Little Tiger Press, 2015
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.95
Abigail the giraffe loves to count but each time she does, she encounters a problem. Ladybird disappears under a leaf, the leaves, get eaten, Zebra’s stripes keep moving and Cheetah’s spots are way too fast! Even when she finds something that seems okay and her friends help her, there are problems. Her animal friends can’t count. So Abigail teaches them but just as they are getting things sorted the sun goes down. How will they practise in the dark?
This is a charming counting book for young readers written and illustrated by Kate Greenaway medallist Catherine Rayner who has given us a number of beautiful animal stories including Augustus and his Smile Little people will love to join in with the counting as they practise theirs and will share her good-natured frustration as she has to keep starting again.
Like many others, I’m a fan of Rayner’s emerging menagerie as each creature comes to life with its own personality with a few strokes of her watercolour brush and its accompanying text. She spends hours studying her subjects so they are just right. In fact she shares her instructions for drawing Abigail at and the story is read online here.
Perfect for preschool.
A peek inside…
Lights, Camera, Dance
Random House, 2015
pbk., 144pp., RRP $A14.99
Broadway Baby and Lights, Camera, Action are the latest additions to the Silver Shoes series which follows the early dancing days of a group of friends at the Silver Shoes Dance Studio. Each girl has her favourite genre and this time it is the turn of Ellie and Ashley to shine again. Since her success in And All That Jazz, Ellie has been taking singing lessons and now she is determined to wow them in a Broadway musical and become a ‘triple threat” – one who can act, dance and sing. However, her strength is jazz ballet not tap dancing and there are those who are better than she also auditioning.
Meanwhile, in Lights, Camera, Action hip-hop lover Ashley is now inspired by reggae and is desperate to impress an agent looking for the star of his next music video. But, as with the others in this series, there are those who are determined to be better than the heroine so like Ellie, Ashley has to dig deep into her inner self to persevere and test herself.
Dancing remains one of the most popular sports for Australian children and so it’s no wonder that this series has been a hit with so many of the young girls I know. Once again, the author’s expertise shines through and while the key focus is on the dancing element, she still holds a mirror to the life of this age group who are branching out into new ventures and friendships as they try out new independence. Each reader sees herself as the lead character on the stage but can also relate to the challenges that have to be faced to get there.
I know these will be snapped up as soon as they appear – here’s hoping there are more in the pipeline!
Click here for a review of the first two in the series
Click here for a review of others in the series