There is so much to love in this colourful and uniquely illustrated story. The dedication reads 'For absolutely everyone - including my younger self' - Kat Patrick.
This is a well-paced story about inclusion and acceptance - both of ourselves and others.
Frankie has a big birthday party coming up, and they want a very special suit but they don't know how to ask for it. Luckily for Frankie their mother and siblings know just how to grant Frankie's secret wish. We follow Frankie through their self doubt all the way to wearing the spectacular suit to the party which is a huge success.
This is an unusual story in that we get a glimpse of Frankie's inner world and her worry about how to be herself. This is a fabulous story to explore conversations around gender identity and self.
Brontorina has a dream. She wants to dance. But Brontorina is rather large, too large to fit in Madame Lucille s dance studio. Brontorina does not have the right shoes, and everyone knows you can't dance without the proper footwear. Still, Brontorina knows, deep in her heart, that she is meant to be a ballerina. With support of her teacher and classmates Brontorina achieves her dream.
At first read it may appear to be simply a story about following your dreams however at its heart 'Brontorina' is a story about inclusion. There is as much learning for the teacher or parent reading this as there is for the child. Brontorina wasn't too big for the studio, the studio was too small for her. With some adjustments everyone in the class is able to dance together.
I’m the wolf, Miss Understood.
You think I’m bad, but I am good.
Those Little Pigs told you a porker --
made it sound like I’m a stalker!
'Miss Understood' is a masterclass in rhythm and rhyme. It romps along, full of puns and funny illustrations. This fractured fairytale takes the reader on the journey of a misunderstood wolf and the consequences of gossip. This book would make a useful lead in to class discussions around looking for an alternative point of view, different perspectives of the same story and empathy.
For me I'd have liked a more obvious resolution for our wolf and the pigs. It is indicated in the illustrations that she is looking for a friend and another traditionally misaligned character (a skunk!) looks like a possible new friend for her, however this lends itself to further discussion and predictions from the reader. Maybe there is another book coming?
The illustrations have a textural, almost nostalgic quality that is complemented by the matt paper stock. The book's designer Hannah Janzen has delivered an outstanding reader experience.
And the endpapers deserve their own mention, gorgeous!
Winner of the World Illustration Award in the Professional Children’s Publishing category 'I Am The Subway' is told from the point of view of the subway moving through Seoul and the surrounding countryside. Inside the subway are people with complex lives, whose lives are intertwined with each other.
The people using the subway are described by what is happening in their lives now, but also by who they used to be, and their connections with each other.
It's beautiful, its simple and gentle and intense. It leaves you think about the stories of the people around you. This is a picture book for adults as much as for children.
The boy lives in a city, where everything is fast and loud. But amidst the bustle and the noise, the boy has a secret ...
In the overgrown lot next to his apartment building, deep within the green, he has a friend.
But one day progress arrives, bringing with it plans for something new, and the boy must find a way to save his friend before it's too late ...
I love wordless picture books, and this one is a stunner. The sumptuous images provide a meaningful narrative, which gets deeper with each reading. This his would be a beautiful way to discuss connections and relationships with nature, and what is important to us in our sense and understanding of place and belonging.
I love picture books, and I often reread them but with this absolute beauty I must be up to at least 20 reads. Each time there is more to discover in the illustrations. There is a beautiful synergy that happens in picture book creation between the author and illustrator in the melding of two minds and in this instance that hasn't happened because Sophie Blackall has performed both roles. This can sometimes lead to a sort of 2-dimensional quality to a book, as if there wasn't enough challenge between the two creators, not enough energy swirled around. This is absolutely not the case with 'Hello Lighthouse'. It's tender, thoughtful and so romantic. There is so much love in this book.
Hello Lighthouse - Sophie Blackall 2018 Hachette ISBN 9780316362382