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.


Never ask a dinosaur to dinner by Gareth Edwards; illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees (2014)

514c4hdFMDL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Yup, you got it, today’s gem is full of some very useful advice. It’s more of a list of things you possibly don’t want to do really, like inviting barn owls into your bed, sharing your toothbrush with a shark and letting a beaver in the basin. These are all eminently sensible recommendations.

“Please don’t use a tiger as a towel.

Really, please don’t use a tiger as a towel.

Because in case you have forgotten2015-01-25 16.38.17

Tigers are not made of cotton,

And although they’re furred quite thickly

They can get cross very quickly.

And you’ll find they have a rather scary growl,

So please don’t use your tiger as a towel.”

Chocka block with rip-roaring rhyme and hilarious ideas, this is bound to spark a classroom’s imagination. One day I’m going to make that magnificent beaver-infested basin! And bonus points for fitting into the diverse book category with an adorable caramel-coloured main character.

Check out Never ask a dinosaur to dinner from Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Never ask a dinosaur to dinner from Fishpond.


The big animal mix-up by Gareth Edwards; illustrated by Kanako Usui (2011)

We’ve established by now that mixed-up animals are a huge winner in the world of kids’ books. And this picture book takes it one step further, encouraging kids to figure out what’s going wrong.

Each animal is a crazy hybrid creature with a nutty description.

“This is a cat.

It flies in the air.

There are eggs in its nest.

It has feathers, not hair.”

The sane one in the book, bear, then points out that something is very wrong, and by using a clever rhyme prompts the correct answer.

“Hang on a minute!20140911_101325

That’s not the right word.

If it’s covered in feathers,

It must be a…”

 Kids love knowing the answers to questions, which makes this such a clever book. Your audience will lap it up.

Check out The big animal mix-up at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy The big animal mix-up from Fishpond.