Picture Books from Farshore: Amazing Mum by Alison Brown and Pick a Story by Sarah Coyle & Adam Walker-Parker

I have been very fortunate to receive two beautiful picture books published by Farshore this month, both of which will be a delight to share with young children.

Amazing Mum is a wonderfully inclusive celebration of mums in all their guises, written and illustrated by Alison Brown. This book is so clever and so appealing, I can see it being requested over and over again as a book to snuggle up with. The very simple rhyming text consists of only a few words per page, which will encourage the youngest children to join in with the “reading”. Alison Brown’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. She sweetly captures mums of every kind through her anthropomorphic menagerie and the over-riding impression is one of loving relationships, no matter what the mum looks like, what her occupation might be or what her particular talents are. Every child will recognise aspects of their mum and reading this as a mum to now grown-up children, many spreads provoked nostalgia and the mum retrieving lego from under a bed made me laugh out loud! I am looking forward to sharing this with a young relative very soon, and I highly recommend it to families, nurseries and early years classrooms.

Pick a Story A Dinosaur + Unicorn + Robot Adventure is a great way to encourage young children to let their imaginations wander and construct their own version of a story. The glittery, sparkly foiling on the title and colourful cartoonish illustrations are visually appealing, ensuring that this will be selected from the bookshelves. This is definitely a book which needs to be shared with an adult as it requires discussion and assistance to move to the correct pages (especially when some alternate storylines are on adjacent pages), but it gives children agency over the direction of the story. This interactive element is an excellent opportunity for children to learn the joy in playing with stories and experimenting with different story arcs. Sarah Coyle’s text presents children with the task of tracking down which character has taken Gwen’s birthday cake; as well as deciding which option to follow there are plenty of questions throughout to engage young minds and ecourage observation of the pictures. Adam Walker-Parker’s graphics reminded me of computer games which will hopefully lure children away from their screens, with lots of activity to explore and enjoy on every page. A novel book choice to share with an individual child or perhaps a small group in a nursery or early years classroom.

I would like to thank Farshore Books and publicist Antonia Wilkinson for my review copies of Amazing Mum and Pick a Story A Dinosaur + Unicorn + Robot Adventure.


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