Reading every day is Child’s Play!

Posted January 5, 2015 by Child's Play

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Reading every day is Child’s Play!

A sneak peek from this month’s featured publisher

Alongside donating a stack of books for our competition, Child’s Play have also provided this preview of some of their exciting book releases for young children in 2015…

Child’s Play is dedicated to publishing exciting and innovative books for young children, and we believe that it is important for all our readers to have the opportunity to see themselves and their loved ones represented in the books that they read.

Our books contain characters from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, abilities and ethnicities. We have had the privilege of working with Book Trust for many years and many of our titles have been included in Bookstart packs. Most recently, we have collaborated with them on Off to the Park!, a highly accessible tactile board book.

We have always tried to offer opportunities to new authors and illustrators and we are thrilled to announce that all of the picture books below are by debut author/illustrators.

In the spirit of the start of 2015, our previews are all resolution-themed!


‘To try new things!’

Sardines of Love coverSardines of Love by Zuriñe Aguirre

Grandmother Lola hates sardines, but Grandfather Lolo loves them. He eats them every day!  When she runs out of sardines one day, Lola can’t bear to think of Lolo going hungry. She decides to go fishing – with unexpected results! What on earth will Lola eat when she discovers that sardines are the only food on offer? And what will Lolo do when he finds out that his beloved Lola is missing?

Zuriñe’s grandparents, who were completely devoted to each other, inspired Sardines of Love.  When she was little, she used to have lunch every Sunday with her grandmother Lola and her grandfather Lolo. Once, she put her crayons on the barbeque along with the sardines that Lola was cooking, to keep them warm. When Lola served lunch that day, the sardines were all the colours of the rainbow!

Of course, the sardines in the book are a metaphor for the times in life when we must do everything we can to help those that we love. Zuriñe loves to see the way that children react, and to listen to the questions that they ask when they read a new story. She hopes that the story of Lolo and Lola can help children and their loved ones to learn about the importance of caring for one another.

Zuriñe’s New Year’s resolution is: ‘I would love to play more with my children and to travel.’

Sardines of Love will make a splash in February 2015!


Sardines of Love spread


‘To meet new people!’

Ice in the Jungle coverIce in the Jungle by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

When Ariane first developed Ice during her MA in Children's Book Illustration, the tutors made her draw polar bears for almost five weeks! Three polar bear-filled sketchbooks later, Ice emerged from a very small watercolour sketch. Ariane fell in love with her new character instantly!

During the writing stage, Ariane tried to imagine how it would feel to be a child that must move to a country with a completely different culture. Ariane’s husband is from India and during her frequent visits to her parents-in-law, she quickly learned that the presence of love and friendship in every culture makes adapting to unfamiliar places much easier.

Ariane loves drawing Ice everywhere. She now carries a blue and black pen around with her and doodles Ice on napkins and tickets and wherever else there is an opportunity. It sounds like Ice is seeing even more of the world now! Ariane also makes little needle-felted dolls of Ice and her snow friends and plans to make needle felt dolls of all the characters in the book.

Ice in the Jungle is a book about the anxieties of moving from one place or culture to another, and how the help and warmth offered by others can make you feel welcome…

Ariane’s New Year’s resolution: 'For 2015 I am planning to read a lot more YA and teen fiction novels, especially with some fantasy twist.  There are so many exciting ones out there!'

Welcome Ice in the Jungle into your home in March 2015.


Ice in the Jungle spread


‘To show my loved ones how much I appreciate them!’

Jar of Happiness coverJar of Happiness by Ailsa Burrows

How do you create happiness?  In this story, one child finds a way. She mixes the smell of warm biscuits and the seaside with the taste of chocolate ice cream, apple juice and the warmth of sunshine. She fills the jar and visits her loved ones to share her invention. But one day the jar goes missing. She searches everywhere but cannot find it.  As she re-traces her footsteps she discovers there are many different ways to share happiness.

As a little girl, Ailsa Burrows was given stacks of books, oodles of crayons and heaps of encouragement to be creative. Some of her earliest memories are of scribbling on paper napkins whilst munching on triangles of toast in a cafe with her Grandpa. She knew it then: when she grew up, she wanted to draw. And, possibly, eat lots of toast.

Ailsa's a little bit more grown up now. She studied Fine Art at university before working at a design agency and a couple of art galleries. Recently, Ailsa left the world of art galleries to gain a Masters in Children's Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art, where she discovered just how exciting adventures in the world of picture books could be.

Picture books introduced Ailsa to art, stories and the big wide world. Now, she loves to make stories that stay with people. Stories that make people feel the way she felt when she was little – loved and inspired.

Ailsa’s New Year’s resolution is: 'To scribble every day until my crayons are too tired to continue.'

Jar of Happiness will be spreading joy in April.


Jar of Happiness spread


‘To be more generous!’

Crunch! book coverCrunch! by Carolina Rabei

Crunch the guinea pig loves to eat and spends all his time doing just that!  But when an uninvited guest tries to share in Crunch’s plentiful supply of food, Crunch is challenged to make a choice about his future.  Choosing between something you love and the unknown is hard. But sometimes the rewards for stepping out and embracing new experiences are far more rewarding than you might imagine!

Carolina was inspired to write Crunch! by her cute guinea pig’s love of food!

During her MA, she decided to create a story starring a guinea pig as a main character. She expanded on the idea of creating a story about sharing the things you love with others. Carolina says, 'If something makes you happy, it can make others happy too!'

Carolina has loved drawing since her childhood and was very inspired by the bedtime stories made up by her brothers. While studying Fine Arts and Graphics she discovered her passion for book illustration. During her MA in Children's Book Illustration she realized that being an illustrator is what she had always wanted. There are many other little things besides drawing that make Carolina happy: walks along the river Cam, watching animated movies, peanut butter on toast and, of course, guinea pigs!

Crunch experiences a wealth of emotions in this story, teaching an important message about sharing and the value of friendship.

Share Crunch! with your family this April!


Crunch! book spread


Visit the Child's Play website to find out more about this publisher and their fantastic catalogue


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