Perfect picture books for pet fans across the land! There’s something here for every animal enthusiast: hamster-huggers, dog-desirers, cat-collectors and parakeet-petters!
‘Hamster Sitter Wanted,’ by Tracy Gunaratnam, illustrated by Hannah Marks (Maverick Books)
Marco and Polo were just about to embark on a mission to Mars on their toy rocket when their little cousins arrived with a note from Aunt Fluff saying she needed a rest and to never leave the little ones alone.
The brothers decide to advertise for a hamster sitter so they can continue playing uninterrupted. After the energetic cousins see off several sitters, it would seem that Marco and Polo are doomed to end their adventures and care for the little scamps themselves. But then Mrs Bottomus arrives….
This story is heaps of fun and got a lot of giggles from my boys when we were reading it. I think any worn-out parent will be able to sympathise with poor Aunt Fluff and that most young children will learn a trick or two from the cheeky hamsters.
‘Barkus,’ by Patricia Maclachlan, illustrated by Marc Boutavant (Chronicle Kids)
When Nicky’s Uncle Everton goes travelling, he can’t take his big brown dog, Barkus, with him so he leaves him behind to enjoy life as Nicky’s dog.
Barkus proves to be a very clever dog – he can jump, whirl, twirl and follow Nicky to school! Very soon, Barkus is part of the family and they can’t imagine life without him.
This exuberant book follows Nicky and Darkus across several mini adventures , each humorously illustrated with text that is just challenging enough for newly independent readers but simple enough for younger readers to enjoy.
‘Lazy Cat,’ by Julia Woolf (Templar Publishing)
Lazy Cat and Doodle Dog are the very best of friends – Doodle Dog does everything he can to make Lazy Cat happy. One day, Lazy Cat pushes Dog a step too far and he begins to wonder whether cat is such a good friend after all.
When Lazy Cat falls asleep in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, Doodle Dog decides it’s time to get his revenge and teach Cat a lesson once and for all.
A really funny read which raised a lot of issues with my youngest son about doing things for yourself and not being lazy (a timely lesson!) and also provided plenty of opportunities to discuss just how a good friend should really treat you.
‘Oh No! Where did Walter Go?’ by Joanna Boyle (Templar Publishing)
One day, best friends Olive the ‘Master of Mystery’ and Walter ‘The Duke of Daring’ were playing a very serious game of hide-and-seek. Olive had searched high and low but Walter was nowhere to be found!
Olive did what any good detective would do and followed a trail of clues which led her into the bustling city until she herself was completely lost and seemingly no nearer to finding her feathered sidekick. Just as it appeared all was lost, Walter proved what good friend and detective HE was and found Olive.
A beautiful story about adventure and never giving up on your friends. The beautifully illustrated pages hold a secret hide-and-seek challenge, where readers can help Olive find Walter who is often cunningly camouflaged. A great interactive book with a fold-out surprise.
*Thank you to all the publishers who sent me these brilliant titles to review*