Nobody in the busy city sees the bird lying on the pavement, its wingbroken. Nobody but a small boy called Will. He and his mum carry it homeand, with time, rest and a little bit of hope, the wing mends, and theyset the bird free to soar over the city once more. A moving story withsimple illustrations, few words and enormous opportunities forstorytelling, as single, big illustrations are mixed with 'storyboards'that will enable children to 'write' their own 'chapters' about how thebird was nursed back to health.
- Martha in the Middle by Jan Fearnley; Walker Books, hardback, 10.99
Clara is the eldest in this mouse family. Ben is the baby. And Martha isin the middle - squashed and invisible. Only when she runs away to thebottom of the garden and meets a wise frog does she realise that beingin the middle of things is the best place to be. A perfect story for anymiddle child feeling outshone by 'big and sensible' or 'cutesy-wootsey'siblings.
- I Want Two Birthdays by Tony Ross; Andersen Press, hardback, 10.99
Princess wants two birthdays, like her mother, the queen. But why stopat two when you can have three, or four or one every day of the year?Because, Princess discovers, it's not as much fun as you might think. Sowhy not, suggests the king, have a special unbirthday just once a year?Like the story, that really is fun.
- Matty Takes Off by Miriam Moss and Jane Simmons; Andersen Press,hardback, 10.99
Children who are as apprehensive as they are excited about going onholiday will enjoy this tale of Matty bear and Frampton, his cat. Whenhis sister invites him to stay, Matty loads up his van with most of hiswardrobe and half the kitchen, but still can't get beyond the bottom ofhis lane without returning to pack some more, including his bed. Enroute, the tarpaulin covering his belongings comes lose and all is lost,but Matty doesn't mind. Along the way, he's discovered that possessionsaren't always the key to happiness.
- Pretty Salma by Niki Daly; Frances Lincoln Children's Books,paperback, 6.99
Now out in paperback, Pretty Salma is a reworking of Little Red RidingHood. The setting is West Indian and it's big, bad Mr Dog who will eatpoor grandma unless Salma and her grandfather get back in time to saveher.