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Parcel For Penguin

Parcel For Penguin

Parcel For Penguin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parcel For Penguin

Shelley Knoll-Miller

Puffin, 2023

24pp., hbk., RRP $A14.99

9781761046612

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 Gorilla will 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. 

In or Out: A Tale of Cat Versus Dog

In or Out: A Tale of Cat Versus Dog

In or Out: A Tale of Cat Versus Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In or Out: A Tale of Cat Versus Dog

Stacy Gregg

Sarah Jennings

HarperCollins, 2023

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

9780008549237

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. 

Koko and the Coconut

Koko and the Coconut

Koko and the Coconut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koko and the Coconut

Turia Pitt

Celestine Vaite

Emilie Tavaerli

Puffin, 2023

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

9781760892944

It’s a big day for Koko for not only does he have to leave the shell that has been his home since he was born because he now has a tough shell of his own, but he must also crack a coconut by himself if he is to feed himself and survive. But to reach the coconut there is an enormous palm tree to climb, and then, once he has the coconut on the ground there is the task of opening it. Even though all his friends are cheering him on, it does seem like an insurmountable task so will he succeed?

Based on the life stories of Birgus latro, the large terrestrial crabs of her native Tahiti, Turia Pitt has crafted a story of determination, perseverance and resilience – all those qualities that adults associate with her own story of survival. But for young readers, it is also an inspirational story as they tackle big challenges in their own lives, such as starting school. Like Koko, it is the next must-do part of their growing up, and like Koko, all their family and friends are encouraging them on the way, expecting them to succeed even if there are setbacks.  But most importantly, like Koko, they have to believe in themselves, know that they will succeed and be willing and courageous enough to take the next step, just as Koko climbed the palm tree continually telling himself he could do it.

Koko is the story’s narrator which immediately puts the reader in Koko’s “shoes”, while the stunning illustrations with their clever use of perspective echo the enormity of the task ahead so they are invested in the story from the get-go.

At this time of the year our young ones are hearing all sorts of stories about starting school and overcoming their fears, so this is one to add to that collection because of its parallels with that experience and its positive message.  As a story it is a stand-alone but astute adults will help the young listener dig deeper, helping them to understand that stories can have lots of layers of meaning. The message of believing in yourself is powerful and one our children need to hear so often.  

Where’s My Stick?

Where's My Stick?

Where’s My Stick?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s My Stick?

Fifi Colston

Little Steps, 2022

24pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781922678508

Maxie the dog loves finding and burying sticks at the beach and he is smart enough to know that he must leave markers at their burial site so he can find them again to play with.  But each time he does, his marker has disappeared – nature has ways of tricking him – and so he has to find an even bigger stick!

This is a story of perseverance and resilience because Maxie doesn’t get frustrated and give up when he can’t find either his marker or his stick, but works his way to another solution – and finally rewarded with something more than a stick. Young readers will relate to similar situations when they have found that things don’t work out for them the first time and so they must try again. 

This is another story evolving from The Book Hungry Bears television show in which the main characters share picture books, hungry to learn all they can from those they settle down to share together. With so much screen-based interaction for our littlies, taking the time to share a story and discuss it with them is critical if they are to learn about the constancy of print and the potential that the stories offer, and particularly that they can return to them time and time again.  

Lou

Lou

Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lou

Breanna Carzoo

HarperCollins, 2023

32pp., hbk., RRP $A32.99

9780063054059

Lou has an important job . . . as the neighbourhood toilet for dogs on their walks, particularly as he is across the road from a doggy day care centre.. All day, every day, they come and sniff, and twirl and twist and lift and…

Useful as he may be, he gets the feeling that deep down inside, there might be more to him than that. He just doesn’t seem to know exactly what yet. When disaster strikes, will Lou find out what he’s made of and save the day?

Young readers will giggle their way through the start of this book as the recognise a very familiar scenario, but the astute ones will also be looking at the pictures and discovering a whole different scenario playing out in the background while Lou is musing about his lot in life.  

This is one to encourage young readers to read the pictures as well as the words because in quality picture books they are integral adding to both the plot and the meaning. Like Lou, this story shows that there is more to each of us than first meets the eye, and that each of us has hidden qualities that others might not appreciate at first. Little ones who are usually the least empowered can have fun identifying just what it is that makes them unique and special, perhaps adding to a group collage that shares their particular talents. Who knows what future hero or champion might be lurking. 

One Bird Band

One Bird Band

One Bird Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Bird Band

Sacha Cotter

Josh Morgan

Little Steps, 2022

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

9781922678485

With its rinky-dink-dink, rat-a-tat-tat, toot-a-toot-toot, and clang-a-clang-CLANG, the little bird really is a one-bird-band, But as it makes its way through the jungle, it discovers other creatures who are really sad and to cheer them up, it gives away its instruments one at a time, until it has none left.  Now it is the sad one!  But then…

While the main focus of the story is the concept of sharing, little readers could have fun deciding which instruments make each sound, and then perhaps even discover what noises other instruments make and suggest vocabulary for them in the style of the author.  What would their one-man-band sound like? While onomatopoeia is a big word for little mouths,  it can be a lot of fun as the child pays attention to the sounds around and increases their vocabulary so this is a charming story to share and build on.

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MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

Sean Taylor

Fred Benaglia

Bloomsbury, 2023

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

9781526606839

It’s a hot summer day at the beach and Monster is thirsty. But when he trips over and spills his own drink, the trouble begins as he hunts for another.  The queue at the juice van is long, only race-runners can have one from Kangaroo and the toilet water is a no-no.  His problem seems to be solved when some penguins having a picnic offer to share theirs – or is it?

This will be a familiar scenario to those with fractious toddlers who demand instant satisfaction and who will see the humour, but it is also one to encourage them to look at the pictures to work out the storyline because the text is minimal.  Then, having read it through with adult guidance they will be able to read it themselves, making up the story as they go and empowering them as readers.  Worthwhile for our youngest readers.

The Last Crayon

The Last Crayon

The Last Crayon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Crayon

Fifi Colston

Little Steps, 2022

24pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781922678522

When the squirrels find a box of crayons, each takes one and knows exactly what they are going to draw based on its colour.  Except for grey squirrel who gets the grey crayon.  If yellow is for the sunrise, blue is the sky and green is the grass, what is grey for?

This is another story evolving from The Book Hungry Bears television show in which the main characters share picture books, hungry to learn all they can from those they settle down to share together. With so much screen-based interaction for our littlies, taking the time to share a story and discuss it with them is critical if they are to learn about the constancy of print and the potential that the stories offer, and particularly that they can return to them time and time again and even build their own stories. What else could they draw with the red crayon? What might happen if the squirrels mixed the colours together?  Can they use pictures from magazines to make a collage of purple things?  Is one colour more common than the others? What might the world look like if it was monochromatic? And so on…

Five Little Penguins

Five Little Penguins

Five Little Penguins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Little Penguins

Lily Murray

Holly Surplice

Templar, 2022

24pp., pbk., RRP $A15.99

9781800782907

Five little penguins went out one day
Over the hills and far away.
Mamma Penguin said “Hurry back to me!”
How many penguins can you see?

Combine a familiar ditty with rhyme, rhythm and repetition, add in bright, appealing illustrations and include the interactivity of a lift-the-flap format and you have the perfect recipe for a book that is going to engage our youngest readers.  Not only will they be taken to a winter wonderland where there is so much to see as Mamma Penguin and her chicks waddle through a frosty forest, skate down an icy river and toboggan down snowy slopes meeting all kinds of festive animals playing in the snow but because both the environment and the creatures are not those they are used to seeing, there is all sorts of scope for discussion and building vocabulary.

Most importantly though, this is one that they can return to again and again independently empowering their independence and consolidating their belief and expectation they they, too, can be “real readers”. 

 

We’re Going on a Present Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

We're Going on a Present Hunt

We’re Going on a Present Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Going on a Present Hunt

Goldie Hawk

Angie Rozelaar

Nosy Crow, 2022

32pp., pbk. RRP $A14.99

9781839941559

 Three children are off on a hunt for the perfect Christmas present! But first they’ve got to get through the spiky Christmas trees, a herd of hungry reindeer, some noisy carol singers and a very busy toyshop! But there are SO MANY toys . . . will they ever find the perfect present?

Set to the familiar rhyme of  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt young children will delight in reading along with this story and it’s quirky ending – there’s definitely a bear!  The colourful illustrations will attract their attention and then discovering that they can read it already will help them believe that they too, can be “real readers”.  Not to mention getting them to think about what if this were and Australian story – what would change and what would they substitute.