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Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including the fabulously funny Mr Tiger Goes Wild. He has won a Caldecott Honor and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award. Peter lives in New York.
May 2021 Book of the Month | It is an unusual sight to see a completely naked toddler on the cover of a picture book, but you can tell from his smile as he jauntily stomps across the page that this child is gloriously unashamed, inhabiting that brief interlude in early childhood before self-consciousness sets in. Both here and throughout the book Fred is drawn and positioned so cleverly that his modesty is preserved, and the title reassures the audience that he will get covered up eventually. But first he romps and dances through the house revelling in his freedom, while Mum and Dad blithely carry on reading. Nothing to make a fuss about here! We see his natural curiosity lead him to explore his parent’s bedroom and their wardrobes. Dad’s clothes prove too difficult to handle, but from Mum’s wardrobe he makes a dress from a blouse and scarf. He then totters out on some shoes to try his hand at makeup but ends up with a smear of lipstick across his face, just as Mum and Dad discover him. Their reaction - to clean him up and for Mum to show him how to do it properly and then for Dad and the Dog to join in the fun is simply delightful! A shining example of parental love, acceptance and support. You can never be too young to hear a body positive message told with such innocence and infectious delight.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | Peter Brown is best known for his picture books, including the sublime Mr Tiger Goes Wild and My Teacher is a Monster. The Wild Robot is his first book for older children and tells the story of a robot who is shipwrecked on an island, and creates a life for herself there. Finding herself on the remote island, Roz quickly realizes that she’ll have to learn survival skills from the island’s wild inhabitants then, inadvertently destroying a nest of goose eggs, ends up the adoptive mother to a gosling too and responsible for bringing him up. Though Roz doesn’t feel emotions, she has been designed to do the best job possible, and bringing up her adopted son calls for all sorts of adaptations. Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, the story is sure to inspire all readers with affection for robot Roz, and also to set them thinking about what it means to be human. Runaway Robot by Frank Cotterell-Boyce is another wonderful robot adventure that poses its own set of AI questions.
Bobby and his teacher don’t get on, in fact in his eyes she’s a monster. An accidental meeting in the park however, when Bobby saves Miss Kirby’s favourite hat (it was a present from her granny) changes his view of her completely: before our eyes Miss Kirby gradually transforms from an ugly green ogre into a smiling curly-haired young woman. It’s a witty way to show that teachers are human too, and that the way you treat people affects the way they behave. Brown’s stylish illustrations are wonderfully expressive and there are two superb wordless scenes, one that perfectly captures the awkwardness the two feel at their accidental meeting, the other demonstrating Miss Kirby’s new generosity to Robert. An original picture book that cleverly delivers its message. ~ Andrea Reece