Dads in the picture on Father’s Day by various authors - book reviews -

Share fun, adventures and hugs with dad on Father’s Day, meet a roly-poly flying pony who’s on the run, get ready for some super-powered giggles, and enjoy a picture book celebration of diversity in a selection of new summertime children’s books.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:45 pm
Fearless with Dad
Fearless with Dad

Age 3 plus:

Fearless with Dad

Cori Brooke and Giuseppe Poli

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Dads… they’re versatile, full of fun, bursting with ideas, and can inspire you to travel to the moon and back!

Help your youngsters to celebrate Father’s Day with this beautiful celebration of one boy’s love for his dad and the adventures they share with this delightful picture book from author Cori Brooke and illustrator Giuseppe Poli.

Imaginative power is the secret to this clever story which features a little boy’s loving celebration of the endless possibilities and adventures he has with his dad… whether that’s kicking the winning goal or building a tree house.

Love is… just being with dad!

(New Frontier Publishing, paperback, £6.99)

Age from birth:

My Dad is a Bear

Nicola Connelly and Annie White

Hugs all round on Father’s Day for this cute and cuddly board book with daddy love written all over it!

Charlie’s dad is tall, round and soft. Sometimes he growls. Could he be a bear? Luckily for Charlie, there’s one thing bears do best… bear hugs!

My Dad is a Bear – a simple but beautiful tale of a bear cub and his dad – comes from Nicola Connelly, an emerging Australian author who writes stories based on real life experiences, and freelance illustrator Annie White who uses pencil, ink, watercolour and sometimes oils in her exquisite illustrations.

A gorgeous bedtime wind-down book and the perfect gift for Father’s Day.

(Catch a Star, board book, £6.99)

Age 7 plus:

Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Some books have heroes you never expect to meet…

Take Kevin, for example, he’s a biscuit-loving, tiny winged, roly-poly flying pony who crashes into a tower block balcony and makes friends with an unsuspecting boy called Max. Max wants adventures and he’s certainly got some now!

The Legend of Kevin: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure is a the latest book in a brilliant series from one of the top teams in children’s books… Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, creators of best-loved books like Cakes in Space and Oliver and the Seawigs.

Max is a young boy living in an ordinary tower block in Bumbleford but luckily he has super adventures with his flying pony best friend called Kevin who blew in one day on a magical storm. In their new adventure, Bumbleford has been hit by a series of biscuit thefts. All the clues lead straight to the only roly-poly flying pony in town, KEVIN! Max and Kevin are forced to go on the run. Will they find the real culprit before Kevin ends up in pony prison?

Reeve delivers a fantastically funny, slapstick and yet warm and reassuring story about friendship and the spirit of adventure, all brought to glorious life by McIntyre’s richly detailed, two-colour illustrations.

Beautifully produced with silver sprayed edges and ideal for reluctant readers, this is humour with a big heart and a wonderful gift for all young readers.

(Oxford University Press, hardback, £8.99)

Age 7 plus:

Pizazz vs Perfecto

Sophy Henn

Enjoy more super-awesome laughs in the third book of award-winning author and illustrator Sophy Henn’s hilarious comic-book strip style series starring scintillating superhero schoolgirl Pizazz.

Classroom politics, friendship fails and laugh-out-loud humour are the hallmarks of this perfectly pitched series which has all the ‘powers and stuff’ that you expect from a superhero story but with the added delight of some very human characters and some very human dilemmas.

Being a superhero is the best thing ever, right? Wrong! Hello, my name is Pizazz and I’m a superhero. You probably think that’s really awesome and while it can be, it’s also REEEEEEEAAALLLLY annoying. Even though I’m saving the world all the time, there are still loads of bad guys about. Like super baddie Perfecto! She’s younger than me, and just… well, PERFECT! But I have a plan. Maybe I just need to be perfect too… even more perfect than Perfecto. Easy-peasy, right?!

Expect raucous rivalries and some sassy schoolgirls as Henn serves up a verbal and visual feast of super-powered fun and giggles!

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £6.99)

Age 4 plus:

All About Diversity

Felicity Brooks and Mar Ferrero

Help your child to not just understand diversity but to celebrate all that is good and rewarding about the concept of ‘difference’ with this dynamic and joyous book from the experts at Usborne Publishing.

With Felicity Brooks’ reassuring, simple but lively text, and Mar Ferrero’s gallery of engaging illustrations, All About Diversity helps young children learn to respond in a kind and equal way to everyone, regardless of shape, size, age, physical and mental ability, gender, ethnicity, beliefs, language, culture and background.

With topics ranging from clothes, music and food to homes, festivals and families, there is plenty for children to talk about as they find out about what makes people different and what makes them unique.

The book presents all sorts of visible physical differences, but also explores some of the many other things that make people different… family composition and heritage, what we eat, the homes we live in, the transport we use, how we get our food, how we communicate, different beliefs, and the festivals we celebrate.

Cultural differences, different kinds of disability, personal preferences and neurodiversity (the different ways that people think, learn and behave) are also explained and explored in a positive and celebratory way.

Ferrero’s vibrant and often humorous illustrations bring all the characters to life and with helpful ‘notes for grown-ups’ at the back of the book, this is a fun and entertaining way to help your child develop the important skill of learning to appreciate and celebrate difference.

(Usborne, hardback, £9.99)

Age 5 plus:

Kitty and the Kidnap Trap

Paula Harrison and Jenny Løvlie

When you’re a girl by day and a cat by night, adventures are never far away!

Author Paula Harrison and illustrator Jenny Løvlie work their special magic on this fun-filled first chapter book series which features enchanting rooftop adventures with feisty feline star Kitty and her cat crew on moonlit rooftops.

Beautifully presented in a small format for little hands and densely illustrated in tones of grey and orange on almost every page, superhero Kitty’s magical story is simply purrfect for both cat lovers and young adventurers.

In her new moonlight mission, Kitty is supposed to be looking after her friend’s pet hamster, Marvin, for the weekend but disaster strikes when he’s kidnapped! Kitty must follow the kidnapper’s trail and return Marvin to his home safe and sound before the night is out. It’s time for Superhero Kitty to save the day!

Enjoy cheeky cats, night-time naughtiness and giggles galore as the merry band of moggies take on a bunch of roguish rats!

(OUP, paperback, £5.99)

Age 5 plus:

Isadora Moon Goes to a Wedding

Harriet Muncaster

Half-vampire, half-fairy Isadora Moon is on another flight of fancy in her latest sparkly adventure.

The unique and adorable Isadora, complete with fangs, wings and a crazy family, is the much-loved creation of author and illustrator Harriet Muncaster and a uniquely different and dynamic storybook heroine.

Full to its sparkly covers with crazy capers and enchanting pink and black illustrations, this magical series of first chapter books is perfect for early readers who like their glitter with a bit of bite! And this special hardback, gift edition comes with silver sprayed edges and extra activities and things to make and do.

Isadora’s mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she is a bit of both. There is nothing Isadora likes better than adventures and in this new adventure, Isadora is going to be a bridesmaid at her aunt’s wedding, and she’s SO excited! But with a mischievous older cousin Mirabelle and a bored baby sister to deal with, getting through the special day isn’t exactly going to be a piece of cake. Can Isadora make sure there’s a happy ending?

Isadora and her out-of-this-world family are perfectly created for little girls who are getting bored with run-of-the-mill fairies and princesses, and are eager to get their teeth into something new and exciting.

Clever, imaginative, funny and positively fizzing with fairies and vampires, Isadora’s adventures always leave youngsters hungry for more!

(OUP, hardback, £8.99)

Age 2 plus:

All Aboard the Sounds Train

Illustrated by Sean Sims

You don’t need a ticket to ride when you hit the rails on a first-class journey of learning!

Oxford University Press are ready and waiting at the station with this brilliant series which introduces key early learning concepts through beautifully illustrated and engaging stories which explore words, colours, numbers, space and so much more.

So hop aboard this thrill-filled train and enjoy fun lessons with a gang of playful youngsters… and a menagerie of amazing creatures.

In All Aboard the Sounds Train, youngsters are off to explore weather, the seasons, and the different sounds all around us. Take a sunny trip to the seaside, splash in the rain and then head off to a winter wonderland to crunch in the snow, and discover all the sounds that surround us. Choo choo, slurp, whoosh, crash, honk, hoot, munch!

With Sean Sims’ vibrant, colourful illustrations perfectly pitched for pre-schoolers, the fun of discovery on every page and lots to learn, spot, count and talk about, this unmissable series offers fast-track learning all the way!

(Oxford University Press, paperback, £6.99)