The Sea Below My Toes

The Sea Below My Toes
Charlotte Guillain and Jo Empson
QED

Part of the Look Closer series and following on from The Ground Beneath My Feet and others, and also presented concertina style, extending to 2.5 metres, author Charlotte Guillain and illustrator, Jo Empson, take readers on an investigation into what goes on beneath the sea.

With wet suits on, our journey moves down through the various zones beginning near the surface in the Sunlight Zone. Here there’s a forest of kelp, an algae that is the food source and safe habitat for lots of different creatures. Among the kelp sea otters can be found swimming, diving, and perhaps using rocks to break apart the shells of animals it intends eating. Shoals of mackerel too, move through the water at the surface, as do Stellar sea lions and ghostly moon jellyfish. Then a little lower the surface-breathing orca might be found, hunting for food.

The next layer is the Twilight Zone and it’s there that the ocean begins getting darker and more shadowy. There all manner of strange and wonderful marine creatures can be seen, perhaps even an almost transparent glass octopus or a barreleye fish with its see-through head. Some of the creatures at this level are bioluminescent including the lanternfish and one kind – the swell sharks – emit a green light, possibly to attract a mate. One of the oldest animals – the vampire squid – has been around deep in the ocean for about 300 million years. Amazing! You’ll likely notice tiny particles drifting downwards from above : called marine snow this shower comprises poo and decaying flora and fauna from the upper layers, and is food for many creatures.

At a depth of about one kilometre the Midnight Zone begins; there the water is almost freezing and sunlight cannot penetrate. This level is home to some weird creatures including gulper eels, about 200 species of anglerfish, and chimera (ratfish). Beware of atolla jellyfish with their long trailing tentacles that might sting should you get too close. Go down further and there is the Abysmal Zone: very few fish live so deep due to freezing temperatures and enormous water pressure from above, but you might come across snailfish or the Kaup’s arrow tooth eel and there are tube worms.

There too is melted rock – magma – that sends bubbles out through hypothermal vents on the seabed: it’s there that the tube worms find the bacteria they feed on. it’s also where underwater volcanoes form from hardened magma.

In addition to the wealth of animals and plants, we also find out about the technology used under the sea, from scuba breathing equipment to oil pipelines and deep sea submarines; and come to know about the impact humans have had on under the sea.

With its informative text, this is a book that readers will want to revisit many times as they continue to be fascinated and awed by this incredible subaquatic world. A world that Jo Empson portrays so superbly in her richly hued painted, stencilled, and collaged illustrations that are teeming with life.
Definitely one for home and primary classroom collections.

What the Elephant Heard

What the Elephant Heard
Charlotte Guillain and Sam Usher
Welbeck Publishing

Charlotte Guillain tells this rhyming non-fiction story from the viewpoint of a young elephant that lives on the African savannah with her herd.

We learn of the wisdom and knowledge of the narrator’s grandmother always able to find water just like the grandmothers before her. Those that could tell of roaring lions, zebra herds and the activities of humans with their smoke belching machines,

their aeroplanes and their cars bringing tourists.

Worse than all those though, are the sounds of buzzing, whining tree destroying monsters that carried the felled trees off to people in towns,

and then that tragic shot from a poacher’s gun which killed the young elephant’s own father.

Now, as Sam Usher’s watercolour illustration shows, with the land dusty and parched, the herd awaits the welcome sounds of thunder and rain. With Grandma as leader, they lumber across the denuded savannah in the hope that once more, their leader wiii be successful in locating a waterhole …

After the elephant has finished speaking, come three prose spreads, the first giving basic information about elephants, their features and habits, the second discusses the work of elephant rescue teams and wildlife rangers and the third presents worrying facts about the declining numbers of elephants and some ways in which humans can help support these amazing creatures.

Equally lyrical in their own way as Charlotte’s words, are Sam Usher’s scenes of both the beauty and the harshness of the elephants’ environment over time and place. Altogether a heartfelt and timely presentation of pachyderm plight and majesty.

For Your Toddler Bookshelf

I’m thinking of a Jungle Animal
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Lucia Gaggiotti
Nosy Crow

Each of the the four wide-eyed child participants in the ‘I’m thinking of …’ game has a different jungle animal in mind. What do these creatures look like? What do they eat? What sound do they make? Little humans are invited to think about the simple clues, have a guess based on the information provided, search for the animal hiding in Lucia Gaggiotti’s colourful jungle scene and finally, pull the slider to discover the answer to the rhyming clues. Fun learning for the very young.

100 First Words: City
illustrated by Edward Underwood
Nosy Crow

Edward Underwood features city life in this second large format, super-stylish board book, devoting a double spread to in turn, the street, a railway station, the zoo, a supermarket. a museum, a (swimming) pool and a restaurant. Using a grid format and bright, colourful illustrations like the previous book, Underwood introduces a variety of nouns: for instance in the supermarket toddlers will see such items as tomato, trolley, toilet paper, broccoli, cashier, till, boxes and there are two sturdy, shaped flaps to look under. On this spread there’s a tin inside which are fish, and boxes that reveal an assistant.

This book is likely to prove invaluable in helping to build vocabulary at that vital stage when toddlers are learning to talk. One hopes adults will use this as stimulus for speech by asking questions like ‘what shall we put in the trolley?’ as they share the book with a little one.

Home Is Where the Heart Is
Emma Dodd
Templar Books

We all have things that make our particular home feel special and so it is with Emma Dodd’s thoughtful big cat and a playful little kitten. For the feline twosome, home’s a place to spend time playing and resting; a warm safe haven from stormy weather, as well as somewhere special no matter if its residents are there together or for some reason, apart.

Emma’s distinctive golden touches embellish her adorable feline illustrations on alternate spreads and her rhyming narrative told from the adult cat’s viewpoint.

What Did the Tree See?

What Did the Tree See?
Charlotte Guillain and Sam Usher
Welbeck Publishing

Oak trees are wondrous things. With its spreading branches to climb and a resident owl, I was endlessly fascinated as a child by the large one growing in our garden. They’re also well known for their exceptionally long life spans.
Not primarily a natural history book but rather, using the oak as a chronicler of the landscape wherein it grows, Charlotte Guillain has written a sequence of verses telling how an unnamed place somewhere in the UK has grown from a small village in the days of yore

to a vast industrial coastal city.

From its beginning ‘I was first an acorn, so tiny and round, / I fell from a branch and sank into the ground. / Then as I grew up, I turned into a tree … / over hundreds of years! So what did I see?’ Sam Usher’s fine illustrations make evident what it did see, showing just how much a landscape is altered by the action of humans,

in stark contrast to the oak, the life cycle of which we witness both in words and pictures.

The final few pages chronicle significant events in world history and their dates occurring during the life span of our narrating oak, the life cycle of an oak tree and suggestions for children to investigate the history of their own locality, as well as finding out more about trees and the life they might support.

With its unusual approach, this is an engrossing book to share and talk about with primary age children. I particularly like the way the oak’s own story comes full circle.

Moreover it could be an absolute boon for home-schooling parents (COVID even gets a mention in the timeline.)

School for Dads

With Father’s Day in mind and because I missed this one when it was published:

School for Dads
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Ada Grey
Egmont

Like a number of others, punctuality isn’t a strong point for Anna’s dad; indeed when he turns up late to collect her from school yet again, she strikes a bargain with him. “I’ll forgive you if you go to School for Dads,” she says.

Time for a spot of role reversal. Next morning it’s all the tardy dads who have to spend the day as pupils and their teachers aren’t going to make things easy for them. First of all some bad behaviour needs sorting out: “Don’t ignore us when we’re talking, and stop looking at your phone.”

That’s only the first of the list of misdemeanours, and they must definitely never answer “NO.”

The dads have to use the little chairs, and sitting on the floor proves pretty challenging too. On the plus side though, playtime is fun and the art session releases their inner creativity.

Come lunch time, the hall turns into a rowdy place where sweet treats are off the menu; and the afternoon’s PE lesson is let’s say interesting …

By home time, it isn’t only the pupils who have had a trying day; everyone – children and adults – have learnt a lot. On reflection, Anna decides that dads really deserve to be celebrated for all the great things …

This witty, reflective rhyming tale has a great read aloud rhythm and is just right to give dads a good giggle on Fathers Day especially. Assuredly they’ll enjoy too, Ada Grey’s lively illustrations that perfectly capture the humour of the Guillain’s telling.

The Skies Above My Eyes

The Skies Above My Eyes
Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer
Words & Pictures

This follow-up to The Street Beneath My Feet uses the same double-sided format unfolding to 2.5 metres only now we’re directed to look at what’s above the Earth’s surface.

Standing alongside the child at the bottom of Zuval Zommer’s continuous concertina illustration readers are taken on an exciting journey from ground level, billions of kilometres up and right out to the farthest reaches of the solar system and back again.

We travel past high-rise buildings, through the layers of the atmosphere to the imaginary Karman line to where 400 kilometres above the Earth is the International Space Station and thence to the Moon and out into the Solar System where the planets are found.

Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt that includes Pluto and even further out beyond the Solar System we can see hundreds of billions of star-filled galaxies.

 

After a period of stargazing, it’s time to travel back earthwards. We might spy comets, meteoroids, the Aurora Borealis and lower down, migrating birds on the wing;

and if we look very carefully, ballooning spiders drifting parachute-like a few metres above Earth as well as, rather more easy to spot, mountain sheep on a rocky escarpment.

Our long, long journey comes to an end on a grassy hillock where alongside the little girl we saw as the start, we can relax and enjoy nature’s bounties that surround us.

Charlotte’s narrative is certainly fascinating and informative as her enthusiasm sweeps us up and away. However it’s Yuval’s richly detailed art that ensures that the reader is not only informed but filled with awe and wonder about so many aspects of the mind-stretching, The Skies Above My Eyes.

Why not step outside with your children and see that you can spy in the sky …

(I missed this super book when it first came out but thank you to the publisher for sending it out now.)

One Banana, Two Bananas

One Banana, Two Bananas
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Sam Lloyd
Egmont

A yummy banana feast is in store for readers of this high octane rhyming, read aloud romp.
Without further ado let’s meet the banana crew with ‘One banana, two bananas, three bananas, four, snoozing in the garden’ (in hammocks) when their slumbers are disturbed by a ringing at the door.

There appear bananas five, six, seven and eight in party mood announcing that bedtime is postponed for a pyjama-clad shin-dig. And the eight are just in the act of inverting themselves when through the window they spy …

The llamas hailing from the Bahamas invite the fruity friends to join in their ‘llama race’. Now that’s an offer, eight PJ clad bananas just cannot resist and off they go. Oh no! They’ve been spotted by a monkey and you can guess what he has in mind as he gives chase.

Happily though something causes him to stumble-trip,

just as a couple of new bananas come speeding up – in the nick of time.

This hungry Monkey isn’t one to be deterred by a mere tumble though, certainly not when his tummy’s a-rumble.

Next thing we see is ‘Ten bananas in pyjamas’ dog-paddling – make that banana-paddling – to save their skins, pursued by the same number of pointy-toothed piranhas. Even if they manage to escape those, that Monkey is still close on their tails. But, can they manage to stay afloat long enough? That is the crucial question as we leave them bobbing up and down on the water …

Splendid silliness, both verbal (Adam & Charlotte) and visual (Sam), to tickle your taste buds and tempt you into performing this to your audience of book-hungry little ones. I wouldn’t mind betting, you’ll relish it as much as they will even if, like me, this reviewer, you don’t even like bananas.

Countdown To Christmas

Countdown To Christmas
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Pippa Curnick
Egmont

Team Guillain present a jolly rhyming tale of a bear that creates a Christmas game with a final surprise for all his animal friends.

Everyone is eager to participate in his enterprise but after a few turns yielding uninspiring prizes the forest creatures begin to lose their initial enthusiasm.

Mouse however is keen to carry on.

Then, on day 14 she falls ill and is confined to bed for several days, fearful that she’ll miss her turn in the game.

When the last day comes and she still hasn’t had that turn, she’s convinced that she’s been forgotten altogether.

Consequently it’s a very tearful little rodent that hears Bear call her name. He hands Mouse a large wrapped-up box instructing her to open it and accompany him to discover the promised surprise: what could it possibly be?

Pippa Curnick’s illustrations are simply terrific – brilliantly expressive and funny. There’s even a festive calendar attached to the back cover so readers can join the characters in the Christmas countdown.

Party for Dads / Molly’s Magic Wardrobe: The Mermaid Mission

Party for Dads
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Ada Grey
Egmont

For this follow-up to their School for Dads, the Guillians have created another joyful picture book and it’s just right for celebrating Father’s Day as well as a Dad’s birthday.

The particular dad in this rhyming tale has no time in the morning for birthdays, barely paying heed to his daughter’s “Come on – it’s time to play! … You should be having fun.”

Instead he dashes out leaving young Anna and the friends she summons to plan and bake for a special surprise evening celebration.

Later in the day, Dads of all kinds arrive and are instructed to cast aside their phones and don fancy gear ready for some fun party celebrations and games both inside …

and outdoors.

Enthusiasm for partying duly fired up, they then start bopping and before long their less than skilful moves are being scored in ‘Strictly’ style.

After that it’s time for Anna’s Dad to embrace the true party spirit, which he does by becoming a stand-in magic bunny when his daughter performs a spot of prestidigitation.

Over indulgence is inevitable after all the playful party-poppering papas tuck in to the feast on the table that culminates in the appearance of …

Then candles extinguished, it’s award presentation time: but will Anna’s dad be a prizewinner?

Fun and a certain amount of silliness prevail in this exuberant book, made all the more effervescent by Ada Grey’s funky illustrations

Molly’s Magic Wardrobe: The Mermaid Mission
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Garry Parsons
Egmont

The second story starring Molly and the enchanted wardrobe she discovered at her Granny’s house sees the little girl’s attention being drawn to a mermaid costume.

Having stepped inside and counted to three, she’s off whizzing down into the depths of the ocean for a new adventure.

Her frolics with mermaids are soon interrupted by snarling sharks claiming ownership of a wreck and swooshing the girl and her new friends down to where more friendly creatures – a turtle and octopus are taking tea.

The mermaids relate what’s just happened and suddenly Molly has an idea. She challenges the sharks to a race, the prize being the shipwreck.

The sharks are confident they’ll be victorious but will they?

Lessons are learned, apologies given and accepted; and after a game of hide-and-seek, it’s time for Molly to bid her new friends farewell.

The Guillains’ magical rhyming tale is complemented by Garry Parsons’ bright, expressive, eye-popping scenes of the sub-aquatic frolics.

 

The Light in the Night / The World Book Day Monster

The Light in the Night
Marie Voight
Simon & Schuster

Young Betty absolutely loves the night time for it brings with it the most amazing stories, one of which features Cosmo.
Cosmo is a bear that is terrified of the dark and just when Betty is wishing that she could tell him that he has no need to fear it, POP! There he is.
Together they set off, hand in hand, on a journey of discovery. Led by a firefly they walk into the woods where they find a cave
Betty reassures her friend and they follow the firefly inside towards an inky lake whereon a rowing boat awaits to take them further.
The cave grows ever darker as they go deeper within until they come upon a sign.

Overcoming her own initial fear, Betty does as the sign says. An amazing sight meets their eyes and it’s anything but scary.
Once back outside, it’s Betty’s turn to feel anxious; she makes a confession …

With roles reversed, Cosmo now does the reassuring until the two reach Betty’s house safely once more.
Back indoors over hot chocolate (what else) the two talk of their journey until it’s time for Cosmo to leave.

Betty gives him her lantern and a special message.

In the morning she wonders if it had all been a dream: what do you think? You’ll need a copy of this magical book to find out.

Rising star, Marie Voight’s illustrations are adorable and her two characters totally endearing making this a thoroughly reassuring, warm-hearted bedtime story for you and your little ones as well as a lovely one to share in an early years setting.

The World Book Day Monster
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Ada Grey
Egmont

World Book Day is fast approaching, her school is celebrating but Anna has a dilemma. What should she dress up as?

Dad’s suggestion that they pay a visit to the bookshop proves fruitful and thanks to a helpful suggestion from the bookseller, Anna goes home fired with enthusiasm, carrying a book.

After multiple reads she enlists parental help to make her costume and next day she excitedly rushes off to school to show her friends.

Their response however isn’t particularly positive; they all ask, Anna, what are you?” over and over throughout the day.

Happily her head teacher’s reaction is very different; it was a favourite of hers when she was a child and she’s eager to share the book Anna is clutching with the class.

A magical story time ensues that is much appreciated by all her classmates, which leaves Anna thoroughly satisfied, and so she should be as she demonstrates the power of story to thrill and enchant.

Adam and Charlotte’s rhyming text coupled with Ada’s spirited scenes make for a fun book to share around World Book Day or at any time one wants to attest to the power of a story and the importance of the imagination.

Sammy Claws The Christmas Cat / Santa’s High-Tech Christmas / Christmas Gremlins / A Very Corgi Christmas

Sammy Claws The Christmas Cat
Lucy Rowland and Paula Bowles
Nosy Crow

Such is his fondness for taking a snooze that Santa’s fluffy feline Sammy will drop off pretty much anywhere and dream of accompanying his owner on the Christmas Eve delivery run.

What he doesn’t imagine though when he dashes off to Santa’s workshop, is the manner in which that dream finally comes true. The somnolent cat gets parcelled up and dropped in among the other packages on the back of the sleigh and then it’s a case of “Ho! Ho! Ho! “ and off they go.

However, Sammy isn’t the only extra rider on Santa’s sleigh that night. Two wicked robbers, Mischievous May and Bad Billy are ready and waiting to seize their big chance and help themselves to some of the parcels.

Can Sammy save the day? And what is the special present Santa leaves for his pet moggy under the Christmas tree?

Festive fun aided and abetted by a snoozy feline delivered in Lucy Rowland’s bouncing rhyme with the addition of a good sprinkling of elves and excitement in Paula Bowles’ pattern-rich illustrations.

Santa’s High-Tech Christmas
Mike Dumbleton and Angela Perrini
New Frontier Publishing

Santa has eschewed the old fashioned methods when it comes to transport and keeping account of Christmas parcels; instead he uses a motorised sleigh and stores all his lists on his smart new techno-pad. But disaster strikes as he’s whizzing over the rooftops by means of his rocket-pack; Santa’s techno-device plummets to the ground and he’s faced with a blank screen.

Enter Jasmin, a techno-savvy little girl who is more that happy to give sad old Santa a helping hand by showing him how to access all the information he needs.

Not only that but she comes to his aid in another way too: after all Christmas really is all about giving.

Mike Dumbleton’s jaunty rhyming narrative is given added zaniness by Angela Perrini’s illustrations.

Christmas Gremlins
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Chris Chatterton
Egmont

Oh my goodness, those gremlins are at large again in another of the Guillains’ rhyming romps and now they’re on the rampage creating havoc in the run up to Christmas. It seems they’re determined to get in on the act no matter whether it’s decorating the tree, baking mince pies and Christmas cake (or should that be gobbling same?), wrapping up all the presents (and everything else in sight), singing – more like screeching – carols at the door or popping out of Christmas cards. But that’s only indoors. Further prankish doings are likely outside too: nothing is safe from their mischief so let’s hope they’re well out of the way before Santa arrives.

With more than 50 flaps to lift, this madness and mayhem will keep little ones entertained as they play hunt the mischief makers on every one of Chris Chatterton’s jolly spreads.

A Very Corgi Christmas
Sam Hay and Loretta Schauer
Simon & Schuster

The royal corgis are among those not feeling the Christmas spirit, far from it, all except for young Bella that is. Dazzled by the lights and excited by the hustle and bustle outside she decides to go and join in the fun. Hitching a ride in the back of a mail van, she gets out at Piccadilly Circus where everything suddenly feels overwhelming – too bright, too hectic and FAR TOO LOUD!

As luck would have it along comes London savvy pup Pip offering to show her the sights. A great time is had by both but suddenly as they approach the palace, Pip goes missing. Will Posy ever see her newfound friend again? Perhaps with the assistance of a very special royal couple …

Delivered with an abundance of Christmas spirit, Sam and Loretta’s London tale is a charmer.

Molly’s Magic Wardrobe: Search for the Fairy Star / Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert

Molly’s Magic Wardrobe: Search for the Fairy Star
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Garry Parsons
Egmont

I have to admit that with its pink sparkly cover I was tempted to put this book aside but decided that it was unfair not to bother reading it and I’m glad I did. The Guillain’s rhyming text reads aloud very well –that was no surprise though – telling of an adventure its young protagonist Molly has when she dons a fairy costume found in her granny’s wardrobe and then, in Lion, Witch and Wardrobe style, proceeds to step inside and through to a magical place – fairyland no less.

There she meets a distressed fairy, Flo, who has lost the star from her magic wand.

Molly offers to help and together they begin to search. Their quest takes them inside a castle, through an enchanted wood and into a garden and there are encounters with a giant, a wolf and a witch. These characters are anything but the normal fairytale stereotypes proving friendly (giant),

helpful (wolf) …

and far from wicked (witch) but none has seen the missing star.

The witch does have a wishing well in her garden though.

With the Guillains’ accomplished storytelling, Gary Parsons’ bold, bright scenes of the magical happenings and the added fun of wings and a wand inside the covers of the book for individual magic make-believe, the book’s creators look set to have the start of a winning new series here.

Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert
Morag Hood and Ella Okstad
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

The narrator of this book clearly has a thing for unicorns and a wonderfully off-beat imagination. She introduces us to her charges, all seventeen of them and goes on to explain what hard work they are even to a unicorn expert such as herself.

The creatures need lessons in magic,

in hunting for food and in safety – especially where balloons are concerned.

Even when they shed their horns,

make mess all over the house …

or need protection, no matter what, young Sophie is always up to the job.

Ella Okstad’s quirky illustrative style is perfect for Morag Styles’ first person narrative. Her pictures show much more is going on than Sophie Johnson is aware of and that’s what delights listeners who relish being in the know– mine did at any rate.

The First Egg Hunt

The First Egg Hunt
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Pippa Curnick
Egmont Publishing

Featuring a very fluffy chick, the Easter Bunny, a host of woodland animals and of course, yummy chocolate treats aplenty, Charlotte and Adam Guillain have together dreamed up a wonderful rhyming pourquoi tale that explains why The Easter Bunny hides eggs for people to find on Easter Day.

Bunny and his partner Chick work hard to ensure that everything is ready for the big delivery day but it’s the furry one alone who gets all the kudos.

Resentful of the fact that Bunny is the only one in the limelight, Chick plots to put things on an equal footing the following year when it comes to the delivery of those choccy treats.

However, when the time comes, her ruse doesn’t quite go according to plan. In fact it’s an utter disaster as Chick takes a tumble with the delivery vehicle …

scattering eggs every which way and to make things worse, she is forced to confess to her partner.

All ends happily though with a new annual tradition and two happy partners.

Just as yummy as those chocolate eggs are Pippa Curnick’s illustrations. Be they double spreads, single pages, or vignettes, each one is deliciously detailed.

I’ve signed the charter  

Muffins for Mummies

Muffins for Mummies
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Lee Wildish
Egmont
All the cakes have mysteriously disappeared from the museum café but never fear: George is on the case with Trixie, his dog; and the lad has stuffed his bag full of yummy-looking chocolate muffins.
Once at the museum, there’s a trail of cake-crumbs for the would-be thief catchers to follow through the shadowy interior and before long they find themselves face to face with a possible suspect, a very angry-looking one at that.
Fortunately for the detectives, said suspect gets stuck and can only watch as they make a hasty escape on a fortuitously placed exhibit …

Suspect number one – ruled out on account of his girth.
Could it instead be the fearsome, net-wielding Roman? He’s definitely not happy about being accused of cake thieving. The cake crumb trail however, leads past him on into the gloom from which lurches suspect number three.

He too is furious at the young detective’s accusation and the latter is forced to make a hasty exit right into the Ancient Egyptian room wherein there stands wide open, a large sarcophagus. A sarcophagus containing …

Oh dear me! It looks as though George is going to be the next one accused of being a cake thief …
Who could that stash have been collected by? THAT is the question …
The answer lies in the title of the Guillains’ fast-moving, action-packed rhyming tale of detective derring-do; the reason for so doing is one you can only discover by getting hold of a copy of same for yourself. George’s amazing museum adventures are deliciously and dramatically depicted in Lee Wildish’s gigglesome visuals.

I’ve signed the charter  

The Street Beneath My Feet

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The Street Beneath My Feet
Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer
Words & Pictures
This large format volume takes the form of a concertina book that invites readers to stop and look down, posing the question, ‘What’s going on deep in the ground under your feet?’ and then takes them, layer by layer down, down through the earth’s structure to its core, and back again.
Through Charlotte Guillain’s accessible narrative style text and Yuval Zommer’s super-stylish illustrations the whole experience encompasses aspects of biology, archaeology, geology and civil engineering …

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There are questions such as ‘Who do you think wore this helmet on their head?’ to ponder and perhaps research,

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as well as less satisfying ones like ‘What’s that loud rumbling noise making the ground shake?’ that are immediately answered by the next sentence. In fact, any small paragraph or picture might generate some research if it catches the interest of a young reader and that, must surely be part of the intention of the joint enterprise.
Those same readers may well find themselves getting a little dizzy at the point the pace accelerates with ‘Let’s pick up speed as we delve down deeper. Hold on tight because things are about to get shaky. We’re deep in the Earth’s crust now and things are moving!’ and there follows talk of an earthquake and how it happens.

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If you can’t experience the real things, this book is a stimulating substitute; alternatively and better, read the book and then, enthused by what is between its covers, get out into the world and discover first hand, what lies under the ground beneath your feet in your particular part of the world.

Supermarket Gremlins

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Supermarket Gremlins
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Chris Chatterton
Egmont Publishing
Be warned! You are about to enter the hitherto unknown world of supermarket gremlins and a pretty wacky one it is too. Seemingly, pretty much wherever you look as you wander the aisles in search of your favourite items, you’ll find evidence of their activities – misplaced bananas for example …

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and in many instances lifting the flaps will confirm your suspicions …

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Much of what they get up to is extremely mischievous and certain to give you a good giggle; but be sure to watch out for flying muffins if you venture into the bread section and unwittingly disturb the snoozers …
And what’s that nestling among those kiwi fruits? Oh! and there’s another in the apples …

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Just make sure that when you finally reach the checkout that none of the little varmints has stowed away in your bags – something they have a habit of doing and seemingly on this particular occasion, they seem to have a rather bigger plan afoot …

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Zany rhyming fun and madcap action-packed (not to mention gremlin-packed) spreads combine to ensure that this one will eventually be read to destruction (and that’ll take some doing). And that next time you visit the supermarket you’ll be constantly on the lookout not only for bargains but dare I say it, spaghetti wrapped around your trolley wheels courtesy of those GREMLINS …

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Use your local bookshop       localbookshops_NameImage-2

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