Waiting For Goliath by Antje Damm
(Gecko Press, £10.99)
A children’s book that looks to the changing of the seasons, touches on the strange logic of The Gruffalo, carries a gentle nod to Samuel Beckett, all the while retaining an incredible warmth, presents a rare gem indeed.
Add to that an ending that is surprising enough to make you delighted to read time and time again during the holiday – and when you return home – and you have a new classic-in-waiting.
Antje Damm’s touching and beautiful illustrations make this a special book.
In Focus: Cities, created by Libby Walden
(360 degrees, £15.99)
Oshiyas, the people employed to push Tokyo commuters onto packed trains, need to train for six months. The story of the hunchback of Notre Dame was conceived by Victor Hugo to draw attention to the ruinous state of the cathedral and bring visitors, and their money, in.
These, and many, many more brilliant pieces of info jump out of this glorious book. A look at 10 of the world’s most famous cities – Moscow, Rome, Cairo and London are amongst the others – it includes beautiful illustrations, hyperreal maps and a sense of genuine globe- hopping. Even if your break is limited a little this year, here, the world for your young reader, opens.
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-up by Simon Cherry
In the grand kids’ story tradition of great adventures coming when a summer holiday looks like being the dampest squib, Simon Cherry plants a new flag. And his is a jolly roger.
Eddy’s poor summer moves on immeasurably when he discovers a pirate in his gran’s bath. There’s a grumpy penguin and ship-shaped shed and illustrations that, as Lenny Henry noted, add to the Pythonesque air of the proceedings. Ripping yarns.