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Caryl is a full time children's writer, who also runs creative workshops with local schools. Her first picture book, Don't Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate! won two regional awards, and is shortlisted for a third. She lives in the Peak District with her guitar-playing husband, two cheeky daughters, one extremely fluffy black cat, a goldfish, four hens and a dog called Roo. As well as writing, Caryl loves walking in the hills, swimming, snuggling, baking, weeding, running, sleeping, chatting, and sitting in cafes.
Sonny is playing in the sandpit when he finds a little pink bunny, so soft, so cute, so cuddly. Meemo the dog notices but Sonny won’t share Bub-Bun with anyone, so when we discover on the next page that Bun-Bun is actually Boo’s much loved Suki, what will Sonny do? Fortunately for all concerned – and in a useful lesson for readers – it’s the right thing, though it does take a while …. Caryl Hart’s story is a wonderfully accurate and very funny depiction of toddler behaviour and Zachariah Ohora’s illustrations capture the various emotions on display perfectly.
Calling all young Jacques Cousteaus! Here’s a book to take them bobbing through the oceans, and to introduce them to some of the amazing creatures that live there, and all from the comfort of a cosy submarine. It starts with a splash as a little girl and her dog set off on an epic submarine adventure that takes them from the freezing Arctic Ocean (the world’s smallest), through the breezy Atlantic with its underwater mountains and caves, into the warm Caribbean, across the vast Pacific, and from the busy South China Sea into the Indian Ocean. Caryl Hart’s rhyming text provides the perfect introduction to each ocean, slipping in fascinating facts and drawing our attention to life above and below the waves. Bethan Woollvin’s illustrations are glorious too, every page vivid and distinctive, and with the help of pairs of smiling eyes, she manages to imbue the oceans with their own particular character. A stylised atlas on the final pages lets little fingers trace the route they’ve taken. Oceans of fun and information!
Zoooooooom! We're off on an exciting space adventure in our rocket to meet all the planets of the solar system. Join in with the rhymes and spot all the smiley-faced, friendly planets, from shimmering Saturn to mighty Mars. Little ones will have a blast (and be back in time for bed!) in this striking, read-aloud, story-led picture book. It's perfect for all would-be astronauts!
Princess Eliza is a fairytale one-off – a princess who enjoys inventing and making useful gadgets. Her parents aren’t too keen on this, finding it a bit messy, and the queen would prefer her daughter to make friends, not machines. But Eliza comes into her own when, searching for a friend, she stumbles across Santa’s grotto. With Santa poorly, the elves are terribly behind on their Christmas tasks, and delighted with Eliza’s ingenious time-saving inventions which have the presents sorted, packed and labelled before you can say ‘Ho, ho, ho’. A fun story with a positive message, neatly told in a rhyming text and with warm, lively illustrations. Definitely worth adding to the Christmas list. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize | Colour and detail in Underwood’s book are both very pleasing indeed; graphically it is a stand-out picture book with superb use of colour and composition. There’s a slight sense of Lynley Dodd in the way the layout carries you through the story.
Albie is the star of lots of action-packed picture books and in this one he’s challenged by his mum to tidy his room - against the clock. Before you can say ‘Pick up that Lego!’ he’s been whisked into a much more exciting adventure with a band of flying junior superheroes. Supervillain The Collector, who is equipped with some fabulous gadgets, has snatched a piece from Albie’s favourite jigsaw. Can he get it back, save his friend Scoot and tidy up before Mum’s deadline? He can and he does! How it all happens proves a very satisfying story which unfolds at just the right pace over lively spreads packed full of detail, and it’s perfect for any young wannabe superheroes. ~ Andrea Reece
May 2015 Book of the Month The creators of bestsellers How to Grow a Dinosaur and How to Catch a Dragon have produced another winner. A trip through the car wash magically transports Albie onto the starting line of a monster car race (that’s a race in which the cars are driven by monsters)! Meanie Maxamillion is cheating in his monster truck so Albie kindly picks up a couple of stranded drivers and his teamwork leads to an outright win. Children will be caught up completely in the story, and there are lots of chances to join in with sound effects and responses. Story, pace and tone are spot on for the audience, and the bright, friendly illustrations make this virtually irresistible. ~ Andrea Reece