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Christmas - with a little help from the toys...

A beautiful, gold foiled Christmas story about Father Christmas making sure each child has the right gift - with a little help from their toys!

It is Christmas Eve and Noah’s toy elephant Fanfan has gone missing!

But Fanfan has an important place to go to. Every year he and other toys travel to the same place in a clearing in the woods where a very special person is waiting to see them all.

This person who wears red clothes and has a large white beard is writing a list for all the toys’ children.

The illustrations are truly beautiful with a far away feel to them, perfect for the story of The Toys Christmas. Genevieve Godbout has a unique style, excellent for children’s books and has captured the essence of this story.

The author Claire Clement has written the story which is a delight and so good for a Christmas bedtime tale.

Genevieve lives in Montreal where she works as a children's book and fashion illustrator. She studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious school of Gobelins in Paris. Genevieve was born and raised in Quebec, but spent seven years in London, UK, after her stay in France.

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, part of the Quarto Group have a wonderful flair for publishing amazing children’s books with high quality illustrations and text.

The Toys’ Christmas is a beautiful hard back picture book which will make the perfect present for children aged from 2- 6 years.

Sue Martin - Children's Literacy Specialist

 

 


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.


 

The Little Fir Tree is by Hans Christian Andersen and re-imagined by Christopher Corr in this beautiful paper back picture book from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

When the tree is taken into town at Christmas it feels like all his dreams have come true. But what happens after Christmas?

A delightful retelling of this original story with  text set amidst illustrations from Christopher Corr, which are bright, engaging and tell the story in their own right.

The Little Fir Tree wishes and dreams of all the things he could see and places he could visit but the birds laughed at him and said,

“ Don’t wish your life away, little tree, Every moment is precious. Look at the sunlight falling through the green leaves. It is so beautiful.”

And then the little fir tree is cut down by some lumberjacks and taken into town where  he is bought and carried into a grand house and placed in a beautiful room. Children come and decorate him with wonderful things and he feels he very proud.

So when he  is taken out of the house he doesn’t know what will happen to him… But all ends well and what happens next is for you to read in the book itself!

Just the right gift for Christmas, and why not put it on your own Christmas tree, or maybe a present for the tree itself!

I am saving my book for story time around the tree on Christmas Eve...

Sue Martin     Children's Literacy Specialist

Dolphin Book Blog, part of 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.


Charles Dickens - book cover image
A great story-teller...

A brilliant book which describes the challenging early life of Charles Dickens and his meteoric rise to fame as an established author and an amazing story teller. As a little boy, Charles was fascinated by everyday challenges and life in Victorian Britain, He loved to make up stories based on people he had met.

 

When his own father was sent to a debtors prison he left school and started work in a factory, full of grime and hard work. The video tells more about the way Charles Dickens moved from working in a factory to becoming a written publisher.

Through determination he became one of the most inspiring writers of all time and tells of life in all its downside and glories. He always used inspirational characters with unforgettable names such as Mr Micawber  and Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Little People, Big Dreams series is published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books and written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated uniquely buy Isobel Ross. The text is stunningly created for children around 5-8 years and provides much information for project writing and inspiration about life in Victorian Britain.

I thoroughly recommend Charles Dickens, in Little People, Big Dreams for children  in school and at home.

Sue Martin       Children's Literacy Specialist


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.


 

Books with  stamina! That is sometimes what I call Board Books. Books which can be looked at time and time again, read from front to back or from back to front, even upside down sometimes. Books which can be chewed around the edges too and still stay strong. Books that become favourites and the ‘ go to’ book for your baby/toddler.

Two books that fit it into this entirely and are brilliant books too.

 

 

David,  My First, Little People, Big Dreams  by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and part of the series published  by Francis Lincoln, also part of Quarto Knows and called, My First David Attenborough Little People, Big Dreams is a wonderful little board book. Definitely a book with stamina.

It comes with many pictures and text about David Attenborough the world-famous broadcaster and naturalist. Told in simple sentences but packed with information it is perfect to read aloud and explore the pictures too.

Animal Colours by Nikolas Ilic, part of the Happy Yak series from Quarto Knows publishers.

Beautiful engaging images and animals and creatures with colour, from crocodiles are green to an octopus who is purple, this book will be sure to be a firm favourite. The colours are across the rainbow and the creatures are great characters too.

 

Have fun reading these books together and finding out more about our world with your baby or toddler and watch them explore the books on their own as they turn the pages and gaze at the pictures, remembering some of the words they have heard.

Reviews by 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.


 

Michelle grew up as a young child  on the south side of Chicago. She  worked hard at school  and from High School attended Princeton University, where she became one of their finest graduates. From Princeton she went on to Harvard, and graduated in law.

We know Michelle Obama as a very famous First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017, in fact the first African American woman to ever serve in this position, being married to Barack Obama. Michelle  wasn’t just a good lawyer, she worked with not-for-profit organisations. She now campaigns for poverty awareness, education, health and many things which prevent people being able to be the best they can be.

Little People, Big Dreams captures the heart of Michelle as a person who follows her beliefs and work tirelessly to support and help those who cannot. Equality is at the core of what Michelle does.

If you already have a collection of Little People, Big Dreams, this book of Michelle Obama will be the perfect addition. If you are just getting started on Little People, Big Dreams,  there is no better place  to start.

Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Mia Saine, this is an amazing series of books about people, about people who started small but had big dreams for the future. It makes a perfect series for any school library and for home too.

Publishers are Francis Lincoln, part of the Quarto Knows, and they have the way of creating books where you can dive straight in and stay immersed for a long time! This empowering book features stylish and quirky images with extra facts at the back plus a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring woman’s life.

My review copy is going straight to a small school nearby, which have a whole shelf of Little People, Big Dreams.

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.


The British Library  presented the 10 Stories launch event on Thursday 24th June. It is a very special collection of new illustrated stories and poems by children’s writers and illustrators to support Pop Up’s vital work in schools, and communities.

A shelf full of stories celebrating difference is a great leap forward towards diversity by UK children’s publishing. Pop Up has collaborated with 20 writers and illustrators ,plus editing and design professionals from 12 publishers to create a wonderful set of 10 books, unique in their style and presentation. They range from books for ages 5 – 11, covering diverse and creative subjects ad themes.

All the books are beautifully  presented  in hardback with information about the project and the stories, they are so much more than just the book itself.

A favourite book of mine is Mistaken for a Bear ( age 9 and up…)by Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Jamie Beard. Adventure and danger abound in the melting pot of London in 1839, where two young dock workers chase a tiger on the loose- a dangerous splash of colour in a world of soot and grime!

Pop Up Projects CIV is a non-profit national children’s literature development agency with a mission to transform lives through literature. For ten years Pop Up has been bringing literature to life for over 120,000 children and young people and families. They have provided 7,000 hours of author workshop and 58,000 books to schools, and helped 18 young writers and illustrators from under represented backgrounds into print through Pathways into Children’s Publishing.

We loved being part of this event and watching live the authors and illustrators talking freely about their work and what an impact this project can have on children who have never felt included. You can read more on our Book Monitor Blog, where we also feature books for older readers.

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.


'Then one morning, someone new arrived. It was an elephant.’

An enchanting story about Humperdink, the elephant  joining in with all the fun at playgroup. He tries hide and seek, but that is tricky, he tries the slide, but he broke that. But he was so much fun at the stomping and stamping game outside.

With a little patience and understanding the children soon discover that Humperdink is good at some things–especially if they use their imaginations–leading to a riotously fun conclusion.

A delightful picture book with endearing artwork and a humorous story to engage young readers and help them gain an understanding about those different from themselves. This title helps children learn the key skill of playing with and accepting new friends, whatever their size, shape... or species! Exploring themes of empathy and imaginative play, this title is a must-have for young readers seeking to understand the world around them.

Sean Taylor  is the author and he is an award-winning author of over 50 books for young readers of many different ages. As well as writing, he has many years’ experience visiting schools, where he works with poetry and storytelling to encourage young people to write themselves. He lives with his wife and two sons in Bristol.

Claire Alexander is an award-winning picture book author and illustrator based in London. She is the illustrator of Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear and the author–illustrator of A Little Bit DifferentBack to Front and Upside DownThat’s When I KnewMillie Shares, and Monkey and the Little One. Claire earned a BA in painting from the Kent Institute of Art and Design and studied children’s illustration at Putney School of Art and Design. Claire teaches her own course on writing and illustrating picture books in local libraries, bookshops, and at the House of Illustration in London. She regularly visits schools and enjoys drawing for children.

Words and Pictures, part of Quarto Kids are the publishers and Humperdinck is another excellent book in their book lists.

At the end of the book, Humperdink makes a sign for all the children to climb on his back. It has a really good feeling about the book and is a great way to show that we can be friends with everyone, whatever their skills and interests.

I’m off to try and find an elephant just like Humperdink on this wet English day!

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.


What is daddy going to do? - cover image
Can your Dad fly to the moon...

Can your Dad fly to the moon or  build a pirate ship with a cardboard box?

This Flap Flap book is full of wonderful ideas and illustrations about just what the best Dad’s in the world can do.

It is  just right for all young children who love to turn the flaps in  books and find further pages and adventures. In What is Daddy going to do? … you can explore imaginative and incredible ideas for Dad’s all over.

Dads, as Mum’s too, are often busy and have lots to do, but they have fun too! Look at what Daddy is doing or wearing and see if you can guess what he's about to do! Open the flap on each spread to discover the answer in a delightful, colourful scene.

With sturdy flaps to aid hand-eye co-ordination and a question on each page to prompt conversation between parent and child, this bright, engaging board book is the perfect exploration of the activities that make up a parent and toddler’s day.

Carly Madden is the author and she loves making books that spark curiosity and imagination. She lives in Essex, England, with her husband and two children, and is most often found in the forest.

page image from the book
Lovely, engaging images...

Juliana Perdomo is a Colombian illustrator in love with life, nature, people, and colours! Her work is great for young children, being clear and visual with a happy and  feel, with a Latin touch. She loves to create joyful, heartfelt stories, and illustrations based on her own memories and everyday inspiration.

Words and Pictures, part of Quarto Knows produce some of the best children’s books which support learning and enable young children to enter different worlds, all with the turning of a page.

The title in this book says it all! So many times young children just ask that exact question... What is Daddy Going to do?

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.


 

Three gifted poets team up with a collection of poems dealing with worries and anxieties and find ways to develop empathy and mindfulness.

Read about the Land of Blue, where it’s OK to feel sad, find ideas for what to do with worries or how to slow down when your head is full of hurry.

Give yourself time to chill out, find quiet voices in noisy places and discover kindness in yourself and others. Then maybe your own special thought machine will tell you, 

This important and unique anthology of 45 poems by three leading poets, well known for their empathy and perception, speaks to the heart of what children think and care about, offering understanding, support and encouragement. 

The publishers are Otter-Barry Books and part of their poetry collection which celebrates poets for children which make a difference to their lives. They have unique collections which are a valuable resource for schools and at home.

There are poems from Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha with illustrations from Victoria Jane Wheeler. Poems which children will read and remember and will make a difference to how they see the world around them.

One of my favourites is What do to  with Worries?

Shout them to the ocean

Sigh them to the moon

Sing them to the sun...

In 2021, this book could be just the answer for so many children who are facing anxiety and worries about their life and the world.

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.


Shu Lin's Grandpa - cover image
'...such a beautiful book...'

Such a beautiful book with a powerful story. 

Shu Lin, a Chinese immigrant girl, finds it hard to gain acceptance in her new school, until her grandpa saves the day.

Shu Lin has just started at a new school. She stands alone in the playground and at lunchtime she eats by herself from little boxes of brightly coloured food. 

But when Shu Lin’s grandpa comes to school and shows the class his amazing Chinese paintings, everything changes….

With a stunning double-gate fold spread revealing a beautiful Chinese picture, this uplifting story shows the trans-formative power of art and imagination in developing cultural understanding and empathy.

'...sitting alone at lunch time?...'

Matt Goodfellow trained as a primary school teacher and still works part-time in schools in addition to his highly popular, high-energy performances and workshops. He is particularly concerned to write verse for children in a way which effortlessly combines learning, confidence and entertainment for young readers. He lives in Manchester

 Yu Rong is an acclaimed British-Chinese children’s picture book illustrator.  With a BA degree in Chinese Painting and Contemporary Art Design from Nanjing Normal University’s Art College and an MA degree in Communication and Design from London’s Royal College of Art, where she studied under Quentin Blake. Yu Rong lives in the countryside of Cambridge with her husband, Donkey, her three children, Caterpillar, Chilli Pepper and Bean, and their German Pointer, Captain Sniff.

This is a story for every child who has either stood on the side line or walked away  whilst others needed support. Fortunately Grandpa wins the day with unique Chinese style paintings which help others to see that Shu Lin can be their friend too.

Otter Barry Books are unique publisher of children's books, now standing out as promoting diversity.

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.