Book Reviews: new books for toddlers plus an old classic republished

Arriving across our desk this month have been quite a few new books for toddlers. Always fun to cuddle up and read before bed.


Amazing Dad
written and illus. by Allison Brown, pub. by HarperCollins, imprint Farshore, h/b RRP$19.99

This delightful book and its whimsical illustrations show a dedication to all dads regardless of who they are. The amazing dads in this book can come in pairs; can sometimes live apart, but ‘they’re always in your heart’. Perfect for any dad year ’round.


Edward the Emu
by Sheena Knowles, illus. Rod Clement, pub. by HarperCollins, imprint Angus and Robertson, h/b RRP$22.99.

Originally published in 1988, it’s become an Australian classic. To celebrate its 35th Anniversary, it’s been republished this year.

You can also hear it read aloud:  Storytime for Kids  or  Storytime with Susan


The Lucky Shack
by Apsara Baldovino, illus. by Jennifer Falkner, pub. by HarperCollins, imprint Working Title Press, h/b RRP$24.99.

The author has chosen an unusual storyline for this sweet story of a timber shack isolated in the wilderness and perched by the sea. A fisherman cares for it, and as time passes, the fisherman ages, and everything changes. The shack slowly deteriorates through the seasons until one day, a girl comes and lovingly restores it back to a new life. That’s why it’s called the Lucky Shack. Full of colourful illustrations in watercolour, pencils and ink, this is a beautiful book about the circle of life.


The Gargoyle
by Zana Fraillon, illus. by Ross Morgan, pub. by Hachette’s Lothian Children’s Books, h/b RRP$24.99

A little boy watches a very old, sad gargoyle dragging a suitcase onto a suburban train. The gargoyle has left his home on top of an old building as it’s being demolished, and he’s moving on. He hasn’t a ticket for the train and is forced off at the next stop leaving his mysterious ‘suitcase of memories’ behind with the little boy. The illustrations of the boy and the cityscape are evocative of decay. Even the train is covered with graffiti. A small seed is all that’s left when the suitcase crumbles, giving life to another, newer, urban space. A sad but evocative story of change.


One Little Duck
by Katrina Jermaine, illus. by Danny Snell, pub. by HarperCollins h/b RRP$22.99

A fun twist on the song ‘Five Little Ducks’.
“One little duck went out one day, over the hills and far away…” Thus follows a modern take on the old rhyme, as a sheepdog, chickens, a lamb and other barnyard animals continue to follow the little duck “over the hills and far away”—as mother duck had lost her cry, she has trouble calling the little duck back!


You Hung the Moona love letter between Mother and Child
by Jessica Ulrichs, illus. by Sarah Reinhardt pub. by Hachette, imprint Little Moa. h/b RRP$19.99

This beautiful book, written in verse, is a love letter between a universal mother and her child.

This love follows the cycle of life, starting with the mother and her baby until the baby becomes a mother herself. Simple illustrations complement the verse, and even though it is suitable for children, it would be a perfect celebration gift for any mother.

“You’re my whole world.
You’re perfect to me.
You shine like the stars.
You’re all that I see.”


A Very Dinosaur Party
by Adam Lawrence illus. by Christopher Nielsen, pub. by HarperCollins imprint Tommy Nelson, h/b/, RRP$24.99.
(by an imprint of Harper Collins Christian Publishing USA)

This very funny book is about various dinosaurs coming to a children’s birthday party and all the riotous trouble they can cause. Catchy rhymes on each page illustrate the various dinos causing havoc at the party.  This is definitely why they should NEVER be invited to your party!

“Blowing out the candles
can be done with style and grace
But if a dino helps,
the cake will decorate your face!”


Lastly, for babies, a new board book in the series That’s not my…’ book, comes:

That’s Not My Rocket
by Fiona Watt, illus. by Rachel Wells, pub. by HarperCollins, imprint Usborne Books, RRP$14.99. Ages 0-2 years

Full of textured patches and bold, block-coloured illustrations, this simple, familiar book style continues to be loved by the very young.

Look out for an updated version of That’s Not My Kitten is being released in early August to add to your collection!