It’s always a delight to see a new Mem Fox book and this one for very little people is no exception. Your littlest humans will thoroughly enjoy this little boy’s mission to collect his breakfast, as he walks around the farm in search of the source. There is no doubt that they will giggle along with the reading and guessing, and no doubt feel very superior that they know very well that it won’t be the tractor or the pony or the cow or the haystack that provides that elusive breakfast goodie.
The simple text perfectly underlines the ‘rambling’ nature of the little boy’s walk around his patch but these absolutely beautiful illustrations are killer. With wonderfully, almost retro, gentle and evocative illustrations completing this excursion into an enviable rural idyll, this will be such a huge hit with readers from toddlers upwards.
One never needs much of a hard sell for Mem’s books but needless to say it has a high recommendation from me – for either your personal shelves or in your collection.
The first of this batch of books for the tiniest reads is this delightful and gloriously vibrant lift-the-flap story.
What could be better than having a magical dragon as your best friend? This little boy romps through the pages with his dragon helping out with stuff like getting the lid off the cookie jar and when snow makes play difficult. Little ones will love lifting the flaps to see the solution to each problem.
With simple text and joyful illustrations this would be a hit for tiny humans from around 12 months upwards.
Ten Sleep Sheep – Renee Treml
Renee’s books are always beautiful with their gentle and heart-warming illustrations and this lovely counting book is no exception. Little ones can count down from ten as they visit all the sleepy animals on the farm. From ten sheep through pups and foals, chicks and ducklings even koalas until no one is left awake except the owl. What a beautiful bedtime book this is and will no doubt be requested time and again.
A gorgeously sleepy-time book perfect for babies upwards.
That’s Not My Narwhal – Fiona Watt
Harper Collins Australia
ISBN 10: 1474972101
Imprint: Usborne – GB
List Price: 14.99 AUD
Usborne continues the popular touchy-feely series with this new one which is just as cute as the previous but just a little more unusual in choosing an animal perhaps not so well known.
Little fingers will love the textures from the squishy tummy to the rough tail and the fuzzy spots. Their eyes will sparkle just as much as the narwhal’s horn as they explore each page with tactile delight.
Little ones from 12 months upwards will think this one a real treat.
Is there anything as much fun as introducing these little ones to the joy and wonder of books and reading? I think not.
Pick up these for a tiny one in your circle or for your early learning centre or kindergarten.
This new series from Rebecca Johnson is perfect for those who have graduated from Juliet Nearly a Vet with girls who are just a little older and perhaps with a slightly more exciting setting. The three main characters – Abbey, Talika and Hannah are the newest recruits at boarding school Willowvale in its Vet Cadet program. So each book combines all those great things that girls especially love to read about – boarding school, friendships, animals and adventures. They are easy to read and quickly finished for the most part and each also has fun facts about the featured animal/s and other useful information. My only slight criticism of these two is that in one book MrMcPhail’s rescue dog is referred to as a cattle dog and in the other as a border (actually on one page a ‘boarder’) collie. I’m not trying to be pedantic but it is exactly the sort of detail I know my girls would pick up on!
Saving Itsy Bitsy
When the school’s sow Henrietta has her litter of adorable piglets there is one tiny runt which looks like it won’t make it. However, the three girls are determined to save Bitsy and with dedication and help from sympathetic staff the tiny piglet begins to thrive and is able to go back with the rest of her family.
Those of us with a soft spot for piglets will especially warm to this feel-good story.
Alongside the struggle to save Bitsy there is the mystery of a spate of cattle thefts to be resolved. The girls with their quick minds and powers of observation are able to assist in a happy outcome with this as well.
In Book 4, the girls’ science teacher Mrs Parry sets the task of raising and training day old chicks to prove that they are not ‘bird brains’. There is a lot of advocacy about caged hens and unethical egg production along the way which can only be a good thing. No doubt after reading this there will be many breakfast tables around Australia where hard questions are asked!
I have to add that this assignment seems to be the most arduous school work to appear in the books – I’m sure lots of girls would want to join the ranks at Willowvale if that’s the case!
In addition to their chicken lobbying, the girls face a trauma when a game of horseback hide-and-seek takes a sinister turn when a horse on the neighbouring property is diagnosed with Hendra virus. Will the girls’ horses be alright? It’s a worrying time for them all.
All in all these are lots of fun with, as to be expected, a real scientific flavour throughout. Rebecca has a winning way of integrating her passion for science with her narratives and you can be sure that there will many readers who begin to dream of such a career path after experiencing it vicariously.
Highly recommended for your readers from about 8 – 13.
PS Certainly Miss K loves the idea of being ‘nearly a vet’!