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If you have ever felt so shy that you couldn’t even walk into the classroom or go and talk to new friends, you will totally understand how Nook feels. She is small and shy, and she likes to sit in the comfy space of a hollow tree. It was her favourite space, and she could lean back into the hollow and feel very space. Her friends would try and coax her out, but she just stayed there. 

But one day that all changed  as Badger had taken her place.

Nook's friends stood beside her and helped her to move away and start to play with them. From then on Nook would join in all the games and her space in the hollow tree would be empty as Nook chose not to sit there.

Nook is a gentle story which explores shyness and sensory needs,  inspiring kindness, inclusion and friendship. It is a beautiful story and a great book to have in a nursery at Early Years Settings, school and home.

Written and illustrated by Sally Anne Garland who grew up in the Highlands of Scotland and even at the age of four was good at drawing. Sally went on to study Illustration and Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art. She now lives in Glasgow with her partner and her son. Nook was inspired by a hollow tree at her son’s school, a place of quiet thinking and feeling safe.

SunBird Books are the publishers who have innovative and original books for children. From board books to storybooks (and everything in between!). Titles represent strong, lively, and diverse voices that reflect children’s realities and feed their imaginations while nurturing up-and-coming writers and illustrators from around the world. You can download excellent free Activity Sheets too.

There is a special feel about this beautiful hard back book and I would thoroughly recommend for children at home and in Early Years Settings.

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.


Have you ever thought about the length of time that rocks and boulders have been around?

From the beginning of time in effect and its only in recent years, geologically speaking, that people have been around to walk to the highest mountains and climb indomitable peaks.

Rock and Roll are two boulders looking happily onto the world. However, when the people come and award them with gifts and adornments, they become jealous of each other. They complain to the wind and the clouds who are unhappy to hear about the feud between them. In fury they make a storm,  boulders fall from their perch, losing all of their possessions.

The boulders, now broken into rocks and stones, finally realise that what they own is not as important as who they love.

The author and illustrator, Hazel Terry, lives in Edinburgh and her style is eclectic and inspiring. Each page of this beautiful picture book is inspired by fossil patterns such as ferns or clams. Hazel wants to show that all life is interconnected, precious and important. By talking through the boulders, Rock and Roll the book  has a sense of the length of time that rocks have been on this earth and the short time that humans have been involved.

Tiny Owl are the publishers and have an amazing portfolio of books,  packed with meaning, full of inspirational illustrations and text. Rock and Roll is a wonderful addition to their new books with publication on 9th September 2021

This is a Picture Book appropriate for all ages and is a great way to be reflective and concerned for how we live on this planet.

 

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.


 

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.


'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.


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.


The Lost Child of Chernobyl - cover image
'An imaginary story with imaginary characters but inspired by a real event ...'

An imaginary story with imaginary characters but inspired by a real event  that affected the whole world.

On 26th April 1986 at Chernobyl in Ukraine a nuclear reactor exploded sending huge clouds of radio active dust into the atmosphere with devastating results, especially for the people of Chernobyl.

This powerful graphic novel is inspired by that nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl power station, and is published for the 35th anniversary of the disaster.

One April night, people living near Chernobyl see a bright light in the sky...Everyone is told to move out of the forbidden zone around the destroyed nuclear reactor, but two stubborn old ladies, Anna and Klara, refuse to leave.

Nine years later, the forest wolves bring a ragged child to their door - a child who has been living with wolves in the forbidden zone. Who is the lost child of Chernobyl and will Anna and Klara be able to find the child's family after all this time?

Inspired by the real events of the global environmental disaster at Chernobyl in April 1986, this haunting and deeply relevant graphic novel is about the place of humans in the natural world, about healing, survival and the meaning of home.

Helen Bate is the award-winning author of Peter in Peril, USBBY Outstanding International Book, and Me and Mrs Moon. The graphics in the story excellently portray the reality of the aftermath and provide thought provoking materials for discussion

Otter-Barry are the publishers of courageous and inspirational books for children. The Lost Child of Chernobyl is one of their best!

I shall treasure this book as a reminder of that time in 1986, when the cloud of dust even came as far as the East of England. with difficult consequences.

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.


 

‘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.


A heartwarming picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Caroline Magerl about a little bear who forges a forever friendship.

Nop is a scruffy kind of bear. He sits on a dusty armchair in Oddmint's Dumporeum surrounded by the beaders, knitters, patchers and stitchers who are much too busy to talk to him. So he watches the litter tumble until, armed with a new bow tie, he has an idea that will change his life forever...

A beautiful book about a bear. A bear that has been left behind and not noticed by those working in the Dumporeum. Maybe that is a good thing as Nop begins an adventure.

Books go Walkabout book shop button image and linkThere is much to be said for a book about bears in this time of stay at home and stay indoors. May be the time to check out those cupboards where bears may be lurking or even trying for adventures.

The illustrations in line and watercolour have a magical feel about them and a real joy to explore bringing the text alive.

 

Caroline Magerl  is an award-winning and internationally distinguished illustrator, cartoonist and painter, who is now recognised as a unique and arresting presence. Her work spans from dark, enigmatic oil paintings, through incisive cartoons, to lively children’s book illustrations.

Walker Books published Nop in Jan 2020 and have a great collection of picture books for young children as well as a host of other genre. Their website has some great links to their teacher notes and videos.

But for now, Nop is definitely a book to add to your list of books to buy in January lockdown of 2021.

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.