Vibrant Picture Books – Ruth Thorp and Sarah Mahfoudh

One of the great things about having a book blog is that you often get to see books that other people sometimes don’t get a chance to see. These books really captured my attention and are a delight to read.


‘The Squawks’ by Ruth Thorp is a delightful picture book featuring bold illustrations and quirky rhymes. It tells the tale of the ‘birds that SQUAWK the SQUAWKY talk of the SQUAWKING SQUAWKS’ who can be very noisy and troublesome. A limited bright palette is used throughout the book which is very striking and captivates your attention. The birds themselves are very expressive so it’s ideal for sharing with a young child as you can discuss how you think they might be feeling.



The rhyme is a funny and tongue twisting  which makes it very entertaining for reading out loud. it managed to make me smile and laugh at the antics of these squabbling squawks who sometimes feel very grumpy but generally get along with others. I think it is helpful book for exploring young children’s emotions through a story and allows you to talk about how it’s fine to feel cross occasionally. It is real treat to read and the illustrations are so stunning it has a massive visual appeal.




In ‘Lily Mae’ Ruth Thorp has made a picture book with her sister Sarah Mahfoudh about a little girl who is able to magically control the weather.


It has a very similar style to ‘Squawks’ in that it uses a simple but vibrant palette throughout and has a beautiful tone which makes it a joy to read aloud. Lily Mae lives on a cloud and chooses what the weather will be she can make it rain and tell the wind to blow.



It is a very read and when sharing it I found myself naturally drawn to demonstrating all of the different weathers to the children and got them to join in. We enjoyed pretending to be rain and wind which caused great hilarity especially when we got to be the CRASH of thunder. But the weather is also a reflection of how Lily Mae feels when it’s sad it rains, hails and blows a gale. The people in the story want to help make Lily Mae feel better but she is happy to feel how she wants to and eventually she feels better and makes the sun smile again. Again I feel this is a lovely way to discuss emotions with a young child it can help explain about how sometimes we don’t feel happy but happiness will return.


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To find out more about these lovely books and to buy copies you can follow the links below. Thank you to Ruth Thorp for sending me these books to review.

1 thought on “Vibrant Picture Books – Ruth Thorp and Sarah Mahfoudh

  1. Pingback: The People’s Book Prize – Spring Collection – Children – “The Squawks” by Ruth Thorp | The people's book prize

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