I’m pretty sure that in our current situation when many are feeling despondent or fearful, there are many people who have not felt much like celebrating. Personally, I’m of the opinion that we still have plenty to celebrate at this time of year and have endeavoured to make our own family festive season meaningful for us all.
And just as it is important for us to rejoice at the blessings we do have, whether large or small, it is equally vital for us to impart cross-cultural perspectives to our children.
This picture book is part of a series that focuses on families and their similarities and differences ( What do You Call Your Grandma? What do You Call Your Grandpa?) and offers children insight into how other families around the world celebrate at the end of one year, beginning of another.
Many years ago when I first started teaching (actually in one of my prac blocks) my focus was on this very topic and the Year 2 class I was working with explored the end-of-year traditions of many cultures around the world including gift-givers and New Year traditions. This was a theme I returned to consistently and still to this day. continue to promote wherever possible. With our increasingly multi-cultural society (not to mention the insidious growing swell of intolerance/hate in some quarters) it behoves us to ensure that we do all we can to actively promote inclusive attitudes and behaviours in our kiddos.
With engaging and fun books such as this, it is no hardship to bring these ideas to our audience and I congratulate Ashleigh and Martina on their collaboration which ensures that not only will children be invested in the narrative but keep it in mind.
Highly recommended for small humans from pre-school upwards.
Whether you are celebrating a dad, step-dad, grandfather or the person who takes on the important role of a father figure – there are so many beautiful books which will add joy to your family’s or class’ marking of this special day. Here are some fabulous titles that will fit the bill perfectly!
I love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
Published: 31 July 2017
Imprint: Picture Puffin
It’s not just that I have an absolute passion for Eric Carle’s work but these little gift books are just so darling! Even though I am now in a secondary library these little sweeties make regular appearances on my special little ‘sacred space’ table for inspiration or reminders.
This little kaleidoscope of colour expresses all the wonderful feelings that little people have for their dads’ special attributes. My clear favourite is the beautiful seahorse pair with their stunning rainbow-like shimmers.
This little charmer makes a perfect gift particularly for the littlest people and their daddies.
Peppa Pig: My Daddy
Published: 1 August 2011
This favourite has a delightful new look as Daddy Pig takes on that all important role of being the barbecue chef (or if you’re like my family – Tong Master!).
Everyone knows just how important Daddy is in the Pig family and how much Peppa loves him. Just like all dads Daddy Pig is not really perfect. Along with his many wonderful attributes he’s also a tiny bit clumsy at times and not really very good as a handyman for home projects but this just makes him all the more loveable – and no doubt for many littlies, more relatable!
We all know for little people, you just can’t go wrong with Peppa Pig so this one is a must-have!
My Dad Snores – John Williamson. Illustrated by Peter Carnavas.
Published: 6 August 2019
I got excited about this one when I got John’s latest Gumleaf newsletter a week or so ago and he had shared his video clip. I have to say – John is one of the very nicest people I’ve ever met and just saying, so is Peter Carnavas!
What an inspired pairing of creators this is and what an absolutely cracking gift for any family with a ‘snorer’ dad! This version of John’s song (which got many airings with my girls – we all loved John’s work) includes a new verse – increasing the hilarity even further.
If you are looking for a Father’s Day read to share with your minion troops this week – you can’t go wrong with this one. They will be falling about laughing and I am sure will be keen to share their own family ‘snorer’ stories!!
What do You Call Your Grandpa? Ashleigh Barton and Martina Heiduczek
Harper Collins Australia
ISBN 10: 0733340865
Imprint: ABC Books – AU
On Sale: 22/07/2020
List Price: 17.99 AUD
My final offering for your Father’s Day pleasure is this stunning new book that is not only a letter of love to all grandfathers but is inclusive and subtly informative. Little readers will be treated to an ‘around the world’ virtual visit to grandpas all over and learn their special titles in their own language. Given we have our own resident Nonno, this is one that appeals tremendously and in addition, in particular if your school like mine is a veritable melting pot of cultures and nationalities this will be a super exploration as well as lovely read-aloud.
Each beautiful double spread has a small rhyming verse to introduce the grandchild and grandparent and the book concludes with a list of the ‘grandfather’ names and a short explanation of their country of origin. Especially of note is the inclusion of one nomenclature in an Aboriginal language (Gurindji from the NT’s Victoria River region) and Maori as well as those from Europe, Africa, South America and languages such as Hebrew.
This is not only a superb inclusion for your Father’s Day collection but also for your HASS studies as it gives children an insight into cultural differences and similarities.
Highly recommended for readers from around 4 years upwards.
Another perfect accompaniment to being at home and enjoying simpler pleasures, this is just delightful in its simplicity and charm as a little person plays in the garden.
Duck on the green, sun in the sky, egg in the nest, apple on the tree, and me.
Most well-suited to the very young this will be a great starter to exploring their own gardens which may not have a resident duck or an apple tree but will be sure to hold many amazing discoveries when examined at leisure.
For children a little older and in prep there is potential to explore key concepts such as prepositions and of course to share about imaginative play and nature around them. I can already envisage a lovely classroom wall mural which could echo the illustrations and be filled with children’s personal garden discoveries.
From toddlers upwards to around five or six years old, this makes a lovely and timely addition to your store of great books for nature exploration.