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Which Egg?

Which Egg?

Which Egg?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Egg?

Roxane Gajadhar

Rob Foote

Little Steps, 2022

28pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

 9781922678584

When a huge wind blows the eggs of Stork, Parrot and Crocodile off their nests so they all end up in a jumble,  who knows which egg is which? Luckily, they have the sense and patience to wait for the eggs to hatch, and sure enough they are able to tell which baby belongs to which parent.

 Even though the theme of whose egg is whose is familiar, nevertheless it sets up all sorts of investigations for young children to follow.  Stork, Crocodile and Parrot each mentions a particular characteristic that their baby will have to enable them to identify them so not only could the child predict what that might be, but they could also think about what might be the significant indicator for other creatures they know, such as a zebra having stripes, and maybe setting up a parent-child matching game.  This could lead to them looking at themselves and their parents and seeing what of which they share.

More broadly they could start to develop their research skills by investigating which creatures hatch from eggs – clearly it’s not just birds. Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones was always my go-to text for this  and the children were always fascinated with what they learned, often leading into questions about their own origins.  

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, encouraging young readers to do the same and which is becoming one of my favourite series for young readers because of the places they can go because of their reading.

The Trip

The Trip

The Trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trip

Paul Beavis 

Little Steps, 2022

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

9781922678621

When a little girl and her dog take a trip into outer space in their hot air balloon, they are quite comfortable until they see footsteps in the surface that are not theirs… Are they afraid or do they get together for a picnic?

 This is a deceptively simple book about the nature of inclusiveness because the story is told solely through the use of pronouns – me, you, us, mine, yours, ours,  and so on – and the reader really has to interpret the illustrations to tell the story making it perfect for encouraging those connections between text and picture that are critical early reading behaviours.  It also means they can tell the story using their own language as they expand on the illustrations to explain what is happening , particularly if the astute adult sharing it with them guides their reading with targeted questions to draw out the events. and thus enabling the child to return to the story independently when they wish, helping them to understand that they do have power over print and they can  read. They also learn that print stays constant – they can return to it again and again whenever they wish and take as much time as they like to absorb and tell the story.  

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, encouraging young readers to do the same. 

 

 

The Muddy Chef

The Muddy Chef

The Muddy Chef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Muddy Chef

Penny Whitehouse

Emma Bear

Wild Dog, 2022

48pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9781742036380

Across Australia, and particularly in NSW, the one thing that there is plenty of right now is MUD. And kids who want to play in it. 

So this is a timely release that encourages children to play outside and make mud cakes, although these are quite fancy using all sorts of natural ingredients and with names like unlickable lasagne, mud and seed cupcakes and nature’s nachos!  Set out like a traditional recipe book, beginning with setting up the mud kitchen and stocking it with the appropriate utensils and ingredients, each recipe is based on a familiar food item with step-by-step instructions on how to make it, including a photo of the finished product. 

Designed to get children to play outside rather than necessarily developing their culinary skills – there are warnings about NOT eating what is created- as well as following the suggestions in the teachers’ notes  to entice children away from screens and out into their natural environment, this could also be an engaging way to introduce them to procedural texts and all the concepts and vocabulary of measurement, time and sequencing that go with those. 

Certainly something different to share with your parent body.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Very First Encyclopedia

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Very First Encyclopedia

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Very First Encyclopedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Very First Encyclopedia

DK, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A39.99

9780241586426

Even though families may no longer invest hundreds of dollars into impressive looking encyclopedia sets when their children are little, nevertheless it is handy to have a general reference book that can give deeper information to answer their interminable questions in language they can understand than any click-and-collect site.  And if that book features a well-loved book character like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, so much the better because they learn as much about the power of print as they do about the topic they seek.  

They learn that this is a resource they can go to time and time again and it is always there; that they have the power to navigate it and read it for themselves when they are ready; and that what they see remains constant with no distracting eye candy trying to sell them something or push a point of view. 

Each chapter focuses on a different theme, with a new topic every time you turn the page. Bite-size chunks of information are complemented by captivating illustrations by the World of Eric Carle, eye-catching photography, and simple how-it-works diagrams, while pull-out images and facts provide extra nuggets of interest. Young learners can find out all about light and sound, the planets in the Solar System, how plants grow, and much, much more in this one-of-a-kind introduction to subjects that they are interested in, offering enough information to satisfy their immediate curiosity, which is the purpose of encyclopedias, and providing the springboard for them to explore further if they wish.  

This would be the perfect gift that will far outlive almost any of the towel sets and nappy caddies and so forth that are usually given to new mothers, and will have a much more profound influence on the child.  One to treasure and to keep. 

 

Quickly Slowly Day

Quickly Slowly Day

Quickly Slowly Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quickly Slowly Day

Martin Baynton

Rob Foote

Little Steps, 2022

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

9781922678515

Slowly up the steep steps, quickly down the slide

Slowly count to twenty, quickly try to hide.

The passage of time is one of the most abstract and difficult concepts for little children to understand, particularly when some things seem to pass quickly while others drag on and on. So this rhyming story featuring Baby Bear and his Mama introduces them to the vocabulary of ‘quickly’ and ‘slowly’ by sharing a day and showing the difference between the two terms.  Not only will young children relate to the activities, but they could also have fun classifying which of their own activities would be in the ‘quickly’ column and which in the ‘slowly’. This could be extended to embrace means of transport or animal movement, all the while consolidating and extending vocabulary in an interactive way.

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 so they 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.  

Slowly choose a book, slowly read the pages,

Slowly share the words, Let’s make this last for ages.

 

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig

Ladybird, 2022

28pp., hbk., RRP $A16.99

9780241610664

Prepare for take-off! George and his friend Edmond love pretending to be astronauts.

But what will happen when they go on a trip to the moon?

Familiar characters are back in this print version of a popular episode enabling our youngest readers to put what they already know of the story into a retelling of it for themselves. As our littlest viewers start moving towards preschool and big school and the promise of learning to read, supports such as this go a long way to developing those expectations and early reading behaviours that promote success.  So as well as extending their vocabulary and developing concepts for places they will only know vicariously, but will meet in other stories, we should not under-estimate the role these sorts of cross-overs play as we endeavour to build readers. 

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Hilary Robinson

Mandy Stanley

Catch A Star, 2022

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

 9781922326553

Tatty Mouse wants to play in her brother’s band, but given they already have a guitarist, a saxophonist and a singer, she has to find a place.  Known as the ‘mend-it, make-it mouse”, and so, after consulting a book she decides on maracas and drums and sets to, using everyday objects from her home to make her own musical instruments.

The board book format lends itself perfectly to a lift-the-flap experience for our youngest readers as they follow Tatty Mouse’s instructions, perhaps making their own versions as they do because everything she uses is readily available.  

Catch A Star continues to recognise the need for even our youngest readers to have engaging stories that are sturdy enough in their own hands so they can mimic the reading of those who read to them, a critical step in becoming a reader, and this is no exception. The text is simple but the story can be followed without being able to read it because the pictures are colourful and clearly amplify what the words say, while the lift-the-flap and the invitation to do so adds to the engagement.  Above all, this format shows little ones the value of the constancy of print – rather than being a fleeting image on a screen, it is one they can return to again and again, not just to enjoy Tatty’s inventiveness but also to explore their own. 

 

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

Janeen Brian

Ann James

Puffin, 2022 

10pp., board book, RRP $A16.99

9780143777427

The dirty dinosaur is back and this time he’s looking for his friends – Bird, feathery and flittery, tweety and twittery; Bee, busy and buzzy, stripy and fuzzy – and all the others.  But it seems like they’re hiding from him and the young reader is going to have to think about where they might be in the landscape and lift the flaps to discover them!

Rhyme, rhythm, repetition, dinosaurs and interactivity – the perfect combination to engage young readers in endless hours of fun as they tell themselves the story over and over again, and delight in their success as they uncover the hiding places!!!  Who can be hoppy, water ploppy like Frog? Or slippery, silver tail flippery like Fish?

Once again, links to research and memes about the importance of reading with the very young are doing the social media rounds, and it’s books like this one that are going to be the hook,  And, to me, even more powerful than reading a story (1825 if one a day in the first five years; 5475 if you share a familiar, a first-read and a favourite) is offering one that they can then read themselves! 

This one is a winner!!!

Let’s Go Outside!

Let's Go Outside!

Let’s Go Outside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Go Outside!

Walker , 2022

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

9781529504293

This is a charming tabbed board book for little readers to join the family of We’re going on a Bear Hunt to encourage them to explore their local environment and start to put words to the things they might discover.  While many of the things that inhabit these English locations might be unfamiliar to them, nevertheless it helps them build their vocabulary so when they encounter the words in other stories, they can bring a visual image to mind so their understanding grows.

At the same time, they might like to substitute the English words for Australian ones, such as “woods’ and “bush” and create their own page of what they discover locally.  It all goes towards building essential vocabulary that is the foundation of language and an explicit teaching focus of the curriculum, particularly in NSW. 

 

All the Words I Need to Know

All the Words I Need to Know

All the Words I Need to Know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Words I Need to Know

Jane Godwin

Andrew Joyner

Puffin, 2022

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

9781760897277

The development of oral language underpins our ability to communicate, and the development of vocabulary underpins oral language, and so the place of alphabet books should not be under-estimated.  With the Australian Curriculum emphasis on little learners developing their oral literacy skills as the foundation for all literacy, and NSW requiring students to recognise, use and respond to familiar and specific vocabulary through explicit teaching, the place of these “first dictionaries” is now unequivocal in any collection that caters for young learners at home or school.

So while this new book joins a long list in this well-established genre, it will be a welcome addition with its pages connected by a young owl who is so exquisitely portrayed in Joyner’s illustrations so that it becomes so much more than a collection of objects and labels.  Owl interacts with all the words in some way from dodging a speeding car to giving his sweetheart a bunch of red roses as family members and friends become an integral part of his adventures. 

 

Most of the words featured will be familiar to the young reader and they will have fun predicting what the words say, delighting in their success while learning that the words we say can also be written down and thus, shared with others over time.  And with the teaching of phonics also a key part of early reading instruction (a debate for another time) there is the opportunity for focusing on the beginning sound of each word and perhaps for the child to suggest and draw their own contribution.  

The pairing of Godwin and Joyner is inspired to produce something that could have been another same-old into something unique.