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Corinne Lamoral is a freelance writer and media consultant and mother of three children 3-9yrs. She reviews books and movies for a living which has sharpened her eye to spot out the must see’s  and must reads out there.

1. DANDYLION
by Lizzie Findlay (Random House)

This is a gem of a book – beautifully written and illustrated and sharing a message that will make your soul sing.  It’s OK to be different! Dandylion is the new kid in class and right from the start he stands out. With his fun attitude to life and zany way of doing things, he spills paint in his eagerness, brings sweet sandwiches to school and finally gets the whole class in trouble by going wild with a Koki pen… Dandylion learns a big lesson but so do his classmates when they ask him to stop being so wild and he decides to stay at home. This is great for provoking discussion about how everyone does things differently and how we can all learn from each other.
Age: Good for children aged 3 up to around 8.  Older children will find it too simplistic.

2. HERE COMES FRANKIE
by Tim Hopgood (Macmillan Children’s Books)

With a burst of sound and colour Frankie finds his true calling in this gorgeous book by the award-winning author of books like Our Big Blue Sofa and A Dog Called Rod.  The cover illustration of a little boy playing the trumpet grabbed my attention as I fished it out from behind the other books on the Exclusives shelf.  What a find.  My nearly four-year old son Joseph loves trumpets and the delight on his face as he watched Frankie making colours with his sounds was wonderful.  The story follows Frankie and his very quiet librarian parents who read books and do the crossword everyday until Frankie announces LOUDLY that he wants to learn to play the trumpet.  The story introduces the concept of Synaesthesia –the mixing of the senses that allows some people, like jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, to perceive colours, shapes and smells in music.

Age:  3 to 10yrs. Older children will get the concept more, but Hopgood’s illustrations will talk to everyone.2

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