Playful Pandas, Heroic Puffins and Loch Ness Monsters

Floris Books have yet again come up with a trio of charming picture books for 3-6 year olds.

Harris the Hero is the story of  a puffin who lives in the Firth of Forth but who is lonely and who goes in search of company. While flying over Anstruther, he finds a baby seal pup who has drifted too far and got lost. Harris helps him to find his way home, but the pup is not very strong and Harris has to get him help. First of all he finds a piece of wood that the seal can hang on to, then two fishes join in, attaching seaweed to the piece of wood so that they can pull it along, then a dolphin, eider ducks and otters all join in, encouraging the little seal pup until he makes it back to his rock, where his mother is waiting for him. The rock is a haven for seabirds and there Harris finds a friendly female puffin with whom to spend his future. The book is written in rhyming couplets by Lynne Rickards and is delightfully illustrated by Gabby Grant. Harris the Hero: A Puffin’s Adventure is available here from Amazon.


The Giant Panda PartyThe Giant Panda Party is based on the popular Edinburgh Zoo pair, Sunshine and Sweetie. In this fun story from Gill Arbuthnott and Joanne Nethercott, Sweetie organises a birthday surprise for Sunshine. Escaping from her cage at night, she visits some of the animals and asks them if they can sing. It’s a lovely excuse to describe the characteristics of these animals and in particular the sounds they make, which of course sound wonderful to them but don’t make a lot of sense to other species. Nevertheless, the following morning, when Sweetie begins to sing Happy Birthday, a great cacaphony greets their ears as all the other animals join in, and Sunshine is so pleased he performs handstands and cartwheels! The Giant Panda Party is available here from Amazon

No Such Thing as NessieNo Such Thing as Nessie is the story of Finlay, who, like many little boys, is a big fan of dinosaurs. His Gran lives beside Loch Ness and saw the monster when she was a little girl. Now Finlay and his sceptical sister Sarah are going to visit her and Finlay hopes to see Nessie too. There are several false starts, much enjoyed by Sarah, until Finlay begins to lose faith in the existence of the monster. On the last day his sister goes shopping and Gran and Finlay go for a picnic alone on the loch shore. And that is when Nessie chooses to make her appearance. Disappointment is replaced with delight and Finlay goes home happy, while his sister, no doubt, remains sceptical. No Such Thing as Nessie!: A Loch Ness Monster Adventure (Picture Kelpies) comes from the pen of Chani McBain and the paint of Kirsteen Harris-Jones and is available here from Amazon.

If you’re quick you might just pick up the last free tickets to see these three authors at the Picture Kelpies Storytelling Day on 13th April at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

About Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.
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