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Hello World

Hello World

Hello World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello World

Lisa Shanahan

Leila Rudge

ABC Books, 2021

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

9780733340826

There would be few in Australia who have not held their breath these past few days as the search for little AJ Elfalak went on and then let it out in relief when the autistic, non-verbal three-year old was found after four days.  It was a time to hug family, small and bigger, a little tighter and see the world just a little more brightly today.

And that’s exactly what this new book by Lisa Shanahan and Leila Rudge does.  It is early morning and the toddler wakes in her cot and greets the world with a enthusiastic “Hello world.”  Then the reader joins her greeting all the things in her day with repetitive rhyming text that encourages them to predict the words, relate to the events through the charming illustrations and talk about their own experiences.  Perhaps even create their own day’s story with the help of a parent and a camera.  

This is just a pure celebration of viewing the ordinary through the eyes of a young one, to relive the joy in what has become a bit ho-hum and maybe even rediscover our own joie de vivre as winter finally rolls away.

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…

 

Where Are You, Magoo?

Where Are You, Magoo?

Where Are You, Magoo?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Are You, Magoo?

Briony Stewart

Puffin, 2021

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

9781760896911

The lovable Magoo is back in another hilarious story that epitomises the fun and mischief that a puppy can get into.  Just how many places can a dog hide?  And what mischief can he make while he is there?

Like its predecessor, shortlisted for the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year 2021, this has the repetitive text, rhyme and rhythm that appeal so much to young readers and which are such an important foundation of their early reading behaviour as they are encouraged to pick up the book and read it to themselves. Its sturdy format, clear text and engaging illustrations will endear it to child and parent alike, but most importantly its strong, funny storyline with a lovable character already known to them will make it a go-to favourite to be read again and again.

Do You Love Dinosaurs?

Do You Love Dinosaurs?

Do You Love Dinosaurs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Love Dinosaurs?

Matt Robertson

Bloomsbury, 2021

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

9781526609533

Any experienced teacher or TL knows you can never have enough books about dinosaurs to satisfy the curiosity and cravings of young readers who are endlessly fascinated with them. It doesn’t matter that some had a deadly bite and others could run super fast or some had club-like tails and some were really smelly – dinosaurs continue to inspire wonder and for many, they are the pathway into reading as they seek to discover more and more.

From the ferocious hunters like Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex to the gentle giants like Diplodocus and Titanosaurus, the speedy Velociraptor to the armoured Ankylosaurus, this brightly illustrated book introduces young investigators to all the weird and wonderful things that made dinosaurs so intriguing.  They can learn about the dinosaurs that laid eggs the size of footballs; the   fossilised dinosaur poo as long as their arm and even the  dinosaur that could outrun a racehorse.

But no one book can contain all that is known about these creatures so this is the perfect opportunity to tap into the child’s knowledge and ask them to create a page about their favourite dinosaur to add to it.  What do they know that Matt Robertson hasn’t included? Can they design a page that is as interesting as his so others will be drawn to it and want to read it? Then build a display of their contributions to share and encourage even more reading and learning! Perfect for at-home or at-school learning and putting all that knowledge to a purpose. 

My First Book of Aussie Animals

My First Book of Aussie Animals

My First Book of Aussie Animals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Book of Aussie Animals

Gordon Winch

Stephen Pym

Catch A Star, 2021 

16pp., board book, RRP $A12.99

9781922326232

Right from the get-go, our youngest littlies learn to recognise the iconic Australian wildlife – I’m currently making a library bag for Mr Almost-2 with an Aussie animal theme – and so this little board book from the creator of Can You Find Me? is perfect for not only consolidating their knowledge but also beginning their reading journey.  With its sturdy board book format,  lift-the-flap interactivity and repetitive, rhyming text they can discover the platypus, echidna, koala, kangaroo and possum in their familiar habitats while also being introduced to some less familiar creatures that share that same environment.

Not only does this approach start to develop those early reading behaviours that are the foundation of mastering print, but it also encourages them to look more closely at the trees and bushes around them and understand that even if they aren’t a home for something familiar, they are a home for something. And if they look carefully, they might just discover what that something is.  

There are indeed riches galore in this seemingly simple, beautifully illustrated book. 

The Art of Words

The Art of Words

The Art of Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Words

Robert Vescio

Joanna Bartel

EK Books, 2021

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

 9781925820843 

Whether spoken, shouted, murmured or just thought; whether written, read, screened or viewed, we are surrounded by words.  Words that are big, little, shortened, extended, kind, hurtful,  colourful or ugly. Words that ask questions, shout out loud or tell us to pause – our lives are dependent on our need to communicate and for that we need words. 

Vescio, who has proven to be a master in saying so much with so few words, and Bartel, who has interpreted his words with the most exquisitely appropriate illustrations, have crafted a celebration of these most abstract yet concrete necessities. We celebrate a child’s first words from just a couple in the first twelve months to an exponential growth by the time they start school. In fact, the NSW Department of Education has declared vocabulary to be “the greatest predictor of success in literacy” so what better tool to inspire the study and development of words than a book about them.  The possibilities are endless but if you’re stuck there are teachers’ notes available. 

“Words string together like droplets of dew on a silky web and shape the heart with happiness through stories one word at a time and on a cold, frosty, foggy morning this book has lifted mine. 

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. 

The Bird in the Herd

The Bird in the Herd

The Bird in the Herd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bird in the Herd

Kathryn Apel

Renée Treml

UQP, 2021

40pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9780702262944

There’s a bird in the herd that stalks as it walks, eating slugs and the bugs that the herd stirred. 

After half a century as a teacher, most of it spent focusing on teaching our youngest readers to read, I am quite vocal with my criticism of the current push to have phonics as the basis of instruction and while I could write much about why, I won’t.  However, this is a clever and quirky read which mainly relies on rhyme, rhythm and  repetition to carry it along but central, and most importantly, there is a charming story at its core. 

Beginning with a bird stalking a herd of cows to snap up the slugs and bugs they disturb, the scene is tracked back through all its elements – there is so much more than just the cows wandering along the track- with a repetition reminiscent of The House that Jack Built until an ignorant, impatient idiot  upsets everything.  So rather than the traditional set of disconnected pictures with sentences declaring the cat sat on the mat and the frog sat on the log, this is one that young readers can not only apply their new knowledge of phonemes but can actively engage with Treml’s illustrations and their existing knowledge of farm animals to read it for themselves.  They learn that the best books tell a story that is worth reading, that the words and pictures are integral to each other and this reading thing is something they can master. Such empowerment. If only all that we asked our beginning readers to read were as good as this…

Teachers’ notes are available.

Peep Inside How a Recycling Truck Works

Peep Inside How a Recycling Truck Works

Peep Inside How a Recycling Truck Works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peep Inside How a Recycling Truck Works

Lara Bryan

Giavana Medeiros

Usborne, 2021

14pp., board book, RRP $A14.99

9781474986083

From rubbish into the bin to recycled products in the playground, this little lift-the-flap book tracks the journey of recycling, providing the perfect introduction to this practice which is a normal part of everyday life now. 

Joining the 16 other books in this series, Usborne continues to bring quality non fiction to even our youngest readers offering them a book that is sturdy and small enough for little hands as well as a format that is engaging and fun.  Anyone who knows the power and persistence of a young person’s questions will welcome being able to share this title, and the others, with them so they have the answers they seek from a clear and authoritative source written with them in mind so they learn the value of information in print .  Perfect for preschoolers as it acknowledges those who prefer non fiction even at that age..

Early One Morning

Early One Morning

Early One Morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early One Morning

Mem Fox

Christine Davenier

Puffin, 2021

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

9781761040030

Early one morning a little boy wakes up with a particular thing on his mind for breakfast, and so he sets off in search of it.  What follows is his quest as he travels around all the familiar objects and animals found on a farm until at last he has success.

If anyone knows what is needed to create a story that will engage the hearts and minds of our youngest readers and ensure they fall in love with the written word, then it is Mem Fox. Here, she has taken a very ordinary, everyday concept combined it with a very familiar character and using just the right amount of carefully chosen text she has crafted a story that will most definitely become a favourite.  The illustrations are perfect, not only helping to make the text predictable so the reader feels empowered but the little chook following the boy adds humour as well as the clue to his search.  As the little chap visits the truck and the tractor and the sheep and the ponies, he doesn’t see he is being followed and little ones will be shouting, “Look behind you!” much like they do the villain in the pantomime, while at the same time I hear the music to this version of Rosie’s Walk!   Two for the price of one!  Chooks in books – always a winning combo.

As well, it opens up the opportunity to investigate where our food comes from and how it gets to our plates. Lots of learning all round.