Book reviews: These books have an important message to impart to a young reader about resilience

Most of this month’s books have important messages to impart to a young reader about resilience in one form or another. Interestingly many of them have videos about their book or a reading by the author.

Little-White-Fish-and-daddyLittle White Fish: ‘Under the Ocean’ and ‘With his Daddy’ 

Written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten (Catch a Star Books – New Frontier Publishing imprint, board book, RRP$12.99) Age Group 2+ years.

More adventures of Little White Fish have been release with Little White Fish ‘Under the Ocean’ (concepts such as deep and deeper) and ‘With his Daddy’ (the friends of Little White Fish compare their daddies “My daddy has the longest arms of all’ Little Octopus says.) See Reviews of others in this series of  Little White Fish.

Sloth-and-Dinglewot-cover-smallThe Sloth and the Dinglewot

Written by Nicole Prust and illustrated by Amanda Enright (New Frontier Publishing, HB, $24.99) Age Group 3-6 years.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book themed around being brave, adventurous, not living in fear and trying new things. Samuel the Sloth lives in the forest with his ‘lazy’ family. He is bored just lazing around. Along comes a Dinglewot (“It had bells on its feet and eyes dark as night”) a strange bird who encourages Samuel to follow it and meet its various friends. The story is written in rhyme that flows easily from colourful page to colourful page. …Come on!’ said the Dinglewot. ‘Be brave now my dear, You’ll get nowhere in life if you’re living in fear!’

Elephant Me

Written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees (New Frontier Publishing, HB, $24.99) Age Group 3-6 years.

King Elephant Mighty gives each young elephant a name based on the very best thing they can do. Elephant Noisy get his name because he can trumpet the loudest. Little Num-Num gets laughed at by the King and becomes Elephant Nothing-at-All. He hangs his head low and moves away from the herd to find new friends who encourage him to return to face up to the haughty King Elephant Mighty.

  • Watch Guy illustrate the little elephant Num-Num here
  • Watch Giles read Elephant Me here 

BSP-Magnificent-Mistakes-cover-2Magnificent Mistakes and Fantastic Failures

Written and illustrated by Josh Langley (Big Sky Publishing RRP$14.99) Age group 6years+

  • Listen to Josh talk about his book as “The book you wish you had about resilience when you were a kid”.

Josh looks at all the little problems and thoughts we have as we grow up and shows how they can be turned into positives, building resilience along the way. Its perfect for those younger children suffering about their body image; insisting that they aren’t good at anything, have no friends and a general lack of self-esteem.  Quirky stick-like drawings illustrate the themes such as ‘Every ‘body’ is OK just the way they are’ and ‘Feeling weird and awkward is Ok too’.

In-My-Dreams-smallIn My Dreams

Written by Stef Gemmill and illustrated by Tanja Stephani (New Frontier Publishing, HB, RRP$12.99) Age Group 3+ years.

This is a story about letting your dreams reach for the stars, taking you to places where you can have magnificent adventures—and still be safe even if the dreams are scary!

See our review of Stef Gemmill’s Home for Luna. Watch the illustration process of In My Dreams in a short video here

Boo Loves BooksBoo Loves Books

Written by Kaye Baillie and illustrated by Tracie Grimwood (New Frontier Publishing, HB, RRP$24.99) Age Group 3-6 years.

This wonderful book is about learning to read and about a special dog that makes it all happen. Phoebe has trouble reading. This makes her afraid of class reading time because she has trouble making the letters into words. One day her teacher takes the class on a bus trip to a ‘dogs home’ where each child is asked to read a book to a dog! Phoebe meets Big Boo and learns that reading can be fun after all.


A fun book about alliteration

Ribbit Rabbit Robbot

Written by Victoria Mackinlay and illustrated by Sofya Karmazina (Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, HB RRP$19.99) Age Group 4+ years

This tongue twisting book is all about alliteration. The intricate illustrations are done to match the story about a robot with some awkward construction problems, a greedy rabbit who wants it all and a friendly frog who finds a magic lamp with a genie stuck inside who just wants to undo a curse. Mayhem follows!

The author provides some excellent ideas to illustrate alliteration with her short YouTube reading of her book Ribbit Rabbit Robot.