Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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The Bear Stylist by Steven Butler & illustrated by Jacob Souva

Part of the Colour Fiction Series from Little Tiger Press

Ludo comes from a long line of famous bear stylists. He loves giving his customers sensible haircuts, whether it’s a tidy trim or a perfect perm. Until Leonardo arrives in town. Soon Ludo’s clients are having their feathers flapped and their curls combed by him instead.

But only one bear can be named Bear Stylist Supreme…

A charming celebration of creativity and teamwork.

This is a delightful tale of the work of the best hair stylist on Crooked Mountain. Coming from a long line of Tubb’s family hair stylists, Ludo was in great demand, travelling between clients on his bicycle.  

Bear Stylist Supreme…

Steven Butler is the author, who also wrote the Diaries of Dennis the Menace and has a gift with words and unfolding characters.

 Part of the Colour Fiction series from Little Tiger Press, an engaging series of short stories for new readers emerging into chapter books. The books are wonderful, they are beautifully bound with high quality paper and it well into smaller hands. Each page has engaging illustrations from well known illustrators and the text is clear and bold.

I love this new series from Little Tiger Press, they make perfect books for young children wanting to read schools and at home.

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

The Story Collector Series written & illustrated by Jane Ray.

The perfect gift to make a child’s imagination soar!’ Shirley Hughes OBE

Stunning books in paperback gift design covers . Their eye catching design and illustrations are wonderful. They are compelling and intriguing, The stories know by many are brought to life  and will stay with you forever. Three books newly published by Boxer Books on 27th October 2022.

The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales This is the first extraordinary volume of tales collected, retold and illustrated by Jane Ray, one of the world’s leading artists of stunning picture books. It includes many favourites such as The Happy Prince, The Owl and The Pussy Cat, and lesser known, but equally enjoyable stories such as Jorinda and Joringel.

Whale Song, Ballad of John Silver and many more…

The Little Mermaid and Other Fishy Tales

The  second magnificent volume of tales collected, retold and illustrated by Jane Ray. It includes something for everyone: The Fisherman and His Wife; Whalesong; The Lobster Quadrille, A Ballad of John Silver and many more.

The Lion and the Unicorn and Other Hairy Tales

The third volume in Jane Ray’s stunning story collection featuring The Lion and The Unicorn, Brer Wolf, The Singing Ringing Tree, Theseus and the Minotaur and many more. Beautifully illustrated and designed with stories that keep you turning the pages. A perfect gift.

Jane Ray has been illustrating and writing children’s books for 25 years and has a special interest in folk and fairy tales. As well as her wonderful picture books she has designed cards and book jackets plus fabrics for Liberty. In 2018, she was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

If you are looking for gifts for Christmas these books are perfect for young and older too.

If you are in education Jane has a myriad of activities and information will can be shared and enable the perfect back drop for enabling sharing of myths and legends or for creating your own stories.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Books Go Walkabout
Stories across the world…

An Atlas of Lost Kingdoms illustrated by Lauren Baldo and written by Emily Hawkins

Mythical Lands, Lost Cities and Vanished Islands…

This is my kind of book! Packed with fascinating information and illustrations about intriguing lost worlds. At the start of each section in the world there are illustrated maps which help to place and define the lost kingdoms across the planet.

On this quest around the world, you will discover lost kingdoms, phantom islands and even legendary continents once sought by explorers but now believed to be mythical.

From a favourite publishing imprint Wide Eyed Books part of the Quarto Knows group, the hardback non fiction book makes a wonderful present and also a long lasting favourite for any school or library.

The Sword in the Stone…

For centuries, people have dreamed of finding the lost worlds of Atlantis, El Dorado and the Seven Cities of Gold. As well as shedding light on these famously elusive places, this atlas contains maps and captivating illustrations to illuminate lesser-known destinations, from the lost island of Hy-Brasil to the desert city of Zerzura. You will learn about rich mythologies from different cultures, from the Aztecs to the ancient Britons, from the Greek legends to Japanese folklore.
 
Most of the places in this book have never been found, but within these pages you will succeed where the adventurers of the past were thwarted. Learn about ancient maps, age-old manuscripts and cryptic carvings that reveal clues to the whereabouts of these lost kingdoms. The journey will transport you to thoroughly other-worldly places.

Once a children’s book editor, Emily Hawkins is now a full-time author. Her work has been featured on the New York Times bestseller list (Oceanology, 2009) as well as winning the Children’s Travel Book of the Year Award (Atlas of Animal Adventures, 2016). Emily has a strong interest in myth, folklore and storytelling and holds a first-class English degree from Nottingham University, living in Winchester, UK.

Lauren Baldo is an illustrator based in the Philippines. He has worked as a storyboard artist, comic artist, graphic designer, and children’s book illustrator.

In south Western Nigeria…

An Atlas of Lost Kingdoms is my book on the sofa for the next few nights. It will give me inspiration and ideas about areas which may have been lost, may be myth and in many cases simply true but forgotten.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist


 

It’s Her Story: Rosalind Franklin by Karen de Seve & illustrations by Samantha Chow

A series of books about inspirational women from Sunbird Books

A remarkable story about a woman who led in many scientific discoveries and yet never received any acknowledgments in her lifetime.

Part of a series of books which feature inspirational women in a graphic novel format.

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist during the 1940’s and 1950’a, when fee women worked in sciences. During WW2 she expanded our knowledge of the physics of coal and carbon, and later she studied viruses.

Her ‘photo 51’ was central to the double helix structure of DNA, ground-breaking work for which she never received any credit.

The true structure of DNA…

Written by Karen de Seve, based in the US and Illustrated by Samantha Feriolla Chow from Indonesia this book brings a wealth of interest, information and intrigue to young readers.

Published by Sunbird Books It’s Her Story: Rosalind Franklin is part of a series featuring inspirational women in a graphic novel format. This works very well for children who are keen to explore the subject, and the pictures give added information about the setting that words would take longer to express.

Its Her Story Josephine Baker by Lauren Gamble & illustrated by Markia Jenai

Left a segregated America in 1925…became the most famous entertainer in Paris

A graphic novel for children ages 7 to 10. Josephine Baker left a segregated America in 1925 and became the most famous entertainer in Paris, France. She went on to be the first Black woman to star in a movie, a volunteer spy during World War II, and the mother of twelve adopted children from around the world. Then, she returned to the States to dance for American audiences and bring her voice to the Civil Rights Movement.

This is her story and a fascinating glimpse of a world where as a black woman she had to force her way for the rights of so many.

I would thoroughly recommend these graphic novels from Sunbird Books for children from 7-10 years and beyond. Graphic novels which are fact based provide a huge resource bank for children, schools and libraries.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Super Powers of Nature & Super Heroes of Nature by Georges Feterman – QED Publishers

Superpowers of Nature is a fascinating, quirky photographic book featuring the amazing superpowers in the animal kingdom.

Wild Wonders of the World


With incredible photos and fascinating text, this book is a celebration of biodiversity and nature. From the platypus to the peregrine falcon, find out all about these amazing animals and the extraordinary abilities that make them the superheroes of our planet. Did you know…

  • An octopus’s brain is distributed all over its body
  • The tropical frog causes potential predators to wretch violently
  • The plumed basilisk can run for its life on water!
Fearsome creatures…

For each animal discover their superpower, super stats and super facts about them, as well as information about how they used their super skills in the wild. With an important message about protecting the rich biodiversity of our planet, Superpowers of Nature is a stunning photographic book for kids fascinated by the animal kingdom and the weird wonders it has to offer.

Super Heroes of Nature has some incredible facts and photographs of creatures with superhero powers from the Leaf Cutter Ants to the Musk Ox.

Incredible Skills to Survive and Thrive…

Borneo ants to the flying dragon, find out all about these amazing animals and the extraordinary abilities that make them the superheroes of our planet. For example:

  • A hammerhead shark can see 180 degrees
  • The webbed gecko can glide across the desert sand
  • The springbok is super fast!
It can view 180 degrees…

These books published on 6th September are from the Animal Powers series, which celebrates the weird, extraordinary, and truly amazing powers of some of nature’s most incredible animals, while celebrating biodiversity and encouraging young readers to value the natural world around them.

Georges Feterman , the author is an associate professor of natural sciences. He is also the president of the association “A.R.B.R.E.S. “(Remarkable Trees, Assessment, Research, Studies and Safeguarding) campaigning for in-depth research on remarkable trees. For twenty years, he has been recording and photographing the most remarkable subjects of the French natural heritage because of their proportions, stories or rarity.

QED publishers are part of Quarto Knows and produce some of the best factual info books with appeal and a huge difference. At £7.99 these books in a Flexi Binding are incredibly good value and will provide hours of interest for children of all ages.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

A House Without Walls by Elizabeth Laird

Could losing her home mean finding herself…

An incredibly moving story of Safiya, and her family who were forced to leave their home in Damascus, Syria. Taken from a life where her father was a lawyer, where they had a house and Safiya went to school, as well as her brother. But the Syrian war destroyed all of that and Safiya and her family were no longer welcome in the place they called home.

The story in which Safiya, aged thirteen is the protagonist, and her family are being driven out of Syria by civil war. Safiya knows how lucky she is to be at a relative’s house, lucky to be living near her family and not in a refugee camp, lucky to be alive.

But it’s hard to feel grateful when her house is a tent. As they struggle to survive, Safiya realizes that her family has always been incomplete. With her own future in the balance, it’s time to uncover the secrets that war has kept buried.

An intriguing story of a family in a time of crisis but uncovering issues hidden in the past. This book gives a glance at life in the midst of a war torn country, the consequences on individuals and the immense changes to life and life opportunities.

Elizabeth Laird is a remarkable traveller and award winning author of books which bring issues and concerns from all over the world into a narrative where we can have a smattering of understanding with situations of war and crisis which otherwise we would leave behind us. Her website has brilliant pdf’s for teachers , as free downloads. Here latest book, The Misunderstandings of Charity Brown was published in July and is the next book on my reading list, it looks excellent.

Panmacmillan are the publishers who have a great portfolio of books about a modern day understanding of war torn places in our world.

Definitely a great book! It’s for teachers, class projects and reading at home.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

The Sea Below My Toes by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Jo Empson

What’s going on in the sea below your toes?

What a stunning book! A kaleidoscope of blue,  and a  book which extends to over 3 metres! From the Look Closer series, this richly illustrated concertina book takes you on a journey through the deep dark waters, all the way down to the seabed, before floating back up to the surface.

A follow-up to The Street Beneath My FeetThe Skies Above My Eyes and The World Around Me, this visually stunning book ventures to the very bottom of the sea on a journey of discovery.

Through the waves and into the deep, you’ll spot all kinds of weird and wonderful marine creatures, explore the seabed and discover the impact humans have had on the underwater world. 

As you dive below the surface, past sea otters playing in fields of giant kelp, you will see sea lions and shoals of mackerel playing in the shallows, before passing orcas hunting in pods in the deeper water.

As well as animals, discover the technology which is used under the sea, from scuba breathing apparatus to oil pipelines and deep sea submarines.

As you reach the very bottom of the sea, the ‘twilight zone’ where very little light can filter through, you will meet the mysterious creatures of the deep such as Lanternfish and the luminous swell shark.

This book is part of the Look Closer series, from QED Books, part of Quarto Knows a set of concertina books which help teach us about the mysteries which can be found in the world around us.

The Twilight Zone starts here…

Charlotte Guillan, the author creates books of non fiction which are really exciting to dive into or to just take a glance, either way you will find out facts you never knew.

Jo Empson, the illustrator has a real gift for using the natural world and creating wonderful illustrations which are part of the text on each page.

  I really love this book and once I have read a few times I will donate to my local school so it can be used time and again.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Bigfoot Mountain by Roderick O’ Grady

Modern family and wilderness adventures…

Four giant footprints on a mountain trail change the world for Minnie and her friend Billy.

Bigfoot Mountain is a powerful and exciting book which skilfully weaves a relationships in a modern family with wilderness adventures.

On the edge of the lake and just above the log cabins, Bigfoot Mountain has a hidden presence, a large presence. Huge imprints on the forest floor would surely reveal this large creature. But they are skilful at hiding, appearing as part of the landscape to avoid human eyes.

Minnie is warned nor to explore high into the mountains, but intrigue builds as the sightings of footprints show her there must be something alive in the forest.

Way up in the mountain lives a family of very large creatures who have spotted Minnie and Billy two youngsters approaching and warnings are signalled into the air.

Bigfoot Mountain is a great book! Full of intrigue and adventure. Perfect book for ages 8-10 years, who are keen to become adventurers and explorers in their own lives.

Roderick O’Grady is the author, he lives in London and New York, having written plays and other materials for prodctions.

Firefly Press are an award-winning independent children’s and YA publisher based in Wales publishing quality fiction in all genres for 5-19 years olds.

Highly recommend Barefoot Mountain as a holiday read over this Jubilee weekend.

Sue Martin

Stories Across the World…

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations, by Martin Howard and illustrated by Christopher Corr

The Movement of People and Ideas

If you are a traveller at heart, like me, this is the perfect book! It features over 50 incredible stories of human migration and how different cultures and ideas have spread through the world because of migration. What a positive attitude to people travelling across continents, what an amazing story through time of how peoples have travelled and continue to travel for the benefit of all people. This book hits right at the point where migration is integral to a better word and a better society.

About 70,000 years ago a small tribe of human beings walked out of Africa and into the country we now call Yemen in the Middle East. With them was them was the mother who would become the grandmother to all humans outside of Africa.” Martin Howard.

Just one of many amazing facts that will keep you enthralled as you read through the book.

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations is illustrated in a wonderfully engaging style, each page in this large hardback book is packed with illustrations and text which draw you in to each and every page.

Two of my favourite pages are Chinatown and America’s New People. As with all the pages there are facts and information which will promote thought and enable further research.

Follow the trails

The sections on Migration of Modern Humans shows how we are just continuing the same pattern of travel, where and how we can.

Martin Howard, the author, lives in France, and has written many titles for both children and adults, including the Bad Dog’s Diary series and the Wickedest Witch.

Christopher Corr is an established author/illustrator whose books are renowned internationally. He studied at the Royal College of Art and now lives and worked in London as an artist and tutor at Goldsmith’s University

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books are the publishers, and A World Full of Journeys & Migrations is part of the beautifully published series called A World Full of…. Stories, Dickens Stories, Celebrations and Festivals.

A perfect book for any school, library or home, my copy is definitely staying with me so I can discover more about people spreading ideas around our planet and creating a better world.

Sue Martin Children’s Literary Specialist

It’s Her Story  – Shirley Chisholm by Patrice Aggs and illustrated by Markia Jenai

‘if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm, was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress and campaigned for the rights of children and women in the USA.

She worked to improve the lives of children in need and was an outspoken champion of women’s rights. In 1972, she was the first Black person ever to seek the nomination of President of the United States from a major party. This is her story.

This graphic novel is a powerful and exceptionally interesting book, which packs a real punch in the story and the graphics which show just how hard it was for Shirley to find her way through all the rules and regulations. She made real changes which have improved the lives of many people.

Graphic novel series It’s her Story

The series is published by sunbird books, an imprint of Phoenix International Publications. The series covers a brilliant range of women, including Dolly Parton and Marie Curie.

Patrice Aggs is the author, she is an American illustrator and writer now living in the UK.

Markia Jenai  the illustrator is from Michigan and she is passionate about spread the beauty of diversity and culture.

In my work with literacy and the power of reading in schools this the series is a brilliant way into books for children. In Shirley Chisholm they have a way into history too and an understanding of how different lives can have such an effect on us all. They help us tell our own stories too.

Sue Martin

Stories Across the World

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