Tag Archives: Giles Paley-Phillips

Animal Allsorts

dscn9536

Hello, Mr Dodo
Nicholas John Firth
Alison Green Books
I absolutely loved Nicholas John Firth’s debut Hector and the Hummingbird, so was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this, his second offering. It also has an avian theme and once again, is a delight through and through.
Martha is an avid bird lover and twitcher spending much of her time in the woods with her binoculars; there isn’t a bird she can’t identify until that is, the day she comes upon an extremely large specimen she doesn’t recognise

%0a

and it bears a very close resemblance to a supposedly extinct creature.
Before long a secret friendship has developed between Martha and her discovery, who shares with her, a particular penchant for doughnuts …

%0a

Then one afternoon Martha accidentally lets slip her secret and the following day she’s besieged by a crowd at her front door. Time for some quick thinking: the dodo has to disappear.

dscn9541

Is that to be the end of a beautiful friendship?
The wonderfully retro look of the book (there’s a slight touch of Roger Duvoisin about it) comes from the artist’s choice of colour palette, yet this is a thoroughly modern and enchanting tale.

%0a

One Very Big Bear
Alice Brière-Haquet, Olivier Philipponneau & Raphaële Enjary
Abrams Appleseed
Mightily impressed by his own stature, a bear make an announcement: “I’m very big! … I’m almost a giant!” This claim is quickly countered by a whole host of other polar creatures that turn up in turn: two walrus, three foxes, four sea lions, five penguins and six sardines, the latter have the cheek to call him ‘foolish

%0a dscn9553

But who gets the last word …
Minimalist artwork, an easy to read text, mathematical opportunities aplenty and a giggle-inducing finale make for a fun book to share and discuss.

dscn9542

I Need a Hug
Aaron Blabey
Scholastic Childrens’s Books
We all need a hug from time to time but when you’re covered in spikes it makes things just a little tricky and so it is with the prickly creature in this tale.
When a porcupine declares he needs a hug, unsurprisingly he doesn’t get any offers.

dscn9543

Then something happens to change his luck but it’s not quite what he was expecting …

dscn9544

With themes of looking for friendship and embracing difference, this brief rhyming tale offers food for thought and discussion with early years groups or individuals.

dscn9548

Superchimp
Giles Paley-Phillips and Karl Newson
QED
Sporting his red underwear and feasting on fleas, a young chimp spends his days whizzing around in the jungle coming to the aid of troubled animals,

dscn9549

zooming through the trees in his super-cool chimpmobile or occasionally, relaxing in his secret cave. Known as Superchimp, he’s loved by all the rainforest inhabitants; in fact he’s nothing short of their hero …

dscn9550

Come nightfall though, from afar there comes another booming voice; but it’s not a voice asking for assistance this time. Now Superchimp doesn’t look quite such a hero and it’s not just his underpants that are a dazzling shade of red.
Rhyming text from Paley-Phillips and vibrant rainforest scenes from Newson combine to make a fun read for young would-be superheroes.

Quests of Wonder

DSCN4633 (800x600) (2) Little Bell and the Moon
Giles Paley-Phillips and Iris Deppe
Fat Fox Books
Every night at bedtime,Little Bell watches the Moon and hears its tales of whales, boats and treasure: DSCN4632 (800x600) (2) each loves the other and all is well. One night Bell asks her friend to show her that magical-sounding world and together they fly far across mountains, seas and forests. DSCN4631 (800x600) Each night thereafter, they journey and at dawn Bell is safely back home. For sixty years they explore the galaxy until Bell begins to fade, growing more and more frail DSCN4630 (800x600) (2) till it is time for one final farewell tale from a mournful moon before Bell’s soul takes flight on its last journey. A journey that takes it far, far out into space wherein it comes to a special resting place – a ball of light among the stars. ‘ The darkness soon began to clear,/Then the moon did reappear./Upon the light its eyes did dwell,/Within it, it saw Little Bell. /And as the Moon shone back at Bell/They both felt all was well.’ A deeply affecting and tender story of life’s journey, ageing and death. The latter can be a tricky topic for young children. Here though, with poetic text and powerful atmospheric scenes, author and artist have created a safe place from which to explore the inherent themes. Definitely one for the spirituality bookshelf at home or school: a book that resonates long after its reading.   DSCN4655 (800x600) The Most Wonderful Thing in the World
Vivian French and Angela Barrett
Walker Books
A king and queen ponder the future of their kingdom and decide a husband must be found for their daughter, Princess Lucia. Having consulted Wise Old Angelo, they promise their daughter’s hand in marriage to the young man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world. Lucia meanwhile has made the acquaintance of one, Salvatore, DSCN4653 (800x600) and at the princess’s request, the two explore the city together. At the palace however, her parents are inundated with suitors, each one showing something wonderful. No matter how amazing the items proffered by the endless stream of prospective bridegrooms, DSCN4651 (800x600) nothing seems quite right to the by now, completely overwhelmed, king and queen who then decide to call off the search. First though they must locate their daughter to tell her of their decision and it is only when they locate her and find themselves face to face with a young man claiming to have found what they are seeking,   DSCN4654 (800x600) that things feel right. For what he tells them is absolutely so. It’s then that the eyes of the king and queen are finally opened and all ends, in true fairytale fashion, with a happily married couple adored by all in their kingdom. Angela Barrett’s exquisitely detailed, mannered illustrations grace the pages of Vivian French’s enchanting and admirably crafted telling of this wondrous fairy tale, seemingly given an Italian setting here. For romantics and lovers of fairy tales especially, no matter what their age.
Use your local bookshop localbookshops_NameImage-2

Bedtime Bookshelf

DSCN1803

Zoom Zoom Zoom
Katherina Manolessou
Macmillan Children’s Books
Unable to sleep in their jungly environment, Bird and Monkey fly off, Zoom Zoom Zoom on a night-time lunar excursion. Their landing brings them face to face with a friendly alien who invites them aboard his spaceship. On the way they count five glowing orange meteors, four pink alien arms, join in a race of three green moon buggies,

DSCN1802

climb two yellow ladders and press one red button on the spaceship to blast them off back home to earth and finally, to sleep.
Taking a popular children’s song as her starting point Katerina Manolessou has created a glowing debut picture book. With its combination of superb design, arresting screen printed illustrations in vibrant colours, endearing characters, counting opportunities and a well-loved song, this is sure to become a firm favourite with early years audiences as well as parents and youngsters at bedtime.
I look forward to seeing more from this promising artist.
Buy from Amazon

DSCN1805

Bing Bed Time
Ted Dewan
Harper Collins Children’s Books pbk
Toddler bedtime Bing style is going fairly smoothly despite some inevitable procrastinations. With potty time postponed,

DSCN1804

teeth brushed and bath time over, it’s time to get into some pyjamas. choose a story and snuggle up with Flop. But where is Flop? Under the covers? Playing hide and seek? Outside in the dark even? Nope. Bing is distraught but what’s that protruding from under the bed?
With the pair safely tucked in, it’s time to turn out the big light. But now, where is Bing? – back on his potty to do the necessary – all by himself. Finally both Bing and Flop are safely snuggled up and sound asleep.
First published over a decade ago, this reissue is sure to delight a new generation of tinies who will be entertained by the endearing Bing and his every day activities. Dewan’s bold, bright, uncluttered illustrations are immediately engaging and have sufficient detail to hold the attention of the very young.
Buy from Amazon

DSCN1807

Go to Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard
Steve Cole and Bruce Ingman
Jonathan Cape pbk
The New Babysitter is having a very hard time with Joe and Ellie who simply refuse to stay in bed for more than a few minutes.She threatens all manner of things such as the sleep ray zapping robot and the toy-munching monster but the children merely laugh. Refusing to be beaten however, the babysitter has one final weapon in her armoury. Could she, would she, should she let that leopard loose? Maybe not, but GROWL… Oh! What’s that cuddly, snuggly sleep-inducing sweetie doing in the bedroom… Snore… silence.
No doubt every parent and babysitter would welcome a leopard like the one in Cole and Ingman’s amusing tale with its satisfying, somewhat surprising ending. Ingman’s illustrations have a slightly retro feel to them. His seemingly flattened images, especially of the characters, bring to mind the cut out paper people that children love to create and play with in their own stories.

DSCN1810

It is this child-like innocence that make his work such a delight.
Buy from Amazon

DSCN1777

Princess Stay Awake
Giles Paley-Phillips and Adriana J. Puglisi
Maverick Arts Publishing pbk
No matter what her parents do, feisty young Princess Layla just refuses to go to sleep. They call in all manner of people to help but none can send her off to the land of nod and neither can the new, specially made, extra snug bed. Indeed it has the opposite effect making a splendid launch pad for all manner of leaping and bouncing activities.

DSCN1776

Thoroughly exhausted, the Queen and King decide to call upon Grandma for assistance. Her tactics are somewhat different; she requests that Layla stays awake. Confusing for Princess Stay Awake perhaps, but what is that we see? Droopy eyelids and floppy limbs, aaahhh… Grandmas do know best.
Perhaps bedtime isn’t the best time to share Paley-Phillips jaunty rhyming story with youngsters; they may well decide to try some of Princess Layla’s delaying mischief.
Puglisi’s bright, jolly pictures are sure to bring a smile to young stay awakes (and there are plenty of those); how angelic that princess looks as she proceeds to exhaust all those called in to tire her out.
Buy from Amazon

DSCN1791

So Cosy
Lerryn Korda
Walker Books
A snuggle cumulative style begins when Dog curls up in his comfy basket. Before long he has been joined by Goose, Cat, several rabbits, a Mummy Bear and her baby, Goat, Snake and even Elephant all wanting to cosy up. Contentment reigns supreme but then patter, patter, patter, along Mouse comes with his tickly feet onto the tip of Elephant’s trunk. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAA … ”

DSCN1790

The enormous sneeze sends the animals tumbling leaving the basket to its rightful owner and just one very small visitor really cosy.
Perfectly pitched for the very young. An absolute delight: simply irresistible.
Buy from Amazon

DSCN1808

Ten Monsters in the Bed
Katie Cotton and Aaron Bleecha
Templar Publishing
‘ TEN NOISY MONSTERS
Were tucked up face-to-face.
We’re really very squashed,” they said.
“We need a bit more space.” ‘
So begins a wonderfully anarchic version of the monster countdown rhyme wherein we encounter a snoring Sleepy, a burping Belchy, a screaming Scaredy, a snot dripping Sneezy, a scratchy flea-ridden Itchy, a snack munching Greedy, a Hiccupy, a dribbling Slurpy, a room-shaking Farty and a boinging, bouncing Giggly as each is jettisoned from the top bunk.

DSCN1809

But, by the time they are all piled up on top of one another on the floor, the squash is  worse than ever. All this action creates havoc for the long-suffering solo occupant of the lower bunk who is forced to give up his bedtime reading and take shelter under the bedclothes.
I’d strongly advise you not to read this at bedtime as an initial sharing is certain to result in repeated demands of ‘read it again’. You could well be there for some time especially as the noises generated by the invitation to press each evicted monster’s white button results in an appropriate sound and further hilarity. A sure fire winner!

DSCF3223

Dylan is disgusted by the yucky monsters

Buy from Amazon

Find and buy from your local bookseller: http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch