I was delighted to share with you today these four gorgeous picture books from Bloomsbury, all recently released they are sure to capture children’s imaginations this summer. From baking dragons, mahoosive mammoths, to boys filled with creativity – in very different ways – this is a stellar line up of new releases.
The Truth According to Arthur – Tim Hopgood & David Tazzyman
Meet Arthur and his friend Truth, unfortunately they are not really the best of friends at the moment. The problem is that Arthur – despite being told not to – has taken his big brother’s bike and accidentally bashed his Mum’s car. Knowing he is going to get into trouble Arthur tries bend, stretch, cover up, disguise and hide the truth in a desperate attempt to avoid being told off, with a supercool princess, an alien and a transforming car and bicycle taking the blame.
Tim has created a story that will appeal to both children and adults alike, this hilarious insight into the mind of a child is thoroughly entertaining. We can all identify with his predicament about whether or not he should tell the truth as we’ve all been known to bend the truth every now and then. David Tazzyman’s brilliantly clever and witty illustrations capture the full extent of Arthur’s wild and vivid imagination. Bold and bright they are wonderfully energetic and they manage to convey the depths of emotions Arthur is going through as he wrestles with the decision to tell the truth or to tell a little fib. A must have picture books for all families and it would be ideal for schools to use with KS1 children.
The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth – Hollie Hughes & Leigh Hodgkinson
This marvellous picture book debut from Hollie Hughes is a read aloud delight, filled with glorious tongue twisters that will have children laughing out loud as you tell the tale of this big hairy beastie with an insatiable appetite. Having road tested it at Storytime in the library it had such a fantastic reaction that the children were left hungry for more and I had to read it again!Poor mahoosive mammoth all he can think about is his funny tummy which is constantly grumbling. It seems that nothing can fill him up not doughnuts, ice cream, popcorn, chips or even trees and ginormous ships.
His friend little bug thinks he must stop or else he really will go pop! So he comes up with a plan to keep hunger at bay by keeping mahoosive mammoth busy all day.
Leigh Hodgkinson’s vibrant, exquisite illustrations are a feast for your eyes. Each page is bursting with a a spectrum of magnificent colours that prove impossible to resist. It is a simply gorgeous, heart warming tale of the joys of friendship, filled with masses of fun and laughter.
The Great Dragon Bake Off – Nicola O’Byrne
‘The Great Dragon Bake Off’ is an unusual dragon tale from Nicola O’Byrne that is baked to perfection, filled with irresistible puns that is guaranteed to appeal to the most demanding palates. Meet Flamie Oliver a dragon so terrifying that he would even give Paul Hollywood a run for his money. Sent away to the Ferocious Dragon Academy a place for the very, very bad dragons Flamie is hiding a terrible secret. Underneath that ferocious exterior beats the heart of a dragon with a passion for pastry, cakes and patisserie. But his love for baking means he’s in danger of failing dragon school, he will need to conjure up a real showstopper of a finale if he ever hopes to graduate.
Accompanying this sublime tale we are served with the most mouth watering illustrations crammed with cakes and pastries of every shape and size, from croquembouche, macaroons to battenburgs the attention to detail is magnificent. Fabulously funny and endearing, readers will be unable to resist the adorable Flamie whose obsession with baking puts him in danger of elimination. If you look very closely you might just find some passing resemblance to some famous celebrity chefs and programmes! Who could resist reading about dragons named Paul Firewood, Heston Blowitall or Scaly Berry? A true winner in every sense the The Great Dragon Bake Off is a glorious story of the joy of following your dream.
Up, Up and Away – Tom McLaughlin
‘Up, Up and Away’ is another stunning celebration of the power of imagination from the fantastic Tom McLaughlin. I simply adored ‘The Story Machine’ and ‘The Cloudspotter’ and this latest picture book is equally magnificent. This marvellous book tells the story of an extraordinary boy Orson who loves to build things and one day decides to build his own planet. With a cup full of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal, a lot of nothingness and finally a big bang, BOOM! a planet is created. Little does Orson know that creating the planet was the easiest part, the tricky challenge is looking after it, which presents a whole host of problems and soon his joy turns to sadness.
Tom has crafted a beautiful, poignant story about the search for happiness and the power of imagination and creativity. It is written with such sensitivity and finesse that it weaves a spell around your heart and fills you with wonder, helping you understand that sometimes you have to let go of the things you love the most in order to make them happy. The illustrations are simply divine, a muted palette is used throughout which adds to the gentle lulling feel of this story as you become lost within these pages. ‘Up, Up and Away’ is a stunning picture book which demands to be read and shared over and over again.
A huge thank you to Bloomsbury for sending my copies of these books.