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Children's Book Club: February 2016

We round up the best new children's books for the month

Posted: 1 February 2016
by Alison Potter

Pass It On by Sophy Henn (£6.99, Puffin)

We can all do things to make the world we live in a better place. Help your child to realise their potential as an agent of positive change with Junior Design Award winner Sophy Henn’s latest picture book Pass It On. Riotously colourful, this unapologetically cheerful and life-affirming little book celebrates kindness and teaches children to find the joy in life – even in things as small as a smile or a hug – and to pass it on to those around them. It’s a sweet and uplifting story which will help your child to develop his compassionate side and especially benefit those who need a little confidence and encouragement when it comes to making friends at pre-school or nursery.

For those who live in London or are planning a visit to the capital, on 17 February World Book Day illustrator Sophy is running ‘A Workshop In Kindness’ inspired by her new book at the Southbank Centre, as part of the Imagine Children’s Festival.

Peek-A-Boo Zoo! By Jane Cabrera (£8.99, Bonnier)

What baby can resist a good old fashioned game of peek-a-boo? It’s a guaranteed giggle-inducing activity for children under 5 and Peek-A-Boo Zoo! taps into the enduring popularity of this game with the added appeal of a whole host of animal characters just waiting to be discovered by you and your baby. With die cut eye holes to look through and an engaging rhyming story, it’s a joyous combination of book and game which will have you and your little one laughing along as you turn each page to discover the surprise. Award-winning author Jane Cabrera has a sweet and simple illustration style which is perfect for its intended audience. Animal lovers and peek-a-boo fans alike will find this picture book utterly irresistible.

Amazing Animal Journeys by Chris Packham (£10.99, Egmont)

Focusing on migration, this beautifully illustrated non-fiction book is suitable for children aged 5 and over and details the various annual expeditions of a wide range of animals from all over the world. Written by BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham, star of Springwatch and Autumnwatch, Amazing Animal Journeys is a fact-filled and fascinating insight into a whole host of animals including blue whales, leatherback turtles, red crabs, wildebeest and monarch butterflies. But this book has style as well as substance, with illustrations by accomplished watercolour artist Jason Cockcroft, which bring to life the natural world for children and provide visual support for Chris’ factual explanations. It’s an ideal introduction to the animal kingdom, which is perfect for budding biologists and animal scientists.

Little Why by Jonny Lambert (£10.99, Little Tiger)

It’s natural to get jealous sometimes, but that’s certainly not a trait you want to encourage in your child. If your little one has a touch of the green-eyed monster, Little Why is a good way to address the topic. Set in the African savannah, it’s the story of an endearing young elephant who keeps getting distracted by the different attributes of all the other animals around him, putting him in danger as can’t seem to stay in line with the rest of his tribe.

Parents of inquisitive little ones will certainly identify with the elephant elders, while young readers will relate to the baby elephant’s curiosity and excitable nature. A wonderfully charming story with a heart-warming message about positive body image, Little Why is a stylish and uniquely illustrated book which celebrates that individuality and reminds young readers that we are all special in different ways. 

Stanley The Amazing Knitting Cat by Emily MacKenzie (£10.99, Bloomsbury)

Unsurprisingly Stanley The Amazing Knitting Cat is fond of a spot of knitting – he always has his knitting needles in his paws, whipping up bobble hats, jumpers and scarves for his all friends. But when a knitting competition comes up he has to make a very difficult choice between his pals and his craft, forcing him to decide which is the most important to him.

Author Emily MacKenzie has clearly had a ball illustrating this imaginative and fun story, filling it with colourful hand-drawn illustrations which are full of energy and witty details to captivate younger readers. A celebration of friendship, Stanley The Amazing Knitting Cat is an entertaining and heart-warming read, which also encourages little ones to nurture their own individual skills and abilities.


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