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Eric Carle’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Other Nursery Rhymes

Eric Carle's Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Other Nursery Rhymes

Eric Carle’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Other Nursery Rhymes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Carle’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Other Nursery Rhymes

Eric Carle

Penguin, 2022

10pp., board book., RRP $A19.99

9780593224311

Children learn their mother tongue by listening to it, playing with it and sharing it and hence rhymes like those in this book have endured over generations because of the rhythm and repetition than encourages them to engage all their senses.  Added to that there is often the bonus experience of sitting on the lap of a loved someone and sharing something that goes beyond the exchange of sounds and syllables.

There would be few young children who are not familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and so to have this little critter wandering in and out of the pages of this book, illustrated in Carle’s distinctive style and palette will have surefire appeal.  Add to that, the fun of lifting the flaps to discover what is underneath and all in all this is a wonderful addition to the libraries of our youngest readers.  

Five rhymes feature – “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” and “The Wheels on the Bus.” – carefully chosen because each focuses on something the little one can relate to and by using the technique of not disclosing the final line until the flap is lifted, there is plenty of opportunity for the child to predict what might be uncovered, thereby not only showing off their existing knowledge but also having power over the print!

Ideal for those who know the VHC already but for those who don’t, it opens up a whole new reading experience as they discover his adventures!  There’s a reason the little character has endured since 1969!

Peppa Pig: Where’s George’s Dinosaur?

Peppa Pig: Where's George's Dinosaur?

Peppa Pig: Where’s George’s Dinosaur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppa Pig: Where’s George’s Dinosaur?

Peppa Pig

Ladybird, 2022

10pp., board book., RRP $A14.99

9780241543542

George is looking for Mr Dinosaur but he can’t find him anywhere and he’s distressed.  So Mummy Pig suggests they retrace their steps through the day, but no matter how promising things look, what’s revealed under the flap is not Mr Dinosaur.

In a book reminiscent of the advertisement for a particular brand of car in which a family retraces their steps in search of Gonzo the missing toy rabbit, little ones can not only follow George’s search as they resonate with his rising distress but they learn that there can be a logical sequence of events to follow rather than throwing a tantrum. So that when they misplace something, parents can draw on George’s experience to guide them in theirs.

Again, the use of a familiar plot, favourite characters and a lift-the-flap technique mean the book will engage even our youngest readers and those crucial concepts about the value of print will continue to develop.  There’s something special about quietly observing Mr Nearly 3 taking himself off to a quiet spot and retelling himself the story using his own vocabulary as he recounts George’s adventures.  But there was also something disconcerting when at the conclusion he said, “I bet his mum put it there out of her bag,” suggesting that maybe he had been exposed to that advertisement once too often!

My First Elmer Christmas

 

 

 

 

My First Elmer Christmas

My First Elmer Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Elmer Christmas

David McKee

Andersen Press, 2021

10pp., board book, RRP $A18.99

9781839130540

It’s two days before Christmas Eve, the night Papa Red visits, and the young elephants are very excited. This year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants, if they can keep quiet and out of sight… 

Elmer the patchwork elephant is an enduring favourite with our youngest readers and this  specially abridged version of the original is shaped like a Christmas tree and designed for little fingers that will add to the anticipation of THE night!  Who knew that elephants and their friends celebrated this special time just like we do?

A classic for the Christmas Countdown collection that will open up a whole world of Elmer stories, activities and fun for a new generation. 

 

Unicorn’s Christmas

 

 

 

 

Unicorn's Christmas

Unicorn’s Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unicorn’s Christmas

Lucy Golden

RHUS Children’s, 2021

12pp., board book., RRP $A14.99

9780593374856

It’s almost Christmas! Unicorn is so excited, but there’s still a lot to do: make a list for Santa, decorate the tree, make cookies, and more!

But this is a book with a twist… literally!  For within the text there are blanks, almost like a cloze activity, and the reader has to turn the wheel to find the best word to fit the context.  Helped by an illustration of each word so it is easily read, they can either make a story that is fun but doesn’t really make sense, or they can use the cues and clues to predict what is just right for the gap.

So apart from being a story featuring a familiar character doing all those things that herald that special day, it really encourages the young reader to focus their attention and use their existing knowledge to create the story so it makes sense, an essential concept about print and pre-requisite to reading. Physically turning a wheel adds another dimension to the fun, making this one of the most unique Christmas books for our youngest readers.  

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas

Roald Dahl

Quentin Blake

Puffin, 2021

16pp., board book, RRP $A14.99

9780241492888

On the twelfth day of Christmas a grown-up gave to me…

12 books a-balancing

And so begins a less-than-traditional countdown to Christmas featuring many of Dahl’s most well-known and well-loved characters and Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations.  But as well as being a counting book, it is also the best introduction for little ones to the works of this much-loved author whose books, while largely written for more independent readers, will nevertheless entertain our youngest ones if they’re shared as a read-aloud.  No child should go through their young life without knowing what a whizz-popper is or dreaming of winning that golden ticket!

And when they’ve heard those classics, there are the other stories featured in this book to work through and then a whole host of others crafted by one of the most popular authors in a primary school library.  Can you think of a better, more enduring gift to give a little one? 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Feast

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Australian Feast

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Feast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Feast

Eric Carle

Puffin, 2021 

12pp., board book., RRP $A16.99

9780241489536

We all know of The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s liking for food and the foods on the menu of his first feast, but what would be on the table if he came to an Australian feast? Particularly one designed for a picnic on the beach?

Very young Australian fans of the VHC will delight in this exclusive release written just for them as they lift the flaps on iconic treats searching for their little hero.  Interactive, a familiar character, vivid illustrations in Carle’s recognisable style and rhyming text make this a terrific addition to this collection as young readers discover another adventure.  Is their favourite food mentioned?  What would be in their beach picnic basket?  (And who’s the ladybird? Could that be another story from the master storyteller?)

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel and the Golden Acorn

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel and the Golden Acorn

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel and the Golden Acorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel and the Golden Acorn

Educational Insights

Lucia Gaggiotti

Candlewick, 2021

12pp., board book., RRP $A21.99

 9781536222739

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is looking for something extra special today: the Golden Acorn. Is it in the tree?  How about at the beach?  Could Frankie have Golden Acorns on his food truck menu?  Maybe Sophie the otter has seen it in the sea? Or Hoppy Floppy might find it in the meadow? Wait—here comes a gust of wind, blowing a pile of leaves . . .

Inspired by the popular game celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2021, and featuring the characters from other books in the series, this book offers lots of flaps to explore and a wheel to turn ensuring our youngest readers are actively engaged rather than passively watching.  Bright and sturdy, the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel’s second adventure will keep readers occupied as it helps strengthen colour recognition and classification skills while also introducing animals not ordinarily seen in Australia but which feature widely in children’s literature.

One for those with young readers craving something new. 

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. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Father Christmas

 

 

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Father Christmas

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Father Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Father Christmas

Eric Carle

Puffin, 2021

12pp., board book., $A12.99

 9780241527634

Even though our children might be fast asleep on Christmas Eve, there is one person who is extremely busy.  First he has to dress in his warmest clothes, feed his reindeer so they can manage their long night, and fill the sleigh with presents.  And this year there is a special helper. But will he make the journey too, or will he be left behind?

This is a charming story for our youngest readers as they settle down on this night of nights, and they will enjoy looking for that special little helper on each page. The VHC is a classic character, integral to the reading development of our children, and to team it up with the iconic Father Christmas has to be a winning partnership that will please parent and child alike. 

Let’s Go! On a Submarine

Let's Go! On a Submarine

Let’s Go! On a Submarine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go! On a Submarine

Rosalyn Albert

Natalia Moore

Catch A Star, 2021 

16pp., board book., 2021

9781922326270

‘Let’s go on a submarine
And cruise beneath the sea.
Discovering strange creatures
Who swim so fast and free.’

This is a new addition to the Let’s Go series, this one taking our youngest readers under the ocean on a yellow submarine to discover some of the wonders that are usually hidden beneath the waves. 

The series focuses on two children enjoying rides on a variety of transport. Familiar topics, catchy rhymes and colourful illustrations not only make for an enjoyable read that they will be able to retell themselves endlessly, but also promote what can be expected from story books. It also helps build vocabulary as not all will be familiar with  farm life or riding a train or a ferry, and those like this that take them under the sea or travelling in space on a rocket introduce them to otherwise out-of-reach worlds. Thus, when they encounter other books with those sorts of settings, they are able to bring their existing knowledge to the page, predict what they will see and what might happen so the story makes sense, as well as being in a better position to get their mouth ready for unknown words.

We should never underestimate the role that these sorts of readers have in our children’s literacy as they develop those early concepts about print, and by using sturdy, durable board books we can start that process earlier and earlier. This is just one of a number of series from this publisher that is bringing quality stories to our youngest readers ensuring they develop those vital concepts about print that must be in place long before they embark on trying to master the skills if they are to make connections between what’s in their brain and what’s on the page. 

In the meantime, the adults who share this with their little ones will enjoy the  memories of that other yellow submarine  that it brings back, rather than the current controversy of they said, we said…