LET’S STICK TOGETHER by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Steve Small (S&S £12.99)


by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Steve Small (S&S £12.99) 

The latest in the perfect pairing of Squirrel and Bear sees excitable Squirrel impulsively throw a big party, while his reluctant, shyer friend feels so anxious he tries to hide upstairs. 

But once the celebration starts to go with a swing and Bear joins in, it’s little Squirrel who feels overwhelmed and left out. The sensitive evocation of childhood worries and the way that friendship and ‘sticking together’ can overcome them is, as ever, conveyed with warmth and witty humour, and the illustrations are superb. 

This really is a dream team — and no one is ever too old for this reassuring message…

10 DOGS by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots £12.99)

10 DOGS 

by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots £12.99) 

Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration, Gravett returns with her deliciously different dogs in this clever counting book where ten greedy pooches, from dotty ­Dalmatians to lovable lurchers, fail to share out ten sausages fairly — with chaotic consequences. 

Children love the expressions and energy while also learning a valuable lesson about addition. Fabulous fun. 

OUT OF THE BLUE by Robert Tregoning, illustrated by Stef Murphy (Bloomsbury £7.99)


by Robert Tregoning, illustrated by Stef Murphy (Bloomsbury £7.99) 

What if you lived in a world where the only colour permitted was blue and the government even painted over the grass and flowers? 

A small boy lives in this dystopian land harbouring a secret — he loves the colour yellow and keeps rescued, daffodil-coloured objects hidden away, too ashamed to tell anyone. 

But when his Dad discovers them, love allows them both to break the rules, and soon others follow so the country is restored to a vibrant rainbow of shades. 

This celebration of being yourself and refusing to conform to a narrow view of life is a joyful reminder of freedom of expression. 

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