It’s almost like the Hoo’s Kids Book Fest programme has been made for the Chaos household. We have so many of the books that are the basis of author/illustrator talks and honestly, they are wonderful.
The Power of Sloth: Lucy Cooke (Franklin Watts, 2014)
Who knew Sloths were so cute? Sloths aren’t really major characters in children’s media and aren’t exactly known for their cuteness (well, there’s Sid in Ice Age, but he’s not really cute. Scrat’s cute.) but Lucy Cooke’s book (originally published as A Little Book of Sloth in USA) will make you fall in love with these amazing creatures. Written at an accessible level for young children, whilst remaining interesting for a wide variety of ages (approx 5-11) this is a gorgeous little hardback and one we will treasure.
Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, basis for The Power of Sloth.
Recent BBC News report on Sloths in Suriname.
Dixie O’ Day In The Fast Lane: Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliamy (Bodley Head, 2013)
It’s less than three months until the second Dixie O’Day book will be published – how exciting (it’s being published in the same week as my birthday, what good timing!) The paperback of the first book comes out next week – even more perfect timing. If you’ve not already grabbed a copy, treat your children (or yourself) to this absolute treat. Full review of Dixie O’Day: In The Fast Lane.
Foxy Tales The Cunning Plan: Caryl Hart & Alex T Smith (Hodder Children’s Books, 2014)
Sometimes I find it hard to start a book, because I love the creators too much and have a moment of panic that I won’t like their latest work. This always ends in me wondering why I could have possibly thought this in the first place. So, because I love Caryl, and I love Alex, I couldn’t read Foxy Tales: The Cunning Plan. Because it was different. It wasn’t a picture book. It wasn’t a Claude-style book. It is a chapter book. These are quite difficult to read to Mighty Girl and Danger Girl too. Danger Girl starts complaining about the lack of colour pictures (The Cunning Plan is packed full of wonderful illustrations, but they’re not in colour) and Mighty Girl complains that she can read the book perfectly well on her own. But then proceeds to read something else instead. They just do not get that I need them for reviewing purposes. Ahem. So I put it off. And yet again, I am an idiot, and glad to be! The Cunning Plan is silly, funny, completely accessible for all children (boys and girls – and the main characters are female and male, but that’s a whole other blog post on how utterly wonderful this is.) In short, it’s everything and more that you could wish for from two talented stars. Even better, the second book in the series is out in June.
Ten Little Pirates: Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty (Orchard Books, 2013)
This was in my top picture books for last year, and I’ve recently read Mike Brownlow’s post about how he almost turned down the publishing deal (so glad he didn’t!) It was also the first book that Mighty Girl reviewed, so is very special to us. Ten Little Pirates is a little slice of picture book perfection. Ten Little Princesses is out in August, and there’s more in the series to follow. Full review of Ten Little Pirates.
The Queen’s Hat: Steve Antony (Hodder Children’s Books, 2014)
I’m not a royalist, I have no interest in the Queen, and I’m not a fan of London. This book should bore me completely. It would have to be something really special not to. Good thing it is, then! Not that my opinion counts as much as my daughters (lots of thumbs up) but this book is gorgeous. The artwork, using only black, red, and blue is stunning. There is so much to see in each spread, and the story is just right from young children to older as we follow the Queen chasing after her missing hat in a hilarious romp. Just published this week, an astounding debut.
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: Tracey Corderoy & Steven Lenton (Nosy Crow, 2013)
Okay, this is one we don’t own (yet!) but have borrowed from the library, and having had the pleasure of meeting both Tracey and Steven (who are both lovely), I couldn’t leave it out. Shifty and Sam are great characters and this is a fabulously funny tale.
We’re focussing on picture books and younger readers because that’s the age range that fits Mighty Girl and Danger Girl, so these are just a few of the wonderful books that will be showcased on the day at Hoo’s.
Disclosure: We are receiving free entry to Hoo’s Kids Book Fest and received review copies of all the books mentioned (except Shifty McGifty). I wasn’t asked to write this post.