Book review: Cuddly bears, wild whiskers and woolly escapades with Maverick

Cuddly bears, wild whiskers and woolly escapades with Maverick

Cuddly bears, wild whiskers and woolly escapades with Maverick

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Step into a wonderful world of picture books this September with four new warm and exciting adventure stories from young and thriving publishers Maverick.

The New LiBEARian by Alison Donald and Alex WillmoreIt’s storytime at the library but the kids’ corner is bare… or should that be bear?

Welcome to the wonderful world of books, words… and big cuddly bears! Young imaginations will take flight when they enter this magical picture story odyssey from debut author Alison Donald and talented illustrator Alex Willmore.

When librarian Miss Merryweather fails to appear at storytime, Dee and her friends set out to find her by following a rather strange set of dirty paw prints. Their journey takes them along the bookshelves, through an amazing galaxy, into a deep ocean and down a busy airport runway. But instead of finding

Miss Merryweather, the children track down a sleepy bear surrounded by books… and a sticky jar of honey! Could this hairy creature be their new librarian?

The New LiBEARian packs a powerful visual and verbal punch as Donald and Willmore blend old-fashioned fairy tale magic and the traditional spirit of youthful adventure with a funny and fun-filled new take on libraries.

Willmore’s bold and inventive illustrations add extra verve and colour to a sparkling story that speaks loudly about the joyful inspiration of books and reading, as well as delivering a delicious twist in its clever little tail.

(Maverick, paperback, £6.99)

A Knit and a Knot by Amanda Brandon and Catalina Echeverri

Close-knit picture book collaborators Amanda Brandon and Catalina Echeverri are making a welcome comeback with another of their trademark wild and woolly adventures.

In the follow-up to their much-loved book, A Scarf and a Half, the knit one, purl one team have stitched together a high-energy escapade featuring the lovable sheep Little Lionel and his compulsive knitter Granny Mutton.

Granny Mutton is teaching Little Lionel to knit but when her favourite squishy, squashy red wool goes missing, Lionel and his sheepdog friend Rocky become Sherlock Holmes style investigators to track down the wayward wool. Convinced there is a thief in the farmyard, the intrepid duo won’t let anyone pull the wool over their eyes as they leap over fences and tramp through muddy duck ponds in their bid to solve the woolly mystery.

Words and pictures are in perfect harmony in this gorgeous, patchwork quilt of a story, packed with bold colours, cosy messages about doing your best and helping your friends, and madcap antics that will have all young readers whooping (and knitting) for joy!

(Maverick, paperback, £6.99)

The Snowflake Mistake by Lou Treleaven and Maddie Frost

Imagine a winter without snowflakes… no snowmen, no sledging, no snowballs and no fun.

Little Princess Ellie lives in an ice palace high up in the sky where clouds are collected to make those sparkling snowflakes but when her mum leaves her in charge, everything goes horribly wrong!

This charming rhyming story comes from the imaginative and inventive Lou Treleaven whose exciting debut picture book, Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip, provided little ones with some inspirational and offbeat inventions.

Now the rhyming magician has turned her talents to another enchanting tale about a little girl who learns that being different can be the best thing in the world.

At the sky high ice palace, a magical machine chugs, churns, squishes and crunches the clouds to make snowflakes. But the busy Snow Queen wants them all to be perfect, beautiful, identical snowflakes. If any don’t match, she says, they are not fit to be seen.

Her daughter, Princess Ellie, would much rather be out playing and chasing with her friends in the sky every day. When the Snow Queen has to go away on business, she leaves Princess Ellie in charge of the snowflake machine. In no time at all, everything goes wrong for outdoor-loving Ellie and her hand-made snowflakes turn out less than perfect. But, as the Snow Queen tells her daughter, each flake is special and beautifully unique.

The Snowflake Mistake has all the ingredients of a traditional classic with a delicious modern twist. Maddie Frost’s slick, eye-catching illustrations provide the extra wow factor to Treleaven’s clever, flowing rhymes which blend old and new concepts in a fun but warm-hearted tale.

And with instructions on how to make your own snowflake, this is the perfect gift for your own little snow princess!

(Maverick, paperback, £6.99)

Mr Mustachio by Yasmin Finch and Abigail Tompkins

An extra-long moustache is a fantabulous thing for Mr Mustachio… until he winds up in a disastrous dilemma!

Meet Mr Mustachio and his super-duper curly-wurly moustache… he’s the hairy hero of a hilarious debut picture book from exciting new team, authorYasmin Finch and illustrator Abigail Tompkins.

Very tall, very thin Mr Mustachio is very proud of his enormously long moustache. As he walks down the street, tall children have to duck under it, small children try to snatch at it and birds like to nest in it. But a picnic at the park leads to an unexpected spot of bother when Mr Mustachio jumps on the roundabout and goes faster and faster and faster. With his moustache well and truly wound up, will Mr Mustachio ever escape from the roundabout?

The marvellously quirky Mr Mustachio and his wonderful whiskers, brought to glorious life by Abigail Tompkins’ lively and clever artwork, offer madcap mayhem and creative chaos for every adventure-loving child.

Destined to be a family favourite…

(Maverick, paperback, £6.99)