I’m a big fan of poetry, for young and old, and we are fortunate enough to have some fantastic and talented poets around to inspire and entertain children and adults. One such poet is the fantastic Brian Moses who has been writing poetry incredibly successfully for many years. I was very fortunate that Brian offered to send me a copy of his latest anthology Lost Magic The Very Best of Brian Moses, Cover illustration by Ed Boxall and inside illustrations by Chris Garbutt and published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
I was recently contacted by Tara books, to see if I would have a look at their books and maybe consider them for Book Monsters. Having looked through their catalogue, I was impressed, and since purchased on book and was sent another three. So this is going to be a rather epic, but also, exciting, blog post looking at these books!
There has recently been a resurgence and reinvention of some much loved classic children’s books, specifically for adults as gifts. The Ladybird books and now Famous Five. Brilliant gifts, that adults can identify with and enjoy.
Mum … created by Morty Sey and Scott Chegg is a read for children first and foremost, but, the special thing about this little picture book is what a brilliant gift for adults it would make.
We have reached the end of 2015! And what a year it has been for children’s publishing, some truly fantastic books out there for all ages, abilities and interests! Book Monsters is new to the blogging World, only starting in September, so I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s out there this year, however, I know what I have seen has been really truly spectacular, and I wanted to write a post to recognise some of the wonderful books I’ve seen and share my Book Monster top reads with you.
This has been a huge challenge to write only because I don’t really know where to begin. I’ve seen and read so many fantastic books this year, and they all deserve a mention, every single one, but then we’d be here all day and I’m sure you want to eat and maybe sleep too, at some point.
SO, first up, my top picture books of 2015 (and a shout out to some other amazing picture books below)!
Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph – “It is so nice to have a book which focuses on doing something nice, just to be nice, with no other agenda or motive. The little animals in this book, come together to help Fred out, just because.!”
Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale by Fred Blunt – “This book is right up there with my favourites of 2015 and is a must own. A beautifully illustrated pirate adventure, with laughs and non-stop action. Honestly a joyous read that all the family can get pleasure from!”
Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony – “The limited text allows room for lots of discussion about what’s happening in the story and why the panda may not be happy. For teaching about manners at home or in a classroom environment you just could not find better than this book.”
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield – “The writing is stunning, and pulls you gently headfirst into this enchanting story, but the illustrations are something else altogether! I truly believe this to be the most beautifully put together picture book I have seen for many years.”
Little Bell and the Moon by Giles Paley-Phillips and Iris Deppe – “Giles, Iris and Fat Fox Books have created a real gem here. An emotional heart gripping, quality book that I know will be recommending to people in years to come.”
Of course I couldn’t include every book in this list, and so would like to give an extra mention to the wonderful Ruth Thorpe (and Sarah Mahfoudh who wrote Lily Mae) for her series of books The Squawkers, Lily Mae and Squiggle Bee, a set of books with wonderful storytelling and graphic style illustrations. Perfect as a gift set and not to be missed.
We can’t forget course gorgeous The Zoomers’ Handbook, a really quirky treat from husband and wife team Ana and Thiago De Moraes.
And finally, a picture book specifically for adults out there, the fantastic Beautiful Trees by Nik Perring. A special treasure of a book which will have you intrigued and emotional in equal measure.
Next up, our fiction novels category. Again a wide variety of brilliant books to choose from. Here our our Book Monster Top for 2015!
Mango & Bambang the Not-a-Pig by Polly Faber and Clara Vulliamy – “I know many of our little library visitors who will love to read this gorgeous book and do look forward to more in the future as I feel Mango and Bambang are a duo that could become a very much loved series of books!”
Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre – “Pugs of the Frozen North is funny, not just a bit funny, but really really funny. It tickled bones I didn’t know I had. The humour is in the words and pictures together in equal measure. However don’t be fooled by this, it’s a light, fun read, but it’s also a tale full of heart and feeling.”
The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson – “The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair is an incredibly emotional read, all because of Lara’s perfectly crafted characters, writing and storytelling. A story of friendship, love, loss and so much more, touching on subjects rarely addressed.”
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould – “It’s poignant, filled with tragedy, kindness, love and profound moments that will make your heart ache. Matt Haig is the master at this. But from the sadness and heartbreak comes something quite special and magical … the impossible.”
Things you Find in a Poet’s Beard by A.F. Harrold and Chris Riddell – “This book is a joy from the beardy front cover to the final sleepy rhyme. Packed full of a wide variety of poems, it would be a perfect book for school use, performance poetry and also to read just because!”
Never Nudge a Budgie! by Colin West – “Colin is a genius at taking every day situations that we all identify with, and slipping in a little element of silly! This is an ideal read for the family, children young and old, completely daft, completely brilliant.”
Shakleton’s Journey by William Grill – “Shackleton’s Journey is not only a fascinating tale of adventure and history but it is an poignant one of comradeship and survival.”
Flo of the Somme by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey – “I think every library and every school should hold this series of charming books by Hilary and Martin. They are exquisitely written and illustrated, and educate about a really important part of our history.”
There you have it, our Book Monster Best Bites for 2015!! There were so many delightful books to to pick from, and next year is sure to be even more wonderful! In the meantime, while you wait, why not tuck into these little beauties.
Thank you so much for all your support in 2015, and see you next year.
Over and out….
Book Monsters is primarily a children’s book blog it’s true but today we are giving some space among the pages to munch on a book for adults for a change (although not completely unrelated as you’ll see when you hopefully read on). This is Beautiful Trees written by Nik Perring, illustrated by Miranda Sofroniou and published by Roast Books.