Thursday, 25 July 2013

#ReadItMD13 Theme Week - "Summer Holidays - Ten Children's Picture Books to tuck into your Trunki for your holiday"

In the summertime, we love books on the beach!

This time last year we gave you our recommendations for ten brilliant summer or holiday-themed children's picture books. This year as part of our #ReadItMD13 Theme Week celebrating the first week of the long long LONG school summer holidays, here are ten more summery sunny and holiday books we've loved and know you will too!

So here goes, in no particular order...

1) Katie Morag and the Big Boy Cousins by Mairi Hedderwick (Red Fox Picture Books)

Katie Morag and the Big Boy Cousins by Mairi Hedderwick. Such a lovely book, wish we were there!

Imagine a long summer idly spending time up in the remote scottish highlands. Sounds utterly utterly idyllic to me and reading the adventures of Katie Morag, and her naughty cousins who come to stay every summer for the long vacation, you'll almost feel like you're there.

Making dens, making mischief and eventually making sure they pitch in and help the awesome Granny Island, Katie Morag and her cousins will have you googling for summer holidays north of the border. Charming and beautiful, a great summer read!

2) Meggie Moon by Elizabeth Baguley and Gregoire Mabire (Little Tiger Press)

She's smart, she's cool, she's Meggie Moon by Elizabeth Baguley and Gregoire Mabire
This book is great, as it has one of the most brilliant girl characters ever to grace a children's book tucked between its lovely covers. Meggie Moon is a girl who is imaginative and inventive, and soon shows the boys a thing or two about how to play brilliant games or make cool things out of a rubbish pile when she comes to stay nearby during the summer holidays. It's a bittersweet book, boys being boys at the start and wondering just who this annoying upstart is that butts in on their games - but in the end they miss her terribly when she goes, and realise just how cool she really was.

Utterly lovely!

3) The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat by Ronda and David Armitage 

The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat by Ronda and David Armitage. Even cats like to go on their travels!

One book in a huge range of Lighthouse Keeper's Cat stories, this moggy lives a charmed and idyllic life in a lighthouse, whiling away long summer days eating and sleeping and doing all the things cats do. Until curiosity gets the better of him and he goes off to explore.

4) The Dunderheads - Behind Bars by Paul Fleischman and David Roberts (Walker Books)

The Dunderheads Behind Bars by Paul Fleischman and David Roberts. Summer in the clink?
What do The Dunderheads do when school's out for the summer? They audition for a movie starring their favourite actress but as we know, trouble is never far behind The Dunderheads as their monstrous teacher, Miss Breakbone and her eerie look-a-like brother ensure that the children have a summer holiday they'll never forget. We were really won over by this book - which is even deeper and more amazing than it first appears. Hooray for The Dunderheads!

5) SPLASH! Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia (Walker Books)

(See our lovely header image)

A well deserved book of the week, SPLASH! has a huge dash of joie de vivre running through its beautifully illustrated pages. Anna Hibiscus is at the beach with her family - but why won't anyone play in the surf with her? What is wrong with Dad, Mum, Granny and Grandpa, Uncles and Aunties and cousins? Anna soon discovers that you can have fun even when you're on your own, and it's amazing how quickly folk will join in with splashy games on a hot sunny day. Sublime!

6) Father Christmas Goes On Holiday by Raymond Briggs (Picture Puffin)

Father Christmas Goes on Holiday by Raymond Briggs. Bloomin' perfect!
He's Bloomin' marvellous is Santa. Raymond Briggs' Sequel to his awesome Father Christmas book sees Santa packing his things for a hot summer vacation around the world. We still giggle like drains at Santa's antics sampling French Haute Cuisine. Yet a little sad, because we remember what a fantastic job the late Mel Smith (who died this week) did voicing Santa in the animated versions of these tales. You'll be sorely missed Mel.

7) Winnie at the Seaside by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul (OUP)

Winnie at the Seaside by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul. Magical!

We still love Winnie the Witch despite not catching up with her adventures for some time now. Here in "Winnie at the Seaside" you'll see the chaotic results of witchy holiday magic. Aided by trusty sidekick Wilbur, who actually looks rather fetching as a cat-fish, Winnie enjoys the summer sunshine but made sure she packed her magic wand for the perfect vacation.

8) Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble by Tracey Corderoy and Joe Berger (Nosy Crow Books)

Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble by Tracey Corderoy and Joe Berger. Witchy Granny ROCKS!

When staying with Granny during the summer holidays - is life made more complicated just because she's a witch? When one little girl tries to re-style her witchy grandma, she realises that perhaps having a witch in the family isn't such a bad thing after all. We loved Grandma's method of dealing with a crowded beach for sure!

9) Miffy's Garden by Dick Bruna (Egmont Books)

Miffy's Garden by Dick Bruna. Green fingered summer holidays? You betcha!
Charlotte's a huge fan of Miffy and she's also a huge fan of helping mummy in the garden during the summer holidays (Daddy stays well away from anything green-fingered, he has the touch of DEATH for plants alas!). Here Miffy is given a stretch of garden to grow lovely things to eat in - and who could resist the temptation of a crop of fresh garden vegetables? Surely not a hungry rabbit! We love the Miffy books, they're still as great as ever they were and perfectly sized for tucking into tiny overnight bags when Charlotte goes to stay at Nanny or Grandma's house.

10) The Trouble with Gran by Babette Cole (Inky Sprat)

The Trouble with Gran by Babette Cole. Is Gran quite what she seems?
We reviewed the fun iBook edition of "The Trouble with Gran" from Inky Sprat, which had a fab set of voiceover videos by the stylish Babette herself. Gran is a bit of a mischief maker - what's more, she's not exactly what she seems so when Gran is roped into a boring day trip with the rest of the senior citizens, it's not long before she finds ways to upset the applecart. We did love her morphing into the winner of the Miss Lovelylegs contest (do they still have those at holiday camps?)

Whew! That little lot should keep your tiddlers entertained for a wee while. As ever, drop a comment below if you have more summer holiday favourites, we'd love to hear about them!