The Children’s Bookshop: Spring has sprung with tales of bunnies, bears and eggs

We're Going On a Bear Hunt by Laura Hughes

We're Going On a Bear Hunt by Laura Hughes - Credit: Archant

Spring has truly sprung at the Children’s Bookshop and we’ve been enjoying a selection of treats.

With the daffodils bobbing and snatches of sunshine, Hooray for Hoppy by Tim Hopgood is a delightful picture book which tells the story of a rabbit awaiting spring. The sense of anticipation builds, and the feather-light collage combined with its joyful text will have senses tingling!

Hello Nature by Nina Chakrabarti is a scrapbook bursting with ideas for all budding green fingers.

Pages for feather collectors and bark rubbings sit alongside instructions for rose petal perfume and guides to fungi, making it the perfect book to take along on long Easter walks. There’s even a section to write nature-inspired poetry.

The wilder side of nature is also resurging with the imminent release of the Jungle Book film, and we find ourselves awash with exciting editions.


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We’re particularly fond of the illustrated retelling by Miggy Blanco and Laura Driscoll (The Jungle Book, HarperCollins), which keeps the story playful and accessible for younger readers.

Older readers may enjoy Nicola Bayley’s dignified art as paired with the original text (The Jungle Book, Walker).

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If the Kipling mood strikes, there are also beautifully illustrated editions of the Just So Stories, and a recently reissued Puck of Pook Hill – a nostalgic, hazy wander through the English countryside, and a look at the history that has built its lands.

With Easter comes the joy of the egg hunt, and Laura Hughes’ Going on an Egg Hunt will delight toddlers with its flaps, counting patterns, minor perils and major nods to beloved stories.

But for those oversaturated with chocolate over the festive period, an antidode might exist in Marius and the Band of Blood by Christopher William Hill.

The latest in the Tales from Schwartzgarten series, this follows the piteous orphan Marius who finds himself in a town famous for its chocolatiers – and murderers.

Richly told and blackly comic, it will leave readers of 8-12 longing for one last bite.

Older readers may prefer to spend holiday catching up on the shortlist for the prestigious Carnegie Prize.

A mature and literary list, there are powerful love stories (Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley); coming of age stories (Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine; The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness); experimental novels (One by Sarah Crossan; Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgewick), and novels that have already scooped prizes over recent months (Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge).

Come along and explore the books, and the fellow illustrated nominations for the Greenaway!

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