Tag: Dear Zoo

Top 10 1980s kids’ books

In among the yuppies, space hoppers and Spectrum Sinclairs, the 1980s also brought the world some of the most gnarly children’s books. Below you can watch our totally bodacious video about these books. It’s rad!

Janet and Allan AhlbergPeepo

Published in 1981, this book from the married couple was the winner of the Parents Magazine Best Book for Babies Award and is still enjoyed by thousands of families today.

Roald Dahl – The Witches

A fantasy novel from the master storyteller that was deliciously dark, this was adapted into a 1990 film starring Anjelica Houston that did not impress Roald Dahl; he called it ‘utterly appalling’.

Francine PascalSweet Valley High

Blending elements of soap opera, romance and even fantasy and thrillers, this worldwide-bestselling series consisted of a fresh 603 books. It also inspired a TV series that ran from 1994 to 1997.

Rod CampbellDear Zoo

One of the most recognisable picture books that remains a bestseller to this day, the lift-the-flap elements made Dear Zoo a hugely interactive treat for toddlers and it’s just perfect for sharing.

Sue TownsendThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾

Including the likes of J.K. Rowling and David Walliams among its fans, Sue Townsend’s classic coming-of-age tale spawned seven sequels. Did you know he was very almost called Nigel?

Joanna Cole and Bruce DegenMagic School Bus

A series of fantastical books about science, the Magic School Bus series followed the antics of Ms. Valerie Frizzle and her class as it changed into a spaceship, a submarine and much, much more.

Jill MurphyPeace at Last

A tale that resonates with many parents and guardians, this book was published in 1980 and followed the story of the Near family and Mr. Bear – who just wants some sleep. The picture book was written by Jill Murphy, who is also the author of The Worst Witch.

Judy BlumeTiger Eyes

A young adult novel that tackles important subjects, this book always ranks highly in polls of Judy Blume’s most popular books. It was adapted into a film directed by Lawrence Blume – Judy’s son – in 2012.

Janet and Allan AhlbergThe Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

Since first being published in 1986, this innovative book from the Ahlbergs has sold over six million copies. With envelopes including letters, cards, games and a tiny book, it took five years from the book’s conception before it hit the bookshelves.

Roald DahlThe BFG

An expansion of a short story first seen in Danny, the Champion of the World, The BFG was published in 1982 and dedicated to Roald Dahl’s late daughter, Olivia, who died in 1962. It was adapted into an iconic animated film featuring the vocal talents of David Jason and Amanda Root. Later this year, the Steven Spielberg-directed live-action film starring Mark Rylance will arrive in cinemas all over the world.

Christmas books for toddlers

Christmas is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with your little ones and share a charming festive picture book. Here, we are listing our favourite Christmas books for toddlers for 2014. You’ll find beautiful books to share, Christmas Stocking fillers, books for all of the family and more at the Book People’s Christmas Shop

The First Christmas – Rod Campbell

A heart-warming retelling of one of the most famous stories ever told, The First Christmas by Rod Campbell, the author-illustrator of the best-loved Dear Zoo, is a beautiful board book that has easy-to-follow text and Rod Campbell’s trademark bright and appealing artwork throughout – as well as a shiny star on the cover! This is one of our favourite Christmas books for toddlers this year!

The First Christmas | The Book People

Christmas Story Collection

With three festive tales to share and enjoy, this three-book paperback collection of toddler Christmas stories is sure to get the whole family in the mood for Christmas – from the Nativity story to the 12 Days of Christmas and a retelling of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, these toddler books provide a great way of marking the special occasion.Christmas Story Collection | The Book People

Toddler Christmas – Katie Saunders

A great children’s book for anyone with a toddler who may need entertaining as they get a little bit too excited in the build-up to the big day, Toddler Christmas provides a wide range of festive activities, games, puzzles and stories for them to enjoy. Guaranteed to add some sparkle and magic to a toddler’s Christmas, the book features beautiful illustrations from the wonderful Katie Sanders.

Toddler Christmas | The Book People

The Gruffalo’s Child – Julia Donaldson

The award-winning team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created an enchanting sequel to The Gruffalo with a bold and naughty character who goes in search of a big, bad mouse. Toddlers will love the cleverness of the cunning mouse and the cute and impulsive mini Gruffalo. And with it’s winter setting, there is no better book to share with your toddler this Christmas.

The Gruffalo's Child | The Book People

Whizzy Santa – Marion Billet

Santa’s reindeer have the flu – what will he do? Who will pull his sleigh to deliver presents to all of the children? Santa has an idea… With a little bit of elf magic and a broken toy, Santa creates a scooter-sleigh. With lovely bright, bold illustrations – and not to mention its own wheels so that the book can be rolled around just like a real scooter – this Christmas book for toddlers will not fail to impress on the big day!

Whizzy Santa | The Book People

Mr. Men: The Christmas Party – Adam Hargreaves

The Mr. Men and Little Misses are very excited about Christmas – Mr. Happy is hosting a Christmas party and everyone’s been invited, but Little Miss Shy fears she might be too shy to attend; just the thought of going makes her blush… Will she be brave enough to join all her friends? Written by Adam Hargreaves, this is a fantastic festive picture book for toddlers starring his father Roger Hargreaves‘ much-loved Mr. Men and Little Miss characters.

Mr. Men: The Christmas Party | The Book People

Peppa Pig: Peppa Goes Ice Skating

Peppa and George have never been ice skating before and Peppa keeps falling down, unable to balance. But that’s OK, Mummy Pig is there to give Peppa a helping hand… A beautiful board back book that fans of Peppa will love, Peppa Pig: Peppa Goes Ice Skating is a glorious winter celebration of 10 years of Peppa Pig. Toddlers will not be able to get enough of Peppa this Christmas.

Peppa Pig: Peppa Goes Ice Skating | The Book People

Most popular children’s illustrators

From first picture books to modern classics, some of the finest children’s books of the last 40 years have not only comprised of the best stories or most compelling characters, but have also been filled with some of the most beautiful illustrations of our time – lifting the words from the page to bring the books to life.

With the new Penguin Modern Classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover dividing opinion among fans (an argument we can see both sides of to be completely honest), we thought this would be an ideal time to discuss the best children’s illustrators of all time.


Axel Scheffler

Plying his talents to the books of a number of great children’s authors including Jon Blake, Paul Shipton and David Henry Wilson to name but a few, Axel Scheffler is one of the most respected children’s illustrators of the post-War era.

Known for his distinctive cartoon-like pictures, and of course the works he has created with Julia Donaldson including The Gruffalo, the Stick Man creator’s bright, soft and approachable illustrations make them some of the best for young children.

The Gruffalo | The Book People

Korky Paul

A children’s illustrator who needs no introduction, Korky Paul’s creative, lively and wild watercolour illustrations could be considered to be in a somewhat similar style to the illustrations of Quentin Blake, but Korky Paul stands alone as a tremendous illustrator of children’s books and has done so for over 25 years.

Providing anarchic yet detailed artwork for some of the best-loved children’s stories of a generation, including Valerie Thomas’s Winnie the Witch, the wild characterisations, visual jokes and clever details are what make illustrations by Korky Paul stand out amongst the rest.

Korky Paul | The Book People

Nick Sharratt

A fine illustrator, and also an author in his own right, Nick Sharratt – the illustrator for over 40 books by the award-winning Jacqueline Wilson – somehow manages to put highly animated characters to page whilst utilising a very shallow depth of field.

Simplistic, joy-filled and bold, the Tracy Beaker illustrator – whose book collaborations and independent release sales top over £39 million – has won multiple awards for his illustrative efforts – and we can most certainly see why!

Nick Sharratt | The Book People

Rod Campbell

No list of children’s illustrators would be complete without Dear Zoo author and illustrator Rod Campbell: a classic picture book that taught generations of young bookworms to fall in love with charming story of a child who keeps receiving the wrong pets from the zoo.

Approachable, clear and always happy, when you see illustrations by Rod Campbell you know exactly what you are going to get from the book: a absolute bedtime winner!

Dear Zoo | The Book People

Dr. Seuss

The rhymes and colourful characters of the Dr. Seuss universe have been entertaining young children for years. Quirky rhymes coupled with the very human features of the Doctor’s less-than-average children’s characters combine to great effect.

Penning such classics as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax and many, many more, Dr. Seuss is sure to tickle the fancy of any reader who is yet to be entertained by the stark, minimally coloured illustrations.

Dr. Seuss | The Book People

Quentin Blake

Most famous for his work with the world’s best storyteller Roald Dahl, and with a Kate Greenway Medal and Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration to his name, Quentin Blake illustrations (or Sir Quentin Blake illustrations) are some of the most interesting you will find in children’s literature today; you can spot illustrations by Quentin Blake – a former Children’s Laureate – a mile off!

Charmingly imperfect and providing a child-like innocence to the dark undertones of Dahl’s books including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and many, many more, Quentin Blake’s illustrations (including those in his own children’s books) ooze distinctive character, irresistible humour and create an meshing between the page and pictures that no other illustrator is able to replicate.

Quentin Blake | The Book People


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