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KIDS' BOOKSHEL three animal tales

Black Cat, White Cat Silvia Borando (£9.99, Walker) Magical illustrations bring this simple and engaging picture book to life. The funny twist right at the end will keep kids requesting repeat readings of this engaging story from Italian designer, Borando.

Soon Timothy Knapman and Patrick Benson (£11.99, Walker) A very simple story of a baby elephant who takes a long trek with his mother. The story is brought to life through gentle watercolours depicting the epic landscape. Suitable for ages two upwards.

Millie’s Chickens Brenda Williams and Valerie Cis (£5.99, Barefoot Books) I love the way that Barefoot Books manage to weave a story and factual information together so effortlessly. Use this book to learn about chickens; as well as enjoying a good tale.

✽ book of the month

The Great Big Book of Families Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith (£8.99 Frances Lincoln) ‘This is a colourful, open-minded introduction to family life. The illustrations are heart-warming and engaging. Different family situations are all displayed and equally validated in this big book of fun. We like the assertion that ‘In real life, families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.’ Home education, adoption and parental separation are all covered here. At the end the author reminds readers that situations change and asks, what’s your family like today?, providing a useful springboard for discussion about emotions and siblings. This would work well for children aged three and upwards; those at the younger end of the scale enjoying the pictures and the simple text whilst older children would get more out of the book used as a vehicle for discussion about family life.

✽ two alphabet books ABC LONDON James Dunn and Kate Slater (£4.99, Frances Lincoln) This is more of a guide than a book; inside the hardcover is a panoramic fold out book guiding the reader through the alphabet with historic London sights and historical figures. We love the collage illustrations depicting G for Gherkin and H for Hampstead Heath. There’s something in here for children of all ages and even the adults loved looking at it too!

Elsa Beskow Alphabet Book (£9.99, Floris Books) The simplest of formats makes this suitable for even the youngest audience. Each letter of the alphabet is introduced with a selection of words and lovely watercolour images. The layout is one word to a page with the picture on the right hand side, so it’s a very visual experience. If you love Elsa’s classic paintings then this book is one to treasure for your family bookshelf.

Meet the Creator

Cooking Class Deanna Cook (£12.50, Storey Publishing) Deanna is a kids’ book author and freelance writer. ‘I work out of my home office in Massachusetts and I get lots of help with recipe testing and crafting from my two girls, Ella and Maisie, and their friends,’ she shares. ‘I wrote my first book, The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook, when I graduated from college and received a Watson Fellowship to travel around the world and collect recipes from kids. After that, I was a magazine editor for many years. Now I write children's non-fiction books.’ Her latest book, Cooking Class is packed with recipes, including ideas for a sandwich shop and a sleepover party. Each recipe is illustrated with step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow instructions. We love the added extras – stickers for lunchboxes, recipe cards and more. Some readers might find the American measurements frustrating and be aware this is not a book aimed at vegetarians though there are plenty of suitable recipes.



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