I naturally gravitated towards the picture book selection and was delighted to see that several Winnie the Witch titles were available. Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin is particularly fun (and seasonal) with Winnie casting a spell on her garden in order to grow her favourite vegetable, with enjoyably haywire results.
Two other titles also stand out in terms of art and story. Richard Byrne’s This Book Belongs to Aye-Aye puts a little-known animal under the spotlight. Aye-Aye is told by the other animals in his class that he isn’t cute enough to feature in a picture book, but when a new competition is announced he sees a chance to make his dream come true. Children will enjoy being outraged at the naughty rabbits’ attempts to thwart Aye-Aye and will be satisfied with our hero’s rightful reward for being good and helpful. As a bonus there are also facts about aye-ayes and instructions on how to make your own paper hat.
Christopher Nibble by Charlotte Middleton is a very cute book about a guinea pig who faces a dilemma when there is a dandelion leaf shortage. The story has a gentle message about sustainability and the collage-oriented artwork is sophisticated but uncluttered. I liked that Christopher does online shopping for dandelions before making a trip to the library to learn how to grow dandelions – a neat nod to contemporary habits (both digital reading and physical books).
Join at http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/ to read the e-book editions.
Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin, by Korky Paul, This Book Belongs to Aye-Aye, by Richard Byrne, and Christopher Nibble, by Charlotte Middleton, all published by Oxford University Press, also available now in print.