The Albie books by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves hold a special place in my heart. My daughter has grown up with them as firm favourites and even now, as she embraces full length chapter books and reading to herself, she regularly returns to Albie’s adventures. Her face lit up when this one dropped through the letterbox. A sure sign of a winning format!
I love the Albie books because of their celebration of childhood and imagination, and for their brilliantly casual inclusion. I’ve raved before about how Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves do this and how much I love them for doing so. Because it is an important thing. They make these books so much fun for kids but at the same time they think responsibly about how they present Albie’s world to them. That makes them superheroes in my eyes.
This latest adventure sees Albie turning into a superhero in order to tidy his room in time for ice cream. How to Save a Superhero has all the qualities you expect from a superhero adventure – the villain, mild peril, the trap, the rescue and the okay-i’ll-be-good resolution. It is fast-paced, action-filled and super fun. But guess what? There are different shades of skin colour here! And the villain is female. And there’s a girl superhero. And at one point the girl rescues the boy!
All brilliant things that make me super happy. But, once again, the children enjoying this book won’t actively notice any of those things. Because THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME and they will be far too busy dressing up as superheroes and desperately scrawling ‘I want a Flying Game Grabber and a Snooze Ray’ onto their wish lists. As it should be.
Bravo, Caryl! Bravo, Ed! High fives all round.
You can grab your copy here.
Source – kindly sent for review by Simon and Schuster.
Heidi and her friends love to play hide and seek. The trouble is, Heidi always wins. She can’t help it – she’s just too good! But Heidi soon learns that being hard to find can be hard to take, so she needs to come up with a plan…
Hiding Heidi is a beautifully designed and deceptively simple picture book. The artwork is gorgeous and the story is light and well paced. The joy here is that Fiona Woodcock hasn’t dumbed down for a younger audience, but has left room for them to explore and investigate the pictures and to have their own ideas about what is happening in each picture.
The illustrations are packed full of printed shapes and patterns and would be wonderful inspiration for printing and shape games for children. There’s lots of scope for talks about hiding and camouflage here too. It really is a book that belongs in nurseries and infant schools alongside a stack of art supplies.
A very impressive debut. A scrummy, beautiful book that will win the hearts of children and teachers alike.
You can get your copy from Indy-loving, tax-paying hive.co.uk here.
Source – kindly sent for review by Simon & Schuster.
Bernard the Robot loses his bottom on the park swing, and sets off to find it. Every time he gets close, it disappears again! Bird was using it as a nest, but it was too heavy; Bear used it in his drum kit, but it was too tinny; the Rabbits built sandcastles with it…and now it looks as if they’re sailing away in it. Will Bernard EVER get his bottom back?
I feel like I can really relate to this book. Look at Bernard’s face on the front cover. He’s got that embarrassed it’s-fine-really braving-it-out look. I try to be a sophisticated rhino but I’m a clumsy soul at heart. I pull that look myself regularly.
There’s something for everyone in this book. From the holographic title to the use of circuit board and binary designed backgrounds, the robotic theme flows through each page. There’s some fun language play and the illustrations are brightly coloured and deceptively simple. I particularly approve of the funky outlines.
And the best bit? This book is aimed at children. Not at boys. Or at girls. At CHILDREN. Hooray for a book about a stereotypically gendered subject that is written and illustrated without a gender bias.
No-Bot makes me smile because it is pure fun. It’s about friendship, silliness and bottoms and it ends with a bottom wiggling dance. When you have a bottom as large as mine, a bottom wiggling dance is quite an occasion.
So here’s a wiggle to a book that encourages all children to have fun and giggle at the silliness of life. Hurrah!
Source: Our bookshelves.