To our wonderful feminist parents, you are fantastic. Thank you for thinking about how important the stories we tell our children are. Now, we here at Women’s Writes don’t actually have kids, so we reached out to our community to try and get some good suggestions for your youngster(s)!
1. Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale by Lynn Roberts-Maloney, David Roberts
Young Annabel lives in the 1950s and dreams of a future with jetpacks, flying cars and robots. However, little does she know that she is living under an evil spell that could mean she has no future at all…
When the curse is fulfilled on her 16th birthday and she falls asleep for 1000 years, her house is overgrown by a magnificent rose tree. A young explorer called Zoe discovers the story of Sleeping Beauty, but can she find Annabel in time to lift the curse and show her what the future actually looks like?
2. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere dreams of becoming a great engineer. She creates wonderful gadgets and gizmos – but only when no one is watching. She’s kept her inventions a secret ever since, when she was very small, her uncle Zookeeper Fred laughed at the special cheese hat she designed him to keep snakes at bay. But then great-great-great aunt Rosie, in her red-and-white spotted headscarf, appears on the scene, and helps Rosie to understand that sometimes you’ve got to risk failure before you can find success.
This companion volume to the wonderful Iggy Peck, Architect, sees Andrea Beaty and David Roberts team up to create an inspiring and stylishly-illustrated picture book about the importance of following your dreams – however eccentric or unlikely they may be.
Each page spread is beautifully designed, making clever use of colour, pattern and white space; children will love exploring all the wacky details of Rosie’s imaginative creations, and spotting the items that recur on different pages. A historical note on the final page explains that the story takes its inspiration from Rosie the Riveter – the fictional World War II character whose slogan was ‘We Can Do It!’
3. Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
Babette Cole’s riotously funny picture book, Princess Smartypants.
Princess Smartypants does not want to get married. She enjoys being a Ms. But being a rich and pretty princess means that all the princes want her to be their Mrs. Find out how Princess Smartypants fights to preserve her independence in this hilarious fairy-tale-with-a-difference.
‘Babette Cole is … funny, unrestricted and totally unforgettable’ Independent on Sunday.
Babette Cole graduated from Canterbury College of Art in 1973 and has been a writer and illustrater ever since. She has produced animated storyboards for the BBC, illustrated numerous greetings cards and books by other authors as well as her own. Babette won The Kurt Maschler Prize for DROP DEAD!. She lives in Lincolnshire with a menagerie of animals.
4. The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
The first in a funny, action-packed series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black! Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when… Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret – she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! A rollicking read from the award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham.
5. Tiger Tale by Allison Parkinson
Zarif thinks that he is a very important and scary tiger but will a cat-loving lady feel the same? Find out what happens when the two meet in this rollicking rhyming story. Children and adults won’t be able to resist roaring along with the haughty hero in this fiendishly funny read-aloud picture book.
6. Billie B Brown’s Animal Hospital Adventure by Sally Rippin
Billie arrives at kinder with a sore knee, but is distracted by a sick teddy. A fantastical romp around the classroom and playground ensues, as Billie turns the kinder into an animal hospital. Playing the doctor, Billie is joined by her friend, Jack, the nurse, and a host of adorable animal patients. But when Billie’s own bandage falls off, her vulnerability is exposed and she is forced to take charge with one of her “super dooper ideas”.
This new series is presented in a colourful hardback design, somewhere between a chapter book and picture book, with lively illustrations that have a playful retro appeal.
As always, Billie B Brown is a delightful role model who faces the variety of emotions arising from common predicaments with imagination and charm.
7. Supertato by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet
There’s a new hero in town: Supertato!
It’s night-time in the supermarket and all is quiet and still. But wait. Something has escaped from the freezer. Something with plans. Evil plans. This little escapee (or escapea?) wants to cause chaos. Its targets: the fresh vegetables.
Never fear, though – Supertato is here! Can he solve these despicable crimes and save the vegetables from a terrible fate? He’ll definitely have to draw on all his superpowers if he’s going to outwit this little green foe.
A hilarious and anarchic story with truly brilliant characters. No child could fail to fall in love with Supertato and his veggie companions.
Bright, fun illustrations sit alongside straightforward but clever text that both adults and little ones will enjoy. But be warned: you will be asked to read it again and again. And again.
We hope you enjoy these suggestions and look forward to hearing what you thought of them!