Something a little different today – as picture books tend to have shorter reviews, I thought I’d throw a few in together for a more substantial post, and I have a lovely selection from New Frontier Publishing to show you! These are all about animals who are trying to find their place in the world, so they make a lovely set.
I’m not going to give individual star ratings, just talk about each book a little! These books were all sent free of charge by New Frontier Publishing. All opinions are my own.
Book: Pip Finds A Home by Elena Topouzoglou
Pip lives at the North Pole, but when an explorer offers to take him to the South Pole to live with the other penguins, he sets off on a long journey. When he arrives, he finds many different kinds of penguins, but he isn’t quite the same as any of them… Why is he different? Could it be he isn’t a penguin at all?
I really liked the watercolour style of this one, and very much enjoyed seeing all the different kinds of penguins. They were so cute! There are fact files about each species at the back, too, which is a lovely addition. I’m a little confused about how the title fits with the book, given that Pip (spoiler!) ultimately decides not to stay with the penguins and return to the North Pole, so the home he finds is the home he had all along. But it’s a cute story about finding friends regardless of differences, and the illustrations are really lovely.
Book: A Home For Luna by Stef Gemmill, illustrated by Mel Armstrong
Luna is a cat who washes ashore after a shipwreck, and makes friends with the local colony of penguins, with whom she has loads in common – she’s black and white, she loves fish, and she’s great at jumping and playing. A fisherman tries to take Luna home, but she’s having none of it – she’s found a great home here with the penguins.
This book probably has my favourite art of all three of these books, with a really fun sketchy style that holds lots of hidden details to look for. There’s loads of movement in Luna and the penguins, and the way the sea is drawn is particularly cool. The plot is like an alternate universe version of Pip Finds A Home, right down to the penguins, and I like it more, as Luna choosing to stay with her new friends is really sweet and joyful. As with Pip, it doesn’t matter whether Luna is the same species as the penguins, and the message of acceptance is clear, but I like Luna’s ending more than Pip’s, as Luna choosing to stay with her new friends is really sweet and joyful.
Book: Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf? by Kitty Black, illustrated by Laura Wood
This book is definitely the funniest of the three, and it also has the most complex plot. It deals with Wilfred, a wolf who is far too nice for the local pack of Big Bad Wolves. He tries his hardest to fit in with them and be mean, but his heart isn’t in it, and he finds that he’d much rather be a happy part of the local community than cause trouble for trouble’s sake…
Where the other two books in this post feature fairly realistic animals, Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf? has a quirkier style, imagining animals in human clothes doing human things (though still with their animal natures). It’s really funny, and the cartoony art-style lends itself well to the humour. The bad wolves are brilliant caricatures, and Wilfred’s sheep friends are adorable. The underlying messages of being true to yourself and being kind to others are good ones, and expressed with humour. It’s a lot of fun!
Overall, all three books are very cute, and whether you’re in the mood for something gentle or funny, there should be something here for you!