Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Australian lullabies

Rainforest Lullaby and Bushland Lullaby

Sally Odgers and Lisa Stewart have teamed up to bring us two beautiful books, Bushland Lullaby and Rainforest Lullaby. Lisa's stunning illustrations portray a heavy Japanese influence after spending a great deal of time in the country. Well known for her first picture book, Can I cuddle the moon?, she brings a sense of gentleness and peace to the gorgeous words of Sally Odgers. Both delightful read aloud books for that special someone little in your life.

Highly recommended for 0+ years.

Ideal Australian gift for friends and family overseas.

Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart
RRP $24.99 
Released Nov and Dec 2013

More new titles for December!

Busy wheels series

New titles, written by Peter Bently, as part of the 'Busy wheels' series hits the shelves next month. The next four books in the series include:

  • Police car on patrol
  • Dumper truck dash
  • Monster truck mountain rescue
  • Ambulance in action.
'Fire engine is flashing' and 'Racing car is roaring' are both earlier titles in the series.

Illustrated by Martha Lightfoot, the colourful drawings will engage young children, particularly those interested in rescue stories and emergency services. Interspersed with onomatopoeia - young children will enjoy the playful aspects of these books, as well as learning about the different parts of the machines in the labelled illustrations in the closing pages.

On a more personal note however, I found the personification of the rescue vehicles a little off putting at times, as is the use of common nouns as proper nouns. Referring to the ambulance driver as Ambulance Driver is a little clumsy for my liking, but any four year old would probably love it!

Peter Bently and Martha Lightfoot
RRP $9.99
Released December, 2013

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

New titles for December

10 funny sheep

Join the ten funny sheep as they count down throughout the day. Learning how to count can be fun with this read aloud story, based on the traditional, 'Ten green bottles'. The illustrations are detailed and bring a whole new layer of interest. Keep an eye out for the hidden number on each page.

Other titles in the series - '10 hooting owls' and '10 silly wombats'

Ideal for 4+

Ed Allen & Andrea Edmonds
RRP $13.99
Due for release December 2013

There was an old lady who swallowed a meerkat

The old lady is on the move again but this time she is heading for the zoo. A day trip to the zoo turns into another feast. Join the old lady on safari before she swallows all the animals!

Based on the traditional, 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly'.

Other popular titles in the series - 'There was an old lady who swallowed a mozzie' and 'There was an old bloke who swallowed a chook'.

Recommended for 4-6 years

P. Crumble & Louis Shea
RRP $13.99
Due for release December 2013


Being a dinosaur is hard. They are so misunderstood. They just want to fit in - but being so big has its drawbacks!  One big 'rawr' and everyone runs for cover. But here's a little secret, 'rawr' just means hello! Dinosaur soon discovers that he can use his size to his advantage.

The soft, cloth dinosaur insert in the cover and simple, clean illustrations would appeal to young children, particularly those interested in dinosaurs. Gentle humour throughout engenders an empathy for poor old dinosaur who just wants to be one of the group.

Ideal for 2 to 3 years

Todd H. Doodler
RRP $14.99
Due for release December 2013

Chick's sick

Poor chick is sick. No eggs. Chick sick.

Enlisting the help of the farmyard friends, Chick tries to lay an egg. Nothing seems to be working. That is until helpful snake waits one night, under Chick, only to discover that Chick isn't sick after all!

An interesting rhyming text written with very few words, mostly just with the use of nouns and verbs:

Duck clutches. Sheep squeezes. Duck clenches. Chick wheezes.

Simple colourful illustrations would add to the appeal for 3 to 5 year olds. A companion book to Duck's stuck!

Kyle Mewburn & Ali Teo and John O'Reilly
RRP $15.99
Due for release December 2013

Dinosaur Farm

It's hard work being a farmer - but try being a farmer on a dinosaur farm!

Each day is full of many trying things. 
How do you bath a dinosaur? 
How do you look after a new born dinosaur? 
What do you feed an oversized carnivore? 
Follow the day's trials and tribulations!

Beautifully illustrated with a sense of humour throughout. Recommended for 3 to 5 years.

Frann Preston-Gannen
RRP $14.99
Koala Books
Due for release December 2013

Kiss, kiss, good night

A delightful bed time lullaby, perfect for your little ones. 

As all the mothers put their babies to bed, they kiss them all on their head.

Illustrations beautifully complement the rhyming text.

Published as a board book - this is an ideal read aloud book for 0 to 3 years. 

Kenn Nesbitt & Rebecca Elliott
RRP $10.99
Board book 
Due for release December 2013

Friday, 22 November 2013

Exclamation mark

If you love the beauty of language and simple, yet creatively clever picture books, then you will love this book.

Exclamation mark stood out from the beginning. He wanted to be like everyone else. He tried everything. But he was different. Full stop!

With all of his efforts of trying to fit in, Exclamation mark discovered something so much more important, his unique inner strengths.

This book is delightful on so many levels. From the literal to the inferential, it is layered much like an onion. This is a very clever, laugh out loud, touching and poignant book.

There is little not to like about it - the only thing would be that it is American. Nothing against the star spangled banner and all, but some of the language is US English - but we won't hold that against them!

Highly recommended 4-7 years

Scholastic Press
RRP $24.99 hardcover

Friday, 15 November 2013

Christmas picture book offerings

With less than 40 sleeps till Christmas, it may be time to start considering the festive season is coming around quicker each year. I am sure I was only buying stocking fillers the other day…for 2012!

With that in mind - here is a quick run down on some of the offerings this Christmas from Scholastic and Koala Books. There is sure to be something here for everyone, even that one family member who insists on wearing the bon bon paper hat all day, in 35 degree heat, while reading everyone's cracker jokes. Yes, we all have one of those!

There There
Sam McBratney and Ivan Bates
RRP $14.99 paperback

From the author of the ever popular, 'Guess how much I love you' comes this enchanting story of Little Hansie Bear and his dad. Accident-prone Hansie is always in need of some comforting from his dad.

'There, there, Hansie' becomes a frequent refrain as Hansie finds himself in no end of bother.

But what will Hansie do when dad ends up hurt?

Recommended for 3-6 years.

I spy pets…
Edward Gibbs
RRP $13.99 paperback

The next 'I spy' title in the series brought to you by Edward Gibbs. Young children will delight in peeking through the cut outs to spy on the next pet. Simple descriptions provide clues as to what the next creature may be, leading to a final cut out for the reader to keep playing. Simple text, simple format.

Ideal for 2-3 years

Clumsy Duck
Britta Teckentrup
RRP $16.99 paperback

Poor Clumsy Duck! He just can't quite get the hang of his big feet walking around on land. Little Chick tries to help out, suggesting perhaps a walk to the pond may help.

Stumbling, tripping and falling all the way, Clumsy Duck's feet just seem to be too big for him. That is until he hits the water!

A delightful introduction to basic adaptations.

Recommended for 2-6 years.

She'll be coming around the mountain (Book and CD)
Sung by The Topp Twins, illustrated  by Jenny Cooper
RRP $16.99 paperback

This all time favourite song has been brought back to life with a new rendition. Continuing in the series of classic songs in book and CD format, Jenny Cooper's illustrations have lent a whole new level of humour to this rollicking tune. Great companion to 'Do your ears hang low?' and 'There's a hole in my bucket!'

Another good one for the car! Preschoolers will love singing along.

My Christmas Crackers
Bronwen Davies
RRP $9.99 hardcover

Usually Christmas bon bons have traditionally held the sole rights to dreadful Christmas jokes, but it seems no longer!  This collection of festive fun will probably bring a giggle to the odd seven year old, but in the main - they really are cracker standard! Great illustrations and a reasonable price makes this a potential stocking filler.

Blossom Possum and the Christmas Quacker
Gina Newton, Christina Booth
RRP $19.99 hardcover

Blossom Possum and her friends need to save the day! Koala Claws has stopped for a quick nap. The only problem is, it's Christmas eve and they can't wake him. Stuck in the Land of Nod, the animals ask, 'Who will do his job?'

Beautifully illustrated, this text was somewhat challenging to read aloud. The changing rhyming pattern between the stanzas and moving between rhyme and prose made it difficult to get any rhythm going, and at times this unfortunately distracted from the storyline. Would recommend a few quiet readings first before launching into a read aloud session!

Recommended for 4-7 years

My Merry Christmas
Rosie Smith, Bruce Whatley
RRP $16.99 hardcover

From the wonderful team that brought you 'My mum's the best', 'My dad's the coolest', 'My Easter egg hunt' comes the next instalment, 'My Merry Christmas'. This is another beautiful book from this dynamic duo, this time using the analogy of different animals preparing for Christmas. Follow the many human traditions such as decorating the tree or wrapping the presents just with an added twist. Delightfully simple with fabulous illustrations!

Highly recommended for 3-6 years