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 Zebra is #55 in the collection celebrating this milestone birthday. Hairy tails, fuzzy noses and bumpy hooves are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness. by engaging them in the reading experience and encouraging them to predict and retell the sequences for themselves.
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!
Pippa the pigeon thinks she is ready to fly the skies by herself and have adventures. Rather than being hesitant to go out of her comfort zone, Pippa wants to experience the world for herself. But her parents have other ideas. They are worried she is too young and do all sorts of things to keep her at home and safe . But one day while they are out foraging for food, she flaps her wings and soars. Over the town, the river and the paddocks she sails, going further and further from home. But then fatigue and hunger set in and she discovers that while this big wide world is beautiful there are perils in it! Will she make it home safely?
A tender tale about parents wanting to keep their children safe, this is a story that cuts through the middle of parental protection and childish curiosity. Our children need to be allow to fly; they need to face and conquer the obstacles they encounter if they are to be resourceful and resilient, but they also need to know there is a soft place to fall when it all gets too much.
Dimity Powell has created a story that reflects both the parents’ perspective and that of Pippa – offering much to talk about as readers think about what they would like to do, whether they are ready and what they might learn as they try. It’s about striking a balance between independence and the security of home and Andrew Plant’s illustrations are perfect. Who wouldn’t be terrified seeing the face of the falcon coming towards you or those malevolent red eyes glowing in the dark?
As our young readers go through a number of stages where their desire for independence becomes overwhelming, this is a book that spans many age groups and there are excellent teaching notes which support this sort of use. Perfect for teaching about being prepared, being resilient and being able to overcome obstacles without panicking.
Leonard is not afraid of the dark. It’s the five-nosed, seven-tailed, eleven-handed, scaly-waily monster (and its cousins)that are hiding in the corner of his bedroom that make him reluctant to have the lights out at night. No matter whether it’s mum, dad or both of them together he begs them to leave the lights on – and so they do. For several nights the lights stay on all night in Leonard’s room, lighting up the dark and scaring the monsters until one day he finds a strange book on his bed. It’s called How to frighten Monsters and is full of tips and tricks to scare them away. And it has a BIG poster to hang on his door. But does it do the trick?
This is a funny story about a very common subject, one that parents with children who demand the lights be left on will appreciate for its strategies for dealing with the fears. Pyke’s descriptions of the monsters lurking in Leonard’s room demand to be drawn in all their glory – perhaps another tip for getting rid of them – because they have deliberately not been shown in full so that there is nothing too confronting to scare the reader. But there is enough to suggest the fear they instill in Leonard.
Even though this story has a theme that has been covered before, the resolution is original and effective and by giving Josh the power to vanquish his demons himself. success is guaranteed. It will also generate discussion about what makes it dark and why it can be scary, as well as the opportunity to share other ideas for defeating those monsters. Perhaps each child could create their own page for a class manual! Teaching notes are available here and there is also an activity pack.
“Where the mist swallows mountains and winds whisper through ancient trees, myths and legends are born. There are forests here where no one has trod and creatures run free in endless rain and deep, dark bush.”
And among those creatures is a mother thylacine who is trying to show her young pup how to survive. But while she and her offspring might be at the top of the natural food chain, there is one that is even mightier. One that has guns and traps and the motivation of a government bounty. One that outsmarts both mother and young and takes them to a different forest – not one of trees and the scents of fern and pine and thick, dark sanctuary but to one made of concrete and steel exposed to the harsh daylight and hot summer sun. The mother fades away and only the pup is left, until she, too, no longer is. The last of her kind that is known. But perhaps in that secret place where the mist still swallows the mountains and the winds whisper though the ancient trees, there is a sound…
From her bush studio in her Tasmanian home, Christina Booth produces the most amazing work, particularly the stories that she writes and illustrates herself. From the charming Purinina, A Devil’s Tale which tells the story of a young Tasmanian Devil growing up to the beautiful Welcome Home with its focus on whales long gone from Tasmanian shores, to this evocative, haunting tale of the last thylacine she puts young and not-so-young readers in touch with the stories of some of Australia’s most amazing creatures which have suffered so significantly at the hand of humans and in the name of progress and prosperity.
With its dark palette that echoes the darkness of the deep bush of undiscovered Tasmania to the stark whiteness echoing the harsh conditions of Hobart Zoo, the reader is taken on a visual and verbal journey that is so intertwined it is like poetry. But despite the fate of the main character and that of the thylacine as a species being known, nevertheless there is a story of hope for now we think and do differently, and perhaps somewhere in the depths of that untrodden bush there is the possibility…
This is a must-have addition to support any curriculum study that has sustainability and the plight of our planet’s creatures as its focus.
Being small is a pain. Having to stand on tiptoes in crowds; missing out on rides at theme parks; wearing hand-me-downs that are too big – it’s just so unfair! And it makes him so angry that he throws his teddy in disgust and it lands in a tree – too high for him to reach to get it down again. And no matter what he tries – stilts, sticks, even a rope made of socks – he is too small to reach it. What can he do?
This is a charming story that many young readers will relate to – just being a little bit shorter than your friends can be so frustrating and means you always have to sit in the front row in class photos! Told in rhyme and accompanied by delightful illustrations that are so expressive, this is a story about feeling frustrated, seeking solutions and finding friendships in unlikely situations. Take it from one who knows, eating your greens does not make you grow tall – that’s just a mother-myth to trick you!
Lento Sloth is all set to share his book with the reader but first he needs a little nap. But as he puts his head down. Fox swings by and steals the book- “You snooze, you lose, Sloth!” Telling Lento that a book needs “a dynamic lead character, a star with style and pizzazz, a hero with wit and talent”, Fox is determined to be the star of the story. But Lento does not give in and there follows an hilarious duel as he struggles to get his book back so he can be its star. Can he do it?
This is the first in a new series of adventures featuring Lento and Fox that is likely to appeal to young readers, particularly those who are almost independent because all the action is in the dialogue and the illustrations. However, it would also work as a read-aloud as children can use the illustrations to predict how Sloth is feeling and what he is going to do and who will be the victor. They might even investigate the characteristics of sloths to imagine just what Lento’s story might be, while examining the behaviour of fox as cunning and sly and discuss stereotyping. There are lots of subtle tweaks in the endpapers, title pages and even the cover that add to the story -something a little different from the usual, that demonstrates that print can have as much action and humour as the screen.
In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives the world’s greatest flamingo detective. His name is Fabio. He’s not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he’s very, very clever.
It’s the height of summer and Fabio and his associate Gilbert are taking a relaxing holiday journey on the fastest train in the world! But no sooner does the conductor call ‘All aboard’ than a very expensive ruby necklace disappears and the great detective is back on the case!
This is the second book in the hilarious illustrated mystery series by the author of PiratePug, and it is perfect for newly independent readers who require a larger font. short chapters and illustrations to support their reading. The second in the series – the first is The Case of the Missing Hippo , the third Peril at Lizard Lake will be available in the new year – it introduces young readers to the mystery genre as Fabio tries to discover who stole the necklace with slightly offbeat characters. Can they solve the mystery before Fabio?
Nestled in the high branches of a tree deep in the forest is a little house where Maple lived. “No one knew how she got there or where she came from, but nevertheless there she was.” Sustained by the rain that gave her water and the trees that gave her ripe fruit, Maple never ventured from her high house because she was afraid of everything that was below it. Her dreams were peppered with fierce creatures who lurked below, the wind becoming their terrifying howls. Until there came a time when the rain and the trees no longer gave her what she needed and she knew she would have to descend the ladder into the unknown…
Facing your fears and even conquering them is a common theme of picture books for the young, but the setting and the isolation of Maple without parents or history, gives this one an olde-worlde feel that will appeal to those who like gentle stories that are neither confronting or confrontational. At some stage in our lives we all have to step outside our comfort zone and face the unknown, an unknown that we may have already built up to be scarier than it is and Maple offers inspiration that it can be OK.
Beautifully illustrated by this debut author/illustrator with pictures that are as gentle as the story itself, this is one that can be shared as a read-along or a read-aloud to encourage young readers to take that first step.
Simon feels a new emotion stirring—he thinks he is in love with Lou! Sadly, Lou loves Mamadou… One day Lou comes to school with nits. She’s suddenly not so popular any more. Except with Simon. He doesn’t care about nits! Lou gives Simon a big hug for being so kind—and some small visitors too..
Nits are the scourge of school life and it’s a lucky child who manages to avoid them. Even teachers start to itch when a case is discovered! But for the very young child who does catch them. this is a simple story that will reassure them that they can be cured and still be loved. Wise parents will point out how clean and tidy Lou’s ‘hair” is, and emphasise that that’s what nits like so there is no shame and certainly no room for teasing. And for those who don’t have them and are inclined to judge and tease others who do, it’s an opportunity for them to think about how Lou feels and how they would feel if they were the “victim”.
In 1995 movie-goers were introduced to a new world of computer-generated animation with the first in the Toy Story series. With the fourth in the series about to be released on June 21.2019, the Disney Pixar enterprise will have introduced 21 films of this genre with a host of characters, many of whom have become family favourites and household names.
Each of these is included in this new encyclopedia from DK, listed in order of the release of their movie (with sequels, including Toy Story 4 grouped with the original to make it easier) making a comprehensive guide that demonstrates that even imaginary characters have specific personalities. Each entry includes a large photo of the character and information about their role in their movie, their relationships with the other characters and other fascinating facts. Each movie has its own colour-coded section and there is a comprehensive index to enable young readers to find their favourites quickly.
While it will have particular appeal to those who are fans of the movies, it could also serve as a model for investigating the role and purpose of characters in books and developing character studies that focus on the essential information, using a context that is so familiar to so many. Using just one set of characters, students could identify the critical elements and map relationships and then transfer this knowledge to a print situation. Budding writers could also use it as a tool for developing their own characters, particularly if they watch the movie and listen to how the actors bring the characters alive with just their voices so this also becomes part of those they are building!
Another example of the quality of DK publications and their usefulness in the curriculum.