Before I Wake Up… By Britta Teckentrup

A young girl falls asleep and travels in her dreams through the sky, down to the ocean’s depths and into a jungle. She is accompanied by a lion friend, who eases her fears, gives her confidence and helps her explore the world around her. Along the way she meets whales, jellyfish, grizzly bears and wolves. Then it is time for the moon balloon to take the girl home to her bed, where she awakes, snuggled safely next to the lion, who returns to being a stuffed toy. Award-winning children’s illustrator Britta Teckentrup’s collage-like artwork creates a magical world of captivating colours, classic shapes and softly detailed textures. The gently told story reassures children that they are never alone, even in their dreams. Exquisitely produced, this book is certain to become a bedtime favourite for children and their parents.

Published by Prestel Publishing

Visit Magpie That tomorrow for Britta’s guest post.

Here are some magpies Britta illustrated for me some time ago. Aren’t they beautiful.

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This is Not a Book by Jean Jullien

Jean Jullien is an exciting new talent to hit the children’s book market. With his unique style and playful illustrations, he has created a board book that makes his young readers look at things from a different perspective.

Each turn of the page, presents us with a new way to imagine this rectangular shape of the double page. The book presents us with suprising views of the world: it becomes a gaping, open mouth, an open laptop, a set of piano keys with sheet music and a birdseye view of a man tightrope walker.

It’s a deceptively simple and playful concept and can be enjoyed simply as that alone. However, I feel it could be used to inspire children to explore other shapes in the world around them and develop their problem solving abilities. What if the book was a semi circle and the pages opened up into a circle? What could the images inside reveal?

My Verdict:

This is Not a Book is a playful, imaginative board book that encourages young minds to think outside of the box and explore the world around them.

Published by Phaidon.

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All Kinds of Cars by Carl Johanson

All kinds of Cars is a catalogue of automobiles, from everyday cars to weird and wonderful vehicle creations from the imaginative mind of Swedish illustrator Carl Johanson. Amongst them, you’ll find an ambulance, a digger, a drilling rig, a banana car, a poo car, a snow plough and an amphibious vehicle to name a few.

It’s a seemingly simple concept that will fill both adults and children with joy. My personal favourite is the Mondrian car.

Published by Flying Eye Books.

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ABZZz… A Bedtime Alphabet by Isabel Minhós Martins and Yara Kono

Convincing children to go to sleep can be an adult’s nightmare: sometimes you need the patience of a saint. After endless stories, youtube lullabies, fake snoring, face stroking and begging the whole process can become somewhat laborious.

This beautifully illustrated ABZzz book is here to help all of you exhausted and irritable parents out there. Send those toddlers to sleep with this sanity saving, sleep inducing, yawn provoker.

Published by Thames and Hudson.

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Pattern-Tastic Treasure Hunt by Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal

Learn to spot different patterns with this nature-inspired treasure hunt, which contains 80 first words to see and say. Turn the tabs of the chunky boards book to discover a world of stripes, spots and spirals, then try to spot the odd one out. Visual learning made fun.

Published by Wide Eyed Editions.

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Technicolour Treasure Hunt: Learn to Count with Nature by Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal

A beautiffuly designed board book

Learn to count from one to ten with this nature-inspired treasure hunt, which contains 80 first words to see and say. Turn the tabs of the chunky board book to discover all the colours of the rainbow. Visual learning made fun.

Published by Wide Eyed.

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The Quickest Kid in Clarksville By Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

It’s the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She’ll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn’t matter that Alta’s shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.

Published by Chronicle Books.