When little Albie goes to the museum with his mum he is expecting the visit to be dull, dull, dull. However the arctic exhibition holds a lot more than just boring old exhibits!
Albie tries on a wintry outfit and is just about to start building an igloo out of blocks when BAM a snowflake falls on his nose, followed by a whole flurry of real snow. As Albie turns in confusion he sees a polar bear running towards him and realises he has magically entered an arctic world!
He befriends a little girl called Yura who is desperately trying to make her way home in the snow. Together they head off on an icy adventure featuring polar bears, an avalanche and some howling wolves. But will Albie be able to help Yura find her way home or will they be lost forever?
Penguin Small has a lot of fears. He is scared of the nasty polar bears bears who have been playing tricks on him and his friends, he’s scared of water and he’s not a big fan of being on his own. So when all of the other penguins decide enough is enough and head out to sea to make a new life in the South Pole, he is left in an unhappy position. He can’t follow them because he won’t go in the water, but he can’t stay because of the polar bears and the loneliness. What is a little penguin to do?
At exactly the right moment a Snowman appears and a series of events result in them floating off to sea on a small piece of ice and discovering a beautiful tropical island. The new friends meets lots of exciting new animals in this weird and wonderful place and the Snowman vows that he will stay there forever.
Ezra is a zebra who doesn’t want to be a zebra anymore. He is sore and tired and he doesn’t know any other zebras so he feels lonely too. Instead he wants to be a racehorse because they are big and strong.
One day Ezra comes up with a plan. He paints himself so that his stripes disappear and he looks just like a regular horse. He walks around town and nobody recognises him or notices him. This is just what he has always wanted – not to stand out – but he soon realises that being just like everyone else doesn’t make him happy either.
He sits down with his friend Lindsay the llama and he tells her exactly how he feels. Wise Lindsay explains that the things that make him different are the things which make him special. People love him just the way he is and although it might be tough sometime he should wear his zebra stripes with pride.
Everyone knows what lions are like. They’re big and fierce and they love to chomp on any animals which come their way. Right? Well what if that that’s not the case? What if that’s just a stereotype and all lions are individuals, just like people?
Meet Leonard. Leonard is a lion and he’s not fierce at all (except when he’s protecting his friends). He likes poetry, thinking important thoughts and having long intelligent conversations with his pal, Marianne the duck.
When Leonard and Marianne chance upon a pack of other lions they are mocked and ridiculed. These lions thinks that Leonard is no lion at all. Real lions would have eaten the duck and they certainly wouldn’t sit around watching shooting stars and talking about the universe.
This magical story is about a little girl called Josephine who loves to run. When her running shoes begin to get a little tight she buys a new pair from an old lady who has a shoe shop filled with cats. The lady tells her that the shoes are magic bit she won’t reveal their special powers!
When Josephine leaves the shop she discovers she is being chased by a big white polar bear. She runs and runs and runs until she reaches a tall, snow-capped mountain. Feeling defeated, Josephine worries that she won’t be able to climb it to escape the bear – but then her shoes start to talk. They utter a little motivational rhyme before magically turning in to snow boots!
Josephine successfully climbs the mountain but the bear is still hot on her heels. Fortunately the magic shoes know just what to do. When they encounter snow, they turn in to skis. For a muddy bog they transform in to yellow wellies. And when Josephine stumbles upon the shores of a lake they become flippers and power her across to an island.
Little Molly loves to dress up and today she has decided to be a doctor. She pops on a white coat and grabs her magical medicine case, which is guaranteed to contain everything she needs to make her patients feel better.
Very soon her little surgery becomes busy. She treats a polar bear with a cold, a crocodile with a broken tail and a pelican who has a sore throat from eating too many bony fish. Each time she opens her bag, the items she needs magically appear – a thermometer and hot water bottle for the bear, some soothing cream and plasters for the croc and some honey and a spoon for the greedy bird.
Soon they all feel better and are off on their way – but Molly is confused when they all come back complaining of rumbling tummies. Can her magical medicine case deliver the goods and help them feel better this time?
Poor Gary the Gorilla. He absolutely loves bananas but one day he discovers that there are no more left. What on earth is he going to do? But Gary doesn’t panic. He puts on his hat and heads out to try and find some.
Fortunately he spots some of his favourite fruit right outside his house – what luck! But no. Poor Gary realises he is hallucinating when the ‘bananas’ start to woof. He walks all around the town seeing ‘bananas’ everywhere he goes – but there isn’t a single real banana in sight!
Eventually he bumps in to a giant banana which turns out to be a rocket and when he looks up he sees what looks like a banana in the night sky. He hops in the rocket and heads for the stars. Is it possible that he could find bananas in space?
We’re big fans of ‘What The Ladybird Heard‘ by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks. In fact we went through a stage towards the end of last year where we read it at bedtime every night for about 2 months! The illustrations, in particular, are fantastic so we love this little spin off board book with a ‘peekaboo’ theme.
The book starts by asking you who you can see on the farm. It shows you pictures from the original title and identifies the characters, but there are also lift-the-flap sections which encourage you to guess who is hiding. Little fingers can open the chicken coop to find the fat red hen, move a haystack to spot the hairy hog and find the cats behind the hedge. Look carefully and you might even spot Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len in a pile of manure!
The little boy in this story has a pet elephant which he loves very much. They go everywhere together and help each other when things get hard, because that’s what friends do. However sometimes having an unusual pet can be tough.
One day the little boy takes his elephant to Pet Club but when he arrives there is a big sign on the door saying ‘Strictly No Elephants’. He watches all of the other children head in to the club with their dogs and cats and he feels very sad. He hasn’t done anything wrong but he is being excluded.
The boy and his elephant walk the grey and rainy streets until they bump in to a girl with a pet skunk. She’s also sad because she was excluded from Pet Club too. They quickly form a bond over their unusual choice of animals and decide that the best course of action would be to set up their own club!
There are lots of books on the market which allow you to mix and match animals to comic effect but this one is our outright favourite.
Each double page features a familiar pet such as a cat, a dog, a guinea pig or a bunny. On the right hand side we see a picture of the animal and on the left is the name of the animal and a cute poem which describes what it looks like and what it’s like as a pet.
The pages are split in the middle, allowing you to flip over the top or bottom sections to different pages – thus creating new names, poems and creatures. There are 121 combinations in total so there’s lots to keep your little one entertained.