We had a lot of fun the other night chatting all things Bears in picture books with Zanni Louise! From big scary grizzly bears to tiny cute teddy bears, we certainly got to see some of the range of different bears that appear in your favourite bear picture books!


1. Chose a favourite Bear from a Picture book! Share a pic!

Lots of Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear and Corduroy fans but there was plenty of variety from brown bears who play the piano to polar bears who live in the zoo too!


2. Considering real bears are wild and at times violent creatures why do you think most depictions of bears in books are sleepy, tame and/or cute?


3. Paddington Bear kept a Marmalade sandwich under his hat in case of emergencies.. what would you keep under your hat?!

It seems book lovers think a like because the common themes were food, tea, coffee, books and notepads with pens for things you’d carry in case of emergencies! Can’t argue with that logic!


4. Which do you prefer in picture books: Teddy bears or wild bears? Why?


Question time with Zanni Louise was a lot of fun and you guys had some great questions!




If you are already a fan of Errol! like us or you’re a sucker for a good picture book then make sure you’re at Zanni Louise and Philip Bunting’s Errol! Book Launch Saturday 2nd June from 4-5pm at Where the Wild Things Are Bookshop in West End, Brisbane! Full details can be found here.


Can’t get enough picture book related content? As well as following us on Twitter and Instagram, make sure you check out our friends One More Page on Twitter and on their website! One More Page is a fortnightly podcast that is a must for lovers of picture books and a great listen in the comfort of your own home or on the train to work with plenty of interviews, book reviews and industry gossip.


Our next chat will be Thursday 7th June at 8pm AEST so make sure you mark it in the calendar, we’d hate for you to miss out on all the fun! Follow us to make sure you don’t miss the guest author reveal, book features or  other fun #picbookbc news!




Picture Books that celebrate Mum

Emma Middleton discusses why picture books can make the best Mother’s Day gifts. Her recent release The Bear in our Backyard is a celebration of mothers, and even comes with a bonus card to make gift giving a breeze.

There are many reasons why picture books can make the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but two are particularly close to my heart.

Firstly, stories can express sentiments of love and appreciation in a way that is not possible for a young child to articulate. When a story about parents and their children is shared, an opportunity to reflect upon the special qualities of parental love is created.

As Shaye Wardrop says in her review of The Bear in our Backyard, ‘Part of a special game between child and parent, the bear is, of course, not really a bear.

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This time it’s Mum who’s playing pretend, and she knows all the best games to play.

Bear can swing our skipping rope and hula hoop so fast.

We leap and twirl and whizzy whirl, then tumble down at last.

Middleton has once again delivered a gorgeous story that celebrates the special connection between children and their parents, and it’s all about mums in this loving tale.’ Stories can evoke emotions in unique and poignant ways.

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While the parent reads the story, the child is absorbed in the illustrations and the visual narrative. Briony Stewart has created superb illustrations for The Bear in our Backyard, with meticulous detail, heavenly colour schemes and characters that radiate love and life.

Secondly, the very act of reading a picture book at the end of a long day creates a loving and focused time to spend together. Within these minutes of the day, parent and child are often snuggled together, absorbed in their shared experience. This may be the only real time of the day when there are no interruptions, a peaceful atmosphere and time for undivided attention. A perfect time to feel the bond of parental love and create memories that last a lifetime.

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Wardrop says about The Bear in our Backyard, ‘With rhythmic rhyme flowing throughout, this is a perfect book for bedtime snuggles.’

The Bear in our Backyard is published by Affirm Press (April 2018)

Emma Middleton

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We are running an exciting competition for Mother’s Day! You could win a signed copy of ‘The Bear in our Backyard’ AND ‘The Lion in our Living Room’ written by Emma Middleton and illustrated by Briony Stewart.

All you have to do is post a picture of one of your favourite picture books that celebrate Mothers on twitter or Instagram!!  Make sure you tag Emma @EmmaMpicbooks (twitter) or emma_middleton_ (Instagram) . Also use the hashtags #picbookmums and #picbookbc. The competition will run from Thursday 3rd May  – Monday 7th May  and the winner will be announced Tuesday 8th May. Australia only.

Good luck!!

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