Book review: Selection of Macmillan Children’s Books

As a new school term gets underway, the youngest members of the family are heading off to the library to find the pick of the new crop of books.

Thursday, 12th January 2012, 6:00 am

And Macmillan Children’s Books have some new and exciting titles for pre-school children who want to discover the fun of reading.

There are plenty of giggles to be found in Rebecca Patterson’s fresh, funny and entertaining book Not on a School Night! (hardback, £10.99) which features bedtime high jinks with a pair of boisterous brothers.

It’s a perfect read-aloud story for little ones aged two and over who will enjoy the antics of the boys who should be brushing their teeth, snuggling down in bed, turning out the lights and going to sleep.

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But when sheets can transform the boys into superheroes, crazy slippers can turn them into dinosaurs and becoming a duvet slug is only a wriggle away, there are far too many adventures to share to even think about sleeping.

There’s just one problem . . . it’s a school night and Mum’s not happy!

Rebecca Patterson’s big, bold, colourful illustrations are outstanding, capturing all the chaos of toddlers’ bedtime, and mum and dad coping with the mayhem. With endearing characters, a text full of charm and humour and a lovely sting in the tail, this is a joy for all generations.

Meanwhile, father and daughter double act Chloë and Mick Inkpen go from strength to strength with their adorable Zoe and Beans picture books which combine heart-warming stories with eye-catching illustrations.

In Zoe and Beans: The Magic Hoop! (paperback, £5.99), the latest in this unique and exciting series, Zoe has found a fun new game to play. When Beans jumps through her hoop, he magically transforms into ... Beans the rabbit with floppy ears, or Beans the crocodile with snappy jaws!

But could Beans the elephant be a jump too far? The hoop may be magic but it’s only small and a great big elephant could easily get stuck...

Little Zoe’s magically mobile face and the weird and wonderful collection of assorted animals she meets on her adventure are sure to delight children aged two plus. Picture books don’t come better than this...

And if man’s best friend floats the boat of your little ones, pick up a copy of Emily Gravett’s fantastic new picture book Dogs (board book, £5.99) which introduces us to big dogs, small dogs, stroppy dogs and soppy dogs!

Gorgeous canines of every shape, size and colour bound through this visually irresistible book of opposites. You can help your little dog lover to choose which one they want to love best of all.

With playful and appealing pencil and watercolour illustrations to enchant children and adults alike, everyone will long to bark along with the Chihuahua and tickle the Dalmatian’s tummy.

A classic and witty tale with lively and expressive drawings, this is guaranteed to be a nursery favourite...

And if you think that aliens would make great pets, take a leaf out of Jonathan Emmett and Mark Oliver’s brilliantly entertaining Aliens: An Owner’s Guide (paperback, £5.99) and make sure you pick the right one…

If you do make the brave decision to own your very own alien, then brace yourself for an experience that is out of this world! This extra-terrestrial guide contains all you need to know about caring for your energetic, alien life form.

It is packed with helpful hints and tips on how to pick the perfect egg and cope with cocoons and hazardous toilet habits (alien pee is acidic!). But watch out! Aliens are intelligent, they develop fast and may wish to return home.

If you’re not very careful, they may take you with them...

Featuring creative images that use every colour of the rainbow and conjure up the strangest aliens you are ever likely to meet, this devilishly funny spoof user guide, with a special intergalactic twist, is perfect for sharing with grown-ups.

Just the job for little boys eager for fun and adventure...