October 2020

Our Favourite Picture Books About Families

I’ve had quite a few messages recently from parents and teachers looking for books about different types of families, so I have created a list of our favourites.

There are 24 books in total and they cover a really wide range of family groups and family members. There are books about mums, dads, grandparents, siblings and new babies. There are books with two parents, books with single parents and books with same sex parents. There are also books about adoption and foster care, IVF and surrogacy.

Hopefully every child will see themselves represented within the pages of these stories and they will learn a little about other families too.

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Billy And The Balloons
by Elizabeth Dale & Patrick Corrigan

Is it too early to mention Christmas? I’m writing this wearing a big jumper and woolly socks whilst rain hammers at the window so I am declaring it almost winter. 2020 has been utterly rubbish and I think we are all in need of some cheering up, so welcome to my first festive review of the year!

It’s Christmas Eve and Billy is watching his dad sell balloons as the last of the shoppers grab gifts for their loved ones. He really wants to help but Billy is quite small and his dad thinks he is far too tiny to hold on to the big bunch of colourful shapes.

Suddenly a powerful gust of wind bounces the balloons up in to the air and out of his dad’s hand.  Billy jumps and grabs hold of the strings but he is so small that he is lifted off his feet. His dad grabs on to his ankles but he is lifted up in the air too!

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Q & A: Elizabeth Dale,
Author of ‘Billy and the Balloons’

Hi Elizabeth! Can you tell us about yourself in 25 words or less?

I adore writing for children – the best job in the world! I’ve had 84 books accepted/published and my three daughters are chlldren’s authors too.

Your latest book, Billy and The Balloons, is hitting the shelves. Can you tell us how it came to be?

I wanted to write a picture book that would reassure children about something that might bother them, and I think being little is one of those things!  So I hoped to create a book that was fun to read about it being good to be small, and as Christmas is such a magical time, I thought it would be great to set it then, as there would be scope for wonderful pictures, too. However Patrick Corrigan’s quite beautiful illustrations have far exceeded what I had imagined .  I also have to thank the animals that tried to help Billy who somehow wrote themselves into the story!

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Later by Curtis Ackie & Constanza Goeppinger

This beautiful #ownvoices book shows us an ordinary day in the life of one afro-caribbean household.

Mummy is at work but her two children are missing her very much. They trail their father around the house as he does the chores and continuously ask him when she will be back (Later!”).

As the day passes many people knock at the door and each time the kids run excitedly to open it, hoping it will be their mother. Instead they are greeted with Postman Jerry, Old Mr Longfoot, Nana and a whole host of other characters from the community. Each visitor uses a different style of greeting and speech, including some Jamaican Patois. They are all met with enthusiasm from the two children – but when will Mummy be home?

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