Thursday, 1 March 2012

World Book Day with Harper Collins

One of the greatest gifts you can give a young child is a love of reading.  Books open up a whole world of imagination where anything is possible.  They can transport you to magical destinations where you can embark on amazing adventures.  Books can also provide a source of comfort with familiar settings that help make sense of your own experiences.  World Book Day allows us to celebrate the literary world. Schools encourage children to dress up, take part in activities and every child is given a £1 book token to spend on a book of their choice.

Harper Collins has been a publisher of  quality books for over 200 years.   With titles spanning all genres, Harper Collins publish a brilliant range of children's picture books.  We have been lucky enough to receive a bumper bundle of books which my kids have enjoyed pouring through together.  This is what we thought of the titles we received.

Nick Butterworth's gorgeous board books for tiny tots, When We Play Together and When There's Work To Do depict familiar situations to little ones with beautiful illustrations and simple text.  The life of a toddler is brought to life, as Sam plays with his toys and helps out with the chores.  The six toy characters are really appealing and they love joining in with Sam's activities.

They are due for release later in the year and will be priced at £4.99 each.  They are perfect for little hands and are strong and sturdy.

My Henry is a a magical and moving book by Judith Kerr that actually made me sob.  The poignant tale is a celebration of the love between an old lady and her husband Henry who died and is now in Heaven.  Everyday the old lady sits in her chair, but in her mind she is having amazing adventures with Henry such as going on dinosaur rides, climbing Mount Everest or having a tea party in the jungle.

Rhyming text describes the magical adventures and lively illustrations depict the charming imaginings of the widow.  In the end, however, her most exotic daydreams can never quite compare to the real life they shared together before he died.  I adore this book...I'm welling up now as it write this!  It's one to treasure.  It is available now for £6.99.

Up and Down sees the return of Boy and Penguin, characters from Oliver Jeffers hugely successful book Lost and Found.

Penguin decides he wants to fly and goes in search of a way to take to the skies and runs away.  He eventually finds a way to achieve his dream but soon realises that without the boy with him, flying suddenly isn't as important as he had thought.  In fact he is terrified and just wants the boy to help him.

This is a tale of friendship and reaching for your dreams.  It is a heart warming story with great illustrations.
It comes with a CD read by Richard E.Grant and costs £7.99.

The Lorax is another classic from Dr Suess and is about to become a major motion picture at the cinemas, following in the footsteps of The Grinch and Horton Hears a Hoo.  The Lorax is the ultimate eco-warrier and his message is as relevant today as ever. The Lorax tries to save the brightly coloured Truffala trees from the axe of the greedy Once-ler who is getting rich selling Truffula-tuft knitted Thneeds.  His factory is polluting the air, water and land, and he is destroying the forests.

The story is narrated by the greedy Once-ler who gets overcome with greed as his business grows and grows.  He destroys the forest and causes all the creatures to leave.  But by the end he realises the error of his  ways and knows that unless someone cares, things will never get better.  The Lorax was right all along.

The fun, rhyming verse, nonsense words and illustrations are all typically Suess and I am a big fan.  This book is part of a new "Essential Suess" range bringing the wonderful stories to a whole new generation.  The film is due for release in Summer and I'm sure we'll all be going Lorax mad!  The book comes with a CD read by the brilliant Rik Mayall...and is worth every penny of the £7.99 price tag.

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon is bringing comic book heroes to young children.  The big glossy picture book is packed with cool illustrations of this awesome superhero.

His adventures include battling his arch-nemesis The Flaming Eyeball.  When he gets cross he worries about destroying cities.  Awesome Man has a very secret identity and when he retreats back to his Fortress of Awesome, we find out exactly who he is and what it is that makes him feel awesome.

This lovely book would make a great gift for your little superhero and costs £6.99.

These books are all lovely and would make excellent alternatives to Easter Eggs for little ones this year.   My top recommendations would have to be The Lorax and My Henry.  Both very different, but both set to be family favourites, each with their own poignant message.  Remember you can use your child's book token against any children's book and bring home a classic to delight, inspire or entertain your family!


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