How long will I love you? A second is too short. A second is no time for a love of this sort. A minute is no better, for minutes fly by! They’re gone in a moment like a sweet butterfly. Moving through the day, the seasons and then the years, Mother Mouse’s ode to her child and everlasting love will reassure children that they are lovable and loved and will be always. “Love you to the moon and back” is something our little ones hear often but this story, told in rhyme and accompanied by charming pictures that just ooze warmth and love, expresses that concept in a way that little ones can understand. The affirmation that a mother’s love is never-ending, even when our offspring challenge us, is so important and this is a wonderful way of helping them understand that, especially as there are lots of other mums depicted in the pictures. This is a universal feeling, not one confined to Mother Mouse and her baby.
Time is such a nebulous and abstract idea that children find it difficult to get their heads around it, but this delightful story helps to explain it by quantifying the measurements in order. A second is so short we can but blink, but there are many things we can do in an hour or a morning, while nighttime brings its own unique activities and each season its features.
A perfect lullaby-type story to draw the curtains on the day for our little people.
Once there was a gecko and she lived inside a cave. She was very, very small but she was also really brave.
Not only was she brave, but she was also very smart. For inside her cave were three gecko eggs that needed to be guarded day and night because there were many crafty creatures who thought that gecko eggs would make a tasty snack. But she was ready for them and when Snake slithered by at sunrise looking for his breakfast she told him he would need to be very brave because inside the cave were 100 geckos! And just one shout would bring them out. But Snake didn’t have his brave on so he slithered on.
Eagle also thought gecko eggs would make a tasty lunchtime treat but she too turned away when threatened with 100 geckos waiting for her. But come evening, when Rat was looking for his dinner he wasn’t intimidated. In fact he decided to call Mother Gecko’s bluff…
Clever use of rhyme and charming illustrations carry this tale of courage and trickery along and young readers will really enjoy the fact that Mother Gecko can outsmart her enemies. They will also enjoy investigating how echoes are created – they are fascinated by them and whenever you take a child into a tunnel or an underpass or wherever conditions are perfect, they delight in shouting and hearing their voice come back to them. Why does that happen? A perfect kickstart for a science lesson as well as a good story!
Glitch, a trembly, twittery,twitchy kind of bug built amazing creations from the things that he found on the rubbish dump where he lived. It really was a case of one man’s trash being another’s treasure. His best friend June was a much calmer bug as well as being the best billycart driver ever. Glitch spent his time rummaging through the mountains of mouldy mess deposited daily by the dump trucks trying to build June the best billycart ever. But even though he managed to do that, they had never won a race. Somehow, despite June’s brilliant driving, Glitch’s issues as the co-driver denied them victory.
So this time, June decides that Glitch will be the driver – a thought that terrifies him and has him seeking all sorts of excuses why not.
Full of alliteration that give it pace and rhythm this is a story that will delight young readers and culminates in something they will resonate with – having to put their brave on and do something that scares them. Great for getting the children to think about what they are afraid of and considering taking the first step to vanquish it. Andrew Plant, illustrator of the magnificent Spark and the brilliant The Poppy has really let his imagination go wild and got down and dirty amongst the rubbish heaps to bring the story to life and show how the most mundane things can be repurposed. With makerspaces the current big thing in school libraries, this is the perfect book to challenge students to make a billycart for a bug using recycled and repurposed materials.
Miss 6, whose first task at Joeys was to help build a raft from drink bottles, is right into recycling so she is going to love this. Such a strong message told in such an entertaining way.
Four eggs – one pink, one yellow, one blue, one green. Crack. Crack Crack. Three hatch and release their little ones – but the green one does not. Waiting, waiting, waiting…Listening, listening, listening… Peck. Peck. Peck. Until finally… But what emerges is not what is expected. And as the birds fly away in surprise it is left alone, sad and miserable. Until…
Described as “a graphic novel for pre-schoolers”, Caldecott Medallist Kevin Henkes has woven a magnificent story with the minimum of words and some seemingly simple illustrations. Using the softest pastel palette, simple lines and shading he conveys so much emotion and action that even the very youngest reader will be able to sit and tell the story to themselves and their teddies without having to know one word of the sparse text. They will enjoy predicting what might be in that final egg and be surprised when the secret is discovered. Could that really be inside an egg? Are birds the only things that hatch from eggs? They will also empathise with the surprise when it is left alone and lonely, perhaps able to express their own feelings when they have been in a similar situation. A perfect opportunity to build a word wall of synonyms for ‘sad”. Inviting them to retell the story will encourage them to organise and order their thoughts, begin to understand sequence is important, and use their own words and language skills to express what happened – critical elements in developing early reading skills. And of course, this story is the perfect lead-in to the classic tale of The Ugly Duckling.
Brilliant for littlies but older children could gain a lot from looking at the techniques used to produce so much from so little.
Way down yonder in the pumpkin patch, ten little eggs were beginning to hatch. As they did, they danced and twirled – it was time to go and see the world. But the last little chick gets distracted by a large cherry, unseen by the others who marched on to meet their mother. But she was very concerned when she counted them because that morning there were ten and now there were only nine! So with Mother Hen in front they set out on a hunt to find the missing chick. But no matter how or where they searched, they had no luck until…
This is a rollicking romp in rhyme which will appeal to young readers as they enjoy the language, the search and the charming illustrations which add so much action and sound you are drawn into the story. The rhythm of the rhyme is reinforced as the chicks march to the musical notes and then drum on logs and stomp their feet trying to bring the little one out of hiding.
There is something about the theme of Chooks in Books that has always appealed, perhaps because it lends itself to lots of research such as investigating whether chickens are the only creatures that start life as eggs as well as lots of artwork for there are so many ways to create chickens to build a class mural to retell the story, surround with chook facts, and build a wall of Chooks in Books stories. Imagine how much easier the concept of 10 and ordinal numbers will become as the children identify the subtle differences between the line of chooks and then line themselves up like the chickens and march or run or creep around to the beat of a drum.
Ben Long and David Cornish have created a story that will capture the attention of little ones and reaffirm their understanding that there is much fun to be had between the pages of the book.
From the icy polar regions, the steaming tropics to the depths of the oceans, our planet is inhabited by some amazing creatures and many of them are gathered here to tempt the budding David Attenborough as they investigate the tallest, longest, fastest, heaviest and most dangerous animals in the world, complete with facts and measurements.
With easily accessible text, bite-sized facts, and fold-out pages which introduce a myriad of creatures, little ones cannot only learn about the creatures that share their environment but also that books can educate as well as entertain. They are for information as well as the imagination. And for those who want to know more, Usborne has a page of Quicklinks that offers safe, vetted links to information and activities.
The Usborne Big Book of Animals is just one in this series of early non fiction for young readers that help them find more about the world they live in and which would be quality additions to any school or home library.
Some little people, unlike their grandmothers, love bugs and see them for what they are – an essential element of life on this planet either as pollinators or food for pollinators. So those little people will probably love this book with its life-size pictures of these multi-legged creatures and wonder and marvel at Mother Nature’s creations, ingenuity and magic.
Even though there are officially only 16 pages, there are four huge fold-out pages that offer many more pictures to explore – the biggest ones, the most deadly, those with wings and those with lots of legs, those that are beautiful and those that are not-so, even those that could win gold medals in a Bugs Olympics – there are bugs from all around the world to discover, learn a little about and perhaps even investigate further. Usborne even provides a page of Quicklinks to support further investigations as well as activities.
Not necessarily my favourite book of the year because I’m a wuss, but definitely one for little people wanting to get up close and personal with Mother Nature.
Bear is lost. Where could he be? Perhaps he has been left in town. At the market? At the museum? Perhaps at the park? Oh no. Bear is nowhere to be found. But wait…
Reminiscent of a stage show where the villain keeps popping up but the hero doesn’t see him, and the audience is screaming loudly “There! Look!” but split-second timing is everything, this companion to Where is Bear will delight very young readers. Luckily in this story, though, bear isn’t a villain – in fact he is the hero.
A perfect book for teaching little ones about the joys of story and the fun to be had between the pages of books while they empathise with the trauma of having lost a favourite companion.
Living in a bustling town is exhausting for a little mouse and she dreams of a quiet place in the country. So she writes to her country cousin to see if she can visit for a while, swapping homes so they each have a holiday.. Country Mouse is very excited because he has always wanted to be “a mouse about town.” But things are not quite as wonderful as they expect and neither is sorry when their holiday is over and it’s time to go HOME.
This traditional fable from Aesop has been retold in rhyme, bringing its powerful message of what it means to be home and to belong to a new generation. Cleverly illustrated with a gentle palette and strategic cutouts it’s a story that has endured over time because of its timeless message of “the grass always seems greener” . Little ones can have fun imagining what it might be like to live the life of their hero or in another place, but then also reflect on the things they would miss if they were really able to make the swap.
Piglet trotted happily beside his best friend Pooh.
Talking about nothing much as best friends often do.
When suddenly Pooh stopped and said, “I’ve got a Grand Idea”.
“I’m going to catch a Heffalump. I’ve heard they live around here.”
Giles Andreae ofGiraffes Can’t Dance fame has taken this wonderful and well-known adventure of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and reinterpreted into a delightful rhyme and pictorial experience. More than 90 years on from the first publication of the adventures of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Tigger inspired by a real-life bear Milne’s stories are as enchanting and popular as ever so to have this one in a picture book version for our youngest readers is a treat indeed.
As well as providing a taste of the delights of what is in the original collection, it celebrates friendship, bravery and the imagination, even providing the basis for an inquiry project for beginners. Just what is a Heffalump, what does it look like, and what would be the best way to catch it? Each child could create their own version, design a suitable trap and bait and maybe even start to consider whether catching wild creatures is ever a good idea. Those a little older might even start to investigate the role of zoos and how they’ve changed, particularly given Winnie’s origins.
Even though this is an adaptation of a classic, in its new form there are so many layers to explore that it is perfect as a standalone., and another generation will learn to love this lovable bear and his endearing friends.