Book reviews: New books for littlies

These recently released books are perfect for reading to young children and highlight new concepts such as belonging, and love as well as just laughing out loud.

The Love That Grew

by Sarah Ayoub illus. Mimi Purnell  pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP $19.99 Ages 2+

This beautiful book is written from a mother to her children and describes all the ways that she loves them and how her love has grown as the family has grown.

“A mother’s love will grow and grow:

it goes wherever her children go.

It’s stickier than the strongest glue,

binds me tight to each of you.”

The simple drawings by Mimi Purnell in soft colours, illustrate wonderfully the mother’s thoughts and never ending love for her children.


Dogs in the Disguise

by Peter Bentley illus. John Bond pub HarperCollins h/b RRP $19.99 Ages 3+

This is a very funny book about dogs out and about in disguise so that they can do things they are not allowed to do and get into places that say, ‘No Dogs Allowed’!

The first part of the book illustrates all the way dogs are disguising themselves and hiding in plain sight then the second part of the book ties in with a little story about how training for disguising dogs starts very early when they are pups. The story is written in rhyme and has individual dogs doing quirky things. This is a laugh out loud with quirky illustrations by John Bond that will provide young kids with a lot of imaginative situations.


The Smart Cookie

by Jory John illus. Pete Oswald pub. HarperCollins, h/b $RRP$12.99 Ages 4-8

This book is aimed at kids who are lacking in confidence generally but would appeal to anyone who likes jokes. The star is a cookie, who lives in a bakery and sleeps in a jar with ‘six-dozen’ roommates! Cookie lacks confidence until one day at school the teacher sets an open-ended task to be completed the next day. Sprinkled throughout are lots of ‘cheesy’ references to baking like Ms Biscotti the teacher. Lots of cute simple illustrations related to the theme of  baking.


Eyes That Speak to the Stars

by Joanna Ho illus. Dung (Dzung) Ho pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 4+.

Set in the USA this gorgeous book answers the question asked by a small boy as to why he looks different to the others in his class at school. His Asian father says that his eyes ‘rise to the sky and speak to the stars’ just like his father and grandfather. Dung (Dzung) Ho lives in Vietnam an really captures the wonder as the small boy learns about his heritage.


Marmalade The Orange Panda

by David Walliams illus. Adam Stower. pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP $24.99.

From one of the most prolific English children’s authors, Marmalade is David’s ninth picture book. Marmalade is born in a forest amongst an ‘embarrassment’ (that’s what the collective names is!) of Pandas. Only Marmalade is different. He is orange and white and not black and white! He’s loved by his mummy and shunned by the rest of the group. They laugh at him and say he doesn’t belong as he is not like the other Pandas. Marmalade ventures off alone to find out who he really is.


The Burpee Bears

by Joe Wicks, co-writer Vivian French, illus. by Paul Howard pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP $24.99 Ages 3+

This is the first book in a series for children written by Joe Wicks whose career has been in the fitness and health industry with 10 cookbooks and online PE lessons to over one millions kids globally during the pandemic.

We follow the Burpee Bear family from when they wake to when they go to bed. Plenty of healthy food and exercises follow them on their daily activities. Delightful illustrations, lots of interesting things to do and best of all some great routines and recipes for healthy living added at the end of the story.