Deep in a dark and gloomy forest, a creature stomps through the trees.
“I am Bernardo, “he roars, ” and I am ONE HUNGRY DRAGON!”
So look out anything that crosses his path including two silly sheep, three hearty heroes, four proper princesses, and a host of other characters straight out of the fairytales of the young readers this is designed for. But is it the end of the world for all those he swallows or is there a twist in the tale? Maybe even more than one twist?
Despite Bernardo’s antics, this is a laugh-out-loud book rather than a scary one as both the illustrations and the climax will just delight little ones as they join in the fun, roaring with Bernardo, counting forward and back and learning about the delights of the picture book format.
If the popularity of any of my storybook cushions featuring dragons is anything to go by, the attraction of dragons in stories remains unabated and this is the perfect addition to the collection.
Bunny has bought his best friend Bird a present. Carefully, he takes it out of the box and places it on a large rock telling Bird it is a dragon egg, and he knows that because he bought it from the dragon-egg shop.
Bird has a few questions about his gift so together they sit in front of the rock and work their way through the instructions. Meanwhile, behind them…
This is the first in a new series for our youngest readers that not only celebrates friendship and fun but is also going to teach them so much about stories, reading and how to use the words and the pictures together because in this story, all the action is happening in the illustrations! As Bunny is sharing what he is learning from the instruction sheet, magical things are happening in the background that they are oblivious to, but which the astute reader will be marvelling at. It’s a bit like the old=time pantomime where the lead characters are unaware of other goings-on and the audience has to shout out warnings! Don’t be surprised if that is what your young reader does!
As well as engaging the readers in such a clever way, this has the potential to really open a child’s reading journey because Bland is also the author of the series that began with The Very Cranky Bear which will be familiar to so many so this offers an opportunity to discuss authors and how we often choose new reads because we have enjoyed the author’s work before. Conversely, if the little one likes How to Hatch a Dragon it offers the opportunity to search out other titles by the same author.
It also introduces the concept of a series to little ones so they can be encouraged to think about what they learn about Bunny and Bird from this story so when the next one is released, they can be prompted to recall that and focus their thoughts and energy into enjoying the next episode.
Bland says he always wanted to be a cartoonist and a writer, but it wasn’t until he was in his 20s and got a job at a bookshop and then read “every picture book that hit the shelves” that he finally discovered his own style and how to put being both storyteller and illustrator together. Our youngest readers are so glad that he did.
Dads can be busy, whizzy, caring, sharing . . . and so much more. But there’s just ONE dad who gives the best hugs of all. Can you guess who it is?
This is a companion to Amazing Mumand like that, it features all sorts of anthropomorphic dads doing all sorts of things with their little ones with rhyming captions that really encourage young readers to examine the pictures so they can predict the text. Often these sorts of books focus on actual activities that kids and dads can do together but this one is more diverse and includes acknowledgement of dads who have taken on others’ children, dads who live apart and may only be weekend dads, and even dads who can only live on in the child’s heart. So there is something for almost every child to relate to and to share about their own dad.
As well as being a tribute to dads and helping the young reader focus on all the things their dad does, it encourages the development of a lot of essential foundation literacy skills not the least of which is that print is fun.
Koala and his other friends who like to sleep through the day are stuck in a tree full of squawking cockatoos who are keeping them awake. They are tired and frazzled and just want to sleep. But then, on the back of a bouncing kangaroo, Postman arrives with a parcel. Both Gorilla and Penguin have received parcels, so what could be in this one from Turtle?
Knowing that in this adventure in this fabulous series for little ones, all the creatures want to do is get some sleep, young readers can have fun predicting what it might be that will help them do that. Could it be a harp to play lullabies or a hammock to curl up in? Perhaps some earmuffs to blot out those raucous cockies! Or is it something completely unexpected but which can be used to solve the problem anyway?
As with its predecessors, the thread of the story is presented on the endpapers helping the child to focus their thoughts on what is to come and predict what might happen, essential skills in becoming a reader. As one who has taught littlies to read for over 50 years, to me this series is an absolute winner and should be in the hands of all those who want their children to become successful, independent readers. It just works in building those early skills on so many levels and in so many ways.
Spot and his mum and dad are camping near a billabong and exploring the Australian outback, its colours and creatures. As they paddle down the creek they discover all the colours that can be found in and around the billabong and meet lots of Australian animals along the way, most of them hidden under flaps for littlies to lift, but as they are exploring, Spot disappears! Where did he go?
Eric Hill’s Where’s Spot? was the first ever lift-the-flap book – and his ground-breaking innovation continues to delight and surprise readers with interactive fun. Spot has now been a trusted character in early learning for over 40 years, selling over 65 million books worldwide. And the tradition continues as young readers not only have the delight of discovering what is under the flap, but also sharing a familiar adventure with a favourite character, building their vocabulary with words like “billabong”, naming the colours that they can see and having fun identifying those creatures they already recognise – all critical skills in early reading development and affirming that they, too, will become a “real reader”.
There’s a strange rumbling deep in the jungle and it’s coming from Gorilla’s tummy! But his friends’ attempts to get him a coconut to stop it are abandoned when the postmaster arrives with a parcel for Gorilla that is so big, he needs an elephant to deliver it! What could be inside?
And so the fun begins as they try to guess and because it is more than just Gorilla’s tummy rumbling all the thoughts are on food! But what sort of food needs a box that big? Is it, indeed, food?
The young reader will have fun using their imaginations too –what would they send Gorilla? – and they will adore not only what Penguin has sent but what Gorilla does with it! Talk about “thinking outside the box” – pun intended!
As with Parcel for Penguin, our youngest readers will delight in being part of the storytelling as they try to predict what could be in the box using their existing knowledge, the eye-catching pictures and the conversational text. Who can’t hear someone hissssssing like Snake?
This is one that offers so much to develop their joy in stories, their delight in being able to return to it again and again, and their belief that they, too, can be a reader that it is definitely be a series on every little one’s shelves. And with two more to come – Koala in July and Turtle in October – there is much to look forward to.
When you see Hervé Tullet’s name on a book cover, you know the littlest readers in your life are about to have an interactive, imaginary treat! The author of Press Here, Mix it Up , Let’s Play, and Play This Book is back with another invitation for little hands to follow the instructions and delight in the movements they can make as it weaves in and out and around and over coloured dots, circles and lines..
“Ready? Place your hand here. Close your eyes. Concentrate. Hit it! Three times: Tap! Tap! Tap!”
As with the others, Tullet speaks directly to the reader encouraging them to follow instructions and talk about what happens when they do They are in charge of their fingers so they are empowered to follow (or not) consolidating that vital message that reading is fun and can be done by anyone, while developing those essential fine motor skills and instilling the left-to-right nature of reading as a natural direction.
Full of whimsy and fun, this is one that should be in any preschooler’s realm. They will be reading it for themselves in no time at all, strengthening their belief that they, too, can be readers.
Mums are amazing people and they do wondrous things, many of which are captured in this clever text-and-illustration picture book for our youngest readers.
From being “magic lost-and-found mums” to “never-let-you-down mums” mums of all shapes, sizes and species frolic through the pages of this delightful book celebrating these precious people in our lives.
But as well as requiring the young reader to really connect text to picture and articulate what is happening so they understand the story, the final line opens up the opportunity for children to build on the book by thinking of something special their own mum does and then encapsulating that in a picture and the briefest caption to build a book about the class’s amazing mums. Great for upcoming Mothers Day.
Down in the icy wastelands, Penguin and his friends are trying to keep warm when a surprise parcel arrives from Gorilla. What could be in it?
Young readers will delight in joining Penguin in trying to use the clues to guess what is in it and will be delighted when it is revealed.
This is the first in a series of stories on the theme that are coming for our littlest readers – Parcel for Gorillawill be out in May, followed by Parcel for Koala in July – each following a similar theme so they can not only predict the plot but also learn about applying what they know to solving the puzzle. If Penguin’s parcel is too hard to be a scarf, too cold to be a hot water bottle and not boofy enough to be a blanket, what does its shape suggest? They will love being part of the storytelling showing that they have power over the printed word, a key factor in becoming a reader.
Dog wants in. He’s trying to build blocks, play with his cars and finish his painting masterpiece. Cat wants in. No, Cat wants out. In. Out. In. Out. It’s enough to drive Dog crazy!
Any child with a cat or a dog is going to relate to this hilarious story as they recognise the familiar situation of their pet not being able to make up its mind about being in or out. Whether they have the patience of Dog is another matter.
But the power in this story for our youngest readers is that they can tell the story for themselves just by looking at the picture and thus predicting the simple, large text that accompanies it. They can be “real readers”, strengthening their belief that they will master those squiggles on the page by looking at the context and drawing on their existing knowledge to make sense of what is going on. That, in itself, makes this book worthwhile and the underlying themes of friendship and understanding wrapped up in an hilarious, familiar circumstance just add to the fun.