New books for Summer reading to engage littlies

This month we look at books out in time for Christmas and some books for holiday reading aloud to littlies.

Reading to preschoolers and infants is very revealing when you are reviewing picture books. The genre of picture books really does rely on the talent of the illustrator and the writer to make the story come alive.


Ultimate Alphabet BookThe Ultimate Animal Alphabet Book

written & Illustrated by Jennifer Cossins (Lothian Children’s Books H/B $29.99) Ages 4+

One of many of the Tasmanian author’s animal kingdom books, The Ultimate Animal Alphabet book clearly shows her passion for nature. We love this beautifully illustrated and intricate Alphabet Book! Each page is packed with clean, colourful depictions of all sorts of animals, many with little details about them. Under the letter ‘H’ you will a Helmeted hornbill alongside a humpback whale. Under ‘R’ a Red lacewing butterfly with a Regal angel fish! Did you know the Utah prairie dog is not a dog at all but a rodent! A perfect book to give or to keep for the home reference library

the-illustrated-encyclopaedia-of-dangerous-animalsThe Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals

Dangerous animals get a bad rap but this new illustrated encyclopaedia helps us appreciate the incredible adaptions they have made to survive. See our review here

Counting-creatures-smallCounting Creatures

by Julia Donaldson & Illustrated by Sharon King-Chai (Two Hoots, PanMacmillan H/B $29.99) Ages 4+

A richly coloured, counting book full of gorgeous baby animals, with shaped pages, flaps and fold-outs from the UK’s favourite author Julia Donaldson and award-winning illustrator Sharon King-Chai.

Picture Books

santa-jawsSanta Jaws

by Mark Sperring & illustrated by Sopie Corrigan (Blooomsbury Children’s Book P/B $14.99) Ages 3+

Welcome to Santa’s grotto, little fishes, please come in,

And meet the real-life Santa Klaus.

It’s really, really him!

So a sneaky shark call Sally tries something unusual for Christmas time – but most fish know she’s full of tricks, except Sid the squid! This is a wonderfully illustrated and hilarious read aloud book for this time of year.

Will you be my FriendWill You be My Friend?

by Sam McBratney & Illustrated by Anita Jeram (Walker Books, H/B $24.99) Ages 3+

A delightful, humorous and heart-warming sequel from the creators of the beloved storybook classic, Guess How Much I Love You.
Little Nutbrown Hare has gone exploring on his own. Off he hops along the path until he reaches Cloudy Mountain. What a surprise he finds there in the heather! It’s Tipps, a snow hare, and she has a question for him: Will you be my friend?

Biscuit MakerThe Biscuit Maker

by Sue Lawson & illustrated by Liz Anelli (Walker Books, H/B $25.99) Ages 3+

In Mavin Road, there’s no time for hellos or chats until a lonely and mysterious biscuit maker’s magic brings everyone together. Benedict begins making biscuits to mark moments in all the lives of his neighbours, leaving them secretly at their doors. People start talking. Who is this mysterious biscuit maker? A theme of how friendship between young children and the elderly members of a community can change lives.

Pop up Mythical MonstersMy First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters

written & illustrated by Owen Davey  (Walker Books, H/B pop up & lift flap, $29.99) Ages 3+

Meet mythological monsters from around the world in this stunning follow-up to My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs. Discover a world of extraordinary beasts, where Cyclops storm in Ancient Greece and the fearsome Ushi-Oni haunts the coast of Japan.

My Dads a tradieMy Dad’s A Tradie

by Missy and Beefy & illustrations by Shane Olgilvy (New Holland, P/B $19.99) Ages 3+

An Aussie story of an Australian bull terrier ‘Missy’ and her little brother ‘Beefy’, an Australian bulldog. Their ‘dad’ is a tradie.  The pair love to visit worksites with their dad and find out about all the different jobs that tradies do. From concreters, tilers, foremans, electricians to roofers and painters, this fun and quirky book covers it all.

Fire Wombat x200The Fire Wombat 

by Jackie French & illustrated by Danny Snell. (A&R, HarperCollins H/B $19.99) Ages 3+

The dreadful bushfires a year ago were a threat to many native animals. This moving story of a wombat sharing its burrow with other animals and actually happened on the author’s property. As the flames of the bushfire approach, one small wombat is bravely followed by other animals to the safety of her underground burrow. Whimsical illustrations adorn this story of survival, courage and friendship.

Rudie Nudie ChristmasRudie Nudie Christmas 

by Emma Quay (ABC Books H/B $24.99) Ages 3+

Rudie Nudie one and two are at it again celebrating Christmas on the run again!

Unwilling Twin x200The Unwilling Twin 

written & illustrated by Freya Blackwood (A&R, HarperCollins H/B $24.99) Ages 3+

Freya’s whimsical drawings illustrate the closeness of Jules and George as they spend a day at the beach. Dressed in matching swimmers, sunglasses and hats, they collect shells, watch seagulls and go snorkelling. They are the perfect twins in every way—only George is a pig! Themed around the ups and downs of sibling love it’s a wonderful book for the summer holidays.

what-we-ll-buildWhat We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future 

written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins H/B $24.99) Ages 3+

The perfect companion to the author’s million-copy bestseller Here We Are, What We’ll Build is an enchanting story of a father and his daughter who set about laying the foundations for their life together, building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe and love to keep them warm.

The authors attribution ‘to my daughter, Mari (and Granny Marie). We have much to do’ is the meaningful dedication of this book about building and protecting those things that are most important to us, particularly to this father and this daughter.