Every so often, my job gets hard. Really hard. Like this week, for example, when my editor asked me to list my top five books for 2015. So. Hard. To. Pick. Just. Five. But I’ve done it…
I’m a scientist at heart, so I can’t help loving every word and every microscopic (or magnified) picture in Tiny by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton. The book introduces kids to the ‘invisible’ world of microbiology in a beautifully illustrated picture-book format.
To my mind, science and cooking go hand-in-hand – cooking is ‘chemistry in the kitchen’, right? Which made Kate Hunter’s A Curry for Murray simply irresistible and Lucia Masciullo’s meticulous watercolour ‘illustrated recipes’ mouth-watering.
Emily Rand’s simple and sweet rhyming story about the day in the life of a friendly terrier, A Dog Day, has stayed with me, predominantly because of the exquisite pen and ink drawings and the clever presentation of the ‘patience is rewarded’ message.
There’s a serious message in The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts – it’s about bullying and size not mattering, and while you may think you’ve read enough picture books about this issue, you won’t have read one as beautifully written or as wonderfully illustrated as The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.
“She’d seen how a whisper could make someone cower, like a bulldozer crushing through fields of wildflowers. And it kept piling up, this discarded debris, those beautiful kites tangled in trees.”
Finally, the funniest book I’ve come across recently is Goodnight Already! by Jory John and Benji Davies. It’s an absolute ripper, with the humour coming from both the text and the illustrations – a book that will be loved by kids and parents alike.