Monday, 31 March 2014

Press Here - Competition

Press Here by Herve Tullet is unquestionably one of the most imaginative and intuitive books for children and without doubt should be an essential component in any child's book collection. 

You can see the beautifully produced trailer here ...

I am lucky enough to have got my chubby paws on a special copy just for you so please tweet a link to this post with the hash tag #presshere and I'll enter  you in a draw to win this magical book.

Closing date 5/04/14 UK only / winner picked at random. Good Luck

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Blast off!

Today has been an unmitigated success as after a miserable week we finally unfurled 'Convertible' Spaceship published by Miles Kelly Publishing weitten by Amy Johnson and illustrated by Simon Abbott 

Personally I simply can't imagine anything more thrilling than a book which you can actually get inside! 

This is something altogether more spectacular, A book which after you've enjoyed the story and spotted numerous googly eyed aliens, converts into a space rocket, well I was completely aghast! And so was Little Sniffer. 

What an utter treat. I think I might be purchasing a few more copies for other budding astronauts - I will also be enquiring as to whether anyone publishes these in grown-up sizes.

Bravo for imaginative intuitive publishing. 

This book really is an interstellar hit! 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

100 Bears


There are a great many more than 100 reasons why you should add 100 Bears by Magali Bardos to your collection but here are 10 to start you off...

1-  A more visually arresting book you'll be hard pressed to find - printed in vivid gem like block colours has this book has such a rich silken physicality it almost feels like you own the only copy in the whole world. 

2- Magali has created an engaging and supremely mischievous band of bears - turning the page is almost irresistible to the reader as chaos and mayhem ensue. 

3- The gentle and subtle progression of the visualisation of the number 1 on a page to 100 builds with an increasingly entertaining velocity to the point where your eyes dart across the page frantically counting a myriad of objects including bees, toes and colouring pencils.   

4- Parents and children alike will relish in this anarchic adventure across town and countryside, and there are infinite opportunities for reader engagement as you compete to spot minute details.

5- Numeracy in books for younger readers has a familiar monotonous and rarely ventured away from format and this breaks down every barrier incorporating storytelling and joy in bucket loads. 

6- Magali is an insightful and charismatic artists with an intuitive relationship with shape and colour. 

7- The visual depiction of the 'Fattest Bear' weighing in at a hefty 96 Kilos is quite frankly something of comical masterpiece. 
8- Who wouldn't want to see several slightly out of control bonkers burly bears triumph over a band of moustachioed Bavarian hunters whilst guzzling 20 delicious deserts?  

9 - It is a steal at only 13 of your English pounds and would make an incredible gift for a dear friend.. or yourself. It is an affordable work of art in book form.

10- The publishers of 100 Bears - Flying Eye Books have such a deep seated integrity and commitment to creating reassuringly satisfying books that simply the logo on the spine is certification enough that the book you have in your hand will be 100% satisfying in every aspect. 

A book to 'Paw' Over on a rainy day

Find out more about French artists Magali Bardos 
by visiting her website 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Thoroughly Modern Miffy

Can you believe a creature so fresh faced, relevant and contemporary as beloved Miffy could possibly be 59 years old!? It is quite incredible isn't it. 

In recent months Simon and Schuster have sensitively re- packaged and re-imagined some of Dick Brunas classic Miffy titles with the help of rhyming wordsmith delightful Tony Mitton. Tony has risen to what must have been a daunting challenge with grace and flair and the updated versions read like a dream. 

As clever, charming and inclusive as they were when they were first published. The Miffy brand will forever more be a staple on children's bookshelves across the world. Essential reading for small bunnies everywhere. 

Three cheers to Miffy and another 50 fabulous years!

With huge thank to the S&S team for inviting us to their memory making Miffy extravaganza. We had the best time and ate more cup cakes than we ever imagined possible. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Yes by Sarah Bee and Satoshi Kitamura

 The Yes

A creature of an unspecified identity embarks on a unique journey across a visually stunning abstract landscape in this epic and unexpected addition to our bookshelf.

A hopeful tale of mindfulness, determination and hope begins as The Yes is born into a cosy, safe and happy environment, but The Yes has a yearning which becomes impossible to ignore and leaves to make a pilgrimage to ‘Where’.

It slowly transpires that The Where is a place inhabited by No’s, big one’s and smalls ones but each and every one of them persistent and unforgiving. 

The yes is big and strong and determined – will the Yes overcome the No’s and succeed in making it to the Where.

This thoughtful and imaginative text written by Sarah Bee is beautifully complimented by Satoshi Kitamura’s subtle yet powerful illustrations.

Sarah Bee 

Sarah Bee was born by the Thames and lives in east London with a big dog and an even bigger eucalyptus. She mostly writes at night, mostly. The Yes is her debut picture book. 

Follow Sarah on Twitter - @sarahcrbee
and visit her website here  

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Orion and the Dark

Publishing in May 2014 'Orion and the Dark' by Emma Yarlett is a book which encapsulates the potential for a story to be beautiful, engaging, clever, thoughtful and funny all wrapped up in an exquisite physical package. 

Orion is just an average little bobble hatted chap with everyday common or garden fears, tartan / wasps / girls / sheds, This hilarious list continues and also includes haircuts. 

Smaller readers will absolutely relate to Orion's biggest most terrifying fear, the one which makes him quiver in his boots and his tummy shake... Orion is scared of the dark.

With a breathtakingly ingenious and deceptively simple die cut page, Orion is taken by the hand by his biggest fear and invited along for the adventure of a lifetime. 

Reminiscent of The Snowman in the most complimentary way, Orion is gently encouraged by the dark to conquer his fears one by one with his new friend by his side. The spine-tingling adventure continues as we are whisked into star speckled outer space for a moment of peace and reflection before returning home. 

Orion and the Dark  is a tear-jerking heart-stirring triumph. This book projects the very essence of freedom, mindfulness, adventure and the value of true friendship in it's purest form. An impossibly perfect bedtime story to be cherished.  

Simply stunning.

(TOP TIP - Take a sneak peek beneath the dust jacket of the hardback for a visual feast of epic proportions!)

Foxy Tales - The Cunning Plan

Step aside Sir Alan Sugar, take a hike Peter Jones, There's a new Fox on the block with a devious 'Get Rich Quick' plan of the most hair brained and maniacal nature!

Infamous Foxy DuBois and down right dastardly Alphonso the Alligator, (As featured in Egg and Catch us if you Can Can) are united again in a brand new gleaming and glossy illustrated fiction disguise.   

Coasting on hard times and with aspirations above her station Foxy has once again finds herself fending off Alphonso's ravenous advances, this time she has to come up with a most cunning plan in order to make enough dosh to keep Al well fed, thus saving her own skin and making sure she is most certainly NOT dish of the day!

Foxy has her eyes firmly on the prize and hatches a plot fitting of a creature as cunning as the sky is blue.

Plot: > Alphonso dresses up as a lady dog walker > Alphonso distracts rich rotund old lady > Foxy abducts small canine charges > Alphonso 'finds' and 'returns' pups without eating them > Thankful rich rotund old lady pays a generous reward! 

Sounds fool proof? Well prepare to snort out loud with laughter in an utterly embarrassing fashion as this particular crafty plan lands the mischievous pair in hot water (and Foxy up to her elbows in suds) 

Foxy Tales are smart books for ubercucumbercool kids, packed with delightfulness, devious critters and a belly aching laughs on every page. Not to be missed.  

  • Mr Billy Bongo - Alex T Smith's real life canine companion playing the role of the slightly weak bladdered star of the show.
  • Chihuahua shaped topiary which would turn Titchmarsh the very darkest shade of envious green.   
  • Tiddles piddling on Alphonso's stiletto 
  • A partially dressed pug in a bush - BLUSHINGTONS 
  • A Tortoise in a jumper
  • Some giant alligator sized bloomers - I have a similar pair myself.  

This mirthful tale weaves its way cleverly through the pages becoming increasingly mad cap and mayhem fuelled with every turn. 
Incredibly appealing in it's humour and design these books will be snapped up and devoured in one sitting by readers of ALL ages (including people aged 34 1/2)

Prolific word smith the delightful Caryl Hart and general sweetie illustrator Alex.T.Smith have evidently worked incredibly hard creating these wonderful books and are proving to be a formidable and dynamic creative team worthy of a huge drop of success and unending rapturous showers of admiration! Bravo.
Check out Alex and Caryl on Twitter @Alex_T_Smith and @carylhart1

We simply can't wait to get our mitts on book two - 
Foxy Tales The Road to Fame and Fortune

Published by Hodder Children's Books 
(a complete steal at) £4.99

BONUS TREAT - To coincide with this review we asked for your best fox / reptilian jokes - here are some of our favourites...#foxytales

What do you call an alligator in a vest? An In-vest-igator!

Why did the fox cross the road? He was following the chicken

Waiter, bring me something to eat and make it snappy ........How about a crocodile sandwich sir !

What do you call a lizard that sings for Bad Boy Records? "A Rap-tile"

What is a crocodiles favourite game Snap

What's the definition of a nervous breakdown? ....A chameleon on a tartan rug!

For younger readers... 
Check out Foxy and Alphonso 
in these resplendent picture books! 


Blue Peter Book Awards 2014

Animal Kingdom (The World in Infographics) 
by Jon Richards and Ed Simpkins 

Blue Peter Book of the Year shortlisted author / illustrator team Jon and Ed have kindly stopped by at Book Sniffer Towers to tell us a bit more about their book. 

Excited because Blue Peter a big part in my childhood - countless afternoons spent in the company of John, Peter and Lesley (and a few others after them), with rolls and rolls of sticky-backed plastic, gardening advice, burying time capsules, naming pet dogs and preparing the Blue Peter tortoise for another safe winter in a straw-filled box.

It's incredibly flattering to be nominated for the shortlist, and it's even more flattering that the winner is being chosen by more than 200 children.

Having worked for more than 20 years in illustrated non-fiction, we've always had something of an obsession with information and how to convey it. The World of Infographics series has given us the opportunity to take this to a whole new level, condensing information down to the bare facts and use clean, simple graphics to get the message across.
So it's finger crossed for the next few days (and good luck to the others on the shortlist).

Animal Kingdom (The World in Infographics) by Jon Richards and Ed Simpkins is shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award – the winners will be announced on Newsround on the morning of

WISHING Jon and Ed a HUGE truck load of luck! TOOT TOOT 

The Blue Peter Book Awards:
The enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children since 2000. The Blue Peter Book Awards 2014 celebrate children's books published in the last year in two categories: the Best Story and the Best Book with Facts. The award is managed by Booktrust and you can read all about the shortlist and judges here: