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SUPERHEROES ALWAYS FIGHT BACK… OR DO THEY? (Kate Thompson, Clare Elsom)
Superheroes Always Fight Back… Or do they? (Welbeck, 2023) is a picture book masterpiece! Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written, this fun and lively rhyming story follows Arthur who dreams of being a mega-fast, super strong superhero so he can banish the baddie next door.
But when Grandpa explains that the best superheroes actually save the day by being kind, Arthur realises that we all have a superpower inside us – kindness! It’s a message every family and every child will be able to relate to, delivered through plenty of action and with a fun cast of characters. The incidental representation of inclusive characters is also very welcomed.
This dynamic, accessible and empowering story is truly impressive. It will show little readers that kindness is truly the most amazing superpower and it’s all you need to save the day… and change the world!
THE CHRISTMAS DOLL – THE REPAIR SHOP STORIES (Amy Sparkes, Katie Hickey)
Amy Sparkes and Kate Hickey have created this heart-warming Christmas tale about a girl, her grandma and a precious evacuee doll (Walker, 2022).
Susan is very young when she is evacuated from wartime London and sent to live with a family in the countryside. Unsure of her new surroundings and desperately missing her home, she doesn’t hold much hope for the months ahead. Then, on Christmas morning, she is given a doll and Susan thinks this must be the best present she has ever had.
Yet standing here now in The Repair Shop, thinking back on her childhood, she realizes that in fact the greatest gift was the kindness bestowed upon her and her ability to remember it always as she holds her precious doll close to her.
A festive tale with real-life twist!
NO HOME FOR A GHOST (Jess Rose)
No Home For a Ghost (Owlet Press, 2022) challenges the stereotype that ghosts are scary. In this picture book story we see the world from a friendly ghost’s perspective. When Dylan’s family move into the ghost’s house, they don’t show him respect or kindness.
Dylan eventually succeeds in convincing his family that just because someone is different, doesn’t mean we don’t show kindness. This #BookThatHelps also has a subtle narrative about displacement and sharing the place we call ‘home’.
Alongside the important, inclusive themes in this story, there are plenty of fun moments too. The ghost shows the mischievous side of his personality, even after the family do eventually accept him as a house mate!
ONE TINY DOT (Lucy Rowland, Gwen Millard)
There once was a dot, who was really quite small,
walking along and not minding at all
that it wasn’t that big or that bold or that tough,
for this dot was KINDNESS and that was enough.
Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes in One Tiny Dot (Templar, 2022) an uplifting and inspiring book about a dot that morphs into all sorts of different forms as it spreads joy. The power of kindness is explored in a distinctive and deceptively simple way as we witness kindness overcoming anger and sadness.
A beautiful book with a strong and important message.
KINDNESS GROWS (Britta Teckentrup)
In Kindness Grows (Little Tiger, 2019), the reader can pore over beautiful peek-through pages as kindness grows from a tiny sapling into a beautiful tree via acts of thoughtfulness, sharing and working together. Told through Britta’s stunning illustrations and soothing rhyme, we also see a story line about what happens to unresolved anger. On the left-hand side of each spread are children arguing, leaving each other out and refusing to share.
The story resolves with the children on the right-hand side of each spread reaching out to the children on the left-hand side, and them meeting through a doorway of light. A powerful illustration of what a small act of kindness can do, and stunning production.