Picture books to children reviews and lessons are in kindness


"A gentle introduction to the refugee crisis and tales about big hair and a baby prohibit"

While the title you may move up and down to have a certain fairy tale. There is no even a whiff of ball gowns in Nadia Shireen’s joyous adventure (Jonathan Cape, £6.99). The heroine here is a brown girl with a yellow cagoule, skinny jeans and a fabulous frizzy. In which she stashes essentials from emergency doughnuts to users of devices. British author ‘Shireen has created her best character in the feisty and fun Billy. Her character rescues her woodland pals from the claws of a goofy green beast.

German author “Antje Damm” pens a timely and moving exploration of loneliness in “The Visitor” (Gecko Press, £10.99, In July). It centers on Elise, who is with her neat gingham dress and apron appearing to be a widowed housefrau. She was scared of spiders, scared of people and even scared of trees too. So she never wanted to be out because of the fairness. To illustrate in this book, an architect is done to made small models in which she placed to cut out some characters and photographed the imagined a set of scenes. The effect is highly original when one day a young boy comes and keeps knocking as well as befriends Elise. On that day her grey, papery doll’s house gradually fills with color like a lantern glowing with light.

Baby’s First Bank Heist (Bloomsbury, £11.99/£6.99, On 14 June) is being billed as “Burglar Bill” for a new generation. But here, the thief is a miniature criminal with full of a mastermind as wily as the animated into the film star “Boss Baby”. The first appearance as author “Jim Whalley” has teamed up with the illustrator “Stephen Collins” who is a former winner of the Observer/Cape graphic short story prize. Now he is working as a Guardian cartoonist who’s long-limbed, expressive characters transferred perfectly to a younger audience. It’s bouncy; laugh vocally yarn about a baby who robs a bank when his parents ignore his pleas for a pet. He waited till the coast was clear with Mum stuck in a queue then ‘Frank put on a bandit mask to be disappeared from view.

Violations of an entirely different sort are gently explored in “The Day War Came” (Walker, £10, On 7 June). She is best known for picture books about the natural world. “Nicola Davies” has also previously written about migration in King of the Sky. She comprises a poem wrote after the British government refused to take in 3,000 child refugees in 2016. It was an introduction for schoolchildren to arguably the biggest crisis of our time. It’s illustrated by the hugely talented “Rebecca Cobb” (The Paper Dolls/ Missing Mummy). In Paper Dolls characters are mentioned a scribble, deceptively simple-looking drawing always manage to be both heartbreaking and delightful.