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This issue’s cover is from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Monkey Puzzle. Written in rhyme, this agreeable story has butterfly helping little monkey to find his mum. Scheffler’s distinctive, entertaining and strongly characterised illustrations make good use of the page as little monkey meets lots of jungle inhabitants before being reunited with his mum. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help in producing this July cover.
Here beginneth a new series - Ancient and medieval Worlds are in the pipeline - from the house of Usborne. Covering 4,550 million years from earth's formation to the emergence of homo sapiens in just 96 pages, it proceeds at a considerable canter but the familiar Usborne style of catchy informational gobbets backed up by comprehensively captioned illustrations makes for an easy ride. And, the subject being what it is, photographs are mercifully rare, so the pictures are drawn to fit the words rather than, as so often nowadays, the texts tweaked to fit the photos. And where photography is used, it is generally to illustrate similarities between times past and present (crocodiles amongst early reptiles for instance) - this agreeable device makes the whole business of 'millions of years ago' altogether less remote than a straight chronological account. Omissions there doubtless are, simplifications there must be, but given that this is an honest interest, popular appeal production rather than the last word in authoritative accuracy, it is a very pleasant introduction, as likely to engage parents as much as their children and likely to succeed on a variety to succeed on a variety of levels.