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‘Oooo, look at that!’ said Bird, ‘ A strawberry for me to peck.’ When Frog asks why it should be for Bird, he replies, ‘ Because I’m the best’

 A challenge arises between all the creatures to see who can be the best in all sorts of things from colouring pictures, running races, to making funny faces. Mouse, snail, frog, shrew, rat and snail all tried hard to be the best but which of them won the strawberry? They were all surprised and me too!

A delightful picture book from Pippa Goodhart and Anna Doherty, Best Test is the exciting second instalment from creators of much-loved Fair Shares. It encourages the value of everyone’s unique talents and the importance of teamwork.

Pippa Goodhart has written over a hundred children’s books, including prize-winning picture book, You Choose, plus the Winnie the Witch series under her pen name Laura Owen.

Anna Doherty is an author and illustrator from Scotland, now living in Cambridge. Anna has  a wonderful talent at illustrating picture books and showing the characters of each of the animals. Her books include Ideas for Curious Minds and The Bronte’s.

Tiny Owl have a first-class reputation for producing beautiful and inspiring books and offer a very diverse book list which is perfect for all schools.

Best Test is published on 8th April 2021 and we are delighted to be sharing this book with someone aged two, this very weekend.

Sue Martin     Books Go Walkabout

 

 


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


 

This brilliant new collection of poetry by Valerie Bloom is newly published in January 2021. What a great year for delving into poetry, lots of time at home and lots of time for books! There is a huge variety of poems in all shapes and sizes, from a small cinquain to a four verse poems. One of my favourites describes different forms of poems;

 

 

 

TERMS  which starts..

The SLAM of the Door,

the STAMP on the floor,

is onomatopoeia.

When  school bells CHIME,

right on TIME,

that's rhyme.

If the boy IS AS FREE

AS a bird in a tree.

that's a simile.

There are many more great poems and this is definitely a book to buy right now, whether you are home schooling or online teaching. This one is just the thing.

'Valerie Bloom is a performance poet, originally from Jamaica, and many of her poems are in Jamaican Patois. Her published work includes Hot Like Fire which is a Power of Reading recommended text and the award winning picture book Fruits – a Caribbean Counting Poem. She has considerable experience running writing workshops in schools. Valerie was awarded an MBE for her services to poetry in 2008. Several of her poems feature in the CLiPPA 2015 shortlisted book Give the Ball to the Poet: A New Anthology of Caribbean Poetry. Among her most recent work is Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings ( Harper Collins, 2013).' from Poetry Line on CLPE

Ken Wilson-Max was born in Zimambwe  and living in London. He is an internationally renowned  children's book illustrator, author and designer, plus co director of publishing house, Alanna Max. He wrote and illustrated Astro Girl, winner of the 2020 STEAM award

 

 

 

Otter Barry Books are the publishers, with poetry at their heart and have out together this delightful book with two amazing people. It shows how they live up to their aims of pushing boundaries and publishing books that children will love.

This is on my list to buy for those home schooling sessions, or just to sit and read and dream!

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


 

Sail away with your imagination...

Matthew Flinders was born in 1774 in a quiet village in Lincolnshire, England, called Donington.

He was expected to stay at home and become a doctor, but he had other ideas, like sailing the world and the high seas!

This an intriguing book providing all the information in chunk size pieces, carefully researched, beautifully written and crafted by Carole Wilkinson.

 

Matthew Flinders was determined to map the entire coast of the continent we now call Australia. His story is packed to the gunwales with adventure – storms and shipwrecks, death and danger, a race to beat the French – but more than this, it is a story of loyalty to his crew, love for his wife, and affection for the brave little cat who sailed with him.

Did you know that Flinders was the first person to circumnavigate Australia and create the map of the whole continent. He was a cartographer and completed the maps of Australia, mapping 35,000 kilometres of coast in leaky ships, a magnificent achievement.

The book is an excellent resource with a package of resources including route maps, a time line of Flinders’ life and a glossary. It has everything you would need in gaining an insight into the Flinders’ as a navigator and a cartographer. There is also a great set of teacher's notes on Wild Dog Books.

Carole Wilkinson is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She has recently written a wealth of fact-finding books including Putting Australia on the Map, Ten Pound Pom and Atmospheric. Her adventure series of Dragonkeeper is now being made into an animated video and is a unique series on life in the Han Dynasty through the eyes of a slave girl.

Prue Pittock, the illustrator, also from Melbourne is passionate about illustration and has a unique style, displayed beautifully in Matthew Flinders.

Wild Dog Books is an award winning Australian independent publishers,  inspirational in their catalogue of books on environment, history and the future, they just know the excitement in great stories told well.

I love this book and wonder and dream if one day,  and maybe  one day soon, I too may be heading across continents, although best in a jet plane not a leaky ship . It has inspired me and I am sure it will inspire you too.

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


 

Two new titles in the Buzzy Reads series from Wacky Bee Publishers.

Both books are early readers and are perfect for children moving from phonic schemes into reading for pleasure. The design of the books is brilliant, they are small enough to keep children’s interest and the content is full of interest and big stories. The illustrations are really engaging and full of fun and intrigue.

Samira’s Wish, which is the third book in the series( Covid19 had delayed the printing of the books earlier in the year) tells the story of Samira when her grandparents come to visit. Samira decided  she would make them a breakfast of beans on toast. But this means a trip to the corner shop, where there is only one tin  of beans left. This is a tin of magic beans where a wish comes true with every mouthful and soon her grandparents are just part of the whole magic event.

There are fun facts about baked beans at the end of the book, what a great idea!

The author is Saviour Pirotta and illustrator is Valeria Szucs, great talent and I look forward to more of their books.

 

 

 

Nina’s Amazing Gift! Is the fourth book in the Buzzy Reads series. Apparently the illustrations were made with real chocolate and that gives you an idea about the story. There is a cooking competition and Nina uses the amazing beans to take part and creates chocolate! There is a recipe for chocolate brownies and some really interesting information at the end of the book. The illustrations are full of character and fun and along with the text layout, make this a perfect book for new readers.

Maja Lunde is a Norwegian author of enormous talent and has written many children's and adult books. The illustrator  is Hans Jorgen Sandnes    and he has brought the characters to life with enormous fun.

I love these books and look forward to more in the series and recommend for children aged, 5-7 who are ‘taking off’ with reading.

 

Sue Martin

 


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


 

With a sock full of rags for a ball, Pelé honed his skills in a poor neighbourhood in Brazil. He believed that, one day, he would lead his country to World Cup victory—and he was right! With Pelé and his super skills on the team, Brazil lifted the trophy three times.

Today, he is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player who ever lived—and a hero off the pitch, too, using his voice to help the people who need it most.

This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of The King’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

The author is Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, born in Barcelona, Spain. She is a writer and creative director who is an inspiration in developing new concepts for children’s books.  Little People, BIG DREAMS series of picture books that explore the lives of outstanding people.

The Illustrator is Camila Rose, who has a very distinctive style, perfect for this book. Camila lives in Brazil and believes in the strong connection between political themes and social change. Camila hopes that her work can support and educate people around the world. This is so true for the series Little People, BIG DREAMS as it is now widely used by schools in the UK. We work with many schools who use the series as part of their social education curriculum.

Frances Lincoln publish this great series and the books are expertly produced for home, school and libraries with an instant appeal.

We love this series and just check out the whole range of books as there will be one just right for you!

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


Cover image of Where's Baby Elephant?
Bright, bold and engaging...

A beautiful, interactive, picture book searching for a baby elephant, and who could ever lose a baby elephant!

On a journey of discovery, the flaps on the pages bring you to all sorts of animal families,through the first and the second folds per page. There is a lion and his cubs, a hedgehog and her hoglets, an orangutan and her baby and many others. One by one they tell you, 'they haven’t seen Baby Elephant. '"She’s not under the sea” says the shark, “ It’s too cold for her here, “ says the penguin until the bear finally says that she knows where baby Elephant is!

Young children will love turning the flaps, refolding them and seeing an animal on every fold as they work through the book eventually finding the baby elephant.

Where’s Baby Elephant? is a stunning addition to the Tiny Owl list of picture books which are innovative and fun for younger children. The book is beautifully produced in hard back form and is strong enough to survive many, many turning pages by busy hands. Tiny Owl is an independent publishing company committed to producing beautiful, original books for children. Established in 2015, it continues to have  energy and passion which stem from their belief that stories are bridges to new experiences.

Ali Khodai as illustrator and now author, brings a whole new dimension to picture books and his illustrations are bold and engaging. His previous book with Tiny Owl was

Dolphin Book Blog brings you picture books which have something special, or tell a different story with a quality young children love. They are page turners and in the case of Where’s Baby Elephant give you the chance to explore time and time again.

Sue Martin

 

 


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


 

Adventure on ice...

Ernest , aged 6, had the four good qualities of an explorer; optimism, patience, idealism and courage.

He started digging a large hole in the back garden, when he was six years old, determined to reach the other side of the world.

This inspirational book about Ernest Shackleton is  part of the Little People, Big Dreams series and is perfect for younger readers to become inspired by the determination and courage of Ernest Shackleton in attempting a Trans Antarctic Expedition from 1914-1917.

Ernest realised he could not be the first to reach the South Pole,  Roald Amundsen achieved that feat in 1911. Instead Shackleton gathered a crew for this greatest journey. Sadly, they were defeated by the weather and their ship Endurance was trapped in polar ice and split in two. The whole crew escaped and landed on Elephant Island, where Shackleton and a few others eventually rescued them from a whaling station.

It was certainly a huge dream and the courage and optimism of Ernest are inspirational to so many who dream of big adventures.

Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, the text tells much of the full story and in a captivating way, accessible for younger readers. Maria was born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books and the author of the multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series of picture books that explore the lives of outstanding people.

Olivia Holden, the  illustrator, is currently based in Lancashire. She grew up in a tiny village on the Fylde Coast and studied Fine Art, Textiles and English Literature.Olivia has created some beautiful images for the crew and Endurance in a sea of ice and storms.

Frances Lincoln, part of the Quarto Group have a highly successful series showing how powerful and impactful picture books can be with a great sense of adventure for all younger readers.

I love this series and have learnt so much, Ernest Shackleton  Little People, BIG DREAMS has already set me on the road to find out more about this adventurer, explorer and person of courage. Maybe one day I will dream of a Big Adventure !!

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


A rhino is out in a zoo in the middle of a grey city, where all he can do is pace back and forth. He fears he may be the last of his kind.

Then one day, he is released back into the wild. Inspired by the true story of a white rhino called Sudan, this is an important book about conservation and caring for nature.

An intriguing book! There is so much to this picture book and it would be a wonderful resource for libraries, schools and  at home. I have spent ages looking at the illustrations which tell so much about the impact of being a last animal in a species ( how would we feel?) and what the world does or does not do to try and support endangered species.

Nicola has added a note at the front of the book;

'Forget that this task of planet saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done and check to see if it was impossible after you have done!'

The book moves in the same way and eventually after being shut in a small space Sudan the white rhino is taken back to Africa and to a place where he can smell the grass, the earth and the fat rain and his life goes on.

Nicola Davies is the author and illustrator; she is a writer and a zoologist and was one the original presenters of the BBC children’s wildlife programme. The Really Wild Show. She has written a number of books including picture books and fiction and nonfiction titles, such as Ice Bear and Dolphin Baby.

Tiny Owl publishers are an independent children’s book publishers specialising in beautiful and original books which bring exciting experiences from across the world to children.

A wonderful story and a great book, definitely one to buy right away.

Sue Martin

 

 


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


Beautiful, lyrical, imaginative...

Opening this book was like opening a treasure chest, full of beauty and wonderful things. Jackie Morris brings her flair for dreaming and imagination to the world of nursery rhymes.

At a time when much effort is spent in decoding and information; this book is a journey into a creative imagination, to  worlds beyond and characters with such possibilities.

 

The Jackie Morris Book of Classic Nursery Rhymes, published on September 10th,  brings together 20 nursery rhymes that have been told for generations, such as Sing a Song of Sixpence  and Pop! Goes the Weasel. The exquisite illustrations by Jackie are complete works of art in themselves and you can be completely lost in the pictures for hours!

Children of course enjoy the books as much as I do and will find favourite  rhymes and pages to share with their parents at bedtimes. My favourite page is probably Grey Goose.

Jackie Morris is the illustrator and compiler of the collection. Jackie's fame has risen to new heights with the immense success of The Lost Words, for which she won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2019. She has numerous books in her portfolio and the illustrations always  tell as much of the story and adventure that lies in the words. In Jackie's introduction to the book she writes about the importance of nursery rhymes, for listening and feeling, and as the geography of childhood.

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers,  they have worked with Jackie Morris for many years.  They have an exciting range of books in their published lists. Check their website for a full list of options.

I  will enjoy having this book in my library and sharing with children around me, and then again, I may just spend time with it myself!

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


I was absolutely delighted to receive You're a Star, Lolo. It is so right for young children moving on to chapter books, the content, the length of each story and the pictures are just what's needed for children  making progress in  decoding words and finding the story. This wonderfully takes them into knowing words have more than just the instant meaning; they are part of the whole sentence and the whole story.

This is the third in the Lolo series. Each book consists of four short stories, with some beautiful black and white pictures from the author on every page. The stories are uniquely written on the same wave length as young children and they are full of known characters and life which is understood and recognised. The first two books are; Hooray for Lolo and Here comes Lolo.

Niki Daly has won many awards for his work, including Not So Fast and Songolo, a ground breaking picture book, paving the way for post apartheid South Africa children's books. Since then he has written many classic picture books and story books including surprise, Surprise! also published by Otter-Barry Books. Niki lives in Kleinmond. Western Cape,South Africa with his wife, author and illustrator Jude Daly.

Otter-Barry Books  are  unique and gifted publishers who continue to push boundaries and publish books that children love.

We thoroughly recommend You're A Star, Lolo and the series for young children ages around 5-7 years.

Sue Martin


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.