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

Authors  I to K


Author

Mick Inkpen

Illustrator

Mick Inkpen

Title

Kipper’s A to Z

Date of First Publication

2000

Publisher

Hodder Children’s Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 3 to 6 year olds and featuring the popular

Kipper the Dog. Story is based around Kipper and his friend Arnold trying to find things for each letter of the alphabet. Large text type make reading easy for new readers. Clear, lively illustrations help decode text and use of a familiar character will help children gain confidence in their understanding of the alphabet.




Author

Oliver Jeffers

Illustrator

Oliver Jeffers

Title

How To Catch A Star

Date of First Publication

2004

Publisher

Harper Collins Children’s Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 4 to 6 year olds with beautiful, unusual illustrations.   Tells story of a boy who wants to catch a star and all the different ways he goes about this. Gives readers an opportunity to think about problem solving in a unique way. Excellent to read to a whole class as a “quick” story (asking questions about what might happen next) or for a reader new to longer books.




Author

Paul Jennings

Illustrator

Craig Smith

Title

The Cabbage Patch Fib

Date of First Publication

1988

Publisher

Puffin

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 7 to 9 year olds and dealing with “where babies come from” in an amusing an unusual way. The story follows a curious nine year old who finds a baby in cabbage patch. Vivid illustrations break up text making the book ideal for children tackling longer books for the first time. The subject matter is sensitively if unusually dealt with and might be useful for helping children who have started to ask the questions the main character has.




Author

Ann Jungman

Illustrator

Sami Sweeten

Title

Septimouse, Supermouse!

Date of First Publication

1993

Publisher

Puffin Books

Qualities/Features

Aimed at confident 7 to 10 year olds, with a large clear text type. A funny story about a very talented mouse who arranges for his family and friends to make cheese. Touches on themes of working together, negotiation, compromise and determination. Black and white line illustrations pick out key events in the text.




Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Goodbye Mog

Date of First Publication

2002

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds with simple text (featuring word repetition) and beautiful, clear illustrations. Excellent to read with a child or class and ideal for developing readers. Deals with the death of a pet in a sympathetic, reassuring manner. Children will find it both sad and funny. May be of use in dealing with bereaved children – providing both explanations and provoking discussions.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog’s Amazing Birthday Caper

Date of First Publication

?

Publisher

Picture Lions

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Mog bursts a balloon at a party and dreams an entire alphabet of events. Fanciful, funny and imaginative, text is alliterative. Bright, simple illustrations bright the text to life and show the many alphabetical items Mog encounters. Good for children just beginning to learn their alphabet – the funny and unusual story will help them remember.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog and Bunny

Date of First Publication

1976

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds and featuring Mog and her own special toy. Children will recognise Mog’s attachment to  “Bunny” and begin to develop a sense of empathy. Clear and comical illustrations help reinforce children’s understanding of how Mog is feeling.




Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog and the Baby

Date of First Publication

1988

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed 5 to 7 year olds. Mog suffers at the hands of a neighbour’s baby. Children with younger brothers or sisters will particularly recognise the baby’s behaviour and possibly identify with Mog’s misery. A near accident is dealt with sensitively and amusingly. Colourful illustrations complement text.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog and the Vee Ee Tee

Date of First Publication

1996

Publisher

Collins Picture Lions

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. Mog has to go to the vet after getting a thorn in her paw. Story is told with great humour and colourful illustrations. Useful to help children afraid of the doctors as the story is sympathetic and funny. Illustrations explain the text, helping developing readers to understand the book.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog’s Bad Thing

Date of First Publication

1980

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. Describes Mog’s “accident” after she is scared by a tent. Use of repetition (“disappeared”) and more complicated sentence structure. Children will find the story funny and also understand that everyone is scared sometimes. As with other Mog books, illustrations are clear, bright and funny and complement the text.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog’s Christmas

Date of First Publication

2000

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. Follows Mog’s confusion at Christmas and is ideal for reading together in the run up to Christmas. Deals with themes of change and sensitively shows the confusion that can arise with a break in routine. Illustrations amusingly portray Mog’s confusion and help children to follow the text. Ends happily when Mog realises that the change is not “bad” – useful for using in Circle Time – “not all changes are bad/threatening”.




Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog In The Dark

Date of First Publication

1983

Publisher

Collins Picture Lions

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 4 to 6 year olds. Mog is out in the dark, imagining all the things that could be out there with her, and all the things she could do. Text is specially limited to 50 words to help new readers and text features lots of repetition of words and phrases. Illustrations are bright and funny and help emphasise what is happening in the text.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog on Fox Night

Date of First Publication

1993

Publisher

Harper Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. Simple text full of repetition (“It played with…”) to help build confidence. Story follows events when foxes invade the kitchen from Mog’s perspective. Theme of helping  (tidying the kitchen) and looking after each other can be built on in circle time. Winter setting makes this a good book to read with a class in January.

 

Author

Judith Kerr

Illustrator

Judith Kerr

Title

Mog The Forgetful Cat

Date of First Publication

1970

Publisher

Harpers Collins

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. This book first introduces Mog and uses humour and everyday settings to draw children in. Ideal to read as a class or on a one to one basis. Funny, sweet illustrations capture the typical cat excellently. Language is simple with repetition to help build a developing reader’s confidence.

 

Author

Dick King-Smith

Illustrator

Jo Davies

Title

Dumpling

Date of First Publication

1986

Publisher

Puffin

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 6 to 8 year olds. Bright, clear illustrations help children follow and read text. Simple story of a dog who wants to be like his siblings. Links to notion of “different is ok” – good starting point for class work along those lines. Longer sentence structures will stretch readers while others will enjoy being read the story. 




Author

Dick King-Smith

Illustrator

Ann Kronheimer

Title

Flora The Schoolmouse

Date of First Publication

1994

Publisher

Puffin

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 8 to 10 year old with some illustrations that both compliment the text and on occasion replace it (eg a picture of an apple is illustrated, rather than described). It describes events children will recognise – the everyday life of a school – whilst also illustrating how education can be useful. It also features romance and humour and is likely to appeal especially to girls.

 

Author

Dick King-Smith

Illustrator

Sian Bailey

Title

The Roundhill

Date of First Publication

2000

Publisher

Viking

Qualities/Features

Aimed at 8 to 10 year olds. A young boy visits his favourite hill every summer and is always alone there until one day a mysterious girl appears. Gentle, thoughtful story which links Alice in Wonderland with ideas of people having a favourite or special place they like to visit. Text is broken up by occasional large line drawings which illustrate both particular events and also places such as the Roundhill.

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