Children’s corner: Bears, Lullabies, Milo and Megalopolis

Picture books are the first leap into the world of reading for most children, so we’re always on the look out for good quality, quirky stories that will be loved by children and adults alike. The best picture books transport us to different worlds through their richly imagined stories and evocative illustrations, and teach us about others and ourselves with wisdom and humour. Here are a few stories that have enthralled and delighted us.

1. A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting

by Michelle Robinson

There are many different types of bears, and if you want to look for some you need to be prepared. This amusing story is told in the form of a tongue-in-cheek guide to finding bears, and then getting away from them. This book is sure to inspire children to explore the world around them with curiosity and an adventurous spirit.

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2. Cloth Lullaby

by Amy Novesky

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was a sculptor and world-renowned visual artist from France. She grew up in the countryside, watching her parents weave and repair tapestries and learning from them. The fine line illustrations in the book tell her story through the years, pulling together the threads of her life. As she grows up, goes to university, deals with loss and moves into visual art, it becomes a tapestry of her life, her story told in pictures.

Beautifully illustrated, this poetic biography of an artist is a stunning non-fiction picture book — an increasingly popular form in the picture book world.

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3. Milo: A moving story

by Tohby Riddle

Sometimes life is good, and then some days bad things seem to pile up on top of you. For Milo, his bad day had a terrible consequence. An argument with a good friend leaves his friend hurt, and Milo is feeling terrible about it. When his house gets picked up by a gust of wind and lands on top of a tall building, leaving him all alone in New York City, he realises how much he needs his friends.

Set in 1930s New York, the story has a sweet nostalgic feel. The reader joins Milo on his transformative quest to get back home, meeting new friends along the way. Muted watercolour pictures by Tohby Riddle evoke the essence of a simpler time — when distances seemed greater, and dogs wore dapper caps and overalls.

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4. Megalopolis

by Cléa Dieudonné

A stranger from outer space arrives in Megalopolis, a sprawling and beautiful city, and is welcomed with open arms. The locals take him on a tour of the city, through the vast halls and exquisite Chinese gardens. They celebrate with a public holiday, fireworks over the river and concerts with amazing singers, all in honour of the visitor. As the stranger moves through the different levels of the city, he is introduced to new people, new customs and eats so many sweets that he falls asleep after eating a particularly delicious praline.

This story of discovery, new friendship and celebration of difference is told in bold colours and an unconventional format. The story literally unfolds, each flip of the page revealing a new level of the city, extending out to 3 metres. Along the way, there are hidden items to search for, including three giraffes, eight ghosts and ninety-four cakes. Can you find them all?

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We love having these books in store (since we get to look at them) and are happy to order them in for you if they have gone home with someone else before you get a chance to meet them.

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