Monthly Archives: March 2020

Dippy and the Dinosaurs (Dippy the Diprotodon, #2) – Jackie French & Bruce Whatley. Concept by Ben Smith Whatley.

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Harper Collins Australia

February 2020

ISBN: 9781460754092

ISBN 10: 1460754093

RRP 24.99 AUD

We’ve all been in love with Jackie’s wombats for years and now she and Bruce Whatley have provided us with another fabulous ‘wombat’ character to cherish.  Dippy made his first appearance last year and thoroughly delighted all his young readers. This BIG boisterous and happy diprotodont like his modern counterpart is uniquely Australian and eminently loveable.

Dippy’s new adventure follows his digging of a big hole – in fact a huge hole! – which serves as a super slide into a whole new landscape filled with strange and wonderful gigantic animals. Australia’s megafauna shows off in all its fascinating wonder as Dippy plays and flies and swims with his new friends. And just as all young ‘uns need to after such exuberance a refreshing rest is required by this young and curious creature.

Described as ‘deceptively simple’ this does indeed provide a portal to adventure and confidence for any little human.

Highly recommended for littlies from around 2 years upwards.

Morphing Murphy – Robert Favretto/Tull Suwannakit

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Morphing Murphy PB Cov PRINT.indd

Ford St Publishing

February 2020

ISBN 9781925804324

RRP: $16.99

Whether you’re looking for a twisted fairy tale, a fictional take on the metamorphosis of frogs or perhaps simply a story that illustrates changes and adaptation, this will be a fabulous addition to your collection.

Murphy doesn’t quite understand the changes that are happening to him but when they are complete he decides he rather likes his new self. There’s just one problem. Despite all his ‘bonk bonk bonk’  (Murphy is actually an Eastern Banjo Frog, commonly referred to as the Pobblebonk!) calling he’s lonely until finally he finds his true love and therein lies the twist.

This is delightful with some lovely language and evocative illustrations with a healthy dose of humour which will engage young readers immediately. It certainly reminds me of a large classroom mural my Year 1 class and I once created to illustrate the lifecycle of frogs. Using the same colour palette as the book would look totally fabulous on any wall!

Favretto’s inspiration was his childhood passion for small wildlife and how many little people do we all know who have that same love? I know that The Kid here was always picking up lizards and frogs – and though she  now considers her teen self too old for such pastimes continues to love observing them.

Highly recommended for EC and Junior kiddos with a focus on science as well as themes of change and resilience. Find teaching notes here.

Jelly-Boy – Nicole Godwin/Christopher Nielsen

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Walker Books

February 2020

ISBN: 9781760651237
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

 

Thirty years ago today the Clean Up Australia event started and has gone from strength to strength helping our country become cleaner. Though the world at large is struggling under the massive impact of increased populations and waste there are still ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help redress the dire predicament in which we find ourselves. Witness the success of Boyan Slat and his Great Ocean Clean Up idea and Greta Thunberg’s impact on a world audience and we can have hope that the current generation will continue to work towards a cleaner healthier planet.

What better place to start then than with our little people and that’s where a gorgeous picture book like Jelly-Boy comes in. The littlest Early Childhood readers will be able to grasp the import of the dangers of plastic in the natural environment in a way which is not ‘preachy’ but rather an usual love story which is further elucidated in the facts page at the end of the book.

A little sea jelly decides that the new Jelly-Boy in the ocean is both attractive and special but before too long realises that this newcomer is not alone and in fact, is just one of a dangerous influx that poses a real threat to the natural ocean ecosystem.

I well remember living in the ACT when plastic bags were first banned and the ridiculous furore that ensued – repeated here in Queensland in the past year or so. But for some of us rejecting single use plastics as often as possible was not only de rigeur but just plain commonsense.  Luckily the majority of citizens have realised the good sense of such innovations and our children are growing up with not only an acceptance but an understanding of the reasons for such moves.

If you are working on units that encompass care of the environment, recycling or similar – or perhaps simply as an adjunct to your teaching small humans the meaning of being responsible in their world this is a superb book on which to base your discussions.

Highly recommended for all readers from around 3 years upwards.