Big Picture Press

3 years +, Big Picture Press, Board Books

Little Tree

Illustration by Jenny Bowers

Words by Rachel Williams

Published by Big Picture Press

It is official. This is the most beautiful board book. It is so refreshing to find a board book with sophisticated and elegant illustrations targeting young learners. I cannot recommend this book more highly. 

'Little Tree' follows the growth of a little seed throughout the year as it grows to become a tree and change with the seasons. A mature tree is shown on the left of every spread and becomes the anchor point for each new illustration. The little tree is shown in the same location on the right side of every new illustration, however it grows and changes with each new season. 

Similar to other non-fiction books that I have reviewed like Saisons and Nature's Day, this book highlights the cyclical nature of the seasons. With each turn of the page the reader is able to see how the tree has grown. Every double spread is a different kind of colourful and is filled with a stunning array of gorgeous details particular to each new season. The illustrations are teamed with a gentle rhyming text that summarises the change of the season and focuses the young reader's attention to the key changes of the little pear tree. 

This charming board book has over 20 flaps. Each flap within the illustration hides a number of gorgeous details within each page such as an beetle, rain, nest, cocoon, spider, antlers, worm, owl, seed. As a non-fiction text, the flaps work to label the hidden items and educate the reader on the distinct features of each new season. I love that one flap is located over the same hollow within the mature tree trunk on every page. Bowers uses this sweet detail to demonstrate the changing use of this hollow as the seasons change - a birds nest with eggs and then chicks in spring, a bird roost in summer, an acorn store for a squirrel in autumn and a home for a mouse and insects in the winter. 

Illustrations are overlaid blocks of colour and the elegant flaps become an additional block allowing each flap to be beautifully incorporated in to the illustration of each page. This is another brilliant publication from Big Picture Press and a beautiful and interactive book for the little ones in your life. 

Reviewed by Georgia White

3 years +, Big Picture Press, Non-Fiction Books, Contemporary Books

The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book

Words & Illustration by Britta Teckentrup

Published by Big Picture Press

'The Odd One Out' is a stylish, contemporary spotting book. I highly recommend this book for children that enjoy playing 'I Spy' and for parents who grew up as fans of 'Where's Wally'.  

The book spreads are colourful and the repeated collage of each animal creates a complex pattern akin to wallpaper. A short rhyme introduces the animals on the opposite page of the spread. Within each rhyme is a clue for the reader to find a hidden detail within each page. Within the pattered puzzles, the reader needs to locate the hidden detail such as the tired baby rhino, baby penguin hidden by its mother, flamingo standing on one leg and a scared turtle to name but a few. The challenges are fun, and get more and more difficult as you move through the book. I was very surprised by just how difficult it was to find the odd one out in the spreads towards the end of the book. I know this book was designed for young readers but it took me a really long time to find the cross-eyed lemur!

While reading the book, I was reminded of Taro Gomi's book 'Hide & Seek'. 'The Odd One Out' is more complex than Taro Gomi's board book and this increased complexity makes it more appealing to a larger age range (2-6 years). 

This is a book to be pored over. The hardcover is clothbound with a debossed title panel. The book feels like special object and the matte pages are thick and dense with colour and interest. Kids will enjoy completing the challenges within the book by themselves, with their siblings, parents and friends. It is really good fun. 

Big Picture Press have published a fantastic collection of highly illustrated books since they launched in 2013. Click here to see their full list of titles. Britta Teckentrup's follow-up book 'Where's the Pair?' has just been released. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. 

Reviewed by Georgia White