Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories / A Rabbit Called Clover / The Railway Kitten

Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories
Walker Books

Bear and Bird are best friends and like most close pals they have their ups and downs:there are jealousies, misunderstandings and some tetchy words but fundamentally each of them wants to make the other happy. Consequently their friendship is strong enough to withstand the downs and focus on enjoying each other’s company. 

In four short stories with Jarvis’ super-cute digital illustrations, readers learn of a rather unfortunate misunderstanding with a talking flower that results from a toppling Bird; a picnic, the preparations for which Bear isn’t completely honest about, the result being the outing doesn’t quite go as intended; an afternoon of painting when Bird feels his talent isn’t quite up to the standard of Bear when it comes to representing a tree,

and finally, a warm, snuggly, fluffy blanket that is very hard to stir from under.
A lovely book for bedtime (especially curled up under a cosy blanket), for foundation stage classroom sharing and discussion; and it’s ideal for those just starting to gain confidence as independent readers.

With a rather more challenging text::

A Rabbit Called Clover
Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
Nosy Crow

It’s the start of the Easter holidays and Jasmine, daughter of a vet mother and farmer father is anticipating spending lots of time looking after animals, especially keeping things trouble free. But early one evening Jasmine spies two pet rabbits and so begins ‘operation rabbit, the aim being to catch and return the two creatures, which she and her little brother name Clover and Dandelion, safely back to their owner. Not such an easy task as Jasmine first thought but with a bit of help from her best friend, Tom, it might just be possible at least to get them safely into a cage and home to Oak Tree Farm.

It becomes evident that Clover is ace at escaping and they only manage to catch Dandelion, so the hunt is on for the elusive Clover. Moreover, finding the person who is responsible for looking after the pair is only part of the battle.

Delightful, gentle storytelling once again by Helen Peters whose writing is supported by Ellie Snowdon’s plentiful black and white illustrations.

The Railway Kitten
Holly Webb, illustrated by Sophy Williams
Little Tiger

Cat lovers especially will enjoy this heartfelt tale of Scarlett and her friends. On the way to school they notice a kitten at the railway station and are so enchanted by Whiskers as they name her, that when she gets run over, they decide to do everything in their power to save her. 

They take her to the vets and are told that an expensive operation is needed to mend Whiskers’ shattered leg. Her owners can’t possibly afford the vets’ bill but Scarlett and her friends are not going to give up easily. Is there a chance they can raise the money needed to prevent Whiskers from being put down? If so what will happen to her afterwards.

Determination and friendship are key in this gentle story of a Tortoiseshell kitten for younger primary readers. Occasional black and white illustrations by Sophy Williams show just how those involved with Whiskers are feeling.

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