Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Timeline Activity Book

Timeline Activity Book

By Peter Goes
Published by Gecko Press

Companion to the international bestseller Timeline, with drawings, puzzles and creative projects alongside snippets of history from around the world. This is the perfect way of making sure those facts have made an impact! 

Find hours of entertainment and spark your creativity with this fascinating journey through the history of our world. Continue to learn about culture, history and design by making your own mark. 

Timeline will spark your creativity. Drawings, puzzles and activities sit alongside facts and images from Peter Goes's remarkable visual history of the world. In this activity book you will draw the meteorite that made the dinosaurs go extinct, spot the differences in busy Byzantium, make a monogram of your own name, draw the Tower of Babel as high as you can, escape from a medieval maze making sure the rats don't catch you, use code to read a secret message by a Cold War spy, decorate the Berlin Wall with your own graffiti, and much more!Printed on thick paper and with detachable pages, the book can be easily shared or used for decoration by young and old.

The illustrations are again as detailed and sublime as before and there's plenty here to keep any Peter Goes fan busy. There's lots of longevity in this activity book, with some of the pages being for younger readers and others for slighter older children. It's definitely one to get if you want your child to grow into it and eventually learn to master every page. The pages can also be easily removed if you want to give out individual pages or even to photocopy if you want to give out the same puzzle to several children. The perfect gift for any Timeline fan or a challenging activity book for older children to enjoy on those wet days in.

The Timeline Activity Book is available to buy now from all good booksellers and from the Gecko website here.

Monday, 9 January 2017

One Minute

One Minute

By Somin Ahn 
Published by Chronicle Books

This is the debut book from picture book creator and illustrator, Somin Ahn. This book will show you how important 60 seconds really is! 

In one minute, you can blink your eyes twenty times, hug your dog, plant seeds, say good-bye, watch the rain, or even save a life. So much can occur in this sliver of time—one minute can feel like a singular experience. This poignant picture book is at once an introduction to time for young readers, an ode to living each moment with purpose, and a thoughtful exploration of how children experience one minute (may it seem short or long) playfully, profoundly, and with a boundless sense of possibility.

This picture book could be read in a minute, or you could choose to take your time and stay on each page for a minute. As much as it is simple, it is also very deep and meaningful. We never give much thought to short amounts of time, and here this picture book looks at how much a minute can matter. A minute can be short when we are having fun and not paying much attention to the clock and at other times it can be very long - especially if its during a trip to the dentist! A thought provoking book from a new talent, I will look forward to seeing more books from Somin in the future. 

One Minute is a gorgeous book, filled with whimsical illustrations along with a touching outlook on how if just one minute can affect all of our lives. One Minute is available to buy now at all good booksellers and online from Chronicle Books.

A Day with Dogs

A Day with Dogs

By Dorothée de Monfreid
Published by Gecko Press

Welcome to dog heaven! If you ever wanted a book packed full of quirky and humourous dog illustrations then this is the book for you! Meet nine funny dogs as they live out their everyday lives in this Richard Scarry-esque new picture book from Dorothée de Monfreid.

What do dogs do all day? This rich and playful album features a cast of funny dog characters enacting everyday scenes. A picture dictionary for the very young, with everything children need to know about the world around them.

From the start, children will learn different dog breeds and with the help of the dogs, they will help identify parts of a home, what a bathroom is used for, different sports, clothing and loads more! It's packed full of useful things and lots of humour!

The dogs are full of character and help educate younger children in all sorts. Dorothée's illustrations are fabulous, with lots going on and well laid out. Her dolls house style for a lot of the spreads is very detailed and well labelled. It's a purely brilliant teaching tool that will make learning fun - especially for children that shy away from educational titles.

Perfect for dog lovers and young children who want to learn with the help from some waggy friends, A Day with Dogs is available to buy now from all good booksellers and from the Gecko Press website here.

Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr!

Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr!

By Sebastien Braun
Published by Nosy Crow

Part of the 'Can You Say It Too?' series, Brrr! Brrr! is another great edition to this series of board books for young children and great for this chilly time of year.

Filled with artic animals and lift and see flaps, this is a great board book for little people to get their hands on. I adore Sebastien's illustrations in this series of books, he fills the spreads with beautiful illustrations of all kinds of animals that children may not be familiar with. In Brrr! Brrr! we are introduced to seals. penguins, killer whales, artic foxes, walruses and wolves. My two year old throughly enjoyed lifting the flaps to discover each hiding animal and read it several times afterwards. A great addition to anyones 'Can You Say It Too?' collection and for adding it to your child's educational bookshelf. 

Can You Say It Too? Brrr! Brrr! is available to buy now from all good booksellers and from the Nosy Crow website here.

A Busy Day For Birds

A Busy Day For Birds

By Lucy Cousins
Published by Walker Books

Peck, hop, flap and make some noise in this story full of colour, rhyme and feathered friends! Another feathered gem from writer and illustrator, Lucy Cousins.

Flap your wings, fly up high, open your beak and sing in this fun action rhyme story about fantastical birds by multi-award-winning author Lucy Cousins. "Can you imagine ... just for one day ... you're a busy bird? Yes, a bird! Hooray!" Can you stand on one leg like a flamingo or waddle like a penguin? How about say "cock-a-doodle-doo!", "tuwit-tuwoo" and even "tra-la-la"? What a busy day you will have! A bouncy read-aloud book to be enjoyed; beautifully illustrated with bold, bright colours and packed with all sorts of wild and wonderful birds!

This is the perfect bird introduction to a young child. The clever rhyming text throughout perfectly balances Lucy's bold and colourful illustrations. Young children will pick up on the different types of birds along with the sounds they make and their behaviours. I like how the book ends with a night owl, another excuse for reading at bedtime and turning your busy child into a bird expert!

A Busy Day For Birds is published on the 2nd February through Walker Books. To find out more about the book visit the Walker Books website here.

Mr Tweed’s Busy Day

Mr Tweed’s Busy Day

By Jim Stoten 
Published by Flying Eye Books

You might also know this book as Mr Tweed's Good Deeds - the hardback edition of the first search-and-find adventure from Jim Stoten. It's now available in paperback with attractive new cover art, another reason to go and have a look if you haven't already discovered Mr Tweed and his super finding abilities.

Mr. Tweed sets out on his afternoon stroll, but soon finds some friends in need of his help. Can you come to his aid and help him find what they are looking for? Hidden in pages of vibrant colour and highly detailed illustrations lie a variety of different objects waiting to be discovered! Stoten’s wonderfully whimsical designs will enchant young readers into this fun and quirky world where counting is made easy.

Obviously this isn't the first children's book that gives the reader the challenge to search and find objects/people within busy environments. What makes Mr Tweed stand out is the vibrant illustrations and the pure level of detail. The book has a lovely retro feel to it, harking back to animation like Mr Benn and The Magic Roundabout. I adore Jim's style - the colours and fine line work perfectly together along with creating an amusing story to tie the search and find spreads together. My 2 year old loved finding the objects on each page - it kept her amused longer than most picture books, so a big thumbs up from her!

Mr Tweed's Good Deeds Mr Tweed's Busy Day (paperback) is available to buy now from all good booksellers and direct from the Flying Eye Books website.

Interview with Rob Biddulph

Rob Biddulph is a bestselling and award-winning author/illustrator whose first picture book, Blown Away (HarperCollins), won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2015. His second, GRRRRR! (HarperCollins), was nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway medal and his third, Odd Dog Out (HarperCollins), was published in August 2016. His fourth picture book, Sunk!, will be published in March 2017. As well as working on his own books he also illustrates for other authors including Piers Torday, David Solomons and Christian O'Connell.  Before he became a full-time author/illustrator he was the art director of the Observer Magazine, NME, Uncut, SKY and Just Seventeen. He lives in London with his wife and three daughters.

BWB: GRRRRR! is your second picturebook. Why did you choose to focus this story on a bear?

RB: Well, I knew that I wanted the set the book in a woodland environment (because I really love drawing trees) and so I did some research on Yellowstone National Park. As soon as I saw that bears lived there my mind was made up. They're great fun to draw and everybody loves them, not least my own children. 

BWB: What's the best award/trophy you've ever won? 

RB: Hmmm, tricky. It's either a) the first ever prize that I won for drawing which was, wait for it, a BIC biro, b) the1991 Player of the Year for Brookmans Park Football Club or c) the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. I think I'll go for... c) the Waterstones prize. It was such a shock when I won. In fact, I still can't quite believe that it happened!

BWB: If you were to compete against another illustrator who would that be?

RB: Ooh, great question. Well, I guess it depends what we were competing in. If we're talking about an illustration competition then I think I'd like to test myself against the very best. So how about... Quentin Blake, although he would absolutely thrash me obviously. If we were competing in a running race, however, I might stand a better chance...

BWB: Your favourite fictional bear and why?

RB: Now this is tough. I love Paddington and Pooh, but I think I might have to plump for Baloo from the Jungle Book. I would love to have a friend like him. We could hang out all day eating prickly pears, floating along the river and basically forgetting about our worries and our strife. It would be so cool. 

BWB: Can you tell us more about your next picture book?

RB: Well, my brand new book is called Odd Dog Out and it's set in a world entirely populated by dachshunds (that's the posh name for sausage dogs). Everybody loves a sausage dog and they're SUCH fun to draw. Anyway, in this world every single dog dresses and acts in exactly that same way as all the others, except for one – the Odd Dog Out. She gets pretty fed up cos everyone is different to her so she leaves town in search of kindred spirits. But, in doing so, she discovers something much more important - that being yourself is actually the best thing of all. It's basically a sweet story about blazing your own trail and not just following the crowd. Plus there's lots of pictures of dogs dressed up in funny outfits. What's not to like?

Huge thanks to Rob and Simon for taking the time to make this interview happen. You can find out more about Rob and his wonderful work on his website here. He also draws on a lot of post it notes to live in his daughters lunchbox from time to time...