Book Review: New Picture Books for the littlies

During lockdown and school closures reading has been the one thing that parents can do with littlies to encourage their creativity, spark their curiosity, and let their imagination run wild! 

Just like Me

by Tess Osborne and illus. by Zoe Osborne, pub. Little Steps Publishing. RRP$14.98 Ages 3+

This book was written by Tess Osborne based on her daughters Zoe’s real-life experience when she started preschool. To her there was no difference between herself and her new friend. The illustrations show ethnical differences and a parent with a disability, but the story is about friendship and celebrates the similarities that connect rather than divide us.

I have a Magic Ball

by Nisrine El-Choueifati illus. by Amy Calautti, pub. Little Steps Publishing. RRP$19.95 Ages 3+

This unusual book was written specifically to encourage children to be involved as they are being read to. Hoping that it will motivate them to imagine and wonder as familiar objects are re-imagined. It’s for a small group being read the book aloud while they hold a ball (or similar). At the turn of every page the child/children holding the ball is/are asked to imagine what the ball could feel like if it was something else, such as an eyeball-all gooey and slimy, or a fireball-so boiling hot to hold. It’s a Magic Ball for their imagination

Fearless with Dad

by Cory Brooke illus. by Guiseppi Poli, pub. New Frontier RRP$14.99 Ages 3-6

This is a happy book describing all the wonderful adventures a young boy can have doing things with his dad, from sandcastle building to being a rock star. The illustrations are delightful with lots of expression through simple loose line drawings and bright watercolours. Fun to read to a youngster. Originally published in 2016.

Rude Jude

by Jane Price illus. by Phil Ward, pub. Little Steps  RRP$14.95 Ages 3-6

This is a hilariously funny book which will appeal to young children. Jane Price’s debut book about rude Jude the boy who always gets into trouble in class telling his cheeky stories and using rude words like bottoms and turds—revolting words that Miss Prude, his teacher, said belong in the gutter. The class hears the start of a rude word when Jude tells them a story but lift a flap and the word is something completely different! Sure to make the littlies join in the fun.

$1 from every book sold goes to the author’s special local charity for abused and abandoned dog (Soi Dogs)

The Lion Who Came to Stay

by Victoria Mackinlay and illus. Ronojoy Ghosh, h/b pub. Scholastic Australia (Omnibus Books) h/b RRP$17.99 Ages 4+

This is a true story from the past about a young boy who is at boarding school in England because his parents were in India. The young boy had longed for an elephant for Christmas but his parents were aware that an elephant would not do in London! In 1935 his parents came home for Christmas with a surprise… not an elephant but a lion cub called Singh!

The Bark Book

by Victoria Mackinlay illus. by Beth Harvey, pub. by HarperCollins (ABC books) h/b RRP$19.99 Ages 3+

A lovely picture book about the antics of a dog with the word ‘bark’ on every page. There’s the rough bark; the thin bark; the thick bark and the perfect stick bark. Watercolour and ink drawings bring to life the everyday fun of a family pet.

You Can’t take an Elephant on Holiday

by Patricia Cleveland-Peck illus. by David Tazzyman, pub. by Bloomsbury Children’s Books p/b $12.99

Following on from their previous book You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus, the author and illustrator have teamed together again to write a hilarious book with all sorts of crazy creatures going on holiday. Easy to read in rhyme, the watercolour and pencil illustrations give weight to the words on the page with animals on holiday in different locations.

‘A rhino on a campsite would cause a to do…

He’d put all the tents up completely askew.

He’d get in a mood, he’d get in a rage

And charge round the campsite on the rampage.’