Children’s Book Week Reviews

Here are the final books nominated for the Early Childhood and Picture Book of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced on Friday August 15th so stay tuned to find out who will take the honours for this year.

King Pig by Nick Bland

King Pig can make the sheep do anything he wants because he’s the king. But why don’t they like him? Eventually he works it out, and learns how to make amends.  King Pig is by best-selling picture-book author Nick Bland. Rating 3 and 1/2 out of 5.

The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood

The treasure box holds a treasure rarer than rubies, more splendid than silver and greater than gold: it holds a book. Beginning in a country ravaged by war, the story shows the importance of words and stories, and the resilience of the human spirit. Beautifully illustrated, the colour palette moves from sombre grey and sepia through to bright modern shades with only the ‘treasure box’ book remaining in the same cheerful red. Rating 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

The Windy Farm by Doug MacLeod and Craig Smith

A light-heareted tale on how to make the best of a bad situation! The family in the story live on a farm where it is so windy they have to wear extra-heavy boots to stop the wind blowing them away. When half the house disappears they have to start thinking about how they can use that pesky wind to their advantage. Rating: 4 and 1/2 out of 5.

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

At first sight, Rules of Summer looks like a deceptively simple story about the relationship between two boys and the adventures they get up to, but typically for a Shaun Tan book the illustrations are also quite dark and surreal. The instruction to “never leave a red sock on the clothesline” for example is accompanied by an illustration of the two boys cowering in terror from a giant red-eyed rabbit. Definitely a book for older children. Rated 4 out of 5.

The Swap by Jan Ormerod and Andrew Joyner

The Swap is a delightful story about Caroline Crocodile who isn’t very keen on her new baby brother because he is smelly and dribbles, so she decides to take him to the Baby Shop and swap him for a new model. This is the perfect book for any child learning to deal with sibling rivalry when a new family member arrives, and the beautiful illustrations, done in limited colours give the book a wonderful retro feel. Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars.



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