Monday, June 6, 2022

Ten Wonderful New Picture Pooks to Enjoy with Children Aged 2-7 years

1. 'Seree's Story' by Irma Gold & Wayne Harris


Seree loves nothing more than eating sweet, mushy bananas, rolling in squelchy mud and playing with her family in the jungle.

But one day, she is captured and put to work in a circus. All she wants is to find her mother, and freedom.

This is a very special picture book. The tale of a young elephant taken by poachers torn away from her mother and the extended family. Destined for a circus as a perfomer on the other side of the world. 

The poignant story is enriched by the incredible illustrations of Wayne Harris. Children will love the story and be challenged by its environmental message. 

The book also had information after the story about the endangered elephants of the world. Suitable as a read-aloud for infants classes and a book that children aged 5-7 will enjoy reading.

2. 'The Echidna Near My Place', by Sue Whiting & illustrated by Cate James

This is the latest addition to the Nature Storybooks series from walker Books. It tells the story of a child and its Nanna, and as with other books in the series it includes factual information on each double page spread as well as the continuing fictional story of a child and her Nanna who both love animals.

As a young child and their Nana go for walks together, they follow a short-beaked echidna keenly observing and discussing what its life might be life. Learn with them about what Echidnas eat, where they live, and how they protect themselves.

Cate James' illustrations are delightful. When you see this little echidna curled up in a defensive position, you feel like you want to gently touch the page to see if its quills might just spike you.

A lovely book which will teach and engage children in this delightful story as well as the magical images.

3. 'Freddy the Not-Teddy' by Kristen Schroeder & illustrated by Jean Tapper

This is such a lovely and heart warming story about a little boy called Jonah and his favourite stuffed toy called Freddy. He's a little unusual. Just what is Freddy?

A funky duck, a peculiar platypus, a punk rock penguin? When Jonah’s teacher announces that they’re going to have a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, it seems that if Jonah wants to take Freddy, Freddy will have to go in disguise!

But it's not easy to make a toy that looks much like a duck to look like a teddy for the school Teddy Bears' picnic.

Children will love finding out just what happens when Jonah stands up for himself and for his beloved Freddy the 'not-teddy'. Children (and adults) will by Kristen Schroeder that is delightfully illustrated by Jean Tapper.  I just love it!

4. 'Get Ready, Mama!' Sharon Giltrow & illustrated by Arielle Li

This is a funny book that children aged 3-6 will love having read to them. Every parent will also love sharing this story in which the parent and the child seem to swap roles; or do they?!

Children will love the irony of a tale where the child has to get Mum ready to go to school. Will Mum ever get out of bed, get her clothes on, make it to the table, go to the bathroom and race for the car? Or, might she even sneak back into bed!!

Kylie Howarth's delightful text is complemented perfectly with Arielle Li's gorgeous illustrations to create a wonderful book that will be a favourite with many children.

5. 'Bush Magic' by Kylie Howarth

This is a book that many grandparents and parents will enjoy sharing with their children.

6. 'Tasmanian Devil' by Claire Saxby & illustrated by Max Hamilton

Seeing the name Claire Saxby on any book will get me to pick it up and open it quickly. This new book is another in the 'Nature Storybook' series from Walker Books. As usual, Claire Walker's text is special as she introduces 'two little imps'. These feisty Tasmanian Devils might look cute, but they will wrestle, shriek and growl at each other. And they are scavengers feeding mostly on dead animals. Cute they might be, but don't get too close!

I love Max Hamilton's illustrations. While they might look cute asleep in their burrow, I can almost hear them growling and shrieking. Don't get too close!

Having the background facts and details at the back of each of the books in this series will also satisfy the curious reader who wants to know more about these special animals.

7. 'Old Fellow' by Christopher Cheng & illustrated by Liz Anelli

 This is such a beautiful book. Liz Anelli's wonderfully detailed and true to life drawings are just gorgeous. The 'Old Fellow' looks exactly like and old fellow should, and shows much of the central character's personality. As he does his early morning stretch, and takes the dog for a walk, there is much to see.

Liz Anelli's illustrations are also stunning. Her line and water colour images are just so true to life and rich in real-life situations. So too is the portrayal of the two key characters; an old man and his dog as they do their daily walk and come across other people who cross their paths each day. A wonderful book.

8. 'Jack's Jumper' by Sara Acton

Sara Acton is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. "She lives on the Central Coast of NSW with one husband, two children, a mischievous dog and a cat called Poppy, who’s definitely in charge."

I've previously reviewed her book 'Dinosaur Day Out' and this latest book is equally as engaging delightfully illustrated.

This lovely story centres around Jack's jumper that was once his big brother Paul's jumper.

"Paul and Jack used to do everything together. But now he's always busy doing something else... somewhere else."

The lovely text is so well supported by the 'softness' of Sara Acton's water colour illustrations. This is wonderful story about a little boy who misses his big brother, and who's relationship with him changes as they grow older; but their bond remains. 

This book will warm the hearts of readers aged 4-7 years.

9. 'Jigsaw' by Bob Graham

Bob Graham is one of Australia's finest author/illustrators. His many books have been delighting children (and teachers) for more decades than it is polite to mention. I've been a big fan for a long time.

This book is not due to release until early July. But get a copy as soon as you can, because I'm sure they will sell quickly!

Serendipity and positive thinking come into play as a family searches for a missing puzzle piece in Bob Graham’s enchanting story with a sweet surprise ending.

A puzzle arrives in the mail from an unknown source. “Oh, let’s do it!” say Kitty and Katy and Mum when a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle mysteriously arrives in the post. “I have time on my hands,” agrees Dad. Starting in winter with the edges, by autumn they’re almost done, only to discover that one piece is missing. 
As a puzzle lover who has lost not just one but up to three pieces of a single puzzle, I know the agony of getting to the end and not being able to complete it!! I also know the joy that occurs when after many days scouring for each piece, the last one is found hiding. Enjoy!
As in all of Bob Graham’s work, the beauty here is in the details, with visual perspectives that offer a bird’s-eye view or even take us underfoot, wordless sequences letting us in on a secret. Is it sheer luck – or perhaps the power of hope – that creates an ending to the story?
10. 'My Dad Thinks he's a Pirate' by Katrina Germain & illustrated by Tom Jellet
What a delightfully engaging title for a children's book. The title alone made me want to read it. What child wouldn't want their Dad to think he was a pirate?!

This 'special Dad' is full of 'Dad jokes' and surprises. With all of his "hearties" in tow, they head off on many adventures. With the constant repeated refrain "My Dad thinks he's a pirate" we know that these kids don't buy this Dad's belief in his persona.

Katrina Germein's text is wonderful as usual, and Tom Jellett's illustrations are again excellent and fun. This is a funny story that children aged 3-6 will find hilarious. If your children loved it, you will also enjoy some of their earlier books, including 'My Dad Loves to Toot', 'My Dad Thinks he's Funny' and 'My Dad Still Thinks he's Funny' (& a few other titles as well)!