Tag Archives: Ford St Publishing

Salih – Inda Ahmad Zahri. Anne Ryan


Ford St Publishing

March 2021

ISBN: 9781925804645

RRP: $16.99

The global issue of the plight of refugees, and in particular, child refugees is the focus of this sensitively written and beautifully illustrated book. Even your youngest readers will be able to comprehend the circumstance of those who must flee their homes, with only what they can carry – like turtles carrying their homes on their backs – and the ensuing discussions which will arise will help your little people develop empathy and an appreciation of diversity.

The first person narrative is almost poetic as it describes the flight from danger, the happy memories and the terrible ones and the therapeutic release through art is a beautiful way to tie a healing process to the visual metaphors used in Anne Ryan’s illustrations.

This is an emotional journey as well as a political and cultural one and is an important addition for any classroom unit of work or library collection. It is certainly a theme which has resonance in today’s global circumstance and one that deserves to fully examined in just such a sympathetic and compassionate way.

Recommended with my fullest endorsement for your readers from around five years upwards.

The Thing that goes Ping! – Mark Carthew. Illustrated by Shane McG


Ford St Publishing

February 2021

ISBN: 9781925804669

RRP: $16.95

If you are looking for a really great rhyming book for your littlies that will also engage them in a guessing game, this is going to be a real hit!!

In the faraway town of Figgy-tra-ling, you may hear the faint ring of a thing that goes ping!

What could be the mysterious thing that goes ping? Well, take your kiddos on a super quest of discovery with a bunch of wacky animals until the mystery is revealed. I’m sure the children will be super excited when they find out!

Mark Carthew’s lively text is superbly accompanied by Shane McGowan’s quirky illustrations and I would certainly be capitalising on both to create some shared illustrated writing, as I’m sure the kids would have loads of ideas of their own. And to top off all this fun, Ford St has a wonderful stash of activities as a bonus including song lyrics, card games and teaching notes.

I’m giving this a high recommendation for your small peeps from around Prep upwards and think you will all greatly enjoy a sustained mileage from the reading.

Float or Sink? – Kylie Covark. Illustrated by Andrew Plant


Ford St Publishing

February 2021

ISBN: 9781925804621 [paperback]

RRP: $16.95

This rhyming story is as cute as the bugs who star in it! When a stick falls into the creek the reader is invited to guess whether it will float or sink and when first a ladybird lands on it, followed by an assortment of other tiny critters (all of them with very grand titles), the guessing game continues.

As we have come to expect from Andrew Plant, the illustrations are bold and beautiful and Covark’s simple but rhythmic text begs for chorus reading as each bug lands precariously on the stick as it bobs along the water. But what will happen when a greedy duck sees the curious company? Children will love the predictions and their enthusiasm will easily lead into some science around floating and sinking – time for some fun experiments! It could also segue into an exciting game of Pooh Sticks – if you happen to have a handy creek and bridge!

I love this for its simple but catchy text and the overall design which is so much fun but also for the fact that it has such real application into some valuable learning experiences.

Highly recommended for little readers from Prep upwards.

Gold! – Jackie Kerin & Annie White


Ford St Publishing

September 2020

  • ISBN10 1925804534
  • ISBN13 9781925804539
  • RRP: $24.99

What a brilliant combination! A lively rhythmic text, absolutely stunning illustrations paired with historical information about the Victorian gold-rush all of which will stimulate readers’ interest and imagination. For those with the ubiquitous Gold in Australia unit of work this is a magnificent springboard into your investigations and will pique your students’ interest in the topic.

Author Jackie Kerin has a background in acting and storytelling and truly this is evident in the text which crackles with enthusiastic and animated expression. The blend of prose and verse style and plenty of figurative language will add to the learning to be gained from this book with true enjoyment to be had along the way.

Annie White‘s illustrations have long gained accolades and I suggest you visit her webpage for some fascinating insights into her work. Her work for this particular vividly echoes the wonderful text and readers will delight in the detail to be found within.

The book concludes with some useful fact boxes which will easily segue into further inquiry and all in all this is a splendid addition to any collection.

Highly recommended for readers from around Year 4 upwards.

Morphing Murphy – Robert Favretto/Tull Suwannakit


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.

Gezani and the Tricky Baboon –  Valanga  Khoza & Sally Rippin


Ford St Publishing

9781925000740 (hardcover)
9781925000757 (paperback)
Publication date:
November 2014 (hardcover)
February (paperback)
Extent: 32 pages
Format: Picture book Landscape 236 x 236
$22.95 (hardcover)
$14.95 (paperback)
Category: Folklore
Age guide: 4 – 7 years


Valanga Khoza is a successful performer, originally from the Limpopo province in South Africa – sharing stories, songs and dance with his touring show ‘Out of Africa’. Valanga grew up in a community where few people could read or write so storying telling, music and dancing were integral aspects of the culture of his people. His performing is a way of keeping that culture alive and accessible to all.

In this colourful picture book, ably illustrated by the talented Sally Rippin, Khoza retells a traditional story of a little boy, Gezani, who is tricked by the wily Baboon but learns a valuable lesson and repays Baboon in kind.

Gezani’s grandfather sends him on an errand to deliver some bananas to his cousins. The boy sets off happy and proud to be trusted but is waylaid by Baboon, who plays on the boy’s compassion by telling Gezani that he is injured and thirsty. When Gezani goes to fetch Baboon some water, leaving him to mind the bananas, you can well guess what happens!

Downcast and ashamed of being so miserably fooled Gezani returns home to his grandfather’s scolding and the hooting jeers of his family and village. Gezani makes up his mind to play a trick on Baboon in return and comes up with a very clever plan.  He entices Baboon to a farmer’s field filled with luscious peanuts and when that naughty animal is busy stuffing himself with the nuts, Gezani slyly ties Baboon’s tail to the fence – and then alerts the farmer to the fact that his crop is being robbed, with dire results for Baboon. What’s that you say? Baboons have no tails? And now you will know why not!

A terrific book for sharing cultures from other countries, in line with the AC Literature strand – as well as just for fun!

Highly recommended for children Prep and up.

Find out more about Valanga here and listen to him here.


Found You! – Mardi Davies


Ford St Publishing

9781925000665 (hardcover)
9781925000672 (paperback)
Publication date:
October 2014 (hardcover)
February 2015 (paperback)
Extent: 32 pages
Format: Portrait picture book 260 x 265mm
$24.95 (hardcover)
$14.95 (paperback)
Category: Picture book
Age guide: 3+


Mardi Davies has long been involved with creating art for children. As part of Walt Disney Animation Australia’s team she has drawn pictures for 8 full-length movies. Her animation skills have now been delightfully applied to her first picture book with great success.

Florence Moon and her dog Trevor are great friends and share a backyard that is just perfect for playing hide-and-seek. It’s just that Trevor is pretty awful at hiding. In fact he’s terrible at it. Everytime!

It simply does not matter how long Florence counts, waiting for Trevor to find a great hiding spot, he just can’t manage  a successful attempt. It doesn’t help that he chooses places like a too-small box or the washing hanging on the clothesline!

But Florence Moon doesn’t give up. In an inspired moment, she turns around her approach, realising that although Trevor is a terrible hider he just might be a really good finder. And he is!

With beautifully imaginative illustrations, this book about a simple game that becomes a little complicated is a wonderful exploration of perseverance and creative thinking.

This is a terrific book to share with little humans about fun and friendship – and being ready to change a ‘game plan’.

Highly recommended for young readers from toddlers up.