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Reviews

Doctorsaurus
by Emi-Lou May & Leire Martín

When Triceratops damages her horn at a dinosaur picnic her friends know exactly who to call – Doctorsaurus!

Armed with her doctor’s bag and some extra-sticky plaster, the lovely doctor fixes the problem in a jiffy, but soon she has lots of new patients to see. Stegosaurus has a splinter, T-Rex has a blocked nose and Brontosaurus has a big, bloaty tummy. Doctorsaurus doesn’t bat an eyelid as she deals with green goo, snotty slime and some rather icky smells and before they know it all the dinosaurs feel well enough to celebrate.

But as they tuck into their picnic, Doctorsaurus hears an almighty rumbling and yells ‘Emergency!’. It looks like those prunes she prescribed Brontosaurus might be about to take effect…

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Meet the Oceans
by Caryl Hart & Bethan Woollvin

Geography was never my favourite subject at school but if our textbooks had looked anything like this beauty from Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin then I suspect I may have paid more attention!

At the start of this gorgeous rhyming story we hop on board a submarine with a little girl and her dog. Together we embark on a journey to see the world’s oceans, but this is no ordinary tour as the guides are the waters themselves.

First we meet the Arctic Ocean, who smiles as she speaks of her pride at being the smallest. She shows us her narwhals, her beluga whales and the polar bears who inhabit her ice. Next is the choppy Atlantic who tells us about her underwater mountains and hidden caves. Our submarine glides past blue fin tuna in the Indian Ocean, sea snakes in the Coral Sea and millions of pieces of plastic in the Pacific.

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Beatrix and her Bunnies
by Rebecca Colby & Caroline Bonne-Müller

I’ve read countless stories by Beatrix Potter but I have to admit that until I read this beautifully illustrated picture book I didn’t know anything about her life. Did you know that Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit were real live animals which she befriended? Nope. Me either!

At the start of Rebecca Colby’s story, young Beatrix is living in London and feeling very lonely indeed. She loves animals and has lots of pets but none of them can really play with her in the way that she’d like. But then, on a visit to the countryside, she meets Benjamin, a mischievous bunny who loves snuggles and games. Finally the little girl has a friend!

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The Last Garden
by Rachel Ip & Anneli Bray

In the middle of a war-torn city a garden grows. It’s surrounded by devastation, but within these four walls there are trees and herbs, vegetables and flowers, and most importantly there is hope.

Every day Zara tends to her plants, helped by the local children, and when the work is done they climb trees and build dens. Outside the war looms, but the garden gives them the freedom to play and to shake off their worries for a short while. They pick flowers to brighten up their homes and bring baskets of fruit to their friends in hospital.

As the conflict increases their focus turns to mending the things in the garden which have been broken, but eventually the danger is too great and they are forced to leave the city behind.

When the war is finally over the families return to what is left of their homes. As Zara unocks the gate to her precious garden her anticipation rises. What will she find within those four walls?

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Alone!
by Barry Falls

On the edge of a busy, bustling town is a hill with a little house on top. This is the home of Billy McGill, a solitary child who avoids people and noise. He enjoys his own company and spends his days alone with his books for company, until one day he hears the squeak of a mouse…

Billy definitely doesn’t want to share his house with the tiny furry creature so he heads into town to fetch a cat to scare away the mouse. This seems like a great idea, until the two animals unexpectedly become friends. Billy then finds a dog to scare the cat, but this doesn’t work either. The boy’s plan soon spirals out of control and he soon finds himself co-habiting with a mouse, a cat, a dog, a bear, a tiger, a vet, a sheep, a hairdresser, a baby and a big red balloon!

Overwhelmed by the noise and the chaos, Billy storms out of his house and finds a new hill, but as he stares into the sunset he finds himself thinking of everything he has left behind. Could he be ready to let some new friends into his life?

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Love from Giraffes Can’t Dance
by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

I totally meant to post about this book on Valentine’s Day but, despite searching the whole house, I couldn’t find it anywhere. This morning I found it lodged down the side of Ivy’s bed which means she must have snuck it upstairs to read by herself! I’m not surprised though, as we have so many happy memories attached to lovely Gerald the Giraffe.

The original ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ story was one of the first picture books I read with Ivy when she was a baby and it is still a firm favourite. We were both so happy to receive this gorgeous new board book featuring all over our favourite characters.

The beautiful rhyme, written in Giles Andreae’s signature style, celebrates all of the ways which love can make us feel. Our favourite line is:

‘You make me want to somersault and leap up in the air.
You make me want to sing and skip and boogie everywhere!’

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Can I Sit With You?
by Sarah Jacoby

This heartwarming and stunningly illustrated book will tug on the heart strings of anyone who has ever had a beloved pet. Reading it brought back lots of happy memories of the cocker spaniel we had when I was a child. Pugsley (yes – I know! My brother and I were fans of The Addams Family at the time!) was incredibly naughty but gave the best snuggles.

At the start of this story we see a small stray dog brandishing a stick. He is looking for someone to play with him so he approaches a lonely little girl. What follows is a beautiful love story which lasts for many years.

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Bunny Makes Breakfast
by Kathryn Smith & Seb Braun

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Did you make pancakes with your little bunny today?

This gorgeous board book follows a family of rabbits as they source ingredients and cook themselves a delicious breakfast – but they need your help!

They start off in the kitchen, where your child is encouraged to lift the flaps to find flour, maple syrup and butter. Next up they head outside for berries, fresh eggs and creamy milk from the cows.

Little Bunny is very excited but really isn’t sure what they’re making. Can your child help them guess what will be served up?

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Look Up!
by Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola

Rocket is a little girl with a big passion. She loves to gaze at the night sky and when she grows up she wants to be “the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller who has ever lived”. Every day, she pops on her tiny replica spacesuit, dons her star-shaped earrings and dreams of the day she can follow in the footsteps of her hero Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.

The problem is that whilst she is looking up, everybody else seems to be looking down. She wants her brother to be as excited about the upcoming meteor shower as she is, but his eyes are permanently glued to his phone.

Determined to drum up some interest in this exciting event, Rocket creates flyers to distribute around her neighbourhood and even grabs the microphone at her local supermarket to make an announcement. She wants everyone to gather in their local park to view the meteor shower together  – but has she done enough to get the community to join together and look to the skies?

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The Lovely Haze of Baby Days
by Lindsay Kellar-Madsen & Mie Frey Damgaard

Those early days of motherhood are tough. The lack of sleep, the fear of getting it wrong and the utter shock that you are now responsible for the life of a tiny human is a potent cocktail which can you leave you feeling like you’re losing your mind.

When Ivy was tiny I used books as a way of bonding and calming my thoughts. We’d snuggle on the sofa, surrounded by a whirlwind of mess, and let the words wash over us both. It didn’t matter what I read – sometimes it was a picture book and sometimes it was a magazine or the novel I was reading – but the result was always the same. Ivy would listen to my voice (and inevitably fall asleep) and I would feel like I had been reset, ready to face whatever the next challenge of the day might be.

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