16 May Book Reviews: 10 New Books for Little People
Arriving across our desk this month have been quite a few new books for the 0-5 age group of which our favourites are reviewed.
As we know reading to preschoolers is always very revealing, when you are reviewing picture books. They either love them and engage with the reader or start to wriggle and wiggle. The genre of ‘picture books’ really does rely on the talent of the illustrator and the writer to make the story come alive.
Read to your baby every day
Edited by Rachel Williams & embroidered by Chloe Giordano (Allen&Unwin Children’s, hardback, $24.99) Age Group 0-5 years
The title says it all. This book is amazing and shows up the wonderful embroidery work of Chloe Giordano, one really good reason to buy it for anyone interested in this time-honoured handicraft. The other is of course for the 30 classic English nursery rhymes that the beautiful embroidery work illustrates. All of the rhymes are well known but you will need to tune up your singing voice as most of the nursery rhymes can be sung too.
Go, Go, Pirate Boat
by Katrina Charman & illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, paperback, $12.99) Age Group 0-5 years. (also see Car, Car, Truck, Jeep by the same authors)
Using nursery rhymes, this duo has written and illustrated an upbeat book to the tune of ‘Row, row, row your boat’. Sing the words to this tune and the story unfolds about happy pirates looking for treasure on the high seas until its ‘Home in time for tea!’. Colourful and hearty, add a little knee-bouncing action to the child on your lap and everyone will love this story.
Holly, the honeybee dancing star
by Gordon Winch & illustrated by Stephen Pym (New Frontier Publishing, hardback, $24.99) Age Group 3-6 years.
First out in February 2019, this book gives a gentle reminder about looking after our world and in particular the importance of the honeybees. Holly, the hive’s dancing bee, wiggles and waggles as she dances ‘She’s a real dancing star- a honeybee dancing star’ and we learn how important this is when the hive has to endure a long, hot Australian summer. Holly is a worker bee that saves the hive. The illustrations are wonderful and highlight the realistic Australian bush where Stephen Pym has found his calling.
Also along the theme of insects is the following book:
The Bug Collector
Written and illustrated by Alex G Griffiths (New Frontier Publishing, hardback, $24.99) Age Group 3-6 years.
George goes on an outing with his grandfather to the Museum and straight to the Museum’s insect collection ‘On the journey home, George could think of nothing else but the marvellous bugs he had seen that day.’
George sets about collecting the insects in his garden – everyone he can find, putting them alive in glass jars in his cubby house. At this point, you might wonder about the wisdom of this but it has a strong environmental ending when grandfather sees what George has done and tells George how important insects are with a neat suggestion for the bug collecting George.
Don’t Make Me Cross!
By Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Angie Rozelaar (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, paperback, $12.99) Age Group 0-5 years.
This is a great book to illustrate the ideals of sharing and understanding friendship. If you have a ‘monster’ child, this book is about a little monster who has a birthday party and wants everything to be about HIM! HE wants to win the games, open all HIS presents and it’s not until halfway through the party when disaster happens that the little monster realises he needs to be a little more humbler!
Touch The Moon
By Phil Cummings and illustrated by Coral Tulloch (Allen&Unwin Children’s, hardback, $16.99) Age Group 6-8 years
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary in July 2019 of the historic moon landing (July 1969) this Australian book gives a delightful and thoughtful look through a small child’s view of this part of history. A normal day in the morning develops into an exciting day of mixed emotions with new snow on the ground and in the household, excitement and tension as the moon landing is attempted.
Written in the first person we don’t know the names of the child and his mother but we will never forget that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
Little White Fish
Little White Fish has a Party
Little White Fish is so happy
Written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten (Catch a Star Books – New Frontier Publishing imprint, board book, $12.99) Age Group 2+ years.
Known best for his illustrations, van Genechten has made his stand out by using a black background against bright colourful drawings. Using comparisons such as ‘under’ and ‘over’, ‘big’ and ‘small’ and colours, these books show Little Fish enjoying the life that a small toddler would easily understand.
Let’s Explore With Ted
Written and illustrated by Sophy Henn (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, board book, $14.99) Age Group 0-5 years. (Also available Teatime with Ted; Storytime with Ted)
Sophy Henn studied fashion, followed by a career in advertising, ending up as a full-time writer and illustrator of children’s books. Bringing this background to her books is obvious in the sharp colourful drawings of her ‘lift the flap’ books about Ted and his adventures. One of the great things about this book is that the ‘flaps’ are large and unlikely to be torn away by excited little hands as they often are, in other ‘flap’ books.