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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… 

 

Words Between Us

Words Between Us

Words Between Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words Between Us

Angela Pham Krans

Dung Ho

HarperCollins US, 2024

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

9780063224544

Felix and Grandma have always lived oceans apart—until the day Grandma arrives in the city from Vietnam. Felix is so excited to meet Grandma and spend time with her. But it’s tricky when he speaks no Vietnamese and she speaks no English. They get by with both showing each other special things like Felix’s pet iguana Pete and Grandma showing him how to care for the garden but one day, when Felix and Grandma are visiting a big festival,  Grandma gets lost and doesn’t know how to ask for help.  It is then that Felix decides to teach her English, and by working together and teaching each other, they bond closely as they learn to share words as well, culminating in their shared love of pizza.

With end papers that have flashcard translations of common words, (and Grandma’s recipe for pizza), this is another story like I Hear a Buho and Giovanni  that allows us to share and celebrate the languages spoken by our students as they take the opportunity to teach us the common words for the things that unite us regardless of our heritage.  Having bilingual books in our collections and actively promoting them is a way that we can build bridges and open doorways for those who are not native English speakers by showing them that we value what they can bring to the teaching and learning experience.  

For many newcomers to this country not speaking the common language can be a very isolating experience, compounding the difficulties of what must have already been a difficult decision, but if we can reach out to families through stories – perhaps even inviting them into the library to share the stories of their childhood in their own language to encourage those of the same background to hear them and learn about them – we show the parents, particularly the mothers, that we care and that their child will not be lost.  And, in return, we all gain so much!!!

I Hear a Búho

I Hear a Búho

I Hear a Búho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Hear a Búho

Raquel Mackay

Armando Fonseca

Scribble Kids, 2024

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

9781761380495

As night falls, a  mother and daughter snuggle together in a hammock on their porch, and listen to the sounds of the night. The young girl makes animal calls and her mother responds, identifying the creatures in Spanish while the striking illustrations identify them for those who don’t speak that language. Then to their surprise a real búho appears and flies across the night sky.

When she was little, Ms Almost-18 and I drove regularly between Canberra and Cooma and on the way she would delight in teaching me the Spanish words that she learned from watching Dora the Explorer and took even more delight in the words she knew and which I didn’t (and I had to guess from her clues).  Children are fascinated by other languages and so this new book, the first bilingual text from this publisher, not only gives young Spanish-speaking readers the buzz of seeing their language celebrated in a book but also offers non-Spanish speakers some new words to add to their vocabularies so they, too, can baffle their elders.

I recently gave another bilingual book to a friend teaching a couple of Italian-speaking children and she told me that the doors it opened and the bridges it built between school and home were remarkable as the whole family got involved in sharing it, so we should never underestimate the power of acknowledging the languages spoken by our children and demonstrating to parents that we do this.  The animals that are featured in this seemingly simple rhyming story are a dog, cat, frog and owl, so how inclusive would it be if we invited all students to teach us what their words for these creatures are, and then extend that to teaching us their words for other creatures that we see around us in the local environment, or for the sounds we hear as night falls.  The sights and  sounds of the city are very different to the sights and  sounds of the country.

As with many well-written picture books that appear at first glance to be for the very young, in the hands of an imaginative teacher they can become powerful teaching tools for all ages, and this one has great potential too.  

Giovanni

Giovanni

Giovanni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giovanni

Crystal Corocher

Margeaux Davis

Wombat Books, 2023

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

9781761111235

In 1881, four-year-old Giovanni and his family and local villagers leave the Veneto region of Italy bound for Australia having been promised “paradise” only to find that they are in the hands of a people smuggler with a rickety boat, little food and no real concern for their safety, let alone comfort.  Eventually stranded on a beach in Noumea, they were in despair of ever reaching Australia dying in huge numbers from bad food, mosquitoes, undrinkable water and back-breaking work in the monsoon season. 

But hearing of their plight, Sir Henry Parkes, the “father of Federation” but then colonial secretary of NSW sent a boat to rescue them and 22 families eventually settled on the NSW north coast in what was to become known as New Italy and the start of the Italian migration to Australia that continues today.

Told by the great-granddaughter of Giovanni, with a concurrent Italian translation by Jada Valpato,  this is a story meticulously researched that tells of an almost-forgotten part of Australia’s migration history, making it one for both younger and older readers, particularly those of Italian heritage.  Coupled with links to resources such as the New Italy Museum, this is definitely one for the collection for both your Italian families as well as any study of Australia’s immigration history. 

 

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!!!

How Do You Say I Love You?

How Do You Say I Love You?

How Do You Say I Love You?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Say I Love You?

Ashleigh Barton

Martina Heiduczek

ABC Books, 2022

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

9780733342172

In every country around the globe,
we all have ways to show
the people who mean the most to us
what they ought to know.

And whether through actions or words, the three most important we can utter are “I love you” and every language has its own phrase to express the emotion.

In this companion to What Do You Call Your Grandpa?What Do You Call Your Grandma? and What Do You Do to Celebrate?  young readers journey around the world from dawn to dusk, having meals and school days in a variety of places and learn that wherever they are, the bonds are strong and each country has its own way of saying “I love you.’ Whether it’s Sami saying munayki in Quechua, one of the official languages of Peru and Bolivia or Tala in the Philippines saying mahal kita in Tagalog, or Henry signing in Auslan, it’s obvious that regardless of the words, it is the love that is shared that is the main thing. 

While there are clues to the locations in the illustrations, there is also a glossary that explains where the children are, the language they are speaking and where they are living.  It just screams to be added to by the children in your care as they add their own special words in their language. No wonder it’s a CBCA Notable Book for 2023. 

Aroha ahau ki a koe

Little Word Whizz

Little Word Whizz

Little Word Whizz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

365 First Words

9781913520366

An Interesting Word for Every Day of the Year

9781913520045

Dr. Meredith L. Rowe

Monika Forsberg

Magic Cat, 2022

112pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99

Did you know a ‘cartographer” is a person who takes photos of cars?  That was the definition given to a colleague recently by a young child as they were introduced to the wonderful world of mapping.  Trying not to LOL, she explained its true meaning to her students, and it is unlikely they will forget it.  Once again proving that children are fascinated with new words – the longer the better.  Who knows a little one who can correctly identify and say the names of all the dinosaurs?

Talking is an inherent behaviour that children learn by listening to their mother tongue as everyday life goes on around them, picking up not just the vocabulary but the context in which it is used and the nuances of sound as it is expressed.  365 First Words offers parents a pathway to help their children learn the words associated with  common first concepts including colours, numbers and shapes, as well as parts of the body, things that go, animals and the world around us. Thus it also builds up the connections between the words in the groups so if a child goes to a farm or hears a story with a farm setting, their brain is wired for the things they are likely to see and the words for them.

However, because the words are in English – just one per item – it could also have a role in helping those with a different mother-tongue learn the English equivalents, or perhaps it could become the English-whatever first steps to learning another language.

Its companion, An Interesting Word for Every Day of the Year, takes vocabulary building to a more sophisticated level as it offers 52 fully illustrated scenes which provide  “a fun and supportive platform to introduce little readers to big words and extend their vocabulary, which studies have recently proven to be the biggest indicator of a child’s potential later in life.”  Building vocabulary has become a particular focus of literacy lessons in recent years (and so the wheel turns again) so as well as introducing the child to the particular words on the page (they have their meanings explained in a table at the bottom of the page) there is also scope to use these as starter-words to build synonyms and antonyms, providing a basis for both interesting speech and writing.  Students might also create their own scene from a medium of their choice and, using the book’s examples as a model, add appropriate words that extend their vocabulary and that of their peers.

Both books are based on common concepts but both offer wide-ranging opportunities in the hands of creative teachers. 

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

 

 

The Thing That Goes Ping!

The Thing That Goes Ping!

The Thing That Goes Ping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thing That Goes Ping!

Mark Carthew

Shane McG

Ford Street, 2021

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

9781925804669

In the faraway town of Figgy-tra-ling, you may hear the faint ring of a thing that goes ping!

But this ting’s hard to find though its sound is quite loud

As the thing that goes ping can get lost in a crowd.

If you wish to know where you can find this ping thing

Let’s ask the good people of Figgy-tra-ling…

And so begins the quest to  discover this thing that goes ping, whatever it might be.  Moving through the town using rhyming couplets that instantly reminded me of a recent favourite, The Dingle-Dangle Jungle, the reader is taken on a journey that introduces a variety of creatures in a range of settings around the farm until eventually that thing that goes ping is revealed.  And it is a satisfying solution that makes the trip worthwhile!

This story works on a number of levels for all ages, particularly younger readers who are not only learning the names of common creatures but who revel in the sounds and rhythms of our language.  The rhymes roll off the tongue in a most satisfying way and with the repetition of the phrases and the very supportive illustrations they will not only be joining in but also be predicting the next text. Perfect for early reading behaviours, encouraging readers to suggest, write and illustrate their own resident of Figgy-tra-ling who could help the quest.  It is also excellent for using with students for whom English is an additional language as not only can they connect the English words with creatures they readily recognise, but again, the predictive text and the rhyme will help them explore the language easily.   As well, there are comprehensive teachers notes, song lyrics and even card games to download, making this the complete reading experience. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Call Your Grandma?

What Do You Call Your Grandma?

What Do You Call Your Grandma?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Call Your Grandma?

Ashleigh Barton

Martina Heiduczek

ABC Books, 2021

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

9780733340840

In every country around the world are grandpas short and tall,

Though they go by different names, we love them one and all

A Granny here, a Nanna there – or maybe she’s a Nan?

Turn the page, let’s meet a few of the finest in the land…

This is the companion to What Do You Call Your Grandpa? and like its predecessor, it introduces readers to all the words that our students use to refer to their grandparents, but this time it is grandmothers in the spotlight. But whether it’s Nonna, Nani, MeeMaw, Bibi, Amma or one of the other special names,  what is also in focus is that special relationship and bond that children have with their grandmothers and the precious memories that are made as they celebrate life together. 

As well as teaching little ones new names – I can envisage of wall display of photos of the children’s grandparents and the special names they call them, especially as the author invites the reader to share – this would also be a grand book for those who are learning English as a new language because they will delight in seeing their own culture represented in a way that connects us all.

Perfect combination for Harmony Day with so many opportunities to develop displays .

 

Poo and Other Words That Make Me Laugh

Poo and Other Words That Make Me Laugh

Poo and Other Words That Make Me Laugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poo and Other Words That Make Me Laugh

Felice Arena

Tom Jellett

ABC Books, 2021

40pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9780733341427

There are some words that toll off the tongue so smoothly that you just want to say them again and again for the sheer joy of it.  My own two favourites are mugwump and ragamuffin, and in this hilarious book, Felice Arena has collected a whole lot more. Words like bumbershoot and wishy-washy and hullabaloo and, of course, poo!

Accompanied by Tom Jellett’s bold illustrations, this is a book that celebrates the sounds of our language as well as introducing a whole range of vocabulary for each word is real and has its definition included at the end. It invites the reader to contribute their own favourites and this, in turn, sets up the opportunity to play with rhythm with a voice orchestra.  Have small groups of children repeat a word over and over -its syllables will give the rhythm – and then combine them to make something magical.  Imagine the combinations if your EALD students added their favourite words in their language – and taught the others what they meant.

Books should be entertaining and this is indeed, that!