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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.


 

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.


When a bouncy little squirrel named Hazel loses her tail, her dad decides to make her a new one. But first he has to venture out into the dark dangerous night to gather everything he needs... 

Hazel climbed so high, she thought she could touch the clouds. As her tummy started rumbling she knew it was time to go home. But a branch had broken and then disaster struck. Why did some animals think she looked like a hamster!

Inspired by a bedtime story originally created by the author to comfort his daughter, who underwent a series of operations when she was very small. This vibrant picture book celebrates both the extraordinary strength of children as they face life’s challenges, and the tireless devotion of their parents. With a touching father-daughter relationship at its heart, the story takes place in the Great Forest, a magical world teeming with colourful creatures and dazzling lollipop trees, beautifully brought to life by illustrator Alex Beeching.

The Squirrel's Tail  is a truly beautiful book in hardback with delightful illustrations. Hazel immediately makes you feel she is the animal image of your own child, finding ways to comfort and support at times of need are so important. Even a crisis of losing the most beautiful part of her body for Hazel can be overcome.

Publication date is 15th October 2021 and to buy go direct to The Squirrel's Tail  

The author is Julian Reisz, an Anglo-French father of three now living in Sweden. His daughter was very tiny when she was diagnosed with hip problems resulting in major surgery, traumatic in the extreme. The Squirrel’s Tail was the story they shared together and created by Julian, at that difficult time.

Watch the amazing video above to show the real life Hazel, aged 11. An incredible good news story to bring you joy and to help other children and families too,

I love this book and I highly recommend it for reading aloud with young children, and also as an 'early reader' for children around 4-6 years. I am now taking the book to a little girl, who is very important to me, and we will sit and read and think, which is perfect!

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.


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.