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A new voice in picture books: Michelle Robinson

Posted on Aug 13, 2012

Michelle Robinson is a brand new author who is having a fabulous year with already five books published! She has received acclaim from the New York Times for What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot, and is definitely a fantastic new voice in the picture book world!

Michelle lives in Frome with her family. You can find her website here, which includes some activity sheets based on some of her books. You can also find her on Facebook here.

What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot

illustrated by Peter Reynolds
(Puffin)

Illustrated by the wonderful Peter Reynolds of The Dot and Judy Moody fame, this utterly wacky tale of a jungle-themed chain of disasters is sure to have little audiences (and grown-up readers) in stitches. This aspiring guide to the wilderness for budding explorers is written in a way that conjures comical situations: the narrator talks directly to the hero of the book, and each piece of advice offered to the little explorer ends in a new disaster as he does the exact opposite. The one-way conversation of the narrator and the reactions of the hero shown only in the illustrations work in tandem to perfection to create an hilarious chain of silly situations. The gradual despair in the narrator’s tone at the boy’s obvious lack of common sense (“Honestly, you’re hopeless! If you’ve been noticed by a crocodile , don’t expect me to help you” – harsh, but understandable!) helps make the whole story even more wacky. This exhilarating story is teamed by great cartoon-like illustrations by Reynolds who manages to bring out the boy’s thoughts onto his face as well as the animals’ perfectly.
With bucketfuls of laughs and silliness, and no adults in sight, What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot will be a hit with children and adults alike.

Goodnight Digger

illustrated by Nick East
(Puffin)

It is nearly bedtime and before going to bed a little boy needs to say good night to all his toy vehicles and put them away. But as he says good night to each one, his mind wanders off on exciting adventures in the driving seat of his favourite toys.
Goodnight Digger is destined to be a massive hit, particularly with little people obsessed by diggers and other vehicles. Written in rhyme with plenty of repetition, this is a gentle story which is ideal for bedtime and trying to set up a pre-bedtime routine of tidying up toys. The artwork is soft, with subtle colours which help create the right atmosphere for bedtime, aided with the shimmery stars that can be found throughout. There is enough detail in the drawings of the vehicles to keep little readers captivated too. Prepare yourselves to read this one over, and over, and over again!

How to Find a Fruit Bat

illustrated by Lauren Tobia
(Orchard )

If eating fruit is not on the list of your child’s favourite things to do, How to Find a Fruit Bat might be just the book for you. In the same way as What to Do … , How to Find a Fruit Bat reads as a step-by-step guide to adventure, this time to look for a fruit bat that will eat all your unwanted fruit for you! Readers therefore follow a little girl on her journey as she and her faithful cat take on the challenge to find the coveted animal. The illustrations are very child-friendly, with a beautiful palette of colours, particularly  in the jungle scenes which are stunning. When the little heroin finds herself in a sticky situation with nothing else to eat but fruit, she starts to look at it in a different light, with the help of a few jungle creatures.
From different types of fruit to the flora and fauna of the jungle, there is plenty to discover and discuss within the pages of How to Find a Fruit Bat. Even the endpapers, which present a selection of fruit, can be part of the discovery.  The text, which is written in a jovial tone, is entertaining and engaging for young readers. How to Find a Fruit Bat is a really lovely book, with an unusual take on the subject of not eating fruit. Well worth discovering!

Source: How to find a Fruit Bat and Goodnight Digger were review copies from publisher.
What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot was sent to my mouslings, signed, as a gift from Michelle.

Tomorrow, Michelle is inaugurating a new feature on Library Mice, make sure to come back and have a look!

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1 Comment

  1. I agree! Michelle Robinson is a superstar! When I read her text, I laughed out loud and knew this would be a hit with kids- and I knew it would be a fun one to illustrate! Keep your eye on Michelle Robinson – she is going places!

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