Alison Bartlett's bold illustrations have great child appeal. The protagonist in Arnie I the Accidental Hero by Joanne Partis (Oxford University Press pound;10.99) is an anxious armadillo (left), whose friends laugh at him for being afraid. When they run off to play, daring him to follow, he has to face all his worst fears - snakes, water, thunder, bats and, finally, a crocodile that is creeping up on his friends. The brightly coloured pictures show how Arnie saves his friends, albeit accidentally, and gains their respect.
Fiona Lafferty is librarian at St Swithun's junior school, Winchester