Snow Still / Flip Flap Frozen

Here are two decidedly shivery offerings from Nosy Crow Books

Snow Still
Holly Surplice
Nosy Crow

A young fawn experiences the world while taking its first steps in a snowy landscape.

Told through a sequence of rhyming couplets beginning ‘Snow white. // Snow slide. // Snow chase. //Snow hide. and gorgeous visuals, we follow the little creature through a series of beautiful watercolour scenes that show a game with rabbits; an encounter with a group of perching birds; an owl gliding high overhead across a silent empty plain;

a squirrel curled up in the hollow of a tree … and finally as the fawn struggles with the extra depth of a further snowfall, we meet the adult deer ready and waiting to provide a warm safe haven for their little one.

I love all the different perspectives used and how the seeming simplicity of the words allows the visual landscapes plenty of space to convey the beauty and starkness of the countryside – its woodlands with the berries all aglow, the umbel seed heads a-sparkle with touches of silver, and the vastness of the open field. (This is some of the best use of silver highlighting that I’ve seen in a picture book certainly this season).

Lyrical and lovely; a beautiful book to share with the very young on a chilly winter’s day.

Flip Flap Frozen
Axel Scheffler
Nosy Crow

There’s a decidedly icy feel to the latest in Axel’s terrific Flip Flap series.

Readers can discover what happens when a polar bear is crossed with a walrus (you get a polrus), or a reindeer with an orca (a reinca – naturally!) and a host of other brilliantly bonkers species as they play around with the spit pages.

Samuel experimenting with combinations

Of course if you play it straight then Axel’s animals have provided factual rhyming descriptions about themselves and they even accompany them with their characteristic sounds.

Guaranteed hours of fun whether consumed solo or with the help of an obliging adult reading the main text and a youngster making the noises and flipping the flaps.

Look, there’s a Tractor; Look, there’s a Helicopter / I Love You Little One

Look, there’s a Tractor!
Look, there’s a Helicopter!

Esther Aarts
Nosy Crow
Here’s a pair of board book adventures for the very youngest.
In the Tractor a rhyming narrative guides young listeners as they climb aboard and accompany the farmer and his dog on a search around the farm for a missing hen.

Strategically placed die-cut holes help move the story forward towards the final surprise finale.
In the Helicopter book we join the pilot as she takes her machine out on a rescue mission to save a family and their dog from a sinking boat.

This one also has the same ‘Follow-the-holes’ feature. I think the rhyme works better in the tractor tale though.

I Love You, Little One
Holly Surplice
Nosy Crow
If you want a super-cute board book to share with your little one then look no further than this outpouring of love from a mother guinea pig to her infant.
Actually though, she says words cannot express the strength of her feelings, so instead actions do the speaking – through her pride in little guinea pig’s artistic creations; the songs she sings for him and the music they create together, the baking they share in.

Then there are those moments when some TLC is required …

Most of all though, is the idea – a magical one – that wherever Mummy guinea pig is, be it near or far, her love for her little one is always there and so it will always be.
Told through a rhyming text and adorable illustrations, this could have been sickly sweet but it isn’t; the showing makes sure of that – both Holly’s and the mother guinea pig’s.

Small Matters

DSCN6389 (800x600)

I’ll Never Let You Go
Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Alison Brown
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
An inexhaustible supply of love no matter what, is something everyone needs, particularly in those early years when everything is new and exciting; when you’re finding out about the world around and testing those boundaries …

DSCN6390 (800x600)

when things don’t go just right and you get in a tizz…

DSCN6391 (800x600)

When you’re feeling fearful, or sad, or ready for sleep. Then again when it’s time for an adventure or you need to feel that little bit more brave …

DSCN6392 (800x600)

An understanding adult is on hand to share those moments with his or her unique brand of unconditional love as Smriti Prasadam-Hall’s gentle rhyming text tells. Alison Brown’s scenes beautifully capture the highs and lows these little ones experience in this celebration of love and life as shared between adult and toddler animal style.

DSCN6437 (800x600)

Hug Time
Patrick McDonnell
Orion Children’s Books
Meet Jules, an endearing kitten with an enormous globe-trotting mission. What’s behind this tiny feline’s massive adventure you might be wondering? The clue’s in the picture (and the title of course). ‘He wanted to give the whole world a hug.’
And to ensure that he fulfils his intentions, the little fellow’s first job is a ‘Hug To-Do List’.

DSCN6438 (800x600)

Thereafter it’s a case of starting with those closest to him then off he goes over land,

DSCN6439 (800x600)

and sea …

DSCN6440 (800x600)

First port of call is Africa with its elephants, chimps, giraffes, hippos, baobab trees even.
India is the next destination where stillness and determination finally bring rewards but there’s no time to waste with wombats and wallabies still to be hugged. Then comes the North Pole, a lonely place …

DSCN6442 (800x600)

but just in time there’s a polar bear offering – guess what. And then it’s time to head home to bestow a special hug to Doozy, the one he loves best of all.
Delivered in rhyming couplets and through a series of wonderful illustrations (the book’s real strength), this story of universal kindness and unconditional love really does demonstrate how one simple act can make a massive impact. How splendidly McDonnell portrays each animal’s reaction to Jules, be it benevolence, surprise, delight, or downright indifference, in those small watercolour pictures.
Right now in these troubled times, there’s no need to undertake a globe trotting journey such as Jules’; but we certainly need to embrace his sentiments to all those, who for one reason or another, are in desperate need of some warmth and kindness.

DSCN6373 (800x600)

Hush-a-Bye Bunny
Holly Surplice
Nosy Crow
It’s almost little Bunny’s bedtime. First though there’s milk and supper to be eaten, followed by ‘a ‘Rub-a-dub, scrub-a-dub, /Down to your toes.’; then a game of peekaboo and into those pyjamas for a snuggleup with Teddy. Best of all though are those magical moments with a storybook

DSCN6374 (800x600)

and off with the light.
So what can possibly be troubling that baby bun who doesn’t want to let go of Mummy?
No matter what comes, her reassuring words are ready to help,
Hush-a-bye bunny,
Now tell me your fears.
I can hug away worries
And kiss away tears.”
And of course, she does just that before finally putting her loved one back into bed and turning down the light.
Tender moments shared through suitably soft watercolour illustrations and a lilting lullaby. It’s perfect just before bedtime reading to share with your tiny or tinies, particularly when there might be moments of separation anxiety before lights out and a bit of extra comfort is required.

For even younger ones:

DSCN6416 (800x600)

Goodnight Baby!
illustrated by Sarah Ward
Little Tiger Press
One of the ‘To Baby, With Love series’, this one bids goodnight to all manner of soft toys as they prepare for sleep: there’s Bunny and Lion, Penguin and Mouse,

DSCN6417 (800x600)

Giraffe and Bear, not forgetting little Pup. They’re all ready in their pyjamas for a snuggly bedtime story with Elephant before everyone is tucked up ready for “zzzzzzzzzz”. Shh! Don’t wake them till morning when they’ll all be up and ready for a game of:

DSCN6418 (800x600)

Peekaboo Baby!
There are plenty of things to hide under, behind and maybe inside, or even have a little nibble on, which is fine so long as you don’t get caught in the act. OOPS!

DSCN6420 (800x600)

With a flap on every double spread and a surprise ending this companion board book is just the thing for a playful session with your baby.

Use your local bookshop       localbookshops_NameImage-2