I have just a few books in today’s Kitten Corner round-up, but I think that this is one of my favourite kinds of book – gorgeous, informative picture books with tons of detail for confident readers who need a bit more meat in their stories! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions!
Find Tom in Time: Ancient Egypt by Fatti Burke*
Published in paperback by Nosy Crow Books on 14th Jan 2021
I absolutely loved the last of Tom’s adventures in time, which took him and his ginger cat Digby back to Ming Dynasty China (review here), and I can assure you that his travels in Ancient Egypt are just as much fun! The concept of this series is brilliant – a Where’s Wally?-esque search and find story that manages to walk the line between fun and educational just perfectly. Every illustration is full of loads of detail, so even if you end up spotting Tom (or Digby the cat) quickly, you’ll still have plenty of entertainment looking at everything else that’s going on! There are little bits of text inset throughout which offer fascinating tidbits about Ancient Egyptian culture, and overall this just feels really inspiring and exciting to read. Also, as you’d expect from a cat-worshipping culture, there are cats galore to spot, so it gets extra points from me!
Turtle Rescue by Jonny Marx, illustrated by Xuan Le*
Published by Little Tiger on 1st April 2021
This book is simply stunning. It’s filled with a huge variety of beautifully rich art, from beach scenes to the depths of the sea, and it follows adventuring family Flora, Fauna, and little Bud as they visit the seaside – but this is no relaxing holiday! The sea turtles are in danger of having nowhere to lay their eggs, so the family have to investigate. The plot is really mostly a vehicle for the non-fiction side of the book, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a gorgeous reading experience. The book is filled with interactive bits, from cut-outs and flaps, to turnable newspaper pages, to huge fold-out spreads of the ocean. You’re never too old to enjoy a book with interactive elements, and this is done in a way that feels really mature, but still exciting. The information about turtles and their habitats is timely and needed, and I liked that it was presented in a way that inspires you to learn more and take action, without being too preachy (or indeed, upsetting for young readers). This would make a lovely gift for a nature enthusiast – as would book one in the series, The Lost Leopard, if it’s anything like this!
The Long Way Home by Corrinne Averiss, illustrated by Kristyna Litten*
Published by Little Tiger on 4th March 2021
This is part of the lovely Colour Illustration series, which aims to provide a stepping stone between picture books and chapter books – I’ve reviewed previous books in the series, including Rocket Boy and A Hat Full of Secrets and they are all very beautifully done. The Long Way Home is not my favourite of the series simply because of the subject matter, though I think it’s still a great book – it tells the story of a little elephant and his grandmother, who is losing her memories. It’s a touching look at illnesses like dementia, and how they can affect – or not affect – relationships in the family, but I found it terribly sad to read as an adult. Still, I think it’s an important one for libraries to have on hand to help children learn about the subject, and the art is just lovely.
Do you have any favourite books that would suit older readers, but are still fully illustrated? I’d love to know what you recommend!