Zippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray; illustrated by Nikki Dyson (2015)

[Published by MacMillan]


I am no child psychologist, but I can tell from the cover alone that Zippo is going to be a hit with the young ‘uns. “How Lucy? How do you know this?” Well team, I can guarantee that any book with the phrase “Bottom Power” on the cover, which features a large hippo in underpants will be instant “read it again” material.

Zippo the hippo has a hankering for being super, for having a super power to be more precise. By process of elimination, he and his friend Roxi hit upon flying as the perfect power for him.

“You’re right!” said Zippo. “If I could fly, I could get a super cape and some super boots and I could fly 20150729_082518around the world being Zippo the Super Hippo!” Zippo’s attempts at launching himself elegantly in the air fail miserably, ending each time with a giant splat, and an animal squashed beneath his admirable bottom. In good news, it turns out that super bottoms can be quite a weapon against misbehaving animals. And so, Zippo the Super Hippo is born.

There are all sorts of goodies hidden in the pages of this beautifully illustrated, hilariously told story. Come on down Zippo, we’ve saved you a place in the inner circle of friends here at myfriendlucy!

Check out Zippo the Super Hippo at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Zippo the Super Hippo from Fishpond.


Leo the late bloomer by Robert Kraus; illustrated by Jose Aruego (1971)

[Published by Windmill Books]


It’s probably not very respectful, but I find Leo in his pre-blooming stage absolutely adorable. His father however is a little concerned by Leo’s inability to do anything right, he can’t read, write, draw or even talk. He is however the master of staring forlornly with his great big tigery eyes. That’s gotta count for something, surely?

“What’s the matter with Leo?” asked Leo’s father.

“Nothing,” said Leo’s mother.

“Leo is just a late bloomer.”

“Better late than never,” thought Leo’s father.”IMG_1885

It takes a long time, but finally after a lot of active non-watching by his father, everything comes together for wee Leo, and he does indeed bloom.

This delightful picture book is one you may remember from your own childhood. With its great message and wonderful illustrations, it is every bit as relevant today as it was when it was first published back in the 70s.

Check out Leo the late bloomer at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Leo the Late Bloomer from Fishpond.


Fabulous Pie by Gareth Edwards; illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

[Published by Alison Green Books]


“Deep in the forest
Where the trees meet the sky,
A very bad bear
Baked a very big pie.”

In spite of his badness, I have to admit to a certain fondness for the sneaky old bear. He hatches a cunning plan, asking the animals of the forest to help him fill his fabulous pie. Mouse provides ripe berries, and squirrel adds delicious hazelnuts. It’s all sounding rather tasty. Badger brings honey and then otter offers the slightly less-traditional salmon.

At this point the bear shows his true colours, shoving the mouse, squirrel, badger and otters into his pie. IMG_1908With a little ingenuity the pie-filling/animals engineer a rather slippery escape. I must say the character I feel sorry for in all this is the salmon, look out for his doleful eyes as the escapees celebrate with a delicious slice of pie.

Fabulous Pie is heaps of fun to read. Told in bopping rhyme, its illustrations are almost as delicious as the pie.

Check out Fabulous Pie at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Fabulous Pie from Fishpond.


Mo and Beau by Vanya Nastanlieva (2015)

[Published by Simply Read Books]


I’m keeping it short today because it’s an insanely cold morning here in Auckland, and my fingers still haven’t thawed out!

Mo and Beau is just a big slice of sweetness. Mo the mouse really wants to play and he lures Beau the bear in with everyone’s favourite game of copycat. Everything Beau does, Mo does too. There is fur bristling, stretching and scratching. While it might seem that Mo is in control, it turns out that Beau is one step ahead all along.

These two cuties will have your audience joining in with their game, be prepared for teeth showing and roaring (or possibly squeaking).IMG_1838

Check out Mo and Beau at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Mo and Beau from Fishpond.


Pom Pom gets the grumps by Sophy Henn (2015)

[Published by Puffin Books]

pompomCome closer everyone, I’m trying to keep my voice to a whisper, because I’ve got a serious question to ask and I really don’t want Pom Pom to hear me. Is it just me, or is a grumpy panda one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen?

Okay, normal transmission again… there’s nothing worse than not being taken seriously when you’re in a foul mood. Poor Pom Pom is having one of those days. His blanky is missing, his little brother has commandeered his favourite toy, and his mother is singing terrible songs during breakfast. Everything, and I mean everything, is awful. In the playground, Pom Pom finally snaps.

“GO AWAY!” yelled Pom Pom. And they did. “oh.” Pom Pom didn’t feel like shouting any more. He felt IMG_1889sad. And a bit silly.” Luckily, he’s willing to admit when he’s being a dork, and life gets fun again – mostly.

The illustrations in this story are magic. Pom Pom’s frown lines deserve a round of applause all on their own. Its perfect for reading to a grumpy small person, or if you have a few of your own harrumphs you need to get out of the system. You won’t stay grumpy for long with this delicious panda in your life.

Check out Pom Pom gets the grumps at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Pom Pom Gets the Grumps from Fishpond.


There’s a bear on my chair by Ross Collins (2015)

[Published by Nosy Crow]


We have a new contender for the position of rhyme-minister. Way back in September, Juliette MacIver set the bar pretty high with her picture book, The Moose and the Goose, featuring 25 words that rhymed with moose (I will admit to being pretty generous with my definition of the word “rhyme”).

With much anticipation today I am going to see if Ross Collins has created a new winner with There’s a bear on my chair. Here goes…

bear, chair, share, spare, pair, glare, unaware, there, flair, leisurewear, hair, pear, lair, scare, underwear, care, rare, aware, declare, despair, fair, where.20150630_102153

So close Ross, so close.

That list of rhyming words makes an intriguing review all on its own, so I guess my job is done for the day. See you all tomorrow.

Check out There’s a bear on my chair at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy There’s a Bear on My Chair from Fishpond.


Blog posting extravaganza by Room 20

Look out world, it’s a blog takeover! The students of room 20 have risen to my challenge and have written a series of delightful picture book reviews. Room 20 consists of 59 (mostly) lovely students aged between nine and eleven. It means I get to put my feet up for a few days, thanks team!

All monkeys love bananas by Sean E Avery (2012)

[Published by Fremantle Press]20150624_103827

This book is suitable for under 7-year-olds. It has spectacular rhymes. It is hilarious, with crazy monkeys and crazy rabbits. This is amazing for your kids to get a bit of a laugh, and have fun!

By Anthony and Kosten

Check out All monkeys love bananas at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy from All Monkeys Love Bananas Fishpond.

Outside by Libby Hathorn; illustrated by Ritva Voutila (2014)

[Published by Little Hare]20150624_103659

This book is perfect for kids who absolutely love rhymes. There are very creative pictures which you can not stop staring at!

This book is about a boy who explores outside with breathtaking nature.

By Kayah and Malia.

Check out Outside from Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Outside from Fishpond.

Superkid by Claire Freedman; illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (2013)


[Published by Scholastic]

This is a very interesting book, it’s a lot of fun and so so so funny. Any aged human being would like it but probably not adults.

It’s a lot better when you read it in a weird voice. It’s very colourful and interesting.

By Ubaidah and Sameer.

Check out Superkid at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Superkid from Fishpond.