Monday, 14 April 2014

Just for mum

It's that time of the year again - the biggest season for celebration picture books - Mothers' Day.

There are some new titles hitting the shelves as we speak - but two of my favourites would have to be 'Mummy, you're special to me' by Laine Mitchell and Kim Fleming and Anna Pignataro's 'How I love you'. 

Mummy, you're special to me
'Mummy, you're special to me' takes us on a journey around the world meeting animals from all sorts of settings. From the Australian outback to the deserts of the Middle East, from kangaroos to camels, all the baby animals know what makes their mummy special!

Fleming's watercolour illustrations beautifully depict warmth and humour with a little something hiding on each page.

Recommended for 3+ years

Laine Mitchell and Kim Fleming

Hardcover RRP $16.99

How I love you
Anna Pignataro, best known for her Princess and Fairy books has produced a beautiful book in time for Mothers' Day - 'How I love you'.

The beautiful illustrations depict Australian animals and their young showering love upon each other, each in their own way. The text cleverly introduces vocabulary, describing the actions of each of the young as they tell their mums just how much they love them.

A delightful bedtime read - sure to become a favourite.

Recommended for 3+ years

Anna Pignataro
Hardcover $16.99 RRP

Big and Small
Another book just recently published by Koala Books isn't strictly a Mothers' Day book - but  tells the story between Big and Little, with Big always lending Little that extra hand. But will Little be able to give Big a little help just when he needs it most? A delightful rhyming  book, ideal for bedtime!

Recommended for 2+ years

Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Chapman

Koala Books
Paperback RRP $14.99

Friday, 11 April 2014

Ye olde school readers

I have recently noticed a new trend in the publishing market that I am thrilled about. Established authors with much loved picture books, loved by generations, are now returning to these stories and re-writing them for children to read. What a great idea!

I have long argued that if we want our children to learn how to read, why don't we give them good quality literature that has stood the test of time and engages the reader? I see little point in children who are learning to read having to read typical school readers with no plot, theme, climax, resolution or humour, poor grammar and even worse sentence construction...if indeed there is a sentence.

Whilst I know there is a market for school readers - funnily enough schools - that is driven by a need for cheap, mass produced reading books incorporating high frequency words. But it can be done, and should be done, with real literature...

I am loving Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's new series of picture books that have been adapted from some of their stories for beginner readers. The illustrations have been coloured and the books are following the typical 32 page style of a picture book - all with simple rhyming text and larger font, ideal for a child learning to read. Wonderful opportunities to teach onset and rime, give the speech organs a work out with terrific tongue twisters, all while having a good laugh, these books are sure to be a winner. And even better - they are only $7.00 each. (Published by Pan Macmillan)

Now Scholastic Australia has teamed up with Kerry Argent and turned her iconic One Woolly Wombat into a first reader edition. This delightful rhyming text has been loved for more than 30 years. Children will delight in counting all the Australian birds and animals as they rediscover the book for themselves. Great size for little hands and a great price!

Scholastic Australia are now publishing a new series of picture books by Kerry Argent, based on One Woolly Wombat, ideal for young children learning to read. At the beach, Best of friends and Hide and seek are the first in the series. Highly recommended for children with a reading age around 6 years. 

Beautifully produced, illustrated and still a fabulous price.

Available March 2014
Scholastic Australia
RRP $6.99

Kick it to Nick

Shane Crawford, Hawthorn AFL player extraordinaire and Brownlow medallist has teamed up with Adrian Beck to pen a new series of books that AFL fans are going to love!

The Cursed Cup is the first in the simple chapter book series, followed by another title, Forward Line Freak. Bugs from Beyond and Outbreak on the Oval are due for release in June. 

The Cursed Cup introduces us to ten year old Nick and his team, the Cobar Creek Crocs. With his mates Bruiser and Ella we are taken on an adventure like no other. Desperate to win the Golden Cup, things turn scary when the cup becomes a molten metal monster! Nick has to play like never before in order to save the day...but can he?

Appealing to football fans, this series of books are ideal for 7-12 year olds. Check out their website for downloads, AFL tips and more!

Crawf's Kick it to Nick - The Cursed Cup

Penguin Books, 2014
RRP $9.99