Look for Ladybird in Plant City by Katherina Manolessou

Join Daisy and super-sleuth Basil in Plant City where the hunt is on for Daisy’s runaway pet Ladybird. This beautifully illustrated search and find book lets you discover more, the more you look. Each page bursts with colour and subtle jokes.

Ladybird is hidden in every part of the city but it took Georgie and I ages to spot him. We found a spider on a balloon, a green hippo on a Ferris wheel, a squirrel holding two slices of pizza and a chicken with spots. However, we still haven’t found Ladybird in Hedge Hospital..of course we decided not to look at the answers.

This fun-filled book kept us busy for hours, discovering new and unexpected creatures each time we looked. Definitely one of our new favourites.

Illustrated by Katherina Manolessou and published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

Maurice the Unbeastly by Amy Dixon

When you think of beasts, you immediately think of fear, destruction and loud roaring noises. But Maurice is different. Maurice eats kale and is incredibly neat and polite … not beast-like at all. His parents are worried about him and decide to send him to the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts so he can learn how to be a proper beast. But will Maurice learn to fit in? Or will he learn the value of staying true to himself?

This book offers a fantastic starting point for conversations about fitting in and peer pressure.

I used this book in school and had the children advise Maurice on what he should and shouldn’t do. We then argued our points and in the end agreed that it’s good to be different and learn from each other.

A fantastic book brought to life by Karl James Mountford’s brilliantly funny illustrations. A reminder how important it is to stay true to oneself.

Written by Amy Dixon, illustrated by Karl James Mountford and published by Sterling Children’s Books.

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Petra by Marianna Coppo

We love this book. The message: You can be what and who you want to be…the only limit – your imagination.

Petra is a mighty mountain that can’t be moved by anything or anyone until we discover that she isn’t in fact a mountain but Petra is whatever she chooses to be (an island, an egg, an elephant,…). An important lesson for all children to learn.

i read this book to my class of Year 3s and they loved it. We went out to look for ‘our Petras’ and let our imagination run wild.

There is lots of fun to be had with this book. An uplifting ‘glass half full’ story that any child should read.

Written by Marianna Coppo and published by Thames & Hudson.


Pink Lion

Arnold is a pink lion who lives with his loving and bright pink flamingo family. He fits right in and enjoys playing in the watering hole until he meets a pride of lions. All of a sudden he starts to question where he truly belongs. He tries to be a good lion but misses his old life. But when his flamingo family is threatened by a crocodile, he has to find his inner lion to protect them.

A lovely book which had 3-year-old, pink-loving Georgie roaring like a lion for days!

Written and illustrated by Jane Porter, published by Walker Books.

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Cap’n Rex & His Clever Crew by Henry L. Herz

What a fun book! Especially if you know someone who can read it in a Somerset accent.

Cap’n Rex is a T-Rex pirate who is on a quest to find treasure. Just like any good captain, Cap’n Rex has a capable crew behind him. Unfortunately, his crew easily gets discouraged by the obstacles they face.  With constant encouragement, his crew is able to find creative ways to overcome the problems and continue their treasure hunt.

When Georgie and I read this book, I asked her what Cap’n Rex should do with the treasure once he had found it. Without hesitation she suggested he should share it with the crew. Lesson learned!

Written by Henry L. Herz, illustrated by Benjamin Shipper and published by Sterling Children’s Books.


Ally-Saurus & the Very Bossy Monster by Richard Torrey

This book follows on from  ‘Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School’. In this story, Ally has to learn to stand up for herself and her friends because a new bossy neighbour loves turning everything into a rule… until Ally-Saurus has had enough.

This book is brilliant because it gets children thinking about the way people feel and behave. The illustrations are fantastic and show the characters’ feelings really well. Ally also finds out that not all bullies behave badly on purpose. In the end, Ally as well as the bossy neighbour learn their lessons and become friends.

I read this book to my class of Year 3s and we identified where Maddie, the bossy neighbour, behaved like a bully. We then discussed how she could change her behaviour for the better.

It triggered some interesting discussions about friendships and playground issues.

Written by Richard Torrey and published by Sterling Children’s Books.

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What Do Grown-Ups Do All Day? illustrated by Dawid Ryski

What do you want to be when you grow up? A common question that’s often answered with fireman or footballer for boys and princess or teacher for girls. This book highlights endless possibilities beyond the traditional gender stereotypes. From male primary school teachers to female farmers, from male carers to female carpenters, from male fitness trainers to female mechanical engineers, this book illustrates that anything is possible for boys and girls.

This book offers a perfect starting point for discussions about future ambitions and possible career choices.

I played a fun game with my class of 7 year olds where I mentioned the profession and they would tell me if they thought it was a male or female job. This sparked an interesting conversation where I found myself asking ‘Why not?’ quite a few times. This was also recently picked up on in a BBC documentary ‘No More Boys And Girls’ by Doctor Javid Abdelmoneim that investigated the impact of subconscious gender perception of adults and the impact that had on how children saw themselves. A brilliant book that will get children thinking.

The vintage style illustrations are beautiful and support the message of the book very well.

Published by Little Gestalten and brilliantly illustrated by Dawid Ryski.

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