New non-fiction books for young children


The First Book of Bush Sounds

by Fred Van Gessel, New Holland Publishers h/b RRP $24.99
Ages3+. (Other board books by this author feature wild and backyard birds)

Twelve Australian bush animals have been selected by Fred Van Gessel to engage young kids in this interactive board book. He has spent over 40 years recording animal sounds of which  just a few are represented in this board book. The more familiar Koala is the first animal detailed, with information about habitat, behaviour and life cycle. The Koala ‘growls’ and you can hear it’s growl at the push of the sound button.

This is a fascinating book that runs on a small, well concealed, replaceable battery, to produce beautiful animal sounds to match the detailed text provided as background information.


The ABC Kids Guide to Loving the Planet

by Jaclyn Crupi, illus. Cheryl Orsini, pub. HarperCollins Childrens Books (ABC Books) h/b RRP$19.99.  Ages 5+, although can be read to a younger child.

Our planet is precious.

It’s where we live, learn, work and play.

Colourful, happy illustrations bring this reference book to life for younger children with everyday ideas on how to listen, look and learn things about our planet and ways to appreciate what’s going on around us. Each page is themed (eg ‘grow a garden’; ‘be an energy saver’) with interesting projects that can be followed at home or at school.


The Panic Button Book for Kids

by Tammi Kirkness, pub. Murdoch Books h/b RRP$19.99 Ages7+

The author is a Life Coach who specialises in helping people with anxiety. This book follows on from one she wrote for adults and can help parents/caregivers aid children to express feelings in everyday language.

Its simple layout is broken up with each double page spread suggesting a discussion point with simple ways for a parent to drill down to find exactly what the troubling anxiety might be.

For example: “Are you pretending to like something to make someone else happy or to look cool?” The suggested ideas to start a discussion follow-on through a detailed either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

Perfect for parents of younger children who are anxious  and a helpful handy reference for a family bookshelf.


Boss of Your own Body

by Byll & Beth Stephen, illus. Simon Howe, pub. HarperCollins Childrens Books (ABC Books) h/b RRP$19.99 Ages 3+,

This book is based on the ABC TV musical cartoon stars ‘Teeny Tiny Stevies’. Their website has some great, catchy musical tracks to watch with a child including the song, ‘Boss of my Own Body’ on which this book is loosely based. The actual words of the book don’t follow the song exactly nor do the drawings of the book match the song but the sentiments of one can back the other up to press home the point for a young child!

You’re not the boss of many things
because you’re little and still learning.
You’re not the boss of anyone else,
you’ve got to let them be themselves.

But you ARE the boss of one thing …


A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

by Mary Lee Donovan, illus. Lian Cho pub. HarperCollins Childrens Books (Greenwillow Books) h/b RRP$19.99 Ages 4+,

This is a richly illustrated book about one thing and that is about the word ‘Welcome’ and what it means all over the world in 14 languages. Every spread illustrates the hospitality, customs and friendship the word ‘Welcome’ can mean in one of these language, with a guide to pronunciation both at the bottom of each page and with a more detailed coverage in the authors guide at the end. Fans of Here We Are and The Wonderful Things You Will Be will enjoy this timeless story about family, friendship, empathy, and welcoming others.