Sidney, Stella and the Moon by Emma Yarlett

Sidney, Stella and the Moon is a book that I have been clutching and stroking and coming back to over and over in the last month. It really is gorgeous and has so much to offer our little people.

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Sidney and Stella are siblings who do not like to share. The book shows their journey from squabbling to sharing when they come together to find a solution to a very big problem.

Not only does this book look beautiful and have some wonderful ideas inside, but it celebrates children being children. It shows the zany games they play, their incredible imaginations and ideas and their innate curiosity and creativity.

By choosing to portray a girl and a boy, and to show them as equals throughout, Emma Yarlett has ensured that every child has a character to connect with and a role model to hold on to. Sidney and Stella both begin from the same starting point of sibling rivalry and take the same journey. I loved watching them develop from scowling mono-browed cross patches to confident beaming friends.

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The book itself is gorgeous, full of deep blues and turquoise colours, offset with warm rustic reds. It is immensely strokeable. Emma Yarlett has put her own twist on a contemporary style. You can clearly see the influence of Oliver Jeffers in the illustrative style, the layering and use of printed pages, funky typeface and added swirls and scribbles. As a reader I love to see authors and illustrators tip their hats to others.

One of the best things about this book is it’s detail. Every picture has loads of detail to pore over, with added arrows and asides and snippets of text, it really is a joy to share with inquisitive children. There’s so much to look at and talk about and giggle over. The huge foldout page is clearly a winner but my personal favourite is the ‘hunting for inspiration’ page, where Stella and Sidney scour the room for anything moon-like.

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I am a sucker for a book with beautiful endpapers. I am particularly taken by endpapers that continue or enhance the story. In Sidney, Stella and the Moon the front endpapers show the terrible two stealing, shoving and squabbling and the rear endpapers show images of smiling, sharing siblings. Delicious.

A celebration of children’s imagination, resourcefulness and creativity, Sidney, Stella and the Moon is the perfect book to read with children to inspire and influence their own play.

Source- won in the StorySeekers competition, thanks to Loll and Templar books.

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