become firm friends before (spoiler alert)… they realise that one of them is a knight and the other a dragon. Prejudices are so silly and this books clearly demonstrates it. The knights and the dragons become firm friends… more or less!!! Meanwhile, author Elli Willard has a great website packed with clever wordplay, and you can meet the illustrator Benji Davies over here.

A Spot of Bother by Jonathan Emmet and Vanessa Cabban: If you have a young reader who is fascinated by farmyards, then look no further than this book. Delightful illustrations of a pig who is slightly overwhelmed by a “spot of bother” a tiny little but of dirt after his morning breakfast… hard as he tries, and as each of his farmyard friends try to help him, so the patch gets worse and worse and then very much worse. In fact, he is so mortified that he hides away until after dark and then trips in a muddy puddle… (spoiler alert) the muddy puddle has dire consequences… and just like a good and muddy face mask, our piggy friend finds himself completely clean. And then oops, he sits on a cherry. This book has lots of lovely alliteration and lovely new words to learn. It’s a great bedtime read for any small potential farmer. Jonathan Emmet can be found on his website here.

Match It, Early Learning Fun from Priddy Books: All my kids stopped by this book and played in it… I just left this on the lounge table and everyone was dashing to figure out the puzzles. The first few pages are really easy, find two matching pairs of household items or dogs… just 2 pairs on a page… slowly and steadily it builds up to a lovely cluttered pages and twenty pairs to find of farm animals, zoo animals, clothes and cakes. And then the Mega-Puzzle oh my, find forty pairs of matching items on a page full of typically stunning Priddy photograph images. For those folk who want to get better and better… there is a clock on each page so that you can write your time on it and try to improve on it next time. And of course, since it is a wipe clean Priddy Book it comes with its own special wipe clean pen. Gotta love it!!! You can take a look at the book on the Priddy Book Website at this link.

Tidy by Emily Gravett: This is such a fabulous book, it got it’s very own review a little while back. This is the story of Pete a fastidious badger, who likes to tidy everything, the whole countryside in fact. It is somewhat dire consequences. He does eventually realise the error of his ways, and with the help of his woodland friends he puts things right. This book is a definite must read … find it read it and enjoy it!!!

Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for the copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

7 Replies to “What We Are Reading Right Now: The Picture Book Version…”

  1. Hi Zoe, Now there’s a comment!!! I did actually see that, there is a Tribe of Kids, but we took this book at face value, a crowd of kids having fun in the great outdoors and since my gang are often referred to as “the tribe” they related to it really well. That being said, having grown up in Africa, and traveling through out Africa I am not for one minute condoning colonialism and all that it stood for. However, I am all for books that encourage words and play and children to imagine things much bigger than themselves. I have read this book to a number of children from all sorts of socio-economic backgrounds and none of them have said – well this book represents a very colonial mind set, in fact they have all rather loved it and wanted to be all kinds of animals and dash outside and make forts as a result of it… Because of that, I love this beautiful book. For what it’s worth!!!

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