15 Favourite Picture books

I love reading to my daughter every night. Choosing bedtime stories and snuggling down together are an essential part of our evening routine. Illustrations are an important part of any great children’s book and we both enjoy having beautiful, expressive and detailed pictures to look at, in my case particularly when I am reading the same story three nights in a row!

Here are 15 of our favourite Picture Books with links to further information on their Illustrators;

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

I really love the stylised flora and detail of the animals and birds.

Rosie’s nonchalant expression is perfect and we are never quite sure if she really knows what is going on behind her back or not.

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From Rosies’ Walk by Pat Hutchins

Slowly, Slowly Said The Sloth by Eric Carle

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A laid-back story with bright bold images and so many different creatures to spot through the book, the names of all of them are included in the back alongside the illustration, so it’s a great introduction to some less familiar creatures.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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Peter began to cry

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All of Beatrix Potters books are beautifully illustrated. I do feel for poor Peter Rabbit in this image!

Can You See a Little Bear by James Mayhew Illustrated by Jackie Morris

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I find Jackie Morris’s illustrations mesmerizing – they are so rich and full of detail. I hope to buy more  books illustrated by her, but as most of our books are picked up in charity shops I may be waiting a while.

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Can you see a little bear trying on a shoe?

Greyfriars Bobby A Re-Telling by Ruth Brown

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A true and heart-wrenching story about a dog who spent 14 years living beside his masters grave in Greyfriars, Edinburgh. The beautiful illustrations in this version make it a book to treasure.

The Garden by Dyan Sheldon Illustrated by Gary Blythe

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A story about a young girl who finds a flint arrowhead in her garden and the dream she has about its previous owner.

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Gary Blythes illustrations are fabulous, capturing the childs expressions of wonder beautifully, both in this book, and the one below.

The Whale Song Dyan Sheldon Illustrated by Gary Blythe

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A young girl learns the secret of the whale song from her grandmother. The book won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1990 ‘for distinguished illustration in a book for children’.

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Why Elephant Has a Trunk – Tinga Tinga Tales

Bright and bold, with striking patterns within the creatures bodies. The story style is reminiscent of Kiplings ‘Just So Stories’ which we also enjoy.

From http://www.tingatingatales.com ‘The Tingatinga artists paint wonderful animals in bright colours with an intricate use of pattern and design. The Tingatinga collective grew from the work of one man – Eduard Saidi Tingatinga – over 40 years ago. Now there are over 700 Tingatinga artists in Tanzania.’

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The Turtle and The Moon by Charles Turner Illustrated by Melissa Bay Mathis

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Stunning pastel illustrations, and a simple but elegant story. A perfect children’s picture book.

Brambly Hedge through the Hedgerow by Jill Barklem

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The stories are of a simpler time and the illustrations contain amazing and minute details, like looking into a Victorian dolls house inhabited my families of mice.

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Mama Do You Love Me? By Barbara M. Joosse Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

This heartwarming story about a little girl testing the limits of a mothers love is accompanied by colourful and expressive images. I particularly love the detail paid to the garments in each picture.

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Penny and Pup By Linda Jennings, Illustrated by Jane Chapman

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A lovely story about friendship and sharing, with vibrant and colourful illustrations.

Hunter and His Dog by Brian Wildsmith

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A moving story about a dog trained to hunt but chooses to help the injured prey shot by the Hunter. The illustrations are stunning, full of detail and rich colours.

Megs Veg by Jan Pienkowski

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An entertaining story with simple but expressive illustrations

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

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A great story with an ending which always has me laughing out loud. The illustrations are a feast, and there are lots of details to spot through the book. Winner of 1998 Kate Greenaway Medal.

I have learned a lot about the artists writing this post. I hope you enjoy the illustrations. Please share your favourite picture books in the comments section.

Breastfeeding is Normal

Breastfeeding is  – quite literally – a subject close to my heart! It just makes sense to me and even before I wanted children I had strong opinions on it. As a student nurse I gave a health promotion talk about breastfeeding improving survival rates in neonates to fellow students.

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Emma Bond with Carene, who was born 12 weeks early 2lbs 2oz.

My passion was evident, and several students asked if I was training as children’s nurse, (I wasn’t) but my motivation, even then, was in planting seeds, helping to create a culture where breastfeeding is the norm, and to discuss how essential it is for babies to thrive, and yes, survive. Continue reading

Purple salad with chocolate balsamic dressing

‘Don’t eat the purple leaves’ screeched my daughter as I prepared lunch. I thought perhaps she was trying to prevent me from poisoning myself.

It transpired that I was not to eat the purple leaves because they were ‘hers’.

Wow – here was a child who refuses to eat salad laying claim to lettuce leaves. This was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss.

I thought about presentation, which I don’t usually take much into account, and colour of vegetables, which clearly is a motivating factor in getting P to experiment with salad ingredients. There are plenty of beautiful purple vegetables available and if she likes the colour she might not freak out when they appear on her plate. This is certainly something to consider when we next go food shopping.

However, the only purple veggies I had immediately available was lettuce, red onion and dried seaweed. Continue reading

Raw Chocolates

I have been experimenting with raw chocolate recipes and was amazed at how simple it is to make my own fantastic tasting chocolate.

One thing I loved about raw chocolate the first time I tried it was the amazing, rich truffle texture, and most of my chocolates, until recently have fallen into the soft ‘truffle’ category. Continue reading

My Contract With Nature

I have this agreement with nature – and the interaction is surprisingly consistent.

Our agreement goes something like this – if nature provides me with a carrier bag I will pick up any litter I find in the vicinity.

It started about 7 years ago when I lived by the sea and took daily walks along the beach.

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As I came to love the natural beauty of the Jurassic coastline I was privileged to live near I wanted to help preserve it and the health of the natural inhabitants so started to collect rubbish as I walked. Often I struggled to carry all I found.

Continue reading