Little Steps, 2022
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95
When a little girl and her dog take a trip into outer space in their hot air balloon, they are quite comfortable until they see footsteps in the surface that are not theirs… Are they afraid or do they get together for a picnic?
This is a deceptively simple book about the nature of inclusiveness because the story is told solely through the use of pronouns – me, you, us, mine, yours, ours, and so on – and the reader really has to interpret the illustrations to tell the story making it perfect for encouraging those connections between text and picture that are critical early reading behaviours. It also means they can tell the story using their own language as they expand on the illustrations to explain what is happening , particularly if the astute adult sharing it with them guides their reading with targeted questions to draw out the events. and thus enabling the child to return to the story independently when they wish, helping them to understand that they do have power over print and they can read. They also learn that print stays constant – they can return to it again and again whenever they wish and take as much time as they like to absorb and tell the story.
This is another story evolving from The Book Hungry Bears television show in which the main characters share picture books, hungry to learn all they can from those they settle down to share together, encouraging young readers to do the same.