I have recently been very grateful to receive a selection of fabulous first books published by Catch a Star, an imprint of New Frontier Publishing. All of the following books are printed on glossy, thick, quality card, making them sufficiently robust to share again and again with young children. They are 16.5cm squares, an excellent size for toddler hands to grip.
The Little White Fish series, written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten follows the adventures of a very cute little fish whilst introducing young children to colours, comparative language and prepositions,
The first book Little White Fish opens with our small marine hero crying because he has lost his mummy. On each subsequent page he meets an ocean creature which is named and described by colour; in a nice scientific touch they appear in the order of the colour spectrum, until at last he finds his rainbow-hued mummy.
Little White Fish Has a Party presents comparative vocabulary (big/small, long/short, sad/happy etc) as we are introduced to all of the party guests. Finally Little White Fish is So Happy introduces prepositions as the little fish bids his friends goodbye and describes where they are positioned. All three books share strikingly colour-block illustrations, with simple, clear outlines perfect for young children alongside simple, repetitive language.
The Can You Find? Series, illustrated by Nancy Bevington are a gorgeous introduction to animals and objects: At the Beach, In the Forest, On the Farm and Under the Ocean. The illustrations are exquisite – detailed enough to encourage even the youngest reader to linger and enjoy, with all of the creatures possessing cute, googly eyes which make them hugely appealing and friendly-looking. I am not an expert in fonts, but these books have been printed with a clear, handwriting-style font, which to my eye looks like sassoon, perfect for the target audience.
It appears to me that great care has been taken with the production of these books, ensuring that they will be wonderful for sharing with very young children. The simple, repetitive language, rhythm and beautifully realised illustrations being perfect for an early introduction into the pleasure of shared books. In my school I can also see these titles being extremely useful as an EAL resource, especially in Reception class. Where, again, the simple text and bright clear illustrations will be perfect for vocabulary acquisition
My thanks to New Frontier Publishing for gifting me this collection in exchange for an honest review.