Gringer the Whinger by Jane Landy and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Young readers will love this captivating and entertaining picturebook with vibrant, amusing and expressive illustrations by Sheena Dempsey. One evening, out of the blue, Gringer the Whinger, a ‘whinging cantankerous dragon’, appears during a fraught dinner time. The children stop arguing and instantly love the disagreeable dragon, despite their parents’ and dog’s best efforts to get rid of him. From then on, the bright-red dragon appears whenever the siblings squabble or complain at mealtimes. Jane Landy’s tale will resonant with readers of all ages, in particular those familiar with the witching hour and the count down before bedtime. Check out the endpapers and find Gringer’s House on a typical looking beach during of an Irish autumn, replete with sideways rain and disgruntled looking seagulls.
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite rhymes from an Irish Childhood by Sarah Webb and illustrated by Steven McCarthy
The first thing that strikes you about this gorgeous book is the arresting cover. Look closer, and you will be impressed by the range of incredible colours, the magnificent illustrations and the outstanding design. Each double-page spread is a visual delight which will entice readers of all ages to examine each spread and discover all that is happening from spotting St Patrick to admiring Montague Michael. Steven McCarthy’s illustrations not only complement each rhyme but continue with their own visual storytelling encouraging the reader to also digest the rich visual narrative. A celebration of writers new and old, with some favourites thrown in for good measure, including Edward Lear, Francis Ledwidge, Julie O’Callaghan, Aislinn and Larry O’Loughlin, Joyce, Wilde and Yeats. Sarah Webb has put together an entertaining and diverse collection of nursery rhymes, rhymes, poems and songs that will transport you back and have you humming for the rest of the day. A book to be read aloud and shared!
Declaration of the Rights of Boys and Girls by Élisabeth Brami and translated by Siobhán Parkinson and Roger Bennett and illustrated by Estelle Billon-Spagnol
Declaration of the Rights of Boys and Girls is an important book that deserves a special place in every class room across the globe as a reminder of our equal rights, and to encourage us not to be restricted by expectation or particular stereotypes, but to do what we enjoy doing. This entertaining flipbook encourages and inspires children to just be themselves and to have fun together. It reminds us that boys have the ‘right to play with dolls, at tea-parties, mummies-and-daddies, skipping, hopscotch … and girls have the right to play marbles, play with cars, rockets, train sets, and to play video games’. It reassures us that we can all wear the clothes we choose in any colour we like and when we grow up we have the right to be a midwife, a surgeon, a crèche-worker, a lorry driver or an astronaut. And most importantly, it acts as a reminder to us all that boys and girls have ‘the right to fall in love with anyone they like: boy, girl or both.’ Endorsed by Amnesty International and translated from the French edition, this significant book is accompanied by lively, cartoon-style, animated illustrations that reinforce its crucial message.
Hopscotch in the Sky, poems for children by Lucinda Jacob and illustrated by Lauren O’Neill
‘Ideas for poems are all around us; all we have to do is keep our eyes and ears open.’ An inspiring and diverse collection that encourages readers to observe and record what they see, hear, smell, feel and taste. No doubt readers will want to put pen to paper after Lucinda Jacob’s marvellous collection that celebrates the ordinary, and acts as a reminder that simple things can often be extraordinary, especially when the experience is shared. A wonderful collection of poems to activate your senses and make note of the changing seasons and the wonder that surrounds us. Of all the poems, many of which will strike a cord, ‘Rules for a Good Walk’ stood out more as a cautionary reminder to adults to enjoy the moment with children and loved ones and to ‘put your phone away’. Hopscotch in the Sky is a collection to be cherished and will initiate much conversation and creativity, as well as inspire readers and budding poets to venture outside.