An Artist Once Said by Hannah Rollings.

Summer Activity Books

With such a multitude of colouring and activity books out there, it can sometimes be hard to see the wood for the trees. Here are six books we think deserve some sign-posting.

Line Up, Please! by Tomoko Ohmura. Gecko Press

Line Up, Please!

Ruth Wivell embraces the universal experience of queuing in Japanese illustrator Tomoko Ohmura’s entertaining book, Line Up, Please!

Curious by Alice Bowsher. Hato Press


Alice Bowsher’s risograph-printed book, Curious, reflects the creative autonomy afforded to artists by independent press and design studio, Hato Press.

Black and White by Dahlov Ipcar. Flying Eye Books.

Black and White

Ruth Wivell tackles the tricky subject of race in a reading of Dahlov Ipcar’s 1963 Black and White, a beautifully illustrated book for children inspired by the civil rights movement.

RHSBooks_Rilla Alexander

Rilla Alexander on How to Make a Book

Writer and illustrator Rilla Alexander regularly shares her experience of book-making with children and teenagers. Here she describes techniques for helping others develop their ideas into fully fledged book projects, and offers tips on working within the limits of our own abilities.

The Learning Garden: Counting by Aino-Maija Metsola. Wide Eyed Editions.

The Learning Garden

Sara Rawlinson appreciates the intensely animated pages of Aino-Maija Metsola’s stylishly illustrated The Learning Garden.    

Pool by JiHyeon Lee. Chronicle Books


JiHyeon Lee’s beautifully illustrated wordless picture book, Pool, celebrates the boundlessness of the imagination and conveys the possibility of shared imaginative experiences.

Amandine Alessandra and Rute Nieto Ferreira of Tower Block Books

In Conversation with Tower Block Books

Amandine Alessandra and Rute Nieto Ferreira of Tower Block Books describe the process of creating their risograph-printed book for children, The Big Letter Hunt.

Off to the Park illustrated by Stephen Cheetham

Board Books for Babies

Anna Ridley recommends a selection of well-designed books for babies that use the robust board book format purposefully and to great advantage.

Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Leatherland: Northern Patagonia

Atlas of Adventures

Sara Rawlinson and her daughter go the distance discovering the world through Lucy Letherland’s beautifully illustrated and detail-laden Atlas of Adventures.

The King and the Sea by Heinz Janisch and Wolf Erlbruch: 'The King And The Cloud'

The King and the Sea

Ruth Wivell appreciates Heinz Janisch’s short philosophical reflections illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch in this profound book by the award-winning German duo.

Her Idea by Rilla Alexander: 'Sozi had an idea.'

Her Idea

Her Idea is an empowering celebration of tenacity, determination and creative intelligence, through which author Rilla Alexander sparks copious amounts of inspiration.

The Messy Monster Book by Rachel Ortas. Tate Publishing

Philosophy for Children

Philosophical picture books that allow children to ask questions and explore a variety of answers are a great way to encourage intellectual inquiry from an early age.

The Day No One Was Angry by Toon Tellegen, illustrated by Marc Boutavant. Gecko Press.

The Day No One Was Angry

Toon Tellegen’s philosophical tales for children portray the complexity of human emotions through a cast of surprisingly human animal characters illustrated by Marc Boutavant.