Ice in the Jungle by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

When Ice’s mother tells her that they’re going to move to an exciting new place, Ice isn’t so sure. She likes her home and her friends, and the fun they have together. The journey takes forever, and their new home is very strange. Everything is different – the weather, the food, the people and the language. Ice tries to make friends, but everyone seems too busy and preoccupied to care.

Child’s Play Books

As a teacher, I see this as a useful tool that can be utilised in the classroom in order to help students empathise with children who have English as an additional language (EAL). I can see the potential for using it in circle time sessions as a stimulus for discussion.

As a picture book enthusiast, I think the illustrations are fun, bright and unique in style. The cover has been designed beautifully, the thick blue outline of the bear against the warm African tones of the jungle create a fantastic juxtaposition.

As a parent, I think my children will enjoy the illustrations, find the characters cute and feel sad for Ice (the polar bear).

Child’s Play Books are publishing some lovely picture books with great writers and illustrators. Check out their website to find more of their titles.

Follow the link to find some great activity sheets to go with the book.


The Hunter by Joe Sparrow

One aristocratic hunter is about to face his toughest quarry: a mythical beast composed of all his vanguished trophies!

In a time centuries before our own, one arrogant hunter has grown bored of sport. Only the legends of a mythical beast excite him now, but when he goes hunting for the creature he quickly discovers that he is outmatched. Because this beast is not any mythical animal but is composed of all the hunted prey killed in the past, and it is most certainly out for revenge.


Have a look at the other amazing editions of Nobrow’s 23 x 17 series.

Keep your eyes peeled for a Q&A with Joe Sparrow coming soon! Also a possible magpie hybrid beast!

Check out Joe’s portfolio of work:

Dungeons & Drawings

Follow Joe on Twitter


Lulu Loves Flowers by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Inspired by her book of poems, Lulu sets out to make a flower garden like Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. Lulu picks the seeds she wants and waits for the flowers to grow. Her mum and dad help her with the project. Dad helps her hang shells over the flower bed and mum helps her make a flower sketch book.

The book is a nice introduction to living things that children can create in the space available to them. It can also be used as a good starting point to discuss how plants reproduce, and the different parts that make up a flower.

Why not read this book to your little ones and then take them to the garden centre and create your very own flower garden.

Published by Alanna Books


When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark, Illustrated by Eva Eriksson

Tonight Dad wants to show his son something very special: the universe. Of course, they can’t possibly embark on such a daring adventure unprepared, so they wrap up warm, gather provisions, and then off they go. It’s a long walk, but eventually they get there.

Along the way, they learn that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination, and sometimes the biggest lessons happen when you least expect them.

Gecko Press

As a relatively new father, I understand the desire to show your children something beautiful, memorable and profound. What is more fantastic and humbling than the universe.

I find stargazing to be the best way to keep yourself grounded, to simultaneously make you feel both completely insignificant and a remarkable miracle.

Some of my fondest memories of my own dad are of looking at the night sky and listening to him tell me about the wonders of the universe.

I have one memory of lying down on the grass with my dad, in the garden of the house I grew up in – watching a violent thunderstorm pass over us. I remember pink fork lightning splintering the sky around us and almighty crashes of Thor’s hammer right above me.

This book speaks directly to me in that way, reminding me of those precious childhood memories. I can see myself mimicking the actions of the dad in this story (minus the dog pooh incident).

The language in the book is rich in vocabulary and Ulf Stark constructs vivid imagery in the readers mind, such as: his dentist’s coat with its flecks of blood – He whistled so it would be easier for us to keep walking. The tune floated in a white cloud above his black beret.

The illustrations by Eva Eriksson are crafted beautifully, created with coloured pencils. The characters are full of expression and warmth.

A magnificent picture book.