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The Naughtiest Reindeer Takes a Bow

The Naughtiest Reindeer Takes a Bow

The Naughtiest Reindeer Takes a Bow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Naughtiest Reindeer Takes a Bow

Nicki Greenberg

Allen & Unwin, 2017

32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9781760295653

All the reindeer are fast asleep, tucked up in their beds resting before the big night ahead when their dreams are shattered by Ruby telling them it is time to get up!  Except it’s not.

But she is determined to get a head start on the Christmas deliveries because she is tired of taking the blame for time running out and everyone getting anxious and stressed and so she takes off on her own…

Luckily when she runs out of puff, she crashes into George and Amelia’s home – they are familiar with her from her previous antics in The Naughtiest Reindeer and The Naughtiest Reindeer at the Zoo but what are they to do with her when she is a day early? Easy – they take her to school!!! Oh dear!

The naughtiest reindeer has become a Christmas favourite of the Christmas Countdown and this new adventure is no different.  It rollicks along with rhyme and illustrations each highlighting the chaos that only Ruby can cause! I know two little girls who will enjoy renewing their friendship with her before sharing this latest adventure this Christmas Eve. 

A Christmas Wish

 

 

 

A Christmas Wish

A Christmas Wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Wish

Beatrix Potter

Eleanor Taylor

Puffin, 2017

18pp., board book, RRP $A12.99

9780241291757

It’s Christmas Eve and Peter Rabbit and his sisters are excited, but Peter is worried too. They have all wished for a special present but Peter can’t sleep, and he knows Father Christmas won’t visit if he’s still awake. As the hours drag by anxious Peter hears a little creak here, and a little bump there, so now he’s even less likely to fall asleep, especially as he is convinced each noise must be Santa and he gets up to investigate. Then he decides to sit and gaze at the lights on the Christmas tree…will Santa come while he’s there?

The charm and delight of Beatrix Potter’s tales about Peter Rabbit have endured over decades and this adaptation is no exception.  Perfect for that final sleep on the BIG night, little ones will empathise with Peter as they share his excitement and find it just as tricky to get to sleep it will become a classic part of the annual Christmas Countdown.

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Ori’s Christmas

 

 

 

Ori’s Christmas

Ori’s Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ori’s Christmas

Anne Helen Donnelly

Self-published, 2017

32pp., pbk., RRP $A17.99

9780646962207

Christmas is coming and Ori the Octopus wants to celebrate Christmas with his friends.  But each friend has a request for what should be done or otherwise they will not attend.  Singing Christmas carols, taking photographs, wrapping presents, a Christmas tree, a hot lunch… all the common Christmas traditions are requested. But when the day comes and Ori has organised all that has been asked, each creature finds that they can’t do everything and all looks gloomy.  Until…

Bright, colourful illustrations accompany this original story which offers lots of opportunities for the little ones to join in with actions and comments about the special things their families always do at Christmas that would need to be included if they had been invited.

Notes for parents and teachers as well as some cut-out decorations that can be coloured and hung are included. Something different for very young readers.

A Very Quacky Christmas

 

 

 

A Very Quacky Christmas

A Very Quacky Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Quacky Christmas

Frances Watts

Ann James

ABC Books, 2017

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

9780733329623

Sebastian Tortoise is bamboozled by Samantha Duck’s Christmas preparations.  As she winds tinsel around the reeds, hangs baubles and her Christmas stocking on a branch, and sings “We wish you a quacky Christmas” while making a long list so she can give presents to all the animals in the world, he keeps telling her that Christmas is not for animals.  But she convinces him to help her by pointing out that Christmas is about giving and sharing and that they can make all the gift themselves by getting the other animals on the farm to help. 

To his surprise, the animals love the idea and each helps in their own way keeping Samantha and   Sebastian very busy.  But having made all the presents, delivering them on Christmas Eve becomes problematic – perhaps Christmas is not for animals after all.

This is a gentle story for younger children that celebrates the joy of sharing and giving, belief and perseverance and offers another perspective of the meaning of Christmas for little ones. Is Christmas just about receiving presents?  Do presents have to be store-bought, big, bright and shiny to be worthwhile?  What could they make by themselves or with a sibling or friend to give to others? Perhaps children could draw a name out of a hat and make just one present for that child as part of the STEM curriculum so each gets something and the pressure put on parents to provide presents for everyone that is becoming a common expectation can be abolished.  

Even though Sebastian was so sceptical he agreed  to help Samantha and he is the one encouraged to keep trying when all seems lost so explore the concept of friendship and how teamwork can often achieve the impossible. 

Unlike many books with a Christmas theme, this one is as rich in ideas to explore as Santa’s sack while still maintaining the charm and the delight of the season. 

Teachers notes are available but for me,  the story stands alone as a must-have addition to that special time of the Christmas Countdown at bedtime.     

 

Marvin and Marigold: A Christmas Surprise

 

 

 

Marvin and Marigold: A Christmas Surprise

Marvin and Marigold: A Christmas Surprise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvin and Marigold: A Christmas Surprise

Mark Carthew

Simon Prescott

New Frontier, 2017

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

9781925059991

On the first of December Marigold Mouse found a rather large box at the front of her house.  As she struggled to lift it inside branches and baubles fell out fueling her curiosity. But a letter from her mother soon solved the mystery – it was the family Christmas tree with all the traditional decorations that had been on it and held so much love and so many memories for Marigold’s family. 

Seeing her friend Marvin Mouse looking a little lonely and forlorn next door, she invites him in to help her to decorate the tree. And as they work together memories are unwrapped and revisited and shared as the tree begins to take shape until everything is complete and it lights up the night.

Told in gentle rhyme, this story is not only about the tradition of putting up the tree and reliving memories but also about sharing the times with those we love or who are feeling not-so as the festive time draws now.  It’s lovable characters, recognisable story line and bright illustrations will really appeal to youngsters on the Christmas Countdown and perhaps inspire them to think more deeply of the significance of those special decorations.

How Many Quacks till Christmas?

 

 

 

How Many Quacks Till Christmas?

How Many Quacks Till Christmas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Quacks Till Christmas?

Mark Sperring

Ed Eaves

Bloomsbury, 2017

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

9781408871089

It’s nearly Christmas on Merry Farm and the animals are getting excited.  As Puppy prances around the farm,  he is asked by all the animals how long they have to wait. The piglets, lambs, foals, calves, even the ducks are all asking…

‘How many quacks till Christmas?’
the ducklings want to know.

‘How many quacks till Christmas?’
and ‘Quack, will there be snow?’

Does Puppy have the answer?  Is it a lot of oinks, baas, neighs, moos and quacks  or not so many? Who knows?  Aha! Mr Cockerel does!

With its bold, bright illustrations, rhyming text and a familiar storyline of waiting till the BIG day, this is a delightful story for young readers that they will relate to.  Perfect for the Christmas Countdown, they can start their own calendar of sleeps which in turn, can help them begin to understand that elusive concept of time!And if their calendar comprises a story a night, even better!

 

All The Way Home

 

 

 

All The Way Home

All The Way Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All The Way Home

Debi Gliori

Bloomsbury, 2017

32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9781408872079

Father Penguin has a secret, one that Mother Penguin can never know but which he tells Little One…

When penguin eggs are laid, the mothers go out to sea fishing leaving the fathers to huddle together to keep the eggs warmed balanced on their feet.  But they don’t eat and Father Penguin was very hungry.  He had had nothing to eat at all  – not a thing – and so he gradually makes his way to the outside of the Dad Huddle when suddenly a huge gust of Antarctic wind plucks him and his precious egg off the ice…

And the adventure begins.  Faced with a foreign environment, unfriendly creatures and a desperation to be home before Mother Penguin discovers him gone, he is beginning to get very worried.  Then help arrives from an unexpected source,  the Special Air Navigation Transport Authority …

Debi Gliori always tells a fine tale and illustrates it beautifully in a style that is so appealing to young readers and this one is no different.  Littlies will love being in on Father Penguin’s secret -there is nothing like feeling you are a special confidante – and they will have fun speculating whether Baby can keep the secret.  After all, he does tell his mum that they have had an adventure and brave Daddy flew them home. And everyone knows penguins can’t fly!! Did it really happen or is Father Penguin just a really good storyteller?

Something a little different for the Christmas Countdown but completely charming.

Moo and Moo and Can You Guess Who?

Moo and Moo and Can You Guess Who?

Moo and Moo and Can You Guess Who?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moo and Moo and Can You Guess Who?

Jane Millton

Deborah Hinde

Allen & Unwin, 2017

32pp., pbk., RRP $A17.99

9781760631611

Just over a year ago, on November 14 a devastating earthquake struck the Kaikoura region of the South Island of New Zealand and the image of two cows and their calf stranded on an island in the devastated land went around the world eventually giving us the charming story of  Moo and Moo and the Little Calf too.

Now Moo and Moo are back, happily living on the author’s farm in the Clarence Valley and about to give birth to two new calves.  Told in rhyme and charmingly sharing their new adventure this is a wonderful follow-up that helps city kids understand country life through both the story and the explanations included at the end.  

Even though they can be big and seem a bit scary at times, little children love cows so this is the perfect introduction to the concept of non fiction and getting information from stories as well as entertainment. And of course they will love the happy ending to what was a confronting situation!

If You’re Happy And You Know It

If You're Happy And You Know It

If You’re Happy And You Know It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You’re Happy And You Know It

Barbara Szepesi Szucz

Zonderkidz, 2017

20pp., board book., RRP $A15.99

9780310759225

There are few little ones who don’t learn this catchy tune very early and love to move to it as they follow the actions. So this new board book version, sturdy enough to survive the repeated readings it will get, is perfect for involving them in the reading process and helping them understand that they can be readers too. Asking about what makes them happy them for other actions that they can do to demonstrate their feelings is always a winning activity.

All sorts of creatures having fun together in the park  portrayed in a childlike way with happy expressions and bright colours will attract their attention and before long, instead of being a first-read at bedtime it will be an all-day favourite.

Sharkpedia

Sharkpedia

Sharkpedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharkpedia

DK  Publishing, 2017

128pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9781465463128

If there is one section of the library that is just as popular as 567.9, it is 597.3. And if there is one piece of music that still sends shivers up the spine of many it is this

As the Australian summer and holiday season approaches, these creatures will be in the news as people venture into their territory and the debate about their continued existence will rage again.

So this safari with Professor John Bigelow Finnegan (aka Big Finn), a ’round-the-globe expedition to study these mighty and mysterious creatures” visiting shark haunts and hideouts to study the habits and habitats of a variety of  species will be a welcome addition to the collection.  Using photos, diagrams, headings, accessible text and a clever variety of other devices this will appeal to all those who are fascinated by these creatures and who want to know more.  As well as the usual facts and figures, it dispels myths, looks at current research and even introduces some of the stories, movies and television programs that feature sharks, painting a whole-well-rounded picture that demonstrates that these creatures not only have a right to their existence but play a critical part in the planet’s ecology.

Done with the usual DK thoroughness and understanding of what young readers want and how they want it, this is perfect for both the experienced and novice shark-trackers.