Charlie Chooses
by Lou Peacock and Nicola Slater

Charlie doesn’t like to make decisions. How can you choose between chocolate and vanilla ice cream when both are so delicious? How can you choose between spotty or stripy underpants when both look so fabulous?

Every single day Charlie finds himself overwhelmed by choices and he finds it really hard. He worries that he will make the wrong decision and what the consequences of that might be. What if he chooses sunglasses instead of an umbrella and then it rains? What if he keeps his light on at bedtime but then he can’t sleep?

All of Charlie’s worries come to a head when he is asked to choose a present for his birthday. Faced with such a momentous decision he panics, but fate intervenes when a flyer about rescue dogs land on his lap at the park. However when he gets to the centre he is greeted by dozens of adorable dogs and he can only take one home! The boy knows he will never be able to choose so he turns around and sadly walks away.

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The Hugasaurus
by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

Have you read The Hugasaurus yet? It’s the latest story in the ‘DinoFeelings’ series from Rachel Bright and Chris Chatterton and we love it! Whereas book one – The Worrysaurus – focused on anxiety and worries, this one is all about the importance of kindness.

Little Hugasaurus is a very happy dinosaur. She’s off on her very first adventure away from home and she’s looking forward to having fun and making new friends. When she arrives at her destination she is greeted by a group of friendly dinos and after some short introductions they quickly get down to the serious business of playing and laughing. They skip and climb in the sunshine but eventually the inevitable happens…

Two of the dinosaurs start to squabble in the middle of a game of hide and seek and soon everyone is yelling and shouting. Insults are thrown, feet are stomped and backs are turned. Poor little Hugasaurus doesn’t know what to do. How can she stop all the unnecessary fighting and get everyone playing harmoniously again?

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Interview: Ian Eagleton,
Author of ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman’

A young Ian Eagleton

Hello Ian! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your debut book ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman.

Could you give us a little overview of what the book is about?

At its heart, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman is about hope and finding that someone special in your life. Nen spends his days exploring his underwater kingdom, but is lonely and wants more from his life. He ventures to the surface and meets a lonely, quiet fisherman who spends his days looking after the beaches. But Nen’s father, Pelagios, is furious that his son is spending so much time with a human – humans are destroying his precious oceans. So, he creates a terrifying sea storm and Ernest is thrown into the waves. Can Nen save him and can they convince Pelagios that two people from two very different worlds can be together?

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A Day in the Life of Caryl Hart,
Children’s Author

My typical working routine has changed enormously over the past year. Part of this is down to all the recent restrictions, but also because my youngest child left home in September and we started house renovations in February.

In the normal world, my days would include a mixture of working from home, travelling to schools and libraries to run workshops, and the occasional trip to London for meetings and socials.

But these days there are no journeys or jollies and all my visits have gone virtual.  So here’s a flavour of how life has been for this author during the last 14 months.

My day starts around 7.15 with a cup of tea in bed from my lovely husband.

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Nen and the Lonely Fisherman
by Ian Eagleton & James Mayhew

June is Pride Month in the UK – the perfect time for the publication of Nen and the Lonely Fisherman, an LGBTQ+ reimagining of The Little Mermaid.

Nen the Merman loves his ocean home but deep down he knows that something is missing. He’s not quite sure what he’s looking for but he starts to explore the world above the waves, singing soulfully of the yearning he feels in his heart.

One day Nen’s song is heard by Ernest, a lonely fisherman, and suddenly everything clicks into place. The two quickly realise they have a very special connection and are filled with a sense of hope for the future.

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Bad Apple
by Huw Lewis Jones & Ben Sanders

Hands up if you have a child with a dark sense of humour!

In most respects Ivy is a sensitive little soul but she loves stories which feature a shady character or an unexpected plot twist. As soon as I picked up this book – Bad Apple by Huw Lewis Jones and Ben Sanders – I knew it was going to be a hit with her.

Apple is not a very nice character. He steals Pear’s chair. He drinks Pea’s tea. He steals Cat’s hat. He even pushes Spud in the mud. He seems to enjoy making life miserable for those around him and he shows absolutely no remorse. As we move from page to page Apple’s behaviour gets worse and worse, but eventually he makes a mistake by underestimating Snake. Will he get the comeuppance he deserves?

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When A Dragon Meets A Baby
by Caryl Hart & Rosalind Beardshaw

The prospect of a new sibling is very exciting but most children struggle with the sudden shift in the family dynamic when a baby actually arrives. This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for reading in those final months of pregnancy, to help your little one process the changes that might lie ahead.

Dragons, much like toddlers, tend to have an air of mischief about them and this story plays on their ‘naughty’ reputation to great effect. How would you expect a little dragon to behave when they are no longer the centre of attention? Surely they will stomp their feet, huff and puff and breathe some fire, right? Well no. It turns out that little dragons now exactly how to behave around a new baby and they have lots of great advice to share. Children will want to align themselves with the dragon’s positive behaviour because she’s such a cute and kind character.

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Interview: Kate Dalgleish,
Author of ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot’

Hello Kate! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot’. Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?

Edmund is a little different from other elephants in that he’s quite forgetful. And so, when his mother sends him to the shop to collect things for his brother’s birthday party, his ears wiggle with worry. Equipped with a little memory song to sing, he makes his way around town with hilariously disastrous results. There is a hidden message that good can come from even the trickiest of situations!

What inspired you to write this story?

I’m a big collector of notebooks! And whenever an idea, be it a title, funny word, or character’s name pops into my head, I have to scribble it down there and then. One day I think I was joking about elephants never forgetting and Edmund’s little memory song just popped in my head; the story just unfolded from there.

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Meet the Publisher: Formy Books

Established in early 2020, Formy Books is an independent family-run publisher, with a passion for own voices children’s books. Formy Books is dedicated to delivering striking children’s books by Black creators from across the diaspora. 

Here, Co-Founder Ebony Lyon reflects on the importance of accurate representation in children’s books and tells us how Formy Books seeks to positively depict the richness of Black culture in the stories which they publish.

“Children need to see themselves reflected back from the books they read, yes. However we must ensure that the reflections are accurate, not distorted.

In her seminal essay, Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Doors, Rudine Sims Bishop Stated “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a valuable lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.”

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The Whale Who Wanted More
by Rachel Bright & Jim Field

Humphrey the whale is never quite satisfied. He glides through the ocean with his many possessions strapped to his back, always on the look out for the next new thing to capture his attention. However, no matter how many treasures he amasses, he always wants more.

Driven by his desire to consume, Humphrey lives a lonely and dissatisfied life until one day he spots a reef which is bursting with colour and life. There are so many shiny, fun things – surely this is what he has been looking for? He circles above, constructing a plan.

Unbeknownst to him, the creatures who live below are also unhappy. Instead of seeing the beauty of their magical surroundings they bicker and shout at each other, jostling for space amongst the coral. They’re too busy being grumpy to notice the covetous whale start to swim down towards them…

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