Thursday, May 5, 2016

A huge happy book birthday to three new releases from awesome Otter Barry Books

Three new books celebrate their book birthdays today with a new and exciting children's imprint publisher exploding onto the children's book scene.

Checking out Otter Barry Books, we're in absolute awe of their first batch of titles for publication, including the gorgeous trio that we'll be spotlighting today who will all be arriving on bookshelves as you read this.

First, a distinctly different princess book from one of our favourite author illustrators. The phenomenally talented Caroline Binch is well known for her glorious mighty girl Grace. Once again she turns her attention to mighty girl characters with "The Princess and the Castle", a stunningly written and beautifully illustrated book that just begs to be read and read and read again.

Genevieve is a little girl who (like many little girls) loves to play at being a Princess. When she was tiny, her fisherman father was lost at sea, and since that day Genevieve has stayed away from the beach, and the ocean. But she wonders what it would be like to visit the castle perched on top of a little island just off the coastline. Genevieve would love to overcome her fears but just can't seem to take that first step.

Then her mum meets someone new - a kind and thoughtful new partner called Cedric (who we adored, like a big booming smiling version of Hagrid from Harry Potter) who is quite scary at first, but as time passes becomes the very person to help Genevieve overcome her fear. Will she visit the distant castle after all and what will she find when she gets there?

"The Princess and the Castle" is absolutely incredible on every level. The illustrations are breathtaking (as you'd expect from Caroline) and the story themes are important and deep - tones of overcoming childhood fears, coping with loss and grief and dealing with potential new 'dads' are dealt with thoughtfully and sensitively.

Mark our words, this is without a doubt a surefire hit for just about any award you can think of this year.

Sticking with truly impressive stuff - another well-known and hugely talented author illustrator also comes to Otter Barry.

Jackie Morris' "The Seal Children" is a true book treasure (as are all Jackie's books). Delving into the myths and legends surrounding the Selkies - Half human, half seal creatures, this is a deeply woven tale of a fisherman who falls in love with a Selkie. They love each other deeply, but despite a happy life together and two children, she must return to her own kind as she becomes older and more frail the more time she spends on land.

The children inherit their mother's love of the sea, and when a stranger arrives telling tales of a wonderful land far across the ocean, the villagers despair. There's no way they can afford to start a new life, barely eking out a living in their village. But the two children know that their mother may yet be the key to unlocking a hidden fortune that can be the salvation of everyone, and the key to life in the new world.

A captivating and haunting story. "The Seal Children" is gorgeously reprinted and presented with new cover artwork and in a stunning deluxe hard cover. A real jaw-dropping beauty of a book.

Not content with releasing two utterly gorgeous books today, Otter Barry are also releasing a fun knockabout poetry compilation too!

"Zim Zam Zoom" by James Carter with illustrations by Nicola Colton is the sort of poetry book that kids can't resist.

Full of chaotic and crazy poems covering subjects as wide and diverse as aliens, animals, colours and space, there's sure to be a read-aloud favourite in there to appeal to just about anyone.

I've always held the opinion that funny poetry just BEGS to be read out loud (in as silly a voice as possible) and this book was a true treat (sorry but couldn't resist reading The Grumpy Dragon in an utterly terrible Brummie accent!)

"Zim Zam Zoom is out today from Otter Barry.

Don't forget to visit their website to check out even more amazing upcoming titles from a publisher who you're going to hear a heck of a lot about in 2016, mark our words!

(Titles kindly supplied for review by Otter Barry Books)

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