Children’s books round-up: Howling and hilarity in equal measure

January’s best new books help kids start the new year with laughter and emotional release

Howl by Kat Patrick

Howl by Kat Patrick

Why not start the new year with a howl? We have all had enough of 2020’s bad news, right? Maggie certainly has. Kat Patrick’s Howl (Scribble, 3+, £11.99) unfolds over one bad day when Maggie’s “shoes would not go on properly... her socks were even worse” and even “the pyjamas were the wrong kind of pyjama”. The best solution to the wolfish thoughts that are tickling her toes is to “HOOOOOOWWWLLLL”.

This whimsical fable about feelings uses humour and wild imagination to push the boundaries of bad temper towards a catharsis. As Maggie’s mother joins in with Maggie’s emotional release, the resolution suggests acceptance as the best medicine for moving through difficult feelings. Evie Barrow’s hand-drawn pencil illustrations pulse with detail and while angry-faced Maggie, with her canine fangs, is a petulant delight.

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