Category Archives: Childrens books

Who Hid the Socks?  – Rosemary Coombs/ Lorraine Robertson & Warren Brown

Standard

socks

Bullawai Books

April 2018

  • 9780994611819
  • 9780994611826

RRP: $16.99

We all know the problem of disappearing socks. Miss Small favours odd socks but even with that un-complication we still seem to be scratching around for the little blighters often.

So many children will get the giggles as they help search for the missing socks in the illustrations in this new book. Part rhyme and part prose it has a joyful rhythm and lots of interaction along the way.

In all this time I’ve never expected that the family cat (or cats in our case) might be responsible for sock thievery! But then neither of ours is called Socks so perhaps we will have to search out another thief!

As well as the missing socks children have the opportunity to re-examine the colourful illustrations to find other objects via checklists at the end of the book.

This is a fun and simple book for little readers from around 4 years upwards. It would make a super bedtime read to explore and find all the items.

Recommended for kindy & child care groups as well as Junior Primary classes.

Available on request from Bullawai Books, (Specialist Publication and Editing Services ABN 14790495731)
through email
Advertisements

Two For One

Standard

 

Let’s look at some feelings……

scaredy

Scaredy Book : it’s not always easy to be brave! Devon Sillett & Cara King

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9781925335682

ISBN 10: 1925335682

Exisle Kids Publishing – NZ

On Sale: 23/04/2018

List Price: 24.99 AUD

Often it’s difficult to step out of our comfort zones – hard enough for adults and regularly even more so for children. This is a beautiful book with which to explore overcoming trepidation about new situations.

Book loves being in the library but also yearns at times to get out and be borrowed, to explore and discover new adventures. However he always feels tremendously relieved when no one takes him out as his anxiety overwhelms him. Over and over he watches other books go out and some of them come back damaged – or worse, don’t come back at all. What if the same thing happens to him?

Then Emily finds Book. Emily loves the library and books. She’s a bit sad that Book looks kind of sad and faded so she promptly takes him out and shows him the wonderful world outside the library, as well as taking very good care of him.

This is a wonderful way to introduce the topic of uncertainty about new circumstances and that while they may have some small negatives the positives usually outweigh these.

Highly recommended for young readers from around Prep upwards.

LAC

Lessons of a LAC – Lynn Jenkins/Kirrili Lonergan

Exisle Publishing

9781925335828

$19.99

Just because bad things might happen, it doesn’t mean they will.

Psychologist Lynn Jenkins is committed to helping children build emotional resilience and overcome mental hurdles that increase anxiety and worry.

LACs live in their own village and worry about everything. Their entire existence is a whirl of worry. Opposite geographically and mentally, the Calmsters in their village learn how to relax their minds and build positive responses.

When Loppy LAC meets Curly Calmsters he expects the worse but actually finds some solutions to his constant fears and endless concern. This new friendship leads to an unexpected joining of the two clans as they all learn to deal with life without resolutely expecting disasters.

The delightful illustrations are very reminiscent of Dr Seuss whacky style and will have genuine appeal to children. Art activities which combine ‘feelings’ concepts are a very distinct possibility with this one.

Highly recommended for children from around Prep upwards.

Both of these will be on my list for end of year when Preps prepare to move onto to Year 1 and new adventures.

Fearless Frederic – Felice Arena

Standard

9780143786757

Penguin Australia

9780143786757

April 2, 2018

RRP: $16.99

 

In 1910 Paris flooded. A ‘once in a century’ possibility saw the Seine rise to over 30 feet above it’s normal level and the citizens of Paris having to adapt to their city in ways they had never experienced.  For many of them this meant actually evacuating their homes and being housed in makeshift centres across the city.

This new historical novel from Felice narrates the stories of three children, all very different, and their own dramas amid the floodwaters. Frederic lives with his mother since his father was killed in a botched robbery at the Louvre, where he was a security guard. Thierry, the would-be author, is also fatherless – his builder father having died in a construction accident when Thierry was small. Claire, it appears, also has only her mother but there is something odd about the way her mum can never been seen in the shelter.

The children band together to make the most of the drama unfolding around them each day and find themselves in the roles of rescuers and heroes  saving cats, children, horses – and helping track down thieves In the process Frederic uncovers the villains who murdered his father and burns for revenge.

As the narrative unfolds, the personalities (and secrets) of the children, the extraordinary circumstances impacting on them and the growing friendship between them draws the reader further into the adventures of Fearless Frederic and his Floodwater Friends.

Felice has a really deft way of weaving adventure, history and realistic fiction together in a manner that appeals to both genders.

I would highly recommend this for readers from around Year 5 upwards.

 

paris1910flood3

 

 

See Hear: There’s Magic All Around You. What Can You See? What Can You Hear? – Tania McCartney & Jess Racklyeft

Standard

seehear

EK Books

March 2018

9781925335675

RRP $24.99

From the dream team that brought you Smile Cry (Crystal Kite Award 2017 and 2017 CBC Notable Book) comes another beautiful and whimsical book for little people. A sensory exploration of the world around us using the senses of sight and hearing is a perfect way to have children calm from their busy day and take notice of the wonder that surrounds them. Engaging with this depth of sensory delights is often overlooked in favour of having small people do more phonics or reach another ‘reading level’. It’s well and truly time to teach them about being human as well!

Heavenly horses…..squiggly rain……buzzing blossoms….” all combine to give readers a really magical experience and give rise to many various points of discussion.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to children is to ‘wonder’ at the bounteous offerings of their world and encourage their appreciation of all that it can offer.

Highly recommended for your collection whether in a kindy, child care centre or lower primary school – as well as a splendid gift for special little people in your circle.

Find teaching notes here.

 

The Little Library Cookbook – Kate Young

Standard

littlecookbook

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781784977672

ISBN 10: 1784977675

Imprint: Head of Zeus – GB

On Sale: 18/09/2017

RRP: $39.99

What an absolute delight for bibliophiles this book is! So many people love cookbooks (whether to use to their purpose or just to peruse) and for a book-lover this is magical!

Comprising over 100 recipes inspired from the author’s own bookshelves, one can cater for everything from morning tea to supper and everything in between with a literary flair.

What do you fancy? Perhaps Paddington’s marmalade (yum!) or chocalatl a la Northern Lights, a sweet posset as in Joan Aitken’s Wolves of Willoughby Chase or something more substantial like the Godfather’s spaghetti and meatballs – it’s all here in glorious detail.

Most of my review books are donated either to my own library or to worthy recipients but this one is going straight to that bookshelf of culinary holiday expectations in my pantry.  In the meantime some green (pesto) eggs and ham may well feature on an upcoming weekend breakfast menu.

This would be a handsome addition to your library shelves but probably an even better one to your own personal collection.

 

 

Can I Touch Your  Hair? : Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship – Irene Latham & Charles Waters,  Sean Qualls & Selina Alko

Standard

can-i-touch-your-hair-

 

January 1st 2018 by Carolrhoda Book

ISBN: 9781512404425
ISBN-10: 151240442X

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

RRP $29.99

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few children’s poetry books come my way of late and this is certainly one of the most interesting.

In a world where we are constantly reminded of the intolerance and bigotry of some it is incumbent upon us as educators to guide our students towards accepting and embracing differences.

When Irene and Charles are put together to complete a poetry project, neither is very thrilled. One white, one black with seemingly nothing in common, they are both reluctant and reticent at first. But as they choose topics to write about – school, family, church, friends and so on – they begin to see points of similarity and more than that commonalities that develop into an unexpected friendship.

Cleverly written by authors who are themselves black and white, this book explores a theme of turning ignorance into understanding and takes it further.

Not only is this a volume worth sharing with students but it could easily become a fascinating springboard into shaping similar experiences for our own children.

Recommended for children from around Year 4 upwards.

 

The Dream Bird –  Aleesah Darlinson/Emma Middleton

Standard

dreambirdes

Wombat Books

ISBN: 9781925563337

Release: 1 April 2018

Price: $19.99 Hardback

 

For a family of insomniacs no explanation is needed about the difficulties sometimes of going to sleep – no matter how busy the day, or the level of tiredness. Young and old in my crew this is something we deal with constantly.

Over the years I’ve dealt with this problem from both a personal and a professional aspect. Many children have a real difficulty with calming down from their busyness of the day and sadly, I have seen some medicated to do so.

George is a child who finds it incredibly hard to switch off from his days and even though his family have strategies to offer, none seems to work for him. But Gran has the solution (as so often we Grans do!). She tells him a beautifully lyrical and soothing story about the Dream Bird who takes children on magical dream journeys to the places that are just right for each.

This is not just a story about getting children to sleep. It is an affirmation of the joy and comfort of bedtime stories, the power of imagination and of course, family love and tenderness.

Aleesah’s text is so beautifully wrapped in an almost ethereal swirl of illustrations which evoke the cross-over between reality and fantasy. Whether it’s leaping with leopards, swimming with mermaids or visiting a land of lollies and other yummy treats, every child deserves a Dream Bird to lullaby them to sleep.

Enjoy some insight into Emma’s illustrative process here.

Highly recommended for your little people whether as an addition to library shelves or as a charming gift to a special child.

The 1, 000-Year-Old Boy – Ross Welford

Standard

alve

Harper Collins Australia

January 2018

ISBN 10: 0008256942

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

ISBN: 9780008256944

Pages: 400

List Price: 14.99 AUD

 

Alfie Monk is not your average eleven year old boy. He is ‘proficient in Old Norse, Old English, Middle English and Modern English, plus French, Latin and Greek (ancient and modern, though they are not so dissimilar), and [has] a smattering of Welsh and Scots Gaelic’. He has a very faded and blurred tattoo between his shoulder blades and two curious scars on his arm. He speaks with a curious unrecognisable accent. And his teeth are just terrible, which is to be expected if they have been in use for a thousand years.

On the other hand, Aidan Linklater is pretty much a regular eleven year old boy who has just moved to ‘Dumpsville’ due to a bad financial investment by his father, he has a rather annoying seven year old sister and his parents are continually arguing. He is pretty despondent about the move and the shift in his friendships.  His new neighbour is a rather odd girl called Roxy Minto who appears to be very intuitive but also a little weird.

Roxy it is, who shows Aidan an old stone house hidden away in the woods behind their houses – and the strange woman and boy who live there. This is Alfie and his mother Hilda.  When Alfie – Alve – was eleven he was witness to the last horde of Vikings attacking England. With his father killed, Alve and his mother have three most precious possessions left. Livperlers or life-pearls. His father had owned five and had died trying to protect the remaining three – one for his Mam and two for Alve when he gets older. But boys will be boys and Aidan not only uses one life-pearl on himself but when the other is accidentally broken, uses it on his cat Biffa rather than waste its precious alchemy. Now he too is a ‘Neverdead’ just as his father was and his mother is. He will live forever though is not immortal.

Though the secret of eternal life has been sought after for thousands of years, Alfie/Alve would probably tell anyone that it’s not all it may seem. And now Alve yearns to grow up, raise his own family, grow old and be ‘normal’.

The unlikely friendship of these three children becomes the answer to Alfie’s dilemma. This is a narrative filled with adventure, tragedy, humour and acceptance.

At times I felt achingly sad for Alfie in his eternal struggle to find friends and build relationships but at other times this was replaced by the joy of reading the development of true and unconditional friendship.

Told alternately in both boys’ voices is a clever device which not only allows each his own narrative but further serves to illustrate the contrast between the articulate and wary Alfie and the rather bumbling, ingenuous Aidan.

It’s a cracking read that I devoured in one sitting and I would highly recommend it to readers from around ten years upwards.

 

Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo – Laura James

Standard

fabio

Bloomsbury

March 2018
ISBN: 9781408889312
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP  : AU$12.99

Like many others I am addicted to great detective fiction be it books or TV shows and also like many others my favourite sleuth is the one and only Hercule Poirot (as in David Suchet not – you know who KB bleuggh). So you might well imagine how delighted I was to read this new book from the creator of Captain Pug and discover a flamingo version of HP!

Fabio politely tipped his hat. ‘Fabio, the world’s greatest flamingo detective at your service, Madam.’

He’s no hulking giant but a mere pink slip of a thing and very very clever. Really he just wants to sip his pink lemonade and listen to the jazz music at his favourite venue, the Hotal Royale. His constant companion Gerald the giraffe, a gentle soul but also a complete duffer accompanies him.

However, there is no peaceful interlude for Fabio as the nightclub launches its talent show, he is roped in to being one of the judges and the likely winner of the show, a brilliant jazz-singing hippo goes missing.

There are plenty of suspects including Fabio’s fellow judges – a slippery python car salesman and the bizarre knitting secretary bird, Enid, owner of the local ballet school among them.  The local Lake Laloozee Chief Inspector Duff is no match for Fabios’s superior intellect –‘it’s a matter of logic’ – and this crime unravels faster than Enid’s knitting in the calm flamingo’s capable hands – errr, wings.

This is really good fun and the fluoro pink and green combination used throughout the design and illustrations is fantastic.

Highly recommended for readers from around 7 years upwards who enjoy a spot of sleuthing and a lot of laughs.

Planet Middle School – Nikki Grimes

Standard

planet

Bloomsbury

ISBN: 9781619630123
ISBN-10: 1619630125

Format: Paperback
Imprint: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Publish Date: 2-Jan-2018
Country of Publication: United States

RRP AU $14.99

Joylin Johnson has an uncomplicated life at 12 years old as she has had all her life. Baggy jeans and t-shirts, plain ponytail and a passion for basketball which she regularly plays with the neighbourhood boys make her completely happy. But stuff is changing; her body, her sudden attention to cute boys, her best basketball buddy’s ‘different’ attitude towards her and her bestie’s interest in her best basketball buddy. It’s all very confusing as is trying out make up, pierced ears, skirts and heels.

Nikki Grimes uses short poems to perfectly capture Joy’s adolescent anguish in a very easy to read and engaging verse novel. It is in turn heartfelt and humorous with some real laugh-out-loud though cringe worthy moments.

Though very American it is still easily accessible and relevant to tweens in this country as Joy struggles with her identity issue until finally realising that actually being just you is the best plan.

Grimes is an award winning author of several books and this one earned a Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. Read more about Nikki Grimes here.

Highly recommended for middle to upper primary girls.