I reviewed a number of children’s books right across the ages from 0 to teenagers. Here are some I highly recommend. Starting with young children’s books, working up in age range. I have also provided links to the blurbs and full reviews as you wok you way down.
The Picture Books – 0 to 6 years
Trains, Trains, Trains! Is a fun-packed picture book that works on different levels. It encourages thought, speech and language as kids choose their favourite trains. It also has fun with counting and speed and provides children, including babies with a certain comfort in its train like rhythm of the words. It’s a book that adults can have fun with reading to children. Here is the link: Trains, Trains, Trains
Tilda Tries Again By Tom Percival was recently on CBeebies, read by Rob Burrows. It has fantastic illustrations, which really goes towards aiding the story along. It’s a positive, encouraging story that takes children into Tilda’s world, where it’s okay to give things another try. Here’s the link to the blurb and full review Tilda Tries Again
David’s Bathtime Adventure By Sue Wickstead is great for kids who love or dislike bathtime alike. It’s full of imaginative fun. It’s also got great tips for adults after the story too. Here’s the link to the blurb and full review: David’s Bathtime Adventure
The Fairy In The Kettle By Pauline Tait is a sweet story about friendship. It is also fun with a fairy who lives in a kettle and plenty goes on in this short adventure. Check out the blurb and review here: The Fairy In The Kettle
What The Ladybird Heard at Christmas By Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks is full of adventure and trepidation in this fun poetic story. Find out more in the link here: What The Ladybird Heard at Christmas
Daddy’s New Shed By Jessica Parkin sees him needing a new one, but who will get to use it? It has much humour. Here’s the link to the review and blurb: Daddy’s New Shed
Where Is My Smile? is charming and about a boy who has lost his. Is there a solution that can be found? The book promotes talk of feelings and wellbeing. Here’s the link to the blurb and review: Where Is My Smile?
The Middle Grade Books – 7 plus years
The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons by Andy Shepherd shows you too can grow dragons. The book is great for the adventurous and for young gardeners and the curious. It’s part of the excellent The Boy Who Grew Dragons series. This one also has fun pages set out like collection cards and so much more, as well as the story. Find out the blurb and full review in this link: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons
Benji And The Gunpowder Plot By Kate Cunningham gives children a great time travelling adventure to the time of Guy Fawkes. It’s the first book in The Time Tumblers series. Find out more in the link for the review and blurb: Benji and the Gunpowder Plot
Jump By J.G.Nolan is a football story where old and young come together. They each learn something about football and a particular footballer. Here is the blurb and full review: Jump
Dread Wood By Jennifer Killick, author of the successful Craters Lake, is middlegrade horror at its best, on a par with Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. It’s atmospheric and twisty with mystery and dark tunnels… also a detention to boot. Why then is a teacher underground and a caretaker acting strangely? Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Dread Wood
Which Way To Anywhere By Cressida Cowell – author of How To Train Your Dragon and Wizard of Once, is exhilarating with a terrific cast of characters, including a robot assassin and trees not being quite how you would expect in this new magical world. Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Which Way To Anywhere
Young Adult/Teens -12 years plus
Being is Better and Beyond Invisible is a duology of books. Meet Amber and her friend. Both have quite different backgrounds and yet find each other. The book highlights teenage loneliness, grief, parental divorce, health issues, friendship. It is relatable and essential reading for teens/young adults. Here is the link to full blurbs and reviews of both books – Being Is Better Duology
Today I am reviewing a book that covers emotions, nature and seasons in its picture book story – The River By Tom Percival. It would be great for any classroom, home, library. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s UK. Discover more in the blurb and my review below.
An exquisite, thought-provoking book to help children understand the idea of ever-changing emotions.
Rowan loves the river; it’s just like he is. On some days, it’s quiet and calm, on others it’s light and playful, and then there are the days when it roars along, wild and angry. But when Rowan goes through a particularly difficult winter, the river freezes – just like Rowan. Can Rowan find a way to release his frozen feelings, and allow the river to flow freely once more?
The wise and reassuring new picture book from the creator of The Invisible and Ruby’s Worry.
The River provides a great story that has a unique way of showing different emotions. It uses the river and the main character – Rowan to convey them. Follow Rowan along the river and through the different seasons. It shows the path and behaviours of the river, such as freezing over winter, before becoming free again in the summer. The illustrations are beautiful and carry the story along very well, in a quiet, engaging manner. The story conveys the message that the river is always changing, it can be angry and it can be calm and humans, such as Rowan also change in their moods too. The river is a clever tool in this story to illustrate that children have many emotions and that is also shown through Rowan.
It’s a bright, thought-provoking story that is short and sweet, pitched perfectly at young children from at least nursery into primary school. It would also be great for libraries and homes. It’s one that I highly recommend and can be used as a great story and discussion.
Other books by Tom Percival: The Sea Saw The Invisible
Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears is suitable for 4-7 year olds. It has a pages at the back for parents and teachers to support children through this story. There are also resources available for the classroom. Thanks to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to the blog tour and for gifting me the book. Find out more in the blurb and my review.
Come and join Fantastic Fin as he grows his courage by embodying various inspiring characters and animals to face his fears!
Teachers, Parents and Carers can access the free Fantastic Fin Teaching Resource Pack available from the author’s website.
This is the first book in a series supporting children’s mental health by well-being author and psychotherapist Jessica Bowers. Ideal for children age 4-7.
Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears tells the story, in rhyme, of a boy called Fin, or rather Fantastic Fin. He is a shy and anxious boy who finds a lot of life challenging. He then imagines he is different things like t-rex, a spy, a shark and many more to help him feel brave and overcome these life challenges he is experiencing. The pictures are big and bold with a hint of humour around the hope they provide as Fantastic Fin transforms and feels braver to confront his fears with all his might. At the end of the story there is a page of “Fantastic Fin’s Factfile”. It gives children some practical tips and there is also a page they can draw on themselves, to show how they feel when they face their fears and perhaps conquering them.
The book provides positivity and enough story that can also be woven into a greater conversation and topic of wellbeing or positivity. It can also be used as a conversation opener to find out what your children fear most and how they may face them and overcome them in a fun way. It can, as the story is also fun, be a way of also bonding and finding out more about your child and their emotions in a gentle manner.
About The Author
Jessica is a well-being writer with an extensive background in supporting both young people and adults with their emotional well-being and mental health. Jessica is a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist who trained at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute. Prior to this, she worked for over 10 years with young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Jessica consults with and writes for the wonderful Storytime Magazine, for their emotional well-being and mental health content. She has written a collection of well-being themed children’s picture books for 4-7 year olds, and Fantastic Fin Faces his Fears is her debut book. She has also developed some school workshops which offer emotional education aswell as offering author visits to read her books and poetry to EYFS and KS1 children. Jessica develops free activity and teaching resource packs around emotions and well-being themes which are available from her website at www.jessicabowers.co.uk.
Yaks Can Do Yoga By Snezana Danilovic Illustrated By Sandy Thornton
Yaks Can Do Humour can be used in many settings and is a fun way to add to children’s sense of wellbeing as well as tapping into their sense of humour. FInd out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts below. Thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to the tour and to Happy Panda Books for gifting me the book.
Yoga makes children happy, healthy and strong!
But if you are a clumsy yak, with wobbly hooves, who has never done yoga before, it can be tricky. Join Yak in her first Happy Panda class and see how she discovers the power and playfulness of yoga.
Eight yoga poses and their benefits are clearly explained and illustrated at the back of the book so young children can easily do them at home or in the classroom.
Yoga is for everyone! Adorable, engaging characters and humorous story draw in young children and get them hooked on yoga, creating healthy mind-body habits to last a lifetime
Mindfulness and meditation are lots and fun! The story’s humorous, creative visualisation exercises tap into young children’s innate imagination, facilitating a deeper understanding of their emotions and developing confidence and resilience.
Author and experienced children’s yoga teacher Snezana Danilovic and illustrator Sandy Thornton team up to create the Happy Panda Children’s Yoga picture book series of heart-warming stories full of gentle humour, aimed at encouraging even very young children to get hooked on yoga. Parents, teachers and educators don’t need to be experienced yogis – they can learn and enjoy yoga alongside young readers, too!
If you’re looking for something different for children to do, this is a fun book to introduce Yoga into their lives. It has humour as well as poses they can safely perform in the comfort of their own home or garden or wherever. The illustrations also make this engaging and add to a child’s sense of humour as well as their imaginations and desire for fun and sense of wellbeing.
The instructions and illustrations are easy to follow, so this could be used in the classroom or home. It could be combined with PSHE at school or a general relax time before bed or a winding down time during the day.