Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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The Panda’s Child By Jackie Morris  & Illustrated by Cathy Fisher

From internationally bestselling author Jackie Morris and award-winning illustrator Cathy Fisher, a beautiful gift book with the resonance of a legend and a passion for the wild world.

A stunningly beautiful book full of soul catching moments, when we can connect with nature around us and look askance at those who seek to make profit from wild animals, especially the young.

Watch the video to hear Jackie Morris, author talk about the book. In 2019 she was awarded the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for her work on The Lost Words. Jackie Morris lives in a wild idyll in St. David’s, Pembrokeshire.

In a faraway forest a baby is lost and found, protected by a she-panda.
Nine years later another baby, the panda’s child, is in great danger, and only a boy and the spirit of the forest can save him.

This magical, powerful story by Jackie Morris, co-creator of The Lost Words, and award-winning illustrator Cathy Fisher, is a book for all ages to treasure, exploring our most vital connection with wild nature. Otter-Barry Books have a unique way of creating wonderful books.

There is something mesmerizing about this beautiful book, the dreamy illustrations and captivating words lead you to turn every page, unsure if it is going to be a work of art illustration or poetic text which will stay with you.

A Picture Book for everyone and I think everyone should read this Picture book.

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

Sala, Mountain Warrior

By Wakanyi Hoffman

Illustrated by Onyinye Iwu

A story of adventure and courage for all children. It is wonderfully illustrated and expresses just how we can all overcome our fears to achieve amazing skills and journeys.

Sala has a real mountain to climb in this authentic story set among the Samburu people of Kenya. There’s a school trip to climb the mountain near Sala’s home and she’s excited – but nervous too, because she’s the only girl to take the challenge….

But Grandmother shows the way, inspiring Sala with her mountain lore, her special beads and her storytelling. Can Sala climb to the top of the mountain and be the first warrior girl of her clan?


Set in the Samburu region of northern Kenya, this is an exciting, inspirational story about courage and empowerment.

Wakanyi Hoffman was born in Kenya and recalls visiting her grandmother’s home, with snow-capped Mount Kenya in the background, and listening to stories that not only entertained but told her about the world. Wakanyi is a storyteller, author, journalist and keeper of indigenous wisdom.

Onyinye Iwu is a secondary school teacher and freelance illustrator. She was born in Italy to Nigerian parents and moved to Britain as a teenager. She has a degree in Architecture and a Masters in Cultural Diaspora Ethnicity. Her work as an illustrator is inspired by Africa and especially her Igbo heritage. She is the illustrator of the Too Small Tola books by Atinuke. Onyinye lives in London.

Otter-Barry Books publish a portfolio of diverse and incredibly interesting books. Sala, The Mountain Warrior is a great story and new book.

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

Sea Change, Save the Ocean edited by Tobias Hickey, published by Otter- Barry Books

What a captivating book!

The foreword from Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean describes how, ‘we cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean’.

This is a ‘red alert’ for humanity. Where better to start than with children who already know the dangers we are facing, and are prepared to start actions to save our world for future generations

Otter-Barry have published this unique book with a collection of original postcards and messages from 50 illustrators across the world, working to celebrate and protect the precious life in our oceans. This is an amazing collection and will provide schools with a catalogue of illustrators to follow.



Each illustrator has provided an image of sea creatures, fishes or other sea life, with a message of inspiration to help point out the massive and imminent dangers climate change, pollution, over fishing and other human-led interventions are having on our oceans. The postcards are displayed under three headings: Celebrating the Ocean; The Danger to the Ocean; Take Action for the Ocean.

The world-class illustrators include Axel Scheffler, Roger Mello, Isol, Barroux, Piet Grobler, Yuval Zommer, Petr Horáček, Jackie Morris, Nicola Davies, PJ Lynch and Jane Ray.

The countries represented include Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Ireland, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA.

Otter Barry are the publishers and Sea Change is a beautiful books with enormous potential for changing lives and attitudes for young people and adults too.

 This book is staying on my sofa table! But its effect will go far.

Sue Martin – Children’s Literacy Specialist

Selfies With Komodos

By Brian Moses & Illustrated by Ed Boxall

A sparkling new collection from a leading children’s poet

Every day is an adventure in this brilliant, eagerly awaited collection from one of the UK’s best loved poets. Find cats, dogs and dragons, a rock’n’roll iguana and the Rescue Centre for Mythical Beasts. Take the night train to Transylvania, learn to fly or send a postcard from Pluto – but never take a selfie with a Komodo!

Such a great book full of poems that are sometimes catchy, sometimes scary but always fun.

 A poem called Dragons, it just helps your imagination to roam beyond wherever you are.

When I met the dragon of vanity,

we gazed into his mirror.

When I met the dragon of discovery

we roamed the known world together.

When I met the dragon of imagination

we tiptoed in and out of each other’s dreams…’

Poet, Brian Moses is one of Britain’s favourite children’s poets and he is featured on the National Poetry Archive. He has written more than 200 books and has sold over 1 million of his poetry books and anthologies.

… never take a selfie with a Komodo!!


Illustrator, Ed Boxall, is an artist, performer writer and educator from Hastings, a seaside town in the south of England. He has written and illustrated loads of books. His website is packed with ideas and books of course. Try Word Dreaming, you’ll have fun and learn lots alongside.

Otter-Barry Books have a wonderful collection of poetry books and are an inspirational publisher for children’s books which spark imaginations and bring dreams to life.

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Poetry Books from Otter-Barry Books

Otter-Barry Books have a wonderful selection of poetry books and these two new publications are full of exciting poems to inspire and engage young readers.

Roger Steven’s is my favourite poet. You’ll love this collection. Baroness Floella Benjamin

Razz Ma Tazz The Poetry World of Roger Stevens; illustrated by Mike Smith

Once you open this book and start reading the poems you won’t put it down. From poems which are just too cool, like the Year 6 boys, to Shouting to the Ocean, which gives you the chance to just throw all your emotions in the ocean!
 ‘So if you’re hurt, upset or angry

Write down all you want to say

Then post it in the ocean

Watch your troubles float away’

Cool boys and Year Six Sisters to the Chicken School Timetable, Dad’s terrible dancing to Mum’s cunning treasure trail, plus the joy and fun of poetry. There is something for everyone in this paperback collection of poems.
With themes of Family, School, Pets, the Wild, Being a Poet and Personal Favourites, this is an outstanding, exuberant collection of the very best work from one of the best-loved poets writing today.

Roger Stevens is a very well known poet author, with lots of tips about writing poetry. The illustrations by Mike Smith are brilliant, showing each poem in its own unique way.

Wonderful images…and words too

The Universal Zoo by Neal Zetter and illustrated by Will Hughes

If you want to engage young children with poetry and fire their imagination this book is a must to have in the school or at home.

Welcome!
Roll up!

Come on down
to the Universal Zoo.
Want to see amazing animals?
Buy a ticket, join the queue.”

Every creature has a place at the far end of Space, in the Universal Zoo.

Look out for the Shy Shimmereen, the snoozing Snoralotz, the Invisible Ballaboo Beast and the Ten-Legged, Swivel-Headed, Bushy-Bearded, Twirly-Tailed Horrox. Meet the Martian kids with two heads, and stare at the Enormous Egg. And if you think dragons don’t exist and dodos are extinct, then think again. But never, never, never feed the Gronk!

Beware of the Gronk!

A riot of imagination and fun, these poems also send a message about conservation and saving species.

Otter-Barry Books have a website full of information about their books and you can review many of the pages of poems, but the real best thing is to buy the books!!

Sue Martin Children’s Literacy Specialist

Stories Across the world…

Dear Ugly Sisters, poems by Laura Mucha and illustrated by Tania Rex

Great poetry!

An outstanding new voice in children’s poetry with her debut collection full of varied, effervescent and thought provoking poems.

Laura has already achieved much through literacy events, poetry workshops and blog writing and this brand new venture into a book of her poems is a great way for us all to find her poems at our finger tips.

Read the poem Dear Ugly Sisters below,

Laura Mucha is an award winning poet, author and speaker. She has won two international poetry prizes, the Caterpillar {poetry Prize, 2016 and the inaugural YorkMix Poems for Children 2019. She also writes for adults too with her debut book, Love Factually/We Need to Talk About Love published in 2019.

Tania Rex was born and raised in Bilnius, Lithuania, where she still lives and graduated from Vilnius Academy of Art.

Otter-Barry Books publishes four poetry collections a year and is an imprint which pushes the boundaries for publication in the world of children’s book publishing.

Sue Martin

Poetry – Books of poems February 2020

Poetry is one of the best ways to have fun with words, explore feelings and use rhyme and patterns together.

This month, February 2020, we have three new books of poems which we love and are great to open the book anywhere and delve straight in!

‘There’s a Crocodile in the House’, from Paul Cookson, has an enormously wide collection of poems with fun, danger, surprise and wonder. Some poems you need to SHOUT!! And some you need to whisper…

Watch out for the lurking crocodile on the armchair, whatever you don’t sit down!! Great illustrations from Liz Million.

‘The Magic of Mums’ is written by Justin Coe and illustrated by Steve Wells. Different Mums in all guises are celebrated here, sometimes comic, sometimes witty or tender and all will find a child with a Mum ‘just like that’!

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers for both There’s a Crocodile in the House’ and The Magic of Mums’. As publishers, making a difference in the landscape of good children’s’ books,  these books are a wonderful addition to their growing poetry genre.

Poems Aloud is our third poetry book this month. This is an anthology of poems from Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett. This book shouts out to you from the engaging cover to all the poems inside. There are poems for reading aloud or for being quiet, poems which are good for performance playing and poems which are good for sharing at home time.

Joseph Coelho is an award-winning poet and performer from London with a huge collection of books to his name, along with being BBC’s Teach Poetry presenter (Oct 2018).

 

Daniel Gray-Barnett lives in Tasmania and is an award-winning illustrator, including Grandma Z. His illustrations have been commissioned  by Sydney Opera House, The Boston Globe and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Australia.

Wide Eyed Editions published  and presented this book in their inimitable style making it a work of art itself and a wonderful book to have.

PS My favourite poem is below , because I love bears, shush, it’s a secret!

Sue Martin

 

 

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders

Migrations - cover image and text link

Buy this beautiful, moving book here…

Illustrators from around the world joined in the creation of a unique book to show their personal visions of the migrant crisis.

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders is a beautiful and poignant book created by using a selection of images and postcards from illustrators around the world. The message alongside the image are packed with meaning in a few words; Petr Horacek from the Czech Republic and the UK writes, ‘ Everything is possible, you were born free.’

The images are all part of an exhibition touring the world, as in migrations; South Africa, Korea and UK, currently at Amnesty International, London.

Buy this book icon and web linkAvailable on 8th October 2019 – buy this book here

The book is dived into themes of Departures, Long Journeys, Arrivals and Hope for the Future and the fifty postcards and images selected for the book produce thought provoking statements, e.g.

Wishing that everyone who crosses a vast and furious ocean with hope for a better future will be met with a warm welcome by the generous hearted. Safe journey.’ Peter Lynch, Ireland.

‘The skies have no borders.’ Christopher Corr, UK

‘ One can always go and  one can always return.’ Gabriela Germain Fonck, Chile.

The book has been published by Otter-Barry Books, who have a reputation for creating books that reflect the world in which we live.

The event to mark the publication of the book was held in London and included some of the most talented illustrators.

At Books Go Walkabout, we too look for a hope for the future in accepting that migration is here to stay and should mean there is a warm welcome for all those who take on life long journeys.

Recommended for all ages at school, at home, in the libraries and in everyone’s pockets!

Sue Martin

Proud to follow Amnesty International

Peter in Peril – Courage and Hope in World War Two

Peter in Peril - cover image and web link

Peter in Peril – buy this book here…

A brilliant graphic novel of a boy trapped in the terrors of World War Two.

Peter lived in Budapest, Hungary where the book is based on a true story where the family are persecuted and torn apart as war strikes terror across the country.

Before the war Peter is an ordinary boy, who loves playing football with his friends  and eating cake. But as the pace of war increased, Peter’s life went to hiding in the cellar and being known as a ‘Jewish Boy’.

At the back of the book you will meet the real Peter, the picture of a smiling man with his family, it’s hard to think of the dreadful life he endured as a child.

…with free delivery

Helen Bate is an exciting author and illustrator, who has a number of books to her name, including Me and Mrs Moon. She has also established Pictures to Share, a Social Enterprise company publishing illustrated books for people with dementia.

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers of Peter in Peril and other books by Helen, they have a distinctive portfolio of excellent books.

A book we recommend highly for anyone interested in families and the effects of WW2. It’s a great read and as a graphic novel, has appeal and meaning extending beyond the words.

Sue Martin

Corey’s Rock

Corey's Rock - cover image and web link

Buy this book here…free shipping

Ten year old Isla has moved from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands in North Scotland, with her parents, to start a new life after the sad loss of her brother.

Isla is finding life in the Orkneys hard, especially with her dual heritage.

But Isla finds the stories about Selkies, an ancient Orcadian legend, which shows them as half human and half seal.

This is the start of her journey of recovery.

Corey’s Rock is a beautiful book in a really appealing shape and format. The superb illustrations on every page are a joy to uncover and real depth and warmth to this deeply moving story.

Buy this book with free delivery here

Sita Brahmachari is a highly acclaimed award-winning author. Her books include Artichoke Hearts, winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2011 and my favourite is Jasmine Skies, which was nominated for the Carnegie Prize 2013. Sita is also an Amnesty Ambassador and Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

Illustrator Jane Ray has many wonderfully illustrated children’s books to her name and is a well renowned artist. Her books include Stories of Sun, Stone and Sea and Zeraffa Giraffa.

Otter- Barry Books has a reputation for publishing very talented  authors and illustrators who will make a difference to children’s lives and this book is a real highlight.

Highly recommended for all ages

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

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