Little Steps Publishing have released some gorgeous new books for Spring 2020 and I am grateful to Lucy for sending them through for me to review.
Brave Adventures, Little Girl by Iresha Herath, illustrated by Oscar Fa
Four year old Anika loves to visit her grandparents each Sunday afternoon. She knows that she will be welcomed with hugs and laughter and shared food and stories. The gentle, simple text by Iresha Herath and beautiful digital illustration by Oscar Fa perfectly convey a loving bond between the generations of a family.
When Anika tries to demonstrate her newly learned skill of hopscotch to grandfather Seeya and grandmother Achi, she becomes nervous, loses her balance and hurts her arm. She then admits to Seeya that she wishes she could be as brave as he was when he had adventures all over the world in his youth. She gets a funny feeling in her tummy when she tries something new and thinks she has no bravery at all.
In his kindly way, Seeya explains that in each of his youthful adventures he had to face new challenges and that he always had a funny feeling in his tummy at those moments; bravery means recognising the challenge of something new and then doing it. These stories are wide ranging, opening new cultural experiences to young children, and all told with a wonderful sparkle of humour. The illustrated country maps are striking and I particularly loved the painting of Enzo Ferrari!
This is a perfect book to enjoy sharing with young children. The author’s Sri Lankan/Australian heritage provides an awareness of different cultures, the family dynamic is portrayed in a lovingly positive light, children will delight in the humour and it is a great discussion starter for conversations about confronting fears. Highly recommended for everyone of 4+.
Where Do Teachers Go At Night? By Harriet Cuming, illustrated by Sophie Nora
Written by a teacher with many years’ of experience, this hugely amusing picture book with bouncy rhyming text reveals the secret life of teachers after the classroom door has closed for the day! The illustrations are perfectly designed, resembling a mixture of watercolour and crayon familiar to all who work in primary schools. They portray the activities with great humour and children will love spotting the accessories that highlight each teacher’s personality and speciality. In addition, this book falls into the category of teaching children new facts without them even realising it, with the action taking place all over the world and a summary map at the end.
I can see this book being extremely popular with young children and providing a creative spark for their own ideas about what their teacher might do out of hours!
Where Else Do Teachers Go At Night? By Harriet Cuming, illustrated by Sophie Nora
Not content with their many adventures in Book 1, the intrepid and energetic teachers are off around the world on a new set of out-of-hours adventures! Again Harriet Cuming’s amusing, rhyming text is perfectly complemented by Sophie Nora’s colourful and richly detailed artwork. The locations ranging from the Andes, to Cork to Outer Mongolia are rendered with humorous geographical detail which both amuses and educates.
This is a book which will reward repeated readings and provides many fascinating details for young children to explore.
Little Steps Publishing provide teacher’s notes which include ideas for artwork and classroom activities based on these two books, you can find them here: