Tag Archives: picture book


‘Several themes which would make it a very useful story for any classroom’ Chez l’abeille reviews The MOOsic Makers!

Cathy at Chez l’abeille has just posted a great review for picture book The MOOsic Makers by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Barbara Bakos (publishing 28 July):

Although, on the surface, this story appears quite straightforward, there are several themes which would make it a very useful story for any classroom. Nutmeg and Celery, the talented duo are lured by the scent of fame, but have to become DisCOW musicians instead.  Georgie Smarm, music industry baddie extraordinaire, tells the girls that their preferred checked shirts and straw hats are for boys and instead they must wear pink and glitter! Joni is a capable, cowgirl boot wearing character too. Discussing these characters would make a very interesting starting point for conversations about gender, image and personal preferences.

Music clearly plays a large part in this tale. Nutmeg plays a mandolin, which is not a typical instrument in most children’s musical repertoire and certainly not mine!  Listening to fast, finger picked mandolin would be an exciting way to introduce the story and create a sense of the western environment it is set in.

I also felt that this story would be of value to read with slightly older children. The perils of forgetting your friends and your true self, in pursuit of quick fame and glory, might not be so evident for younger listeners but children who have been steeped in the overnight success seen on X Factor or Britain’s’ Got Talent, could find some insight into the dangers of being seduced by all that glitters.

The story is riotously chock-ful of puns, which will have children laughing and adults groaning in equal measures. Some may need explaining but all will add to the pleasure of the read.’

Thanks, Cathy, for such a thoughtful review!

Read the full review here and pre-order the book here

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‘An exciting, funny story’ Father Reading Every Day gives thumbs up for The Pirate Who Lost His Name!

Father Reading Every Day and young reader T give a big thumbs up this week to new picture book by Lou Treleaven with illustrations by Genie Espinosa, The Pirate Who Lost His Name:

We really enjoy Lou’s stories and something she deserves great praise for is her versatility – ever story is totally different and original. Here, her prose provides lots of pirate-themed humour and is paced well to keep the quest exciting. The illustrations do lots to add to the humour and it is really clear to see that both Lou and Genie had much fun with their pirate variety! An exciting, funny story that I have no doubt we will return to repeatedly!

This is a story that boys and girls 4 and up will really enjoy. Its also great fun to read aloud, trying out different pirate voices and trying to match these to the illustrations – we got lots of giggles from this! T had 2 thumbs in the air as we finished our first read and told me, “It was really good and fun and I liked the beards plus Captain Squawk was my favourite.” ‘

See the whole review and watch T reading the book here. Buy a copy here.

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‘Sure to intrigue’ Publishers Weekly is over the moon for The Spacesuit!

Publishers Weekly has published a great review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald with illustrations by Ariel Landy ahead of the US publication in just over a week to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk:
The individuals who helped put a man on the moon were not just rocket scientists—and certainly not just men. Inspired by a real-life historical figure, Donald introduces Eleanor “Ellie” Foraker, who, early in her life, discovers a love of sewing and clothing design. As an adult, Foraker is employed at a clothing company; when her employer enters a competition to sew spacesuits for Apollo astronauts, Foraker leads the team. Landy’s quiet, cartoony artwork depicts the subject and her fellow seamstresses as they brainstorm suit designs, troubleshoot, and put in tireless hours sewing (“within 1/64 of an inch,” notes one of the many stated facts). When astronauts test the suits alongside other designs, theirs is deemed “comfortable. Heat resistant. Light enough to walk on the moon,” and wins. …Donald provides a window into a little-told piece of history that is sure to intrigue. Ages 4–9.’
Read the whole review and buy a copy here. The book publishes in the US (distributed by Lerner Books) on the 20th June and in the UK on the 28th June!
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‘Outstanding. This is a great read that belongs in any classroom or home’ Fab review for US edition of Beware the Mighty Bitey

BYU Children’s Book & Media Review has posted a wonderful review for the US edition of Beware the Mighty Bitey by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Susan Batori!

Outstanding. Fun and entertaining, this picture book is full of onomatopoeia and expressive illustrations. Everything on the page has so much personality, even the words. The onomatopoeia and songs are displayed in different fonts that curve around pictures. Children of ranging ages will be enthralled with the story and expressive illustrations. The pacing of the story puts readers at the edge of their seats, wondering if the piranhas are really going to get their feast. However, young children will not be scared or frightened by any of the animals because of the playful nature of the book. There is no moral to this story beyond “be careful what you ask for.” This is a great read that belongs in any classroom or home.”

Read the full review here and find out more about the USA edition distributed by Lerner Books and order your copy here

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Something tasty is coming for all pug and troll lovers!

We’ve got a delicious new picture book publishing at the end of June which will appeal to all troll and pug fanciers!


Don’t Eat Pete! by debut author Sue Walker with engaging illustrations by Carlo Beranek tells the story of cute little pug Pete and his blue warty puppy-sitter Uncle Boll the troll. Boll is under strict instructions ‘Don’t Eat Pete!’ but like all trolls he certainly loves his food… and Pete looks pretty tasty. A rhyming storybook which will delight and enthrall every young reader!

Available to pre-order here

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‘Yo ho ho and a bottle of orange squash!’ Quirky new pirate picture book hits the shelves this month!

Love pirates? And parrots?  If you think you’ve read every pirate picture book on the high seas and know every pirate who’s ever drawn a yo ho ho breath… well, we have some hidden treasure for you, matey!

The Pirate Who Lost His Name by master storyteller Lou Treleaven with brilliant illustrations by Genie Espinosa is a pirate story LIKE NO OTHER!

Meet some boastful pirates including our favourite Captain My-hook’s-bigger-than-your-hook, some bearded pirates, some romantic pirates, Captain Dreamboat whose best friend is his mirror and even Captain Anorak with his special One Thousand Favourite Pirate Postcards Scrapbook!

We guarantee this will become your top pirate spotting book!

Publishing 28 May. Pre-order your copy here

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A sneaky peek at four new hardbacks publishing in the US Fall 2019!

We have our new line up of picture books publishing in beautiful hardback editions Fall 2019 distributed by Lerner  Books!

Aren’t they gorgeous?

The Spacesuit by Alison Donald with beautiful retro illustrations by Ariel Landy will be published for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on the 18th June. It has already earned a special starred review from Kirkus Reviews who called it ‘an outstanding contribution’

You can pre-order this book from Lerner here

The other three books will be published in September and October.

To see a list of Maverick titles already distributed by Lerner Books visit their site here

To buy the UK editions click on the title below

The Spacesuit
Froggy Day
Not Yet a Yeti

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The Wondrous Dinosaurium nominated for the Crystal Kite Award!

Children’s Book Award shortlisted picture book The Wondrous Dinosaurium by debut author John Condon with illustrations by Steve Brown has just picked up another fabulous award nomination! It has been shortlisted for the Crystal Kite Award selected by the members of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in the British Isles and Ireland) who have voted for their choice children’s books of the year.

Candy Gourlay has written about The Wondrous Dinosaurium in a fab piece about the shortlisted books:

The lone picture book on the Crystal Kite shortlist is John Condon‘s The Wondrous Dinosaurium, with rollicking illustrations by Steve Brown. The story imagines the ultimate petshop – a dinosaurium with “EVERY … DINOSAUR … EVER”. Like Doctor Who’s tardis, it is small on the outside but humongous on the inside and our hero, Danny gets to pick his very own dinosaur pet … with rather fun and chaotic consequences. I am delighted that a picture book has made it to a shortlist that has tended to favour chapter books, and I am even more delighted that the picture book happens to be John’s!’

Read Candy’s whole article here and order your copy of The Wondrous Dinosaurium here!



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‘An outstanding contribution’ Amazing *STAR* review from Kirkus Reviews for The Spacesuit!

We are absolutely thrilled that our new picture book to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing The Spacesuit by Alison Donald with illustrations by Ariel Landy has earned an exceptional star review from Kirkus Reviews!

Who would have guessed from standard-issue histories of the space race that the spacesuits worn on the moon were largely the work of women employed by the manufacturer of Playtex bras and lines of baby wear?

Here, in a profile that laudably focuses on her subject’s unusual skills, dedicated work ethic, and uncommon attention to detail rather than her gender or family life, Donald takes Eleanor “Ellie” Foraker from childhood fascination with needle and thread to work at ILC Dover, then on to the team that created the safe, flexible A7L spacesuit—beating out firms of military designers and engineers to win a NASA competition.  

An outstanding contribution to the recent spate of reminders that women too helped send men to the moon.’  

Read the full review and place your order here

The book is publishing on the 18th of June in the US distributed by Lerner Books and in the rest of the world on the 28th of June.

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‘A fun and engaging book with plenty of humor’ Kirkus Reviews samples Hamster Sitter Wanted!

Kirkus Reviews has continued its run of fantastic reviews for the US editions of Maverick picture books with a recent review for Hamster Sitter Wanted by Tracy Gunaratnam with illustrations by Hannah Marks:

‘Children will get a laugh out of the puns and visual jokes throughout the book. Gunaratnam infuses the text with simple but amusing wordplay, such as the “wound up” sheep babysitter, who is both frazzled and literally wrapped in yarn. Marks peppers her digitally collaged illustrations with details for children to notice, such as a pigeon looking on in concern as a fox reads the ad seeking a hamster sitter and a tailpiece in which two of the little hamsters construct pointy-hat “derrière defenders.” 

A fun and engaging book with plenty of humor.’ 

Read the full review here and buy a copy here

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