Tag Archives: Heather Pindar

Not Yet a Yeti / Froggy Day

Not Yet a Yeti
Lou Treleaven and Tony Neal
Maverick Publishing

High up in the snowy mountains live George and his family.

All George’s family are yetis: “When will I be a yeti?” the little creature asks.

Having consulted in turn, his grandfather, his dad, his big sister and his mum, George concludes that he lacks the necessary qualities for full yeti status. He has no desire to terrorise visitors to the mountain,

leave scary footprints in the snow (his feet are too small anyway), or chase ramblers like other family members.

Suddenly George knows what he wants to be …

Lo and behold as he speaks, a horn grows from his forehead, his limbs grow hooves and he acquires a swishy tail and mane.

Alarmed, Mum consults Dad and a compromise is reached: after all if his other family members continue eating hikers, the human race faces extinction.

An offbeat tale of having the courage to be yourself and acceptance that manages to include the creature that seems to be every young child’s favourite at present – the unicorn. For this reason, if nothing else, it’s likely to become a crowd pleaser. Tony Neal’s entire family of yetis are, despite their claims, thoroughly unscary and totally likeable creatures as is George himself.

Froggy Day
Heather Pindar and Barbara Bakos
Maverick Publishing

Imagine watching the weather forecast on the TV and being told “Today is going to be froggy, very froggy!” by the forecaster. That however is what happens in Heather Pindar and Barabara Bakos’ zany book.

No sooner are the words out of her mouth than chaos descends in the form of little green amphibians. They create havoc in the streets, on the bus, the supermarket is over-run with the creatures,

the building site workers are totally bemused, animals stampede and frog horns boom out warning the sailors at sea.
There isn’t a single place in town without an invasion of frogs – imagine the uproar in the classroom.

Then comes the evening weather forecast: now what might that hold in store, I wonder …

Crazy as Heather’s tale may sound, I was once in Udaipur, Rajasthan during the monsoon season and as we emerged from a café into sudden torrential rain, it did seem as though it was raining frogs: the tiny creatures (not green ones but brown) fell in thousands from the rooftops of all the buildings. Goodness knows how they got up there in the first place but the sight was truly bizarre.

Heather Pindar’s play on words is a great starting point for her gigglesome story and Barbara’s illustrations of the frogs’ frolics are a real hoot.

Beware the Mighty Bitey

Beware the Mighty Bitey
Heather Pindar and Susan Batori
Maverick Arts Publishing

Nippy Pool lies deep in the jungle; it’s the home of The Mighty Bitey Piranhas. These creatures with their razor-sharp teeth lurk beneath the waters over which hangs a rope bridge, frayed and apt to sway, waiting for something tasty to come their way and singing their favourite song.

Along come in turn Mouse, Goat and Bear, each with his musical instrument; and all on their way to Cougar’s party. Each accepts the “Please play for us!” invitation of the Mighty Biteys causing the fragile bridge to sway and dip ever closer to the water until suddenly amid all the ding-dings, dong dungs …

and roompah, oom-papahs, leaving the rope dangling precariously by a single twine …

Are the party-going animals about to become the piranhas’ next meal or will party-throwing Cougar and his pals be the ones feasting?

A suspenseful tale from Heather Pindar to keep listeners on the edges of their seats, deliciously illustrated by Susan Batori with toothsome scenes of ferocious fish and musical mammals.

The Birthday Invitation / Wishker

The Birthday Invitation
Lucy Rowland and Laura Hughes.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
That the author of this book is a speech therapist is evident in the abundance of verbs in her enormously engaging story.
We meet Ellen on the eve of her birthday excitedly writing and posting off invitations to her party. On her way though, she drops one: it’s picked up by a wizard while out collecting herbs, and into a bottle he pops it.

Some while later though, it finds its way into the hands of a pirate captain out at sea where it is then seized by his parrot which flies off and drops it into the hands of a princess and thereafter, it passes to several other unsuspecting characters before ending up in the pocket of its originator.
The day of the party dawns and there’s considerable hustle and bustle as Emma makes the final preparations for her birthday party and then comes a loud knock on her door …
Has there been a mistake or could it be that the wizard had worked some rather extraordinary magic? Certainly not the former, and maybe a sprinkling of sorcery went into the making of that wonderful celebratory cake …

There certainly is a kind of magic fizzle to Laura Hughes’ captivating illustrations: every scene sparkles with vivacity and her attention to detail further adds to the enjoyment of her spreads.
Just right for pre-birthday sharing with those around the age of the birthday girl herein, or for a foundation stage story session at any time.

Wishker
Heather Pindar and Sarah Jennings
Maverick Arts Publishing
Be careful what you wish for is the moral of Heather Pindar’s deliciously crazy cautionary tale.
Meet Mirabel who it seems never gets what she asks for be it a sleepover with her friends or a pet monkey; “It’s not fair! Everyone always says NO” she complains as she sits outside in her garden. Her comments are heard by a cat that introduces itself as Wishker, claims to posses magical powers and offers her three wishing whiskers.
Mirabel uses her first wish on ice-cream for every meal and her second for having her friends to stay – forever. The third wish involves a phone call to the circus and results in the arrival of clowns, fire-eaters, acrobats and a whole host of animals. The result? Total pandemonium in one small house: things are well nigh impossible.

Another wish is uttered and ‘Whoosh’. Normality reigns once more. But that’s not quite the end of the tale – or the whiskery wishing: Mirabel has a brother and there just happens to be a whisker going begging …
Sarah Jennings bright, action-packed scenes are full of amusing details and endearing characters human and animal.

I’ve signed the charter  

Baxter’s Book/Strictly No Crocs

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Baxter’s Book
Hrefna Bragadottir
Nosy Crow
Meet bibliophile Baxter. So strong is his love for books – especially scary wolf-infested ones and those inhabited by brave lions, cuddly bears or cute rabbits – that he yearns to be in a book himself. Then one day he spies a large notice outside a house and seemingly there’s no time to lose …

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Lots of other characters have the same idea and they’ve all played parts in books before but Baxter seems undeterred. After all, he can sing, dance, do acrobatics and act – what more could they want?

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Well, seemingly not an unusual creature like Baxter after all. His audition is a let down and poor Baxter gets the brush off.
Time for a spot of coaching from some of those other characters … but nothing feels quite right. Baxter has a pressing question …

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After all he’ll never be scary like Wolf, brave like Lion, cuddly like Bear or even, cute like Rabbit. Maybe it’s time to bow out gracefully and head off home … or is it?
An exciting picture book debut from Hrefna Bragadottir; I love her offbeat style and look forward to seeing what’s next.

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Strictly No Crocs
Heather Pindar and Susan Batori
Maverick Arts Publishing
It’s party time for Zebra and the invitation is posted but there’s one proviso.

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Crunchie, Chomper and Snapper are determined to gain entry however. You might guess what their favourite food is going to be; and Snapper has a plan at the ready.
The plan proves pretty successful initially and none of the others suspects that spotty-clad high bouncer, nor the winner of the pass the parcel teddy

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or that cake scoffer.

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In fact the threesome even go so far as to lead the vocals for the conga and that fireworks finale is really dazzling.
All too soon however, the crocs are wending their way back home, extolling the virtues of “an amazing party!” Hold on guys – wasn’t there something you forgot: it certainly wasn’t that scrummy-looking cake.
A tasty treat for young listeners although definitely not for crocs. Susan Batori’s zany illustrations are real laugh inducers and the story’s likely to keep your audience on the edge of their seats as they wait to see whether those snappers will be unmasked.

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