Archives

Little Unicorn’s Christmas

 

 

 

 

Little Unicorn's Christmas

Little Unicorn’s Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Unicorn’s Christmas

Rhiannon Fielding

Chris Chatterton

Ladybird, 2021

28pp., board book, RRP $A14.99

9780241489901

It’s Christmas Eve and there are just ten minutes to bedtime, and Dad is on the countdown.  But Twinkle, the little unicorn, is still playing in the snow and something above not only catches her eye, but suddenly lands among the trees! It’s Father Christmas and he has a problem – his lead reindeer is in bed with reindeer flu and there are now only eight minutes to bed with 22 countries and hundreds of presents still to deliver.  Can Twinkle help?  Could this be the adventure of a lifetime?

This series  is the perfect countdown to bedtime and this is the most charming story that will lull little ones to sleep with magical ideas in their head to inspire their dreams.  With its rhyme which flows naturally, stunning illustrations and the countdown, it is perfect to share on THAT night when sleep eludes us all because of the excitement and anticipation.  

And this new board book format means that little hands and heads will be able to read it again and again and it will stand up to the wear and tear.  Love it. 

Moonlight, Goodnight

Moonlight, Goodnight

Moonlight, Goodnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight, Goodnight

Elisabeth Sophia

Katrina Jambrak

Little Steps, 2021

32pp., hbk., RRP $A28.95

 9781922358561

Everywhere across the land, across the waters, too …
Some very sleepy creatures are waiting just for you.’

Owl follows the setting sun on a magical flight around the world as creatures on both land and sea settle down for the evening in this lyrical lullaby that eventually arrives home to wish the child goodnight.

Accompanied by rich illustrations of the vast and various landscapes in the gentle muted tones of nightfall, the child is taken on a journey that shows them everyone and everything needs to sleep as the shadow of night engulfs the world . Cleverly though, Jambrak keeps the star-filled sky the same colour throughout helping the child to understand that no matter where or who we are we all sleep under the same sky. So even if they are separated from family and friends, there is that continuity. of being wrapped in the same blanket.

A peek inside...

A peek inside.

One for little ones who are becoming aware of nighttime and the need to rest, and who need something soothing to settle them. 

 

Bluey: Sleepytime

Bluey: Sleepytime

Bluey: Sleepytime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluey: Sleepytime

Joe Brumm

Puffin, 2021

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

 9781761041198

It’s bedtime in the Heeler household and while Bluey is fast asleep, Mum finishes off the final story with Bingo.  As she turns out the light, she reminds Bingo that she is always there if Bingo needs her but Bingo really wants to do a Big Girl sleep and wake up in her own bed.  But will she?

Based on the television episode of the same name, this is a story that will resonate so deeply with the adult sharing it as the familiarity of children waking in the night, moving into their bed, wanting water, hogging the blankets, having good dreams and not-so that it will seem like there has been a camera in their own bedroom.  

Using a large format including foldout pages, now our young readers can return to their favourite bedtime episode time and again now it is in print format, while parents can use it to remind them that they are going to have a Big Kid night and stay in their own bed. And those that wish can also take their child on a journey through the night sky .

The connection between print and audiovisual versions of the same stories with their familiar characters and settings already in place is strong as children build their knowledge about what to expect from both formats.  To have such a superb series such as Bluey available whenever the child wants to return to it is such a bonus. 

What if … ?

What if … ?

What if … ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if … ?

Lynn Jenkins

Kirrili Lonergan

EK Books, 2021

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

9781925820973

Issy’s mind was always very busy. She was always wondering “What if…” and then imagining all sorts of situations that scared her.  She worried about monsters in her cupboard, aliens taking her in the middle of the night, her bedroom floor turning to quicksand and sucking up both her bed and her.

But her wise mother recognises the anxiety her imagination causes and the power of those two little words, and as she tucks Issy into bed she takes her turn at the “What if…”” But instead of scary things, she takes Issy and her imagination on an amazing and humorous trip of people walking on their hands and wearing their undies on their head; of clouds of different colours that smell of fairy floss and popcorn… Then she invites Issy to try and when she takes her mind in a new direction, her anxiety vanishes.

This is another beautiful offering from the pairing that gave us stories like Tree, and the Little Anxious Creatures series as the author draws on her expertise and experience as a clinical psychologist to acknowledge children’s big feelings and then articulates them in a way that both resonated with the child and helps them develop strategies that empower them to deal with them for themselves.  Changing thinking from what if a storm brews, a tree crashes through my window and a vampire bat flies into my bedroom to what if there were hot air balloons that could take me anywhere I wanted to go following a path made by the stars is as powerful as those two words themselves. As Jenkins says, “we are the bosses of our brains” and thus we can choose what we want to think. Lonergan’s illustrations in soft pastel colours are as gentle as the story itself,  and would be the ideal model for little ones to think of their own what if and then illustrate it, thinking of the way colour can portray mood as much as any other element.  A physical reminder to look at whenever their mind starts to wander down dark paths…

There has been much talk about the impact that the last 18-20 months has had on the mental health of our children and so this book, and the others by this couple, are more critical to know about and share than ever.

As well as teachers’ notes, Jenkins shares the story herself.

 

The Silly Seabed Song

The Silly Seabed Song

The Silly Seabed Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Silly Seabed Song

Aura Parker

Puffin, 2021

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

9781760899394

Jelly flubber! Wobbly gong!
It’s the Silly Seabed Song!

As the Rock Oysters sing their final song of the evening, and all the sea creatures sing and dance along, all little Turtle Hatchling Fred wants to do is sleep.  But how can he with all this laughing and giggling and NOISE??? It seems everyone who lives under the water has come to join in and the result of this “lullaby” is just a cacophony.  Or is it?

Once again, the author of Goodnight Glow Worms, and Meerkat Splash offers our youngest readers a charming story for bedtime with its lyrical rhyming text and appealing illustrations. 

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

As well as introducing them to a range of creatures that dwell in the ocean that they are probably not familiar with, there is also the challenges to find a range of them as they frolic with the party-goers amongst the seaweed and sand.  There’s a new little person coming to our family soon and this will be the perfect bedtime story for a proud grandfather to read!! 

 

Good Night, Ivy Bright

Good Night, Ivy Bright

Good Night, Ivy Bright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Night, Ivy Bright

Ben Long

Andrew Plant

Ford Street, 2021

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

9781925804720

Ivy couldn’t get to sleep; her mind was burning bright.

I’m done with counting sheep, she thought, I’ll paint my dreams tonight.

So using her favourite paintbrush she sprinkles blue and yellow together and sets sail on a sea of green, painting all sorts of wondrous creatures from the depths of the ocean and her imagination.  But when she paints a whale, she runs out of purple before she can give it a tail. Determined not to leave it tailless, she goes on a new journey in search of the elusive purple, discovering so many other colour combinations as she does.

Told in rhyme, this is a story as vibrant as Andrew Plant’s illustrations that will appeal to so many young readers. Many of them will recognise those nights when their mind is so full of the day that has been or the one to come that sleep doesn’t come even though they know they need to drift off, so suggesting that they paint their dreams is one way to focus their imagination and calm their thoughts.  They could even think about who plays the role of the sensible, calming moose in their lives as they breathe deeply.

With teachers’ notes available,  this is one that opens up lots of opportunities to discuss the need for sleep, the exploration of colour and its combinations, and the development of calm strategies as well as the literary and artistic aspects. 

Little Owl’s Bedtime

Little Owl's Bedtime

Little Owl’s Bedtime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Owl’s Bedtime

Debi Gliori

Alison Brown

Bloomsbury, 2021 

28pp., board book., RRP $A14.99

9781526603441

Little Owl is back in another story for littlies but this time instead of waiting anxiously for a new sibling; being concerned about starting preschool  or looking for any reason not to stop his game and have a bath , this time he is trying to avoid going to bed. His pillow is too lumpy, his quilt is too hot, it is too dark and what is that strange snorting noise he can hear?  Perhaps one last bedtime story will help or maybe, just maybe, Mummy Owl has an ingenious way to soothe her restless Little Owl and help him get a good night’s sleep . .

Over the last few years, Little Owl has become a favourite with our youngest readers as his adventures and concerns mirror their own so closely, and now that it is available in board book format, they will be delighted that they will be able to handle the book themselves and tell themselves the story.  Even though the words might be small and a bit tricky, Alison Brown’s delightful illustrations have more than enough detail and familiar activity for them to work out what is happening in this essential pre-reading behaviour.  

It is such a bonus to be able to give our little ones real books with real stories that are sturdy enough for their developing hands so they can understand from the earliest age that stories bring pleasure. 

Little Owl’s Bathtime

Little Owl's Bathtime

Little Owl’s Bathtime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Owl’s Bathtime

Debi Gliori

Alison Brown

Bloomsbury, 2021

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

9781526613875

Little Owl is back in another adventure that will resonate with our youngest readers as he tries everything he can think of to continue playing King of the Castle and avoid having a bath. Bathtime means the end of the day and the end of the fun. But Mummy Owl has a few tricks up her sleeve and entices him to wallow in Bubble Mountain and play with the Giant Invisible Penguin, so much so that Little Owl doesn’t want to get out. 

As with the others in this series, Gliori and Brown have combined to create a story around a familiar activity that the target audience will recognise and get great fun from.  Even if they can’t outwit their parents who are trying to bather them, they will have a host of new excuses to try out, while their parents may get some tips to deal with the situation without needing tears and tantrums.

Moonlight Mums

Moonlight Mums

Moonlight Mums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Mums

Laura Stitzel

Puffin, 2020

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

9781760895792

Bedtime and time to snuggle down. But in this family, like so many others, it is dad who is putting the little one to sleep because her mother is still at work. 

And as he acknowledges that her mum misses her too, he tells her of other mums like the owl, the frog and the wombat who must also be awake and alert at night so they can keep their babies safe and snug.

This is one of those gentle stories that help little ones understand that there are many different types of family circumstances and each family works out just which is right for them. There is no right or wrong, just different. My own granddaughters were tucked up and in by their dad every night because of the different shifts their parents worked and they just accepted it for what it was.  Of course it was a treat to have mummy home to read the bedtime story when she could but otherwise, life went on to its own rhythm.

The gentle rhyming text and soft palette add to the atmosphere of drawing the curtains on the day…

Mums with many things to do
All miss their little ones, like you.

As well as reassuring little ones that Mummy will be home and will kiss them goodnight, using the creatures as illustrations opens up ideas to explore what other creatures are awake at night and why they are.  Why is the dark the safest cover for some? 

Reassuring, restful and recommended for families whose working hours are not the conventional. 

Back to Sleep

Back to Sleep

Back to Sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Sleep

Zoë Foster Blake

Mike Jacobsen

Puffin, 2020

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

9781760897901

Just as he is drifting off to sleep, Finn hears a noise at his bedroom door.  In walks Mummy, and she is thirsty. Taking her by the hand and carefully guiding her around his Lego space station, Finn settles her back in bed with her water bottle.  Then just as he is settling down again, there is another noise.  This time it is Daddy who has had a bad dream, but as Finn guides him back to bed Daddy stands on the Lego…

This is a role reversal story of bedtime that will appeal to young readers who will see themselves and their nighttime antics in the actions of the parents.  Teamed with  hilarious illustrations which offer more each time you look at them, this is a bedtime story that will be shared over and over again as parent and child recognise the various mishaps which will no doubt spark memories and chatter. 

One of the most powerful ways to get little people interested in the magic of books is to write about situations in which they can see and place themselves, and this certainly does that.  One to recommend to your parents of preschoolers.