Book reviews: Bear hugs, potty pirates and wild whisperers with Little Tiger Press

Bear hugs, potty pirates and wild whisperers with Little Tiger Press
Bear hugs, potty pirates and wild whisperers with Little Tiger Press

The new year is getting off to an adventurous start as Little Tiger Press rolls out its exciting new collection of children’s books.

Little Tiger, a dynamic independent publisher, has four imprints under one roof and each offers bright, bold and imaginative books for youngsters from toddlers to teens.

This month there is a superb selection including a moving story just made for parents and little children, the tale of a shy kitten to melt hearts, an elephant who can’t stop asking why, a crew of raucous, ribald robot pirates and a gorgeous fantasy novel set in a dangerous world.

Age 3 plus:

I Love You More and More by Nicky Benson and Jonny Lambert

A very special relationship deserves a very special book…

Author Nicky Benson and illustrator Jonny Lambert work a sparkling brand of creative magic in this touching celebration of the love between a parent and child.

I Love You More and More puts love and caring at the gentle heart of a gorgeous tall-format picture book which has a soothing, lyrical, rhyming text, stunning illustrations and a beautiful shiny silver-spangled cover.

Cuddle up with your little ones and join a bear as he leads his cub on a breathtaking journey through sparkling starlit nights, past misty blue mountains and gushing waterfalls to show him just how special and loved he is.

With its warm and cuddly story, sumptuous format and seductive pictures, this is the perfect book for bonding and an ideal gift for new parents or any young child in need of reassurance.

(Little Tiger, hardback, £10.99)

Age 3 plus:

Little Why by Jonny Lambert

Why, why, why… which parent hasn’t heard that word twenty times a day?

So tag along with baby elephant, Little Why, across the great African savannah and learn why it’s best to do what your mum tells you!

Jonny Lambert brings to life the age old question of ‘why’ in this enchanting picture book story about Little Why who just can’t stay in line, or toe the line… until he learns why following orders offers some unexpected rewards.

There is so much to see as Little Why trots along with his elephant family. Why can’t he have long-lofty leggy legs like Giraffe, spiny-spiky special horns like Wildebeest and some speedy-spotty, fuzzy fur like Cheetah? Mum wants him to stop asking questions and stay in line, and when Little Why spots Crocodile’s snippy-snappy snout, he only just escapes from the jaws of danger! Good job that journey’s end, and a happy discovery, is near…

Lambert’s classy, colourful illustrations, and an adorable animal hero, put extra life and vibrancy into Little Why’s escapades.

And cleverly concealed inside the delightful sense of fun and spirit of adventure are important messages about enjoying being yourself and the dangers of straying too far from mums and dads.

A picture perfect story book…

(Little Tiger, paperback, £6.99)

Age 3 plus:

Badger and the Great Rescue by Suzanne Chiew and Caroline Pedler

Imaginations take flight in a charming picture book story that puts fun and friendship first…

Author Suzanne Chiew takes youngsters on an exciting woodland rescue adventure while illustrator Caroline Pedler creates a colourful and charismatic cast of furry friends whose ingenuity is put to the test.

When Badger and his pals find a rope, a basket and a piece of cloth in the woods, they soon think of some brilliantly inventive ways of recycling them… Mouse needs a washing line,

Hedgehog could do with a wicker shed and Rabbit wants to make a tent. But then they discover a scared little mole stuck in a tree and in desperate need of help. Can Badger come up with a clever plan to rescue their new friend?

Stunning illustrations and a heartwarming story about the fun of creativity and the rewards and value of being resourceful, kind and helpful prove to be a winning formula in a story just made for bedtime.

(Little Tiger, paperback, £6.99)

Age 6 plus:

Sammy the Shy Kitten by Holly Webb and Sophy Williams

They say you should never work with children and animals… but much-loved author Holly Webb knows better!

Animal stories are what the prolific children’s writer does best, so snuggle up with the latest book in her hugely popular Animal Stories series.

Emma loves going to Ivy Bank Stables for her riding lessons. One day she arrives to find that everyone is really worried. Tiggy, her favourite stable cat, has disappeared. When Emma hurts her ankle during her lesson and goes to sit down in the barn until she feels better, she hears a strange squeaking noise and discovers that Tiggy has had three kittens.

The riding school can’t look after so many cats so Emma spends all the time she can with the kittens and falls in love with the little tabby she calls Sammy. She wishes she could keep him but how can she possibly persuade her parents to adopt a shy, half-wild kitten?

Sophy Williams provides the gorgeous black and white illustrations for an enchanting story that is sure to capture the hearts of every animal-loving child. Perfect for children starting to read alone or for youngsters who love to share a book with mum and dad.

(Stripes, paperback, £4.99)

Age 6 plus:

Angela Nicely: Cupcake Wars! by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts

Not-so-Nicely does it! Meet Angela Nicely, the girl who looks like she’s made of sugar and spice but isn’t quite as sweet as she would have you believe.

Angela is the invention of top team Alan MacDonald and David Roberts, creators of Dirty Bertie, the yukky boy with nose-pickingly disgusting habits who struggled to escape Angela’s clutches in the adventure story Kiss!

In these three madcap tales of mishaps and mayhem, ideal for confident readers, Angela is determined to steal the show whether she’s having a bake-off against Tiffany Charmers, riding high at a pony party or snooping on her mysterious neighbours.

Roberts’ brilliantly energetic artwork is the perfect complement to MacDonald’s hair-raising heroine with her larger-than-life personality and her unwavering desire to be the best at simply everything.

Girls behaving badly have never been so much fun!

(Stripes, paperback, £4.99)

Age 6 plus:

Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster by Gareth P. Jones

The devilish Steampunk Pirates are back in action and causing giant waves on the world’s high seas!

There is plenty of swashbuckling skulduggery to enjoy as author and funny man Gareth P. Jones sets sail with his laugh-out-loud, larger-than-life, steam-powered robot pirate crew.

This is the fourth outing for the zany cut-throat gang who escaped becoming robot slaves, launched a new career as pirates and are now wanted dead or alive… or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.

In Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster, the marauding Steampunk Pirates get a taste of their own medicine when their ship, The Leaky Battery, is raided by a monster that is greedy for gold. But when the rusty robots race to get their treasure back, they sail straight into a trap. Can they dodge the creature’s twisting tentacles or will they be squished to smithereens?

Jones, author of Ninja Meerkats, is guaranteed to delight young readers with his zany humour, all-action escapades and outrageously irreverent pirate automatons.

Ahoy me hearties, there’s a laugh on every page!

(Stripes, paperback, £5.99)

Age 8 plus:

Gathering Voices by Kris Humphrey

Animals, adventure and fantasy… Kris Humphrey’s magical mystery series, Guardians of the Wild, continues to enthral and enchant in the third, all-action instalment.

Packed with inspirational and exciting characters, a beautifully imagined backdrop and gripping adventures, these stunning animal-centred stories open up the wonders of the natural world to young readers.

When a raven drops a white feather at the doorstep on the day of your birth, it is a symbol of your destiny. You are a Whisperer, a guardian of the wild, much needed in a world where a war against the shape-shifting Narlaw is raging.

Mika and her Arctic fox companion, Star, must travel from their distant mountain home to join Dawn and the other Whisperers at the palace. The journey is fraught with danger and the outlook for the kingdom of Meridina is bleak. But Mika has discovered a gift that might just change their fortunes. Could she hold the key to defeating the Narlaw?

Chellie Carroll’s gloriously atmospheric and ethereal illustrations bring life and vigour to a rich and powerful story which encompasses big, important themes and stars a cast of amazing characters.

This is gripping fantasy with a commendable conscience and ideal for both adventure seekers and animal lovers.

(Stripes, paperback, £5.99)