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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”. 

 

Where is the Green Sheep?

Where is the Green Sheep?

Where is the Green Sheep?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is the Green Sheep? 20th Anniversary

Mem Fox

Judy Horacek

Puffin, 2024

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

9781761347832

Resplendent in a gold foil cover to celebrate its 20th birthday, is one of my favourite early childhood books of all time.  

Few children in Australia in the last 20 years would not be familiar with these words…

Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep.
Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep.
But where is the green sheep?

And among them is my own granddaughter who gave me one of my most memorable grandma-moments when she sat up in bed at just-turned-2 and read it to her older sister. We had yet another reader in the family!!!

And now she is 13 and reads everything she can, (as does that sister) and all because of the fun, predictable, rhyming text of an Australian classic with its gorgeous illustrations that allowed her to predict what the words said even if she didn’t quite recognise them yet.

Could anyone ask any more of a book for little ones? My copy will be put aside for her to share with hers when she is older. But it will also be a must-get for a brand-new grandmother… 

Read about how it came to be here

Where is the Green Sheep? is 20 years old

 

 

 

Where Is the Cat?

Where Is the Cat?

Where Is the Cat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Is the Cat?

Eva Eland

Andersen Press, 2024

32pp., hbk., RRP $A25.99

9781839131837

Whenever Suzy visits Auntie, all she wants to do is play with the cat.  But Cat is nowhere to be found, or is he?  No matter where Suzy looks, she can’t find Cat, but is she looking hard enough?

This is a joyous story for very young readers who will enjoy spotting Cat even though Suzy can’t.  They will love joining in to point him out, much like the audience in a pantomime, as well as learning and understanding prepositions like “behind”, “under” and so forth. There is also the opportunity to talk about how the cat, used to a quiet, good life, might feel when confronted by the boisterous, effervescent Suzy.

While it’s a familiar theme, nevertheless these sorts of stories are always enjoyable for our younger readers who like the feelings they have as they engage with the print and pictures, all helping them to enjoy the power of story believe that they can be readers themselves.

Can I Sit in the Middle?

Can I Sit in the Middle?

Can I Sit in the Middle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Sit in the Middle?

Susanne Strasser

Gecko Press, 2024

22pp., board book., RRP $A16.99

9781776575855

It’s time to sit on the sofa and read a story together, but it takes a while to get everyone together and be ready to start. And just when it looks like it’s good to go, Rhino comes in looking for his slippers…

Young children will enjoy this cumulative story that is full of fun and laughter, as they try to predict which creature will be next to come through the door and join the others,  And the ending is particularly satisfying because is there anything more enjoyable than snuggling sown behind the conch in a blanket tent? With its clear illustrations that tell the story almost on their own, this is one that our earliest readers will love because they will be able to tell it to themselves over and over again, the basis of being a successful reader as they get older. 

How to Be Invisible

How to Be Invisible

How to Be Invisible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Be Invisible

Nick Bland

HarperCollins, 2024

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

9781460764060

When Bunny arrives at the park wearing Grandpa’s hat, he thinks it has made him invisible. But Bird can still see him!  The more Bunny tries, the less invisible he seems. The best friends enjoy the hat even if it’s not magical. But are they sure it’s not a magical hat? Grandpa has a surprise for them!

This is the second in this series for our earliest readers who are just learning about the joy of stories in print, and they are going to be delighted to meet up with characters they already know, while impressing the grown-ups around them by not only saying the word “invisible” but knowing its meaning!  Can there be anything more empowering than learning and using such a big word? And in such an enjoyable way?

In my opinion, the real heroes in this world are those who can entertain, engage and educate our little ones so they have a strong platform on which to base their future formal learning, and Nick Bland is among those. His ability to take something simple and everyday and spin it into something magical through the clever use of words and pictures is amazing, the envy of others, and a gift that our youngest readers are grateful for. On their behalf, I say thank you.

 

 

 

The Big Book of Australian Nursery Rhymes

The Big Book of Australian Nursery Rhymes

The Big Book of Australian Nursery Rhymes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big Book of Australian Nursery Rhymes

Frané Lessac

Walker Books, 2024

96pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99

9781760655099

Take a bunch of familiar nursery rhymes from time immemorial, give them a new, uniquely Australian twist, add the iconic illustrations of Frané Lessac and you have the perfect present for any book-based baby shower, or newborn’s welcoming present you could ever wish for.

We know it is not so much the words of rhymes like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Old MacDonald had a Farm that little ones respond to, so much as the melodic rise and fall of the voice as it moves over the rhyme, rhythm and repetition of these hand-me-down jingles, but to embed our native wildlife into them is pure genius.  So it is not little stars that we wonder about, but southern stars; it is not the cow jumping over the moon but a big kangaroo; and it’s not Peter picking a peck of pickled peppers but Pygmy Possum picking a peck of pickled pollen…

So while Jack and Jill will always climb the hill to fetch their pail of water, perhaps a new generation will see them as something other than two little children, or it will be four and twenty kookaburras emerging from that famous pie…

Brilliant.

Hatch and Match

Hatch and Match

Hatch and Match

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hatch and Match

Ruth Paul

Walker Books, 2024

32pp., hbk., RRP $A25.99

9781760656980

Early morning on the farm, and as the rooster crows to start the new day, an assortment of the most brightly coloured, highly patterned chickens jump down from the tree they have roosted in overnight and begin to search for their eggs.  And as they search the farmyard with all its hazards, the reader is invited to help them search by matching colours and patterns so that each hen finds its eggs.  

But when all are reconciled, that’s not the end of the story – there is a delightful twist as the eggs hatch into chicks that will make the reader think about things a little more deeply.

This has to be one of the most engaging books for our youngest readers that I’ve read for a while.  Not only do they interact with the text and illustrations, developing their visual acuity as they match patterns and colours (a precursor to distinguishing more  subtle changes like letter shapes), but the ending offers food for thought that will have a lasting impact on how they view the world.  If it weren’t for this being by a Kiwi author (go us) making it ineligible, it is one I would expect to see in the CBCA awards lists in the future.

Dinosaur Roar! (series)

Dinosaur Roar!

Dinosaur Roar!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinosaur Roar! (series)

Peter Curtis

Jeanne Willis

Orchard Books, 2024

16pp., board book, RRP $A16.99

Imagine a series of books about dinosaurs created especially for our youngest readers, in board book format just perfect for their little hands to hold by themselves.

Inspired by the classic picture book Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Stickland and Henrietta Stickland, this colourful collection of children’s books features dinosaurs with personalities even bigger than they are! Each book in the series introduces a different title character and uses his or her personality to teach children about dinosaurs and convey a simple moral lesson. The 26 dinosaur characters frequently pop up in other characters’ books in the collection, which together make up The World of Dinosaur Roar!

With wonderful, rhyming text written by series creator, Peter Curtis, and award-winning author, Jeanne Willis, these laugh-out-loud stories are sure to be a hit with young dinosaur fans! Each book includes a spread of simple dinosaur facts and a pronunciation guide, and is produced in association with the Natural History Museum in London. 

There are few children who don’t go through a “dinosaur phase” and so, not only does this series engage, entertain and educate them, but it also starts developing those early reading behaviours particularly those about print works being valuable for finding things out, and being something they can easily return to time and again. The website offers lots of activities and there is a YouTube channel with even more things to do.

An ideal series for the young readers in your life. 

 

Rainbowsaurus

Rainbowsaurus

Rainbowsaurus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbowsaurus

Steve Antony

Hodder Children’s, 2024

32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99

9781444964516

We’re following a rainbow to find the Rainbowsaurus.
We’re following a rainbow. Would you like to join us?

Two dads and their three children  set off on an adventure to find the Rainbowsaurus. On their way, they meet animals that are all the colours of the rainbow who all want to find the Rainbowsaurus, too.

This is a fun read for little ones as they join the quest with its crazy collection of creatures, all different colours and lots of opportunities to join in with the noises and actions as they seek the Rainbowsaurus.  And if that isn’t enough there is always the song to sing as it has been set to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Music, movement, colour and a dinosaur – what’s not to love?  Especially if the young reader is invited to be a creature and colour of their choosing and really join in! 

 

Who am I? (series)

Who am I?

Who am I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who am I?

I’m a Puppy

9781922326867 

I’m a Tiger

9781922326874

I’m a Duckling

9781922326850

I’m a Polar Bear

 9781922326881

Liv Wan

Catch-a-Star, 2024

12pp., board book, RRP $A14.99

One of the key strategies used in teaching our little ones to read is to have them immerse themselves in the context so they can predict what might happen, and to do this they need to have context-specific vocabulary at their fingerprints.  For example, if the story’s setting is the ocean they are more likely to be thinking fish, sharks, dolphins and mermaids than lions, giraffes, elephants and zebras. 

Thus series like these which introduce them to context-specific words play a vital role in developing those early reading behaviours, particularly when they invite the reader to actively engage with them through their format.  Grouped under titles of Pets, Jungle, Farm and Winter, each page offers a simple clue, a question and a lift-the-flap to see if the response is right.  The bright, bold illustrations provide the setting so the child can focus their thoughts on what the creature is likely to be and this, combined with gentle coaxing from the adult can lead to a successful guess that not only provides a positive interaction with the book but helps the little one understand that they, too, can be a reader.

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 series is no exception. Reading is a complex activity that requires a variety of strategies, not the least of which is the expectation that the little one can and will be a reader, and engaging stories that help build those early reading behaviours and concepts about print are an essential in any parent’s toolkit.