I’M STICKING WITH YOU by Smriti Halls Illustrated by Steve Small (S&S £12.99, 32pp)
I’M STICKING WITH YOU
by Smriti Halls Illustrated by Steve Small (S&S £12.99, 32pp)
Small children need love, reassurance and laughter in these uncertain times and this utterly delightful book delivers on all fronts. A very large bear declares his undying devotion to his very small squirrel friend; ‘Whether you’re grumpy, or silly, or mad; good times…and bad times, happy or sad.’
But as squirrel’s increasingly exasperated expression shows, such friendship can be suffocating and eventually he asks to be alone. Initially delighted by the extra space and solitude, the little creature soon misses his well-intentioned buddy and their reunion will bring a lump to your throat.
Gloriously illustrated, with a captivating rhyme and rhythm, this celebration of friendship is as relevant to adults as children and has future classic stamped all over it.
WHERE THE SEA MEETS THE SKY
WHERE THE SEA MEETS THE SKY by Peter Bently Illustrated by Riko Sekiguchi (Hodder £12.99, 32pp)
by Peter Bently Illustrated by Riko Sekiguchi (Hodder £12.99, 32pp)
Bestselling author Peter Bently has struck gold in this collaboration with debut illustrator Riko Sekiguchi, conjuring up an adventure about bravery, ambition and imagination.
Baby sea otter Sophie asks her mother, ‘What’s at the place where the sea meets the sky?’ but is firmly told that the horizon cannot be reached ‘and no one should try’. Cue Sophie’s quest to discover what lies at the edge of the sea, determinedly swimming past walruses and whales, dodging sharks and risking her life as a passing ship threatens her.
Stunning illustrations capture the changing light as day fades into night and the underwater worlds teem with colour and expression — the double-page spread of a whale is worth the price of the book. Warm, funny and life-affirming, this will be read again and again.
I’M SORRY! by Barry Timms Illustrated by Sean Julian (Little Tiger £11.99, 32pp)
by Barry Timms Illustrated by Sean Julian (Little Tiger £11.99, 32pp)
It’s hard teaching children to say sorry, so this touching story — which shows an apology can mend fences, but only if it’s truly meant — is a valuable weapon in any parent’s armoury.
Scribble the Squirrel and Swoop the Owl are the best of friends but have different passions. Scribble writes plays to entertain Swoop, but the owl’s strength is in building things. When they move into a cosy tree house together, they both have plans for the spacious veranda — plans that they fail to discuss and there’s a terrific falling out.
Scribble yells an apology which makes things worse and it takes a bit of humility and honesty to repair the damage — but their friendship is stronger as a result. Gentle and sensitive with big, bright, bold illustrations, this is perfect for warring siblings.