Close Encounters

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First Words and Pictures
Catherine and Laurence Anholt
Frances Lincoln pbk
From the opening spread, this whole book is an irresistible invitation to join the lovable Chimp and Zee on a joyous extravaganza of language learning and fun.

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We see the chimps as they explore the contents of the dressing-up basket, have something to eat, visit Jungletown – look carefully and you’ll see what they are up to there, try all manner of vehicles, explore the possibilities of a pet, wield paintbrushes dipped in brightly coloured paints,

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introduce different kinds of weather, fill each and every day with alliterative activities, learn to count to ten, romp about in the bathtub and finally snuggle up with a book at bedtime –

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what better way to end a day?
All this is presented through amusing rhymes, with the final sentence on each double spread being a child-involving question, and wonderfully detailed, witty and often, action packed illustrations large and small. Guaranteed hours and hours of pleasure for toddler and adult together lie within (even on) the covers of this one.
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The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000
Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
Big Picture Press
Printed on sturdy card pages to withstand the heavy handling this is likely to receive, is this unusual picture book that puts the reader in charge of the direction of the story; indeed they become one with its inhabitants.

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A large cast of characters participate in the seven futuristic scenes, indoors and out, which include a rock concert, a rocket race and naturalistic locations such as a water park. The identities of the various characters are developed as one follows each from the apartments scene in the first spread to the various busy settings in the city and its environs.

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It is enormous fun to visit this multi-hued civilization, so cleverly crafted and portrayed by the Mizielinska/Mizielinski partnership. For those who like full-on visuals from which to create their own dramatisations,, this is a must-have book.
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Mi and Museum City
Linda Sarah
Phoenix Yard Books pbk
Meet Mi; he resides in a tiny blue hut in the middle of the River Weary in the middle of Museum City. All the buildings save Mi’s home are museums. The place is dull to put it mildly and Mi is very lonely; but two things save him from utter depair – his pebble collection and the sounds made when they fall onto different surfaces, and STARLIGHT.
Then one day when out hunting for additions to his collection, Mi hears a different kind of sound, one that fills him with happiness. He follows it to its source and discovers a Big, Tall Thing playing on an enormous single stringed instrument, the most wonderful music he’s ever heard. Thereafter things change, not only for Mi but also for Yu, for that is the musician’s name and also later, thanks to Yu’s wonderful music, for the Mayor of Museum City

 

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and ultimately for the whole city. All manner of marvellous museums begin to spring up all over the place; there’s the Museum of Donkeys that Roar, the Museum of Rain (that houses three billion raindrops), the Utterly Irrevelant Museum of Creatures that do not Exist and have Never Existed, the Museum of the White Bits on Waves and many, many more, each one created by a quirky resident of the city.

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All this of course, results in a whole new wonderful way of seeing the world, or rather life, for Mi who becomes, at the end of each and every day, a visitor to the very best place of all: the Museum of Starlit Benches Arranged at Different Heights for Pebble-Dropping and other Fun Things and guess who sits there beside him? Yu of course. Amen to that!
What a wonderfully uplifting and crazy experience it is to visit Museum City along with Mi, not forgetting Yu too. It’s absolutely brimming over, well actually perfectly contained within the covers of this joyous book. Moreover, there is a large fold-out map of Museums from A to Z attached to the inside back cover – another fine feature. If you are fascinated by the minutiae of life then lose yourself within the pages of this one; you’ll feel different when you emerge.
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Find and buy from your local bookshop:http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

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