Blackwell's Recommends: Picture Books

Scene from Dinosaur Police with pizza and police cars
Category: Bookbug

If you saw Bookbug Detective's wonderful blog last week, you will know that over 500 hundred new titles were released into bookshops on 'Super Thursday' (8th October). This is the busiest and most important time in the publishing calendar - but with so many books launched at one time, it's hard to know where to start when looking for the perfect gift for little ones.

To help guide us through the shelves of new titles, we asked our lovely friends in the Children's Department of Blackwell's in Edinburgh for their favourite picture books of the moment. Here are 6 great books they recommend for our Bookbug readers:


Ballet dancing pug
Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp 

It's hard not to fall in love with the pug who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. Everyone tells him it will never happen but after a lot of rejection he achieves his dream. I swear I had a tear in my eye at the end of this funny, heart warming tale. The wonderful moral of the tale is be yourself and always follow your dreams


There's A Bear On My Chair by Ross Collins 

Bear is in mouse's chair and simply won't take the hint to get off. With rhyming text that flows beautifully, lovely illustrations and a great sense of humour this book will appeal to children who loved The Day The Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers. Check out Elvis bear on the purple page - he is a style icon!


Day crayons came home

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Oliver Jeffers 

The equally entertaining sequel to The Day The Crayons Quit. Duncan's lost and neglected crayons send him postcards reminding him where he left them and the often hilarious things that have happened to them


Dinosaur Police by Sarah McIntyre 

Dinosaurs! Pizza! Police cars! Burps! It's like Sarah McIntyre's done a Venn diagram of things kids love and incorporated them all into one story! There are always different things to spot in her fun, colourful illustrations. Will the town fair be ruined by Trevor the T-Rex's insatiable appetite for pizza? How do you even handcuff a T-Rex? And how can Officer Brachio join in when there's no way he'll fit inside the car? (The main image above comes from Dinosaur Police.)


Silly Doggy! By Adam Stower 

A most worthy addition to the ancient canon of 'mistaken identity' comedies!

Silly doggy cover

Adam Stower is one of my favourite illustrators and Lily's delight and 'Doggy''s confusion in particular are expressed wonderfully in this hilarious title. Books where the reader knows more about the situation than the characters are always fun and Silly Doggy! is usually my first recommendation for an entertaining picture book. (He's not a doggy. He's actually a bear!) 


The 12 Days o Yule by Susan Rennie, Illustrated by Matthew Land 

'On the 1st day o Yuletide, my true luve gied tae me a reid robin in a rowan tree.'

A Scottish version of the 12 Days of Christmas could easily be dismissed as a gimmick aimed at tourists, but Rennie and Land have produced a beautiful title which I am planning to give to friends and family both at home and abroad. With a glossary of the Scottish words used at the back and a 'Reid Robin' to spot on every page, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this unique take on a classic poem, which may yet become a classic in its own right!


If you missed Bookbug Detective's recommendations for a 5th Birthday present last week, you can read it again here. And watch this space for more picture book recommendations before Christmas from the Bookbug team.

Happy shopping!