The Whale by Ethan and Vita Murrow

Giant Whale or Giant Hoax

The Whale is the story of two young whale watchers, who are on the lookout for the legend of the Great Spotted Whale. Determined to get solid, undisputable proof of its existence, they set off in their boats. Amidst the chaos of the stormy weather, their boats collide. When this happens, the two boys put their equipment together and work as a team to try and find the giant whale.

The Whale is a wordless picture book, illustrated in fine detail with graphite pencils. The book reads like frames of an analogue film reel. The style of illustration, the sense of adventure, the mythical legend of the Giant Whale and the beautifully drawn analogue equipment all help to give the reader a cinematic experience.

Published by Big Picture Press

Release date – September


Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale by Fred Blunt

Get your pirate on!

Turn one hand into a hook, close one eye and follow these rules that I have borrowed from

Double up on all your adjectives and you’ll be bountifully bombastic with your phrasing. Pirates never speak of “a big ship”, they call it a “great, grand ship!” They never say never, they say “No nay ne’er!”

Drop all your “g”‘s when you speak and you’ll get words like “rowin'”, “sailin'” and “fightin'”. Dropping all of your “v”‘s will get you words like “ne’er”, “e’er” and “o’er”.

Instead of saying “I am”, sailors say, “I be”. Instead of saying “You are”, sailors say, “You be”. Instead of saying, “They are”, sailors say, “They be”. Ne’er speak in anythin’ but the present tense!

Arr.. By the powers! This hearty, booty of a book be worth a treasure chest of pieces of eight! Etc, etc…

Everyone loves a good pirate name. But I absolutely love this one – Captain Falsebeard, I love how ludicrous that is. Fred Blunt’s character design is brilliant, I find it hilarious that he has this ginger false beard that’s always half attached to his bald, smooth face.

In the story we meet Captain Flasebeard and his archenemy Admiral Swinetoes. Captain Falsebeard discovers the legendary Crossbone treasure. But Admiral Swinetoes comes up with a cunning plan to take it from him.
Will Falsebeard be able to retrieve it again? I won’t give away the ending.

This is Fred Blunt’s debut picture book and it is very, very funny with wonderful illustrations and a great story. Highly recommended.

Published by Puffin.

Follow Fred on twitter.

Check out the magpie he did for me.



Let’s Go Outside by Katja Spitzer

A pocket-sized vocabulary guide for the budding gardener in the family, there are lots of words to learn all about the garden environment.

The eye-catching illustrations with their bright colours and funky outlines set this apart from your average, run of the mill ‘word book’ – this is Flying Eye Books’ take on it & as you can expect with them, when they do something they do it properly. It’s also presented beautifully in mini hardback book format.


This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

A 2015 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

This One Summer is a tremendously exciting new teen graphic novel from two creators with true literary clout. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of childhood – a story of renewal and revelation.

– Published by First Second Books


This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Julie Morstad

This is Sadie – From the duo that brought us the incredible picture books, When You Were Small, Where You Came From and When I Was Smal.

This is Sadie is another beautifully written, child-centred picture book by Sara O’Leary, delicately and exquisitely illustrated by the brilliant Julie Morstad.

Again Sara O’Leary manages to see through the eyes of a child to deliver another inventive and playful concept.

In this story, Sadie, a little girl with an enormous imagination, imagines herself living under the sea, as a boy raised by wolves, as a girl having adventures in wonderland and visiting the world of fairytales.

This is a wonderful story that demonstrates the power of the imagination and shows us that it has no bounds.

Published by Tundra Books.


I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

As a teacher starting a new school in September, I can completely empathise with Lola’s plight. It can be a tad scary that first day of school.

Lola, Charlie’s little sister, is almost big enough to start going to school. You’ve guessed it, she is not so keen on the idea. She agrees that it might be useful to learn to read, write and count, But she is also very busy at home doing important things – and fears school will be a distraction! As well as this, Lola has an invisible friend called Soren Lorensen and Soren is pretty nervous about the whole school thing.

Starting school for the first time is a MASSIVE event in a small person’s life, and like I said, for a fully grown adult. This book does a fantastic job of putting their minds at rest and reassuring them that everything will be okay.

Published by Orchard Books