Book Reviews: Looking at learning for littlies

These recently released books are perfect for reading to children under 4 when you need them to understand new concepts.


written & illustrated by Rocko Bonella. (pub by Quirky Kid. Available online. RRP$19.99)

This book is cleverly divided into two sections starting at either end and illustrating a sister talking about her brother and at the other end a brother talking about his sister!

Watercolour illustrations by the author are detailed and definitely one that young children can connect to if they have a brother/sister.

In this story, the brother is the younger, annoying sibling that likes to grab things from his sister;

he breaks everything,

sometimes he’s a cry baby

but in the end to be honest,

having a brother isn’t so bad

The story about from the brothers point of view is read from the other end, where he says he says his sister “is so predictable, but sometimes she makes me feel older and special

Quirky Kid is a psychology group specialising in clinics and resources for all ages.


10 naughty Numbats cover10 Naughty Numbats

written by Grace Nolan, illustrated by Nancy Bevington (pub by Big Sky Publishing P/b RRP$14.99)

Also 10 Lively Lorikeets; 10 Bush Babies (2021 release)

Part of “One to Ten and Back Again” Learning to Count series.

Lovely Aussie illustrations for this series introducing simple counting for littlies!


Its OK to cryIt’s OK to cry

by Molly Potter, illustrated by Sarah Jennings (pub Featherstone, imprint of Bloomsberry RRP$21.99)

Also How Are You Feeling Today?

This book explores emotional intelligence and shows children that you can talk about your feelings and emotions. There are words to describe them. It starts off exploring why boys, in particular, tend to struggle with expressing their feelings and illustrates them with simple drawings to show how these uncomfortable, and also happy, words can help them. Children can learn these ‘words’ and how, for example, words like ‘feeling’ ‘intimidated’ and ‘petrified’ can describe how they feel.

This book has lots of touchpoints to discuss emotions—a perfect for starting place for those all-important conversations. Aimed at younger kids it’s suitable for all ages.


Movie-Mayhem-coverMovie Mayhem, a story about saying Sorry

by Penny Harris, illustrated by Winnie Zhou (pub by Big Sky Publishing P/b RRP$16.99) Ages 3+

Part of the series Ginnie & Pinney Learn & Grow helping children to develop their emotional and social wellbeing. Supported by academic research, this series has a video and resources available for teachers and parents online.

Simple drawings by the illustrator are common to the eight books in this series. The main characters Ginnie & Pinney relate to their friends in different ways depending on their individual nature. For example, Lulu kangaroo loves playing about and jumping around; Tao the Tiger prefers peace and quiet. How these individual characters relate to each other is part of the importance this book has for discussing with young children topics such as saying ‘sorry’— if you’re very noisy and someone wants peace and quiet; sitting still if someone’s jumping around and wants to play a game or watch a movie.


The Thank You Present coverSmiling Mind 1: The Thank-you Present: A book About Gratitude

by Jane Martino, illustrated by Annie White (pub by Penguin. H/b RRP$19.99)

The Thank-you Present is the first book in the five-part mindfulness-informed series, developed in collaboration with Smiling Mind, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation in the pre-emptive mental health space.

Evie and Lola can’t wait for their birthdays, because birthdays mean presents! Evie and Lola LOVE getting presents, and they want presents now. Will they be able to find a way to be thankful for what they already have and enjoy the here and now?

This delightful picture book explores the different ways and reasons to say thank you, and captures all the warm feelings that we get from showing gratitude and giving rather than receiving.