Children's books on a shelf

5 New Book Reviews for younger readers

Arriving across our desk this March have been quite a few new books for the 0-5+ age group of which our favourites are reviewed. Interestingly, two of the books have provided extra resources in the form of a short promotional video and a resourceful website.

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.

Board Books

BeautifulEggs_smallBeautiful Eggs

Written and Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom (Scribble Kids Books, B/B RRP $16.99) Ages 4+

Just in time for Easter celebrations is this beautiful board book about egg decoration around the world. Based on the old traditions, eggs have family and cultural meanings for different groups celebrating. Seven cultures who decorate eggs are mentioned such as: Pynska (Slavic eggs) Pictures drawn with beeswax and Cascarones found in Mexico during Easter.

Alice Lindstrom is an illustrator and artist based in Melbourne, Australia. She sees this book as an opportunity to put something out that she believed in and to share traditions. She works in paper collage, using cut and paste techniques the illustrations reflect the colour and designs used in the eggs decorating and a stencil and some decorations ideas are thoughtfully provided at the end of the book. A book for the whole family. Teaching notes and ideas are available on the website.

alphaprints-australian-animals-mothers-and-babiesAlphaprints Australian Animals Mothers and Babies

by Roger Priddy (Priddy Books RRP$12.99) from 6mths.

The Australian animals in this book are amazingly created using painter fingerprints and photographs of everyday images— a kangaroo with boomerang legs; stingray bodies of shells and the Sugar Glider from a knitted hat!

Alphaprints Australian Animals: Mothers & Babies as a textured board book, uses fun rhyming text and amazing artwork to keep the young reader absorbed by every page as they learn about our wonderful and unique Aussie animals.

Picture Books

lola-DutchLola Dutch: I love you so much

by Kenneth Wright, Illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, HB RRP $24.99) Ages 5+

Inspired by their own children the Wrights have a wonderful story with Lola Dutch. The pencil-and-watercolour illustrations of Lola as she tries to cheer up her friends when they are having a bad day are gorgeous. Croc, Crane, Bear and Pig are the recipients of Lola’s fanciful ideas to cheer them up when all they really need are a tea party!

The special way that Lola tries to be inclusive, show love and affection, is a great illustration of how to treat friends.

The writers have provided a special surprise on the inside of the wrap around cover and a Lola Dutch website with other ideas and resources such as colouring-in pages and paper puppets.

We-catch-the-busWe Catch the Bus

by Kate Abbey (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, paperback RRP $14.99) Ages 5+

Cartoonish, funny illustrations using block colours cover each page, with the invitation to the reader to choose their favourite vehicle and join in the action! Each page spread features transportation in some form or other. All with animals ‘on the move’ travelling on buses, using diggers, spacecraft, bikes, ships, scooters and boats. Each illustration of the vehicle has an animal in it with a speech bubble. We sail boats. Pick your favourite boat and climb aboard. There’s a baboon in a life boat; a cat on a jet ski– all hilarious situations.

There is a lot to look at in this book that will encourage a young reader to re-read it again and again.

Lost-MoustacheThe Lost Moustache

by Vicki Conley, Illustrated by Caterina Metti (Red Paper Kite Books, HB RRP $24.99) Ages 5+

Beautifully illustrated in a quirky way, Frankie has found a ‘moustache’ in the area near her theatre. She searches high and low asking all the children and adults dressed up and preparing for a stage play ‘Is this your moustache?’. Rhyming repetitive language and intricate illustrations around a theatre set will give the early reader lots to look at.

Arrr, me hearty,’ said the pirate.

‘No, that’s not my moustache

‘A pirate with no mo? ‘Said Frankie.

‘How is that so?’

After the surprising ending there are a few uncoloured pages with beautiful illustrations that are perfect for colouring in — after you have copied them!

For a quick peek, see their video on YouTube