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.

I Love my Bike

I Love my Bike
Simon Mole and Sam Usher
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

The little girl narrator of this story is the proud owner of a new red bike and with the help of her dad, she’s learning to ride it.

His encouragement enables her to get going and with confidence growing, ‘a tingle in her tummy’ and a ‘flame on the frame’ she soon loves the experience, even starting to take some risks as she rides.

Hills are a struggle (my bike gets lazy) but the walk up is well worth it as the view from the top is incredible.

Now for the downhill run, that’s sure to be fun, or is it?

Before long, exhilaration gives way to exasperation, the tingle in her tum turns to a tangle and …

Her response reminds me a a young relation who having taken her first tumble said, “Nincompoop bike”, threw hers down and walked away. Inevitably such falls hurt, probably both pride and limbs, but thanks to an understanding Dad and some beautiful natural surroundings to rest in, it isn’t too long before our novice cyclist is back on the saddle and feeling positive once more, off she goes again …

Both poet Simon Mole’s words and Sam Usher’s illustrations capture so well the lows and highs of learning to ride a bike as well as celebrating both a warm father/child relationship, and the sheer joy of being outdoors, especially in a green place.

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.)

Thank You

Thank You
Joseph Coelho and Sam Usher
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Inspired by the NHS Thursday 8pm Clap for Carers earlier in the pandemic, award-winning performance poet Joseph Coelho wrote this gorgeous story, to demonstrate to children how they, like the child in this book can show appreciation for, and celebrate the key workers, in their own lives.

The story tells of Tatenda, a thankful child who says thank you whenever he gets an opportunity: thank you to mum and dad for making breakfast, thank you to the post lady for delivering his favourite comic, to the teacher for marking his work and to the shop staff who stack the shelves.

Of late though, nobody seems to hear his words of thanks, they’re too bogged down in their fears and worries.
Consequently, the boy decides that a much bigger thank you is needed: here’s what he does …

Suddenly this thank you turns into something colourful, full of energy and movement. Out the front door it whizzes and off down the road, followed by his parents, the post lady whose smile makes the thank you ‘grow and glow’, all the way to school where’s it’s given further sparkle from the teacher’s eyes. Then off into the market it goes, with everyone touched by it in pursuit, spreading joy and colour till it reaches a massive oak tree. And there among the branches it sticks.

Eventually after a massive team effort, Tatenda is able to reach  and liberate the thank you, whereupon it continues on its way spreading colour and joy throughout the community and helping everyone feel better!

This wonderful, lyrical celebration of Joseph’s, superbly illustrated by Sam Usher, is a brilliant manifestation of the power of gratitude and of community strength.

For every book sold 3% of the retail price goes to Groundwork, a charity that helps some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic: another great way of showing appreciation is to get your own copy.

Wild

Wild
Sam Usher
Templar Publishing

Grandad and Boy are doing some cat minding for a friend. Boy (the narrator) has done his research and announces that it’s a simple task: they need to feed, cuddle and play with the moggy.

However, cats, like humans, don’t always conform to the norm and this visitor is one of those.

She definitely doesn’t want to play; she turns her back on the food they offer,

and neither a nap nor a cuddle proves any more agreeable.

Boy is convinced the creature doesn’t like him. Grandad is slightly more sanguine until, the cat makes a dash for it.

Through the window she goes with Boy and Grandad following the escapee as best they can,

out into the wilds, where the real and the imagined merge.

Eventually the chase leads them to a fabulously diverse feline gathering where Boy and Grandad join in with the frolics.

Then safely back home once more, Boy decides that perhaps Cat is now more favourably disposed towards him.

Using a repeat refrain as part of Boy’s simple narrative, Sam Usher lets his expressive, superbly detailed, scratchy pen-and-ink images do much of the talking in this splendid celebration of the power of the imagination, and the on-going loving intergenerational relationship.

Books to Give

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll illustrated by Minalima
Harper Design

Beautifully designed and arrestingly illustrated with interactive features is the award-winning design firm Mina Lima’s latest classic from Harper Design. It’s clear that Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (best known for their visual graphics for the Harry Potter films), thoroughly enjoyed doing the visuals for this weird and wonderful world created by Lewis Carroll.

Some of their delights include Alice with extendable limbs for growing and shrinking; Tweedledum and Tweedledee have layers of interchangeable articles of attire – brilliant;

an unfolding chess board map to navigate one’s way through the world of the Looking Glass; the Cheshire Cat has a pull-tab so you can make it appear and disappear leaving only a grin.

Reading this story beloved from childhood in an interactive way, opens up new insights and every page turn brings fresh delight be it the tiny motifs surrounding the numbers, the ornate borders, the flamingo croquet club that swings to whack the hedgehog, or the richly patterned, deliciously quirky full page scenes – the portrayal of the card playing King and Queen of Hearts is out-of-this-world genius.

I could go on at length extolling its delights but let me just say, this is a book to treasure, to buy and to give; it deserves a place in everybody’s collection.

Seasons
Sam Usher
Templar Books

This super boxed set contains Sam Usher’s seasonal picture books Snow, Rain, Sun and Storm, all previously reviewed on this blog and now in a smaller format.

They portray the beautifully observed, very special relationship between a lively little boy and his Grandad (who likes to take his time), and the adventures they enjoy together

In each story Sam’s wonderful humorous ink and watercolour illustrations show the possibilities of the season to perfection.

What a cracking present this would make for any young child who doesn’t already own the full size editions of the tales.

The Story Orchestra: Swan Lake
illustrated by Jess Courtney-Tickle
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Here’s a short, look and listen retelling of a classic Tchaikovsky ballet, the listen element coming from the ten sound buttons – one per spread dropped into the scenes of the flock of swans as they fly past Siegfried; the lakeside at sunset where the four cygnets become dancers watched seemingly by deer, squirrels, birds, the trees even, and others. We see Odile dance with Prince Siegfried and dupe him into believing that she is Odette, the enchanted swan, watched we’re told by the wicked Rothbart who has placed the princess under a curse.

This version has a ‘happy ever after, on Earth’ ending.

At the back of the book, is a short biography of the composer, Tchaikovsky, with details about his composition of Swan Lake. Alongside you can replay the musical excerpts and read a discussion of each of the instruments, rhythms and musical techniques that make them so compellingly beautiful.
There’s also a glossary giving definitions of musical terms.

The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown

The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown
Paul Smith and Sam Usher
Pavilion Books

Like the book’s author, Mr Brown (a monkey) is a famous fashion designer.

He meets Moose on a plane en route from the USA to London. Moose has lost his twin brother at the airport and seeing his distress Mr Brown offers to help Moose find him.

This however isn’t straightforward for Moose finds himself assisting his new friend, offering ideas to extend his fashion range and travelling the world at the same time.

His ideas are certainly interesting – parkas for penguins, sneakers for cheetahs, scarves for giraffes, go-faster slippers for sloths and more.

But it’s during the styling of snow-shoes for a bear that Mr Brown has an idea. He enlists the ursine creature’s help and eventually at the Paris fashion show a happy reunion takes place and a dream team is born.

A fun story that celebrates creativity and highlights the importance of kindness and friendship. Illustrator Sam Usher has clearly enjoyed letting his own creative juices flow for this quirky book.

Primary Fiction Shelf

The Umbrella Mouse
Anna Fargher, illustrated by Sam Usher
Macmillan Children’s Books

Here’s a war story that’s altogether different. It’s set in London in 1944 and begins in Bloomsbury’s James Smith & Sons Umbrella Shop wherein we meet Pip Hanway and her family of umbrella mice.

When disaster strikes in the form of a bomb on the building, killing her parents, Pip is forced to begin a hazardous hunt for a new home, a home in the Italian hills where her family had its origins.

She is fortunate to meet rescue dog, Dickin, and thus begins a highly unusual tale that draws on true stories of animals caught in the WW2 conflict, a story of resistance, of courage, determination, treachery, sacrifice and bravery.

Anna Fargher’s debut is a powerful, compelling telling that will have readers and listeners charged with emotion as they root for these animals fighting the evil Nazi regime; and with occasional illustrations by Sam Usher of Rain, Sun, Snow and Storm fame to add to the pleasures, the book is strongly recommended for individuals and will also make a great KS2 class read aloud, particularly for those studying WW2.

Turns Out I’m an Alien
Lou Treleaven
Maverick Arts Publishing

The narrator of this zany tale is eleven-year-old Jasper who stands 4ft 6in tall and has green hair and eyes. A highly imaginative child so his teacher tells him, Jason lives with his extremely nice foster parents Mary and Bill Clarkson.
One day in order to bring in some extra cash. Mary and Bill decide to rent out one of the now unused bedrooms.

Before their guest has even arrived, Jasper is beginning to doubt whether his foster parents really are as predictably normal as he’d heretofore thought, especially when he notices Mary cooking what appears to be a kind of glowing green rock and Bill constantly checking the night sky through his binoculars.

Then out of the dark descends a weirdly spherical being with an orange skin uttering greetings from planet Snood and introducing himself as Flarp Moonchaser, “Slayer of the Multi-Headed Muck Monster of Murg” as he stretches forth his hand for Jasper to shake. Moreover, the thing has a strange bag stuffed full of weird and wonderful objects.

I’ll say no more other than that Jasper discovers his alien origins, the children are cascaded into a madcap space adventure to save a planet from the terrible Emperor Iko Iko Iko; there are secret agents, secret, secret agents and things get pretty Gloopy.

Entirely crazy, but readers will be swept along by the unfolding drama, which perhaps doesn’t actually end at The End.

Dennis in Jurassic Bark
Nigel Auchterlounie
Studio Press

Fans of the traditional Beano comic will certainly recognise the characters Minnie the Minx and Walter although this book is a novel, not a comic, albeit with a fair sprinkling of black and white illustrations.

It’s another madcap adventure for Dennis who is plunged back in time 65 million years. First though we find the boy visiting his gran watching a TV news reporter talking about ‘what seems to be a huge mutant, ice-cream stealing seagull’ that Dennis immediately identifies as a Pterodactyl. Dennis however isn’t the only child watching the news item; so too, among others, are his worst enemy Walter and Minnie the Minx.

Before you can say Pterodactyl Dennis finds himself on Duck Island determined to save Beanotown from dinosaur disaster.

There’s no need to be a Dennis fan to be entertained by this madcap romp with its interactive puzzles to enjoy along the way.

Storm

Storm
Sam Usher
Templar Publishing

The fourth of Sam Usher’s series of picture books about a little boy and his grandfather continues to celebrate their special relationship.

It’s a very blustery autumn morning and when the little boy wakes up he sees leaves flying, dancing and tumbling down.

Eager to get outside, he calls his Grandad who suggests flying a kite. First though they have to find it.
During their search they rediscover several items – a cricket bat, letters and a telescope that bring back memories of previous adventures – until finally, they find the kite.

Off they set under a stormy-looking sky to the park

where they discover lots of other kite fliers. “Hold on tight,” calls Grandad as their fantasy adventure begins.

Up, up, up they go swooping and twisting as the sky is filled with an amazing, colourful array of kites of all different  shapes and patterns.

The wind intensifies and the boy lets go of the kite string. Luckily though, Grandad catches it “There’s a storm brewing!

Let’s head for home,” he urges and they do.

Back indoors, as the storm rages outside, they share some tea and Grandad declares, “The best adventure is an adventure shared.” And so it is, just like the one herein: what better prelude to a kite-flying foray than this.

With russet, gold, orange and brown hues, and a darkening grey, Sam Usher’s watercolour and ink illustrations  capture so well both the trees’ autumnal foliage and the brooding nature of the storm.

Sun

Sun
Sam Usher
Templar Publishing
First came Snow, then Rain and now we have the third of Sam Usher’s enchanting days with Grandad and small boy narrator. Herein, what starts out as a fairly normal day, albeit the hottest of the year: “hotter than broccoli soup“, hotter even than “the surface of the sun“, Grandad deems it perfect for an adventure; and so having collected the necessary items for their foray, the two venture forth in search of the perfect spot for a picnic.
The sun blazes down and pretty soon, Grandad needs a rest, while his designated ‘lookout’ does just that …

You can almost feel the sun scorching them as they trudge on and pause for another rest. Shade becomes the second ‘must’ for their picnic spot, which is hardly surprising, as the landscape has now become incandescent.

Grandpa has added a cool breeze to his list of requirements by the time they reach what looks a likely place.
However, it appears that their perfect picnic spot is already in use.

So it’s a case of all hands on deck; let’s share resources and party …
Once again Sam Usher captures to perfection the closeness of the bond between Grandad and boy, while at the same time portraying the spirit of adventure and utter exhilaration that is brought on by being in the great outdoors, even on such a scorching day.
A sure-fire winner this.

I’ve signed the charter  

All Aboard the London Bus / No, Nancy, No!

All Aboard the London Bus
Patricia Toht and Sam Usher
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
It’s hard to resist the opening invitation of this book:
Come! / Board the double-decker bus / and see the London sights with us. / Any time, hop off. /Explore! / Then climb back on and ride some more.’ With its welcome aboard greeting in five languages, we’re off and heading for Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard.
From there, it’s on to Westminster Abbey with its amazing ceilings and tombstones and statues galore.

Big Ben is the next stop and then comes the London Eye so beautifully described as ‘A bracelet that hangs off the Arm of the Thames, / its pods filled with people, all dangle like gems.’ Then after pausing to look at the river itself snaking through a host of landmarks, the family heads for Trafalgar Square. Here readers are offered a busy ‘Seek and Find’ spread while they too pause for breath,

before heading via Speaker’s Corner down onto the tube and thence to Piccadilly Circus where they emerge into a sudden downpour. Seemingly there’s only one thing to do: stop for tea and a browse in a famous toyshop for a while.
The British Museum, Tate Modern and the Globe are some of the other destinations once family members have dried off; and no London visit would be complete without seeing Tower Bridge and the Tower itself so that is their final stop. Phew! It’s certainly been an exhausting day especially for the little ones. The adults are very brave to undertake such a huge itinerary in a single outing and still leave the bus with smiles on their faces.
Essentially a sequence of poems in celebration of London: you can either take the whole tour in one sitting or, take things more slowly just dipping into or revisiting favourite landmarks. No matter which way, Sam Usher’s gently humorous illustrations, whether the focus be a famous London site or its visitors,

are sheer delight.
It’s clear from this celebratory book that London means a lot to both author and artist.

No, Nancy, No!
Alice Tait
Walker Books
Join Nancy and best friend Roger for an exciting, action-packed visit to London. First stop is Buckingham Palace where Nancy is hoping for a glimpse of the Queen. Her dog however has his eyes on two children, one of whom drops a teddybear. Rather than remain at the palace, Nancy and Roger set off hot on the trail of the bear’s owners. A bus ride takes them to St Paul’s Cathedral

and thereafter various other famous London landmarks. Every time it seems they’re about to catch the teddy losers, Nancy’s proclivity for mischief diverts her attention.
Will they ever catch up with the children they’re chasing; and will Nancy ever get to see the Queen?
There are flaps on every detailed spread helping to move the action forwards as well as a surprise Nelson’s Column pop-up; and guess who cannot resist climbing right up to the top. Fun, fast and with its repeat “No, Nancy, No!” from Roger, fun to share, especially before a visit to London.

I’ve signed the charter 

Floss the Playground Boss

Floss the Playground Boss
Corrinne Averiss and Sam Usher
Egmont
Meet Floss, the playground boss; she claims this supremacy on account of residing right next to the playground, but also she remains unchallenged because nobody has the nerve to challenge her.

Thus, she rules the roost issuing orders to all and sundry until a new kid arrives on the block – on the other side of the playground actually. His name’s Peter and he knows nothing of Floss and her bossiness and so he does this …

Guess where it lands: right at Floss’s feet and she’s far from happy about it.

Pete is unmoved by her tirade: all he does after she’s finished her rant, is to laugh. Good on you Peter. Seems he knows just how to deal with tyrannical behaviour “PP2 has been cleared for take-off,” he responds, thus leaving the plane on her runway, so to speak.
What ensues is a simply wonderful little drama with an avid audience chipping in, as, after due consideration, a paper plane is whizzed skywards by a certain female; it loops and swoops, and Floss laughs and whoops; and in the time you can say ‘paper planes’, the sky is full of same …

and the whole tenor of the playground has changed for the better – once and for all. And Floss has dropped her ‘Boss’ handle with a resounding silence …
What a wonderful way of handling tyrannical behaviour and so brilliantly presented through Corrine’s cracking story and Sam’s superb visuals. The child dialogue is so well observed and I love the occasional forays into rhyme Floss employs. Sam’s illustrations too are beautifully observed and full of energy. A real winner of a book that should be read and discussed widely in early years settings and primary classes, as well as shared with individuals at home.

I’ve signed the charter 

Rain / What Will Danny Do Today?

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Rain
Sam Usher
Templar Publishing
The small boy narrator from Snow and his Grandad are back to regale us with another wondrous weathery delight. The youngster cannot wait to get outside and catch raindrops, splash in puddles and look at reflections; but Grandad has other ideas, or rather one idea – “…wait for the rain to stop.” So they wait and wait, and it rains and rains.

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Grandad busies himself with paperwork: the boy reads and imagines …
He imagines voyaging with sea monsters, floating cities with carnivals and musical boatmen …

 

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Then at last, and co-incidentally, Grandad finishes his writing and the rain stops. Time to sally forth, suitably attired, for that voyage …

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until down comes the rain once more, but no matter: there are raindrops to catch, entertainers to watch and an important letter to post.

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After that, it’s a return to dry land with its reward of hot chocolate, warm socks and cosy togetherness.
A splendid lesson in delayed gratification if ever there was one; and another beautiful portrayal of childhood’s exuberance and delight in the great outdoors come rain or shine. Sam Usher’s paintings brilliantly capture the watery world of a rainy day, the boy’s energy, and the loving relationship between child and grandparent: and the way he plays with space on the page is superb.

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More of Sam Usher’s marvellous scenes in:

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What Will Danny Do Today?
Pippa Goodheart and Sam Usher
Egmont
Following on from her You Choose series with Nick Sharratt, Pippa Goodheart joins forces with Sam Usher for another decision-making book only this time the decisions are made on behalf of young Danny.
From the moment he wakes up, Danny is faced with making choices: what kind of clothes to wear, what to have for breakfast,

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how to get to school …

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what lessons he’ll have and who will teach him. Then there are PE activities to decide upon …

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how he’ll spend his playtime and a whole range of art and craft possibilities with which to fill the afternoon: ‘What will Danny make?’ is the question.
Danny’s dad is there to meet him from school and he’s fairly easy to spot as, we are told, he wears a green jacket. Moreover, he’s willing to allow Danny an after school treat and here too it’s for us to decide whether that will be rowing, watching a film or skating. Finally, there’s the matter of bedtime reading and it appears that Danny has made his own choice this time.
This is a great book for getting talk going be it with one child, a small group, or – if you can stand it – a whole class, the majority of whom will doubtless be eager to offer their ideas on Danny’s day.

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Gorgeous detail from the endpapers

Every one of Sam Usher’s scenarios is crammed full of wonderful details and interesting characters, and is sure to generate a great deal of discussion.

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Refuge

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Refuge
Anne Booth and Sam Usher
Nosy Crow
Anyone who has been watching the news over recent months and seen the refugees fleeing, desperately seeking safety from Syria and other conflict-ridden countries cannot fail to be moved to the core by this heart-achingly beautiful rendering of the Christmas story, in particular, the flight into Egypt of Mary, Joseph and their new baby. Now today, just before writing this review, I have heard Chris Morris on the World at One reporting from Malta saying that the Mediterranean has become a graveyard for all too many who had hoped to find refuge.
I admit to having tears in my eyes as I read Anne Booth’s spare prose. By using the donkey as narrator, she makes the whole thing feel much more intimate and immediate: ‘When the last king left, the scent of frankincense lingering in the air, we all slept and the man had a dream. A dream of danger. …

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And we set off … under starlight, through empty streets, whilst people were sleeping, hoping for the kindness of strangers. Again.’

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Achingly poignant too in their stark simplicity, are Sam Usher’s largely grey, black and white illustrations. Rendered in watercolours and ink they evoke the spirit of the precarious plight of families fleeing both then and now.
May others, like myself and like that oil lamp strategically centrally placed in that final scene of Sam’s, to borrow a phrase from Auden, ‘show an affirming flame.’ 

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Indeed, the creators of this book – author, illustrator and publisher (and others listed on the copyright page) have all collaborated to get this to publication in just six weeks and £5 for every copy sold will go to the publishers’ partner charity, War Child. https://www.warchild.org.uk

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Snowy Frolics

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Snow
Sam Usher
Templar Publishing
We all, adults and children alike, relish those first footsteps in virgin snow so it’s natural that when the boy narrator of this lovely story wakes to discover snow is falling, he can’t wait to get off to the park – before anyone else if possible.

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He’s ready in no time but he has to wait for Grandad who does everything in his own good time. It’s no surprise then, that despite his constant urging, “… the others will get there first, Grandad. DON’T FORGET THE SNOW”, the two are last on the scene.
When they eventually reach the park however, it becomes evident that Grandad’s throw away remark that the whole zoo was probably out there, is in fact true and they throw themselves wholeheartedly into the wintry fun and frolics.

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Was it worth the wait? ‘Definitely’ is the decision of both Grandad and small boy.
This heart-warming wintry tale, which has at its core the loving relationship between a Grandad and his grandson, is beautifully portrayed with gentle humour in watercolour paintings large and small. I see echoes of Bob Graham and Quentin Blake in Usher’s illustrative style and I love the balance of text and illustrations within the taller than usual pages, in particular the large white expanses used to depict the freshly fallen snow and the sheer exhilaration of the snowball fight spread .
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Bear and Hare SNOW!
Emily Gravett
Macmillan Children’s Books
We had the superb Bear and Hare Go Fishing wherein they shared a pastime loved by Bear. Here the friends delight in one of Hare’s favourite activities, romping in the snow. They catch snowflakes on their tongues, make footprints in the snow, create snow angels, build snow creatures – a hare

 

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and a bear …

 

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Then comes some snowball making, followed by a spot of sledging, the sheer exhilaration of which finally brings a smile to Bear’s face – YIPPEE!

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Time for a mug of hot chocolate guys …
So simple, so clever and absolutely brilliant for beginning readers to relish for themselves once it’s been read aloud again and again and …
Full of warmth, gentle humour and those wintry activities loved by young and old alike. Sheer genius for the chilly season.
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