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DIM’S DICTIONARY OF DYNAMIC READS: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

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Although I’ve explored the northern most reaches of Africa, I’ve never trekked across its savannah or trudged through its verdant forests. Perhaps if I had (maybe one day), I would have encountered some of the magnificent creatures that inspired this week’s book list (except for the tigers of course; I’ll pop over to India for those). Click on the title links to explore these books further and access ways to acquire them. Bear Was There by Sally Anne Garland Mouse is born and raised in a cosy embrace of love. His mother verses him in life and cautions him about its dangers, like Bear. But Mouse is young and carefree and explores his world with open abandon until one day; Mouse encounters a huge scary shadow – Bear! But as the seasons change and both Bear and Mouse mature, their relationship evolves until Mouse experiences an old familiar feeling … love. This gorgeously rendered tale of stranger-danger vs. trust, humility and acceptance is both charming to read aloud or savour quiet

DIM’S DICTIONARY OF DYNAMIC READS: Somewhere Beyond The Sea

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A Piscean by nature, it follows I automatically soak up anything associated with water. Here is an aquatic themed book list sure to ‘whet’ the appetites of ocean lovers. Click on the title links to explore these books further and access ways to acquire them. Aquatica: A beginner’s field guide by Lance Balchin Imagine a world bereft of the natural order because of we humans. A world where artificial robotic life has replaced real species and most terrifyingly, multiplying faster than surviving humans can control. A few years prior to this account, Liberty’s journal of Mechanica surfaced. This is her latest chronicle of the underwater life forms that now plague the oceans. Incredible detail describes each robotic menace, all accompanied by stunning diagrammatic sketches and paintings. Imaginative, beautiful and quietly disarming, this is a must for lovers of future dystopia, sea creatures and saga type fantasies. A supremely standout picture book. Five Mile, April 2017    9781762

DIM’S DICTIONARY OF DYNAMIC READS: Enthralling Entomology Picture Books

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In honour of a brand new year that is carrying with it some woeful old worries and exasperating new concerns, I thought it might be nice to focus on something a little different and uplifting. And what better way to discover new things than in a book of words, like a dictionary, like an alphabetical listing of a collection of word books, with pictures. Ahem, so with that tenuously linked introduction out of the way, let me begin with something small and bright and beautiful: a book list about bugs ! Click on the title links to explore these books further and access ways to acquire them. (The) Bug Collector by Alex G Griffiths A benign visit to the museum of Wildlife with Grandad exposes young George to the wonderful world of bugs prompting him to curate a collection of his own. After much laborious effect and ingenuity, he does so but soon discovers that such fabulousness is not destined to be trapped within a bottle. A beautifully conceived and crafted picture book that will en

Book Bites (literally!): Feeling Hungry?

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You may not be feeling super ravenous after recent festive feasting but if you and your kids are anything like me, your appetite for funny picture books is sure to make you 'keep going back for more'. These couple of new releases are deliciously humorous and will help banish those ridiculous 'eat better' resolutions you made just days ago. Bon appetite!  Monster! Hungry! Phone! Sean Taylor is a British author of exceptional wit and unshakeable quirk. His stable of picture books includes a zoo of animals, manic monsters and the occasional unfortunate human. They are kid-friendly funny, unpretentious and inevitably illustrated by a selection of creatives whose style always seem to match Taylor’s cooler than cool narratives. Monster! Hungry! Phone! is a less than subtle parody of the classic 21 st Century conundrum: I’m hungry. What can I eat? Empty fridge. Rumbling tummy. Perhaps a fear of standing in a Covid infested queue of supermarket shoppers. What’s a monster

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! A Gift from Me to You

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Stop the Sleigh! I want to get off. Not many can say 2021 has been their most spectacular year - memorable, yes - rated on their top ten of best years ever, nah. At least it felt that way for this little black duck. In fact it's been more than a little 'puzzling'. Yet amidst the terrifying onslaught of one tsunami (or blizzard in Santa speak) of frustration and disappointment after the other, seas settled just long enough (for a split second) to make a quick inventory of that which I thought was irrevocably lost over board during the wildest assaults.  Health and family still there - just - check Roof over my head - check Rain sloughing through the gutters, greening the garden - glorious check More books and stories published - yea ha, check More book babies to look forward to in the new year - chuffed as, check. Food on my plate, and stacking on my hips, oh well - still a big fat tick. And it continues.  Despite continued inconvenience on the work front #thanksCovid, livin

Review: We Were Wolves

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At a time when I was in deep exchange with fellow creatives including the adroit children’s literature author, Professor Emeritus Gary Crew about whether or not there was or should be more divergence (convergence) of creative styles and elements across Kids’ Lit genres, this book came along. We Were Wolves is not the first illustrated fiction for older readers to ever grace our children’s bookshelves; many well-known middle grade novel series feature drawings, often in subsequent editions, that increase reach and re-ignite story interest. It is however a telling example of the growing shifts to provide more heavily illustrated books for older readers, namely young adults. And I couldn’t be more pleased. This hardcover edition by accomplished illustrator, Jason Cockcroft, is his first novel and it’s a ripper. Few of the 207 odd pages are left unmarked by Cockcroft’s exquisite greyscale illustrations, some claiming entire pages, others creating intimate border details that enhance n

Book Bites: Surviving the Terrible Teens

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Ah, the Terrible Twos, that period of a small human’s life where defiant behaviours and boundary pushing become their central focus and consume more energy and concentration to execute than ‘going potty’. Here are some of the defining characteristics of that delightful developmental phase, just in case you haven’t experienced the joy first hand yet. Saying “NO” (ALOT) Kicking, hitting, biting Temper Tantrums Screaming Fighting with siblings Not following/ignoring rules Tuning you out Throwing themselves on the ground in a total meltdown Incredibly, my darling girl experienced none of these signs save for the odd dummy spit that we both talked our way through calmly, quickly. Similarly the Troublesome Threes and Fearsome Fours were all a bit of a doddle. We slid effortlessly into the Fun Fives once again avoiding the Snarky Sixes. And so on. Sincerely. Our playgroup companions merely shrugged their exhausted shoulders with disbelief and congratulated us on good parenting. But it wasn’t