Thursday 29 May 2014

The Sea Tiger - By Victoria Turnbull

Like a gently glimmering picture book pearl nestled within an oyster The Sea Tiger is the epitome of classic becoming contemporary, such a deeply expressive and breathtakingly beautiful book is washed ashore via the exquisite brush work of Cambridge MA graduate and  AOI New Talent award winner Victoria Turnbull

With delicate rippling echoes of Rackham and Sendak, Victoria has created what is without a doubt one of the most visually satisfying picture books I have had the good fortune to pour over. It is quite simply heart stoppingly beautiful and each stand alone spread practically iconic in it's ability to perfectly depict the story as it unfolds. 

Her use of a muted sepia and teal pallet brings draw the reader to the deepest depths of the briny ocean upon where with soft rumbling tones we meet our narrator, The Sea Tiger, a comforting and protective character and sole companion of Oscar the merchild. 

With an exhilarating flick of a fin and a swoosh of bubbles we are whisked away to join the pair in a magnificent celebration of friendship and exploration as we discover together the most extraordinary places. Swooping through circus performances, spinning on carousels and contemplating the world under a star studded sky. 

A story which sensitively explores relationships, exclusion, inclusion, acceptance, the pure joy of youth, the thrill of discovery, and eventually saying goodbye. 

Victoria Turnbull has created an unparalleled showcase of illustration and depiction of friendship in its purest form. 

A complete classic now and many many years in the future. 

We can't wait t o see what she creates next! 

Follow Victoria on Twitter @vic_turnbull
Pre-order The Sea Tiger here - Publishing 1st June

The Sea Tiger

Monday 19 May 2014

Review: Olive and the Embarrassing Hat by Tor Freeman

I have been an over enthusiastic fan of Olive since she first appeared on my book shelf in 'Olive and the BIG Secret' , since then I have been thrilled and delighted by Olive and her menagerie of mates on three occasions secondly in 'Olive and the Bad Mood' and now in perhaps my favourite Olive adventure thus far in 'Olive and the Embarrassing Hat' 

In this joyful exploration of the outer limits of friendship Olive is given a rather outlandish hat by her best pal Joe. Together they wear their matching hats but Olive becomes increasingly self conscious and in a fit of embarrassment discards her precious gift. 

Will Joe EVER forgive Olive and how can Olive possibly make it up to her best friend? 

A beautifully written cleverly observed story about being proud of who you are and treasuring your friends. 

Tor is an intuitive and imaginative storyteller and her use of a joyous eye boggling technicolor palette really bring these beautiful books to life. Each of these stories subtly broaches themes and 'emotions' many parents of young children will be very familiar with and can be used to discuss these in a non confrontational, indirect and enjoyable way. 

Great stories to read in a group with lots of opportunity to invent funny voices for each of these hilarious characters. 

Utterly purrrfect, a fantastic feline triumph of the highest order! 

Bravo! Encore Olive, see you again soon we hope. 


Follow Tor on Twitter @tormalore
Visit her website here 

Sunday 11 May 2014

Let them eat CAKE!

Who doesn't like cake? We ALL like cake don't we, well it just so happens we've been invited to partake in a magnificent Tea and Scones blog tour to support the TSA!

From Shify McGifty and Slippery Sam by Tracey Corderoy and Steve Lenton 

Hardly pausing for breath we have gathered together for you a selection of THE most delectable and delicious picture book treats featuring cake and all things scrummy! You'll also spot some special recommendations by some very well loved authors and illustrators! 

From Don't Dip your Chips in your Drink Kate! by Caryl Hart and Leigh Hodgkinson) 

So here are a selection of our favourite picture books heavily featuring baked goods of MANY delicious varieties! 

You'll see marvellous offerings from the likes of Leigh Hodgkinson, Steven Lenton, Sarah McIntyre, David Lucas, Clara Vulliamy and Alison Murray amongst the tantalising selection below. 

On the 6th May we held a virtual Twitter tea party to find out more about people's favourite Cakes and Cake related picture books - great fun was had by all, including guest appearances by Steve Lenton, Alex T Smith and Philip Ardargh, Michelle Robinson, Sam Usher, Tracey Couderoy and Sarah Warburton - Thanks to everyone who got involved - it was great fun! #TeaandSCones 

Welcoming Alex T Smith 

Which is your favourite cake? and do you have a favorite picture book featuring cakey delights?

ooooh... *thinks* I love ALL cake... Especially a Prim N Proper Victoria Sponge or a chocolate fudge cake..(I don't really mind any sort of cake as long as it doesn't have walnuts in and is terrifically )

As for cakey books: both Shifty McGifty and Don't Dip Your Chips in your Drink, Kate do good cake

Here are my Top 3 cakey Picture books - I hope you will enjoy them too - Sniff them out as soon as humanly possible. 

By Tracy Corderoy and Steven Lenton READ MY REVIEW HERE
Don't Dip Your Chips In Your Drink Kate by Caryl Hart and Leigh Hodgkinson

Captain Beastlies Pirate Party by Lucy Coats and Chris Mould READ MY REVIEW HERE 

With special thanks to Catherine Anstey, Sarah Yewman and Chloe Douglas who made REAL cake for our virtual Twitter tea party! 

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We are proud to support the TSA (Tuberous Sclerosis Association) on this magnificent Tea and SCones blog tour, increasing awareness for this rare genetic condition. 

Check out the hash tag #caketime and #TeaandSCones to revisit the marvellous online Twitter Virtual tea party featuring #cakechat and picture book recommendations from Alex T Smith, Sarah McIntyre, Chloe Douglas, Tiger tea illustration, Damien Jones and Emma Collins. 

Taken from Oh No George! by Chris Haughton 

Follow the TSA on Twitter @UKTSA and find out more about the charity work they do by visiting their website