Some picture books you know are going to be brilliant even before you open the covers. As soon as I saw the front cover of Heidi McKinnon’s new picture book, I Just Ate My Friend, with the startled monster staring out at the reader, I knew it was going to be a winner. It makes me laugh out loud every time I read it and I can’t wait to share it with kids!
I Just Ate My Friend is one of those fantastic picture books that invites the reader to be a part of story. The main character, a yellow monster with bulbous eyes, addresses the reader saying ‘I just ate my friend. He was a good friend, but now he’s gone.’ The monster then sets off to find a new friend, only to find that he’s too small, too big or too scary to be anyone’s friend. Just when he thinks he has found a new friend disaster strikes.
I love, love, love this book! Kids will beg I Just Ate My Friend to be read again and again. Heidi’s text and illustrations are simple but they combine to tell a very funny story. Rather than a lot of white space behind the monsters in the story Heidi has made it night time so the background is a night sky covered with stars. This makes the reader focus on the big, colourful monsters that take up most of the page. The yellow monster has large, expressive eyes, so you can tell how he feels. Understandably the yellow monster is rather distraught that he has eaten his friend and he gets increasingly worried that he won’t find a new friend. You see how happy the monster is when he does find a friend, only for this to be horribly ripped from his grasp.
If you love the dark humour of Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat you’ll love I Just Ate My Friend.
I’m Simon the rabbit’s biggest fan. I fell in love with this naughty little rabbit with the story that introduced him to readers in New Zealand, Poo Bum. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t love Poo Bum and kids ask me about it at least once a week. Gecko Press have made me incredibly happy by continuing to publish the English language editions of Stephanie Blake’s other Simon the rabbit stories. The latest in the series, I Can’t Sleep, is another hilarious Simon the rabbit story that shows us the more caring side of Simon.
Simon loves playing with his little brother Casper (even though he once thought of him as a ‘stupid baby’). One day they decide to build a mega giga-normous hut. While they play Casper forgets about his blanky. That night when they go to bed Casper suddenly remembers that his blanky is still outside in the dark garden. Simon dons his cape, becoming Super Mega Rabbit, and rescues Casper’s blanky for him. As they snuggle back in bed, Simon tells his brother of his adventures.
I Can’t Sleep will be a favourite with children and parents alike. Children will love the bright, bold illustrations and the adventures that Simon and Casper get up to. Parents will be able to relate to Casper’s dilemma and they will enjoy the humour. As a long-time Simon the rabbit fan I love seeing how Simon has changed throughout the different books. Simon has grown from the naughty little rabbit in Poo Bum and Stupid Baby to a brave and responsible older brother in this story.
One of my favourite aspects of the Simon the rabbit books is the design. Gecko Press have thought very carefully about the placement of text, giving it plenty of room to spread out on the page. The size of the text also varies which helps the reader to emphasize certain words or phrases. I also really love the inside covers of I Can’t Sleep which feature Simon with various expressions and in different poses. I’d love to have a whole wall in my library covered with these images.
Grab a copy of I Can’t Sleep from your library or bookshop now.
Many brave warriors have had to journey to strange lands to prove themselves and we have read their stories. Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex bring us an epic origin story of three foes. These foes searched far and wide to find the warrior fierce enough to beat them in combat. This talented author and illustrator team have come together to tell The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors follows Rock, Paper and Scissors in their search for awesomeness. What they really desire though is to find a warrior who is able to beat them, a warrior that can make them feel worthy. From the Kingdom of Backgarden, the Empire of Mum’s Study and the Kitchen Realm, Rock, Paper and Scissors battle many warriors but it is only when they meet each other that they truly find a worthy opponent.
This is one of the funniest picture books I’ve read in ages. It’s an epic story worthy of Hollywood and you can’t help but read it in a movie trailer voice. It’s the sort of book that kids will beg you to read again and again, and you will be only to happy to do so.
Rock, Paper and Scissors each have a distinctive personality that comes alive, both in the text and the illustrations. Each character in the book has a different font for their voice – Rock’s is blocky, Paper’s is swirly and Scissors’ is pointy. Adam Rex’s illustrations are fantastic! The colours he uses make the illustrations jump off the page, especially during the battle scenes. You can see the power and emotion of each showdown. The rockets firing and volcanoes erupting in the background just add to the awesomeness of the battle.
You will never look at the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors the same again. Each time you play you will remember the fierce battles that were raged in order for your showdown to happen. Grab a copy of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors from your library or bookshop now and witness the rise of legends.
A book that makes you laugh every time you read it is a sure sign of a great book. The first time I read My Pictures After the Storm, the latest ‘curiously good’ book from Gecko Press, I was laughing the whole way through because I didn’t know what to expect. Now, every time I read it I know what is coming and it is just as funny.
My Pictures After the Storm is a stand-out book and my favourite book at the moment. I want to show it to everyone I see and I am desperate to show it to all the kids at school after the holidays. It features a series of before and after illustrations that are incredibly clever and absolutely hilarious. Eric Veille shows us the changes to his pictures after the storm, after a cannonball, after the hairdresser and much more.
The text is sparse but the language that Eric uses is rich. On the My Pictures after the hairdresser page for example the lion-tamer goes from being ‘a lion-tamer unconcerned’ to ‘a lion-tamer nicely permed.’ A cake after the elephant turns into a splitch and an octopus becomes a splatch. One of my favourite pages is ‘My pictures after a cold,’ because you have to say the names of the fruit and vegetables like you have a cold.
Eric’s illustrations are what makes this book so brilliant. They are full of humour and expression. It is so much fun to compare the before and after pictures to see what has happened to everything on the page. Each of the scenes is something that kids and adult will be able to relate to, from having lunch and going swimming to having a battle and eating too many potato chips.
My Pictures After the Storm is a book that kids will beg to read again and again and adults will be happy to do so. It’s a book that will have you laughing together and noticing new things on the page each time you read. It is sure to engage even older children who will appreciate the clever illustrations and humour.
Beck and Matt Stanton are creators of books that drive kids crazy. Their previous picture books, This is a Ball and Did You Take the B from my _ook? have been hits with kids, even if they do make them go a little crazy. Their latest picture book is The Red Book and it is absolutely hilarious! It is my favourite book to read aloud at the moment.
Even before you open the book you know that it is going to be funny just by reading the instructions for grown-ups on the back:
For the Grown-Ups:
Okay, Big Wig.
We have a challenge for you.
It’s your job to convince the nearest kid that everything in this book is actually red.
And we mean everything.
It will not be easy! They will try to persuade you that things are not as red as you say, but you will stay strong!
And the kids will love it!
The Red Book is fantastic, interactive picture book that will both infuriate kids and have them rolling on the floor laughing. I’ve been reading this book to the Year 1 and 2 kids at my school over the last couple of days and they absolutely love it! As soon as you show them the cover and read the title they start arguing with you and yelling ‘No!’ because the cover of the book is purple (or so they keep telling you).
The first page gets the kids on board with you, making sure that they agree about the colours on the page. When you turn the page though you tell them that they are all wrong and that everything is red. It’s your job to try and convince the kids that everything in the book is red, but they won’t have a bar of it, because they can see that Fergus the Frog and Rose the Penguin aren’t red. The kids get more and more frustrated and you (as the reader) eventually snap and tell them that you’re the grown-up and what you say goes. By the end of the book though you will convince them that this book is red.
The text is perfect for this interactive book and really gets everyone involved in the story. The kids can’t help but join in and argue with you because what you are saying is so silly. If you’ve got kids who loved The Book with No Pictures (who doesn’t love that book!) or Do Not Open This Book then they’ll love this one. The illustrations are simple but bold and really stand out on the plain white background.
Get The Red Book for your home or school library now and drive your kids crazy!
Dave, the lovable caveman from Frann Preston-Gannon’s brilliant picture book, Dave’s Cave, is back again. This time there is a bit of competition between Dave and his friend Jon.
Dave’s Rock is about two cavemen and their love for rocks. Dave loves his rock and so does Jon. They both think that their rock is bigger, taller and faster. They realise though that they can make both of their rocks better. The competition between Dave and Jon makes this a thoroughly entertaining read.
I absolutely loved Dave’s Cave and Dave’s Rock is just as good. The simple text and illustrations work so well which makes it such a great book to share one-on-one or with a group. You can’t help but read the story just like a caveman. The bright green cover, with Dave hugging his rock, jumps off the shelf and makes kids want to pick it up and see what’s inside.
The thing that I love the most about Frann’s books about Dave is that they have such a wide appeal. Younger children will love Dave for his silly antics and the mistakes that he makes and older children will appreciate the way that Frann tells the story in caveman talk. They are books that adults will enjoy just as much as the kids and won’t mind reading over and over again.
Add Dave’s Cave and Dave’s Rock to your collection now for guaranteed laughs.