Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Snowy Board Books

It’s the last Kitten Corner post before Christmas, so what better time to show you these lovely wintry reads for little ones?

All three of these were sent to me free of charge by Nosy Crow, but all opinions are my own!

Snow Still by Holly Surplice is a really beautiful book. The words are deceptively simple: three rhyming quartets with only two words on each page (“Snow white/snow slide/snow chase/snow hide”) mean that the focus stays firmly on the beautiful artwork, while creating a really gentle, calming poem. The illustration style is lovely, and really captures the soft crunch of snow underfoot – it’s cosy but also cold, and very pretty. I loved how plants were used to frame the animals in each scene, too – it gives a very woodsy feel to the whole book. This would be a nice bedtime read, as it’s very gentle.

Animal Families: Snow by Jane Ormes is a little more upbeat in its style, with bold, quirkily-drawn animals taking centre stage. Each spread gives you the names of a male, female, and baby animal from a snowy region – the baby is hidden behind a shaped flap for you to discover. The final spread has lovely big flaps that reveal the collective nouns for each animal. The flaps are just made of the same thin card as the pages, so this might be one better suited to older toddlers who can be gentle with them; equally, the language and concept will suit a slightly older kid. I will probably put this one away safely to be better appreciated next winter, but I really love it!

And finally, a bit of Christmas cheer with Sing Along With Me: Jingle Bells illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang! This is a sweet version of the well-known song: there are two lines of the chorus on each page and a nice big slider to play with. The art features very cute animals going about their Christmas business, and the whole thing feels very festive. My only complaint is that it’s a little impractical to actually use the book to sing-along, because you’d have to sing it impossibly slowly to keep pace with a kid who wants to look at all the details and slide the sliders! But if you just want to read it aloud, then that would work very well.

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Christmas Reads!

It still seems very early to me to be talking about Christmas, but since you have to be prepared, here’s a selection of adorable new festive reads for little ones! All these books were sent to me free of charge, but opinions are my own.

I Love You More Than Christmas by Ellie Hattie and Tim Warnes, from Little Tiger Books

This picture book is adorable! I really love the way these bears are drawn – they have such kind faces and feel so full of love. They kind of remind me of Bear in the Big Blue House, but I might be dating myself with that reference! This is a sweet book full of the chaotic joy of Christmas – so much to be done and made, so many people to see – with a clear message that what matters the most in all of these things is who you celebrate with. There’s a mixture of rhyming text and plain prose, which sounds odd but works really nicely in context for reading aloud. And bonus points for not giving Little Bear a gender on page, which makes this easy for a kid to see themself in. Between the warm, cozy artwork and the cute family feel, I think this one will easily be a favourite for years to come.

Is It Christmas Yet? by Jane Chapman

Ted can’t wait for it to be Christmas, but there’s so much to do beforehand! This sounds similar to the previous book, with bears doing a whole host of Christmas activities, but it’s got a more humorous slant than a cosy one, with lots of things going wrong – Big Bear will ring very true with stressed out parents whose festive to-do lists are miles long! I was surprised to find that this actually has a lot of text for a board book – it’s more like a sturdier, smaller picture book than a book for really tiny ones, so it packs a lot into its small size. The illustrations are sweet and funny, and overall this is a very cute read.

Nibbles: Christmas by Emma Yarlett

This is my first time coming across Nibbles, but I’m thoroughly charmed and will definitely be looking up the other books in the series. This is a board book that makes great use of flaps and cutouts to get kids to interact with Nibbles the Book Eating Monster – you might not be able to tell at first, but he’s chomped a hole through every page of the book (even the back cover!). The story is told in a clever counting rhyme that had me smiling, and I can’t resist Nibbles’ cheeky little face. It’s great fun!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Two Magical Reads

I never know how to categorise books aimed at newly confident readers – these aren’t quite as long as most chapter books, but they still have plenty of fun text to sink your teeth into, with full illustrations that keep the comfortable picture book feel and offer just as much as the words. Whatever you call this age range, here are two gorgeous new books that are full of magic and fun. Both were sent to me free of charge by Little Tiger Books, but my opinions are my own!

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Two Magical Reads”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Autumnal Reads

The days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder, which means autumn’s the perfect time to curl up with a book! These sweet reads all felt really autumnal to me – they were all sent to me for review, but my opinions are my own as always.

Who Said Twit-Twoo? by Becky Davies, illustrated by WYi-Hsuan Wu, from Little Tiger

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Autumnal Reads”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Beautiful Illustrated Non-Fiction for Older Kids

I’m loving the current trend of beautiful non-fiction picture books aimed at middle grade readers – these huge, fully illustrated books are the stuff of childhood dreams for an inquisitive kid, no matter what subject! I’ve rounded up six of my recent reads to show you – all of these were sent to me for review, but my opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Beautiful Illustrated Non-Fiction for Older Kids”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: New Animal Fun!

I missed last week’s Kitten Corner so here’s a round up of some lovely books we’ve been reading recently, which all turned out to be animal themed! All of these books were sent to me free of charge by the publishers, but all opinions are my own.

Flip Flap Zoo by Axel Scheffler, from Nosy Crow

This zany mix-and-match book is great fun! It’s a little bit advanced for my one-year-old, but the adults in the family have been having a great time mixing up the top and bottom halves of animals to create weird and wonderful creatures. We particularly like the sloose (part sloth, part moose)! Each half of the animal is drawn to line up with all the possible bottom halves, and vice versa, creating a really entertaining set of pictures in Scheffler’s unique style, and there’s a four line poem accompanying each half, which makes for some funny reading both in their correct and unusual formations. It’s hard to read this one straight through, but hilarious to dip into and out of.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: New Animal Fun!”