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Frankie Goes to Kindergarten

Frankie Goes to Kindergarten

Frankie Goes to Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankie Goes to Kindergarten

Peta Baxter & Connie Hemmens

Marjorie Gardner

Ford Street, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781925804683

It’s an exciting day for Frankie – it’s his day for kindergarten.  But Frankie isn’t a timid, shy child about to take his first step on a new adventure – he’s a dog who goes with his owner, the Kindy teacher, to join in all the fun of meeting up with friends, playing inside and out, visiting the pets. listening to stories, having lunch and quiet time and learning all sorts of new things.  His mate George the cat would like to go too but he is deemed too little, so he hops in a box…

Written by two experienced kindergarten teachers based on their own kindy – Frankie belongs to Miss Peta – this is a joyful introduction to the kindy/preschool day that will be a new adventure for many of our littlest readers very soon. Many of them will experience trepidation rather than anticipation so this story with its bright, bold illustrations will be excellent for helping to prepare them and pave the way.  Even though there might not be a Frankie (or a cheeky George) to join them, nevertheless all the activities will be there awaiting them as will the welcoming teachers and lots of new friends to play with.  

With lockdown and restrictions, preventing many of the face-to-face orientations that usually start about this time, so this would be the ideal story to share as alternative preparation.  

Bluey: Daddy Putdown

Bluey: Daddy Putdown

Bluey: Daddy Putdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluey: Daddy Putdown

Bluey

Puffin, 2021

32pp., hbk., RRP $A16.99

9781761041174

Mummy has gone to a baby shower and Daddy has been left to put Bluey and Bingo to bed.  But Bluey is very concerned because it won’t be the same. No matter what ideas Daddy has, she longs for her mum to be home.  Until she has an idea…

Based on the highly successful television series, this new release strengthens  the link between screen and media, a critical one as they learn about the value of being able to take their time with print, examine the illustrations and read it again and again whenever they want – all vital concepts about print. They easily relate to characters they know which as well as adding another dimension to them by offering a behind-the-scenes look at their lives and loves,  they can also focus on the story more deeply.

Perfect for fans of the show…

 

Poppy, the Punk Turtle

Poppy, the Punk Turtle

Poppy, the Punk Turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poppy, the Punk Turtle

Aleesah Darlinson

Mel Matthews

Puffin, 2021

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

9781760899233

 In the Mary River in South-East Queensland lives a creature found nowhere else in the world- one only identified in 1994 and already facing extinction. The Mary River turtle, Elusor macrurus,  is a new genus and species of freshwater turtle affectionately known as the punk turtle because the slow-moving water of the river allows green algae to grow all over it. 

 

But that’s not Poppy’s only unique feature – as well as breathing normally on the water’s surface, she can also breathe through her bottom! Plip! Plop! Parp!  However, despite her ancestors being in the river for millions of years Poppy and her relations now face many threats, mostly from the impact of humans and these are explored for young readers in the second in this series that investigates lesser-known endangered species. Combining the author’s ability to pitch the text perfectly for the intended audience with the same big, bright, bold illustration style of Coco, the Fish with Hands, young readers have a story that entertains and educates them. Simple but accurate vocabulary which respects their intelligence and knowledge, a large font, engaging illustrations and attractive layout, with a page summarising the key points as the finale make for a combination that will be a winner with readers and teachers alike.

Perfect for those like my little friend Xander who is fascinated by the world around him, prefers non fiction over fiction and has almost mastered reading independently.   And for his parents who will share it with him and spur his quest to learn more. As it did for me!. 

What If, Pig?

What If, Pig?

What If, Pig?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What If, Pig?

Linzie Hunter

HarperCollins, 2021

40pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9780008409470

Mouse has never had a friend quite like Pig. Pig is so incredibly kind, endlessly thoughtful and fabulously fun, that he is the best friend anyone could ever have. But Pig also has a big secret… he’s a tremendous worrier!

So when he decides to throw a party for all his friends the concern kicks in and he worries about everything from a lion eating the invitations to his guests comparing this party to others.  In fact, he worries so much that he decides to call it off.

Luckily, Mouse is attuned to Pig’s mental health and suggests a walk so they can talk things over before he makes a final decision…

Anxiety about the what ifs are becoming a real part of the psyche of so many of our students these days because adults seem to be attaching such high stakes to the smallest things. And with lockdown in many places stretching out seemingly endlessly the lack of that interaction with their peers that normally provides some perspective and balance is lacking and so molehills become mountains very quickly.  So sharing stories like this in which we are assured that “things don’t stay grey for very long” is an essential part of helping our little ones cope and develop strategies for when the what ifs seem to take over. 

As well as the positive story which is charming in itself, the quirky illustrations and visual tricks with the text really make this book stand out, offering an introduction to the ways illustrators and designers can add so much to words on a page.  It demonstrates the differences in style between artists -compare this pig to one from Three Little Pigs for example and talk about the similarities and differences yet the legitimacy of each style.  This is the age when children become super-critical of their own artwork, and if it doesn’t look like the real thing or what they envisage, many dismiss their efforts, tell themselves they “can’t draw” and this self-talk destroys  their creativity.

So, all in all, this is a must-have for so many reasons. 

Seahorses Are Sold Out

Seahorses Are Sold Out

Seahorses Are Sold Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seahorses Are Sold Out

Constanze Spengler

Katya Gehrmann

Gecko Press, 2021

40pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99

9781776573868

Mika’s father works from home and he’s very busy! He can never find time for the promised swimming trip. So Dad allows Mika to choose a pet from the store while he finishes the project—something quiet like a mouse. But when the mouse gets lost, Mika goes back to the pet shop to buy a puppy to sniff it out and keep watch over it.  But when the puppy does a puddle in the bathroom because it doesn’t understand how to use the toilet, she goes back to get a seal who will oversee the proper use of the bathroom.  But when the seal wants to swim and the mouse can’t…  Sadly the seahorses have sold out.

And all the while the too-busy father doesn’t notice until finally he finishes the job he is working on.

This story of a single dad trying to balance child care and working from home will resonate with many at the moment, while that of the child wanting a pet for company will be familiar to many children.  And the extravagance of Mika’s solution will make them laugh.  But if the seahorses weren’t sold out what care would they need? Would they make the perfect pet that Dad wants?  Perhaps an opportunity to investigate these amazing little creatures.   

 

 

The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea (series)

The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea

The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea

It’s Owl Good

9781760526474

Squeals on Wheels

9781760526481

Renee Treml

A&U Children’s 2021

64pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99

Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their OTTER-LY awesome inner superhero?

This is a new series in graphic novel format for young readers transitioning from the basal readers of commercial reading schemes to less-controlled books offering a stepping stone to more complex “early chapter books”. Treml has endowed her characters with the usual charm so they appeal to her audience and Owl’s constant corny puns offer an introduction to this play on words as a humorous concept.  Told as a continuous conversation primarily between Owl and Bea, unlike her Sherlock Bones series, this one has blank backgrounds that therefore place the emphasis on the characters and what they are saying, another opportunity to explore the concept of how critical dialogue can be to carry the story.

Young readers will relate to and like Ollie and Bea, seeing parts of themselves in each, and will no doubt look forward to further adventures. 

 

The Bark Book

The Bark Book

The Bark Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bark Book

Victoria Mackinlay

Beth Harvey

ABC Books, 2021

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

Being a dog can be lonely if you’re stuck inside while everyone else is at school or work.  But when your owner comes through the door and you know that that means time for a walk outside, then the adventures are innumerable and the excitement immeasurable.  And there is a bark for every part of the journey, even when you’re stuck because you chased a skink.

Combining minimal but clever text with equally clever illustrations (check the tree’s expression embedded in the bark when the dogs wees on it), this is a story that every dog owner who has walked their pooch will relate to.  And the young reader will get just as much joy from the read as the dog gets from its walk.  It is one that needs to be shared together because the words and pictures are so dependent on each other, and each time it is shared there will be something new to discover!

Rumble, Rumble, Dinosaur

Rumble, Rumble, Dinosaur

Rumble, Rumble, Dinosaur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rumble, Rumble, Dinosaur

Katrina Sharman

Nick Sharratt

Bloomsbury, 2021 

32pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99

9781526603395

Rumble, rumble, dinosaur!
Wake up dinos near and far

Using the familiar tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, our youngest readers will delight in this book about dinosaurs created just for them. They can share the adventures of  a whole host of different dinosaurs throughout the course of one exciting day in the jungle … from the friendly brontosaurus to swooping pterodactyls, the gigantic stegosaurus, and of course the FEARSOME T. Rex – all heading for the dino feast.  But then, at the end of the day, just like little children, they must all rest.

The rhyme and rhythm are the perfect complement to the bright bold illustrations which offer an introduction to these creatures that endlessly fascinates children of all generations, enticing them to join in with noise and movement and get the most out of it. 

Backyard Birdies

Backyard Birdies

Backyard Birdies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Birdies

Andy Geppert

Lothian Children’s, 2021 

24pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9780734420695

Can your children tell the difference between a beach chicken (seagull) and a bin chicken (white ibis) ?

Or a roof chicken (pigeon)  and a chicken chicken (chicken)?

In this introduction to the birds commonly seen in Australian backyards, including large inflatable flamingoes and swans, Andy Geppert mixes a few basic facts with a lot of humour to make for an enjoyable read for young children who will just be noticing the differences between the species.  Clever illustrations and funny text combine to make this the most unusual field guide but one which will pique little ones’ curiosity and have them trying to identify the birds that they see.   They could even make a chart and mark each one off as it is spotted from their window, beginning their skills in data gathering, mapping and interpretation!   It’s the simple things….

Mini Rabbit Come Home

Mini Rabbit Come Home

Mini Rabbit Come Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Rabbit Come Home

John Bond

HarperCollins, 2021

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

 9780008264932

Mini Rabbit is making a camp in the garden.
He can’t wait. It’s going to be the BEST DAY ever!

But there are still a few last things he needs to get – rope to hold the den down, wood for the campfire and marshmallows to toast on it. And it looks like it might rain. 

There are few things as much fun (or as scary) as sleeping out under the stars, particularly if it’s the first time.  So setting up camp in the backyard is always a good start – how well I remember the grandies spending the first night in their Christmas tent in the country-dark when the city-light was what they were used to!  So this new adventure with Mini Rabbit will resonate with a lot of little readers, including the ending.

So many of our little ones are confined to home at the moment so perhaps suggesting a backyard sleepout could give them something to plan for and look forward to.  Working out what they need, how they will build their den, making lists like Mother Rabbit and bringing it all together not only make for a great adventure but also offer lots of screen-free learning.  And if photos are shared with classmates…

Dr Margaret Merga has written an interesting article about how books can be a healing retreat during isolation – this one fulfils that concept both physically and metaphorically.