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Emma Memma Little Library

Emma Memma Little Library

Emma Memma Little Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Memma Little Library

Emma Memma

Puffin, 2024

48pp (4 board books)., RRP $A12.99

9781761341809

Inside this little slipcase are four little-hands sized books that introduce our youngest readers to the basic concepts of numbers, colours and common creatures but perhaps the most interesting and original is Auslan which shows the signs for common words in the language for the hearing impaired.

While there are many board books for little ones that encourage them to count and recognise colours and animals, the addition of the Auslan book not only introduces those with normal hearing to a new way of communicating, but also means those who do face this challenge to see that their needs are catered for too.  They are not invisible.  

And ex-Wiggle Emma is a champion of this.  Well-known for her passion for raising awareness  of Australia’s deaf community and teaching the very young to communicate in Auslan, she has formal qualifications in Auslan and is currently undertaking her PhD in “the affective, artistic integration of sign language, dance and film editing.” So she is well-qualified to be the author of this collection as she encourages little ones to begin their reading journey. and with a national tour underway and several books already published, she is becoming so much more than the “ex-Wiggle”. 

 

One Little Dung Beetle

One Little Dung Beetle

One Little Dung Beetle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Little Dung Beetle

Rhiân Williams

Heather Potter & Mark Jackson

Wild Dog, 2024

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

9781742036656

Australia is rich with fascinating beetles that all have a job to do. Using counting rhymes, young readers are introduced to some of these unique species and identifying the roles that each type of beetle plays in the environment including the dung beetle, the once-iconic Christmas beetle and some with the most remarkable colouring.  

With stunning endpapers, and accurate anatomical illustrations throughout, this offers an insight into the prevalence of beetles in the landscape and the critical role they perform in keeping it healthy and vibrant.  Teachers notes  offer further resources and links to investigate further, including the world of entomology, while also guiding young readers through the process of distinguishing a non fiction title from a fictional one, and how to use the cues and clues to prepare themselves for getting the most from it.

But while its format might suggest an early childhood audience, there is also scope for older readers to springboard their own investigations – why was the dung beetle introduced to Australia and were all introduced species as successful? Why do some have such remarkable colouring?  Why have all the Christmas beetles disappeared to the extent there is now a national count?  

Even if the reader is a little young to appreciate all the information, much of it embedded in the illustrations, they will enjoy practising their counting skills as they try to find all the beetles as well as the number of holes nibbled in the title number.  The pictures also include other creatures so there is also the opportunity to investigate the concepts of “more” and “less” and other early maths basics. 

With its focus topic which will encourage little ones to look at their environment with fresh eyes as well as its format, this is one that offers so much more than first meets the eye.  Give it with the gift of a magnifying glass and see the joy and wonder explode. 

 

The Cubby House Kitchen

The Cubby House Kitchen

The Cubby House Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubby House Kitchen

Amy Medley

Little Steps, 2023

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

9781922833303

Emma collects apples to make an apple pie in her cubby house kitchen and invites Carlo and Sachi to help her. While they go to get the other ingredients, Emma places her four apples on the windowsill of the cubby and starts to get her utensils ready. But each time she turns around, an apple is missing.  Where are they going? Who or what is leaving the cores with teeth marks in them?  And when there are none left at all, how will she be able to make an apple pie?

Written for early learners, this book is an opportunity for young readers to predict who might be eating the apples while practising their counting skills as they count with Emma. It’s also a chance to introduce the concept of a recipe and its special format, maybe even finding a recipe for an apple pie and making it together with all the talk and measuring and anticipation that that brings, including sharing favourite foods. Something a little different with a lot of potential. 

 

One Hungry Dragon

One Hungry Dragon

One Hungry Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Hungry Dragon

Alastair Chisholm

Alex Willmore

Hachette, 2023

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

9781444966602

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. 

One Day By the Numbers

One Day By the Numbers

One Day By the Numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Day By the Numbers

Steve Jenkins

Clarion, 2022

40pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99

 9780358470113

What happens around in the world in twenty-four hours? This is another  amazing book of infographics from author-illustrator Steve Jenkins as he shares lots of amazing facts and  figures, summarised in pictures, charts and graphs in this new book perfect for curious kids.

Some of you may have seen the photos I shared of an intrigued young friend who started reading at 3.30pm and was still going at 7.30pm when I gave him 100 Things to Know About the Unknown recently, and this is definitely another one that will keep him entranced, as it will all our other young readers who have a penchant for non fiction and being enticed down rabbit holes as they strive to find out more about what has captured them.

The perfect evidence for why we need a vibrant non fiction collection.

The perfect evidence for why we need a vibrant non fiction collection.

In this latest addition to the By the Numbers series, readers can explore what happens around the world with humans, animals, and even microorganisms in just twenty-four hours. From how much humans eat and how far migrating animals travel in day to how often lightning strikes. readers travel beyond the clock and into what twenty-four hours looks like on a massive scale. As Europe’s wildfires make headline news, we can learn that not only are these fires growing more frequent and more intense, but the equivalent of 125 000 soccer fields is burned by them every day!! And, at the other end of the scale, 16 000 Olympic swimming pools could be filled by the ice melting from glaciers and the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets every day.  

As well as being a model for the presentation of information that students could emulate, this is such an intriguing series it will keep the Xanders of this world engaged for hours, providing even more evidence of the importance of having a vibrant, current and promoted non fiction print collection.  Who knows what might catch their eye and capture their curiosity?

One Little Duck

One Little Duck

One Little Duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Little Duck

Katrina Germein

Danny Snell

HarperCollins, 2023

32pp., hbk., RRP $A22.99

 9781460761649

Five little ducks went out one day… and came home when they were called by their mother, “Quack Quack Quack Quack”.

But now there is only one little duck left at home and even though Mother Duck is happy for her last one to go over the hills and far away, she strikes trouble when it is time to call him home and she can’t remember how to quack!  So she tries Moo Moo Moo Moo instead -with s surprising result. Little Duck comes back for tea but with a friend in tow.  And so the pattern continues. Each evening , as she tries to find her quack, the roll at the tea table grows in length and diversity but she remains unflappable, just getting out a bigger cooking pot and more dishes and cutlery each time.  Until one night…

Young readers can have heaps of fun with this one, not only appreciating the rhyme and rhythm and building vocabulary and spelling patterns,  but also predicting and suggesting which friend might come home with Little Duck this time. And what might Mother Duck be cooking that they would all enjoy? They could even examine the camping picture and identify who is not there, focusing their suggestions on animals likely to be found on a farm. and how that creature might feel about being left out. Perhaps they could use the established pattern to add some more verses. Counting and sequencing activities as well as learning the ordinal numbers and positional words add extra possibilities but this would also work well with English as an Additional Language learners particularly if it were used in conjunction with similar stories like Old MacDonald had a Farm.  What a wonderful opportunity to create a mural to label all the creatures with words from lots of languages!!!

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dinosaur’s Big Race

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dinosaur's Big Race

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dinosaur’s Big Race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dinosaur’s Big Race

Rhiannon Fielding

Chris Chatterton

Ladybird, 2023

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

9780241545638

Midsummer’s Eve in the Land of Nod, and one of the biggest nights of the year for the dinosaurs for tonight is the night they hold their competition to discover who has the best all-round team.  With just ten minutes to complete the course, will Rumble and his remarkable team come in first or ???

With its rhyme which flows naturally, stunning illustrations and the countdown, this is perfect to share to settle even the most un-sleep-ready child as they learn that even the creatures they love to dream about have to sleep sometime. For those who are already familiar with the series, they will be delighted to see all the characters coming together in one story to help Rumble, while for those for whom it is new, it will be an introduction to a charming set of stories that help them not only understand the continuity of characters so it’s easy to apply their existing knowledge, but they will also enjoy exploring The Land of Nod as they compare and contrast the day and night time maps on the endpages.  

If you have a little one or know one, this is an excellent series to start them on their reading journeys.

Feelings Are Wild

Feelings Are Wild

Feelings Are Wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feelings Are Wild

Sophy Williams

Gavin Scott

A & U Children’s, 2023

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

9781761180262

One koala feels grumpy

His naptime was too short.

Two bunnies feel nervous

What if they get caught?

As our little ones become more independent they not only begin to feel a variety of emotions but also begin to recognise and identify a range of them, some of which can be a bit scary if they are made to feel ashamed or guilty for expressing them. So this charming picture book (which is also a counting book) helps them understand that not only are these emotions normal, they are common and experienced by everyone so they, themselves, are no different from their siblings or their friends.  

Read together with an adult, they can be encouraged to look at the illustrations to work out what the characters are doing  and describe how they might be feeling, thus recognising and describing situations where they might have felt a similar feeling as well as extending their vocabulary and starting to understand cause and effect. Having the characters as animals puts the events at arm’s length so they have the choice about whether they share a similar situation or not.  Such opportunities help them learn to articulate their feelings rather than throwing frustration-driven tantrums because they don’t have the words, as well as teaching them that it is OK to talk about all sorts of feelings. Not every sentence has to start with “I am happy when…” 

But  what sets this book apart from the many that describe and acknowledge emotions generally, is that having raised the issue that raised the emotion, it then revisits the animals to see how it was resolved.  So the child learns that while having the “big feelings” is normal, they can be turned around and only last for a short time.  

IMO, young children can never hear the message that they are OK, that they are normal and just like everyone else often enough and this is a book that helps underpin that. 

 

Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

Ying-Hwa Hu

UQP, 2023

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

9780702266072

It’s ten blocks through Chinatown to the Big Wok, Mia and Uncle Eddie’s favourite restaurant. On the walk there, Mia counts all the interesting things she sees – one giant panda, two lion statues, three toy turtles…. But will she remember how many dumplings to get for Grandmama?

This is a joyful journey that not only has the anticipation of some delicious food at its destination, but also highlights all the things that we can see if we take the time to look and don’t whizz past in the car.  Added to the symbols and words for counting to 10 in Mandarin is the little kitten who joins them as they step out of the house -and gets his reward!  Little ones will enjoy finding him in each of the stunning illustrations. Not only will there be many who will delight in seeing themselves in this story, but the author has included notes about each of the things that Mia and Uncle Eddie see and their place in Chinese culture,so all readers will learn something.

There is also a chart that shows the Mandarin symbols, words and their pronunciation for one to ten which could inspire creating similar charts for all the other languages spoken in the classroom, perhaps even an investigation into the story of numbers, in itself a fascinating study that links research and mathematics. For those just beginning to learn to count, go on a maths walk around the school or neighbourhood and take photos of the groups of items discovered to create your own “ten blocks” story. Add captions that emphasise the numbers, numerals and words. 

Found in Sydney

Found in Sydney

Found in Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found in Sydney

Joanne O’Callaghan

Kori Song

A&U Children’s. 2023 

36pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9781760526245

From one giant aeroplane coming into land to 1 000 000 tiles on the Sydney Opera House, this is a unique counting book that shares two young children’s exploration of Sydney as a tourist destination. Stretching from Bondi in the east to Gulamadda (Blue Mountains) in the west, there are lots of things to see and all are tied to a counting rhyme and then encapsulated  in a map at the end.

It’s an interesting concept that offers not only a guide for young Sydney-siders to explore their city over these long school holidays, but also visitors to the city.  It could also prompt Sydney children offering their own suggestions for what they would include as must-sees if they were showing someone around, while those from other parts might use it as an inspiration for creating a guide to their own town. 

Something different for starting the new school year.