These past few weeks we’ve been quite lucky with some amazing new and upcoming Early Chapter Books both purchased and from wonderful publishers.
After celebrating funny books last week now we turn attention to the different books that feature animals that Littlefae and I have enjoyed together in June and early July.
These are all perfectly aimed at children who enjoy stories from the perspective of animals whether domestic, farm or birds and in one case anthropomorphised.
These are all suitable for reasonably confident independent readers or read aloud/taking turns for those not quite ready to give up the sweetness and illustrations of early chapter books.
The Llama Bridesmaid- Bella Swift & Nina Jones & the Artful Dodgers (Orchard)*
This is the second in a series of standalone adventures that are written completely from the perspective of the animal. We enjoyed the gloriously Christmassy The Pug Who Wanted to be a Unicorn now this is a lovely late Spring/ Summery treat.
Children who enjoy Holly Webb’s animal stories and Anne Booth’s Lucy stories will enjoy the gentle plot with thoughtful insight into the way children think and feel whilst learning a little about the way farm animals behave and are cared for.
Lovely to see some diversity in a rural British setting choosing a girl with Indian heritage as our human protagonist who befriends our animal protagonist and tries to help poor James save his farm.
The Loneliest Kitten – Holly Webb & Sophy Williams (Stripes)
Holly Webb’s Animal stories are an absolute childhood classic now and this story is wonderful and it’s lovely to see a Black Family as the stars of this book.
Fitting with the series Webb reminds children that animals are not toys to be cast aside when something new and shiner comes along and there is a responsibility to becoming a pet owner for that animal’s lifetime and that choosing the right pet for your home and circumstances is important.
In this series the children are excited to add a kitten to their family but when school term begins again they neglect Charlie in favour of other activities leading the kitten to find companionship elsewhere – but there may be positive consequences all round to this when one day Charlie just doesn’t come home.
The Magical Kingdom Of Birds: The Silent Songbirds – Anne Booth & Rosie Butcher (OUP)
Possibly my girls favourite Early Chapter Series The Magical Kingdom Of Birds is an utter delight in its blend of non-Fiction and gentle adventure within a magical world filled with birds and fairies and excellent for diversity and disability representation.
Maya is a girl with physical disabilities and the Keeper of the Book that holds a portal to the Magical Kingdom Of The Birds where she doesn’t let her disabilities limit her, she uses ingenuity and problem solving to help save the day when Lord Alastor tries each time to capture the kingdom.
In this story Lord Alastor is claiming a concert where he plays a duet with each songbird representative is an attempt to make amends with his niece Willow, but Maya isn’t so sure- can she save the day?
Princess Of Pets: The Lost Puppy – Paula Harrison & Olivia Chin Mueller
Littlefae adored The Naughty Kitten earlier this year and The Lost Puppy was a lovely follow up with a warm hearted look at a child’s dilemma.
Princess Bea is still not allowed a pet, because it’s apparently not proper, Tiger the kitten is restricted to the laundry room at night and stables in the day so when Bea rescues a lovely puppy from the water fountains she is love struck.
To be fair Bea really does her best to be responsible and track down the owners, but there is playful mess ups and mischief along the way too and a plot to save her best friends home from greedy rich people.
A big hit and now we are definitely excited for The Lonely Pony.
Warrior Monkeys and the Volcano Adventure – M.C Stevens & Steve Brown (OUP)*
This is probably the easiest reading book of this list and I love that it is a lovely blend of the early reader and early chapter style with a lot more illustrations and bite sized chapters and fast paced action so is especially good for reluctant readers needing confidence.
Ideal for fans of Kung-Fu Panda, Power Rangers, or participating in martial arts this story focuses around young monkeys attending a Warrior Monkey Training school with the principles of courtesy, humility, integrity, perseverance, discipline and indomitable spirit. In this adventure they must use their skills and teamwork to save the Shanti Islands from the devious plans of the disgraced Jirugi.
What other animal themed early chapter books would you recommend?
Thank you to Stripes and Nosy Crow for the review copies and books marked with an * were received through a review scheme on another website.