Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Prestel Junior publishing's new books for kid's are delightful forays into sweet loveliness [Review & Giveaway[

All Around Bustletown: Nighttime by Rotraut Susanne Berner (ISBN: 978-3791374901; Hardcover $12.25; Ages 2-5; 14 pages)

My thoughts: 
This newest "Bustletown" book again uses a set of detailed drawings that depict activities in the little town of Bustletown. Folks are just bustling about going hither and yon doing things of daily life. Previously, the Bustletown books each covered one of the four seasons. This one examines the town at night.

Detail is what these books are simply packed with. You follow a couple as they meander through the night about town. Watch the police as they patrol. Watch the town shut down for the day. A delightful experience as you try to figure out just what each character's story is.

I recommend this delightful and imaginative book.

About the book: Bustletown’s many fans will delight in a nocturnal return trip which finds the village’s beloved people, animals, and streetscapes as fun and busy as ever.

No matter what time of year, the inhabitants of Bustletown are busy working, walking, playing, eating, making music, exercising, and shopping. Now, even though it’s nighttime, the fun hasn’t stopped. Just as Berner’s previous explorations of the town have brilliantly evoked the sights and colors of the seasons, here she bathes the town in shimmering darkness that throws evening activities into fascinating relief. Seven colorful and incredibly detailed spreads take readers inside a multi-generational house, a farm, a railway station, a community center, a marketplace, a department store, and a park with a lake. Readers will return again and again to these pages to discover everything that takes place in Bustletown during the late hours: a burglar tries to break into the dental office, the bookshop features “books for a good night,” fireworks explode above the lake, and a slumber party is raging in the library. And as they search on each page for their favorite returning characters, they’ll create their own stories about all the things you can do after the sun sets. Other titles in the series are Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall.

Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Take An Evening Stroll by Britta Teckentrup (ISBN: 978-3791375199; Hardcover $14.95; Ages 3-7; 32 pages)

My thoughts: 
This is such a gentle, lovely book written in a verbal tone that is relaxing and calming. A perfect read before bedtime or naptime.

It invokes a loving father (or adult figure) leading little hedgehog along the way and through the night toward bed. But little hedgehog, like so many wee ones, wants to procrastinate and linger. It seems rather less of the need of a glass of water type of procrastination than the inquisitive nature of seeing new things and enjoying the beauty of the moment.

A treasure of a book and one I highly recommend.

About the book: One of the masters of children’s picture books returns with a simple and lovely story about taking one’s time in. Teckentrup’s spacious, textured collages, brushed with soft color and populated by a pair of charming hedgehogs, convey the beauty of a natural setting, and the comforting bond between caregiver and child.

It is evening and the big and little hedgehog are slowly making their way home. There is so much to see, and the little one wants to take it all in. Each step of the way the big hedgehog patiently asks, “What are we waiting for now?” The little hedgehog’s answers unfold in a series of lush landscapes as the two animals wait for the sun to set, for birds to fly by, for the moon and stars to appear, and for the world around them to prepare for sleep. At last, the little hedgehog is also asleep, carried home in the big hedgehog’s arms. Perfect for naptime, bedtime—or for any time that asks that we take a moment and slow down–Teckentrup’s signature combination of simple text and soothing illustration will appeal to readers young and old.

The Wild Garden by Cynthia Cliff (5/3/2022; ISBN: 978-3791375120; Hardcover $16.95; Ages 5-9; 32 pages) 

My thoughts: 
A highly detailed and beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a community that has an enclosed garden the local residents tend and benefit from the bounty. 

Outside of the walled, cultivated garden is The Wild Garden. This is simply a small wooded area that is rife with an abundant variety of plants many of which the child's grandfather collects for eating pleasure. As they stroll the woods, they encounter many birds, insects, critters, and animals. A treasure trove of goodness.

The story captures the desire of the community to expand the garden and thus removing some of the wooded area. A plan which once the residents are shown the resulting destruction of the woods is cancelled.

A lovely book. I highly recommend.

About the book: The Wild Garden is filled with charmingly rustic illustrations of people, plants and animals. This story about community and biodiversity introduces children to the variety of ways things can grow and flourish in nature.
In the village of Mirren, a tidy community garden is carefully organized and tended by the townspeople. On the other side of the garden wall is a wild patch of land— a jumble of trees, a pond, and tall grassy places. While the garden is cared for in different ways throughout the seasons, Jilly and her grandfather like to visit the wild place, foraging for mushrooms, asparagus, and nuts, and watching the insects, birds and other animals. When the townspeople decide they need a bigger garden, they make plans to expand beyond the wall into the wild place. Worried about what will happen to their special piece of nature, Jilly and her grandfather come up with a plan, inviting the townspeople to discover a new kind of gardening. Their plan works and the wild place and the community garden merge harmoniously; the bees pollinate the crops, berry bushes take over a garden corner, pumpkins grow along the pond, and delicious herbs appear among the ferns. Cynthia Cliff’s lovingly detailed illustrations reveal the joys of every kind of garden, while her story offers endless opportunities to talk about healthy eating, nature, ecological gardening, and friendship.

Runs: June 1 - June 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize books are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. Would love to win these wonderful books!

  2. These look like very good books for the kids .


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