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Lantana Publishing

Oscar Seeks A Friend
by Pawel Pawlak

Oscar has lost a tooth and he’s worried that this will stop him from making friends. It’s tough being a skeleton at the best of times, but surely no one will want to play with him now when he looks so dreadful? Sad and lonely, Oscar resigns himself to the fact that his dog will probably be the only friend he ever has.

But then one day he spots a little girl burying a tooth in the ground. She has heard that doing so will make her dreams come true and what she wants more than anything is to find a friend. She agrees to give the tooth to Oscar if he will help her on her quest, so they join hands and set off together on an adventure.

Oscar and the girl spend the most wonderful day together, discussing what they would do if they each found a friend.  The girl shows him a rainbow and her favourite meadow. They smell the cut grass and talk of family and the seaside. Then Oscar leads her in to his own world which is dark and mysterious. They watch skeletons skate on the ice and listen to a strange creature with pointy teeth play the harp.

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Sleep Well Siba & Saba
by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl & Sandra Van Doorn

Siba and Saba are Ugandan sisters who are a tiny bit forgetful. They leave their sweaters on buses and their sandals at the beach. They leave slippers at sleepovers and sashes on safaris.  And every evening, when they go to sleep, their dreams are filled with the things they have lost.

But then one night something strange happens. Siba dreams of a silver shilling and Saba dreams of a school uniform. The girls wake in the morning feeling very confused. They have never lost these things, in fact they have never even had these things, so why have they infiltrated their dreams?

In the days that follow Siba and Saba discover that their dreams are now giving them hints of the future instead of the past. A future filled with books, knowledge, travel and adventure. A future beyond their wildest dreams.

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I’ll Believe You When…
by Susan Schubert & Raquel Bonita

I love language so this fantastic book of idioms  makes me very happy indeed!

“Do you see a dragon?” asks a child at the start of this story. “A dragon? What dragon? I’ll believe you when pigs fly!” says his friend.

‘When Pigs Fly’ is a wonderful expression which we use in English when we think something will never happen – but what do they say in other countries to express the same sentiment? This book takes us on a little journey around the world to find out.

I won’t spoil the idioms for you as they are great fun but the countries included are the Netherlands, Spain, Nigeria, Turkey, India, the Philippines, Poland, Germany, Russia and Latvia. From whistling lobsters and upside down crows through to ice-dancing cows and tree-climbing fish, this eclectic and slightly bonkers collection of phrases is guaranteed to have your child laughing out loud.

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A Story About Afiya
by James Berry & Anna Cunha

Afiya is a little girl with a very special white dress. As she explores the world around her, little snapshots of her environment and her experiences imprint themselves on the fabric like memories.

When she walks through a field of roses, her dress looks like a beautiful bunch of flowers.  When she goes to the zoo, her dress takes the form of leaping tigers. And when she visits the sea, the dress looks like a pool of sparkling fishes.

Every night the dress is washed so that each day starts with a fresh ‘canvas’ but Afiya holds on to each precious moment.

Written by the late James Berry OBE, an award-winning Jamaican poet, and illustrated by outstanding Brazillian artist Anna Cunha, this whimsical story is absolutely breathtaking. Afiya is such a joyful character and I love the fact that we can see her collecting childhood memories with the help of her favourite piece of clothing.

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Taking Time by Jo Loring-Fisher

Reading this book with Ivy feels a little like meditation. The gentle words and muted colours calm us both, making it perfect for a snuggly read at the end of the day.

The gentle rhyme asks us to take time to be still and to observe the world around us. Listen to bird song. Feel the beat of your cat’s heart as it purrs. Look at the vastness of the sky and the stars. Listen to the waves as they lap the shore. It also encourages us to look deeply at each other and to find new ways to be kind and to cherish those around us.

The text is minimal but the illustrations speak a thousand words. Each double page spread shows a child from a different country observing their environment and there is so much detail to explore and discuss. We see diferent types of clothes and modes of transport, cultural traditions and breathtaking landscapes. The countries included are the UK, Alaska, Ecuador, Norway, Russia, Egypt, Tanzania, India, Nepal, China and Japan, so the range is really broad.

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Meet Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry…

Hi Chitra and Poonam! We have loved your earlier collaborations –  ‘You’re Safe With Me’ and ‘You’re Snug With Me’ – so we were really excited to discover your new title ‘You’re Strong With Me’. They are such heart-warming stories and the illustrations are unlike anything I’ve seen in a children’s book before.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves, in case we have any readers who are unfamiliar with your stories?  

CHITRA SOUNDAR: I was born in India, and moved to the UK about a decade and half ago. I’ve written over 30 books for children, published across Asia, Europe and North America. I’ve been a teacher, programmer and a manager before I became a full-time writer.

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You’re Strong With Me by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry

We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Chitra Soundar at an event at Moon Lane Ink last year so I was very happy when Lantana Publishing invited us to be part of the book tour for her newest title – You’re Strong With Me.

This is the third book in a trilogy, all of which feature beautiful illustrations from Poonam Mistry. The previous books in the series are You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Me and each one focuses on the wonderful bond between parent and child.

In this story we follow a mother giraffe and her calf through a day in the wild. The little giraffe encounters many things which make her scared or uncomfortable, like a hissing fire and a bird which pecks at her fur, but her mother is always there to reassure and comfort her.

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The Pirate Tree by Brigita Orel & Jennie Poh

When Agu spots a little girl called Sam playing in a tree he sees an opportunity to make a friend. He is new to the country but so far all of his attempts at friendship have failed. Poor Agu is heartbroken when Sam says she doesn’t want to play because she doesn’t know him. Why is making friends so hard?

He watches as Sam pretends to be a pirate amongst the gnarled bows of the old tree. She sings of her adventures but when she mentions stealing diamonds from Nigeria Agu steps in. He tells her there are no diamonds there, and he knows because this is where he comes from. Intrigued, Sam asks him what else he knows and just like that the door of friendship starts to open. Agu tells her all about his former home and slowly they start to play. Soon they are sailing together on the breeze, fighting pirates and searching for seashells.

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Old Man Of The Sea by Stella Elia & Weberson Santiago

This evening we are extremely excited to be sharing our thoughts on a brand new book from Lantana Publishing as part of the official #oldmanofthesea bookstagram tour.

This beautifully illustrated story looks at the quiet relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather. Every Sunday they sit together and talk or share a comfortable silence, until one day the Grandfather decides the time has come to share tales of his life with the boy. And what a life!

Grandpa was a sailor who circumnavigated the world and fell in love with each continent he discovered. He picnicked in olive groves with Europe, climbed sand dunes with Africa, explored temples with Asia and went diving with Oceania. The love he felt for these lands was strong, but not as strong as the lure of the sea. Eventually he always found himself back in his boat in search of a new adventure.

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You’re Safe With Me By Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry

You're Safe With MeWhen night falls in the Indian forest it is time for the baby animals to go to sleep. However on this particular evening a storm is brewing and the noises make the little ones afraid. Suddenly the forest is full of unfamiliar noises and their imaginations run wild. The trees are swooshing, the wind is howling, lightening is flashing and thunder rolls in the sky.

Fortunately Mama Elephant is there to calm their fears. Each time they are woken by a noise she gives a lovely description of what is happening and why. For example the wind huffs and puffs because it is tired from all the hard work it has been doing gathering seeds from faraway lands and bringing them to the forest. She finishes each little story with a soft whisper of “You’re safe with me”.

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