Ollie and Augustus

Ollie and Augustus

Ollie and Augustus










Ollie and Augustus

Gabriel Evans

Walker, 2019

32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99


Even though Ollie is small (like a pickling jar or a shoebox) and Augustus is big (like a table or a fridge), they do everything together,including cycling, painting, dressing up, digging (Ollie’s favourite thing) and stick collecting (Augustus’s favourite thing), as best friends do.  But soon it will be time for Ollie to start school and he is worried that Augustus will be lonely without him.  So he sets out to find him a friend.  But none of the dogs that apply for the position are quite right and so Ollie has to start school and leave Augustus on his own.  All day he worries that Augustus will be lonely and bored, but is he?

Term 4 has started and that means “big school” is on the horizon for many of our littlest readers, with all the anxieties that that prospect brings.  There will be many Ollies among them who will worry that their treasured pets will be lonely and not being toys, they have to be left at home. So this is a timely story for them to reassure them that all will be fine and at least one concern can be alleviated. Perfect for sharing with preschoolers about to take the next big step in their growing-up adventure.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends










The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends

Eric Carle

Picture Puffin, 2019

12pp., board book., RRP $A16.99


Australia has some unique wildlife in a variety of habitats and Carle takes our very youngest readers on a journey through these with his iconic illustrations to discover some of them.  Using a lift-the-flap format, littlies will delight in discovering who lives where, identifying familiar creatures and meeting new ones. But where is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?  

With its rich colours, interactivity and familiar theme, this is the perfect gift for the young reader just learning about the fun and excitement of books. 

Ravi’s Roar

Ravi's Roar

Ravi’s Roar











Ravi’s Roar

Tom Percival

Bloomsbury, 2019

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99


Ravi is the smallest one in his family – smaller and younger than Kiran, Jaya and Anil – and most of the time, he is OK with that.  But sometimes it wasn’t the best thing – being last to get a seat on the train, too small to find the others during hide-and-seek; too little for the giant slide… After a most frustrating day at the park, Ravi’s frustration gets the better of him and he lets out the loudest roar.  A roar so loud that he turns into a tiger!!!

At first, Ravi likes his tiger-power and makes the most of it but soon, the novelty wears off as he discovers its consequences…

A companion to Perfectly Norman and Ruby’s Worry , Percival has once again hit the nail on the head by focusing on real issues that are common to his readers and turning them into a story which helps them to deal with the emotions and understand and manage their feelings. It’s a great discussion starter for letting little ones talk about what makes them really angry and, while learning that anger and frustration are normal human emotions, how they can express their feelings without giving into full-blown temper tantrums that only upset them and everyone else, and don’t get them what they want. They can learn that anger is usually born from frustration and that perhaps rather than roaring like a tiger, they might be able to find a way through the frustration. One for the mindfulness collection.














Margaret Wild

Andrew Joyner

Puffin, 2019

24pp, hbk., RRP $A19.99


‘Boo!’ said the baby to the monkey in the cot.

‘Boo!’ said the baby to the penguin in the yacht . . .

Babies love to play peek-a-boo and these ones have a lovely time playing with their toys. But…

What happens next?

Turn the page and see…

Ready, steady, count- 

One, two three!

This is a delightful book for the very young who are learning the fun that can be had in picture books.  The constant repetition of the word BOO will encourage them to join in as it is shared with them, and they will just ROFL at the ending.  Maybe not one for bedtime because it encourages raucous rollicking fun, but nevertheless, one for building up that unique relationship between reader, child, stories and books!


Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You!

Argh! There's a Skeleton Inside You!

Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You!










Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You!

Idan Ben-Barak

Julian Frost

A & U Children’s, 2019

32pp., hbk.,  RRP $A19.99


Quog the armless blob and Oort the gas cloud are on their way to Kevin’s party in their spaceship but they have run into some strife which they are having trouble fixing.  Being amorphous, neither of them have the means to open the spaceship door and so the reader is invited to help them.  Quog is fascinated by the reader’s hands which are first used to open the spaceship door, and then examines them more closely as other tasks are complete, discovering bones, muscles and nerves. As she investigates the purpose of each through the simple explanations offered, she grows her own so that she and Oort can get on their way to the party, once again.

This is another ingenious story from the creators of Do not lick this book to help our youngest readers understand how their body works.  Rather than examining the whole skeleton, just focusing on the hand, the body part that is helping repair the spaceship, the reader can interact with the text very easily without being overwhelmed.  By placing their hand on the picture and allowing Oort to look at it through x-ray type eyes, the bones, muscles and nerves are revealed and their function explained making it very interactive and engaging.  There is a more in-depth explanation about how to grow hands at the end of the book, but it’s what Quog does with her new hands that is the most appealing.

The original concept,  bright illustrations,  and cartoon-like format make this a book that will draw young readers back to it again and again as they learn more and want to know even more than that, perhaps taking them to other body books about their body parts and how they work. Non fiction for littlies at its best. (And just for fun, check out the origins of Oort‘s name! What about Quog?)

Frost, the illustrator, says  he uses his hands to “draw and write and make silly sculptures” while Ben-Barak uses his “to write, hug, scratch itchy bits and poke things to see what happens.”  What do you do with yours?


Wibble Wobble

Wibble Wobble

Wibble Wobble










Wibble Wobble

Jen Storer

Lisa Stewart

HarperCollins, 2019 

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99


Wibble wobble, walking tall.

Wibble wobble, tumble fall.

Baby milestones are always greeted with such delight, but perhaps none moreso than Baby’s first steps.  So this delightful book, told in rhyme and softly illustrated is a celebration of twins taking those first tentative steps into independence. 

Great for new parents or even sharing with older children looking back and wanting to hear the stories of their babyhood, this is just charming.


Daddy Cuddle

Daddy Cuddle

Daddy Cuddle








Daddy Cuddle

Kate Mayes

Sara Acton

ABC Kids. 2019

32pp., pbk., RRP$ A14.99


Very early in the morning and as Little Bunny’s eyes goes ping, his brain thinks of only one thing! And he sets to work to achieve it. As Little Bunny does all that he can to rouse his sleeping daddy and get him to play, there is no response. But eventually, Daddy wakes up and despite all the plans that Little Bunny has suggested there is just one thing that they both want… and Daddy gets to stay in bed just that little bit longer!

Celebrating the special relationship between father and child, with its gentle illustrations, this is one that despite its sparse but repetitive and predictable text builds tension and anticipation as the reader wonders whether Daddy will ever wake up – and just how he will react when he does. This is a charming story that will resonate with both parent and young child because it tells a tale that we are all familiar with.




Ten Minutes to Bed (series)

Ten Minutes to Bed

Ten Minutes to Bed

Ten Minutes to Bed (series)

Little Mermaid


Little Monster


The Little Unicorn


Rhiannon Fielding

Christ Chatterton

Ladybird, 2018

32pp., pbk., $A14.99

Magical creatures live in the Land of Nod, but each of them is not keen on going to bed because they are having too much fun.  But sleep they must if they are to be ready for more fun tomorrow and so using rhyme and enchanting illustrations, author and artist take both the characters and the young reader on a calming countdown to bedtime leading them gently to the land of sleep.

Beginning and ending with maps of The Land of Nod which are subtly different, and the appearance of a tiny creature on each page to encourage attention to detail, each story becomes a gentle lullaby to help draw the curtains on the day and help even the most rambunctious little one understand that everything needs to sleep at some time.

Even though the stories are available on the screen, there is nothing as precious as the bond established between parent and child through sharing stories during those ten minutes to bedtime so this is perfect for parents starting the bedtime story routine and wanting to complete it with the same story each night, this series would be an ideal gift for them or their child to encourage a love for stories and the magic they hold.


Little Kids First Board Book: Space

Little Kids First Board Book: Space

Little Kids First Board Book: Space









Little Kids First Board Book: Space

National Geographic Kids, 2019

24pp., board book,RRP $A14.99


Little people have endless questions about their world, once they begin to explore it, and the world of the night sky is particularly fascinating.  So this latest publication from Nat Geo Kids which explores the basics of the solar system with amazing photographs, super-simple facts, and lively, age-appropriate language is perfect to introduce the very youngest to what is out there and spark both  their curiosity and imagination.

So often the board book format is restricted to learning the alphabet, colours and counting or to simple stories, so to have non fiction available in a way that it will stand up to little hands is a bonus. Let them learn that they can learn from books as well as the screen.

That’s Not My Koala

That's Not My Koala

That’s Not My Koala








That’s Not My Koala

Fiona Watt

Rachel Wells

Usborne, 2019

10pp., board book., RRP $A14.99


For 20 years Usborne have been supporting the literacy development of the very young with their series of touchy-feely books That’s Not My… in which familiar, and not-so, objects are explored through a series of cutouts filled with textural surfaces, with the final page offering confirmation that this is indeed the object. 

That’s Not My Koala is the latest in the collection, celebrating this milestone birthday. Shiny noses, fuzzy tummies and rough tongues are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness, by engaging the youngest reader in the reading experience and encouraging them to predict and retell the sequences for themselves. Being about an Australian animal they are probably familiar with is an added bonus.

The perfect counterpoint to handing the toddler a screen device to keep them amused, and help them discover the joy of books. Let them catch the reading bug early!

A peek inside...

A peek inside…