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TIMID (Harry Woodgate)

Timmy is a born performer! They dream of singing and dancing and performing on stage. But there’s a problem. Timmy is shy! Whenever they try to do something new, a giant lion roars all their confidence away. Then Timmy meets Nia who doesn’t feel confident enough to turn her designs into a real costume. The pair decide to help each other overcome their shyness. As well as practising and rehearsing together, Nia and Timmy get some top tips from their families and teacher that include meditation, positive affirmations and acting out the worst-case scenarios.

At the climax of the story, the school play, Timmy realises their lion is actually scared too. “I’ve spent all this time trying to get rid of you,” they say, “when maybe we should have faced our fears together!”

Timid (Little Tiger Press, 2022) is adorned with beautiful characters and show-stopping costumes, all stitched together in an empowering storyline about overcoming shyness. Readers will be inspired to face shyness when it appears and not to push it away, making space for feelings however difficult they may be.

This is a book for children who realise their shyness is holding them back, who want encouragement to tackle their shyness head on. It will show them just how dazzling confidence can be when you’re brave enough to go looking for it.


If you don’t find what you are looking for, please get in contact and I will try my best to help. If you do find a book

If you are the publisher, author or illustrator of a book that helps and you’d like to be featured on this website, please email:

Subscribe to stay up to date with new reviews!

WOLVES IN HELICOPTERS (Sarah Tagholm, Paddy Donnelly)

Wolves in Helicopters (Andersen Press, 2022) invites brave young readers to enter the world of Hop’s spine-tingling nightmares. This is an original picture book about a bunny called Hop, who each night has night terrors filled with scary, hungry-eyed wolves! Hop knows they only exist in her dreams, but they seem so real. Mummy comforts her and has some good advice, but can Hop find the courage to conquer the wolves?

This picture book has a unique and clever structure. Sarah’s text and use of repetition are perfectly timed and depict Hop’s courage and the escalating peril. Paddy’s illustrations are both menacing and comforting, portraying the danger of the wolves but also the safety Hop feels with her mummy. There’s also a whisker of humour dotted throughout.

By the end of the story, Hop overcomes the darkness and takes control of the scariest of situations, but with an unexpected twist! The reader is left feeling uplifted and empowered, knowing that they can be the director of their own dreams.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Time to Move South for Winter – Launch WEEK!

At this time of year, the Arctic terns will be readying for their annual migration south. And things have been busy here, too!

On September 2nd, Time to Move South for Winter was officially published with Nosy Crow, illustrated by my hugely talented co-creator, Jenny Løvlie. I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s work for a while. She is the illustrator of The Girls/The Boys (written by Lauren Ace) and the Kitty series (written by Paula Harrison.) You can find out more about Jenny’s work here.

“Over the cold, mirrored waters of the Arctic, a tiny tern sets off on the world’s longest animal migration. On her way, she passes humpback whales, caribou, Canada geese, leatherback turtles and monarch butterflies, each on their own incredible journey south for winter.”

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I’m so, so pleased to finally be able to shout about these gorgeous illustrations and this fantastic cover from Laura Barrett.

SCISSORELLA: The Paper Princess, will be published by Andersen Press on 4th November, just in time for Christmas. It’s a reworking of the classic Cinderella tale, inspired by the life and work of German animator Lotte Reiniger, whose techniques & inventions inspired the early work of Disney & countless animators & CGI artists since.

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