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Orchard Books

The Wolf’s Secret
by Myriam Dahman, Nicolas Digard & Júlia Sardà

This contemporary fairy tale about an unlikely friendship is breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully atmospheric. If your child is a fan of intrigue and suspense then I would highly recommend The Wolf’s Secret.

In a forest far away lives an enormous wolf with deep, dark fur and big, golden eyes. All of the other animals fear him, but the wolf harbours a secret. He is in love with a young woman who lives in a wooden cabin hidden deep within the trees. Every day he secretly listens to her sing as she collects water from the well and tends to her sick father.

But then one morning the young woman fails to appear so the Wolf edges closer to the cabin. He sees his love sobbing on her father’s empty bed and her sadness consumes him.

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Elephant Me
by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ is one of our all-time favourite books so we were extremely excited to get our hands on this new one from the same team. I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint and we’ve been reading it on repeat for days!

It’s the day of the Elephant Games which means that all the baby elephants have to perform for the King. In line with tradition, if they manage to impress him with their special skill then he will award them with their Elephant Name.

Nina goes first and she chooses to display her strength by ripping a tree from the ground with her trunk. King Elephant Mighty is amazed and he names her Elephant Strong. Norcus bellows so loudly that he gains the name Elephant Noisy! As each elephant steps forward in to the limelight, the King spots that one little elephant is cowering at the back of the line. Poor Num-Num hasn’t found his special skill yet and when he tries to perform some tricks everyone laughs at him – even the King!

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Never Take A Bear To School by Mark Sperring & Britta Teckentrup

If your child is wary of leaving you behind on their first day of school or nursery then this funny story might help calm their nerves.

There is one big rule when it comes to school – Do Not Take Your Bear. Why? Because bears just aren’t designed for the classroom! They cause panic in the playground, they’re far too big for the chairs and they gobble up all the food at lunchtime.

And you really wouldn’t want that level of mayhem on your first day of school because then you’d miss out on all the fun. A bear would distract you from making new friends, painting colourful pictures, doing your sums and listening to your teacher tell you a beautiful story.

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I Am Too Absolutely Small For School
by Lauren Child

If your child is nervous about starting school then this reassuring story might be just the thing you’re looking for – especially if they are fans of the Charlie and Lola cartoon.

Little Lola is about to start school but she really, really, really doesn’t want to go. Although she is a big girl she’s definitely too small for such a big change, plus she has so many important things to do at home that she doesn’t think she’ll have time. Lucklily, big brother Charlie is on hand to try and change her mind.

If she can only count to to ten, what will she do if eleven elephants want her to give them each a biscuit? If she doesn’t learn her alphabet then how will she write a letter to Father Christmas? And if she doesn’t learn to read, then how will she be able to understand the secret messages written on the fridge?

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My Pet T-Rex by Fabi Santiago

The T-Rex is Ivy’s favourite kind of dinosaur so she squealed with excitement when she spotted the cover of this book! Set in prehistoric times, the story follows a little girl called Kiki as she learns to look after her new pet T-Rex, Petunia.

At first it seems like having a dino will be easy – but Kiki soon learns that a pet is a big responsibility. Petunia needs to be washed, fed and exercised, plus she needs lots of sleep and visits to the vet. Just when Kiki thinks it might be a little bit too much, Petunia gets lost!

Wil Kiki be able to find her and if she does, will she want to keep her?

If your child is hankering for a pet then this is the perfect book to help them understand how much work they can be. It highlights all aspects of pet care and also teaches that you can’t just give them back if you don’t want to put in the effort anymore.

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Amazing Daddy by Rachel Bright

The little panda in this story thinks her Daddy is simply amazing! He makes her yummy food, he loves to snuggle and he smells like ‘safe and warm’.

The gorgeous rhyme follows the pair as they go through their day. To an observer, nothing they do is extraordinary – they eat, they play, they have a bath – but to the baby panda every little moment is special because she gets to spend it with her Daddy.

We love this one because of the gorgeous illustrations and the cheeky humour. There are lots of fun details hidden in the pictures – keep an eye out for Daddy’s aftershave –  ‘Old Panda Spice’ – and the very important pieces of paper on the table in Daddy Panda’s office!

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There’s A Lion In The Library by Dave Skinner & Aurélie Guillerey

With her little dimples and tiny button nose, Lucy Lupin looks utterly adorable. However if you take a peek below the surface, Lucy isn’t quite what she seems. She’s actually pretty mean and she loves to tell big juicy lies!

One Monday morning she goes to the library and tells the biggest lie she can think of. She walks right up to the Librarian and tells her there’s a lion in the history section, eating a book about the Ancient Egyptians. The Librarian takes one look at cute little Lucy and presumes she must be telling the truth. The library is evacuated and the police are called but there’s no sign of a lion anywhere. Everyone is perplexed, except little Lucy who finds the whole thing hilarious.

In fact, she enjoys the lie so much that she goes back and repeats it again and again. On Tuesday she informs the Caretaker that there’s a lion in the romance section, and on Wednesday she tells the Coffee Shop Manager there’s a lion in the geography section. Soon the adults at the library cotton on to the fact that adorable little Lucy isn’t actually adorable at all.

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Avocado Asks: What Am I? by Momoko Abe

Avocado AsksAvocado lives on the fruit and vegetable aisle at the supermarket. Life is nice and simple until one day the nature of his whole existence is thrown in to question by a small child. She points at him and asks her mum whether an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable.

Suddenly Avocado is thrown in to confusion. He doesnt know the answer. How can he not know who he really is? Determined to dscover his true identity, Avocado turns to his friends for help.

First stop is the vegetables, who decide he can’t possibly be one of them because he’s not leafy or crunchy and he has a big stone in his middle like a fruit. So next he visits the fruit, but they say he’s not one of them either. He’s not sweet or juicy and he wouldn’t taste right in a fruit salad.

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The Memory Tree
by Britta Teckentrup

This beautiful book from Britta Teckentrup helps children process grief after a bereavement.

When Fox lays down in his favourite forest clearing and takes his last breath, the other animals are bereft. He was such a huge part of each of their lives and they are not sure how they will be able to move forward without him. As snow falls on Fox and covers his body, his friends gather in a circle and sit with him in silence.

After a long while, Owl speaks. He shares a story from his youth about chasing autumn leaves with Fox. Mouse goes next, remembering how much Fox liked to sit and watch the sunset. One by one each of the forest animals raises their voice to speak out about the treasured memories they have of their wonderful friend.

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You’re My Little Cuddle Bug by Nicola Edwards & Natalie Marshall

This adorable board book is perfect for a snuggly read before bed. The chunky pages are designed for very small children but Ivy is three and a half and still loves it!

The gentle rhyme celebrates the special bond between parent and child, as we see ladybirds, bumblebees, caterpillars and butterflies cuddle up with their nearest and dearest. I love the choice of language used to describe how the baby bugs make the parent feel.  We have even adopted the phrase ‘You tickly pickle’ because Ivy thought it was hilarious!

The pages feature cutouts and raised sections to keep little hands busy and the durable format should foil even the most determined book chewers!

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