Daddy’s Rainbow (Bloomsbury, 2022) is a pitch perfect, important story for a child whose parent is terminally ill.
Lucy Rowland – known for her dynamic rhyme – writes this story beautifully in crisp, clean but lyrical prose, full of heartwarming details about Erin’s daddy, who sees the colour in everything. ‘In autumn, their walks were full of crunchy red, scrunchy orange and shiny-conker brown.’ But things start to change and Mummy tells Erin that Daddy is poorly.
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THE FORGETTERY (Rachel Ip, Laura Hughes, 3-7yrs)
In Rachel Ip and Laura Hughes’ The Forgettery (Farshore, 2021) Amelia and her granny go for a wander in the woods when they stumble upon the Forgettery – a magical place where lost memories are stored. The lyrical text takes the reader on a real adventure as the characters discover a magnificent treehouse with ladders, door, a hot air balloon and memory keepers who look after lost things. Some memories are paper-thin like butterflies. All Granny’s lost things are there, who is living with significant memory loss, but so are Amelia’s, strengthening their relationship and the intergenerational connection between them.
Rachel’s poetic storytelling is complimented beautifully by Laura’s wistful artwork. A tender tale about where lost memories go that could initiate discussions around memory loss, including dementia and Alzheimer’s for very young children.
THE TIDE (Clare Helen Welsh, Ashling Lindsay, 3-7yrs)
Grandad doesn’t remember things like he used to. But I love him as much as I always have. And I know that he loves me.
The Tide (Little Tiger Press, 2019) is an important and powerful story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well. Ashling’s illustrations are atmospheric and full of love and warmth, creating a thoughtful and reassuring picture book that is perfect for children who have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
“What I adore about The Tide most of all is that it celebrates Grandad – truly celebrates who he is… [It] conveys a wonderfully clear description of dementia – put into language that can be understood by all. It celebrates families, and their love and support for one another.” — My Book Corner
Books That Help is a brand new online initiative launching on 1st August 2022.
I am passionate about sharing picture books that help families through hard times, using them to open conversations about the topics that challenge us. I am also an advocate of reading and writing books to support well-being. Therefore, this new site will be a place for grownups to find picture books that offer a little support through life’s ups and downs, covering subjects that include family separations, illness, grief, anxiety, well-being, moving house and more.
It was my spacetastic pleasure to mark the opening of the Summer Reading Challenge with storytelling and crafts at Torquay Library.
Linked to Sunshine At Bedtime (illustrated by Sally Soweol Han, Storyhouse Publishing) and Aerodynamics of Biscuits (illustrated by Sophia Touliatou, Maverick Books) the children had the opportunity to create scratch art, make their own spoon characters, make a space mobile and design and build a biscuit rocket.
Today is publication day for the third book in the Dot and Duck series! Illustrated by Olivier Tallec and published by Happy Yak (an imprint of Quarto Kids),
How Messy is the story of best friends, Dot and Duck. Dot hates mess and Duck hates tidy. Duck leaves the bed unmade, the cupboards open and breakfast everywhere. How messy! At the beach, Dot carefully lays out her towel and picnic… and Duck digs a big hole covering everything with sand! SO messy!
Olivier’s characterful watercolour illustrations bring this story to life, and big font makes the story easy for young readers. How Messy! is a simple yet hilarious story with a touching ending and an important message about accepting differences and learning to compromise.
It’s always a pleasure visiting libraries for storytime and crafts. Recently I paid a visit to Newton Abbot and Torquay Library where we read Scissorella and took part in some themed crafts. Here are some snaps of our silhouette light jars, chalk silhouettes and Lotte Reinger-inspired puppets, which we made into animations using the app Stop Motion.
Can you spot the spider in a tutu and Titanic- themed jar?
It’s January and the weather here is grey and cold but… brighter skies are on the horizon!
I’m delighted that Storyhouse Publishing have revealed the cover of our new picture book. ‘Sunshine at Bedtime,’ which will publish on 14th April in the UK. It has been illustrated by new talent, Sally Soweol Han, and was inspired by the publisher’s children, Rachel Lawrence, asking about the science behind lighter bedtimes.