From posts sent to a US teacher librarian network, Pete the Cat is one of the most popular characters for preschoolers and now our youngsters can meet him and his friends in this new tabbed board book. With each character having its own tab, little fingers can easily turn to the page that they are seeking – a very early manifestation of the role of an index in the information literacy process!
With a strong emphasis on songs and music and a myriad of online resources to enrich and enhance the child’s experience, this little cat is sure to become a favourite here too.
Hundreds of young people are going to Coco the latest holiday release from Disney Pixar, the story of a Miguel a young Mexican boy who loves music even though it is banned in his family. On the eve of Dia de los Muertos, the night ancestors return to the Land of the Living, a magical incident takes Miguel to the Land of the Dead where he discovers a family secret that explains the ban.
While Miguel doesn’t want to fight his family, music is his passion and he needs to find a way to be able to express it in his home.
This new release from DK enables those young people to explore and understand the movie more thoroughly as it introduces the settings and the characters as it moves through the significant parts of the plot. It even has a double-page spread which sets up Miguel’s’ dilemma – should he follow tradition or should he follow his heart?
One of the surefire ways to get young children to transition between screen and print is to offer them resources that feature their favourite screen characters so there is a feeling of familiarity and connection already, and when those resources enrich and enhance the screen experience as brilliantly as DK do, then they have to be valuable. From the popular sugar skulls which decorate the endpapers through to the vivid, full-colour illustrations, many using graphics from the movie itself, through to the enticing layout, small snippets of information in text accessible to the target audience and a voice that talks directly to the reader, this is a book that will extend the movie experience long after its 100 minutes on the screen.
Common sense media offer a review of this movie (and many others) so parents can determine if it is suitable for their child.
May 8th, the one day of the year that Jonah dreads because it is the anniversary of the accident that left his mother in a wheelchair two years previously and left him as her carer.
He regards it as ‘the day the music died’ because despite her love of music and American Piebeing her favourite tune, his mother has not played or sung since the accident. Jonah himself loves to sing and has been given an important role in the upcoming school play because of his voice. However, because of having to care for his mother – a fact he keeps secret although his teachers are aware of it and are compassionate – he finds it hard to fit in at school, has no friends except for the thread of one with Valeria, a newly-arrived Russian girl, and is teased and bullied because of his name.
During play practice one of the other boys deliberately injures him, and after being attended to by the school nurse, Jonah flees to the school chapel, his place of refuge where he can cry, and yell out his anger and sing his heart out till he gets back to a place of balance. There on the floor he finds a brass button and as he picks it up, the church’s pipe organ begins to play and a remarkable story that impacts him profoundly unfolds…
As with stories like The Fox and the Ghost King, Morpurgo weaves the facts of history with the fiction of his imagination into an engaging, memorable story and Lucky Button is no exception. Focusing on the story of Nathaniel Hogarth, an orphan of the Foundling Hospital, created by Thomas Coram in 1739 with help from William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel, music becomes the centre of the story as the young boy is befriended by the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister during their time in England. Sensitively illustrated by Michael Foreman, this is a story for newly independent readers who like historical fiction and something a little bit different.
There are few little ones who don’t learn this catchy tune very early and love to move to it as they follow the actions. So this new board book version, sturdy enough to survive the repeated readings it will get, is perfect for involving them in the reading process and helping them understand that they can be readers too. Asking about what makes them happy them for other actions that they can do to demonstrate their feelings is always a winning activity.
All sorts of creatures having fun together in the park portrayed in a childlike way with happy expressions and bright colours will attract their attention and before long, instead of being a first-read at bedtime it will be an all-day favourite.
Over 140 years ago, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky brought a story about first love, betrayal, loss, and good versus evil to life through a musical score he called Swan Lake. and on March 4 1877 through the choreography of Julius Reisinger and a few years later that of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov that music was interpreted through dance, laying the foundations of one of the most loved and enduring of the classical ballets.
Now, in 2017, it has been reinterpreted through the stunning artwork of Anne Spudvilas.
With a synopsis of each act to explain what the reader is going to experience, the story unfolds in pictures that echo the dark, hazy, haunting mood that permeates the story – the lake at midnight, the malevolence afoot at the Grand Ball, the storm that accompanied Siegfried’s battle with the Sorcerer and the final tragic ending. Dramatic in their composition and demonstrating how many shades of grey there really are, Spudvilas has captured the essential elements of the story while also portraying the atmosphere that the music and choreography bring to the experience.
For those who are unfamiliar with Swan Lake as a ballet it is a complete sensual experience in itself; for those like me (and Spudvilas) who have been entranced with it since childhood, it is yet another layer adding to the wonder and love of the original.
Definitely one to add to the collection for a range of reasons – at its basic level it is the story behind a classic ballet and its interpretation in pictures; but at a deeper level there is so much to explore and interpret such as the creation of mood through a monochromatic scheme; the use of imagery and colour to identify emotions or portent…
While the long-ago LP record cover that took me into a lifelong love of ballet in general and Swan Lake in particular has disappeared forever, this new interpretation will be a suitable substitute and will join the other members of my treasured collection that brings back such happy memories. And even though I know I will only ever be Odette in my dreams maybe it will spark a dream for my granddaughters!
Way down yonder in the pumpkin patch, ten little eggs were beginning to hatch. As they did, they danced and twirled – it was time to go and see the world. But the last little chick gets distracted by a large cherry, unseen by the others who marched on to meet their mother. But she was very concerned when she counted them because that morning there were ten and now there were only nine! So with Mother Hen in front they set out on a hunt to find the missing chick. But no matter how or where they searched, they had no luck until…
This is a rollicking romp in rhyme which will appeal to young readers as they enjoy the language, the search and the charming illustrations which add so much action and sound you are drawn into the story. The rhythm of the rhyme is reinforced as the chicks march to the musical notes and then drum on logs and stomp their feet trying to bring the little one out of hiding.
There is something about the theme of Chooks in Books that has always appealed, perhaps because it lends itself to lots of research such as investigating whether chickens are the only creatures that start life as eggs as well as lots of artwork for there are so many ways to create chickens to build a class mural to retell the story, surround with chook facts, and build a wall of Chooks in Books stories. Imagine how much easier the concept of 10 and ordinal numbers will become as the children identify the subtle differences between the line of chooks and then line themselves up like the chickens and march or run or creep around to the beat of a drum.
Ben Long and David Cornish have created a story that will capture the attention of little ones and reaffirm their understanding that there is much fun to be had between the pages of the book.
“When Jess and Jack open the gates to the zoo It was strangely deserted. Nobody said BOO.”
So where have all the creatures gone? Because the more they look, the less they see – just trails of scats and feathers and tracks. Determined to find them they separate following the clues but as dusk falls and there is still no sign, Jess is getting concerned. Then comes the sound of music from the nearby bush and a huge flash of a flare splits the sky and Jack emerges. The animals are having a party but what are they celebrating?
A charming story told in rhyme which will enchant young listeners as they try to guess where the animals have gone, and once they’ve been discovered, predict what they are up to. Filled with movement and sound both words and pictures convey the fun and excitement of a party – just the feel of the word ‘hullabaloo’ on the tongue is fun. But being part of it is even more fun so be prepared for making music!
But there is also the opportunity for little ones to learn more about the creatures in the zoo – the fact that each has a different-shaped foot that makes a unique track starts the exploration on the endpapers, the references to the different feathers of the different birds and the introduction of the term “scats” and what they are and how they offer valuable clues about their producer all meld to make this an intriguing initiation into a more in-depth recognition of animals than just their shape and colour.
Many people live in the tall apartment block, each living their lives without even knowing their neighbours let alone socialising with them. They didn’t even say hello to each other in the corridors! That is, until the baby moves into an apartment on the 8th floor. And like babies do because they have to, the baby cried, and cried a lot no matter how much his mother try to calm and soothe him. His cries could be heard all over the 8th floor.
And then one day, when he was a little older he found the pits and pans, as babies do, and of course he clanged them together, as babies do. His mother screamed in delight and the CLANG, AHHH could be heard in every unit. And something amazing began to happen…
This is a charming story that takes the everyday event of a baby crying and turns it into a tale that many will resonate with . Exploiting her personal passion for music, the author has shown that there is music in anything, it can come from anywhere and can creates harmony, and not just the musical kind. Guiseppe Poli’s little vignettes capture the lives of the people in the apartments, emphasising their separation whilst providing little clues for what is about to happen, and the things they share like the teacher who teaches drama and the teen creating movies; the girls and the older lady both enjoying knitting that suggest this baby is going to be the catalyst for some enduring connections. Even the front and back endpapers suggest that there will be a remarkable journey taking place between them.
On the surface this appears to be just a book for our very young readers whereas it has a place for older readers too, especially if it is shared by a teacher with a purpose. There is the theme of isolation even though the people live so close together and the theme of friendship through common interests that can be explored, while there is also the fun of making a body band – using the parts of the body to make a sound and a rhythm that can be melded together and then the exploration and combination of the sounds of ordinary objects.
Diane Jackson Hill started writing children’s books including the wonderful Annabel’s Dance after a long career in teaching, and her understanding of what children want in a story is very clear. This should become a family favourite as who can sit still when all around music is being made.
High in a very tall tree Digby Fixit hears an unusual and very noisy noise. Being a lover of music he scrambles down the tree to discover who is making it. Perhaps it is one of his very-bestest friends. Is it Stanley strumming his guitar? Or Sophie tooting her kazoo? Perhaps it is Freda on the piano or Theo thumping his drum. Maybe it is Wilfred on his double bass or Tarquin tapping the sticks. No. None of these and the noise was still noisy. So using his trust noise-o-meter he followed its lead and found…
Written in rhyming verse to echo the passing of time and the rhythm of the music, author Renee Price has used her early childhood teaching and music educator experience to bring an engaging tale to young readers, introducing them to a variety of common instruments and their sounds along the way. Full of energy, fun and colour, readers are taken on a journey that will have them showing you their knowledge of the movements and sounds associated with the various instruments and then wanting to join in the jam session at the end- which they can do because there is a recording of the song that can be downloaded via the QR code provided. They will also recognise that final sound that brings the music to an end – but not the fun.
Illustrator Anil Tortop has also hit the mark with her illustrations – each set on a background of a bold, solid colour and capturing such a wide range of action and emotion in clever, unfussy strokes that even include an intrigued cat. And, as with many characters, Digby now has his own website so the fun can continue.
An original storyline that teaches children a little about musical instruments (a change from Peter and the Wolf), a little about the passage of time and a lot about curiosity, friendship and fun will be a welcome addition to home and library collections.
Christmas in Australia – time for families to get together and of, course, the perfect family photo for posterity. But getting everyone together at the same time is not as easy as it sounds.
This is an hilarious, rollicking tune, probably known to every Australian school student, brought to life in picture book format through the talents of Mitch Vane. As families gather together as the big day draws closer, no doubt its scenarios will be played out in real life in many backyards and children will be heard singing the song.
A must-have in any Christmas collection and for sending overseas to those who want to know about a summer Christmas as well.