Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is
Jonny Lambert
Little Tiger

What does it mean to really belong somewhere: that is what is explored in Jonny Lambert’s new picture book.

When Bear wanders into the old wild wood, he decides it’s where he wants to build himself a new home and so he does. There’s plenty of room inside and he adorns it with lovely things (those familiar with Jonny’s books will likely recognise Saffi’s portrait on the shelf); but something is missing. Feeling lonely Bear decides to pay his neighbour a visit and is immediately welcomed into Hare’s small, cramped home.

Despite being complete opposites in many ways the two absolutely love spending their days together outdoors. Spring, summer

and autumn pass in happy companionship, but come the winter, Hare takes to his bed with a nasty chill. Bear takes good care of him till his friend is back on his feet.

When a fierce storm comes crashing through the woods, Bear’s home is completely destroyed. Where can he go? He feels devastated but not for long thanks to Hare who welcomes his friend in with open paws. “From now until forever, my home is your home,” he says.

Now however, their friendship is really put to the test … Will it survive Bear’s clumsiness and Hare’s constant messiness?

The title says it all …

Jonny Lambert portrays so well the emotions of Bear and Hare: the warm glow of friendship illuminates almost every one of the elegant, textured scenes; his capturing of the storms, both meteorological and emotional are equally powerful too. And as always, the balance between text and illustrations is as harmonious as ever.

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.