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Reviews of Children's Books recommended by our children's books editor.


Authors  E  to  H


Author

Anne Fine

Illustrator

Kate Aldous

Title

Loudmouth Louis

Date of First Publication

1998

Publisher

Puffin

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 8 to 10 year olds. Chapters and longer sentences are broken up by large, amusing line illustrations. Story follows a normally very noisy child who participates in a sponsored silence and then notices the difference his quiet makes to his enjoyment of school. Humorous and thought provoking. Everyday settings make the story engaging and accessible.

 

Author

Vivian French

Illustrator

Guy Parker-Rees

Title

Morris and The Cat Flap

Date of First Publication

1996

Publisher

Collins Children’s Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 6 to 8 year olds. Ideal as a first longer book as text is more complicated but no overlong, and liberally illustrated. Relates story of cat afraid of cat flap and is useful for getting children to think about change and how it is not something to be afraid of. This idea is portrayed with humour and sympathy via the text and engaging black and white illustrations.



Author

Alan Garner

Illustrator

N/a

Title

The Owl Service

Date of First Publication

1967

Publisher

Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 10 to 13 year olds. Complex and engaging mystery story with strong sense of place and history. Combines ancient myth with the present day. Use of dialect and strong description of people and places.

 

Author

Susan Gates

Illustrator

Sebastien Braun

Title

Sugar Bag Baby

Date of First Publication

2003

Publisher

Orchard Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 7 to 9 year olds growing more confident in reading. Looks at a young boy who wants to earn his own identity and grow up. Story is charming, funny and sympathetic. Useful for children thinking about how others see themselves and how they feel about themselves. Illustrations break up text.

 

Author

Marie-Louise Gay

Illustrator

Marie-Louise Gay

Title

Stella Queen of Snow

Date of First Publication

2000

Publisher

Allen and Unwin

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Tells the story of Sam’s first experience of snow and how his sister Stella shows him ways to play and have fun in the snow. Short, simple sentences adequately give a sense of a child’s first experience of snow. Illustrations are bright and distinctive and pick out aspects of the text. Useful to use in winter when there is snow outside.

 

Author

Christine Goppel

Illustrator

Christine Goppel

Title

Anna Aphid

Date of First Publication

2005

Publisher

North-South Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 6 to 8 year olds. Very unusual story of an aphid who decides to fly from her “planet” and explore the universe. Told from the aphid’s point of view the text contains several words relating to space (cosmos, universe) that may well be new to the reader. Illustrations are highly coloured and exciting and show the world first from the aphid’s perspective, and then from a human’s.



Author

G D Griffiths

Illustrator

Les Edwards

Title

Abandoned!

Date of First Publication

1985

Publisher

Target

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 9 to 13 year olds, particularly girls. Story follows the life of an abandoned kitten. Focuses on themes of acceptance and wishing to belong. At 94 pages excellent for readers moving from more heavily illustrated, shorter books.

 

Author

Jillian Harker

Illustrator

Andy Everitt-Stewart

Title

If You Hold My Hand

Date of First Publication

2000

Publisher

Bright Sparks

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 3 to 4 year olds and about taking first steps from the point of view of a baby rabbit. Bright illustrations and short sentences show a rabbit getting used to his environment with help and support. Repetition helps the developing reader and illustrations complement text.

 

Author

Kathy Henderson

Illustrator

Kathy Henderson

Title

The Storm

Date of First Publication

1999

Publisher

Walker Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 4 to 6 year olds. Focuses on a huge storm from the perspective of a little boy who lives on the coast. Striking illustrations bring to life the text and convey the violence and wildness of the storm. This contrasts with the warmth of the illustrations focussing on the boy’s visit to his grandmother. Large text type is used, making this excellent for children relatively new to reading. 

 

Author

Amy Hest

Illustrator

Jill Barton

Title

Baby Duck and the New Eyeglasses

Date of First Publication

1998

Publisher

Walker Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 4 to 6 year olds. Baby Duck does not like her new glasses but is finally shown they are ok by her granddad. Sweet story that looks sensitively at how it feels to get something new and different. Excellent for using with children who need to wear glasses (or something else that marks them as different) and are unhappy about it. Engaging, understated illustrations complement gentle text.

 

Author

James and Deborah Howe

Illustrator

Alan Daniel

Title

Bunnicula – A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Date of First Publication

1986

Publisher

Dragon Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 9 to 12 year olds. Funny story of a “vampire rabbit” told from the perspective of the family dog. Occasional illustrations break up text, making this a good longer narrative for children to start with. A humorous detective story with occasional scary moments which are tempered by an everyday setting.



Author

Sandra Ann Horn

Illustrator

Pantelis Georgiou

Title

Nobody, Him and Me

Date of First Publication

2001

Publisher

MacMillan Children’s Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year old. Sweet story about a family of mice who outwit a cat who wants to catch them. Short, simple sentences are set into longer paragraphs. Bright, bold illustrations complement text and highlight particular events. Very good for children becoming used to longer texts.

 

Author

Shirley Hughes

Illustrator

Shirley Hughes

Title

The Lion and the Unicorn

Date of First Publication

1998

Publisher

Red Fox

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 7 to 9 year olds – a picture book with a longer narrative. Tells the story of a young Jewish boy evacuated out of London and finding his courage. Complex sentence structure stretch readers. Illustrations are realistic and often dark and feature events in the story. Useful for work on life in WWII and how to deal with change and bullying.

 

Author

Robin and Inge Hyman

Illustrator

Yutaka Sugita

Title

The Greatest Explorers In The World

Date of First Publication

1978

Publisher

Evans Brothers

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 4 to 7 year olds. Story focuses on a little hippo and a little tortoise who are afraid of lots of things around them. They find that exploring together is better. Vivid illustrations capture the imagination and bring the text to life. The text is simple, clear and amusing and looks at ideas of working together and helping each other. This particular is favourite of mine from childhood.


 
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