Super Picture Books from Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is one of my absolute favourite publishers!  They publish some spectacular books for children of all ages, from picture books to novels.  I can always tell a Nosy Crow book by the original, engaging stories, the stunning illustrations and high-quality production values of their books.  They are books that appeal to adults as much as kids.

Here are a couple of their recent super picture books that I really love.  Go out and grab them to share with the kids in your life.

There’s a Bear On My Chair by Ross Collins

This is the story of a very unhappy mouse whose chair has been inexplicably taken by a polar bear.  This very clever story starts off quite simply but builds momentum as the mouse gets increasingly agitated about the bear being on his chair.  It’s chock full of interesting rhyming words like ‘flair’ and ‘leisurewear’ and I kept wondering what words Ross would find next to rhyme with bear.  Ross’ illustrations are sparse but full of humour.  I especially love Mouse’s expressions as he tries all sorts of things to get bear to move, including offering him a pear and giving him a glare.  Ross has used some great aspects of design in the book which make it stand out for me.  Each of the pages is a different colour, with words that have a different emphasis highlighted in red.  There are also a couple of pages with no words on them to highlight the suspense.  It makes you wonder what is going to happen on the next page.  I’ve read this aloud to younger children and they all love it!

Superhero Dad by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Joe Berger

I love picture books about superheroes!  One of my favourite library Story Time themes is superheroes and I’m always looking out for new picture books to share on this theme.  There seems to be a shortage of them but there are more being published, including this SUPER picture book by Timothy Knapman and Joe Berger.  One of the coolest things about this book is the cover – there’s a circular cut-out where the dad’s face peeks through from the page underneath.  When you open the cover there is just a normal dad underneath the costume.  The story is told by a boy who thinks his dad is absolutely super.  You can hear his snoring from miles away, his jokes are super funny and he makes monsters disappear.  Timothy Knapman’s rhyming text rolls off your tongue and Joe Berger’s bright and vibrant illustrations really are super. It’s a wonderful story about the super things that dads do and the super sons that they have. I love the message of this book, that everything that dads do with their kids, no matter how small, makes them superheroes.

Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne

This absolutely fantastic picture book came out last year but is still one of my favourite books from Nosy Crow.  I read this book every week to children in schools all over Christchurch as part of the Christchurch City Libraries’ Travelling Roadshow.  It’s all about using your imagination and creating stories, a message that I love to see in books and one that I spread every day in my job.  The story follows Rabbit, who is bored and looking for something to do.  The Wolf, who is a librarian (I LOVE this touch!), comes along and suggests that Rabbit write a story using her imagination.  Rabbit points out what big eyes Wolf has and he replies, ‘All the better to read stories with my dear.’ Wolf and Rabbit come up with suggestions for a story that they could tell, and just when you think you know how it’s going to end, Nicola O’Byrne turns the story on its head.  The best way to read this book is by having someone be Wolf (my favourite part) and someone being Rabbit.

I love the imagination and creativity of Nicola O’Byrne’s books (she also created Open Very Carefully)!  Nicola O’Byrne is one of those authors whose books I will always anticipate and I can’t wait for her next book, coming in January 2016, called The Last Book Before Bedtime.

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