A time-travel trip, a superhero baby and the power of love by various authors - book reviews -

Discover what tomorrow’s world might look like, enjoy adventures with a nappy-wearing superhero girl, take comfort from a tiny gorilla, and meet a shy crab coming out of his shell in an exciting collection of new summertime children’s books.

A Trip to the Future
A Trip to the Future

Discover what tomorrow’s world might look like, enjoy adventures with a nappy-wearing superhero girl, take comfort from a tiny gorilla, and meet a shy crab coming out of his shell in an exciting collection of new summertime children’s books.

Age 9 plus:

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A Trip to the Future

Moira Butterfield and Fago Studio

Discover how today’s science will shape tomorrow’s world in an innovative middle grade book which takes youngsters on a fascinating sci-fi-inspired adventure.

With the help of contemporary cutting-edge science, A Trip to the Future explores how our lives might change by showing young readers places far from home where super skyscrapers loom, drones zoom and your home is full of machines you can control with just your mind.

Author Moira Butterfield’s sci-fi approach to non-fiction offers an exciting experience… learning about existing science achievements and the incredible possibilities that lie ahead to make the world a better place through words and pictures.

From floating cities to colonies on far-off planets, each page takes the reader further and further from home. Stunning full-page illustrated spreads create an immersive feel while the fact-filled text paints a picture of what might lie ahead for future generations.

Did you know that you can already eat 3D printed food or that a group of scientists are trying to build a lift to the Moon? Did you know that engineers are already working on projects that could mean in future cars will be like robots that we can sit in while they drive us or that coastal cities could one day have floating neighbourhoods on the ocean?

A Trip to the Future is full of science-based surprises about life in the future and is the perfect inspiration for budding engineers and scientists who might one day help to make some of these amazing projects and ideas come true!

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(Templar Publishing, hardback, £14.99)

Age 3 plus:

Superhero Baby!

Patricia Hegarty and Alex Willmore

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All superheroes wear capes… but some wear nappies too!

Meet Superhero Baby, the brave little girl who steps into the breach when disaster strikes, and takes the starring role in a brilliant comic caper which will leave youngsters laughing all the way to bedtime.

Author Patricia Hegarty and illustrator Alex Willmore combine their talents for this rollicking, rhyming picture book story which has been cleverly created and ingeniously illustrated to win the hearts of all little superheroes.

Daring rescues are all part of a day’s work for this superhero baby who always has her wits about her, her rattles at the ready and arrives home just in time for her nap. But when one mean menace starts terrorising the town, has our tiny hero finally met her match?

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Hegarty delivers plenty of fun and wicked games in this entertaining extravaganza while Willmore puts the illustrative zip and zest into the action with his multi-coloured gallery of frantic antics pictures.

Go, go baby power… the world awaits you!

(Little Tiger, hardback, £11.99)

Age 3 plus:

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Together

Jane Chapman

A tiny gorilla delivers a BIG message about the power of compassion and togetherness in a beautifully emotive picture book from author and illustrator Jane Chapman.

In a world currently facing the many challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, this heartwarming and tender story offers hope and happiness through the trials of separation, sadness, loneliness and fear.

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Hidden under shady leaves, a tiny baby gorilla’s face peeps out on what seems to be a silent, shadowy and scary landscape. But under the rain clouds and behind what appears at first to be a frightening face, there are soft hands, smiling faces, a safe embrace, and even some magical moments. The baby gorilla learns that joy can be found by sharing adventures and simply being together.

Chapman’s gentle, moving story – complete with strikingly soulful and atmospheric illustrations in a limited palette of colours – is ideal for bedtime reading, soothing away troubles and bringing comfort just when it is most needed.

(Little Tiger, hardback, £11.99)

Age 3 plus:

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Poo in the Zoo: The Great Poo Mystery

Steve Smallman and Ada Grey

Hold your noses and get ready for more… poo!

Few children can resist getting to the bottom of a poopy kind of mystery, and author Steve Smallman and illustrator Ada Grey’s second gloriously funny rhyming picture book story featuring zookeeper Bob McGrew has it – literally – in bucketfuls.

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Splat, patter, plop! Zookeeper Bob McGrew always has such a lot to do but his good friend, super-duper pooper scooper Robbie Robot helps by picking up all the poo. Robbie is unstoppable with anything ploppable but he’s disappeared and the poo is piling up. Is this a doo-doo disaster or can Arabella Slater – the number one when it comes to number two detectives – save the day?

Smallman’s brilliantly fun-filled and anarchic story really is the bottom line when it comes to putting poo in the picture. Packed with animal poos of every type, and given added comedy power by Grey’s pages of rib-tickling, action-packed illustrations, this is a riotous adventure not to be sniffed at!

(Little Tiger Press, paperback, £6.99)

Age 3 plus:

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This is Crab

Harriet Evans and Jacqui Lee

A shy crab needs a helping hand to come out of his shell in a fun, interactive picture book from top team author Harriet Evans and illustrator Jacqui Lee.

Little ones will love diving into this clever, cl-awesome adventure which lets them get hands-on as they explore the wild creatures and wonders of the ocean.

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There is lots of gripping, tipping and nipping to be enjoyed as Crab leaves his underwater cave and youngsters must shake, push, tilt, wave, clap and tickle some strange and colourful obstacles until our crustacean hero finally sheds his old and grubby shell.

The fun and playful combination of Evans’ words, fun flaps to draw inquisitive readers into the action and Lee’s bold, expressive illustrations is guaranteed to enchant and inspire young readers as they join Crab on his interactive adventures which incorporate interesting facts about crabs and life under the sea.

A shell-cracking book to read and share… and then start all over again!

(Little Tiger, hardback, £10.99)

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Age 3 plus:

Goodnight World

Nicola Edwards and Hannah Tolson

Wan ān, buona note, gute nacht and shubh raatri … there are many ways to say goodnight and here are just some of them!

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Cosy up at bedtime with this intriguing, calming journey through a wealth of world languages as little ones share a gentle, rhyming wind-down to a busy, active day.

When the day’s at an end, up to bed we will go,

The sky becomes dusky and so the night grows.

When the bright golden sun sheds the last of its light,

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We turn to each other and we say, ‘Goodnight!’

Youngsters will love listening to and learning how to say goodnight in a variety of languages from Mandarin, Russian and Italian to Finnish, Swahili, Arabic and German. There is a helpful pronunciation guide with each foreign word, and an amazing cross-section of children and their parents preparing for bedtime.

Nicola Edwards’ gentle rhyming verse is perfectly pitched and paced for settling young children to sleep, and is paired with Hannah Tolson’s warm and appealing illustrations which celebrate the diversity of language and people from around the globe.

A sweet dreams bedtime book wherever you are!

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(Caterpillar Books, paperback, £6.99)

Age 6 plus:

Sticker Dollies: Fairy Picnic

Zanna Davidson and Kat Uno

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Inspired by Fiona Watts’ multi-million copy selling Sticker Dolly Dressing books comes the second book in a sparkling series full of magic, adventure… and amazing clothes!

Ideal for independent new readers, these beautifully produced and creative stories are fully illustrated throughout and include a page of colourful sticker clothes to dress the Magic Dolls who care for the Magical Creatures of the Enchanted Isle.

In this super new adventure, the Magic Dolls – Grace, Holly and Lily – have been invited to the Fairy Picnic, and the big day has finally arrived. But on the way they discover the Trolls have come down from the High Mountains and are on their way to the picnic too! The Trolls are incredibly clumsy and greedy, and are sure to destroy the picnic. Can the Magic Dolls stop them before it’s too late?

These exciting Sticker Dollies stories feature enchanting, accessible chapter books which are ideal for youngsters eager to start reading on their own, and with stickers to fire up their imaginations, this series is a hands-on winner!

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The third book in the series, Sticker Dollies: Mermaid in Trouble, is due to be published in September.

(Usborne Publishing, paperback, £5.99)