Although Lucy Cousins is best known for her Maisie series of books, amongst others, my favourite Lucy Cousins’ book is Hooray for Fish! Pretty much learnt off by heart from when one of my children was little, this is a great example of where pictures and words combine to create the perfect partnership. Less is more leads the way in both pictures and text, with just a few words on each page and delightfully simple drawings to match the adjective: Spotty fish, stripy fish, happy fish, and grumpy fish. There are interactive spreads too “How many can you see?” in which the page suddenly comes alive with a multitude of different shapes/colours/sizes of fish. Always something new to look at and admire, and always something to smile at for the pre-schoolers in the family. We never tire of this book. Hooray for Fish!
Trying to make sense of our world is tricky for today’s youngsters. They might know about penguins, but where could you go to see them? What if your seven year old was planning your holiday in Europe – what would they choose to do? This beautifully cloth-bound pictorial atlas introduces a new illustrator to the children’s book world, with incredibly detailed, yet humorous illustrations for each adventure. Follow two child adventurers through the continents of the world to see what adventures they have – from playing football in Senegal to riding with cowboys in Northern Patagonia. Each page throws up interesting facts, and a small round globe hones in on the area in discussion. For me, I wanted to buy it for the endpapers alone. A great edition from a new publishing venture, Wide Eyed publishing.