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The naming of things...in a book!

A beautiful, creative story about naming things around you, which young children love to do very naturally. In The Name Game, when there’s no one to play with this is just the chance to speak with the magpie.

Who are you?’ I call out. ‘Please tell me your name!’

‘I’m a magpie, darlin.’ A jack the lad, a cheeky chappie, a jewel thief if I’m honest. But a heart of gold, I promise you.’

‘Why don’t you give me a name?’

And so magpie becomes ‘Diamond Dodger.’

Beautifully illustrated, The Name Game is a book which will delight young children and adults too. Each page is a joy to read and to look through as the little girl meets a tree, a butterfly and a cat, all in need of amazing new names.

Image: Elizabeth Laird

Elizabeth Laird is a multi-award-winning author of many successful picture books, young fiction and YA novels, including Grobbblechops, also published by Tiny Owl. She is the author of many  thought-provoking titles, including A House Without Walls, which is about a family driven out of their home in Syria. It could well be linked to families in the Ukraine today. There are also a wealth of  information and materials available to teachers.

Image: Olivia Holden

Olivia Holden, the illustrator has a great talent and has illustrated many books and book covers including Ernest Shackleton Little People, Big Dreams and Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. She was a shortlisted finalist in the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition 2022.

Tiny Owl are an independent children’s book publisher and have a wonderful portfolio of beautiful, diverse and intriguing titles, especially in their picture books. The Name Game is published in 7th June 2022

A gem of a book and one which I will be sharing on the sofa!

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.


Bea had an idea, in fact a BIG idea! She wanted to play a Big Musical Thing, in fact she wanted to create her own music and why not indeed!

In Caroline Magerl’s latest picture book Piano Fingers, we are invited to celebrate the point at which all endeavours begin. This is the story of Bea who wants to play, and she takes a deep dive into the fantastical world of Maestro Gus; a cat resplendent in a plush tail coat, who lives outside the old piano and plays the agent provocateur in this musical adventure.

Watching my own daughter learn a musical instrument was the inspiration for Piano Fingers’ says Caroline Magerl. ‘This book is about a musical journey, but also a love letter to all kinds of wishful plinking.’

Caroline Magerl  is the author and illustrator. She was born near Frankfurt in Germany and went to Australia when she was two. She lived on the yacht her family built until she was fourteen. In 2001 Caroline won the Children's Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for new talent in children's book illustration for her picture book Grandma's Shoes. Since then she has been awarded a May Gibbs Fellowship and received an ASA children's picture book grant to work on her book Hasel and Rose.

Walker Books are the publishers of this beautiful, hardback picture book published on April 7th 2022. It is part of their extensive and excellent picture books which are such a joy. They are transformational for young children and a sharing adult, as they explore the exquisite picture, full of character and determination.

I loved reading through this book and have found so many of the pages just a delight to spend time exploring the images.

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.


Picture Books with style, meaning and love. New books from Otter-Barry Books are why I love picture books for young children. Through wonderful illustrations and engaging text they express deep meanings.

By Jonnie Wild and Illustrated by Brita Granström

A fourth exciting adventure featuring the Five Flamingos.

"I don't like flingo weed," says Baby. "I'm going to find a family that eats something delicious."

Baby Flamingo is a very fussy eater! He visits the monkeys, the bats, the giraffes and the anteater, but he doesn't like ANY of their food. So he goes to the river to see what Crocodile likes to eat!

Each page is full of spectacularly coloured illustrations and make wonderful reading.

 

 

 

 

As this book is about conservation and Reforest Africa,  the author's royalties will be donated in support of wildlife habitat conservation projects in Africa.

And...

I Love You ,Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Barroux

A touching love story with an important message about ocean pollution through plastics.

When Jonas the lighthouse-keeper is rescued from the stormy sea by a whale, they become friends. But soon Blue the whale is in great danger too, and now he needs help from Jonas...

This touching love story from world-renowned picture book creator, Barroux, beautifully highlights the urgency of saving our whales and our oceans.

Such a moving book, says so much in a few words, but the illustrations are so expressive. We all need to look after our seas and oceans.

Living close to the sea, I enjoy walks along the shore, seeing the shells and stones brought onto the sand banks, but saddened by the pieces of plastic.

Watch this amazing video from Barroux. Jonas and the whale respecting each other.

I love both of these books and highly recommend for home, nurseries and schools.

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.


 

Big Green Crocodile - cover image
A beautiful book with rhymes and actions...

Rhymes to Say and Play

A beautiful book full of rhymes with actions, easy to say and fun to do. A star book for Early Years Settings and homes. A new and original rhyme action book to help creative play with babies and toddlers.

A great big crocodile lay down for a nap.

I lay down beside him until he went …SNAP!

Sixteen original play-rhymes, devised and tested to entertain the very young, but also to help develop vital cognitive skills and prevent dyslexia. They cover the events of a child's day from breakfast to bedtime, on themes like animals, bees, crocodiles, tractors, and many more.

My favourite page is Here Comes the Farmer… the red tractor has a load of hay and on its way to the horses, and then the cows and pigs. There are actions and suggestion on every page, easy to do and  easily remembered by the toddler. Learning will flow, discovering which action goes with which page.

Jane Newberry is the author and creator of the rhymes, she lives in Cornwall and has many years experience of working with children, creating play rhymes and songs for early years.

The illustrator who magically brings the rhymes to life is Carolina Rabei, who has a BA in Graphic Design from Moldova and a distinction from the Cambridge School of Art in the Children’s Book Illustrations course.

Otter Barry Books are the publishers and Big Green Crocodile is an engaging book, part of their delightful poetry collections for children. They are an insightful and creative publishers who excel at bringing a uniqueness to children's books with colour and imagination, making a difference in children’s lives.

Greatly recommend A Big Green Crocodile for Early Years Settings and anyone who reads, laughs and has fun with young children.

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.


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.


 

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.


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.


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.