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  • Y Poenisawrws / The Worrysaurus - Rachel Bright [adapt. Endaf Griffiths]

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch on top of webpage* Illustrations: Chris Chatterton (suggested) reading age: 6+ (suggested) interest age: 2+ Genre: #worry #anxiety #fiction #healthandwellbeing #bilingual Storm Clouds Rachel Bright, the author of the hugely successful The Lion Inside, is back with another equally charming picturebook. Do you have a little worrier in your house? If so, this is an ideal book to read an enjoy, and one that will serve as a good prompt to hold a conversation about those feelings of doubt and worry that can rise to the surface from time to time. This is a lovely, simple little story about a small dinosaur (or dragon?) who’s looking forward to an exciting adventure and a delicious picnic. But before he even gets started, the black clouds soon come to darken his day. Does he have enough food? Will he come to harm in the huge forest? All sorts of worrisome thoughts swirl around in his head. These anxious feelings are expressed as 'butterflies' in his belly – a simple enough concept that children will be able to understand. I like that the book uses this as a metaphor to help explain and discuss emotions that can be difficult to describe. That said, you may have to be explain to the youngest children that a real butterfly isn’t about to rip itself through their bellies! (I remember reading a poem years ago about a lad called Bili Bolyn who ate too many apples – I was convinced that a tree would burst through my belly if I ate so much as a single pip!) It’s the little dinosaur’s mother who comes to the rescue with some sound advice. I’ve lost count of the times Mam and Dad have given me words of advice and comfort when things aren’t going so well. Sometimes just being able to express your concerns and having someone there listening makes a world of difference. Butterlies We've all had them haven’t we? Strange or uncomfortable feelings in our tummies when we’re nervous. Whether it's the first day of school or moving home – any new, unexpected situations or the great unknown can give us those ‘butterflies in out stomachs.’ And you know what? Being nervous or worried about things sometimes is perfectly natural, but of course some individuals end up worrying a bit more than others. According to some figures, anxiety is increasing in children and young people, and that was before the pandemic! This book will is an essential read for anyone with a young child who worries a lot about different things, but to be honest, we all get those feelings from time to time, so the book is suitable to read with any child. It provides the catalyst for a conversation about these feelings; how to identify them and how to try to deal with them. As for the pictures, they are cute enough. I’ll be honest I don’t really know much about art, and I tend to either love the pictures or I don't. The use of colour is effective here, with dark colours describing the initial worries, while colours fill the pages as those feelings fade away. For me, some of the pages feel quite 'busy' because of the inclusion of both languages, but I think that's a small price to pay for having a bilingual book. The demand for books like this is increasing, especially from non-Welsh speaking parents or those with limited Welsh skills who are keen to help their children. By offering the story in both languages, side by side, this can actually open the door for more people to further Welsh-language books. Stressful situations are inevitable in life, and everyone will end up fretting about something at one time or another. Kids have to know that it's ok to feel this way sometimes, but that they mustn’t let those feelings control them. To use Rachel Bright’s idea- sometimes, we’ve just gotta stop holding on to our worry-butterflies and let them free! Head on the block, I probably preferred The Lion Inside, but Y Poenisawrws is an affectionate, useful book with an important message for this day and age with nice illustrations to boot. Publisher: Atebol Released: 2022 Price:£6.99

  • Cranogwen - Anni Llŷn

    *For Welsh review, please use language toggle switch on top of web page* (suggested) reading age: 6+ (suggested) interest age: 3-6 Illustrations: Rhiannon Parnis REVIEW BY LLIO MAI This is the first book in the new series ‘Enwogion o Fri’ [Welsh Wonders] by the relatively new Broga Press. This is a series that showcases the inspiring lives of some Welsh individuals that may not be so familiar to us. I really welcome this series, and I’m pleased to see an effort to draw the attention of the younger generation to some of Wales' incredible people from the past, and the influence their work has had, and continues to do so, both in this country and beyond. And who better to focus on in the first volume than Cranogwen, or Sarah Jane Rees to use her real name. Sarah was from Llanrannog, and it was there that her interest in the sea and ships began. While many didn't believe that a ship was a place for a young girl, Sarah didn't want to let that stop her from achieving her dream. She worked hard and went on to learn a great deal more about ships and navigation and then shared her interest and knowledge with others through her work as a teacher. Sarah also loved poetry, and is the very first woman to win an award for the best poem at the National Eisteddfod! This is quite an achievement and inspirational to a number of women who have come after her. It’s through her poetry that we now know her better as Cranogwen, as this is the name she used as her pseudonym. She’s one who broke the stereotypes of the day and constantly railed against the prejudices she faced. As stated in the book, Cranogwen did ‘what she wanted to do, not what everyone else thought she should do'. She spent much of her time supporting other women, and that message is very clear at the end of this book. Cranogwen's inspiring life and work is very well summarised in this picture book by Anni Llŷn, and Rhiannon Parnis's beautiful illustrations help to take us back to her time and imagine her at work. Cranogwen is someone every child and young person should be aware of. She’s a special example of someone who overcame obstacles to pursue her dreams, and who used her success to help others. Grab yourself a copy - you'll surely be inspired after reading this one, then you’ll be ready to tackle your own dreams! Anything is possible. Publisher: Broga Released: 2021 Price: £5.99

  • 'Dolig Diflas y Dyn Dweud Drefn - Lleucu Lynch

    *For Welsh review, please see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 6/7+ (suggested) interest age: 4-7 Illustrations: Gwen Millward REVIEW BY LLIO MAI If there's anyone who hates Christmas, it’s the ‘Dyn Dweud Drefn.’ (the angry man) Having read the previous books, I'm sure we could all have guessed that he wouldn’t be a fan of all the festive cheer! On the other hand, someone who absolutely loves Christmas is his little puppy. This year, somehow, the puppy has managed to persuade the Dyn Dweud Drefn to give Christmas a go, without telling anyone off or being cranky! Now, this is going to be interesting… Will he be able to resist being angry or miserable for one WHOLE Day? He’s certainly challenged a few times during the day. He wakes up early, which isn't a very good start… You'll have to buy a copy of the book to know how he gets on. I love this series by Lleucu Fflur Lynch. The character of the Dyn Dweud Drefn is brilliant, and his unconventional relationship with the puppy provides enough material for many stories to keep us entertained. Both are brilliantly illustrated once again through Gwen Millward's likable and charming pictures. This is a great book to read over the Christmas period (and at any other time really)! It's a story about friendship, companionship and about what can happen when someone dares to do something differently and steps out of their comfort zone. Publisher: Carreg Gwalch Released: 2022 Price: £4.95 ALSO IN THE SERIES:

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  • Publishers | Sonamlyfra

    Publishers Here's a list of the publishers here in Wales who publish Welsh language books. Click on the tiles to visit their websites. Carreg Gwalch

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