I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Nosy Crow books are spectacular! They always publish the best picture books and their books for older children are getting better and better. I reviewed some of my favourite Nosy Crow books back in August, including There’s a Bear in my Chair, Superhero Dad, and Use Your Imagination (you can read my review here). One of my favourite authors, Barry Hutchison, has published a hilarious series with Nosy Crow, starting with The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing. It’s one of my favourite books of 2015 and you can read my review here.
Nosy Crow publish so many great books that I’ve always got a book of theirs that I want to shout out about. Here are four of my recent favourite Nosy Crow books.
Flip Flap Jungle by Axel Scheffler
Axel Scheffler is one of my favourite illustrators so it’s great that he’s so prolific. This is the third title in Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap series (there’s also Flip Flap Safari and Flip Flap Farm). It’s a zany flip book where you’ll meet animals you know and some you don’t know. What do you get if you cross a leopard and an armadillo? Well that would be a leopadillo! And what about a porcupine and a chameleon? Why a porceleon, obviously! There is a wonderful rhyme accompanying each animal which are great by themselves but are even funnier when you mix the animals up. These books are perfect for sharing one-on-one but they also work well with a big group (I’ve used them at Story Time in the library and the kids were laughing at my crazy creature creations). With 121 different combinations this book will keep kids entertained for ages! See what weird and wonderful creatures you can come up with. All of the Flip Flap books are also available as apps which are heaps of fun to play with. You swipe the screen to create new animals and hear the poems read aloud, plus there are sound effects and jungle music. Check out the Nosy Crow website for more details about the apps.
I love Elys Dolan’s books! Her previous books, Nuts in Space and Weasels, are hilarious and her illustrations are chock full of lots of quirky details (including references to spy and sci-fi movies). Elys’ latest book, The Mystery of the Haunted Farm, is even better. Strange and spooky things are happening down on the farm and Farmer Greg knows just who to call – Ghost Hunters. The three little pigs are the best guys for the job, with the latest ghost-hunting gadgets, including the Scare-o-Meter and the Phantom Finder 5000. The farm has a serious zombie duck problem and there are ghosts, vampires and mummies wandering around. Strangely though, the Phantom Finder 5000 isn’t picking up any unusual activity. Something fishy is going on and it’s up to the Three Little Pigs to find out what. This is a brilliant book that kids will want to come back to again and again. Elys has put so much detail into her illustrations and kids will have heaps of fun reading all the speech bubbles. The text is hilarious and the humour works on several levels. Adults will enjoy reading it just as much as the kids. It’s a picture book that’s perfect for older readers to as they’ll get some of the references that younger children will miss. I really like the size of this book too (it’s larger than usual, making it great for sharing). Grab a copy of The Mystery of the Haunted Farm and check out Elys Dolan’s previous books too.
Box by Min Flyte and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Box is a perfect picture book for pre-schoolers (and anyone who loves making stuff from old boxes). Four toddlers find some boxes with toys inside them. After playing with their toys for a while their attention turns to the boxes. But what will they do with all those boxes? They use their imaginations and turn their boxes into all sorts of exciting things. This is a delightful story about all the fun that you can have with boxes. There are lots of flaps (or boxes) to open and pull-out pages, giving children the sense of anticipation, wondering what might be inside the box. There are boxes of all sizes, from little boxes to big boxes, and even boxes inside boxes. The book even looks like a box, with a slot to look through. Min Flyte’s text encourages children to participate in the story and Rosalind Beardshaw’s illustrations are adorable.
Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Jarvis
Jeanne Willis is a prolific author and whenever I see her name on the cover of a picture book I know it will be a winner. The combination of Jeanne’s story and Jarvis’ illustrations make Poles Apart a winner to me. The story follows the Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins who set out on a picnic and get incredibly lost and find themselves at the North Pole. Everybody knows that penguins belong at the South Pole and when Mr White, the friendly polar bear finds them he decides to help them get home again. We follow Mr White and the Pilchard-Browns as they pass through America, England, Italy, India and Australia before they finally make it home. Then Mr White has to make the 12,430 mile journey all the way back home to the North Pole. I loved following this funny penguin family and their helpful polar bear friend on their journey. Jeanne Willis certainly makes the journey entertaining by adding little details, like saying hello in different languages as they pass through the countries. The penguin children, Peeky, Poots and Pog keep you entertained with their silly antics too. Jarvis’ illustrations take you on a colourful journey around the world and children will be able to spot the landmarks from the different countries. Poles Apart is sure to be a book that will be read again and again.