Friday, June 23, 2023

Four Special Children's Picture Books

1. 'Harriet's Hungry Worms' by Marcus Pfister (translated by David Henry Willson)

Not everyone likes worms, but after hearing or reading this wonderful 'eco story', children will! They will be pulled along by the clever story line and as they are, they will learn more about these wonderful creatures.

"Harriet’s nine-hundred-and-eighty-three hungry worms live in a shady corner of her backyard in a big, green box. They spend their days munching on anything from Aunt Tilda’s herbal teabags to the sports pages of Uncle Sam’s paper. Harriet watches and waits, eventually deciding the worms are ‘so BORING’. Until one day, the worms leave Harriet a big surprise … worm wee!"

This is another delightful picture book that tells a story while teaching as well. And as a bonus, you get a set of "Worm Facts" at the end. Did you know there are "...around 3500 species of worms in the world"? And did you know that "...worms breath through their skin?" How cool is that.

Readers aged 2-6 will enjoy this great book. Of course, reading to a 2 yr old will be different than to a 6 year old, but it could be just as engaging.

2. 'One Book Was All It Took' by Wenda Shurety & Illustrated by Amy Calautti

Sometimes finding the right book to read on a rainy day can be difficult. But Violet has a special problem. As a keen reader, how can she find a book she hasn't read before? Ordinarily, I'd say the library. But what if you don't have one in your town?

Violet begins a campaign and writes to the mayor to ask him to do something about it. But, "will anyone read it?" she wonders. She becomes desperate for something to read. She spots a book propping up the dining room table. In desperation, she pulls it out from under the leg to read. This starts a chain reaction. When Dad's breakfast crashes to the floor, he knows it's time to act! They head to the Town Hall and the mayor.

Her quest, with her Dad's help leads to an interesting outcome, with twists and turns along the way. The book offers a great insight into how advocacy can lead to action, and sometimes can have great outcomes. A wonderful read-aloud book for children 3-6 years. Children 6-7 years will also enjoy reading it themselves.

3. 'This is My Dad' by Dimity Powell & Illustrated by Nicky Johnston

'This is My Dad' celebrates families of all shapes and sizes in a heartfelt, beautifully illustrated story that parents and carers will love sharing with their children. 

"Leo loved Show and Tell, but when his teacher, Miss Reilly, announced the topic, Leo's tummy belly-flopped."

His classmates can’t wait but all Leo can think is … "how can I celebrate someone I’ve never met?" Leo is an only child who lives with his mother. He has never known his Dad, nor had someone like a Dad in his life. He tries to find out more about his Dad, then decides he already has someone who is VERY special to him. His Mother! He decides to tell them about her. This is a timely book given the diversity of families in children's lives, with 25% of British children living with one parent.

4. 'Violin & Cello' Written by Catherine Greer, Illustrated by Joanna Bartel & music by Alexander Lau

I love this book! 

"In a tall apartment tower two busy families live side by side. A calico cat played on one balcony. A garden grew on the other. Someone played a violin... and someone played a cello. But the musicians never met."

The children can hear each other person playing, but neither knows who it is and what they are like. Till one day, the violinist sends a message by paper airplane. A duet is born from their paper plane exchanges, and one day it is played, each on their own balcony. A crowd gathers in the street to listen and marvel. And from this the mystery friends become real friends.

Award-winning Australian composer, Alexander Lau, composed an original duet for violin and cello, ‘The Mystery Friends’. The score for the allegro and adagio movements are printed in the book. This beautiful composition is simple enough to be played by young cellists and violinists.

What an inspirational idea for a story, but one that offers even more!