We’ve bought several new picture books recently and I’ll be trying to review them all in the coming weeks, but as September begins and Autumn settles in, it seemed fitting to start with two blustery books that both Peapod and I have instantly loved.
Jeremy Worried About the Wind by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Kate Hindley.
Probably most well known for her early chapter books, Pamela Butchart is a brilliant children’s author who writes with bags of humour and really knows her audience.
Likewise, Kate Hindley’s illustrations are firm favourites in our house; her characteristic images always so expressive, fun and packed with detail.
And the two combined have worked magic here!
In Jeremy, they’ve created a tryly loveable character – a sensible and sensitive soul, he is worried about everything – from bananas to dinosaurs, zips to the wind.
But, being as caring as he is nervous, when carefree Maggie shows up throwing caution to the wind (geddit?!) Jeremy takes it upon himself to protect her, even when she decides to make the most of a wild and windy day!
We love the series of spreads with no text, set out in a comic strip style to showcase Jeremy’s adventure when he’s blown away. Kate’s style is perfect for this, with the perfect balance of disbelief, mild, pirate-y peril, wide-eyed panic and excitement!
This is a brilliant book that has broad appeal. Peapod doesn’t yet understand some of the finer points in the humour of the story, but older readers will. He does however love listening to it regardless (and I’d say holding a hyped up two year old’s attention is the biggest test of all in a picture book!) and thinks the visual humour and action is wonderful. And I agree.
A hilarious, ridiculous adventure that is heaps of fun and full of warmth and the joy of living dangerously! Love it.
The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming and Nicola Slater
This is such a brilliant book. If you work in EYFS/KS1 (or dare I suggest it KS2) you need a copy of this immediately.
Full of the joys of
spring autumn, this is a laugh out loud look at seasonal changes.
Squirrel wakes up one morning to find a leaf missing on their tree! Panicking, they go to ask seemingly long-suffering Bird what could have happened to it.
When another one vanishes the next day, no one is above suspicion – Mouse and Woodpecker and even poor Bird are all accused!
The characters in this are wonderfully written, with Nicola Slater’s energetic and expressive illustrations the perfect match. You can really feel Squirrel jittering and skittering up and down and round the tree and see the patient resignation in Bird.
I love the way Bird explains the leaves falling to Squirrel; beautifully described, with a touch of humour then explained more fully its the perfect introduction to the season for young children, as well as creating a brilliantly funny story in its own right.
We read this for the first time last night and it’s another that Peapod won’t understand ‘properly’ for a while yet, but he loved the pictures and listening to the story, giggling at Squirrel hunting for the leaves and suspecting Mouse!
But for older children there’s so much to love here and there’s even a double page of facts about how trees and leaves change in autumn at the end of the book, which I think is a great idea and again is clearly written – easy to understand without shying away from ‘real’ terms such as ‘deciduous’, ‘hemispheres’ and ‘hibernation’.
A brilliant book for the season, with wonderful characters, lots of laughs and a fantastic, funny twist that finishes the book superbly! I’ll be looking out for more from this duo!
Have you read either of these?
Do you have any favourite windy day picture books?!