New Releases from Little Steps Publishing
This Summer I was sent three lovely picture books from Little Steps Publishing to review: The Rainbow Connection by Vanessa Parsons, Harriet's Expanding Heart by Rachel Brace, and The Happy Mask by Aimee Chan. All three have been illustrated by Angela Perrini, although I didn't realise this was the case until writing this review up, as the artwork is so different in each!
The Rainbow Connection
A topical story about a little girl's experience with lockdown and the way rainbows brought her community together. Home learning, virtual meetings and isolation from friends and family members all become a little more bearable thanks to the connections made through a splash of colour.
This is a picture book a lot of young readers will be able to relate to: from lockdown birthdays to mutes microphones. It's a clever snapshot of the eighteen months and a good way to discuss lockdown and home schooling with children still trying to process the changes (or in some cases, still experiencing them). Every page is filled with rainbows and readers are encouraged to count them as they go, making this a fun, interactive story.
The Happy Mask
Maggie is bored at home, but she doesn't want to wear a mask and isn't allowed outside without one. She hates that no one can see her smile, and that they make everyone's faces blank and emotionless. Her dad comes up with a clever solution to let Maggie show her smile off to the world and it quickly catches on.
I really liked this story! It put a big smile on my face and was such a sweet idea. It's also a lovely way yo make mask wearing feel less daunting to children. There's a clever reference to Chan's previous picture book to look out for as well.
Harriet's Expanding Heart
Gaining a step family can be tricky, with lots of complicated and sometimes contradictory emotions involved. But by talking about her feelings and sharing her concerns with those she loves, Harriet quickly grows to love her new family dynamic.
This is a useful story for exploring the emotions involved in gaining new family members and adjusting to big changes in dynamics at home. It's written by a psychologist and has tips at the end which readers will find really helpful.